Have you ever watched a movie and a scene plays out in which the phrase “you might want to sit down for this one” grabs your attention? It’s one of those typical scenes I have been fortunate enough to avoid so far in my life up until this week. This week highlights for me the first experience of sitting down hesitantly in my lounge room with two of my most favourite people as they struggle to come to terms with how they are going to tell me some news which would put me in shock for the next few days. With shock has been incredible anger that I can’t put into words. So much anger that I felt bad at the amount of swear words that have actually left my mouth and occupied my mind. The news hurt severely and still hurts.

On the previous night call it what you will I had an inkling that something was going to be told to me the next day. So on the way to taking my son to school and on my way back home I prepared myself with my most favourite Hillsong music blasting flat out in my car. My stomach was churning slightly with my heart doing random beats out of whack. While I was somewhat prepared the news landed heavy on my heart. In some ways the news should not have been such a surprise as I suspected something of this nature to be going on. In fact I suspected it long before I had to leave Brisbane and come to Canberra.

How often do we put aside suspicions and inklings only to talk our way out of them as we don’t really want to believe the truth?

Tuesday this week I heard the truth. The truth hurt more than I can imagine. If it hasn’t been enough to deal with the grief of a 27 year marriage breakdown this news took me into a place of anger and betrayal. They say anger is normal in these types of situations and I believe that. No matter how normal it may be to feel such anger it is not pleasant.  It is consuming for a little while. In my case it has been two full days and nights. I can feel it slowing moving away which is a welcome feeling. It more likely will return here and there such as the feelings of sadness over all the lost hopes and dreams two young people once held.

This could have been one of those moments in which I might have made my way into the bedroom, drawn the curtains and stayed in bed under my blankets for a week. I didn’t do that!!! As tempting as it was I decided to get up the next morning for the sake of my son to get him to school.

When I stop for a moment and look back to the past four months I’m amazed how this person (me) has even gotten this far? Had these events taken place as close as two years ago I’m not all that sure I would have handled it. Through the years I have grown and developed my own sense of value. As a young person I didn’t own it. As I have mentioned in many of my earlier blogs I struggled with low self-esteem and self-hatred. There was nothing that I liked about myself.

Having had such issues drove me into the arms of another broken person. Despite the fact that the marriage is well and truly over I can take courage of the changes that have happened deep inside of me. The shy young girl who hated herself grew up and let go of the hurts that kept her stuck in a prison. These issues got me into hurtful situations. I had no confidence to speak my own mind. It was as though someone had sealed my mouth shut. To speak my mind created anxiety and fear. Fear of rejection.

If there is one piece of advice I could give to anyone who is looking to marry please make sure that you are not so badly broken that you settle for someone who may cause you emotional harm. It is crucial that you know your own true value and worth. As not every relationship issue is a normal one. Some relationship issues are psychologically or emotionally damaging.  If you are in a relationship and question yourself on a regular basis I would seek some help and advice for that. It is not normal to constantly question yourself or your relationship. If you find yourself being blamed all too often again I would say check that. If you feel as though you are sitting on a roller coaster in your relationship take that as another warning sign. Let me describe the roller coaster a little better. This relationship roller coaster has moments of incredible highs. It’s as though you are led to believe the most incredible things are going to take place, incredible such as amazing financial success. That once this financial success takes place life will be amazing, your marriage will be amazing!!! However the reality is that the highs of the roller coaster shifts downward and you are faced with financial failure. Finances are just one example it could be something else or multiple areas which are keeping you believing that this relationship is worth staying in. In other words you hold onto a false sense of hope.

You may begin seeing contradictions yet you’ve been led to believe for such a long time that something amazing is going to happen which convinces you to continue sitting on the roller coaster. Just a little while longer and things will change you repeat to yourself. Just a little while longer and everything will be more stable. Just a little while longer and I may be happy like others seem to be. Just a little while longer and I may be valued and cared for. Just a little while longer I might be good enough to be heard.

If you find yourself constantly having to comply to keep the peace something isn’t right. A relationship which is healthy works from a foundation of respect, trust and honesty to say the least. It is not supposed to be one of control. That one partner has the power to hold you captive so much that your own voice is stopped. Your voice or your thoughts should be important. You should be able to approach your significant other with confidence not anxiety. If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety in a relationship seek good advice.

No one deserves to be in a relationship to be broken down and damaged. Sometimes it can take years to recognise particularly if you struggle to know your own worth and value. When we de-value ourselves we can enable people close to us to continue behaving in hurtful ways. Once we recognise our worth and value we have the ability to keep healthy boundaries with others ensuring healthy interactions.

The longer you sweep things under the carpet so to speak the more damage is done. Find a trusted person to talk to if you struggle with something beyond a normal relationship issue. Trust your instincts. Be aware of what your body and emotions are telling you. It’s easy to ignore the obvious as denial is often a comfortable option rather than facing something painful.

Life can hurt so I’m keeping it real…..

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