Forgive, forget not.

For those of you who have read my blogs over the past year you would be familiar with all the various challenges and stages I have walked through or rather at times moved at snail’s pace to get to the next day. You yourself may connect with my blogs as perhaps you have or are experiencing truly tough life circumstances, which is one of the reasons I decided to start writing in the first place. To not only help myself to process life with all its challenges but to use my pain and growth for good purposes. If it helps someone it is all worth the effort. In no way do I profess to have all the right answers and we each go through different situations.
What works for me may not work for you!
It’s not so much that I write to give the answers, I write to share my journey with life so others don’t feel alone. I write to breathe hope. To shed light. To let individuals, know that if I can get through it, they can too!
Today I am writing about forgiveness. ♥
This past week has been another one of those very trying and difficult times. Not only have I been battling some sort of virus in my body which has put me out of work now for four days, last weekend I had to meet with my ex-husband for the first time in over one year.
The shear thought initially had me very vulnerable and sensitive. The week prior to seeing him I was experiencing all sorts of emotions. It didn’t seem to make sense. Why was I experiencing so much emotion when I had thought it was already dealt with?
Perhaps it was the unknown.

How was I going to react seeing him especially after everything that has happened?
Was I going to react angry? Sad?
The reality is I was with this person for 27 years and had five children.
It was a special family occasion that put me in the situation of having to see him again.
No amount of psyching myself up was going to help me.
Prior to seeing him as I mentioned I was very sensitive. I went through a series of thoughts, emotions, worries and even regrets.
The moment arrived in which I was in the same room as him. It was perhaps one of the most surreal and awkward times of my life. It was as though a dead person came back to life and they were now in the same room as me.
As I was in what you can call my own ‘safety bubble’ at the time I was unable to notice my young son’s reaction to seeing his own dad after having had no contact with him for the whole time. Prior to the day I had encouraged my young son in coming along as he too was apprehensive. It was not my young sons fault that he hadn’t had contact with his dad nor was it mine. I explained to him that another year on and it will be virtually impossible for him to meet up with his dad. Not the ideal situation by any means.
Amongst family in the same room I stood there with my ex-husband breathing the same air as me. At first, I found it difficult to look his way. Slowly I got braver and could take short glimpses of the man I was married too. Each glimpse was confronting. Each glimpse brought back pain and hurt. Each glimpse touched on sad places in my heart. Each glimpse reminded me that our marriage was over.
WOW!
Then the time came for our first conversation face to face.
It was during our conversation that the reality of our marriage being over was hitting me. We were such separate people now. Any connection we may have had was completely broken. We were like old friends from times past who were having a conversation and catching up on each other’s past year.
There was no topic off limits. We talked about everything.
While in the back of my mind I remembered everything that he had put me through I was able to come to a place in which I told him that ‘I can forgive him’. I choose to forgive him. In the next sentence, I had to let him know that while I forgive him I won’t be able to forget. That as a person I have grown so much and recognised what I want and what I don’t want and what is healthy and what is not.
This sequence of events has helped me heal some more.
Despite the harsh reality of a broken family something has shifted in that I can talk to him without animosity or resentment. I can talk confidentially.  For the sake of all our children and especially the youngest there is now room for Dad to be in their life if he chooses to be.
This past week I have learnt to FORGIVE.
To GRIEVE again.
To ACCEPT what is.

 

Setbacks<<<

Setbacks can be circumstantial, or a part of a recovery process. When we experience setbacks in our circumstances we can become frustrated. As an example we may be traveling well in our finances satisfied that our savings are on the increase as opposed to decreasing. Then unexpectedly a situation occurs in which those savings must be accessed due to an unforeseen expenditure. Suddenly we feel as though we are going backward as there are no savings left. With every good intention of saving some dollars for the future we are faced with having to start saving again.

Good intentions don’t prevent setbacks.

