“You, my dear, are a Phoenix” That is what he said to me. My friend. I thought that was one of the best compliments I have ever gotten. That same day I was told by one of my children I was narcissistic, manipulative, and abusive. That should have hurt more than it did. Before I went to Peru it would have devastated me. Before I went to Peru the events of the last few days would have sent me into a tailspin and down the rabbit hole. But I am not who I was before I went to Peru. I AM strong. I AM a Phoenix. I have been reborn with strength and unconditional love for myself (something I never had). I hear my ex tell me he wishes he would not have helped me and had let me kill myself. I hear him tell me (like he has in the past) that he wishes I would die. I see my kids supporting him and blaming me. I see the old me giving in and throwing away my happiness to keep peace in the home. I see the old me giving him another chance, seeing the good in him, and trying to make it work for the sake of our family. But the old me no longer exists.