Valerie M: Holding together my family together more important than my own wellbeing

February 22, 2021








I don’t think I can call it sudden. It was a series of challenges and difficulties over the course of several years that I was married to the wrong person, of course. I just was in a place where I felt like holding together my family was the most important thing by far. Even more important than my own wellbeing. And really, more important than my kids.

I sensed there was an overall undercurrent of unhappiness in my household but I felt like holding my family together was more important than handling that situation.

I stayed as a lot of women do. I stayed and stayed and stayed until I was absolutely certain I had done everything I could do to save my marriage.

It wasn’t sudden. It was over the course of chipping away at myself for many years.

I wanted my kids to grow up the way I did and I had kind of an idyllic childhood. I wanted peace in my household and it wasn’t there but I hadn’t attributed it to my marriage. I thought I was doing the best that I could and if I continued to do the best that I could that I would be able to fix it. I just had it in my mind that I was going to be able to make it better and okay and fix it and run the type of household that I wanted my kids to grow up in.

I’m only realizing now how I failed at that now. I’m only now realizing the magnitude with which I failed. Even now I’m still realizing components that I was unaware of.

It’s challenging to look back at the things I should have noticed.

My sister is a huge influence in my life and walking with her has been my savior through this whole thing. I have a really strong support system and a really great family.

My coping mechanism is art and using my support system.

Art has taken on a really interesting place in my brain and in my heart. Creating is really keeps me sane and keeps me grounded and keeps me connected to my roots. I just have really focused on noticing and utilizing that the best I can.

Just the process of creating is really therapeutic for me and way more than I ever thought it would be.

Using creativity to get through difficult times and to clear my head and to move on and all those things have become really valuable and really critical.

The same day my ex told me he would pursue divorce my teenage daughter told me she was pregnant. Just a couple of weeks later I lost the job that I had had for twenty-five years and I was devastated. As things started to settle, rather than being devastating those things became part of the healing process.

Because of my job I’ve really been able to blossom and shine. That was the foundation of me being able to move on effectively and strongly.

My grandson was born and he’s just completely amazing. I was just able to focus on those things and be rid of the negative influence my marriage had over me. All those things that were devastating became the most incredible blessings that I could imagine.

The universe gave me the foundation I needed to proceed. It has been a long process, I don’t want people to think it was an awakening because it wasn’t. It was really slow and I’m still finding things that I had lost to my marriage. I’m still finding parts of my being that I had just lost.

I realized that I can fix this by myself. I realized I needed art more than I really ever imagined. During my marriage, I lost my ability to connect and I think that’s one of the things I do best but I couldn’t do that within my marriage.

I became more suppressed. I was losing pieces of myself.

I’ve discovered that I really do love myself. I hope that it doesn’t sound arrogant, but I have reconnected with myself and love myself, and notice that I have talents and gifts that I had lost and that I can forgotten about and suppressed. Refinding myself was the best opportunity this situation could have afforded me.

I feel like I’m just at peace with who I am and where I’m going and how I’m moving through the world.

It’s important that people find their own level of peace with what they’ve been given and just stopping. I think we hear this message of never give up and if you just try a little bit harder it will be okay but I think that message needs to be balanced out with it’s okay to just stop and take another path. You don’t always have to be forging forward against all the odds. Eventually, you have to find peace with stopping.

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