We may be recovering from something physical such as a broken bone or a debilitating illness. The future is looking bright however another setback occurs!

Setbacks can leave us feeling disappointed or confused. Especially when hopeful that life was looking up, finally…..

Life often resembles one step forward and ten steps back.

Most of humanity would agree that moving forward is always so much better and natural, who likes to take steps backward?

Why would anyone in their right mind want to revisit the past especially when the intention was to move forward, to a better place.

The reality is that we all recover at different speeds.

For broken bones to heal often times surgery is required as the fracture is quite bad and needs extra assistance for recovery.

Then we have our emotions and feelings.

Dependent upon what we have gone through in our life experience, the recovery time can vary.

There are a myriad of situations that can happen to an individual however I’m going to talk about my experience for a moment as I’m speaking from a current, passionate and open heart.

If you have been following my blogs over the past 9 months or so you would have read about some of my own personal struggles in terms of marriage break up and the unhealthy relationship that I struggled through which finally ended.

Unless you have been in an unhealthy emotionally/psychologically damaging relationship it can be quite hard to grasp the impact it has on a person. The impact goes deep and challenges a person on so many levels.

The wrestling that goes on in your mind at times can be overwhelming. The longer you have lived with someone in a relationship in which you were programmed to mistrust others including yourself the harder it is to overcome.

Trusting one’s own judgement or the lack thereof is what keeps a person in an unhealthy emotionally damaging relationship. It took me years to find out that in fact it was NOT NORMAL to be in such a struggle. Having had my eyes opened to the reality that the relationship was in fact unhealthy and was never going to change has moved me on to a brighter future with every good intention of not going through the same experience again.

There is much unraveling to do on my part emotionally speaking. Everything that I learned in order to cope I need to unlearn.

I have to learn that it is OK to speak about my feelings, fears and thoughts. That even though I was in a marriage in which speaking about my feelings usually resulted in world war III that it was not my fault. Every human has a right to talk about their feelings.

My feelings were mostly irrelevant and portrayed as something which was a fault that I carried. I was made to believe my feelings I experienced at various times were something I needed to put a stop too. The trouble was that the other party was always doing or saying things that hurt my feelings.

Unless you are someone with absolutely no feelings at all you cannot expect to stop hurting when someone hurts you. It’s as ridiculous as believing if someone hits you that you are not allowed to hurt!

It is the hurting that lets us know something is in fact wrong!!!

Our bodies are wired that way. Our bodies tell us when we feel pain that something is wrong and that we need to tend to it.

Emotional pain is no different.

On this journey that I have been on I’ve experienced myself overcoming and moving away from the ways in which I previously had to cope. In saying that though there have been times of setback!

I’ve been revisiting various emotions at different stages. Certain situations can trigger me back to those places. Suddenly I may find myself back in that place of mistrust, unsure if my own judgement is correct or whether other people can be trusted. I may find myself scrutinizing situations far more than another person would.

Why? Simply because I’m determined not to go through the same experience I have come away from.

Everything within me wishes that I didn’t need to be so fragile or sensitive.

The trouble is that when you have been hurt to such a depth and treated very poorly for a long time the journey to recovery can be long and require a lot from you.

Situations that look anything similar to what you have come away from can have you shaking in your boots for fear of going through it again. It may be just one word, phrase or body language.

The only way through, is THROUGH!

As scary as it is with all the setbacks and fears the only option to recovery is moving forward despite every battle you face in your mind. The recovery may take longer than anticipated however it will come.

I’m not out of the woods yet.

I’m aware that there will possibly be many moments in the future I will need to face my fears and overcome those mind games that start replaying and repeating previous scenarios I have been through.

Trust the process.

Look for the small wins!

Be kind to yourself and others while you are in the process of healing.

Don’t despair if you find yourself setback for a moment you will eventually move forward regaining more ground and eventually becoming the person you always knew you were.

♥♥

 

And in the meantime …….

