Steps

It’s strange how experiences from the past can affect your views, or shape your fears. It’s difficult to not compare or judge or assume the worst just because you have become so used to certain things or so used to certain reactions.

I have come to realize that some things that are lost can indeed be found again. Sometimes the search takes time, and sometimes things find you without you searching for it.

Last year around this time I sat on the floor of my house with shards of glass surrounding me with every surface covered in broken pieces of pots and frames, filled with so much fear, with my chest so constricted that I felt I would never breathe again. As I sat there sobbing my only thought was to get up, to sweep up and get the house sorted before I pick my girls up from school. So that is what I did.

People say being selfish is easy, it’s not. My choices to be happy and fulfilled was selfish. It was also undoubtedly the single most difficult thing I have ever done. I will never forget those moments where I scooped up the broken pieces with the shards cutting into my hands. In those moments it wasn’t just about scooping up the broken glass, but I was scooping up the broken pieces of myself.
In those moments I felt so broken and lost that I could not imagine ever finding my way back to happiness. The road to where we want to go might not be planned out on a map, but finding the courage to start the journey is ultimately the first step. I’ve taken many steps, and look forward to many more.

I know that at the end of the day I’ll find my way, if not, it will find me.

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Footsteps forward

The more of it you take, the more of it you leave behind…

A riddle that came up during this mornings fun and games whilst driving my girls to school. The answer of course is footsteps, and this got me thinking. It’s very true, not just in the literal sense of the phrase, but also figuratively.

Every step we take forward removes us from something left behind. Memories good or bad, people,places…and with every new step comes new experiences, new memories, new friends.

No one can possibly walk backwards, living in the past or being trapped by past memories will only keep you standing still, locked in place and unable to move forward. I have received some valuable advise of late and one thing I took to heart was the fact that I can only move forward if I broke free from the constraints I placed upon myself with regards to past events.

My divorce left me with a sense of guilt, lots of anger, an array of mixed emotions and hurt. Someone once told me that the best thing their mom ever did was divorce their father. I will never regret my choices, I regret hurting people but will stand by my choices. Freedom is most definitely found in accepting responsibility.

Through my many discussions about my girls and the effects my divorce would have on them, I have taken all aspects of the advice given to me to heart. Children will only be victims to the degree that the parent plays victim. Through my choice to accept the things I can no longer change and freeing myself from the guilt I felt, I’ll be a more functional parent. I choose to work with emotions of joy and hope, guiding them and empowering them to a greater philosophy of life.

I read today ” your children are a mirror into which you look each day. If you don’t like what you see, change yourself”. After reading this I realized that I wouldn’t change one thing about them! So I must be doing something right 🙂

I feel excited taking new footsteps, leaving the old ones behind moving forward into new beginnings and experiences.

Smile and wave

It is the season to be jolly…. Hmmmm nope, I think not.

Pondering over some thoughts this last week, I have come to realize that sometimes you really need to wake up, breathe in deeply and accept things for what they are and people the way they are. I told my friend this morning that I am at a selfish point in my life where I don’t want to take a step back, and where I don’t want to be super considerate. For once, just for once, I want to be considered first, or deemed of high enough importance that what I think or feel matters… Even in the smallest, remotest possible way.

Sadly that the harsh fact remains that it just won’t be that way for me. I understand with my current circumstances, the this and the that are going through a rough time… I get it, be accommodating, be super duper understanding… But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could say ” hey, I’m kinda going through a bad time also…a little consideration would be appreciated”

I know, I’m super selfish, trust me, I’m really working on it… Trying to just do what I do best, do what I have done for so many years and take a step back… Be considerate and accommodating, smile and wave. It’s just so unbelievably difficult to do when those steps back or considerations really tear at your heart. I hate feeling a sense of continual loss… Like the feeling that you are holding onto something, regripping the entire time, but yet still loosing your hold. Feeling like you are grasping at something that is not entirely yours, and will never be.

I feel like a child being told to share and not wanting to. Sharing your entire life sometimes gets you to a point where you just want to have your toys all to yourself. Sigh…. I know, I know… Pointless hormonal ramblings 😦

I also realize that I have come to a point in my life where I put very little value into words. Most are spoken but not meant. They have become so robotic or automated in a sense, a general response. It frustrates me so!

I do so wish Christmas would fly past. Feeling at the precipice of tears continually does not leave me excited about it at all. There is absolutely nothing, no gift that could lift my spirits this year, not even if the planets all suddenly started spurting signs of life and aligning in cute formations… Nothing!

Tiny grains of sand

Failure – a word I dread. One, that given the choice, I would happily omit from any dictionary. I have always feared failure and yet always felt as if it has been something I do, or something that follows me around with tentacles creeping up at me trying to get hold and strangle me.

