Posted in Healthy verses unhealthy

Reflecting back on 2016 <—

Thinking too much about the past isn’t always so helpful in terms of the future especially when you’re hoping to move beyond certain issues that have held you back for far too long. We can get so caught up like a fish stuck in a net and make life harder for ourselves. Imagine being a fish for a moment………. fish never know when or where a large net is going to silently pick them up against their will and take them from their environment. Ironically that is what happened to me this year!  I was suddenly put into a position in which I had no choice but to leave my marriage of 27 years and move states all within a matter of hours. Had I been compliant perhaps I could have stayed however being in a marriage only to be compliant was no longer appealing.

It’s natural at this time of the year to start reflecting back!

With good intention we set goals for the New Year however we cannot guarantee what the future holds as much as we cannot change what has taken place in the past year of which we are on the verge of leaving behind us.

Goodbye 2016!!!

It’s useful to reflect back and consider what we do or do not want in our future. We may decide to do things a little differently to how we would have done them previously.

Albert Einstein in his simple yet powerful quote says:

Insanity  =  doing the same thing

over and over again

and expecting different results!

In reflecting back on this past year with breath in my lungs and hope in my heart,  I consider what I do OR do not want for myself in the New Year. I can use this past year as a guidebook to keep me from losing myself and ending up in situations that I don’t belong in.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in this past year is that my self-worth and value does not need to be compromised. I don’t need to lower my standards and accept any sort of treatment. The fact is that not everyone on planet earth is going to treat you right. As I reflect back it concerns me that I allowed myself to be treated so badly for so long.

What was I thinking?

The trouble was when I was younger I had little value in myself. This meant that I didn’t need a net to come out of nowhere and take me away. I was the fish that swam into the net having no resistance thereby reflecting my low self-worth. As much as I dreamed of being treated with respect, love and honesty I continued gravitating towards harsh treatment.

The less you value yourself the more opportunity there is to be in relationships with people that do not value you either. It feels comfortable, you feel like a fish in your own man made environment.

The circumstances that took place of the night that saw me walk out of my marriage were not ideal in any marriage breakup story. It was rushed and painful not only for myself but for all of my children. There are certain parts of that night that my 9 year old will always remember along with my adult children. While I wish that the night of the breakup were a lot less intense my hope is that in time the kid’s hearts will heal along with mine and we will all be able to move forward into the future. Even with all the scars my hope is that everyone will find their place in this world and have clarity about what they do or do not want in their relationships.

No one deserves to be in a relationship that is damaging. In my previous blog I introduced the topic of ‘emotional abuse’. Emotional abuse is quite silent. It generally happens in such a way that you are not even aware of what is exactly going on. The relationship keeps you full of questions only to provide the same answer each time which tells you, you’re the fault! This results in continually having to attempt fixing the problem as you are led to believe you are the problem. When you are trapped in this type of relationship the other party leaves you with no rights to question their behaviour. No matter how many times I had tried to get to the bottom of the real issue my words, feelings and thoughts were always twisted around to be turned into knots that couldn’t be untangled.

Emotional abuse creates a controlling relationship. The person doing the abusing has power over your emotions. They create situations or conversations that set your emotions into a spiral. When your emotions are all over the place you are easily manipulated into whatever it is that the abuser has in mind for their own purposes. It is always about them! They are not in the relationship because they love you; they are in the relationship as they have power to abuse you.

To others the abuser can seem like the most Christian citizen that walked planet earth. The person being abused knows what they are really like. The abused watches on and lives a life filled with contradiction and heartache. Nothing about their life makes sense. Constantly questioning why life feels abnormal and insecure. The worst part about the whole scenario is that no matter how hard you may try to be the best wife that walked planet earth it will not change your relationship with an emotional abuser.

For Christian women in particular this can be extremely difficult. The amount of times over the years that I had tried to get counsel or advice from other women in church left me more confused. Unless someone has ever been in an emotional abusive marriage they will not understand the way it works.

You need to talk to someone that does understand and a professional counselor in this case is very important.

In a normal healthy marriage advice on how to be the good Christian wife can be helpful. However in an emotionally abusive marriage the advice can leave you stuck in that damaging marriage for years.

