A friend I grew up with gave me the label of a serial monogamist in college. He gave me that title because my habit was to go from relationship to relationship.

I can tell looking back I was focused on having to be with somebody. I think I lost a lot of my own development in that stage. I learned a lot of lessons, but I was not focusing on me and what I should be doing. I was more focused on not being single.

She asked me, did my parent’s divorce affect how I view relationships. Initially, I said no. I realized it did affect me in the way that I viewed conflict resolution, and the way I went about relationships and what my expectations were.

I realized I had a lot of premature endings in my relationships because of me. It really wasn’t because of the other person. It was because I didn’t know what it took to go to the next stage or I didn’t know how to resolve conflict without walking away and giving up and retreating. The trend needs to stop here.

Sex can be a blinder. It can be an inhibitor of thinking logically. I was not as focused on building a foundation for the relationship or what that foundation was. To be honest it was a lot of physical infatuation and a lot of endorphins kicking in. Once those wore off it wasn’t a Suddenly Single moment, but it felt like it.

You’re either going to marry this person or you are going to break this person’s heart. It’s a tough juncture to be at but that’s where I was with that relationship because I was like, I don’t know where this is going. Unfortunately, I did wind up breaking the girl’s heart. I’m not proud of it but that’s what happened.

I had to apologize to the girl who’s heart I broke. I felt like I had to do that. She’s a sweet girl.

Ironically enough my next relationship was with my wife.

It was years of personal development and reflection that allowed me to do that.

It’s a little bit of morality mixed in with competitiveness.  I don’t like getting things wrong multiple times. It was very clear this was one aspect of my life that I kept getting wrong.

I was fortunate to have older men in my life to continually put me into the game and invested in me.

I had to be upfront and transparent about who I am and who I’m becoming. I realized one of the things that kept the relationships at bay was we really were not on the same page and that could have been easily resolved with communication. I know we hear that a lot but we don’t often know what that looks like.

One of the biggest things was making sure a foundation and honesty was established upfront. It was enough that we had an understanding of who each other were.

I always have a circle of guys around me that I can really use as a solid sounding board. We would have these walks around the building and we would just talk.

I had to dig deep. I had never done any kind of relationship work with anyone besides my wife, even while we were still dating.

This person is willing to put in the work with me so let’s take it to the next stage.

If nothing changes nothing changes. I know it sounds so cliche, but it’s so true. If you find yourself in the same pattern it’s usually because the inputs are the same.

Surround yourself with people who are going to grow you.

I went to people who lived their life in a way I would want to emulate. Seek advice from people who are in a life that you want to emulate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been really difficult…abusive in both directions largely because neither of us knew any better at the time.

He had been through two back surgeries and had never really recovered from that emotionally and so I had so much compassion for him and I just wanted so much for him to know that life is still beautiful and life is still amazing.

I kept feeling like if I could just give more maybe he’ll see he’s worth something and basically gave myself away in that way for a very long time always kind of wondering, why isn’t it working?

There were lots of red flags along the way. Eventually, my Florence Nightingale act got too difficult to maintain. We had spent maybe 5-years smoking week morning, noon, and night. That’s what took to maintain a numbness that wasn’t going to make my head explode. It got to the point where the numbness was making my head explode as well.

It was a very surreal string of moments that brought back to my memory a picture…an awareness of myself…the light of my own heart.

An awareness came in that said, “Dear one, if you spend one more day doing what you’re doing the flame will go out”. And I knew exactly what that meant. It was the gentlest earth-shattering moment because it was intimate with my own knowing of myself.

In this moment, it just became so clear to me that sticking around and trying to help him was actually providing the comfort that enabled him to stay locked down where he was. Me sticking around, it wasn’t helping anybody.

There was this clear awareness that what I’m doing isn’t life and I’m here for life.

It took several days of me reestablishing a friendship with myself after that awareness to just put my arm around my own shoulders and say, I got you, come on…we can do this. It’s about that flame, it’s about that light…keep walking, keep walking.

A friend of mine had given me a safety net if I needed it, which was part of what gave me the strength to take action.

He started coming after me and I had backed myself into the kitchen. The fear was so much that I had already mapped out which drawer had the knives in it in case I needed to flip open a drawer. I surprised myself I was even thinking that way…it’s so outside of who I am.