Over the past few months after commencing employment  I have experienced UPs⇑⇑ and downs⇓⇓accompanied by ‘out of my comfort zone’ episodes. Being someone who would rather DO life prepared for how things were going to work out I have had to develop another level of patience and trust. If it hasn’t been enough to deal with everything involved in a marriage breakdown having started a new job in an industry I have never worked in before has stretched me beyond my limits and my wildest of dreams.

The fact is all I have ever known for the past 27 years is how to function in the role of wife and mum. Having been uprooted from Brisbane to Canberra some eight months ago as a single mum I’ve been travelling through a process of discovering who I am?

Questions continually bubble to the surface such as;

Have I got what it takes to make it on my own?

Is my life going to look like the typical ‘single mum’ movies in which I am working my arse off to make ends meet?

Will I ever be able to trust another man completely?

How long will it take until I feel whole and free of everything attached to my previous relationship of 27 years?

IF I get the opportunity of being in a relationship in the future will it work out?

OR should I just swallow the painful bullet and stay single for the rest of my life?

These are all valid and important questions.

Everything I knew previously has been uprooted!

I experience moments of uncertainty, fear and plenty of ‘unknowns’….

Most days I appear calm and confident on the outside while often trembling on the inside. The truth is that I had the wife and mum role all sorted out. Regardless of any relationship issues I was familiar with my life and knew how to function without too much thought. Similar to driving the same route every day, there is no need to think about it, you just do it!!!

It becomes AUTOMATIC!

Life was routine and manageable. On the difficult days I had worked out how to ignore the pain. I kept myself occupied and busy with study and housework. I managed to find reasons for being THANKFUL despite the thousands of questions that circulated around in my head like the spin cycle of a washing machine. For so many years my kids kept me sane and filled my life with purpose in the midst of feeling insecure and confused.

Life continued on as the sun went up and the sun went down. Days and months meshed into years’ worth of doing the best I could with what I had. In the meantime I was growing on the inside. I got stronger and wiser. I began to recognise my worth and value. The more I recognised my value the harder everything got in my relationship. I was no longer satisfied with how I felt treated. Eventually I found myself sticking up for myself!

I was able to say enough is enough!

In this new season of life while my heart is healing the sun comes up and the sun goes down. I’m growing in confidence in what I can achieve on my own. So far after eight months I have gotten my own place to live and a job. In the meantime I am growing stronger every day functioning in my new role as single mum. I don’t know what I am doing most of the time so it is a bit of a walk in the dark as I navigate new territory.

At work I often feel like I am in a boxing ring with myself and my doubts. The doubts start beating me into the corner while my determination fights back. I can’t afford for doubts to win.  I’m not used to being in the boxing ring by myself. I do have friends and family who have my back and support me outside the boxing ring yet it’s up to me to keep fighting through all of the challenges as I create a new life for myself and my two boys who live with me.

In the meantime as life continues it is all about going through the daily motions staying hopeful of better days to come. I often remind myself that it doesn’t matter if I don’t have it all together, it doesn’t all need to make sense. I can learn to enjoy the season I am in right now regardless of how it looks or feels.

In this new season I am a novice but soon enough I will have gained experience and confidence in my own decision making. I suppose as a young person I wasn’t very good at making the right decisions which led me to where I am today… Nothing is ever wasted or lost as I pick up the pieces and not only make a new life for myself and my two boys but use my story to encourage others who are in a similar situation.

In the meantime, as you remain hopeful for life to gain clarity and direction enjoy the moment!!! Every moment matters, enjoyment isn’t limited to the loud and exciting highlights we experience.

 

The Gift of Time …

Whether you wear a wrist watch or have several clocks around the house or better still carry your mobile phone on you at all times, you will have noticed that time doesn’t stop for anyone. Even if we were to turn off our clocks we don’t possess the power to turn off time….

Time began the minute the world existed.

