I got to have a do-over again and again again, not just a relationship, but being married five times.

It was so shameful to have had the experience of five divorces. Two years ago I finally discovered what if I wasn’t ashamed about this? I’m in an awesome place in my life now and I’m the woman I am now because of the history.

I love that I get to reap the rewards of that at this stage of life.

I was angry at the pattern. I talked to my higher power and I said, whatever it takes and I meant it with every fiber of my being. I was so humiliated. I surrendered to being shown.

The pattern was I didn’t know how to be alone with myself. I had to fill the gap because I wasn’t comfortable in a relationship with myself.

I didn’t know how to love myself so I looked for the external fill of love.

If I loved myself I wouldn’t need to compromise so much on myself to be loved.

I was choosing a partner to love who were hard cases. It was a savior complex.

I totally was not in the equation at all in the game of love.

I wanted my body to move because I had so much pent up emotions. I would walk at a pace that got my heart pumping and while I was walking I would connect with the divine. I would say I’m here, show me.

God already knew the place I was in and so I just needed to get out of the way and quit analyzing it.

I kept my eyes open for any information that could help me make better choices.

Within less than 6-months I left my family, I left my job, I moved. I left anything that was familiar. What did I have to lose? I left my religion. I left anything that tried to say, this is who you are because I didn’t want anybody else showing me and telling me who I was. I really wanted to know by myself.

I took a job that was just for me to provide for myself and the rest was just playing…playing in nature and with nature, reading books, and finding connections through literature, I completely dropped off the map. This lasted for six years.

I decided this was going to be an adventure for me. During this, I met a man. He as my adventure buddy. I was purposely communicating I was interested in friendship.

I didn’t have to look a certain way, I was comfortable in my skin, I wasn’t filtering myself, I allowed myself to have opinions, I wasn’t trying to change him into something I wanted him to be.

I was choosing what is rather than the potential.

I was choosing partners where I was seeing their potential and expecting them to change if they loved me.

Expecting someone to complete you is like admitting in an advertisement that you are not enough.

I began to fill the spaces with things I love, hobbies, I began to be in groups of people vs. just looking for the one person that was supposed to be my soulmate…my everything. That’s a recipe for disaster.

I think the myth is love is a compromise. Love is reciprocal. If you’re compromising, what are you compromising on?

It took a higher perspective and a higher power and a tenaciousness to stay awake in the process. That took a lot of bravery.

I didn’t know relationships could be like this.

Another person can only enhance love. It’s not sustainable to expect another person to provide it for you.

I give myself space now instead of just reacting from a wounded place.

I didn’t even know I could ask for something this beautiful.

Put the focus on your way. Not in a selfish way, but in a self-love way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going into my marriage there was all this development that put me into the position to be the person who was willing to be in a dysfunctional codependent relationship for 11-years.

I had a history of having this need to be attached to men.

I think I thought I knew what I was looking for when I got into that relationship but in hindsight, there was so much more about me to learn and that’s something I think I’m learning…as a human we’re just constantly in that place. We’re ever-evolving and ever learning.

Within 6-weeks I started to sense that there were things that weren’t right but I just didn’t listen to that inner voice.

Over the years of our relationship, we mutually agreed on codependency and it’s kind of a not fun situation after a while. For us that looked like a cycle.

When we got married it kind of got better. About a year and a half into the marriage we had a miscarriage and that was devastating for both of us. About a year later we became pregnant again.

While I was pregnant our relationship got so good. There were no blips.

We both I think knew that we were settling for something other than what we actually needed or wanted and neither one of us was really willing to admit it.

It took me a really long time to get to the point where I could say this is enough. I couldn’t see how it could be better on the other side.

We made a mutual decision to end our marriage and we had some funky stuff to go down that caused all this resentment that had built up over the years escalated so the divorce wasn’t fun either but then I was suddenly single. Single mom.

I had to relearn who I am outside of the relationship. There has been so much learning on the other side of it that it’s been amazing.

Luckily I had a lot of people around me.

Many people don’t know what’s happening because of shame.

There were so many lessons coming ut of that relationships and really I think every relationship we have is an opportunity for us to learn more about ourselves if we’re open to it and intentional and paying attention.

What if I show up as love and kindness?

We’re either creating more intimacy, which is closeness, or we’re creating more distance.

