It’s been a long road of learning since the divorce. It’s been a hard journey for me – full of shocking, eye-opening facts that I turned a blind heart to because I didn’t want my life to change. I loved being a wife, mom and part of a family with holiday traditions. I was willing to overlook difficulties because I wanted a stable environment for my kids and for myself. As time went on, I became a shell of the woman who started out in the marriage and when he left, I was empty. I didn’t know how to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. I didn’t know what I wanted. I was confused by the anger and resentment that the ex and his narcissistic family hurled at me. I wasn’t the one who broke up the family. I had been the nurturer, the peace-keeper, the one who managed everything so that everyone was happy – except me – but I wasn’t able to see that at the time.
Fast forward and even though I’m still a work in progress, I’m progressing from that scared, depressed self-loathing victim mentality to an authentically confident woman who can stand on her own two feet. I was never a woman who couldn’t stand on her own two feet, but after years of marriage, I molded into a twisted sort of Stepford Wife because that was what was expected. That’s what kept the peace and I craved peace like oxygen.
When I spoke up to the narcissists in my life, I was firmly put down and because I didn’t like to rock the boat, I obliged. I can honestly now say, I am so much more than that and although I don’t like to rock boats, I can if need be. And that time has come.
There are all those quotes about how people treat you and how it’s a reflection of who they are and not about you. I couldn’t see it at the time and took their disrespect to heart. But no more. I will not be disrespected. I no longer am the wife nor part of his family and the rules do not apply to me anymore. In fact, they really never did. Now that chapter in my life is fully closed. Can you hear the huge HURRAH?! So when they do try to impede on my time with my kids, the disgruntled Momma Bear emerges holding the sign with one word – RESPECT.
Cue Aretha Franklin’s song, Respect! I find that listening to that song sends empowerment through my veins. Sometimes all I need is that little bit of oomph to revitalize me.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me….