When I was younger I diligently did all that was asked or expected of me. Gave my 110% … I remember the feelings I had when test results were handed out. No matter how well I did, I never felt proud, never felt a sense of achievement. It was always a case of “if only”. If only I managed to get those few marks… If only… Even on tests where I received full marks, I still always felt that it was just ok. Never great, just ok.

All I wanted to do in life was to make my parents proud. I got married very young and had my girls at a fairly young age as well. This year has been filled with so many personal challenges for me. It’s a strange feeling maturing into the person you strive to be. I have struggled for years with so many inner demons.

Always trying to please, to be the perfect wife, daughter, mother. Somewhere along the line I completely lost sight of the fact that I stopped being who I am. I lost sight of what I needed and what fulfilled me as a person.

When my youngest daughter was eight months old I felt I needed to divorce my husband… There where so many things, the small things, tiny things… But a whole lot of tiny grains of sand end up giving you endless beaches… That’s what happened, I ended up on a vast desolated beach, alone and broken.

As a wife I always felt the need to protect the image of my husband, the father of my children. My fear of failure also played a tremendous roll in me deciding to stay married. I thought I was irrational, just had a baby a few months earlier, blamed hormones for my feelings. My husband always insisted I stay home to raise our girls, so being financially dependent on him also made it extremely difficult for me to leave.

I did not want to fail, I did not want to disappoint my family. Constantly living with someone that would give you anything you asked for seems ideal… But sometimes what you need from someone cannot be replaced by gifts or things. In my eleven years of marriage my husband gave me one complement without me having to ask for it. I remember it so vividly only because it shocked me so completely.

He never physically abused me, it was the moments where an argument arose or a little tiff, and he would end up using harsh words telling me to be quiet, or else.. Or ” just leave me”, or else. Living with a constant fear where you would rather avoid saying your say, and always backing down in every confrontation. It’s like taking a small chisel and slowly breaking down pieces of a wall. Initially the wall stands firm, but eventually the structure is so weakened that it crumbles and breaks.

I used to never be able to go have coffee with a friend or even a family member without knowing I’ll get home and I’ll have to face a super grumpy husband because I left him alone for an hour. Even though he said I could go, there it was when I returned home… That all to familiar attitude drowning me in guilt.

Not having my opinion valued was also a constant. It’s not a big thing, but sometimes you want to feel considered, and you want to feel that your view of something counts. You don’t want to hear that you are stupid, or that you are pathetic.

My husband was never hands on around the house. We did some extensions to our house years ago. I remember sitting in my new dining room with the mitre box sawing the skirtings for the dining room crying, not because I couldn’t do it, but because my hands hurt and I wanted him to do it. My dad ended up helping me put them in as I just didn’t have enough physical strength to hammer them onto the wall. I helped my dad tile our patio, put all the windows in our french doors, siliconed the bathroom, painted… Nothing I would ever mind doing, but all I wanted was for him to care enough to do it for me, or at the very least to just acknowledge that I did it and say thanks. Not to walk in and point out what still needs to be done.

I don’t consider myself overly emotional, but I had days or moments where I would cry and he would be home. All I wanted was a hug, just a hug and to be told all will be fine, but I didn’t get that. I got the “it’s pathetic to cry” attitude. So in time I had to almost schedule my emotional moments for when I was alone. I avoided crying in front of him altogether.

My husband has a way of twisting words. I would say something, and he’ll recount what I said to someone and say something entirely different.. And always in a negatively different way. I hated it, I asked and pleaded him to stop doing it. He used to embarrass me with his account of what “I said”, and would even go as far as to tell people things I never said. It was utterly frustrating.

My husband also used to use me for any excuses he had to make. If someone wanted to come over and he didn’t feel in the mood, it would always be because I didn’t want visitors, or I didn’t like this or that. I hated that he couldn’t take responsibility for anything and just passed it along to me.

There were so many more little things.. Not helping me with the girls, the insults, the harsh words, the treats. Intimate things I could never blog about

Like I say… Tiny grains of sand…

It became a part of my life and enveloped me so completely, that I ended up thinking it’s normal. It’s something I became complacent with. I ended up so lost within the daily routine of having to live the roll I had in life.

And then I woke up one morning, and realized I had a reason to live, realized I can feel happy and fulfilled… And that reason gave me strength to stand up and make a decision.

That’s what I did.. I chose.. I chose to get divorced. This is just the start of my story, my way to vent … To document the change I consciously chose to make.
There is so much more to my story… But for now I’ll leave it for another sleepless night.

Seeing as morning is only 3 hours away, I think I’ll try and get some sleep…