But ya gotta have friends…

A year ago when my husband informed me he wanted a divorce I realized just how isolated I had become. I really only had one person in my local area I would consider a friend. Sure I, like most people in today’s modern society I have “friends” on social media. But I really realized just how alone I was. Fighting this battle alone, left to raise kids alone, with no support system. Nobody to be there to hold me while I cried as I mourned the end of my marriage. Or to cheer for me as I started to gain my feet again. I had my kids and that was it. While I love my kids there is so much that they shouldn’t have to see or feel and their mothers deep mourning is one of them.

I started looking at why I isolated myself, and deciding what I should do about it. Evaluating what kind of people I want in my life and then I slowly started adding people who are kind, generous, funny, lighthearted individuals. People who like me enjoy helping each other, laughing and sharing a good meal. People who aren’t afraid to do dirty work, or cheer me on as I do my work. Finding like minded individuals who like to go out and play at the park or on the beach. Friends who want to hike or fish, dance, listen to music.

The more curious question I find myself pondering is how did I allow myself to become so isolated? How did it become acceptable for me to have no friends who come over and enjoy a BBQ or help bust out projects? How did I make excuses for this behavior that prevented me from having friends? His jealousy and constant accusations made it so uncomfortable after friends would leave that I slowly stopped inviting anyone to be a part of my life. If I went anywhere without him I was accused of having an affair, ironic since he’s the one that wound up cheating. I stopped looking people I met in the eye, I stopped laughing with people, I quit inviting friends over because he would constantly tell me how I was doing something wrong. The manipulation was so intense that I learned to put distance between me and anyone else I may have come in contact with.

About 6 months ago as I was doing therapy I realized just how isolated I had become. I missed the physical connection of friends, family, people you laugh with who enrich your life in a million little ways. I slowly started feeling my way into this space where I am finding friends again. Where I am meeting people who make me laugh. I am enjoying hanging out with people and making friends who are supportive, kind and who can joke without there being fear of belittlement coming at me.

As a friend I am someone who wants to help and support my friends too. It makes me happy to just be able to be there in whatever way possible for my friends. If I can I will. I have learned new healthy boundaries for myself too, and if it’s not possible for me to do something I’m ok with saying no. But for a friend I will go the extra mile.

So if you are a new friend, thanks for being a part of the journey to finding a healthier me. Thanks for helping me step back out of the shadows and for helping me make healthy choices. If you are one of the few who has been there through it and watched from the sidelines thank you for still loving me, and even more for being excited for the changes for the better happening in my life.

Firsts are still hard

When a relationship ends suddenly the year of firsts is heartbreaking.

This year, for the first time in 25 years my husband couldn’t be bothered to wish me a happy mother’s day. Before our first child was even born he got me a card, I was just pregnant with her and he brought home flowers and made me feel loved and special. Last year he gave me a card and flowers even though we were having problems. This year I don’t even get a text. It’s as if he would rather erase the last 25 years and invalidate the fact that I have been a loving and devoted mom and wife for 25 years.

My kids were amazing and we spent the day together but the man who helped me create these amazing kids couldn’t even wish me the best. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise. He doesn’t even talk to his own kids beyond a rare text. It’s going on a month since the last time he texted our youngest. His priorities are completely different.

While it shouldn’t surprise me, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. If I said that every first without him still feels like a knife slicing into my heart to make fresh new cuts for me to bleed from a new.

I see people every day who have been together as long as we have who still manage to be friends. While divorce isn’t anything I wanted. It’s what I have to deal with. What i can’t understand is why it has to be this way?

His actions continue to hurt his kids and I but it’s also pushing us closer together in ways I hadn’t imagined. I have always encouraged them to respond when he reaches out. But when he goes more than a month between speaking to them they tend to believe that he is choosing his girlfriend over them and I can’t say a word about it. Only sit and hold them or support them.

Having to accept another person’s choices that are so different than the person they used to be is devastating, but seeing him for who he has become is very much empowering me.

This road has many twists and turns and eventually it leads to my being healed from all of this.

A fine line

I don’t think I ever fully grasped the saying “its a fine line between love and hate” until now.

