Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So as not to offend my family.....

I am writing a blog post instead of a Facebook status update.

Today marks a special day for me. I'm not sure everyone sees it this way, but for me, it's a pretty big day. Nine years ago today, I filed for divorce from the man I was with for 20 years, the father of my four children.

This decision was many, many years in the making. I won't go into the details. If you want those you can go to my other blog and read about it. Just know that it was a decision I did not come to lightly. It had been obvious for many years that neither of us were happy and there were other people in the marriage, but that wasn't the final straw for me. The final straw was when, after contemplating suicide and going through an intense outpatient program recommended by our marriage counselor, I realized this situation I was in was never going to change. I wanted to live for my children and if the only way to do that was to be divorced and struggle to regain a career and a life path, that was what I was going to do. I knew I was strong enough, I just didn't realize how truly strong I was then - and still am.

So, what have I been doing for the last nine years, you ask? Well, not remarrying for one. Dating a heck of a lot and finding out who I am deep down inside. It has taken me every bit of the last nine years to find that person that I was before I got so wrapped up in boys and needing to fill the void of attention I wasn't getting from my father and the loss of my granddaddy. Good news! I found her and she is just as funny and sarcastic and honest and, at times, sad, just like she was when we last spoke. I am happy to say I am in a relationship for the first time in my life that fulfills me but doesn't make me feel desperate or needy or used or abused.

When I realized what today was, I got all giddy inside. Crazy that I remember the exact date? Not to me. I do that with a lot of dates, but especially when it's a true date to remember. A day that I stood up for myself and declared that I was going to break away from the abuse and destruction of a marriage that didn't need to exist any longer. A day that I knew would affect more people than just me and him. I had four children to think about and think about them I did. I knew that I didn't want them to grow up around what they were experiencing at the time. I wanted to be strong for them and I couldn't do that as long as I was married to their father. Not a lot of people really understood that. I lost pretty much all my friends and some family members, but I was ok with that. I am alive and so much better for my kids now than I was back then. I hope they would say the same. To this day, I honestly believe, as hard as it's been on them at times, we are all better off for the decision that I, alone, made nine years ago.

For all those people, men and women, who are contemplating divorce, going through a divorce, or just in a difficult relationship, I won't tell you that my life has been easy because it hasn't. Far from it. I have not and would not recommend divorce to just anyone. There is a lot to consider before you just go all willy nilly and file to end a marrige. I've seen many people go through it just because they are unhappy, yet no abuse or infidelity is going on, and then they truly regret it later. I will say that I would have done things differently if I had it to do over again. This is not regret, just those "knowing now what I wish I knew then" kinda things. But, I don't have it to do over again so I just say, lessons learned from doing things the hard way and hopefully, I have helped people along the way to go about their divorces and breakups a little bit easier.

To those people who judge me, made assumptions and believed a load of lies, just know that my life is good, God is good, I am happy and I hope you are, too! Don't judge someone until you've walked in their shoes. There are three sides to every story. Celebrate EVERY LITTLE THING!
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