Well, here we are again, but it’s Christmas 2019 and we are heading into 2020! Can you believe it? I certainly can’t.
I met my ex November 2000 and celebrated New Year’s 2001 with him. Oh I was smitten, but you know? I felt something wasn’t right even back then. Of course I chastised myself for being too picky, over analyzing, getting bored with the “nice guy”. And of course he had answers for any questions I asked.
I was struggling with getting back on my feet after a divorce and had just started a new job, had sold my big home at a loss and my ex husband was claiming bankruptcy and they were coming after me, my teenaged son had quit school and was defying all the rules and his father said, “You wanted him, you got him, deal with it”. I was ready for a little pampering, ready to give up the reins and let someone else steer this wagon train, being strong and independent hadn’t worked too well.
He was younger, handsome, made me laugh, he had a good education, no kids, never been married, so none of that baggage that comes with kids and an ex wife. AND he was nuts about me, he had never met a woman like me, he thought I was perfect just the way I was and, I believed him. I knew I was a good woman, I knew I was attractive, sexy and had always had a lot of male attention, the problem had been I hated love sick puppies and got bored with them. I didn’t need a man, I could take care of myself but always ended up taking care of the man too. This time I wasn’t going to blow it, this time I was going to let a man take care of me.
It’s been 19 years since I met him, it took 10 years for him to break and destroy me and it’s taken almost as long to fix myself.
Christmas 2010 he had already found the “love of his life” and she was nothing like me and I was a pile of misery drowning in my tears, trying to just forget to breath so I’d die. I felt totally broken, shattered and I was all alone, my mom had disowned me, my son had moved away, no friends, no job, no money, I was disillusioned, and had no idea how to be me any more.
How did I get from there to here? How did I find the strength, the courage to carry on and rebuild, reinvent myself, mend my relationships, love again, just live again?
I made a conscious decision I was not going to let him win. I would not grovel any more, I would fake it until I made it. It wasn’t easy because he stalked me for 5 years and sabotaged me at every angle. There were many times I wanted to give up but that would have given him exactly what he wanted. What an ego boost to have a woman kill herself because he didn’t want her any more. Oh I could see it, how he would cry because he would feel so guilty, he knew I was always unstable, he tries so hard to help me. Fucker. Nope, I would not give him what he wanted.
He said no one would want me, well, I would show him, I would learn to be a person who didn’t rely on the love and approval of others to feel I was good enough.
I had been a people pleaser my whole life and if I had rebuild myself I was going to rebuild myself into someone I liked, someone who only lived true to herself and to hell with anyone who told me who they thought I should be.
I didn’t have the energy to live for other people, I was going to do it for me and if people didn’t like me, so be it, you can’t please everyone, I had learned that lesson.
So that is how it started. I learned to trust my gut and not second guess it. I learned to say no when I really didn’t want to do something. I learned to ask for help. I learned to be honest about my feelings, but I also learned to analyze what I was feeling before I puked my feelings all over some innocent person. Many times anger comes from insecurity, insecurity can come from misunderstandings, or shame, I learned to peel back the layers of my anger until I got to the real issue and could talk to the person calmly and rationally. It almost always worked out and I almost always felt better because if I was open and honest people almost always responded with honesty and openly. Not every time, but that’s ok, because when you are living true to your core felt you don’t need everyone to agree with you. You can speak your truth without having to prove anything. You are entitled to your feelings, and so is everyone else. And people are entitled to not want to be honest.
Just the other day I was talking to my son about something I was concerned about that he was doing. I spoke honestly, praised him, but then told him I thought he had made a poor choice. I felt it was important for me as his mother to not condone something with my silence and I have a right as his mother to voice my concern. I also told him he did not have to reply to me, answer to me and I basically knew he would do as he pleased no matter what I said anyway.
He replied with, “I appreciate your concern”.
I replied with, “Enough said.”
And we talked about other things.
I am at peace with it. I am at peace with life.
I am not where I envisioned I would be at this age, not by a long shot. But who knows where I would have ended up had I not met my N-ex. There is no point in “if only”‘s, or focusing on what you lost. You have today, right now, and that is all that is guaranteed.
Sure I can go down the self pity rabbit hole sometimes, but it never makes me feel better.
I always wanted to paint but told myself I couldn’t. Now I call myself an artist. I always wanted to be a writer, but my dad laughed at my writings. Now I call myself a published writer.
I always wanted to be an activist, help people who couldn’t speak up for themselves but I told myself “who would listen?” “You don’t have anything intelligent to say”, “what if someone disagrees?” Now I research everything and say nothing I don’t know to be true either by personal experience or from research. And I am proud to say I am an activist and I am trying to make the world a better place.
I used to be afraid people wouldn’t like me, Now, I like myself.
You can too.
Take this holiday season as the first step to being all you can be. Look at this time of brokenness as an opportunity to rebuild yourself better and more authentic than you have ever been. Vow to live true to you and go into 2020 with 20/20 vision of who you are.
Hindsight is always 20/20 but that means you are always living in the past and looking back.
Look to the future with 20/20 vision by looking at and listening to your core self.
Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year to everyone.!!