Daughter: Are you getting married again?
Me: I don’t know! (Answering in a slightly agitated tone because I was running late and thinking about if I was getting married again was the last thing on my mind!)
Me: (after a minute of thought) Why do you ask?
Daughter: because I like things the way they are…just me, you and my sister and you’re happy now.
I remember that Sunday morning like it was yesterday. It had only been a few weeks since I filed for divorce, and my children and I moved out of the only home they had known. My daughter was eight years of age at the time and it wasn’t until later that evening that I began to replay our short, but intense conversation from that morning, in an attempt to process everything I was thinking and feeling, but more importantly what was going thru her little mind that prompted her to ask me that question out the blue!
A thousand questions began to flood my mind!!
How long had she been thinking about my emotional state of being?
What did she see that confirmed in her mind I was unhappy?
When did she come to the conclusion that in order for us to have a happy life, it would only need to be the three of us?
Where do I start to rebuild?
Did I make the right decision for us?
Why was “THIS” my life now?
I had a lot things I needed to accept, that I didn’t feel like dealing with because it was simply too painful. It was easier to just keep them untouched within me. I asked myself a thousand questions that night because I went into a whirlwind of fear, anxiety and regret. The only thing I could accept that night was my little girl’s question did not come “out the blue.” It was something that she had been holding on to until she felt safe to verbalize it to me. When I think back on my whole decision making process in regard to “being free,” in hindsight the thing that sticks out the most is I never thought about how I would deal with my emotional well-being, nor that of my children. I seemed to only think about what I knew: surviving! I knew I needed to work so I would have money for us to live, and to provide the basic necessitates of food, water and shelter, along with everything else we needed.
It took me over a year to finalize my decision to leave my marriage, as well as the life I had grown to accept, uproot my children, get divorced and start anew. AND literally just as quick as you read that sentence, was how quick I wanted to move on with my new life and forget my past. I quickly learned that was not reality. The emotional and mental aspects of my life were affected just as much as my physical wellbeing. To move on, I had to make a conscious decision to heal from within, and not just do what it would take to survive the physical world.
I was dealing with so much guilt concerning the decisions I made for my life, because I realized how deeply my children were affected. During my decision making process, I thought about my own childhood and how I always said I never wanted to be in a marriage like my parents had, and I ended up marrying a man just like my father times 10! I didn’t want my girls to repeat a toxic cycle of dysfunction in adulthood. In my heart, I knew it was better to leave when I did, because they were still young. I understood it was better to remove them from a toxic environment, than allow them to grow up in one.
What helped me to heal and move on?
I understood this is the reality of my life.
I was so consumed with the opinions of others and the fear of what “they” would have to say next if I did x, y, z, that I found myself living for everyone else but me. I lost myself in my marriage trying to be everything he said I wasn’t so I could have a happy life with him, not understanding it takes both people being fulfilled within-spirit, mind, emotions, heart and soul, and therefore having a husband who will compliment my life, versus depending on him to complete it.
I understood the importance of having those difficult conversations.
When I finally made the decision to leave, I didn’t tell anyone, not even my children. The day before moving day, I told my children’s caregiver so she wouldn’t expect them the next day. I simply told her we were moving, as in my children and me only, and that’s it. I gave her the card I bought for her expressing my gratitude for being a light in our lives. My youngest daughter was only 2 years of age at the time, but my first-born was mature enough to understand what was going on, so the morning of our move, I told her we were moving. She asked me if she was going to the same school and I told her no. Then she asked about her friends and I told her we could visit them. Then she asked if she would still see her father and I explained to her if he wanted to see her and her sister he would make time for them.
I was so occupied with trying to make my children comfortable as we adjusted to our new normal, that I really had not put much thought into checking on how they were processing the consequences of the life-changing decisions I was making for them, and the affect those decisions were having on their mental and emotional health. After my daughter asked me if I was getting married again, I had a more in-depth conversation with her to understand how she was processing everything. I explained to her each individual is in control of his or her own life, and just because someone makes a bad decision, it doesn’t make him or her a bad person. I also shared with her God created the family as a way of fulfilling His plan for humanity in the earth, and if the man you marry is not doing right by you, and you’ve done all you know to do to be a great wife to him, you don’t stay in the relationship. I went on to share with her my love for her is unconditional and its up to her father to do what is right by her and her sister.
Being angry only begets more anger!
I was so angry about a lot every day, and the more I thought about my life’s circumstances, the angrier I was. I was angry I made a decision to marry a man who showed me before we got married that he wasn’t ready to be my husband. I was angry I was all alone because the people I thought were “family” and truly loved me and my children showed me that I couldn’t trust them, simply because they didn’t agree with my decision to leave my marriage. I was angry that I felt like my life was falling apart. I was angry the man I married, my children’s father, was lying on me to those we knew, causing some of them to disconnect from my children and me. I was angry I didn’t have support from my children’s father. I was angry my heart was bleeding and my soul was aching, but I still had to keep living life like everything was cool with me.
