How To Let Go From Someone Who Knows

I will admit, I agonized over everything when my Ex left.  I tangled myself in thoughts and bereavement of the sudden leaving of my then husband of more than 20 years.  I swung emotionally to extremes – anger and hurt to victim and mourning the loss of my husband to wanting to hurt him as he’d hurt me emotionally to hating myself to blaming myself and to blaming him, to giving up on myself, on everyone and everything else around me.  Believe me, I was a sheer mess and I was caught up, wound so tightly around my story that I couldn’t see beyond my own self.  I was fighting in quicksand for survival and holding onto the past with a death grip for fear of the future.

I understand if that’s where you are right now.  The swirling emotions that keep you up at night crying with insomnia.  The constant replaying of scenarios, wondering what x meant when he said this or did that.  When our eyes open and the blinders come off, questions arise and the toxic what if’s can integrate themselves into every waking moment.  It’s a roller coaster ride that we stay on until we decide enough is enough and accept where we are here and now.

But that takes courage to hop off that emotional roller coaster and declare the acceptance of divorce when it wasn’t our decision.  There’s such a punch to our self-worth and ego when we’re the one he left, especially if it’s after many years of marriage.  It’s feeling sucker punched when he moves on and finds someone else to replace us.  We beat ourselves up over the betrayal and over the knowledge that we’ve been kicked to the curb like someone who’s worthless.  My unsolicited advice to you?  Throw your pity party and then talk to someone trusted who can help get you back on track and move on.

It’s not easy to comeback from heartache.  I remember when I was lamenting the demise of my marriage to trusted friends.  I was repetitiously recounting the same stories over and over and not getting out of my own way to heal.  I was stuck in a hole that I was digging even deeper with every retelling.  And I couldn’t stop myself until one day a friend told me that it was time to let go.  I think she’d had enough of me and my story and loved me enough to say, it’s over.  Let’s move on.

I fought the moving on like a hell cat for awhile longer.  I couldn’t help myself.  Of course, now I see how I did it my way, but I would have healed a hell of a lot quicker had I released myself earlier and not continued in the agony of my own making.  Trusted friends tried to advise me.  Women who had divorced gave me their scenarios and in hindsight, they tried to save me from my own self, but I didn’t listen.  Maybe I wasn’t supposed to, so I understand if you’re reading this and thinking that I don’t get it.

But, I do get it.  I dismissed everyone’s advice to let go and release the 20+ years of marriage and move on.  I knew it was over, but I just couldn’t see where I’d go from here.  I was stagnated with fear of what now?  If I’m not his wife, who am I?  How will I do this all by myself?

But guess what?  Like it will for you, it works out in the end.  Yes, life changes for us as divorced women.  Yes, sometimes it’s not really for the better until we get used to the new normal.  But hell yes!  There’s a new world out there to explore when we release the past and embrace the present and find a smile for the future of possibilities that’s just waiting for us to see it!

It’s up to you when you let go.  I can advise you to do it earlier rather than later.  I can tell you that you don’t have to be perfectly ready to let go before you release your story.  When you jump, the net appears like magic.  Of course, there may entail some free-falling as you transition to your new reality.  But there can be excitement there if you choose to be excited instead of terrified.  Possibilities can only come to fruition when you release.

So what do you think of letting go?  Do we have to pry your hands away from your story or can you do it on your own?  I’m here if you need a friend.

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Happy Belated Galentine’s Day!

galentine

Well, I missed it – so Happy Belated Galentine’s Day!  Did you celebrate with friends?  It was yesterday in case you were out of the loop like me.  I didn’t even know it existed.  I guess I’m not watching the right shows on TV anymore.

Did you know about Galentine’s Day?  Where did you hear about it?

From what I’ve read, Galentine’s Day is celebrated on February 13th as a way for you to celebrate the friendship and love that you and your girlfriends have.  I’m guessing it’s also a way for single girls to get out and enjoy the holiday with friends without feeling like Valentine’s Day passed them by.

I like the idea of a reason for the girls to get together, especially if you have friends with whom you are close.  And who doesn’t want a reason to get together and enjoy a night out – just the girls?!  We rely on our girlfriends to listen, to advise and to be there for us.  As a divorced single mom, I like that I have friends who are really good in helping me navigate the sometimes bumpy road of co-parenting with a disconnected ex who doesn’t parent.  Sometimes you just need a sounding board to bounce ideas off of or just to vent to when you’re so frustrated with the scenario in your life.  And their ability to listen and advise when we’re starting to date?  Well, that’s priceless don’t you think?  It’s fun to share the excitement when a friend has something wonderful happen in their lives.  It’s also good to know there are friends there for us when we need someone to care.  Who doesn’t need a friend who’s there for the good, the bad and everything in between?  Who doesn’t want to celebrate that friend who’s there for you no matter what?  I think that’s what Galentine’s all about!  Isn’t it?

I’ve found a tribe here by blogging and I want to wish all of you, girls and guys, a belated Happy Galentine’s Day.  Your advice, support and friendship have meant the world to me and I’m grateful for each and every one of you.

