After 36-years it was a week after our 33rd wedding anniversary. When I say those numbers it makes me think, “did that really happen?”

We kind of grew apart. The relationship was tired, we had a lot of stress through businesses.

We worked together and we lived together so I think that was the biggest shock.

Can I get through this on my own? That was one of the biggest fears.

It was a bit daunting to become single again, especially at 58.

You don’t know what is ahead of you. That was the daunting part.

Once I came to that clear decision it was easier because it started to feel like a new adventure.

I always look for the more positive outcome.

We’re expected to stay with this person until death do us part but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

Getting over that I’d failed was the hardest part.

I realized I was codependent, I had no boundaries, and I was a chronic people-pleaser.

I started to see it in a different light. I hadn’t really failed, it was just a part of me growing and growing up.

I realized my needs were not being met because I’m a chronic people-pleaser. I always make sure everybody else is okay and quashing my own needs and that builds up over time.

Now, I put me first.

I feel very positive for the future.

Life is not over, it’s just a new life beginning.

It hasn’t been plain sailing, there have been a lot of things to sort out.

I think we’re both grown up and that is very empowering as well.

Our values were different.

I’m not the shadow of my husband, I am a person in my own right.

If we were taught as young girls about our boundaries, about our needs, about our values we would start our relationships in a much stronger place.

That’s the biggest mistake all of us are making, we have to make ourselves happy. Only we can make ourselves happy.

I have a love for life. There is this drive in me to live life to the full.

Freedom is something I’ve always been looking forward to.

The future for me is something that is sustainable that gives me pleasure, income, and a certain amount of freedom. Travel is always high on my list.

Now there is no one to edit what I do apart from myself.

Before rushing into making any decisions, get to terms with your values. Look at your needs as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was in a workout class with a breast cancer shirt on. Being big into health and wellness I also am big into advocating for myself.

The technician put the sonogram to my breast and I could just tell on her face. From that moment on my life changed drastically. It was off to the races with surgeries to place a port for chemotherapy. They pulled lymph nodes to see if the cancer had spread and I was in a chemotherapy chair within eight days.

During that time, I was in my ninth year of marriage to a man. We were an active military couple.

Cancer revealed the cracks in our marriage

We fell apart. I got through everything. There were some situations with honesty and loyalty and at the end of it when I returned to work more things were revealed.

You say in sickness and in health and I think when you say those words when you’re young you’re envisioning the sickness when you’re older. When it’s faced in your early 30’s, during these invincible years, it just really hit that those words that we had spoken to each other he wasn’t able to uphold. I didn’t want to move forward with my life with someone that wasn’t willing to stand by that commitment.

I kinda sent an old-school Dear John letter.

It was kinda like this extreme rebirth. He was kinda the only man I knew in my own life. I lost my hair, my skin, my fertility, my breasts, you know…everything that’s feminine and ideally thought of as a woman and I was only 31-years old and now the man I had committed to was out of my life.

I had taken a break from work and now I had to reinvent myself with my career. It was very symbolic as well as quite literally a rebirth.

I had to rest on that core and find my way again of who I was who I wanted to create myself to be. I dove into the support network I had as well as that grieving and allowing myself to process everything that had changed. It occurred to me, get to know myself again.

My grief wasn’t really linear and it didn’t come with one face. My grief came in waves. There were times when I felt so much relief and so much joy was back in the home which was very strange.

I was grieving this dynamic change that had occurred in our home, but at the same time, all of a sudden finding so much joy, and laughter, and freedom so it was really this weird up and down up and down roller coaster ride of grief.

When you’re going through the fight that is cancer and even divorce you’re in the thick of it.

In the military there’s a saying to get through boot camp, it’s meal-to-meal, Sunday-to-Sunday, month-to-month. Little milestones that I had to kind of focus on. I fell back on those tools that I knew. I had to slowly rebuild every piece.

I had to just lean into I’m no longer a wife or a friend or a partner, but I’m still a mom and this is my home.

I found joy in realizing the mom I want to be without the anger that I used to have as a wife. I could let that baggage go. The driving force behind me was what kind of mom do I want to be.

I am notorious for feeling all the feels and allowing myself to when they occur. I’m the crier at the wedding. I give myself that space to feel, and I mean fully feel when it’s happening to me.

When I was going through this I journaled immensely to be able to get it out.

Through chemo to chemo, I didn’t think I would be able to get to the next one. I’ve allowed myself to grieve and process. I’m big into therapy. I joke that I was such a mess that I had two therapists at one time. One for the cancer…and then I had a divorce/family therapist who helped me through that whole process.