Within my anger, I still had peace that I could appreciate every night, because I was finally able to sleep. I was tired on being angry though. I wanted that same peace that finally allowed my thoughts to rest enough for me to sleep, to be present throughout my day too, but it seemed as though my circumstances wouldn’t allow it to be.
Everything is a process, including my healing.
I felt like I was being haunted by my decision to leave my marriage. I filed for divorce 2 days after I moved out of the marital home, and the same man who told me to leave his house because he didn’t want to be married to me every day for an entire year, wouldn’t sign the papers now that they were in front of his face, so I had to wait on the judicial system.
My every move toward progress seemed to cause resistance. I was infuriated at this point! The anger wasn’t serving me and I needed to dissolve it with peace, love and understanding. I looked within to understand what was triggering my anger so that I could have the peace I needed to not only live, but also thrive! I realized the root of my anger was the fact that I felt abandoned by God, and I didn’t understand why He allowed all the pain I was experiencing in my life. I wasn’t perfect by a long shot, but I also knew not only was I a good woman, I was a good wife to my (former) husband.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” Proverbs 4:23
I started the process of de-cluttering my life by first examining my physical space and what I was holding on to that reminded me of the pain of my past, but could no longer serve me and I got rid of it. I then began to evaluate my relationships and I denied those individuals who showed me they lacked integrity and concern for my children and me, and were only present because they wanted to know my business, access to my heart.
God absolutely loves me (You)!
The peace that came in place of releasing what and who was no longer serving me, and the highest good of my life was so refreshing! I felt myself getting back to a place of love and kindness within my spirit, mind, soul, emotions and body. I accepted God’s love for me thru patient understanding of the events contained within my life’s journey. I began to pray more and I trusted that God’s promises for me and my children were true, and my faith allowed me to see them manifest in real time!
God will restore.
Over the past 10 years of my life, I have lost a lot, and I have been without a lot too. I am most grateful I did not lose my mind! In the beginning of my major life-changing transitions, I was trying to hold on to everything I worked so hard to attain, but then I quickly realized those things were contributing factors adding fuel to the flame of my anger and pain so I slowly let them go, and worked on getting the healing I needed. Being fulfilled within my spirit, mind and soul was of utmost importance to me. I understood how it was vital to my wellness, peace and sanity, because they all affected my ability to be the best mother possible to my growing young ladies.
“In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born…” Isaiah 66:9
Nothing is a coincidence; everything in life serves a distinct purpose.
My pain had purpose and if it wasn’t for all of the painful experiences I lived thru, I don’t know that I would have ever understood my why for existence, and furthermore I probably wouldn’t be here today, because my pain would have absorbed me. Every single day my awareness is increased as to how my painful experiences have served to prepare me for living my divine purpose. I have made the conscious decision to choose me and trust God with the totality of my life. In choosing me, I surrendered my will to God’s will for my life and as a result I have been fulfilled in so many ways that I would have never known existed.
“Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
I finally forgave myself.
Forgiving others was a key component to my healing. I even forgave my former husband. However, I never forgave myself in the process. The guilt was eating me alive inside, and I saw how it wasn’t serving me. I had no doubt that I made the right decisions. I had no doubt that God absolutely loved me, so I prayed that God would help me to extend that same love to myself. I was able to forgive myself and let go of the fear I was holding on to, and replace it with a faith that affirmed within me all would be well in time as long as I stayed the course.
I learned so much about myself while unpacking me. Most profound, was everything is a process and I had to be patient with myself, because healing takes time. It was unreasonable to expect to be able to snapback into true happiness, joy, peace and fulfillment in every area of my life practically overnight, when I was in a toxic relationship for the past 10 years, simply reliving the nonproductive cycles and unhealthy patterns I absorbed as a little girl, because I never healed from them.
No one ever seems to want to talk about the in between… you know the unresolved space that remains long after you have transitioned from a traumatic experience and when you just move on with your life as if it didn’t exist, because you are no longer there, and he, she or it is no longer in your face everyday. However, your willful neglect of you, leads to festering wounds that spill over into your spirit, heart, emotions, soul and eventually into every area of your life… and that’s what I did not want to happen, especially to the most innocent parties involved: my children. They had absorbed enough family relationship toxicity in their short time on this earth. I tried to shield them from the toxic behaviors of their father by defusing arguments and never uttering a negative word about him to them. Children see and understand more than you realize, until they say or do something that confirms they know exactly what’s going on and most importantly, if daddy loves mommy and vice versa. I understood the light of the truth would show them who he was.
I pray the words in this blog post minister to you in a way that prompts you to take intentional steps toward healing the heart of your spirit, mind, soul and even your physical body. I pray for every woman who feels she is in a hopeless situation, too scared to fight for yourself, that you come to embrace self love and the freedom it brings within your spirit, mind, soul and body. I pray you release every fear-filled thought hindering your healing and progress in life, and replace it with a faith in God that affirms within your spirit all things are working together for your highest good, Amen.
Are you ready to heal? Start your foundational healing work with i Am Woman Mentorship Group coming in September 2020!
Blessings, light & love to you always