Yesterday as I stood in my half renovated kitchen angry at the entire situation I find myself in. Angry at the man who put me here and angry at the world that just moves on even with my heart still shattered into a million pieces, it dawned on me how a person can do both. I do. I hate this man and yet I still love him.

I stood there washing the dishes that had piled up while I worked because every adult in my house works and its just two teens who have had to take on more than any teens should be forced to. I saw clearly how much I hate this man because his selfish choices are hurting me and my kids. How much I hate who he has become and I hate how much he hurts our kids. I despise this person. This person doesn’t deserve my awesome kids, the ones I am raising alone now. The ones who step up in a million tiny ways. The ones who see me come home at night and know how exhausted I am. The kids who see the tears I can’t hold back or hide. So as I stood there washing dishes preparing to finish the renovations on this kitchen so that we can have some semblance of normal in an otherwise insane world I sobbed. Washing dishes, being in the kitchen used to be my favorite thing. It was the place I showed my family my love in all the home cooked meals, in all the moments spent together laughing and cooking. It was the heart of our family, he would come in and wrap his arms around me while I cooked or washed dishes kissing the back of my neck and telling me how much he appreciated me. That was before. Before he walked out. Before he stopped caring. Now I am left to pick up the pieces and he just ignores us as if the last 25 years meant nothing. As if all those promises didn’t matter.

So I angry cried. The injustice of everything happening has me seeing just how easy it is to hate this man for doing all this to our family.

It is easy to hate in these instances and harder to find the ways to be the loving kind and compassionate person I strive to be. It is hard to admit that I also still love this man. He is the father of my kids and the man I promised to love forever. His choices cut my soul and his lies and the lies of his new girlfriend rip my battered and bruised heart even more. I however can not deny that I still love him, thus causing the paradox of love and hate in my heart. Hate is an ugly thing, it festers like a tiny sliver just under the skin. left untreated it will cause infection that will ruin your soul. Hate can be a good driving force to get things done, but using it in such a way only feeds it instead of diminishing it. Hating him only causes me more pain, and yet I still can’t get it out of my heart.

So I went to bed praying for my husband, Because we are still married, albeit seperated and on our way to divorce, I suppose since he wont talk to me. I prayed for him to see the truth of his actions. I prayed for him to find himself (the true self that he has always been) and I prayed for him to find forgiveness for himself. I quit praying for him to come back to me because the truth is each day he chooses anyone else over his wife and kids is another day he chooses to hurt us and I just don’t see any way back from that. But I do hope that one day, sooner rather than later, he gets real professional help and can start to make amends for the sake of our kids. That one day He will choose to see all the hurt he caused and he will choose to start to make it right.

As for me, I am still angry today. angry that he has this much control over me, angry that I am still so hurt by all of this. Angry that I am in this situation. Angry that I can’t just walk away from all we had planned together too. Angry that I allowed myself to be financially dependant on a man who promised to love me and take care of me forever. I chose to stay home and raise our kids, but he also chose for me to do so and then he walked out knowing that I would have no way to support myself or our kids. I am working hard to change that, but entry level jobs don’t pay much and teens still need me. I am still homeschooling which means that in my “spare” time I am working on all the other things that take priority. It’s like doing the job of a handful of people only I am one person.

Now I understand fully how you can love and hate a person. I try to focus on the love but everything is a balance. I can’t ignore the hate either. I just hope I can learn to not allow it to consume me, festering with infection.

The fallout is always the kids.

Recently my daughter felt the need to take to social media and put it out there just how bad she feels about her father’s choices and how it makes her feel unimportant. How heartbreaking it’s been for her and her younger brother.

This is something I struggle with because I see the pain it’s caused them every single day. I watch the little ways that they both have changed. They are less trusting, less carefree. They both see how hard I’m trying and they both are stepping up in ways that makes me feel both proud and a little guilty because they shouldn’t have to. It was our job as parents to protect them from this and his choice to walk away wasn’t just from me, he walked away from them too. All the things that they expected him to be there for; birthdays, holidays, driving, graduating, celebrations, weddings. The list goes on and on.

I know for myself I never imagined doing any of the things I’m doing alone now. So I can understand their anger and hurt. My goal is to try and get them through the hurt and anger without belittling their feelings.

