Tonight I am spending the night in a city I haven’t been to in almost 8 years. Earlier today, I took a walk on a pier that held a very special memory for me. I was 23 years old when I stood on this pier the last time. Tonight, as I stood on the pier looking out over the water, it was as if I was looking at a reflection of who I used to be. I laughed to myself as I thought about all the things that used to stress me out. All those things now seem so silly as I think about the challenges I have faced in the past year and the ones I will surely have to face in the future before Luc decides to move on – IF he decides to move on.
I called my father as I walked along the pier and reminded him of the memory. My dad, who has also been very traumatized by the fact that Luc hit my family like a high speed train, said, “do you ever wonder how if your life had changed just one bit, or that if the event that happened at that lake had turned out different, if you would have even met Luc? We would never have known how lucky we were had we never had the unfortunate chance of him coming into your life.”
First of all, I want to say that I don’t regret baby boy for one second. Being that child’s mom is the best thing to ever happen to my life. That being said, I do think a lot about how there are many events in my life and decisions that led me to Luc. Had I made one of many different moves, I would never have met him. So I pondered my dads question as I continued to walk back to my hotel. And here are two important conclusions I came to (after, of course, taking a moment to mourn my naive youth and inexperience):
1) I am not only a different person, but I am a better person for having met Luc. That sounds crazy, I know. I do a lot of complaining and I am certainly terrified on a regular basis when I think about the reality that my life may come to an end BECAUSE of Luc; however, I am a stronger and wiser person for having survived his terror. Don’t get me wrong, HE didn’t make me a better person because of his personality or anything actually pleasant about him (because he doesn’t have real pleasant qualities). I am a better person because this experience of trying to get away from Luc and his terror has forced me to dig deep and survive for my son.
2) If I had made even one different major decision, I wouldn’t have ever met Luc; however, I could very well have met someone just as terrible. One of the hardest lessons that I have had to learn in the past year is that I was the perfect target for Luc. I had no idea what a real psychopath looked like and I was naive, trusting, and wanted to fall in love. I have learned that people like Luc search for people like me. They search for good people with good reputations because bad people are not as much fun for them to destroy. The knowledge I have about people like Luc has armed me to never fall into that trap again.
My life is a lot different than it was eight years ago. I spent parts of the walk being sad that naive and innocent Cappuccino Queen is probably gone forever. The silver lining, however, is that who I am today is someone I am proud of (despite some clearly terrible decisions I made along the way). I was a good target because I was, and will always be, a good person. I wondered for a moment if I would make the choice to go back to that time if the decision were mine. Although I don’t have a time machine and can’t make that choice, I don’t think I would even if I could. I respect those years and the wisdom they have given me. I am a better person and certainly a better mom after learning some very hard lessons in these past eight years.
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