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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been more single than in a relationship. I had a sudden realization I was single. Singleness had been a more natural state to me than being in a relationship.

It was a sudden realization of singleness for me. I thought I was cool until someone pointed it out. 

I feel like all my life relationships, boys, men that’s just going to ruin your life.

There are a lot of women in my family who are independent. You just kind of imitate and emulate what is encouraged by your family.

I always felt encouraged to be independent. You don’t need to be in a relationship or be married or to wait for someone to be able to do whatever. My mom was a great example for me. She seemed to pull everything off without my dad being there. 

I feel like it was a fork in the road for me and it could have gone either way. There was that big realization when it hit me and I found a way to process it. It didn’t impact me but it changed the way I saw how people felt.

I was unaware people had other views of singleness. I just thought there was my view. It opened up my eyes to the stigma that is attached sometimes.

I don’t think my life has changed a whole lot. I’m always open to making new friends and hanging out with old friends.

I love music festivals. You have a little more freedom when you go explore on your own. I enjoyed that experience of exploring on my own.

Being alone or being with someone doesn’t make a difference to me. If it’s a first time experience for me I want to figure things out on my own and get what I would like to get out of the experience and then the next time go back almost like in a tour guide capacity.

Relish your relationships. We consider ourselves single because we are lacking in one relationship.

I think everyone would enjoy being in a relationship with someone they are intended to be in a relationship with. When relationships go well there are great. But this is just one person we’re focusing in on. Take your focus off that for a while and look at everyone else you can relate to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The trajectory for that kind of cancer is four weeks to six months. So we knew one day soon (we weren’t sure when) out time together was going to come to an end.

He died in my arms at home on four breaths. I said to him, “In a body, you need breath and love when you leave a body all you need is love.” On four breaths he left and I was a widow. We were together for twenty-five years. We missed our twentieth wedding anniversary by three weeks.

He was an artist. He left me a legacy of 1000 paintings. Besides the apartment, there was a studio that held 30-years of books and paintings…I cried every time I walked in there.

There was the loss of him, but there was also the loss of who I was with him because we were together 25 years. SO I was and who was…we were completely wound around each other.

You don’t even realize what you gave up until later and then it’s hard to take it back.

One of the things that began to happen after he died was I had to figure out what I liked myself separate from him and what I had given up that I wanted to take back.

There was a lot of discovering how much he was in my life. How many holes he filled: friendship, having my back, touch. For close to a year I would wake up and I could feel his warmth at my back and then I would wake up and remember he was gone with exactly that rawness of when he died in my arms.

I started a pretty public journal as Bad Widow because I realized no one had any idea how to treat me and how to support me.

This pain, this horrible pain I was in had to serve some purpose other than being devastating.

I was really missing going out with men but I was terrified of intimacy. The last person I really loved died in my arms. That brings with it a terror of going into that again.

I created a meditation practice. In those 11 months, there were times when we were so scared. In all honesty, you can’t prepare for it. It’s impossible. There were times when I was angry. I’m looking at this wasteland of a future that I couldn’t imagine.

I built a meditation for us. I would talk to him about filling up with love. We had built this practice over time when we were scared of filling up with love.

I couldn’t find what I needed so I built it.

What I was trying actually worked for other people, which was funny because I felt totally broken myself.

I had one epic love affair in my life and I was entitled to two.

My capacity for people was very limited, my energy was limited, my memory was still spotty. I didn’t trust myself.

I decided to go online onto Bumble. I had not dated since I met my husband in 1992. I had this idea that I’m going to date lightly for years because I can’t be touched. I really was still unclear what I wanted in a man. I ended up writing my profile and putting up my pictures based only on myself.

I wanted to attract to my people who liked what I liked because then we would have fun. Even if there wasn’t chemistry it would be enjoyable, not horrible.

I was a hot mess. I would cry at random times. But he just kept rising to the surface. He just hung in there with me.

It had been 6-months and we hadn’t had sex. We needed to know if that worked. I had finally gotten to the point where he could kiss me.

When I got those feelings like this is not right, I had to ask myself, is it me, is it him, or is it us? I had to be completely clear if I backed off why. If it was me then it was up to me to sort that out.

I knew I had to get myself through this if I wanted to be with this man. And so I pressed against my own boundaries.

He could see how brave I was being. He could see I was pushing past discomfort into my own boundaries because this was really important to both of us. It worked! It was absolutely wonderful.

I love him. I have my second love affair.

Trust yourself but also observe yourself.

When you’ve been with someone for 25 years it’s really easy to push away something that doesn’t feel right. Know that it won’t for a while. Take baby steps.

In order to get to the other side, you have to press past your own comfort zone about intimacy. It’s not automatic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found myself Suddenly Single a little over eight years ago.

I feel like the journey I needed to take that was crucial to my wellbeing was not going to happen if I was in that marriage.

I felt like the last couple of years of my marriage I was slowly unraveling. I had to leave that marriage to go on this journey. It’s been a journey of empowerment and healing. I have found empowerment in being single.

When we’re young, as women, we’re taught we need to have in our life to take care of us and I’ve come to find out joyfully and painfully that that’s not the truth.

In that marriage, I was wearing a lot of masks of who I thought I needed to be.