I want to feel authentic closeness with everybody in my life. Deepening my understanding of what empathy is and how to create more intimacy has become really important to me.

You can choose when the time is right. Don’t feel bad, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay if it takes a while for you to get to that place where it’s time to go. You’ll get there and this is all part of your journey.

You are stronger than you think you are. When you’re on the other side of it you’ll realize you are stronger than you thought you were and that everything you’re afraid of and why you’re afraid to leave, they’re not really real.

Know that you’re going to be just fine and the fear doesn’t really matter anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We lived together a little while before getting married. We married in the courthouse. We had a small wedding planned (he was in the army, he was a soldier), and he was getting deployed and would be gone for our planned wedding date so we just said, let’s go and get married now.

A little under a year of being together he was deployed for a short mission, it was supposed to be a diplomatic escort, and from what I was told his convoy was hit and he was killed in action.

It was kind of tricky because he was a soldier and he did have dangerous work and he told me from day one this is what I do and you have to be prepared for this, but nothing…nothing prepares you…nothing.

I actually don’t remember everything, I just remember ending up on the floor. His daughter came in and I had to tell her and she started crying.

There is a whole ritual army wives go through when someone’s husband passes. Those first few days really are a blur. I just remember we made a checklist and I remember pulling out the checklist. I don’t know without that checklist if I could have even gotten up in the mornings.

Of course, there were people to help me, but now when I look back on it I wish I didn’t have a checklist. I wish I could have been in my own space. I wish I could have just sat there on my own but life isn’t like that. You have responsibilities and you just have to get through them.

One of the few silver linings is her mom [my step-daughters] and I got along fairly well and we lived pretty close by each other. Her mother and I really leaned on each other at that time. She really helped me a lot. We’ve always stayed really close.

Last year for her 16th birthday what she wanted was for me to adopt her, so she’s my adopted daughter right now. We just have this amazing connection. Of all the bad things that happened, I did still come out of it with a family. They’re just amazing.

Moving and selling the house. I changed my name back to my maiden name not after my husband passed. It was more selfish, I just kind of wanted to in a way wash away the pain…to distance myself and come into a new place.

I spent a lot of time on projects while still having a full-time job. I went back to school again. I completely occupied my time. I think getting back to normal really was Anna and our daughter because I was trying to avoid what happened and avoid the pain.

All the denial that I was dealing with…I had to help her work through her grief so I had to work my own way through mine. I did a lot of denial. Many many months of denial.

They talk about anger and you really do get angry at a dead person. I still have that emotion ‘til this day. It’s totally irrational, but that’s just grief. That’s one thing I’ve learned, grief isn’t rational.

I think I learned this about grief…acceptance doesn’t mean no longer is there pain, the pain is always there…the feeling of loss is always there. I don’t think I will ever get over that. It’s just the more you accept that loss has to be a part of your life now and that’s hard sometimes. You want to feel like you’re moving forward and loss feels like you’re moving backward. Loss feels like you’re missing out on something. Loss is a part of life.

There are a lot of things I did after losing my husband. I don’t know if I did them on purpose for healing or I just happened to do them.

I just figured it out. Sometimes what he used to say to me would haunt me. He said I chose you because you’re strong and I can tell if anything happens I know you’re going to be there for my daughter.

I told myself, I know that I can and I’ve proven that to myself over and over again when I’ve needed to.

After he died I got involved in causes that impact soldiers, particularly Wounded Warriors and doing that and thrusting myself into helping other people helped. Helping someone with their grief is very different than just volunteering to give someone a meal or wrapping gifts on Christmas because it requires a lot of emotional presence from the volunteer.

It’s a script. No one ever asks me how do you feel or how did you feel. Those questions never come up.

Because of that, nothing is so terrible that I could never speak to you again. To throw a person away? Never.

I don’t know how other people come out of grief, but I came out of it appreciating my relationships more. Trying to make time for my relationships more, saying how I feel right now because you may not have tomorrow to say it. I don’t let petty things get in the way of me being with the people I love. I think the relationship that has grown the most because of this is the one with my mother.

I’d rather argue and get through this and then resolve it. That way if anything happens we were honest with each other and told each other how we feel.

Trust your network, trust the people around you but also make space for yourself.

