The past two days I’ve had a change in perspective. The dust is starting to settle after the craziness of the intense drama which finally blew up in my face. My perspective has changed in that I’ve been able to see the important gains and positive results of this traumatizing experience. I’ve been able to look beyond the losses and see what has been given to me. And folks, it is so much. More than I ever dreamed possible. In no particular order, the gifts which I have received…
I’ve never tried to cover up the fact that my marriage wasn’t exactly perfect. Okay, it was not good, guys. One terrible thing after another has happened to me and my husband throughout the course of our relationship and frankly, we never had a chance to catch our breath and reconnect before the next storm would hit. So we were hanging on by a thread. Living a very mundane existence of “waiting it out ’til the kids were grown.” This wasn’t what either of us wanted but it was what we had. Over the past two weeks, my husband has more than made up for any shortcomings and any wrongdoings I might have been holding against him. He’s proven to me, once and for all, that he loves me, he’s not going anywhere, and he’s been willing to make changes he’s needed to make in order to truly be in a marriage with me again. I’ve been changing too. I’d say, “We still have a lot of work to do” but that doesn’t even feel right to say. We’ve been doing all of that work for the past 9 years. Now it’s time to just enjoy each other. I was ready for that old marriage to be over. This new one is way better than that old one ever was. We’ve divorced the old marriage. Not each other.
The chiz went down and when it did, I had to figure out to whom I could turn. And the people I chose weren’t the ones I usually chose in the past. Through this ordeal, I learned that some people in my life were ready to move up to “the friend you call when you need someone right away” ranks. I was reminded that a couple people who were on that list to begin with were still on that list. And I was shown that ones I thought were on it? Not so much. I also reached out to new people who seemed cool and that went very well. And, I reached out to one bestie who has always been here for me but, for some reason I never imagined I could be 100% myself around. Yet, it turns out, no matter how ugly. No matter how imperfect my life becomes? She’s still there. Loving me. I’m in awe. I reconnected with my cousin through this difficult time and learned that we are as compatible as friends as we ever were. Best of all? I discovered that my very best friend, for life, is the man to whom I’m married. He’s willing to fight for me. He’s willing to tell me the truth. He’s willing to forgive me and tell me that, just because I may have made a mistake does not mean I’m not lovable. I’ve never been so loved by him. Yet here I am, at my most unlovable.
My precious children.
Of course, I’ve always had my kids. They didn’t go anywhere. However, I must say that they have shown me more compassion and love during these dark weeks than children should ever have to show their mother. The kindness is immeasurable. Their love is tangible. The sweet hugs, the wiping away of my tears, taking care of me and the house, the looks of compassion, a tender hand in mine or on my shoulder. They may not have been blessed with a perfect mother but they have been blessed with a training program for learning how to be great listeners and empathetic friends.
Turns out, I’m pretty book smart but my street smarts aren’t so hot. I’m about as naive and mature as a teenager, at best. At times I think I might be less mature and more naive than I was as a teen, even. Like I might be developing backwards. I look young, I act young, and I think young. I also trust and love young. Easily, openly, and hard. I love hard. This is all well and good when it comes to my immediate family. Those people I can safely love hard and no harm will come to me. Unfortunately, I’m not always able to refrain from loving everyone around me. Once in a while, that love is dangerous. Abused. Taken advantage of. Exploited even. I keep thinking about how, if I can’t even protect myself, how am I to protect my children? Hopefully, and it seems as if this is the case, they already have more discernment even at their tender ages of 11, 9, and 6 than I do at 37. I’m not sure I’ve gained discernment but I sure have read a lot of articles about red flags and manipulation and, well… hopefully next time I’ll be able to just go to one of my family members and say, “HEY?! Is this dangerous?” and they will be able to guide me. Also, my gut? It’s pretty on target it would seem.
Focus on new (old) things.
Many of the things I love are bringing me down right now because the are connected to bad memories. So I’ve had to force myself to focus on either new stuff that interests me or bring out the old stuff that isn’t somehow connected to the icky stuff. This has helped me refocus on things like my love of the B-52s, my art, my writing, movies in my Netflix queue which I’ve been meaning to watch, working out, my love of healthy foods and coffee. I cannot remove all of the bad feelings and I cannot control all of the triggers but what I can do is continue to reintroduce non-triggers as regularly as possible.
Have you ever been able to see gifts and precious rewards given to you as a result of a difficult time? I’d love to hear about your experiences!