They are not children, they are teens. They understand far more than most people realize. The hardest thing I’ve had to do is listen to their anger and not feed it. The truth is they feel angry about all the same things I do. So not feeding the anger but rather trying to explain that they have a right to their feelings, but let’s try to find some compassion. Trying to encourage them to respond if he decides to reach out is hard. They feel like it’s never enough and the truth is it’s not. But if it’s all he can do then it’s something. I ponder if that’s even my job, helping them hold compassion for a man who walked away and moved on with his life like none of us mattered? All I can think is that eventually they may wish they had any relationship with him and if I don’t foster some compassion for him then will they ever accept what he can offer?

I don’t know if I’m doing it right but I’m doing this dance to the best of my ability. I’m trying to help them heal the hurt and anger while trying to heal my own hurt and anger. I am trying to make sure I do not put to much on them, but I also can’t do everything either. It’s a balancing act that some days I feel I fail at miserably and then other times I think I’m doing it pretty well.

I’m proud of my kids for speaking up and owning their hurts and pain. I am also incredibly sad that they have to. This isn’t always the man their dad was, this was exactly the kind of man he despised. How does a person become the type of person they once despised? That I don’t have the answer to.

I am a single mom now and that role is exhausting. I get tired of being told that I’m going to be ok. Nothing about this is ok. It’s just the only option I have and I’m determined to do the best I can at it. I won’t ever feel good about being forced into this situation but I’m glad that my kids know how much I love them and how hard I’m trying to take care of them. I’m proud of the fact that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will always take care of them. I will fight for them and fight the world if I have to on their behalf.

Deep thoughts

The time line of my life is marked in joys and sorrows just like everyone else’s, but I find myself going back over all these moments with a finer tooth comb than i ever did before.

I am struggling with questions I will never know the answers to. Did I ever really know the man I married and lived with?

When did the cheating really start? How many lies did he tell? How many lies did I believe?

One thing I know for certain I loved him with my whole heart. I respected him and was supportive of every job change, every move. I was supportive of his choices and he made many without even considering me. I forgave and forgave because that’s what the creator calls us to do. I honored him and loved him and chose him over and over again.

I didn’t even always choose me and my health, he came first then my kids. Never me.

Why is it that we women think that’s the right order of things? Our partner should be our equal not one above or below. Even the creator gave us instruction on the roles for husband and wife, but says he took the rib to create woman so that we were equal and that women should be protected, and cherished. He didn’t do either of these things in our marriage. More often than not he left everything on my shoulders, o hey I’m taking this new job so we have to pack and move by this date. It fell on my shoulders to prepare our children, pack a household and take care of moving all utilities or canceling subscriptions.

It’s no different now that he’s chosen an affair and new woman. He walked out left me saddled with an insurmountable task of home repairs, didn’t lift a finger to help after hurricane Florence came barreling through and decimated our town. He hasn’t seen his kids in almost 9 months. Realizing that he is not a man of integrity is shattering, and telling about his character.

I no longer am willing to put forth so much effort to make his life easier or better. He walked away. He chose his life. I’m now choosing mine.

Happiness is just around the corner for me. I can feel it building. I can feel the joy bubbling just under the surface. I am finding more moments of peace. I have tried everything to reconcile and he refuses to even talk so it’s time to move forward and teach my children that you don’t need a man to make you happy. Neither do you need a looser who cheats on you and destroys your self esteem.

If your partner isn’t bringing out the best in you and isn’t treating you as an equal please get help. Don’t wait. Don’t keep hoping for the best. If you value your partner communicate. If your partner doesn’t communicate that’s a good indicator of where they place their values. Believe their actions, not their lip service.

The more work I do on me the more I’m seeing that the amount of love I gave him was all the love I should have been giving myself. I need to love me that well and not give it away to anyone else. Nobody can complete us, they will eventually leave and if we are not whole the void they leave will be insurmountable. When we stop looking for love outside of ourselves, but rather find the light of the creator deep within we can heal old wounds, and love ourselves as the beautiful creation we are. Find your worth alone before you try to find your worth to anyone else.

It’s ok to Cry

After being with someone for a long time splitting up is hard to do.

The emotions run a wide range from anger to sadness.

Something people always want to do is give you platitudes. They tell you it will get better. Or give it time, know it won’t always hurt this bad. Knowing that doesn’t change the feelings. The hurt is still there.