Grieving isn’t about getting over something. It’s about accepting the loss. It’s okay to have good days and bad days. If you are feeling good about something it’s not a betrayal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was with my now ex for almost 14-years. I found out he had been married to another woman for the last 7-years of our relationship.

Intuitively my soul knew that we were not meant to be together and I ignored it.

We had this pattern where we would have fights and break up. All of my friends were like, Lany get out of this relationship. This is a toxic relationship for you. I knew it, in my heart of hearts I knew it but I was emotionally attached to this man.

I didn’t cry at all. I haven’t cried since. I was actually pissed because he’d left me stranded. How do you do that to a human being? I was mad that he’d lied to me.

I look back at the relationship and it’s tainted. There’s things and ideas and things that I thought I had where I really truly believed that those things were real and then looking back it’s so…I don’t know what the truth is. I have no idea what was true. Zero. And I have to live with that.

I journal a lot. I also have a coach and a circle of sisters that allow me to express feelings and emotions when they come up. But I’m learning I’m grieving the idea of what I thought I had and now I know what I really truly want in future relationships.I can honor the good and I can honor the bad. I had to do a lot of forgiveness work towards him and towards myself.

I’ve been dating and I’m finding out what I don’t want. When it comes down to the core of what I want, I want somebody who sees me. Who really truly can see me for who I am and accept all of me.

I worked with a coach and worked through a lot of old stories and old traumas that didn’t really have anything to do with him.

There was trauma bonding and it was really recognizing I was in an abusive relationship never knowing it though.

We never know what people are going through. I’d never talked about my story on social. To this day very few people know. We don’t know this is happening on a regular basis because people think of domestic violence and they think of physical abuse but there’s so much emotional and mental abuse within relationships and we justify it and we say it’s okay.

A lot of us stay in it not realizing what we’re in.

He would attack my character and I would sit back and go, oh he’s just having a bad day.

I would justify it as maybe it was my fault. Maybe I didn’t express myself properly. I would turn it back around on myself and I would carry the burden of the fault and the blam and let him off.

I just stepped into who I am even more. It has been a process.

He planted all those seeds and I watered them.

I have moments when things pop up and I journal through it. I sit and I reflect and I own it. I honor it,  and I recognize what that is, I forgive myself, and then I let it go. That’s a practice I had to really put into place because I could easily beat myself up.

How did I become this woman? How did I become this person? I had to learn how to take ownership of my choices within the relationship while also not beating myself up. I had to relearn to love myself, I had to reevaluate my worth and my value.

I am trusting there is a person and a soul that is out there for me.

It’s not about you, it’s about them. They have made choices to be deceptive and to live a lie. Own your part in what you allowed because if we just blame and deny our responsibility we don’t get to grow. Don’t beat yourself up. Own your actions and know that that’s not going to be allowed going forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had been married for 14-years and I just decided that I wasn’t growing and I got a divorce.

I suddenly had a lot of free time so I started writing. I always wanted to write a mystery novel, I’m a mystery novel fan and so that’s where I went. I got creative and started jotting down notes and putting together short writing periods every day and I started my first novel.

I wrote my first mystery novel and I was going through a really ugly divorce…no one could be adults. Right in the first chapters, I killed someone and if you look at the description it was my ex-husband.

It was hugely cathartic on so many levels. It allowed me to work through not only on day-to-day issues that were frustrating me but as anyone knows who goes through a healing process, a lot of these things that come up for you are things from your childhood that you should have exhaled a long time ago. It was the beginning of a very healing journey.

He felt scorned and out of that was constant attacking. If I’d know then what I know now I would have ignored it.

There were so many times when I wish I had just ignored it all and risen above it but I fought back, things escalated and made it worse.

It grew into this cathartic adventure into this is what I do for a living now.

There was a pattern that I tried to break so many times I realized it wasn’t me who needed to break it.

I never realized how disconnected I was from myself. I would never cry. I was really proud that i never cried about anything. That was one of the things that came up. I had been stuffing my emotions for so long. I think the violence in my books was my way of letting some of that out and thinking about what created that stuffing down for me.

The anger was holding the tears down. Once I had an outlet for some of that anger the tears started flowing.

Dating is just not my thing. It was odd because it had changed so much. When I met my husband there was no online dating.

