Alrighty, the scary monsters have been chased back under their rock, so normal life resumes. Actually, they should have never seemed like monsters in the first place, more like an annoying swarm of mosquitoes to swat away or squash. Pavlov’s dogs had nothing on me, though. Much as we consciously move on and put things behind us, stuff still lurks in the subconscious part of the mind. Ring the bell, figuratively speaking, and the old conditioned response kicks in automatically.
I haven’t actually set the wheels in motion yet, but I know what I’m going to do now. I’ll just do it in my own sweet time, thank you. For once, the offending parties can be the ones doing the sweating. I can’t make this entirely right, as in flipping it around to benefit only the deserving. But I can drag my feet enough to make the undeserving extremely nervous. They might still be able to get a rise out of me, but I’m no longer the compliant little doormat that they turned me into all those years ago. Nor is my daughter fair game, just because she’s now an adult. Her father and his family chose to ignore her existence all these years, and they needn’t think that they can prey on her now when it suits them. Essentially I am going to give them what they want, which galls me something awful. But it should get them out of our lives once and for all, which is worth some bile swallowing now. I guess. There will be terms and conditions attached, which soothes my ruffled principles somewhat. But only somewhat. I’ll get past that, though. If this really does achieve the desired result, it will have been a small price to pay.
A few days ago someone asked me if I would do it differently if I could turn the clock back to when I was eighteen and live my life since then over again. Of course the obvious answer is yes, but really, there are two sides to the question. Yes, I’d definitely do a lot of things differently, from the time of Stephanie’s birth on. I wouldn’t, however, change anything about the sequence of events that led to her existence. Truly I wouldn’t. Sure, it meant wading through lots of steaming, smelly heaps, but the perfect rose that grew out of those heaps has made every step worthwhile.