I gave myself a mohawk and wore it for two weeks. My name’s mo so of course I had a mohawk and my son thought I was just the coolest.

Find those little pockets where you can still laugh and be silly despite and almost in honor of the sadness and despair going on.

It’s built with these tiny little tools that you do consistently and that you respect and you honor daily and they may seem trite but I stayed consistent.

I was able to take help for the first time. Sometimes people are too prideful to take help and that taught me so much to take help. You’ve got to accept what’s happening to you but you don’t have to surrender 100% to what’s happening to you.

You’re not alone. You’re not the only one. A lot of marriages crack under that pressure and you’re not doing anything wrong. You can make it out the other side.

If you get this perspective that there’s got to be more and it has got to be better, then I encourage you to seek a better way and a better life and know that it’s okay to mourn, to grieve, to feel the feels, but you’re gonna come through the other side and find a community where you feel like you’re not alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My wife died of cancer after 10-years. It spread really, really fast.

I was the only person that was there for her through that entire two years, so I fed her I cleaned her, I shopped for her, I took her to all of her appointments, I gave her pills, I had to give her shots in the stomach every 12-hours. It was life-altering.

It built a super-strong bond that was going to break no matter what. That was a hard reality to face.

No matter how strong I was, no matter how perfectly I did anything and everything, no matter what happened, no matter what we did there wasn’t a way out.

She had things that she voiced that she wanted me to go do. It’s hard to hear at the time. It’s hard to hear your partner telling you to move on when there’s nothing in the world farther from your mind. I wasn’t sure what to do with that. It took me a long time to figure out what to do with that after she died.

I did everything wrong. I immediately jumped into a sexual relationship after she died. Parly it was good and partly it was bad. The emotional toll it took on me was unexpected even though it was a sexual relationship…it was not emotionally attached. It was more of a distraction. That made me feel guilty.

As much as I was feeling guilty, I knew nothing I was doing was wrong. Coming to terms with that was difficult. I live a whole new life now. When she died I gave up everything.

After she died it taught me how short and precious life really is.

The beautiful things I used to take advantage of any more I can’t take advantage of anymore.

I don’t have any choice but to see those beautiful things in my life in a new way now because I have fundamentally changed. Her death showed me something very precious in life that I had never experienced before and that experience opened up something in me as much as it closed off other parts of me, it opened up new ones. I’m a new me.

I have more compassion for people who have gone through and experienced death in a way that I never did before. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last year crying but it was good crying. It wasn’t bad crying. I didn’t spend any time crying absolute remorse. I spent a lot of time crying in beauty.

The two years of my life I spent taking care of her with every piece of my soul are going to stick with me forever but they were beautiful. As hard and as terrible as they were, they were still beautiful.

I miss her cooking so much. I miss her food. I miss her wonderful food and I miss taking her coffee in the morning. That was part of our morning routine. That morning routine was rough after she died. I did not know what to do.

I couldn’t stay in our house with all of our stuff, sleeping in the bed that she died in. When I let it all go it changed everything for me.

I can’t think of one thing that isn’t different now.

It has specifically shown me how much I want to be in love with someone. I don’t really want to be alone. After she died, I did.

One of the things she specifically asked was for me to try to move on and find someone else to be happy with. I spent a lot of time thinking about that.

I started dating again which was weird and hard and awkward and uncomfortable but at the same time, it’s proof that I’m moving forward.

After all the years my mother and I could never get along, my mom has been really amazing through all of this, really amazing.

Neither of us was the same person and I needed to give her the opportunity because life is too short. I needed to fix a lot of things with a lot of people in my life. I’m just a different person now. I’m so different from top to bottom and inside and out. Those relationships have value to me now that they didn’t have before because I was so caught up in life that I didn’t really care about the value of those relationships.

Never give up. As much as it seems like it may be the end for some people. You just don’t know how you’re going to possibly go on, all of a sudden, magically you will have moved on and you won’t even know it, but never give up.

You can love again. I didn’t know if I could and I can. I can love again. It’s not going to hurt Vera because I chose to love again. Don’t be too hard on the people around you while you are going through this. They only care, they only want to love you and make your life easier in any way that they can, so try to accept some of the help that those around you give you. Don’t worry, you’ll never forget her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had been married for about 12 years. We had 3 sons. I started to feel like something wasn’t right in our marriage but I couldn’t quite future that out.