During my divorce, my father passed away. As I was getting the company up and running my sister passed away. Then I had to take care of my mother and then my mother passed away. It’s only been in the past 3-years I’ve been able to get out there.

I think I thrive on change in some respects. Staying positive and moving forward has not been difficult for me and sometimes I wonder if it’s denial or if it’s just I’ve sort of developed with all that loss that whatever is going to happen is going to happen and if I sit there and dwell on it I won’t move forward.

I have a great outlet. I love hiking and running.

It can change in a minute.

Get up out of bed every single day put something on your notepad or calendar that helps you move forward. Baby steps if you have to but don’t wallow in it. Be grateful for the time you had with those people and move forward because it’s your life now. You can’t get stuck in the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you go through a bad divorce you always think the worst, but life turns around and happiness can be found by anyone who wants it.

I was married for 20-year and prior to when I was married I had a collection as many of us do. Mine happened to be the passion for dolls, specifically Barbie Dolls. I had them displayed in the home.

Babies came along and I needed that room for my daughters. I needed space and I had no place to put my doll collection. I did the worst thing. I packed it up and I stored it in my garage.

As time went along and the marriage started to fail I began thinking of my future and what I was going to do with this collection. It started weighing heavily on my mind.

I don’t know what happened, but sometime between the time that I picked up 1-2 loads I went back, and the garage was completely empty, and my collection was gone. It was quite shocking because I didn’t expect that.

It’s bringing up those feelings of how could this happen? Why would someone be so cruel? Someone that I was with and loved and had children with and they knew how important these things were to me…what happened?

It was very hurtful. I was sad. I got very angry. It was horrible. When I say I was angry, I also wanted to get revenge. He had a collection himself. I could have very easily taken from that collection. I wanted revenge, but I didn’t ever take it.

I’d had enough of the anger, I’d had enough of the hate, I’d had enough of the arguing. I just let it be.

Still, I feel it now…how could this happen? It was so hurtful.

After you go through these periods almost like grieving…it sounds ridiculous to say that…grieving over material things. I got to this point of, as long as I have my girls and I have the things that they want then I’m going to be okay.

You get to a point where you can’t live in anger and if you want to have a good future you have to start changing your mind.

I don’t want to live an angry life. I wanted to forgive him for it.

I wanted to live a life of clarity and focus.

For a while there I thought the world was coming to an end because my barbies were gone.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t need a lot of things. It’s all about where your focus is.

Things matter, but there are so many other ways to make memories.

Protect yourself. Make sure those agreements are in writing. Look and focus on enjoying life with your loved ones. Spend more time with your family Enjoy adventures. Protect yourself and enjoy life without having a bunch of stuff stacked up all around you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I graduated college I was here in the states and I did what I thought was expected of you which was I graduated, I found a job, I met someone, got married, had the kids, had the house, had the cars, the private schools, the vacation and I thought that was what my path was going to be.

I found myself in a place where I had to make a decision. Do I continue this life where I almost felt like a zombie…I had lost myself. It was more of a numbing sensation.

I chose me and my kids. Because becoming single would mean that I would be a better mother and a better person.

I was married for 13-years and I got used to him being there and my kids being there. When I found myself single and I would be home alone, that was very scary at the beginning.

Take time to understand who you are. The person you were before getting married and the person you were while you were married is not the same person after marriage.

The independence part was learning it was okay to just take time for me and learning that when my kids were gone it was okay to sit down and read a book or for me to watch a Hallmark movie and cry or just give myself permission to learn who i was.

I discovered the person that I thought was no longer there. I learned that I did have the determination and the perseverance to make things happen. I learned that if someone told me I couldn’t do it that I was going to prove them wrong. The Latina in me came back out.

My husband was American and a lot of the Latina part of me, the culture part of me was no longer there, and I started to embrace it again.

I learned especially in the first few years that I was in no way in a place to make hard decisions. I was so dependent on what he did and what he thought and what he said that for a while there I made some very bad decisions or poor decisions because I didn’t know any better.

It was just us three and I started to feel stronger and they got to see that side of me that I hadn’t shown them in a while.

My ex-husband and I got along. We didn’t put each other down. We didn’t have the kids pick sides.

I became overly protective, especially my daughter. I coddled her because I felt guilty. That was not necessarily the best thing because I didn’t let her grow up on her own for a bit.

