Hey – don’t I know you? You’re the woman down the street from me…the one that I look up at briefly at and give a quick wave to as I keep walking my dog. Or you’re the colleague at work that I chat with sometimes in the breakroom – the woman who is both on-trend who has gorgeous family pictures that decorate Facebook and your laptop screen. You are probably a kind, empathetic woman who cries sometimes (or maybe a lot) while in the car because that’s when you think about all the things. You put up a nice front and are easy to talk to, you are always willing to help others, even when inside you are falling apart and feel helpless. You are strong and don’t yet know it, because you feel so trapped.
I know you. I know that you don’t talk to anyone about your problems unless it’s someone you can embarrass yourself in front of, and even with them, at your lowest – this problem might be too hard to share, you think. I’ve been where you are. Hiding the pain of a broken relationship, and living a lie of keeping up appearances because you feel guilty about all of it. Guilty because you think you will ruin your children, or you will shame your family. Maybe you are still trying to convince yourself that you can suck it up ‘for the sake of the kids’ and you’ll deal with divorce after the kids are out of the house.
I’m here to let you know that we are all here, all around you… and I know it’s been hard, and I know you are tired and I know that you know there is something more and better in your future. It really is – I promise, if you just keep moving forward and keep picturing that end result. If you know there is something better for you, there is. The end.
I went through a separation. I came through a divorce. It was one of the hardest times of my life, especially with two little girls in tow. It didn’t help that my ex was a very controlling, mentally abusive individual that was near impossible to co-parent with, much less divorce. I got through it, and I look back with pride at how I grew, what I learned, and how I found myself. I didn’t have a lot of family support, but I found a couple of women that I now call best friends and who helped me more than they will ever know. I still need to get through many years of co-parenting with my ex, and it is still not easy (that is quite possibly the understatement of the century), but I continue to learn and collect all the pieces of me that I had let fall and that had once made up my collective courage and self-esteem. I am rebuilt; much stronger, much more loving and capable – and today…a much better mom, and now wife to an amazing partner. If you haven’t gotten to your happy place yet, you will. Keep persisting.