So cheers – imagine we’re having a little champagne, some dark chocolate and a calorie free night of treats while we hang by a fire, listening to music and laughing together!  Thanks for being there for me this past year.  I am here for you too!

Oh and Happy Valentine’s Day today to you too!

 

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Single Girls Get Ready For Valentine’s Day

singlegirls

Valentine’s Day is here.  Well, it’s almost here, but you’ve got to be ready in your head, because the stores are jam packed with Valentine stuff.  Flowers, candies, cards and all of the things that put such pressure on us, especially when we’re single.

Please don’t get caught up in the hype.  Don’t bemoan your single-hood.  Embrace it!  Do something special for you!  Buy yourself some pretty flowers.  Indulge in some delicious candy that is a special treat.  Don’t cook dinner – get take out!  Pour yourself that special glass of wine.  Take time to sit and read or watch a movie that you enjoy.  Take a bubble bath.  Do what makes you feel good!  Feel the freedom that loving yourself evokes!

Reach out to friends and family and tell them how much you care about them.  Valentine’s Day is not limited to romantic love.  I send a Valentine’s Day card to friends and family and that’s not romantic love.  That’s just friendship, family and love, plain and simple.  It’s saying, I’m taking the time to tell you that I care about you.  Remember to tell your kids how much you love them.  Be kind to a stranger.  Smile as you go about your business tomorrow (and everyday).

Love isn’t just one day – it’s everyday!  Practice loving yourself!  So give yourself the gift of love if you don’t have a Valentine this year.  You can do this!  It’s just another day really.  Don’t make it more than it is, even if your heart is broken.  I understand.  I have spent many Valentine Days alone after he left.  This will actually be my first officially divorced Valentine’s Day and I’m not wasting one minute!

I’m going to love me tomorrow (and everyday).  I’ve gotten small special gifts for each of my kids to surprise them.  I am buying myself flowers today for the kitchen table.  Sure, they’re daffodils that only cost $2, but they are bright and cheery and that’s what counts.

So what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

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You Bet I’m A Nag!

nag

So with all the anger and resentment the kids had over the holidays with ex and his family, I listened to them patiently and tried to help them to heal without getting in the middle of the ruckus.  I gave them a wide berth, but insisted on still eating meals together and talking when needed.  But after 2 weeks of vacation for them and feeling like an overworked, cattle prodded maid, I snapped.

After them doing nothing for a long time, the nag had crept in slowly, but then with more stamina, as I nagged to remind them to clean up their rooms, to put their clothes away and to do little things that needed to be done – along with gentle reminders to go to bed at a decent time, to get up at a decent time and yoo hoo – let me remind you that the party is over, and school routine has begun again.

They yessed me repeatedly, but I saw very little signs of movement in the right direction. Video games reigned supreme as did gym time.  Then it seemed every time I sat down I heard Mom, what’s there to eat?  But after all, I am still the queen of this home and although we’ve made it a semi-democracy, I’m still the almighty mom to be obeyed and I was beginning to feel especially disrespected.  I mean, come on!  Take the boxes from the Christmas gifts to the recycling please.  Just once, could you please see if the dishwasher may need emptying?  Or when the garbage bag is filled, don’t you want to take it outside to the garbage can???  Ok, I know you don’t want to take it out, but can’t you?  Why am I being the only worker bee here in our hive?

So, I lost it like I hadn’t lost it in a long time.  I didn’t raise my voice because that’s when they tune you out.  At least that’s what my kids do when I yell.  So I got quiet and spoke in serious tone and laid it on the line.

I hate being the nag and I hate hearing myself nag.  Do what you are supposed to do without being asked twice please and we won’t hear any more nagging.  You are mad at your dad and his family, but I feel like you’re taking it out on me.  Are you mad at me?  (They shook their heads no.)  Then don’t act this way.  Be responsible.  Let’s work together …and so on and so forth.

Lucky for me, even though they didn’t want to talk, they listened as I talked.  As I began to ask questions that required more than a yes/no answer, they opened up more until peace began to bridge the chasm between us.  And it happened just in time too, because I was feeling angrier daily myself.  I mean, there’s only so much anger towards ex/his family that you can listen to, especially when it’s followed by their forgiveness when financially ex/his family do something nice for the kids so they feel indebted.

Have I ever told you how much I wish I would win the lottery and not be financially tied to my ex?  So far, that fantasy hasn’t come through for me….yet! 🙂  But oh la la…when it does! 🙂  In the meantime, the photo made me laugh and since a nag is an old horse, I hoped you might get a kick out of it too!  Pun intended.

Thanks for reading my venting.  Please let me know if you have ever felt this way too?

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Inspiring Brand New Me

There’s something about this song which speaks to me and maybe it will to you.  Alicia Key’s Brand New Me has been on my playlist of healing songs about courage and love for a long time.  But the other day, when I was feeling at peace and singing in the kitchen, this was the song that grounded me and I wanted to share it with you.

Below is the video which I found so powerfully healing and affirming to me.  Do you feel it too?