My mom came and stayed with me and helped me with the kids.

It was like we were roommates. We were having a life together but we weren’t together. It was almost like it was a natural thing to happen. I did have some support at church.

Believe me, there were a lot of mistakes along the way, but when I fell down I got up and tried it again.

It was just a matter of stepping back into the person I was.

I probably grabbed onto the things I learned in college life which was just keep moving…focus on what you are doing.

Make sure that whatever decision you make is a decision you can live with and it is a decision that aligns with you. If you decide to stay married you’ve got to give it 100%. You’ve got to do the work to make it work. At one point or another, neither one of us had the energy to give to it.

If you choose to leave, do you have people you trust, people that support you, people that can be that positive influence because it’s not easy?  It’s almost like you need to have a plan so you’re not just stepping into the unknown without any kind of support system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found myself Suddenly Single when my only sibling passed away. My older brother died and I was suddenly an only child.

I stayed home from work that day. I wasn’t feeling good and I had a bad stomach ache. I called in sick because something didn’t feel right and then my mom called me in the early afternoon and she told me that Larry’s dead.

I literally could not comprehend what she was telling me. I thought she was telling me that the bird I had left behind when I got married had died. I couldn’t register it.

And then once I understood what she was saying my stomach literally dropped and I collapsed on the floor. You hear people say the bottom of their world drops out…that was literally what I experienced. It was a complete shock.

We really bonded as adults and it took on a whole new level of our relationship which that’s something I think I’m going to miss more than anything. I didn’t get to see that continue to develop.

We both have a very morbid sense of humor. The funny thing about my brother was, even up to a week before he died, he was able to make jokes about his own death. He was very, you live and then you die.

Music is instrumental for me as far as evoking memory. I’ll hear a song out of nowhere, and it’s like I know he’s there and I know he’s with me and that’s a really beautiful thing because I feel like I can still share a moment with him.

My brother was very outgoing and funny but he was very insecure and I think he was an introvert but he masked that with being outgoing and his sense of humor.

Initially, I think I was in such shock and I had to be strong for my parents. Losing a child is one of the biggest losses anyone can experience so I really wanted to be there for them so I think I suppressed my grief a little bit. I definitely felt it, but I didn’t really open my arms to experiencing that at the moment.

It hits you like a hammer. You forget that they’re not there. I remember for months after he was gone I would have dreams that I had prevented him from what he had done [accidental overdose].

I would wake up excited that I had saved him and then that grief washing over again realizing what had happened. It was really rough.

Physical fitness has always been something for me that helps me cope with that so that was definitely something but eventually just coming to terms with what had happened and not being afraid to engage with those feelings.

My parents definitely took turns dealing with their grief.

I’m ashamed of this now, I was so uncomfortable with my own grief at times and still trying to process that, that their grief made me uncomfortable. I wanted to put a bandaid on it. I was there for them but in a lot of ways, I wasn’t as much there for them as I would have liked because I was grieving too. They had lost a child but I’d lost a sibling.

You’ve got three players in a formerly four-member unit and the three of us are kind of lost at sea floundering lost in our own grief…trying to help each other but also trying to figure out how to stay afloat ourselves.

I have a wonderful relationship with my parents. I think the hard part and being Suddenly Single as far as a child is I know that the responsibility of my parents is squarely on my shoulders and only my shoulders now. I don’t have a sibling to help decide as my parents get older to help support them, not financially necessarily, but emotionally. If something happens to them it’s all on me.

Its been difficult as I get older to realize I don’t have that sibling to share that with.

I’m childless by choice, they always thought Larry will have kids and then when he died they were grieving the not having grandkids thing.

There’s so many dynamics involved when you lose a sibling that I think most people don’t think of right off the bat. You lose your friend. My brother was my original friend as my sibling and when you lose that there’s so many parts of your life that you lose. When you lose your sibling there’s so many parts of your life that you lose.

You lose your friend, you lose the person that you know is always going to rib you and pick on you but if anybody else does it they’ll defend you. They’ll stand up for you. It’s okay if they tease you but nobody else can.

I think any family when you lose a sibling or a member you lose that sparkly little person and all the jokes, and helping mom and dad, and ribbing me on my athletics, and he had names for my husband that I cannot repeat in polite society. It’s like how do you put a name to the things you took for granted because that person is always in your life.