I dialed 911 and what I remember saying is I need somebody to help me…I need help walking away from this marriage…everybody’s okay…nobody’s hurt…I just need help. That’s all I remember saying.

There were a couple of weeks where I stayed at my friend’s house and I went and filed divorce papers. I saw him one other time when he showed up at my job to give me the phone back. It was really tense.

I had no sense whatsoever than anyone would help me. I didn’t know I needed help. I didn’t know how to ask for help. I didn’t know what to say if I were to ask for help. I was very caught up in the obligation.

It really was divine intervention.

The love of individuals for individuals and the courage to look somebody in the eye and say I see and I know you are more than this and here’s a door. I still had to walk through it myself. I still had to call her and say, please come get me. It was the beginning of everything new.

Every single day I wake up feeling love in my body because the moment I recognized myself outside of that victim pattern and let myself feel different about myself it started to create an entirely different life. I wake up in the morning and smile because my body is full of love.

Life is all about acknowledging that light that is our life-force.

Let people see you. Let people see your real heart. What you love, what you enjoy. And, let people see when you hurt.

The journey of being seen is the journey of being loved.

The time we’re in now there are more people on the planet who honor vulnerability than ever before.

Let people see and just watch how loved you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I met this guy when I was in the military, and like a lot of people in the military, we got married after knowing each other for one month. Everything seemed okay for the first couple weeks and then it quickly turned into craziness with a bunch of emotional abuse and manipulations.

Me being the type of person I am I thought I could make it better and we ended up getting pregnant a year into it.

Two days before I ended up giving birth to our daughter I found out he was on Tinder and he met someone and he had decided he wanted to pursue her rather than be with me and the baby.

It’s actually the best thing I could have asked for.

I’m sure if you have a good partner it does make it a lot easier being a parent, but for me, the partner I was with, he was never there for me.

This opportunity caused me to go back home and now I am surrounded by all my family, by all my friends, I’m back in the church that I was always involved with throughout my youth.

When I was with him it was kind of like this isolation. He didn’t want me to go out. I was just trying to keep the peace so I always stayed isolated. He was kind of like my whole world.

I was alone and I was crying all the time and everything just seemed so bleak and gray but then I came back.

Now that I’m back and myself again I can go and do whatever I want to do and I can be surrounded by that community of people and see people who actually do love and care about me.

When I decided to leave it was a pretty hard decision to make because I didn’t want to take her grandbaby that she was so excited to see. I didn’t want to take her a thousand miles away. It was heartbreaking but I knew it would be the best for me and the best for the baby.

I didn’t want to take his daughter away from him and have him miss out on all that but he wasn’t interested in the way he should have been in being a parent.

I was always really big into my church when I was younger. I would go on mission trips and I was a big part of the youth group. I got back involved.

I got a new wardrobe, I got a new haircut…everything to make little changes and I’ve also started working out.

All the decisions I get to make for myself. They may not always be the right decisions but knowing I get to do it my own way is great…it’s freeing, it’s empowering.

The person she is going to become is dependent on me and how I raise her and how I nurture her.

I think I would like to be in a better relationship. I’ve seen with family how joyful and how great it can be to have a family and to have someone who is your support. I think I do want that one day but for now, I think it’s best for me to just focus on me and to focus on her.

My big problem was I focused too much on him and what his needs were. I didn’t think about me and what my needs were. I was too busy trying to please someone else that I couldn’t please myself and didn’t even care to please myself. That’s not the way it should be.

I’ve always been the type of person who…I like to fix things and I feel like I can fix them.

As I got older I kind of realized no one can fix their problems but themselves.

Look at the red flags. It’s hard, but the earlier you get out the better it’s going to be for you.

I want everyone to know who is in that situation to know that you are enough. You are more than enough. That person, they just need to figure themselves out. You know who you are. Don’t try to fix them. They need to fix themselves.

Do better for yourself and you can do great things. It will hurt but it will be for the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was with my husband for thirty years.  He became ill unfortunately and I became his caregiver for eight months and then he passed away.

The first few months after he dies you think you’re in grief because you’re crying a lot…it’s foggy..you think you’re in grief but I think the real grief only starts hitting later.