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A Different Way To Process Being Left In A Relationship

When you get down to the heart of the matter, there are a bunch of reasons why a spouse leaves or a relationship breaks up and obviously there are too many to list here.  Because in each individual relationship, the bottom line is not why, but the fact that the person left and you can remain dangling in victim-hood until you choose to heal and see the light in the kernel of truth.

I spent years in that mentality of I wasn’t enough, what could I have done differently, when did it go wrong and why, why, why???  My brain churned with scenarios of what if I had done/said this or that, reliving the past and feeling like it was my entire fault that he left the marriage and he never looked back.  (which by the way, it takes two to tango and perhaps even two to separate).  My heart ached and shattered into pieces.  His dismissal stung me to my core and I lived with that barb in my heart, my self-worth and continued to sting myself over and over in penance for not being enough for him even after twenty plus years of marriage.  I slogged through the days trying my best to be a good mom and to play fairly in the divorce proceedings.  I tried to forgive him and to move on and to let go, but something inside of me continued to punish me for not being enough.

And yet, through this healing journey, I am progressing and I want you to progress too.  I can only guess that what he denied himself by leaving was the love we had which he couldn’t receive.  Please permit me to state what I’ve found that wasn’t obvious to me at the time.

When we push others away who are kind and good and loving to us, it’s not them we are pushing away.  It’s the love for ourselves that we are unable to receive from ourselves, nor from anyone else.  Rejection from a spouse is not the rejection of you – it’s the rejection of love, self or otherwise.

It’s like the silence afterwards when he doesn’t communicate.  I took it to be my fault.  I don’t anymore.  Now I see he’s got issues and he’s put up barbed wire to fence himself in so that he doesn’t hurt me more than he already has.  Perhaps in his own way, he’s protecting me from him and even himself from himself.  Fold up into a ball and don’t let in the light and you stay stagnant, immobile and a prisoner in your own thinking.

Don’t let that happen to you!

Reach out, connect with others and you’re set free.  I no longer take his rejection as a rejection of me.  He chose what felt right to him and therefore I am set free from him, from the marriage and from the hurt.  I have had so many tearful experiences, too numerous to count, but one thing is clear to me now.  I had to experience all of that heartache so that I could walk this path and heal myself and be authentically me.  It was a gift that he set me free and one that I will be ever grateful for in my life.  Instead of feeling downtrodden as I did for the longest time, I am rising up to embrace life’s changes and the freedom to be me.  I don’t need his approval anymore.  I only need to know in my heart that I am a good person who wants the best for everyone in my life.

I am willing to help all those who need a friend.  If you’re going through similar circumstances in your life, stop by and let’s chat.  Let’s find the good in the situation now as it presently is.  It’s there you know.  Sometimes it’s just hidden in plain view because we can’t see beyond the pain.  Come on, sit awhile with me.  I’ll bring out refreshing drinks, some delicious chocolate and we’ll sit in the sunshine on my porch swing and just talk.

You’ve got a friend.  You are not alone.

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Choices

choices

A lifetime ago, I chose between two potentially good men.  Not only did I choose between two very different men, it was also a choice of where I was to live, what language would be predominate in my home (if the relationship evolved into marriage) and the trajectory my life would take in the future.

Almost thirty years later, I see that decision as life changing for I stayed with the man I chose, married and raised a family with him for more than twenty years.  I do not regret my decision for I have two great kids with him and even though the marriage didn’t last and I am divorced, I am at peace.

The other day though, I was thinking about that fateful time I was at a crossroads and I had to choose.  Sadly, I bid a fond adieu to one man and embraced the other.  I wasn’t ready to change my life completely and be totally out of my element, always the foreigner in his land.  To this day, I cannot tell you that if I had chosen differently, would the relationship with him have lasted or evolved into marriage eventually.  The road not taken is never certain.

But now that I’m divorced, I wonder about that road not taken.  I stand in peace with my choice.  I believe it was right for me at the time for so many different, private reasons.  But I wonder, what if?

Recently, the man I did not choose, reached out to me.  From the grapevine, he learned that I am divorced.  We have communicated a bit, tentatively sharing what’s gone on in our lives since that fateful choice I made and it’s bringing up all sorts of memories for me.  The way we were, the laughter, the love and the time spent idyllically together.  Of course, it remains a mystery whether we would have stayed together if I had chosen him, but as I sit here, it’s soothing to me to go down memory lane.

I wonder where this may lead –  whether it is simply a part of the healing process or the romantic beginnings of a reunited love after decades of separation.  I am unsure and I am going with the flow as it unfolds.  We were so much younger back then and our relationship was boundless because we weren’t burdened by responsibilities.  We were young, in love and enjoyed each other’s company.  I’ve forgotten the painful parts and only remember the good which is dangerous.  I am a different person now, but still very much the same.  His reaching out reminded me of that girl who loved life, who wasn’t afraid and who lived in possibility.  I was authentically me back then.  Perhaps his reaching out is to reignite that authentic me who’s been dormant for so long.  It certainly feels that way at this moment.  But my question is – Does he want more?  Do I want more?  Only time will tell.

Have you ever reunited with a lost love?  How did it turn out?

 

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