The sad part is, that I will probably end up loving you without you for much longer than I loved you when I knew you. Some people might find that strange. But the truth of it is that the amount of love you feel for someone and the impact they have on you as a person is in no way relative to the amount of time you have known them. ―
“Healing is less about ‘saving’ or ‘fixing’ and more about ‘allowing’ ourselves to ease into the remembering that there’s a wholeness that has been there all along.” ~ Emmanuel Dagher
Sometimes healing can look a lot like breaking.
I have always despised the terms broken home or broken marriage because if something is broken there is the expectation that it is able to be fixed—yet sometimes the sad reality is that it’s just not meant to be.
The decision to leave my marriage was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, and it would be futile and dishonest to pretend otherwise. I never set out in this life to be divorced, I never wanted this to be my life, or to have these stereotypes surround me that I feel I constantly have to break—yet that doesn’t mean that this isn’t the life I am meant to live.
I’m a forever person—I always have been and I always will be.
So the decision to leave my marriage not only became about that but about who I was because of those choices. And perhaps most of all, who was I, now that a relationship I had used to define myself, had to come to an end.
It was never about breaking my marriage, but about healing me.
It wasn’t about an ending—but about a beginning.
There might have been one moment, but the reality is there were several, where I suddenly realized that this just wasn’t where I was meant to be. But knowing that and actually deciding to leave are two very different things. Once we have had those moments though, we become faced with a choice; do we choose ourselves, or do we choose someone else? In the end, we will either make a choice for ourselves, or we will make it for our children, family, or even our spouse.
But for me, the longer time went on, the more difficult it became to just simply not choose myself.
Perhaps there are those instances or times when we don’t need to completely undo our entire lives in order to get back to who we really are, but for me, there was no other way.
It wasn’t just my marriage that was over, it was me. I was done with not being happy, with not being the woman I truly am, and with not living a life that felt connected to my soul.
In truth, it was me that broke long before my marriage did—and so I had no other choice but to break it so that I could find myself again—and perhaps really for the first time.
There’s no easy manual for getting divorced and building a life following it. There is no one right way, so that means there isn’t any real wrong way of doing this for any of us. We just have to be willing to try, to explore and to fail all the while hopefully getting closer to ourselves. We have to open ourselves up to life again and this means all of it—the joy, the confusion, the love, and even the pain.
In order to heal our deepest wounds, we actually need to expand rather than try to shut down and close ourselves off.
So, I made the choice to take in everything and make as many mistakes as I could along the way. I made the choice to end my marriage and not look back at this time. I was done wondering if it was the right decision, or questioning if I really didn’t love my husband anymore.
I was done. Period. I never looked back.
Instead of spending time thinking about all of the hurt and mistakes, I focused my energy on what kind of life I was building now, and what type of woman I was becoming in this process.
More importantly—I often stopped to wonder—do I like this new woman? Was I becoming someone that I wanted to spend my time with, someone that I valued and respected? Was I becoming myself or just another version of someone else?
There were check-points to see if I felt authentic in this new life and if I felt connected to it.
Those who haven’t had to start their lives over don’t always understand what it means to have to redefine ourselves but for me for the first time in my adult life I wasn’t someone’s wife, wasn’t part of a family unit, and therefore I had nothing to define or heal me but myself and my own choices.
When we venture out on a new path in this life, we don’t really know what lies ahead and sometimes our only choice is to continue on even when we can’t see or don’t know all the answers. It becomes the choice to follow our hearts; our inner compass on what feels right—even if it doesn’t make sense to everyone else.
Ultimately, my healing began when I made the choice to put myself first—not selfishly, or carelessly, but with a knowing that if I wasn’t truly happy then no one else in my life would be either—including my children. I had to first figure out what I was all about before I could even know what would make me happy, and the only way that was done was by trying it all on for size.
I experimented, I played, I forgot to follow the rules, and in between the moments of breaking down, I realized that I was truly just breaking up with life as I had known it. I was leaving behind the pain because I wanted to become the healing.
I made the choice to find out what this life could be when no one was holding me back—not even myself.