It’s such a profound impact that your mind can’t wrap itself around what is happening and then, of course, you have to get on with the day-to-day business of somebody dying which is really just a lot of administration.

The realization of how profoundly different my life is has just started to sink in.

I got out of a lot of widow groups because I found them depressing. It almost seems like a lot of people felt like their lives were over and I just didn’t want to be in that space or energy.

I’m talking to my therapist and I’m starting to write a lot.

Take it day-to-day.

Pretty quickly people have lives to live and life goes forward and I realized the dynamic does change. Suddenly you’re a single person so that becomes very different socially. After about 3 months you’re on your own.

Losing a spouse is the biggest self-development thing that could ever happen to you. What I’m realizing, being thirty years with somebody, your identity is so intertwined with that other person.

I don’t necessarily know who I am alone. I have every opportunity now to do whatever I want because I’m not part of a couple or a relationship anymore but I have no idea what that is either.

I’m not sure where I want to land permanently. I’m trying to leave the doors to opportunity open a bit.

My business is a huge part of my life and also my hobby so I work a lot.

I have to get out into the world and get back to the business of living. I write lists of things I want to try and do.

My husband was the social bug in the family. I could easily envision myself being that lady with twenty dogs and never leaving her house and so I have to fight against that happening. I feel like I need to get out into the world and kind of force myself out there.

When you’re married it’s not like you just run off for girl’s trips all the time and now I have that opportunity.

I’m trying to say yes more than I’m saying no.

My habits have changed more to who I am.

You have plans and suddenly those plans are gone and the lifestyle is gone so I’m just figuring out what’s different.

I’m a very private person when it comes to my emotions. I can be walking through the grocery store and have a total meltdown in the dairy aisle for no reason and then the next minute I’m excited about what’s possible. It’s minute by minute.

It’s really just this rollercoaster but I’m trying to keep it more up than down. That’s the goal.

It definitely sucks as much as you think it does and it’s not even describable how difficult it is, but I would also say this…we rise to the occasion when we have to. Hard things happen. We do get through it because we have to.

Take the time you need to process what’s happened to grieve because that grief will come whether you want it to or not. It just comes sometimes and you can’t stop it.

We have to know nothing’s permanent. Things change. When it does happen you can crumple up in a little ball or figure out what’s next.

Let the emotions happen because they’re going to happen anyhow. Understand it is a really hard road because it is going to require a lot of self-introspection and reflection. It’s also an opportunity to build something new and wonderful again. Different but wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a very quick marriage, a very quick courting and I felt that everything was right to walk down the aisle.

About nine months into the marriage, he had two children and their mom passed away and so the children came to stay with us. Before that, we had a good relationship.

There was verbal abuse, then it became emotional and financial. It just became really hard to stay with someone who was downing me all the time.

I started doing research on abuse…different types of abuse and honestly up until that point I had only known of physical abuse.

I said can we try counseling and he said no.

Finally, I said I have to take a stand and leave.

I’m a firm believer that the things that you go through are for other people. I know I had to go through that in order to help someone else. In order to understand people that are dealing with abuse.

Once I dealt with it I was able to help people in a different way. I noticed a change within myself. It was empowering to me.

My purpose was definitely birthed through pain and I’m thankful for that.

Before we got married I felt like we shouldn’t get married. I wasn’t thirsty to be married.

I had dealt with a lot of rejection in my life so I was always the type who would leave them before they leave me. I never got close with people.

When I thought I shouldn’t marry him I thought it was fear.

After being married and being divorced I felt like divorce was the best thing for me. I needed to experience divorce because I was so adamant and about being married and only being married one time.

I’m thankful I’m not bitter. I still love love. I still expect love.

I’m trusting me more. I’m just in a different place now.

We talk about what we want but this divorce has taught me what I don’t want. What I want in a mate is nice, is safe. What I don’t want is my protection. I can definitely say I don’t want to marry someone that does not support my dreams, that doesn’t support my purpose, that doesn’t support my vision.

If I’m not completing my vision then I’m not happy so I’m protective of those things. I believe that is the growth and that is the success.

My home is my sanctuary, my peace. My daughter wasn’t used to all of that arguing.

