The other night Voytek and I went to a Police info night. Recently I have been playing with the idea of what I want to do with my life. I have been feeling pulled to do something in either policing, specifically in the Zebra program or possibly some how being a spokesperson for childhood sexual violence. I have no idea how to even begin to go about the second idea on the table so we decided to check out the first option. So that brought us to the info night.
I was excited to go, to learn more about this possibility. I had been looking into it a lot, talking with friends, researching online and thought I had a pretty good idea of what it would be like. I also already had the seed planted that it would not work out for me. Voy and I sat down in a room with about 40 other people. I looked around, taking note that I was not the oldest person, or the least out of shape person there. The majority was younger, stronger and more informed then I, but that wouldn’t stop me. We sat there for two hours listening to the in’s and out’s of the process. What you have to do to be hired. What it is like after you are hired. How much the pay is. Ect, Ect. Some of if excited me. I loved the idea of being able to put “bad guys” away. To be able to work on the inside of a system that failed me as a child. To maybe make a change in it. To help even one child that was in my shoes. Plus who doesn’t want to drive a police car and carry a gun? But one thing they talked about made me realize, I can’t do this.
If I was 20, with no children this would be different. Actually, if at 20 years old and I knew who I was, this would be different. I realize at twenty, no one really knows who they are. But most have an idea. I look back at my life and know, I had no idea. At twenty I knew one thing. I loved Voytek. I knew he was there for me. But that is it. At twenty I had no ability to make decisions of my own as I was still too deeply controlled by my abuser. I was still so brain washed, so confused, so focused on just surviving. I had no way of knowing what I wanted to be as I was still so focused on just being. Just keeping the pain, the secret, the truth safely inside. I did this so well I didn’t even know I was doing it. So at twenty when I should have been making the big choices, I wasn’t. Now I am thirty, with three young children. Can you guess why becoming a police officer right now isn’t the best choice?
Shift work isn’t terrible. I understand it, we could make that work. If that was truly all it was. But as we sat in that room we learnt how your shift often doesn’t end when you thought it would, and on your days off you maybe in court. That is were I started to see this option leave. It is one thing to start a new job and deal with the change that would be on my family but it is a whole other thing to change everything. (There words, not mine.) How could I go from being a stay at home mom to working a job where my children would barely see me? To a job that would become my whole life and put my marriage and children as second and third place. I can’t. It doesn’t make sense. I have fought so hard these past four years to heal myself, to try and become a better mom, wife and person. Becoming a Police Officer at this point would not help me fight. Plus I may NEVER get to work in Zebra, it’s not guaranteed, and that is really the whole point of me looking into this route.
On the way home, as Voy and I discussed this all, tears welled up in my eyes and I got angry. Yet another thing ‘he’ stole from me. These moments of realization are probably one of the hardest parts of this whole journey. These little moments when the world that could have been reality shows its head for a second, and I see the Sandra I could have been, if I was not interfered with at such a young age, for such a long time. That being said, I am in no way wanting to paint the “Woah as me, I am a poor victim” picture. I am a survivor, but a survivor who just recently realized how much of her life was taken. How much of herself she know longer knows, or for that matter, ever knew.
When I think about what he actually did to me, that hurts less then what the consequences of his actions have been. I am not sure that makes any sense. It is almost impossible to know who I would have been, if I wasn’t interfered with from the age of four on. (“Interfered with” is something my counselor has called it and I have gravitated to it because it feels so real. A four year old minding there own business is interfered with, and it changes things. Its stops things that could have been and starts things that maybe never should have been.)
I now get to take control of my life. I am no longer surviving to live but instead learning to live. I get to discover who I get to be. Sadly, that means I also get to find out the things that I just can’t be. I have to mourn the loss of yet another “could have”, but one day, I won’t have to do that anymore, one day soon I will know exactly who I get to be. On to the next option.