There have been many nights where I have cried myself to sleep, and I still don’t profess to have it all figured out but the one thing that I do know is that I am headed in the right direction because for once, I am undoubtedly following my heart.
No matter where it leads me.
“You have the right to change your story.” ~ The Goddess Rebellion
~ Author: Kate Rose
If you lose someone you can’t live without your heart will be badly broken. You will never completely get over the loss but they will live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” ―
Twilight is here again the sun is sinking down
Another day had passed soon it will be dark
Tomorrow in the East the sun will rise again
But without you by my side, nothing really matters.
The garden is empty devoid of all flowers
I know they will be there again come next Spring
But whatever season as long as you’re not here
Believe me, in my heart it is always Winter.
Birds always come back to their nests before dark
Will you be home again tomorrow? Next day perhaps?
I’ll be waiting for you every day all my life
I hope you will return before I close my eyes.
__ Your Glam-Ma
I still think of you every day.
But I’m trying not to let it hurt me with the same intensity that it used to.
And as painful as it is, it still kind of warms me to know I will always carry a part of you inside of me.
Everybody wants their own little place in the world. And maybe mine is here… Loving you from a distance…
This is me since I decided to stay away. Your absence created a giant hole inside of me that can never be replaced. I tried to patch the gap but nothing fits. Only you can fill this special place. I think of you every single second I breathe and it hurts! It hurts not seeing you grow up. It hurts not being part of your life but I’m helpless. The price I have to pay to see you is something I can’t afford. What can I teach you if being with you means I have to give up my self-respect and dignity? How can I be any use to you if holding you in my arms means I have to forget the person that I am and abandon everything I believe in? No, I can’t do that. Not even for you. I cannot compromise my self-respect for love. I have to keep my integrity right down to the end or otherwise what is the use of living? My pride is all I’ve got. I will not surrender my self-worth. Never. So, I will love you from a distance and hope you will have the freedom to grow up to be your true self, not the one society and your upbringing dictates. You will never know how much I long for you but it doesn’t matter because I know. It’s for me enough. Be happy always. Be safe.
You will always be a part of me.
I hope someday you will have a chance to read this and know that I care. In my mind, we share a lot of happy moments. In my dream I watch you grow up to be a beautiful person I know you will one day become. On your first Christmas, I imagined I gave you a little box, a present, and watched how you’ve tried to open it and kissed the smile on your innocent face when you succeeded. I would love to take you everywhere with me and teach you the importance of little things and share with you my love for nature and freedom. I realized it is far-fetched but I imagine we are kindred-spirit. Perhaps you will not even know me but I love you just the same. Fly free and soar high my Oona. You will always be loved.
~ from your eccentric but loving Glam-Ma
by Grace Furman
We all have family members we butt heads with over our taste in music, life choices, or politics. Typically we choose to put in the required effort to work through the problem or, depending on the issue, just smile politely and let it go.
A toxic relationship, however, is a relationship in which one person is emotionally and possibly physically damaging the other on a consistent basis.
Just because someone is a part of your family does not make this behavior acceptable.
Your top priority must be your own health and emotional well-being. If someone else is jeopardizing those, then you need to make changes to remedy the situation.
So how can you determine whether someone is toxic?
Here are some examples of things that toxic family members might do:
- Constantly make demeaning comments
- Be unsupportive of you if it doesn’t benefit them
- Have an unpredictable and bad temper
- Take advantage of your time, skills, or money
- Emotionally manipulate you in order to control your behavior
- Refuse to take responsibly for their actions
- Make decisions for you
- Display a lack of empathy toward others
- Blame you and others for their own problems
- Use violence or aggression to get what they want
Clearly, these behaviors create an unhealthy environment and can have many negative effects on your health and well-being.
If your relationship with a family member is toxic, the only thing you can control is your response. You must decide what to do in order to take care of yourself.
Here are 10 ways to cope with toxic family members:
1. Set Boundaries.
Determine what are acceptable and unacceptable ways for you to be treated.
Everyone is worthy of respectful treatment, yourself included. You deserve to be happy, healthy, loved, and safe.