My daughter said she didn’t want to get married and my heart broke. I said we’ll make sure you get a better husband. Mommy will look at him as well. That broke my heart that she didn’t want love because of what she saw me go through.

I dealt with the separation for a year before anyone knew. I’m not close to my family.

I stayed longer than I should have. The main reason I stayed with him was his son. I knew if we divorced his son would have no one. Sure enough, that happened. But I couldn’t worry about him any longer. I didn’t want to leave him.

We literally got married after 3-weeks of knowing each other. It was very hard to think about what would be said about that.

I finally opened up after years and then this happened? Can I trust myself?

Divorce is grieving. I had never heard that before.

Trust yourself. Learn how to trust yourself. Learn to trust the words that are coming out of your mouth. Trust the words you’re saying in your head. Trust your heart.

Meditate. That’s what it took for me. I had to center myself.

Speak to wise counsel. Someone who does not know you or your mate.

You can find love again. It doesn’t matter how old you are.

When I left my husband I saved my life. I saved my own life. I was getting into a deep depression.

If you’re fighting alone that’s unhealthy. I had to save me. If you’re not healthy your marriage isn’t healthy.

When you deal with abuse you feel like you’re all alone. Statistics say thousands deal with abuse, so, unfortunately, you’re not alone. Someone else has been through what you’re going through. You’re not the problem. Nothing is wrong with you. You’re not broken.

I enjoy telling people you’re not alone. I enjoy telling people I understand you and I believe you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I met this guy in college and we started dating the summer before my sophomore year and altogether we were together for six years.

I spent six years with this guy and I really thought he was my ride or die.

There were a lot of things in that relationship that weren’t right but we weren’t acknowledging that they weren’t right. I was holding on to that first love.

I’m all in once I decide.

I was feeling this restlessness within myself. It started to really show in that relationship.

I kind of went into autopilot. The next thing I knew I was moving back into my parent’s house and he was flying to the Philippines to start medical school.

I was in it and so in love with this boy that I was ready to do whatever it took to make it work just as I had been for the past six years.

Distance is such a pressure. The bottom line was we were not on the same page. Our priorities were completely different even though we spent all this time together. Before he left he took me ring shopping.

Suddenly he told me he didn’t know if he believed in marriage. I just felt really lied to and like I’d wasted these years. This was all over messaging.

The next day it felt like someone had died. When you’re in a relationship and that invested for that long it really is like someone died in your life.

The day after the breakup I was like a zombie.

I let myself be sad. I really could not have gotten to a healthy place in my mind to accept the fact that it was okay to mourn the relationship was over without my family.

I cried. Crying turned into anger. Anger turned into I need to do something to put all this energy into. I was really lucky to have friends I could reach out to and that I felt safe reaching out to.

Being thrown into all of those things that I didn’t technically ask for specific activities, I was just asking for something to do…I ended up discovering a lot about myself. Things I had pushed down, I think in sacrifice for that past relationship where I was focusing all my time and energy on making this one person happy because I thought that would make me happy.

I’m so much more than the person I chose to be with.

I found out I really like weightlifting. I wake up at 4 am to go to the gym by 5 am. It’s insane! I don’t know who I am!

I ended up going back to my roots kind of and going back to my family’s old church. I started singing again.

From that moment it was like well, there are so many things I’m discovering about myself I need to keep going. Feeding my soul really and just seeing what else I’m capable of.

I would not have imagined I would have gone through that but as painful as it was, honestly I would not change it for the world. It would not take back the heartache because it has taken me to this wonderful journey. I couldn’t dream up what my life has transformed into following that breakup.

I met my husband through my ex years ago. They used to be roommates. We used to work on a non-profit organization together.

I was being very conscious of how I was spending my time and whom I was spending my time with. My husband Ben was part of the process of helping me discover all these things I was interested in and realizing how powerful I am as well and so our friendship deepened.

I became ready to start dating again. My biggest fear was how the hell do adults date? I’d been with this guy since I was eighteen.

I made myself make a Tinder and a Bumble. It was excruciating. I got lucky. I had no bad experiences.

It didn’t matter because apparently I already knew my future husband.

The way he asked me out was a pseudo proposal.