Crying when you hurt is a way to allow the emotions to pass. To let them out without trapping them. Give yourself permission to cry. It’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to say the things you need to say, to allow the feelings to flow without stopping them is powerful and strong.

Just don’t dwell to long in the pain. Remember that healing happens when we release these emotions and step into our power. Crying is healthy, ok and even good. Sobbing, is cleansing, the healing comes when you take the steps to release that which is causing you the pain. We may not always be able to discern that for ourselves. Especially when we are in the thick of the emotional response. Reacting from a place of pain and hurt can give us regrets. I don’t like to have regrets for my actions and so I tend to try to stop and think before saying and doing something. When dealing with emotional pain and trauma of a sudden life event like divorce, that I truly didn’t see coming, I got stuck in this pain for several months. I decided to reach out to my friend who is an amazing coach in her own rights.

As an empath and lightworker I often go into my higher self to intercede for others but had ignored my own pain for so long that it’s almost as if it was damned up tighter than Fort Knox. I had this vision of myself standing at a castle with a mote around it and I was drowning in the mote because I forgot I could just stand up and use the key. Keys often come in many forms, for me it was reaching out to a fellow energy worker friend, Christina over at Radiant Living, The Art of Conscious Creation She has a wonderful gift of helping you get in touch with your inner self to heal these hurts. The first picture in this post was taken the day we worked together. I couldn’t stop the tears. The flow was unbelievable. Christina helped me find the old trauma’s from my past that we’re bringing up fears and effecting how I am processing the current trauma of a divorce after 24 years of marriage.

Some days the work of healing your soul is hard, but it’s always worth it. Knowing we all go through the same heavy shit helps us connect with each other in a very real way.

When I reached out to Christina she was more than happy to share her time with me helping me work through these fears. She gave me some new tools to use and helped me seek out the past as well as current issues so that I could heal and move forward. Working with Christina and her unique way with energy helped give me some much needed focus.

Shortly after working with Christina in a one on one session I decided to take steps to heal myself. One thing I have lacked was a good solid foundation in my physical body. I wasn’t ever sure how to do things and with my limitations of fibro I wanted help getting fit.

I no longer feel held hostage by my emotions. The sadness still comes from time to time but the overwhelming grief is easier. I still give myself permission to cry, and to feel sad. I also give myself permission to love. Love my ex for all he gave me, love myself for all I gave him. I am continuing to love us both through this. I refuse to stay stuck in ugly, hurt or sadness. I love me more now than I did 6 months ago. I can’t say I won’t ever undervalue myself again but I am learning to see my value in a different way.

It is healthy to move forward in life, grow and learn from your experiences. If you are struggling with something it’s always good to ask for help, even if you already have the tools and knowledge there is no shame in asking for help from someone outside of yourself. We need our community and our tribe to help us through these rough spots.

Self care through the grief

Self care is so hard when you are in the moment of grief. Today I have felt overwhelmed with sadness because in 4 short years my life went from this happy moment of getting the keys for our first home to being in the middle of a divorce I never dreamed would happen.

This moment always a top 10 happy moment in my life. Topped only by falling in love, getting married and having our children.

I spent the entire day today fighting back tears, unable to contain them even in public they randomly would fall. I still love this man who promised to love me forever and while we had problems and his mental health issues, I still miss those happy moments. They may have become fewer and further apart than when we got married but that happens when you are raising kids and life gets hectic.

I decided I needed to do some self care. I couldn’t stay stuck in this pain. The sadness. The grief. Only I can heal me and I opted to practice some self care in the form of moving my body. I touched on this in my article in the free e-zine Our soul Oasis.

So my self care was to head to the gym. Only to discover the gym was closed because some group rented out my gym for two days! Who does that? That could have been the end of it. But I really needed to feel something physical. So I came home and tackled an hour long work out minus weights,just using resistance bands.

For the first time today I don’t feel like weeping. I absolutely cried while working out. I put music on cried and kept pushing. Sobbing and working out is an interesting experience, releasing bullshit from emotional build up as well as endorphins from the exercise is an astonishing healing practice. Who cares if you have to stop and blow your nose because the tears make it run?

There is something empowering in allowing yourself to cry and keep pushing through to work muscles.

Don’t be afraid to cry, and keep going forward.