You just want to reach for the phone even 15-years later and ask, what do you think about this?

My brother had flaws, we all do, but he was such a wise intelligent human being and I miss his perspective on every little thing.

Some of the best jokes and memories I have his fingerprint on it. I love that. He’s never really gone then. Every day I remember him and am reminded of him.

You’re reminded what a gift life is and how delicate and fragile it is in the sense that nothing’s guaranteed. I think it brought us closer in that way.

My parents and I have always had a wonderful relationship. We’re a very close-knit family. That’s a blessing, but I think that also made this loss that much more difficult when you lose that. We have such a small family. I don’t have a lot of cousins or relatives. We’re just as close as we ever were but I think we are much more appreciative and we understand.

We never forget to say I love you. We never not give a hug. We just know…we just kind of cling to each other because we know this is what we have.

I used to be very insecure. I used to be a huge worrier. I used to really doubt my worth and interestingly when Larry died it was this shift of wow, life is short and I do not have time to waste. I cannot live my life as a fearful person.

I grabbed life by the horns. I don’t worry about the little things anymore. I am so much more appreciative of everything nowadays. I feel like his death almost gave me a second lease on life because I can now live for the both of us.

I feel his presence. I know he’s there and it was just this dynamic shift in me and in my life. It’s horrible that something like that had to happen, but I feel like if nothing else that’s the gift I can at least take away from this.

It’s really hard when you lose anybody that you love to go, someday this is going to mean something. You don’t think about that in the moment, but it unfurls and it evolves and you grow.

I don’t know that it gets better, but it just gets, and you start to see the light in places that maybe you weren’t seeing it before.

Hold their memory close. Remember the good times, laugh at the hard times, try to see the world through their eyes.

Being able to talk about them, share about them…keeps their memory alive. You’re going to be sad, it’s going to be horrible but don’t forget who they are. As the pain allows, continue to let their memory live on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something happens with people where they grow apart or they have decided this isn’t what they want anymore and they don’t communicate it very well.

My partner and I found out this wasn’t a good fit for us but instead of communicating it was a little dramatic. It was a little Tyler Perry-ish. It was a little much but my kids and I have come out on top of it.

No one expects to be Suddenly SIngle. No one expects to break up and have a divorce.

We had one of those social media-friendly marriages where everyone saw the good stuff but no one really saw the bad stuff. I think people struggle with people they really like speratating because that’s their marriage too and people really felt they deserved an explanation as to why we were splitting up.

It was very dramatic from the public versus private standpoint. Having to create boundaries with people. I found myself instead of taking care of myself I was comforting other people about my situation and I’m like, wait a minute, this is not how you heal.

It was having to block off and create a new community on top of what we were already experiencing.

That group of friends we had from college, we all grew up together but they didn’t understand we had grown apart.

I had to make new friends, I had to make new hobbies, I had to make a new life for myself.

When you are raised in a very Catholic household where people don’t get divorced, they just die and you are a widow, I was a failure to my family.

I had to recreate myself. It wasn’t a full recreation, it was just embracing the side of myself that I didn’t know as a single woman. I got married when I was 23. I had my first kid when I was 20. I did that backward too, that was a Catholic no-no.

My identity was a married person, a mother person. To come out and say this is who I am and this is who I’ve always been is just a breath of fresh air and a weight off my shoulders.

My identity has become this no-nonsense chick who is honest about everything she is doing in her life because that’s not who I was before. I was in an unhappy marriage and I was trying my best to save face in the community effort that didn’t matter.

We are who we are. We don’t have to impress people.

I’m finishing up my book and then started podcasting which completely brought me out of my shell. I never thought I’d be a podcaster. Who would have thought a secretary from Baltimore would come to DC and start podcasting and doing media stuff.

Your identity is often made up of people’s opinions of you.

We have these other people’s opinions of ourselves that we walk in every day and we wear that coat, but that’s not the coat you selected for yourself.

In reality, your day job is just paying for your night dreams and your night hobbies. We have to say this is who I am, let me be myself all the time.

It was very hard to decide that I didn’t want to just be identified as a divorcee. It was very hard not to wallow in self-pity and just cry every day. It was very hard to not call people and whine about what coulda, shoulda, woulda been.

