Shanna K: I did what I thought was expected of you

October 12, 2020









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.

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