I asked my husband to go to marriage counseling with me but he wouldn’t go because I didn’t know what the problem was and he felt like everything was fine.

Another year passed and at that point, I started to figure out that I was gay and I struggled with that internally for a few months before I talked to anybody about it and I finally came out to him and together we talked about what that meant for our family, and for us, that meant getting divorced.

It was a very difficult decision for both of us.

I had to feel like I had done everything that I possibly could to try to save my marriage, even though part of me kind of knew.

If you’re gay, you don’t have a loving intimate marriage with someone of the opposite sex the way that both of you deserve to have.

Part of me knew but part of me really loved this man and he was wonderful to me and he was a wonderful father and I just really had to feel like I had done everything I possibly could to make sure that this was the right decision.

To say that I was attracted to women wasn’t new to him. To say that I was gay was definitely new.

I grew up in the ’70s. I didn’t have anyone who was gay or lesbian to sort of know that was a possibility in life.

It wasn’t that my family was homophobic or against the gay community, it just wasn’t something we talked about so it didn’t really even occur to me as a young person or really into my early 20’s that that might have been an option for me.

Looking back I had a massive crush on my middle school gym teacher but I didn’t know that at the time. To me, I just really looked up to her and admired her, and thought she was a great teacher. All of those things were true too, but really it was kind of my first crush.

Looking back there are definitely some signs, but like I said, I just really didn’t know that that was a possibility as I grew up.

It was really hard. At that time I was also in graduate school, working full-time, raising our three kids…it was a very very difficult time. I think what helped me in the very beginning was all of that and how busy I was. I was kind of forced to keep going.

I knew, as a budding therapist, that the thing my children needed through all of that change was for me and their dad to focus on them and keep them on our minds as what we needed to take care of the most so that’s what we did.

I slowly started to come out to a wider circle of our friends and family and I received amazing support.

My immediate family has been immensely supportive from the beginning. My oldest son has been my number one ally. He has been just amazing. That has given me a lot of courage through all of this.

I was nervous that I might lose some people, and I did lose one person, but everyone else has been incredible over the years. I really couldn’t ask for anything better.

I also developed a new community of friends. People would probably be surprised how common this situation is that people get into a marriage and later realize they’re married to the wrong sex.

The biggest thing it taught me is that I’m a lot stronger than I ever realized.

That period of coming out was so difficult. Even telling my husband that I was gay was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life because I knew it was going to crush him. I didn’t want to hurt him. I also knew that I was not loving him the way he deserves to be loved.

Some people have called me selfish over the years because I broke up my family to make myself happy and that kind of thing but the truth is none of us would have ended up happy because I would have been so unhappy. My husband wasn’t getting the kind of marriage he deserved. My kids were not getting the kind of full, fulfilled mother that they deserve. I had to make the decision I felt was best, really truly, for all of us.

If I can’t show my kids that it’s best to be your authentic self, what am I teaching them about themselves?

I think I’ve grown in every way. I genuinely believe that I’m a better mother. I’m a better communicator.

It was important for me, once I really figured out what was going on, to be authentic for myself. Living an authentic life is really vital. It was becoming a matter of life and death for me. I was getting so hopeless because I started to feel like things were never going to feel better for me.

I had to show my kids that being true to themselves…how important that is. If one of my kids is gay or transgender or wants to do something in their career that we wouldn’t expect or anything they need to know that that’s wonderful and they should go for it. For me to be able to live my true life has been so freeing.

The journey is going to be very difficult in the beginning. There might be some difficult decisions that have to be made depending on individual circumstances and it’s worth it. There may be some consequences even, depending on the people that are in their lives and how they feel about the LBGTQ community. I would still say it’s worth it to come out and to be yourself.

It’s really important to represent who we are and represent the community so that people can start to see how wonderful and vibrant the community is, but even more importantly, for ourselves. Be true.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am divorced. I’ve been divorced 5-years now.

I didn’t want to leave my marriage, I wanted to work on things, but I knew if worst-case comes to worst if we did decide to come back together some time apart would help. If it’s meant to be we’ll end up coming back together but our separation ended up being permanent.

It took a lot. There was a lot to be said even before we got married. We met and fell in love very quickly.

Even before we got married I’d seen signs and huge red flags that I totally ignored. Why I ignored them? Out of love.

If I were going to be that ultimate partner and wife that any challenges would of course be expected in a marriage so anything that came up prior to was just the beginning of a long-term relationship. I figured I’m in it for the long-haul.

