Discovery Day

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It’s been one year since Discovery Day.

No grieving for me, just celebrating.

I needed a mighty push to break free from his abuse and the universe obliged.

I endured the worst betrayal of my life and survived.

It was messy and ugly, frightening and full of snot-filled tears that clogged my head.

It was exactly what I needed to grow, to finally face the truth head-on and then decide what to do with it.

I still struggle with the aftershocks, but I try to remain gentle with myself, for I am only human.

He tried to steal my ability to love and to be loved, but he failed.

My name is Merry Teresa O’Leary, proud daughter of Michael and Sandra.

I will never again allow myself to lose my own identity, for my journey this past year has shown me just how worth it I am.

I am worth fighting for.

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Not Too Shabby

I went bowling the other day with my boyfriend and scored a 98.

Big deal, right?

For someone who has disability status fibromyalgia, you bet your booty it is.

I used the lightest ball that the bowling alley had, a 6 pound one that the kids use while attending a birthday party for their cousin or friend. I couldn’t even lift the 16 pound one that my boyfriend owns. (He’s in a league.) We laughed a bit about that, I even asked him if he was He Man or something.

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I’ve handled bigger balls in my sleep.

It’s absolutely amazing to me that this cranky, painful, weakened body of mine would actually allow me to throw a lime green kiddie ball down the lane without causing me a trip to the emergency room.

“Now be careful, I don’t want you hurting yourself, honey. I’m happy if you can play just one frame.”

I shooed him gently away with a grateful smile.

I did have to quit after two games and then happily watched as he played another by himself. I always loved to go bowling in my younger and healthier days; there’s just something nostalgic about the sound of the pins continuously falling, the faint smell of oil on wood, the light chatter of the other people gathered in harmonious activity.

My boyfriend doesn’t feed my fear, opting instead to inspire me to do the things that I never thought I’d ever be able to do again.

I sat in this condo for years, day after day, thinking that my life was basically over. That idea was perpetuated by asshat, who wanted to keep me docile so that he could feel entitled to do as he pleased without any guilt. (Fuck anyone with a willing vagina, for example.)

When I hit a strike, I turned around to see S’s beaming smile of pride and fell into his sturdy arms for a congratulatory hug.

“Wow! Nice job!”

“Yeah,” I replied, giggling. “Not too shabby.”