01 Jul Surviving Divorce
I have gone over and over in my head so many times how to start this very intimate blog post on my life changing experience with divorce. A lot of people don’t know what I have been through. I knew I wanted to share this in hopes of helping someone else believe that everything would be ok. This post is not to bash anyone. It is allowing me to be transparent as a person. I have thought about it randomly during the day and at night. The words seem to come at the most inopportune times. After a few of these experiences, I realized it was God trying to help me with what I wanted to say. I must learn to obey when He is speaking to me. It was those times that I needed to pull out my journal or laptop and just let the words flow. I had started to wake up around four in the morning and all of these thoughts I wanted to share leaped from my head. I would only lay there and just let them flow. After a few times of this happening I decided to listen to God. I got up and began to write…..
It’s amazing the things that life takes us through to get to the core of who we really are. Three years ago life as I had known it changed for me and my family. I had been married for ten years. I had two beautiful daughters with my ex husband and I also had a beautiful stepdaughter. She had been a part of my life the longest out of all the girls of course. We lived our daily lives as a normal family would. We had disagreements and differences of opinions sometimes like all normal people do.
I was faithful and committed to my marriage. I never expected the unexpected to happen. A small dispute turned into a blown out of proportion argument. At the time, I was exhausted from work and just wanted to rest. There is some level of anxiety that you experience with my job and I had been dealing with that for a few months. I felt attacked and I didn’t want to engage in confrontation. I didn’t realize the manipulation had begun. It was at that moment I was being programmed to believe I was not enough and I could be doing more financially. I couldn’t understand where this was coming from since I always paid my bills on time and transferred money to him for other house expenses, but we will get into that later. Eventually, he left the house only to send a text saying he didn’t think he wanted to be married anymore. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and every part of me was not accepting this was real. We didn’t have anything leading up to this moment that would make me think ok I knew this was coming or yes we do need to part ways. Nothing. As a matter of fact, we were planning to renew our vows in Africa two months later.
After that night everything changed with who I believed I had been married to. I loved my husband very much at that time, but he had become a stranger to me. I did not recognize the behavior I was seeing. Mental and emotional abuse started to be inflicted on me in a way that would have sent anybody spiraling. I fought very hard for my family to the point I was mentally and physically exhausted. It felt like an outer body experience. Through all of this, I still had to work to make sure I was still providing for my children. This was the worst time of my life. I was told I would not be helped financially in taking care of the finances of a house we all lived in. If I decided to stay there I would be on my own. I had a month to make that decision. How could I handle figuring out if I am going to move or stay and deal with the grief of my marriage ending all at one time? I had been blocked from all shared credit cards even though I didn’t owe anything. One of which we used for groceries just to earn points. I was told to use my own money. Yes, I was still living at the home at the time with the girls including my stepdaughter that had returned to stay with us a few weeks prior to this happening. I still had to be in mommy mode even though my insides were dead. In the back of my mind I knew this had been planned long before that moment. It was happening way too fast. I was being pressured to make decisions that I could not make at the time. I was being set up to fail. The security of my children had become an issue while I was working. I was being left in the dark about who was taking care of them some nights. Things were being revealed slowly. How could someone cause this much chaos and pain on their family all at once was beyond my understanding. I didn’t deserve what was happening to me. I was a good person, mother and wife. I loved being all of those things. After all of this happenening, I remember hearing God’s voice telling me to GO! It was so clear when I heard it that it scared me. It was urgent that I remove myself from that space. I had been going back and forth whether I wanted to stay in Charlotte or move. Now I had my answer. I decided to move closer to my parents to have support through all of this and be able to work knowing my children were ok. We had agreed that kids would live with me (still in my heart I had some level of trust for him) until he changed his mind. Like I said before this was all planned to make me fail. I had told him prior to this that we needed to sit down with the children and talk about what was happening and how this will affect them. That never happened. As this never happened with me it was done on text message. I had to be the one to tell the girls we were moving and what everything would look like going foward.
I returned from my work trip to get started with packing right away. We ended up having to leave earlier than planned because the trauma of it all became too much. I returned to a day of hell. I had just worked a red eye flight that night and commuted home right after. I was exhausted. My plan was to sleep and start packing. The moment I got home the bullying began. I was threatened with the police being called on me for trying to move with the kids and for taking my daughters phone. It didn’t make sense. I was her mother and I could do that if I pleased. I had asked my oldest daughter to remain private with what was going on. I told her this is a family matter that we would get through it. She did not want to leave her school and friends. I totally understood her feelings because I didn’t want to leave what I had known for so long either. I called my parents to tell them what was going on and my mom told me to get in the car and leave because at this point she was worried. I told her I could not do anything because my car was being blocked from leaving. They were planning to help me move my things two days later, but since all of this was happening this way they decided to come that day. I didn’t feel safe in my own home at that point. The police had been called and I had to sit there and listen to him give a description of what I had on like I was a criminal. I was literally sitting at my desk telling him to leave the house because he was trying to intimidate and bully me to do what he wanted. He was screaming at me and calling me the ugliest names. The kids were ear shot away. I had never experienced this before in my marriage and when I looked in his eyes there was emptiness. There was no soul there. I didn’t recognize the eyes that were staring back at me. It was all control and mental abuse.