Neither one of us could be our best selves. The love was there but neither one of us were happy so it ended.

At the time I felt like it was a sacrifice but I also felt like well, this is just marriage. We all get our perspectives of what a marriage should be from other marriages that we witness. Part of my education on marriage and relationships was that when things get hard you stick it out. You don’t give up.

Universally, spiritually, it worked out for the better because I am in a better place now.

Thankfully it didn’t kill my love or the gift I see from marriage. Marriage can be a real gift.

I need to be true to myself. When I see red flags, don’t ignore them. It was ignoring and brushing them off that caused the suffering because I didn’t trust myself enough or maybe love myself to believe or trust those gut feelings that I had. I just wanted to put all my faith and energy into my marriage.

I did actually start therapy while I was still married, for myself.

I did definitely find solace in my family, thank goodness for my parents for just that support to get through. I did find solace through close friends who were a huge support. I’m a Buddhist, I chant. I found solace through my readings, through other spiritual references as well. Over time I did finally get to a place of not blaming, not being a victim of my circumstance, just accepting responsibility for my actions. Even though it’s a hard word sometimes, forgiveness. You can’t be your best self and move forward in life if I carried that baggage.

It took a lot of self-work to look at the situation from outside myself and realize it’s not about you, it’s about what is there to learn. How did you grow? How did you change?

We each deal and accept forgiveness in different ways.

See people as you see yourself. I’m just as capable of falling off track.

I had to get rid of that feeling of that ego-based mindset, that fear-based mindset that we live in.

I didn’t want to exist and live in a negative energetic field. I wanted to exist and thrive in a high vibration.

Spirituality was always part of my life before I got married but it grew more after my divorce.

You have to act yourself into a new way of thinking.

I didn’t want to be a victim. I wanted to be better.

Do I want to be this person who is still miserable? Who is still complaining? I didn’t want that to be my story anymore. I wanted to be someone that overcame that.

I wanted to focus on my power of forgiveness. That’s how energy moves.

If you’re asking for honesty be prepared for it.

No more ignoring red flags, no more not speaking my truth, no more of that because it didn’t get me anywhere.

I can’t keep believing I can get what I want out of this relationship.

Any type of love or honesty and respect I want outside of me, I have to have it for myself first. That has to be a promise. I’d forgotten that promise I’d made to myself about loving myself and respecting myself. I just wanted to be kind, I just wanted to be patient and you want that of other people too.

Ask yourself deeply about what kind of person you want to be. Remind yourself how good of a person you are.

Self-esteem, I’ve learned is feeling good about yourself. Self-worth is about comparing yourself to someone else in your world and not betraying yourself. Don’t ignore red flags.

It’s not worth it to keep the peace if there’s not peace within you too.

Know your worth and know your value because you are exchanging that to someone else and hopefully getting back what you’re worth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found myself suddenly single in a not super sudden fashion about 5-years ago.

It took a couple of months of recalibrating my life, getting my things in order to move away. I moved back with my parents and sort of hit reset on what felt like a well-developed life and path that I was on.

Not a lot of people talk about big breakups and big divorces pre-thirty. They happen and it’s not just breaking up with a boyfriend, it’s a life reset.

It was a really scary reset. I had chosen many of my life paths based on how they would be mutually beneficial for the two of us.

In a word, I didn’t deal with it well. I spent time not coping and effectively in denial for almost three years. Out of sheer stubbornness, creating a holding pattern for myself rather than trying to move forward.

It took me more than a year to be able to call it a breakup. I would call it our split and I just couldn’t cope with the fact that we were really broken up from each other.

Something really horrible happened. You rarely get big moments of clarity in life because nice things happened.

I had created an I am strong and moving forward and keeping my stuff together sort of image and persona for myself with my close friends.

I was no longer able to be in denial about what my story might be because basically, thinking back on it now, the narrative that I was living and the narrative that he was living had diverged about 6-months before we broke up.

It was an intense end to three years of denial.

I’m so grateful I had and still have really supportive friends that were listening to me repeat my story over and over and over and were happy to be my sounding board for the thoughts that we all have.

I was seeing a counselor. It was not a strong method for me to support myself. In retrospect, I paid a lot of ex-boyfriend taxes for the relationship. Sometimes going to a therapist isn’t going to solve the problem. You can’t necessarily give them that kind of credit. It’s always worth a try. I certainly hoped I was buying a magic cure and it wasn’t.

I signed up for all sorts of obscure weird dating websites which has been fun and interesting and how I ended up with the guy I’m with now.

