I’ll be the first to admit that my move from Indiana to Oregon was out of the blue and came with no warning, I’ll even agree maybe slightly abrupt. I will never be able to ease the minds of the ones unable to understand the decision or the reasoning behind it, and I can’t continually try to explain it or give a little insight. The most common question I hear is “Why did you move so far away?” and the most common statement is “You’re just running from your problems.”

Why Oregon, you ask? There’s nothing more to it than the landscape. Have you SEEN my Instagram photos?? Come on, it’s so easy to see why Oregon. It is, legit, the most beautiful land I’ve ever seen. Whether you want mountains, beaches, rivers, waterfalls, deserts, forests, open plains…Oregon’s got it and it doesn’t disappoint. Point a camera in any direction and it’s a photo op. How can a broken soul not absolutely love it here?

Am I running from my problems? Y-E-to-the-motha-fuckin-S. I know we’re taught or told that you can’t run away from your problems. That wherever you go the problems will follow; and that’s true I suppose. However, you can also choose to leave behind the place that holds all of your terrible memories:

The park that I’ve had to revisit over and over throughout the years for pig roasts, birthdays, reunions, etc is the same park that holds the memory of my rape. Since leaving, I no longer have to pass by it or go to another gathering there. Am I running from that? Yes.

The small clinic on the East side that counseled me about options pertaining to an unwanted pregnancy and what the best route for a scared 16 year old girl was. The clinic that holds the deepest of secrets, heartache and scars that no one, other than the caring staff, knows about. Am I running from that? Yes.

The place that my then-husband pulled over and physically forced me from the car, called me a cow and insulted my worth; while my son screamed in the back seat. A roadside mental breakdown, where I sat for hours wondering how I’d managed to marry such a brute. A place I had to drive by nearly every day and could never pass without thinking of that day. Am I running from that? Yes.

The Beech Grove alley that I met a stranger at every week for years to by pills so I could attempt some calm within my soul. To have a couple hours of escape from the secrets and lies I’ve had to keep for so long. Telling myself I was so different from other drug users, because it was “just pills”, but knowing I am no better. The pills that became the downfall of my body, the back alley stranger that provided the stomach-killing prescriptions. Am I running from that? Yes.

The house I lived in, decorated and made into a home hoping it would be the final fix. Painted, furnished and beautiful; all it became was a house that I habitually brought men to and had extramarital affairs, doused myself in tequila, popped pills and tried to silence the extremely loud voices in my mind. Am I running from that? Yes.

Leaving my entire life behind wasn’t difficult for me because I had no life to leave. Other than my children, there was nothing left for me to fight for there. Friends moved on, family split, co-workers quit; to which I’m not placing any fault or guilt. That’s just how life goes, at some point it’s your own battle. I’ve been called a terrible mother, behind my back of course, but at which point does it make me a better parent for realizing I was self-destructing? For leaving my children in the hands of two people that have been stability and a great source of love to them; that makes me a terrible mother? For finally finding doctors that have done more for my medical care in 6 months than the Indiana-based physicians did in 10 years; I’m terrible for wanting that care? For leaving a state that contains more hurt than joy; I’m terrible for that?

If you can’t see passed the fact that I left my children, the hardest thing I’ve ever done, then it’s you that needs reevaluation. I decided to leave my worthless soul behind and start anew in hopes that I could go back to the mother I used to be. I receive no credit for the amazing little people my children are, as if me leaving 6 months ago negates the 16 years I raised them; and I’ll swallow that “bad person” pill.

So, speak ill of me to my children if you must. Tell me how wrong I am for leaving if it helps you deal. Call me a terrible mother and attempt to discredit the goodness I instilled in those kids. But do NOT question my reasons…ever.

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