I had to train myself at that moment to be in defense mode. I had to change from being a protector and lover of a person I no longer knew in a matter of two weeks. This was the hardest in this process. I grabbed what clothes I could for me and the girls. We checked into a hotel. I still couldn’t believe what was happening. The kids were traumatized and my heart ached looking at their faces. It did not have to go down this way. My father worked out a time for me to come back with a uhaul and get the rest of what I could. That day that I walked into the house I had lived in for about 7 years it seemed so cold to me. It looked so faded. He had sold all the furniture at that point. I was left to clean out food that had been sitting in the fridge for days with no lights on in the house (those had been turned off before I could get the rest of our things). I looked around this house which once had so much love in it and I began to cry and have a panic attack. I could not breathe. It had all happened so fast. It had only been about 3 weeks since it all started and now I was displaced from normalcy. I was so confused. I felt knots in my forhead for weeks trying to figure what the hell just happened. To cover the obvious my family was being told I was dead weight and not who anyone thinks I am. This was to control the narrative of what would soon be revealed.
I finally got settled with my parents and I had fallen into a deep depression. I didn’t want to talk much. I didn’t smile often. Nothing ever seemed funny enough to make me laugh anymore. I was still present for my children, but that was all the energy I could muster. I had lost so much weight. A total of 13 pounds within a month. I was scared of what was next. I had believed so much of what he said to me I didn’t think I could make it on my own. I had never experienced narcissistic behavior either. If you don’t know how to recognize it dealing with someone that has it could be traumatizing. I’m so thankful I read up on this and was able to handle it by not engaging.
Work was so different for me then. As a flight attendant my job is about being social, smiling, and welcoming. I had become the opposite. I didn’t want to talk or engage in anything. I would go to my hotel room close the door and cry. My mom was worried. I told her I had every symptom of depression, but I did not want to end my life. That was never a factor with me. I had too much to live for. It was not worth it. I just had to get through it. My friend would pray for me on the phone and listen to me cry. I had a great support system of friends and family. I am so thankful God told me to leave because everything was revealed as soon as I did. I began to feel the knots from my forehead release. I knew that what happened wasn’t my fault, but something ugly that had been allowed to enter my marriage. I realized why so much pressure was being put on me to work more. It was because there was more than one household trying to be maintained. I felt like I was in a Lifetime movie. I prayed to God to remove feelings and pain and give me peace. After a few months of getting settled, I set up for me and the girls to go to therapy. I believe it is healthy to talk things out. I didn’t know what feelings they had that they may have been afraid to share with me. I was also worried about what kind of effect this would have on them. What I did realize is kids are resilient. We healed together. They really have been the most understanding and supportive children.
I gained some of my strength back to begin to plan my next steps which invovled the courts. Now most people would be able to work this out amongst each other, but after all I had been through in a matter of a few weeks I had no trust in that. Like I said before I had my guard up and was in defense mode. My number one priority was making sure my kids were mentally taken care of through it all. This process took so long for me for so many reasons and most people would have thrown in the towel. I wasn’t going to give up on anything. I knew I had been expected to remain weak and easily manipulated, but I was not that person anymore.
Peace is more powerful than I have ever imagined. I prayed for this every night. After all of this happened I would wake up in the middle of the night with things racing on my mind. It was constantly all I thought about and I just wanted it to stop. I asked God to send me peace. I begged for it. Then one day I got what I wanted. It wasn’t even long after I moved. Petty things didn’t bother me. I didn’t engage in arguments or attacks. I woke up one morning and my business instagram page had been hacked and deleted. I was getting fake profiles commenting on my personal page and leaving ugly comments. All of a sudden I was signed up for snake newsletters (I hate snakes and scared of them) I knew all of this was to break me and gain a reaction. The choice was to torture me during this time. I simply had to ignore it. What I found strange was you would think I would be the one doing all of this with everything that happened to me, but I knew where it was coming from. I wasn’t falling, failing, or becoming crazy enough. This was all done to make that happen. God had a different plan for my life. I was to be a light for others. A face of strength. A loving mother and eventually a wife to someone else more in line with my path. This experience has changed me for the better. When I look at old photos of myself I see a different person. I never thought I could look back and be thankful for all of this. I know what I want and don’t want in my life. I take care of myself and my children. I enjoy flying much more now and the anxiety left after I moved. Sometimes God is trying to tell you something isn’t right and gives you a push out of a situation to protect you. I have found when you go through things like this it feels like the death of someone. The grief has similarities. The healing can’t be rushed. It takes time for the wound to heal. When you try to suppress the pain and not feel it takes so much longer to do so. Once you get through it you feel so much better and it doesn’t even cross your mind anymore.
I have been very happy for a long time. It came so much quicker than I thought it would. I didn’t think I could feel love anymore. That isn’t true. I’m so happy my children see me as a strong mother. I hope they will have the same strength and not to let anything or anyone try to break them. I’m not perfect, but I will always try to protect them. I hope that one day I will have a better relationship with their father. Not facing the truth does not lead to healing. That is something that has to be done within yourself. Then relationships can start to mend. I have been messaged on a previous post I made a while back on this, but I didn’t go into much detail. There are still things I haven’t been able to share because it was just so much. I hope this will help someone know that you can get through it. Yes it is hard, but I feel so good right now. I know God has something awesome for me.