I used the relationship stuff to take the lazy approach to the other parts of my life like a career.

I’m definitely grateful to have that ability to self-direct that way. It’s sort of like I create an exercise for myself rather than trying to make it into some sort of lifestyle.

The most important thing and we hear it all the time but you have to internalize it in whatever way applies, the most important thing is your own mental health and we can only control ourselves no matter how incredibly frustrating and unbearably problematic that seems to achieve our own goals. Focusing on what you need.

Taking your own steps to keep yourself together is the most important thing because you’re not going to be on the market for a new partner or supporting your own life if you’re not well. You can’t keep moving without that.

I have had the most unbelievable empathy from friends and family that don’t necessarily have a sympathetic understanding of experience. They just understand that everybody goes through hard times. Everybody struggles. Things are not easy. It is such a relief to talk to people and have them go, life isn’t easy.

Give friends an opportunity to support you like that even though it feels like that’s giving them an opportunity to judge you. It makes the love cycle feel stronger.

Young people can be hurt too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got divorced after 19-years of marriage. That’s something I resisted for a long time. I’m divorced and I’m actually feeling like a different person.

I resisted because I had strong fear and feeling of shame. The major belief I had was, divorce hurts the children so I shouldn’t do it no matter how unhappy I was.

I had this belief I had to hang onto this.

I asked so many women who had this experience and they told me you’re going to be okay. Your children are going to be okay. But I decided that being okay was not enough. I wanted more.

I was so living in my head. To break the pattern I started doing the things that interest me.

The aliveness inside of me was buried under shame and fear.

I tried yin yoga because I was very masculine in my approach. Very go-go-go do-do-do. I was that person. In yoga, it’s the opposite energy.

I tried belly dancing. Just slowing down makes me look so sexy. I never realized this. I also tried self-defense. It gave me an embodied experience. There was a playfulness.

As I grew up I put so much on me. I should do this, I shouldn’t do that.

It took me a while for me to come back and start being on social media again.

I just love it when they say, you never looked happier.

The power that I thought that I always had but didn’t seem to have access to was inside of me and I actually have that. People go looking for things like power and success outside of themselves and they don’t care to look inside. That’s what I was doing.

Divorce was the small opening that broke all the careful protection I had around me. Because I was so fearful, so shameful I didn’t go there as quickly as I could have.

I am happy to share I am now getting the proof my kids are more than okay. My daughter wrote me a letter.

Accepting the death of a relationship…I’m now seeing that was the right thing to do.

I learned that I was always this person but there were so many clouds and storms because I was hanging onto my dead marriage.

I couldn’t discover this part of me if I couldn’t break all my protections starting with my marriage.

Trust in surrender. It is possible. It is totally up to you to break yourself to be remade, to be reborn. You can stay broken. It is up to you. You will find something even better waiting after that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was single for a long time. I was online dating for what felt like forever. I was sort of in this dating purgatory for about 2-years and then I met somebody.

I was two years shy of 40 and he just literally blew me off my feet. He was everything, considerate and kind and generous and giving.

We carried on for 8-years together and literally it was perfect. There was quite little I would have changed. We started talking about retiring in other countries and we did some vacations so kind of get a feel for those areas.

I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I was very happy. We eventually did make the move from Costa Rica. I made friends with a lot of locals and I preferred the locals over the ex-pats.

Within 6-months he began to change. Issues were always around when his children would come and visit us. His children would come and visit us and there would be lots of going out, there would be drinking, of course, and then things would just explode. It’s hard when you’re with somebody who has their own children.

It’s the first time ever that I see him behave in a way…so angry. The grabbing you by the throat up against the wall the threats. I wouldn’t ever tolerate that here at home. If that happened here it would be done. In another country, when it’s not my home, when everything becomes his it becomes difficult.

The first time I happened I went to a hotel. You wake up in the morning and you can’t brush your teeth, and you don’t have a change of clothes, and I don’t have a key to the house, and I don’t have my bank card, and I don’t have any money.

When you’ve been with somebody for years and they’ve never behaved like that and you’re in another country and they have all the power it’s a really bad place to be.

By the time the third incident happened, I had kind of said, I’m done. I can’t stay here. It takes once for somebody to cross a line and once they have crossed that line it becomes very easy for them to continue to cross it

As a society, we need to do much better. When I think about everything now it just feels so surreal. There were times that I woke up and I was like, that was a dream…so surreal.

I don’t know that you can ever successfully process something like that. It still guts me…just as more times goes on that gutted feeling just seems a little bit less.