I thought I had control in my life when I made my life look perfect. My life was not perfect. Taking care of my mom and my sister was kind of like a shattering. It shattered that illusion of perfection and it made me face the reality of where I was at.

My ex-husband is an incredible human being. My marriage was not a bad marriage. It’s just that I was not doing the work I needed to do to heal within myself.

I felt like I had a calling…like there was something bigger than myself within myself and I felt like there was so much more that I came into this life to do and it was not going to come to pass in that marriage. I knew I had a bigger destiny that I had to fulfill.

Even though I knew I was doing the right thing by leaving my marriage it was probably some of the darkest days of my life. I went a little crazy…I started drinking a lot…I felt like a failure…like I couldn’t.

I felt like a quitter so I felt like I needed to be punished for that.

I needed to figure out who Audra was again because the only Audra I knew was Audra as a wife, Audra as a mom, Audra as a caregiver and I didn’t know who I was anymore at the depth of my soul so I went on a soul journey and I started investigating things I had interest in because I had put all these things on the back burner.

I always came last and I was finally putting myself first.

I finally came to a place of realizing the reason I needed to leave that marriage was not to meet anybody else outside of myself but to actually meet myself.

I decided to take Reiki classes and I absolutely loved it because it was very spiritual to me.

I went and got myself clinically certified in hypnotherapy. I felt like I started my life completely over.

When I started taking the energy classes I met a group of people who were mirroring back to me a self that I had never seen before and so that made me excited to explore that part of myself.

It has probably been the hardest eight years of my life but it has also been the most incredible eight years as well. I have found so much empowerment in myself and not needing somebody else to fill the space.

Even though it has been challenging, painful and sometimes very lonely, it has been well worth it. I know I made the right decision in leaving that marriage and I wouldn’t take back a single second of the hardship. It was completely worth it.

When I first separated my kids were mad at me. I think they understood but they were still angry because not only did I shatter the life that I thought I was supposed to have but I shattered their world too. But I think them watching me go through my won journey they understood it and it has made our relationships so much more.

I think that is the best thing I could have shown them as a mother…how to feel empowered on your own two feet, and how to take care of yourself and how if you’re not loving yourself how to learn how to do that what that looks like.

You can’t judge anyone by the choices they are making because you’re not living their life but I don’t think, in my personal opinion, I don’t think the kids should be the reason you stay because if that’s the only reason that you’re staying then whatever relationship you have with your partner isn’t a good model.

I’m looking forward to publishing my book and speaking about healing. My future looks really bright and I’m so excited!

Don’t be afraid to walk through your fears and even though change is uncomfortable, in a lot of cases, change is what’s best for us. Walk through those fears and self-doubt, spread your wings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been single for five years now without being in a committed relationship.

I remember sitting in the car with my girlfriend at the time and saying, “I don’t think this is going to work out.”

The relationship was four years long. I found myself single with the leftover aftermath of being in an abusive relationship.

I thought this was just a breakup, it was going to make me feel great about myself.

I realized the past five years have been a lot of personal growth and development, loneliness, and realizing where I’m coming from. I realize ending a relationship, whether you’re the one ending it or not you still find yourself in a similar position as the other person.

When you go through loneliness it’s like a detox from reality. You find yourself having to come up with a lot of coping mechanisms.

Instead of allowing yourself to have the most heightened state of energy and being loving and caring, you’re withdrawing and you’re neglecting and you’re protecting your own ego.

The same time I was going through the breakup with her I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I found the things that supported me the most were people who were closest to me, getting a therapist, getting all the boxes checked for my mental health and the biggest thing for me, self-care was simple basic things…getting your diet right, exercising, meditating. I use Headspace very frequently.

It took rock bottom. It took feeling like there was no other choice than to listen to all the people around me to get help.

My relationship was a very toxic and abusive one. Something I’m coming to terms with is that I may have been the one who was abusive and at the same time she was abusive. There can be two sides to the abuse.

As someone who feels pain emotionally and physically, it was a big emotional wound for me.

It was one of those relationships that was high passion high conflict. I had to heal from the trauma of that relationship, which I’m still working through five years later.

The one thing that kept me grounded was deep down knowing how successful I was going to be. I knew these experiences were going to allow me to help someone in the future.

Relationships are really a reflection of who you are. I adopted the relationship model was used to. I thought I was always in the right. I do think I was definitely a party to the toxicity of the relationship.

I started doing a lot of writing about this and it has helped me get over my abuse. Writing is a good outlet for anyone who is trying to heal or understand what’s going on internally.

I was looking for this fairytale.

You search for this love that will fit perfectly when you realize all you have is yourself. That’s what I realized from my relationship. If I’m not right with myself, then the next relationship is just going to be a demise.

For me dating with an intention was very healing.

I found connecting with women, healthy women, women that understand me has really opened my eyes to what is possible. I think the best reason to continue dating is to understand what’s possible and what’s out there.

The best thing is to put yourself out there even on the days you don’t want to put yourself out there. Show up to the plate.

If you can learn how to connect with people you can learn how to have some great conversations that end up being pretty healing for yourself.

Do 100 things a day that you’re afraid of. We sit in our minds afraid a lot of time. We’re reacting because we’re afraid of something. Go out. Act. Learn something. Do something new. Write.

It’s really taking action and when you don’t feel like taking action having a way to cope with that.