From the moment you were born into this world you had in common with every other person “TIME”.

By now most of us are already shaking our heads at how fast 2017 has taken off! It is approaching the end of February.

Traveling through 2016 felt as though it were on slow speed like a bad internet connection. So much pain and heart break filled the last half of that year for me and my kids. On so many occasions it truly felt like life was being incredibly unkind and cruel.

When you hurt it is only normal to feel that way.

Is it true that TIME heals all wounds?

I obviously can’t speak for everyone however I can speak for myself… Last year felt as though time for me was an enemy I was fighting.

I felt sad, angry and hurt for much of the last part of 2016.

It has taken everything for me to keep my head up and continue moving forward,

as what other choice do you have in these situations.

When life turns upside down and you are left with nothing (financially speaking) you must start again. No amount of time analysing the WHY’s of how unfair it was being left with nothing was going to help me.

My journey began in the Centrelink office asking for financial assistance as a single mum. They were surprisingly helpful on that first day I walked in empty on all levels. As helpful as they have been the money is only just enough to get by. There is no shopping till your dropping!

I’ve had to be very patient in terms of getting everything that I need. My family and friends have all been there in so many wonderful ways providing furniture to fridges in order for me to start again. My heart is filled with gratitude every time I think about what has been given to me.

Six and a half months have since passed from the first moment I drove myself back into Canberra not comprehending what had just happened to my life. Despite the ups and downs it has been TIME which has been consistent throughout.

In this New Year TIME has been moving me forward in various positive ways. Determination and patience has now provided me with a job. The location and hours are so ideal that it is as though someone tailored the job perfectly for me. While it is only a 3 month contract there is the hope that it gets extended.

Life is looking up!!!

The TIME which has filled up the past few months has been a gift of progressive healing. All of the vulnerabilities and pain have been turning into confidence and happiness. Time itself has shown me the deep cracks that were in my life, the ones I wasn’t aware of.

I was broken in my marriage.

Anything broken is vulnerable and weak.

I was weak!

Time is giving me the opportunity of becoming whole again. As I see more clearly how impacted I  was in the situation I was stuck in for so long, it has helped me to recognise that while I am not perfect, no one deserves to be treated as rubbish.

Time has a way of showing the truth! When you are in the middle of messes it can be hard to get clarity. Having been away from the mess has shown me the difference of abnormal living to normal living. The best word to describe abnormal living would be the word “toxic”.

I’ve had TIME to begin figuring out who I am all over again.

The real me!

The real me was always pushed down and treated with very little value and respect. There may have been occasions in which the ‘real me’ made an appearance yet it was always short lived.

Let TIME be your friend.

If you’re a young person looking to get married take all the TIME you need to make sure you are choosing someone who is going to treat you with respect and value. Don’t be in such a rush that you ignore the most important parts which keep a relationship healthy and most importantly is healthy for YOU.

Whether a relationship was not all that bad or a relationship was toxic there is still a process to journey through once there is a break up.

This week I’ve experienced the raw emotions returning on a few occasions with deep cries that were hard to stop.

It took me by surprise!

One may think that the worst is over however the emotions and heart are in need of time to grieve and heal. While our routines are changed and we no longer live with that person our emotions and heart are still the same. There are no quick 5 minute microwave fixes in restoring those wounds.

As frustrating as time can be depending upon the situation you find yourself in, time itself can be an enemy or a friend.

We need to get through the bad stuff to get to the good stuff!

Break ups often appear to happen instantly yet it takes a lot of time to get to that point. In much the same way we can expect a lot of time in order to recover from the break up.

I’ve yet to discover whether there is ever a full and complete healing. Does one ever truly get over a broken marriage 100%?

Life can Hurt so I’m keeping it Real…..

Continue reading →

Afraid to Feel ….