I didn’t go back to giving myself all up when I had built myself up to this point. I was feeling so confident in myself and so strong and powerful. I didn’t want to lose it all over again. I made sure to be very careful about going into our relationship.

He was confident. He knew exactly what he wanted and that freaked me out but it was exactly what I needed because that was not the confidence I had in that other relationship.

It was really fast but we had a friendship as the foundation.

As much as you feel like life is over and all the plans that you had…pretty much seeing that disappear in front of you…it’s okay to feel sad about that. It’s okay to let yourself mourn the end of that because it’s a sad thing to go through. But, at the end of the day, you can’t feel so sorry for yourself that you’re really holding yourself back.

Examine yourself but be kind to yourself in that process because when you’re kind to yourself in that process you can embrace what happened and be better and be ready for what’s to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He started behaving strangely. I only found out after we split up it was opioid addiction. I had no idea at the time what it looked like. I’ve learned a lot about it since then.

The reason he got the opioid addiction was because of a back injury. He needed to get on the drugs to help with the pain.

I just couldn’t trust him with our daughter anymore. He just basically didn’t come home one day.

Looking back this was actually the best thing that happened for several reasons. He almost died because of an overdose and when he woke up he realized he didn’t want his daughter to grow up without a dad. He’s completely turned around.

It was kind of a blessing in disguise.

Even though we’re not together and we’re not planning on getting back together his life has changed and our daughter actually has a dad. So I’m grateful for that.

I always try to look for the positive. There was a reason for that happening. I’m encouraged by the fact that our daughter has a dad who is contributing and helping out and spending time with her and is healthy again.

I had lost my dad also a year and a half before we split up. It was very sudden. He had a heart attack and it was completely unexpected. It felt like one thing after the next that was kind of hitting me. That first six months to a year was extremely emotionally draining for me because I had just recovered from losing my father.

I don’t even know how I survived. Prayer and I remember going into my closet and literally crying because I didn’t want my daughter to see me cry. One fear I had was somehow this was going to break her.

I actually lost my job. It turned out again to be another good thing that happened because I ended up spending four months with my daughter.

Wherever we put our mind to we can achieve. The People I am around now are so much more encouraging and so much more positive.

I remember going to work and thinking, there’s got to be more to life than this. More to life than going to a cubicle every day and coming back and making a good paycheck to support your family.

I really feel like all these challenges and all these things happened for a reason. It sounds like a cliche. Our struggles only make us stronger and that’s how we’re able to help other people. Everything I’ve been through I’m not able to impact other people’s lives because I have been there.

Trust your gut.

I was really the first person in my family to get divorced. You have to be true to yourself. You have to listen to your inner voice. You have to trust it.

Even if it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You have to let them go. You can’t change somebody else. We can only control what we can do. Let them go and let them figure it out. Love them but love them from a distance.

Take care of yourself and take care of your children. They are your priority. The person who is lost has to realize they are lost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first ex-husband was doing a lot of things he shouldn’t have been doing like cheating and I decided I wanted to divorce him.

Although I have a great family I knew my mom wasn’t going to let me come home. I was disappointed about that, believe me, but I know she did it for her own reason.

It took me three years to leave him.

I hid money. That’s how I was able to leave. You do what you’ve got to do.

I put cash in a fireproof box and hid it in the house.

The second time I made a mistake and married a guy I met at my job.

I wasn’t desperate to be with a man but I was desperate for other things like I didn’t have health insurance. That sounds so stupid but I’m just being really honest.

Listen, girls, you can’t get married for health insurance.

I learned to trust myself. I learned that I don’t necessarily need to be in a relationship. I learned how to do everything on my own. It wasn’t easy, but I learned I can depend on myself to get through tough times.

I prayed a lot and read a lot of motivational books.

I bought my own house after we got divorced.

I really didn’t have any help. I think what helped me was the duplex. I was able to get a tenant in with the rent.

I’m consistently working on myself. I went back to school several times. I have two masters and I’m currently working on my Ph.D.

I read a lot of self-help books. I think I go to school like my source of entertainment instead of going to the nightclub or the bar. To be honest with you, the smart guys are in school. If you want to meet a good man go to the university.

The right relationship chose me. Although I’ve been divorced twice I’m happily married at the moment.