In the New Year my hope is to continue healing from all of the damage caused while being in the unhealthy relationship. This means to continue going to counseling and allowing myself all the time necessary for recovery.

Life can hurt so I’m keeping it real.

Happy New Year…. ♥

Posted in Inspiration

Holding hands with the future

Our lives are marked by significant events that eventually begin blending in with the ticking of time. Significant events tend to go from one extreme to another. There is the gift of new life and the death of a life lived. There is the excitement of the first kiss to the reality of becoming a responsible adult. A mum experiences the joy of nurturing her newborn baby only to grieve when it comes time for them to leave the nest while a dad painfully walks their daughter down the aisle handing them over to another man.  There is the Joy and celebration of the “big wedding day” to the unfortunate event of a broken wife and husband who must pick up pieces of themselves after their marriage falls apart. Naturally we all much prefer the “happily ever after” versions of significant events.

We often live for significant events!

The “buzzing excitement” of events glues us to our calendars as we do the big countdown. Those types of events couldn’t come around fast enough. They are distinguished with milestones in age, education or career promotion.  You will often see people counting down their much anticipated holiday of a lifetime on social media. All around the world a countdown begins before midnight on New Year’s Eve which signifies the beginning of a New Year finalising the previous one. Most people hold close to their heart dreams and hopes that the New Year will be much better than the last.

On the other end of the spectrum we may find ourselves counting down the days that have marked a very painful significant moment in time.

We may be thinking to ourselves “this time last Thursday” such and such happened, desperately trying to grasp at accepting the reality of how life has changed. It continues into the next week in which we vocalise the fact that now two weeks has passed. The pain keeps us focused on the ticking of the clock from one hour to the next day and the next week!

The realisation that the painful event is heading to the three month mark leaves us surprised. How could it possibly be that long ago already? You may feel a mixture of sweet and sour. On one hand you are grateful that the event is nearly three months behind you. Then on the other hand you may feel afraid. The fear sends you revisiting the past in an attempt to stay with the painful event so that you have something to hold onto as to completely let it go is unthinkable and frightening.

To completely let it go means to move on.

The more time that passes the more the days begin blending into each other. You stop counting the days, weeks and months. That painful day settles in your memory as something that happened in 2016.

Personally I have yet to experience the death of a loved one and I have heard it said that as time passes the person left behind is scared to be happy again. They don’t want to forget their special person but rather do anything to keep the memories alive. To allow oneself to live again means letting go of that special person and moving on with life.

I’ve experienced moments as a mum in which memories of my children being small had me wishing I could go back to those days. The trouble is that the ticking clock kept going. Before I knew it one birthday blended into the next and suddenly four out of my five children are grown up adults. They no longer need their mum in the same way as when they were younger. It takes time to move on from being a fulltime mum and that in itself is a grieving process.

Unlike remote controls that are capable of rewinding, pausing and fast forwarding, as humans we can’t turn back time. Time doesn’t stand still nor can we escape the current moment and just bypass into the future. As each ticking of the clock passes we live through each minute and hour.

Remote controls give you a menu button so that you can choose which movie or t.v. show to watch. Life doesn’t provide us with menus to choose. While we have some control over our decisions we have no control over other peoples. We have no control over life’s tragedies.

While we have no menu to work from there are definite certainties about life. Everyone on planet earth will at some point experience the joy of a happy significant moment in time which is forever etched in the depths of one’s memory and heart.

Unfortunately each of us will at some point experience painful and tragic events.

However,

each person is provided with a brand new day. When one day is finished the next day arrives. Each new day can be a fresh start! As one day blends into the next the painful moments disappear into the past. We may forever remember them yet the pain attached slowly disappears. The sadness fades. The grief fades.  Each new day arrives fresh and new, we have the opportunity of having a better day, month or year. Smiles return to our faces as strong as the sun shines in the morning.

Life hurts there’s no doubt about that!

A new day always arrives there’s no doubt about that!

We each get a fresh start and an opportunity to smile again.

 

In the thick of pain it is very hard to let go yet eventually as each new day comes and goes with the ticking of the clock you will be able to hold hands with the future and let go of the past.