There was no genuine or authentic apologies and no realization about what he had done. It was just, how many times do I have to say sorry.

He ended up moving to a different province. When he came back I think he thought I would be so lonely I would want him back.

He started coming around and doing a lot of property damage to my home, he broke into my home, he cut a hole in the roof in the garage, he took the doors off in the garage. I had to get an order of protection.

I tried some counseling which didn’t work very well and then I found a writing group. I felt like I could purge a lot of things and that’s what worked for me. There’s no easy fix and no easy answer. You just have to know that right is right and you’re doing what’s the best for you and what’s good for you and you keep going.

For three years my motto was, get up, get dressed, and show up because you still have to go to work. You still have to pay your bills. You still have to do your things.

Have your one or two people who really know what’s going on who you can talk to and talk to them. But the writing group for me was what felt good for me. Change is hard and I felt like my whole life had imploded…it’s just trying to adjust to that change as best as you can. You just have to keep going.

We know. Our gut knows all and our gut tells us. We’re never as stuck and trapped as we think we are.

People will help you. It’s like the whole Mr. Roger’s thing…look for the helpers, they’re there. Get yourself home, wherever your home is, and get yourself to safety and to safe ground so you can plant your feet again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you enter into any kind of relationship you enter in with a high level of trust and hope that you’re going to be loved and cared for and also enter into it hoping this is going to be your forever relationship.

Our marriage just did not last the way I hoped it could. I wanted to be married and have a family so I was really excited to have this opportunity. There were a lot of things we were not able to work through. There was a lot of physical and mental abuse.

I had people telling me to stay and people telling me you need to leave. All different kinds of advice…a lot of pressure and what I should and shouldn’t do.

It was very tumultuous and very traumatizing for me.

I was able to look at where I had come from and where I needed to be to get that independence for myself. I realized that I needed to take off the victim mentality. I needed to stop being a victim to that relationship.

I took a lot of time, I did some counseling, I talked to friends, my church, and just realized that I was a much stronger person.

I’m thankful I went through the situation that I went through because it actually made me a much stronger person. It helped me to realize I deserve so much better than that and I don’t need to settle for that kind of relationship. I don’t need to settle for being with somebody just to be with somebody. It really helps me to focus on myself.

It took about 2-years to go through a lot of self-help self-improvement…figuring out where I could best help myself and getting to the point where I was not going to be a victim any longer.

I didn’t need to have a man in my life in order to be complete. I am my best resource. I need to be happy with myself.

There was a lot of healing that needed to come for myself.

It’s hard when you’re in a situation where you are being mentally and physically abused daily by somebody who you feel is the person who you are supposed to spend the rest of your life with.

I felt like I couldn’t leave. I felt like I was in a place where there was nowhere for me to go. I didn’t feel I had enough resources or even enough courage to just step out of that marriage and get out of that situation.

I’ve grown so much. I’m in a much better relationship now. Unless you’re in that situation it’s hard to understand why you would stay.

I’m thankful because I don’t believe I would be where I am today if I hadn’t gone through that. I don’t think I would be as strong as I am today.

I’m not going to be a captive to a situation where I feel trapped. My journey to health has been difficult because I gained a lot of weight. I lost a lot of myself. I basically lost who I was. I couldn’t figure out who I was.

I didn’t know how to grow. I didn’t know how to do what I needed to do to get myself back on solid ground.

It’s still a work in progress but it’s definitely much better.

Being able to say I’m on the other side of it has been tremendous because I’m definitely on the other side of it.

I believe everything happens for a reason. It has made me realize just how important it is to take care of yourself.

Stress definitely can cause health problems but I’m learning how to navigate my life and what it is now.

As I was going through all the processes and everything that happened with that situation it still gets me.

I refuse to allow myself to be a victim to him any longer.

I have to keep reminding myself that I’m on the other side of it.

The fact that I allowed myself to go through that pain for that many years is difficult.

I needed to figure out where I was going and then look for somebody to help me.

I’m proud of how I’ve jumped this hurdle. I just know I’m going to be okay.

I want people to know I’ve overcome this. I’m not a victim to his abuse any longer.

It’s super hard to leave. Especially if you come from a religious or faith-based family. Get a plan together. Get a support group. When you’re ready to make that jump. Make sure you have a good support system in place. You think you’re going to feel victorious by leaving but it’s hard because you don’t know what you’re going to do. Look into some counseling. Don’t make the jump on your own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.