I’m not bitter. I read books on forgiveness. That’s what my dissertation is on…learning how to forgive. When you’re not angry and resentful I think people kind of pick up on that.

It was hard to be able to forgive a person who cheated on you. I would pray for my ex-husband even when I didn’t want to. It helped me to let it go.

I asked to really mean the prayer that I was praying.

I just have so many things to be grateful for. I know my ex-husband did me wrong but if I hadn’t had that relationship I wouldn’t have such awesome kids.

The husband I have now is awesome! He’s a really great guy.

The bible says you’re supposed to forgive people so I just figured out how to do it.

As time went on I was ready and open to be in a good relationship and because I had gone through what I went through I was able to understand this is a good relationship.

He’s very respectful. He takes good care of my children even though he doesn’t have children and I love that about him. He thinks about what I need or what I want…gives me compliments. Always taking me nice places. I think that’s important too. We have fun together. We laugh together. We just compliment each other.

You learn a lot about yourself.

When it comes to the relationship I have now I’m approaching it with love.

I try to give him what I want.

I think the most important thing I learned was how to trust myself and trust my gut and just be open to taking a chance.

I had to trust my instinct that I would be okay.

I didn’t have anyone helping me.

I had to trust myself that I could do it. I would advise anybody that if you take the chance you will be okay. You have to believe in yourself.

I spoke life into myself. I stayed in the word with the bible. I just made sure I had confidence in myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband died suddenly…in front of me…right after eating dinner.

He liked to be a caregiver, a caretaker of safety.

Life has handed me a lot of lemons this year and I haven’t made lemonade…I really don’t like lemonade.

The weekend before he died he had been pruning bushes in our yard. The Sunday before he died he had ripped apart our kitchen…he had my kitchen down to two by fours. It was a normal weekend for him. He was a workhorse, he was a beast. He just put so much into everything he did.

I have a fabulous step-daughter who promised her father she would take care of me and she does.

They did every procedure they possibly could to remove the clot.

We were so much in love and it showed. When you put your best foot forward you get noticed. We got noticed because of the love story.

I prayed a lot. I was alone. I was alone for weeks. It wasn’t easy for everybody to drop things and come and be with me. I understand that.

I had to do so much physical work. I was really surprised I had the inner strength to do some of this work because eighteen months prior I had torn my rotator cuff.

The amount of work I had to do I don’t know if I could do it again. I was running on adrenaline, obviously. It was a lot.

I didn’t listen to people who told me I was supposed to wait a year because that’s a guideline. I am in bereavement counseling and my counselor said I’ll know when you’re ready.

Suddenly, I had to pay a lot of bills on my own. I lost over one thousand dollars a month and I had bills to pay. The house was too much for me to take care of and to continually have to pay people.

I took a trip to New Mexico. I went to an experiential spa that is set up for family therapy, group therapy, and single therapy. It was there a family therapist told me I had PTSD.

Cooking is a big deal. For us, food and wine was a date night every night. I couldn’t cook anymore. First of all, my kitchen was torn apart so now I was existing on frozen dinners and I existed on those for six weeks and lost quite a bit of weight because I chose the diet-friendly ones.

When I go into stress I can sleep but I can’t eat. I get a really high metabolism when I’m stressed. I’m still not able to really cook. I still can’t do that. It’s just something that was so much a part of him and I that I can’t bring myself to do it the way I used to do that.

I didn’t really it that when Larry died I died too, or parts of me died. I was no longer Mrs.Sanek. I was no longer a wife. There were things he and I were going to do that were no longer going to happen. The dreams died. You had to think about that and you had to start working through all this. I kept thinking, “I can’t believe this is happening to me?”

For the longest time, I used to get two wine glasses out of the cupboard at 5:00 when we used to have a glass of wine together. I used to get two coffee cups out in the morning. It took a while to not do that anymore. I was so used to it. It was a habit.

Cooking and eating still remain a tough thing for me.

When I come home and I’m excited there’s nobody here for me to talk to. It’s just me and Willie the dog.

I learned that I can do a lot more than I thought I could. I learned that I have super friends and a great tribe. I didn’t realize how many people were going to absolutely step up to the plate and always lend an ear and always help me. I learned that people like me.

Out of all that writing I was doing I had a writing coach reach out to me. For anyone going through grief, journaling is a wonderful way to help you heal.