There’s a whole world of opportunity ahead of me.

What do my kids deserve to see me overcome?

I believe God, the universe, whatever you want to call her, is there for you and doesn’t want you to fail.

When we hold onto those hurts it doesn’t help anyone.

Prayer is a form of self-affirmation.

I was my worst critic.

That critical voice inside yourself is really just fear that it is trying to root itself inside your center and it can’t be there.

Going and out and experiencing new things is just so important especially when you’re in a place of self-doubt. When you’re sitting in your self-doubt nothing is going to change. Get outside and get uncomfortable.

I have two boys. The coolest part has been watching them comment on what they see. My youngest will say, you look so happy or I’m so proud of you. It’s eye-opening to watch yourself though your little people’s eyes.

To see that they are adapting and changing and growing with me has been the best part of the process.

As we are growing we are often learning about what we don’t want. I’m trying to learn to date and how to be treated properly.

I’m just so excited to meet new people and meet people where they are.

If a man tells you you’re too much for them that’s not your person.

We just have to be open to opportunities. My gut is always accurate. If I trust my gut more I would be more successful.

Social media is not real. These are images. The picture doesn’t have to be perfect. Let’s be real about our challenges and our situations. You don’t have to share with the whole world, but when that picture starts to fall apart, understand that you’re not a failure. The situation failed but you are not a failure. You always have a chance to be successful and be adventuresome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I left my relationship it was an act of self-love. I found myself in a very toxic situation.

I was in a step-family experience. I was an active step-mom, I don’t have children of my own so I was a childless step-mom. I went into that relationship not understanding family dynamics and things fell apart.

I had reached my breaking point.

when I found myself Suddenly Single it was sudden because within a month I was living in another state and I had to move in with my sister because I didn’t have any money. In the situation I was in, all my finances got turned upside down.

The job I had set up had fallen through by the time I got there. I was in this situation where I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have any credit, I didn’t have a job, my car got a flat tire right as I rolled into town. Everything fell apart all at the same time.

I was heartbroken because I knew what situation had to end, and even though a lot of the toxicity was not coming from my boyfriend, it still had to end.

Part of my recovery is I really had to go into soul searching. I went into learning mode. I guess that is how I deal with situations. I try to understand things better. I was going to the library a lot.

It took years though. It wasn’t an overnight process. I wanted to feel happy again. That was my driving force. Since I knew it was possible, I had this internal driving force to get that for myself again.

I tried and tried and tried all these different things to make it work and I realized these people are not going to change. Nobody else is going to change. That was kind of the ah-ha moment…maybe even an earthquake moment. It hit me so strongly that this situation I was trying so hard to change and I was trying so hard to fix was not going to get fixed. People didn’t want to get fixed.

I had such good intention and I realized the other people in the situation didn’t want to change. So when that hit me at a very deep level. I am losing my sense of self and I am losing my sense of who I am. I’m losing my core values and the things I like about myself. I had no more enjoyment.

It’s about being happy in your core and I lost that.

It was a slow step-by-step process for getting back on my feet.

I no longer had a second income to back me. I no longer had that comfort of those shared expenses, of those shared resources. There’s an upside and downside to that. Because it was only me I could make more sacrifices.

I became very resourceful. I was very careful to only buy what I needed. I was willing to put in the time because I didn’t have the money. It’s that tenacity of always looking forward.

Right now it’s hard but this is temporary because on the other side of this I’m going to have more freedom and help people.

I am a very practical person. I do my best when balancing my emotions and practicality.

The process of that growth was about my healing. How do I not feel resentment?

I wanted to help other people but I needed to help myself first. I needed to figure out what it would take for me to want to be a step-parent again?

I needed to dig deep and really learn about myself in a really deeper way. All the books, they weren’t just self-help books. They gave me a new perspective. Every new book or resource that came into my being was about helping me understand myself better. Why did I choose that relationship?

I very much felt like a victim and I had to overcome that. I had to dig deep into learning about myself.

Remember who you really are in your core. Remember you are not those situations you are in.

When you remember who you really are in your core, that creative part of you…that part of you that is almost magical, your inner child, so to speak, just remember those aspects about you, I think that helps.

Remember who you are from your perspective.