This subject has been kind of danced around for several months now, both here and IRL, but I think it’s high time I just get it out there. I’m weary of being careful and censoring myself. I’ve discovered a few things about myself during all of what has gone down, and one of those things is that it’s okay to be me, honest and unadulterated. To say, think, feel, and do what I want. Being myself – is 100% okay.
At the end of April this year, I left my husband. We were together for 20 years, married for 17, and it was a very difficult and terrifying thing to do, but I did it. I’ll say this right up front. Ending this relationship was 100% my idea. I had been unhappy for a very, very long time. The issues were the same issues that were issues the entire time. I honestly and very seriously could not see anything changing and I decided that I needed to end things. I truly believe it is the best for me and for him and for the kids. I’m not going to get into gory details or any nasty anything. I have zero desire to do anything like that. I wasn’t angry, I was sad and so very tired. I didn’t have animosity, I had apathy. It was time. The relationship had devolved to, well, to nothing really. Not anything real or meaningful anyway. And when the kids started seeing things, I knew it was time to make the change. I considered “sticking it out for the kids” but ultimately decided that we were not setting an example of a good relationship for them. And we weren’t being very good parents in that environment. At least not as good as we could have been. It’s better for them to see us happy apart than miserable together. A happy person is a better person, and a happy parent is a better parent.
Now, I know that with this being my idea, that other people don’t understand or see or accept it. And I get that. I really do. But at the end of the day I needed to do what was best for me and for my kids. My ex isn’t a bad person, he’s really a great person, and he’s a great dad. But we weren’t working anymore.
Because of this split, I have done a lot of trying to figure out who I am, me on my own, just me. Who am I. I felt like at the end I wasn’t living a life of my own really. I had my things that I did and whatever, but I was living as “the wife” or “the mom” and really felt like I didn’t have my own anything. I was sad most of the time, depressed a lot, and soul crushingly lonely. The feeling of being alone was the worst I think. And it is very, very, very likely that a lot of that was self-created. I’ll own that. I can admit that I have always had issues with not feeling worthy and always feeling guilty and it is quite likely that I created some of my own sadness. But my surroundings were certainly not helping.
As soon as I made the decision and began taking over my own life again, once I realized that I could live for myself, take care of my kids, but also take care of me, I started to change. The switch in how I started to thing about things, and think about myself, was, in comparison to how long I had felt like my wants and needs were insignificant, was seemingly instantaneous. I found this quote, when reading about healing after a split like this:
“When you start recovering … you will change. You will become a different person. Recovery makes you self-empowered. It brings you into yourself. It allows you to find your voice. You start making your own decisions, sharing your own opinions, setting up boundaries. You become more assertive and confident.”
Believe it or not … all of what I just typed, about the change being seemingly instant, and how I’m feeling better about myself … I just came to the realization that this has happened … today. It’s been nearly six months since I moved out, and while I’ve been changing and generally feeling better about myself and my life, today was the first time I realized that it’s actually happening. I don’t know if I got caught up in the day to day of trying to make this new life work or what. But I look back at the last year of my life and I really feel like a totally different person. I’ve lost weight. I’m happy. I’m enjoying my life with my kids even more. I’m relaxed and at ease and I don’t feel guilty all the time. As I sit here and think back … I’m kind of amazed.
So to anyone reading this that has been a part of the collective “we” over these last 20 years, who maybe doesn’t understand why I did this, or agree with my doing this, or whatever. All I say is this: I’m sorry if I disappointed you. I’m sorry if I didn’t do what you thought I should have to make it work. But the feeling I have about myself, and my life, right this second, makes all of that meaningless to me. Not that I don’t value your opinion or what you think of me, because I do, to an extent. But when it comes right down to it, this is my life. Mine. The most important opinions to me are mine and those of my two kids. You are entitled to your opinion and maybe someday you will understand me. Maybe not. Maybe someday you can understand that a drastic change is needed to find the happiness you have been looking for. Happiness that isn’t found in what others think, or how others feel, or the stuff you have, or your reputation. It’s the happiness that is inside of you, that allows you to look in the mirror and say that you really, truly like the person looking back at you.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I actually like the person looking back at me. It’s an amazing feeling. And I can not wait to see what she does next.