I learned to accept the fact that if I don’t want to work I don’t have to work.

I’m bringing my own podcast adventure back to life this spring. I stay busy. Staying busy really helps but what really doesn’t sit well with me is weekends. Weekends are tough.

My social life has been sliced and diced and has basically disappeared.

I learned Larry gave me great gifts. When I met him, he was the first man I’d ever met in my life that didn’t need fixing (in my opinion). He came to me as somebody who was a gentleman. Somebody who loves taking care of his partner…his mother and father raised him so well. He was just such a great caregiver or women, of his wife.

Life with Larry was super love.

You have to put yourself out there. You can’t sit back and wait for invitations.

A lot of times as a widow I feel left out because they’re married and I’m no longer married.

Put yourself out there.

Get therapy, get grief counseling. It’s life-saving.

Grief is a lif-long commitment to you now. Grief is love that is stored up in your heart with nowhere to go.

When someone says Larry’s name he is being remembered and that makes my heart full.

Don’t allow people to treat you badly and get rid of stuff.

You can love again. I know some people are not ready to hear that but we’re social people and we can love again. When you’re not looking is when you usually find.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m very emotionally open and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m not afraid to let people see my vulnerability.

A good definition of love I heard one time was it’s sustained vulnerability.

We stopped seeing each other for a while and then we started again. I just found it so hard to believe that she couldn’t express herself.

I told her within the first two weeks that I thought I was a crossdresser. We would go out with me presenting as female and she seemed to be accepting of it. Then I started on hormones because I realized I was not a crossdresser, I was transgender and I had always been transgender. When I was four I asked my mom if I could be a girl.

I had this intense desire to live as other people thought I should live, to not disappoint my mother, the be a good little boy. I’d get in trouble with my dad for not having any little boy friends, I liked to hang out with the little girls. They were more fun. They weren’t mean. I could relate to how they spoke even at that age much more readily.

I forced myself to do a bunch of stuff that wasn’t me. I forced myself for the longest time to be someone who I really wasn’t and this mask was dividing and hurting my soul. I was uncomfortable with myself all the time.

I decided to transition and she was mad for a little bit but it didn’t affect our love life or anything like that so she was okay and then I decided to have some surgeries and she was supportive.

After I had recovered I said something about being intimate and she said, “I don’t intend to ever be intimate with you again.” That took me by surprise. I thought she was going to be okay with it.

I was thinking to myself this is the last woman who will ever appreciate me for me so I’m going to die alone. I was so upset like this was my last chance. Ever since I was little I always dreamt about meeting that special one and staying together with someone and building a life together and sharing a life together and I just kept picking the wrong people. I was just devastated.

I never wanted to be trans but now I embrace it. I’m happy about it.

When I went back to work I was so well accepted. I was worried about how I would be perceived and accepted. I got no discouraging customers.

It’s so wonderful to be able to be me. To be me and to be accepted and loved.

I had nothing to worry about. It’s so wonderful to be myself. It has helped me so much because I can love myself now. I don’t feel like a liar. I feel like I’m being me. I’ve just blossomed. Both at work and at AA. I have all these friends.

I was afraid I wouldn’t be permitted to go to women’s meetings until a woman invited me. Now 90% of my meetings are women’s meetings because I understand the way we talk and what they share about.

Fall in love with yourself. That’s what I’ve been doing and I no longer have this overwhelming need to have a partner. I can exist without a partner because I have me and I have my friends.

My life is so much different and I am so much happier.

I would never imagine me having girlfriends without there being a sexual component to it and there clearly isn’t. They’re just girlfriends.

I have a social life now. I had closed out my social life because I was ashamed. My life just blossomed because of me being who I am and me not being with my former girlfriend. My therapist noticed too.

I used to exercise excessively trying to make the girl inside stop talking to me. I exercised way too much and I looked it too. I felt like it was something I had to do or I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I got to a point where I couldn’t stand being me because of the lying.

When you are able to live your life as who you really are it is so freeing and so overwhelmingly great. You will glow from within and people will notice that and you will attract people just by being who you really are. As long as you have yourself and your friends someone is going to pick up on the way you glow.

Being myself. There’s nothing better.