When life has hit you with a massive blow leaving your feelings scattered on what feels like a hot and dry desert it is difficult to phantom ever to pick those scattered pieces back up again. Feelings that have been left out in a desert to dry up and be forgotten like a ghost town in an olden day cowboy movie leaves you walking around as an empty shell. All of the equipment to keep you functioning is still present however those ‘feelings’ you once held close have settled back in time where everything  went wrong.

To feel makes you human! We have been created to experience emotions from devastated to ecstatic. Usually experiencing more of the in between of both extremes. Whether it be a moment in life that left you devastated or an ongoing battle that leaves you exhausted, those feelings or emotions seem to be in what I can only describe as ‘protection mode’. To feel gives you the potential of being hurt. When you have been hurt enough you start to NOT want to feel.

It is almost like an automated version of yourself keeps doing everything necessary from day to day yet holding back from allowing to ‘feel’. You may struggle to let yourself feel happy, positive, excited and adventurous.

Regular disappointment has a way of scaring you into a corner, reminding you that if you allow yourself to be happy you may get disappointed all over again. Once you have experienced enough letdowns in life it is difficult to believe for anything to change? You become accustomed to life not working out for you. You begin to believe that life only works for other people.

Nearly six months has passed now from personally experiencing a devastating blow to every part of what makes me…. ME! As I sit here thinking about the past six months and every moment that has come and gone such as Christmas and New Year I recognise that it’s all a bit of a blur. While I know that I have in fact been going through all of the motions to get by, I’m also aware that my feelings have been on holiday in that dry desert back there in 2016.

Those pieces of myself that are still back in 2016 are waiting for me to go back at some point to pick them up.

How long that will take I have no idea?

I may experience tiny glimmers of happy feelings now and then yet I know that the most part of me is still back where the hurtful event took place.  A couple of months ago I told my counsellor that I find it hard to believe I could ever be happy in the future. She went on to say that when someone has experienced A LOT of disappointment in their lives or relationships it is only normal to feel as though it is impossible to ever experience HAPPY! She continued by telling me I should just dip my toe into different situations and allow myself to feel happy.

It is scary to consider the possibility of being happy. It is so much easier to sit back here where the feelings are protected from any further devastation.

Perhaps as more time passes those long lost feelings once held close, the ones that make you, YOU, have the courage to come back. Once those feelings return do we have the courage to hold on to them or do we send them back to where they were for so long?

It is good and healthy to guard our emotions, to not allow for them to be misused or misplaced in the same way. From my perspective having experienced such hurt and betrayal has left me wondering if it will ever be possible to trust again.

When significant people in our lives have left us hurt and broken it is only understandable to remain guarded for some time. The time it takes to bring those guards down who knows? There are no rules for how long it takes to heal. We are each unique in our personalities and experiences so what may take someone six months to heal could take another twelve months.

While I had thought most of my sadness had disappeared I’ve been surprised at how unexpectedly the tears can invade any given moment of my day. The important part to this is that we allow ourselves to experience those moments of sadness. Tears themselves are healing.

It’s OK to cry.

It’s OK to admit that you can’t do it on your own.

It’s OK to have a lapse along the way.

It’s OK to not feel OK.

Of course we are going to hurt when devastating situations happen in our lives. To not hurt would mean we have no feelings to begin with. Everyone has some experiences in life which impact our sense of self. We feel trapped in the fear that it may happen again. Somewhere along the way though comes a time in which we must accept that to live life to the full we need to take risks. These risks don’t need to be huge ones simply tiny ones to begin with.

With every tiny step (risk) you can rebuild those areas that have been lost such as; trusting in others again. We have to believe that not everyone out there is going to hurt us the way someone else has. It’s wise to take it slow in any sort of relationship whether it is a new friendship or potential partner.

There is still good people out there!

Good people will be supportive of your journey and appreciate the fears you may have in trusting again.

You may feel as though you have lost yourself, despite that reality continue to interact with others as they may help you to find YOU!

Life can hurt so I’m keeping it REAL…