***TRIGGER WARNING!*** This post may contain references to implied or actual violence, which could be triggering to readers. Please read with caution!

I literally used to dread New Year’s Eve, being formerly married to an abusive alcoholic. He would have me dress up like a Vegas show girl, so he could parade me around, then berated me later for looking like a “whore.” If I tried to dress conservatively, he’d guilt me by telling me I was “being a prude” and wasn’t proud to be seen with him, that he wanted to “show me off.” It was a no-win situation, honestly, that always left me feeling hopeless.

We would inevitably go to a New Year’s Eve party, usually bringing food and booze with us, as did everyone else. Usually, these were parties where he knew everyone, and I knew none or very few. I’d talk with the women, usually being overdressed and uncomfortable, or stand silently by his side, making NO eye contact with other men. I wasn’t about to receive another beating, as I did the year I chatted with a collegue of his, whose wife walked away and got roped into another convo. I got a lovely shiner and a broken rib, when we got home. He told me it would be worse if I cried out and woke the kids. Of course, he was considerate enough to wait until after the sitter, my mother-in-law, left.

One year, I couldn’t find him at midnight to kiss him, only to catch him interlocked in a passionate kiss with another woman. Of course, he was “three sheets to the wind” drunk, so he may not have known it wasn’t me, although I am not so sure (we hadn’t had such an intense kiss for many years). That was probably the year I was at my largest, so, needless to say, I was heartbroken. I never got an apology for that. I also never looked forward to the new year, as I felt trapped and if thing would never get any better. I lost hope and interest in doing anything but surviving and taking care of my kids.

Fast forward to today…I look forward to 2023 and all the possibilities it holds for my family and I. I’m dressed in a band t-shirt and skinny jeans and my heavy metal tennis shoes. I am about to go see a concert of a cover band for AC/DC, with a man that truly loves and cares for me. I don’t have to step over his unconscious, drunk body later this evening or worry about him disappearing to go kiss another woman. He will be right next to me, rocking in the new year of possibilities, holding my hand.

Happy New Year, dear readers! 2023 is going to be epic for this little Blog of mine! Love and light!