Decide what your specific needs are and how others can or cannot treat you in order to meet those needs. You can then ensure that they will be met by implementing number two below.
2. Stand Up For Yourself.
When toxic family members cross the lines of the boundaries you set, you must stand up for yourself.
This can be scary and challenging, but it is important to be upfront and honest with them about your needs and expectations.
You can take charge of your life and the way you are treated by letting them know when they have done something unacceptable.
3. Stop Making Excuses.
Do not make excuses for someone else’s unacceptable behavior.
While they may try to blame you or others, the truth is that they alone are responsible for their choices and resulting actions.
When you make excuses for someone’s behavior, you are supporting it and allowing it to continue. If you have set reasonable expectations and been upfront with the family member, then it is their responsibility to act accordingly.
4. Experience Your Emotions.
Dealing with a toxic family member will bring on uncomfortable feelings and difficult emotions.
It is normal to feel anger, sadness, fear, confusion, and more. Instead of trying to push these emotions away, allow yourself the time and space to sit with them and experience them.
This way your body and mind can work through the feelings instead of having them build up inside. It can also prevent unhealthy coping mechanisms from forming.
5. Don’t Take It Personally.
This can be difficult, but try not to take a toxic family member’s words or actions personally. They clearly have their own wellness issues, and that is where this hurtful behavior is stemming from. It is a reflection on them, not on you. Believe in yourself and your worth regardless of anyone else’s opinions or comments.
7. Seek Help.
Dealing with a toxic family member is mentally difficult and emotionally draining, so it will be important for you to have sufficient outside support.
Share your struggles with close, trusted friends or family. Read books about coping with toxic family members to hear other people’s stories and gain further insights and strategies.
8. Practice Self-Care.
Practicing self-care is vital to mental health, and it becomes particularly important while going through an emotionally challenging situation.
Take time away from everything else to spend meditating, journaling, soaking in a hot bath, or whatever you enjoy most. It is helpful to implement daily affirmations.
Speak to yourself with encouragement and self-kindness. Focus on the positive by listing things you are thankful for each day.
Remember that your worth is not lessened just because someone else cannot see it.
9. Be Compassionate.
While challenging, it can be helpful to have compassion toward the toxic family member.
This does not mean you excuse their behavior though. It is simply a recognition that they are not inherently a bad person. Every human being is imperfect.
Their own difficult life circumstances or lack of skills have gotten them to this dark place. We all have our own pain that we are trying to deal with, and we all make mistakes sometimes. This is a part of our common humanity.
10. Cut Them Out.
If the above strategies have not helped to remedy the situation, you will have to decide whether or not you want this toxic family member in your life at all.
Ask yourself if you are getting more pain than joy out of the relationship. If the answer is yes, you may want to cut this person out of your life until they have shown the ability to consistently treat you with respect.
It could be for a couple of weeks or it may be much longer. If nothing changes, it could be permanent.
Relationships are built on respect, trust, and honesty. Everyone deserves these things. Just because a person is related to you, does not mean you owe them anything or that they can treat you however they like. This is especially true when the relationship comes at the expense of your own health and well-being.
Use the above strategies to build up your self-esteem and make the changes you need to ensure you can be happy and healthy. People can change which means that the two of you may be able to repair this relationship.
It will be hard and take a lot of time, but it can be done. However, notice that it is “the two of you.” Both parties must be willing to work together.
Unfortunately, in some cases, it is best to let the relationship go. After you’ve put in as much effort as you can, you will have to decide what’s best for you and your well-being.
Grace Furman is a writer and blogger at Heartful Habits. Heartful Habits is a place of inspiration for what Grace calls living mindfully and heartfully. She loves learning and sharing about wellness tips, natural remedies, beauty DIYs, green cleaners, healthy recipes, social issues, and more. Grace will be regularly contributing to Live Bold and Bloom.
The amount of love you feel for someone and the impact they have on you as a person is in no way relative to the amount of time you have known them.
It’s painful, loving someone from afar.
Watching them – from the outside.
The once familiar elements of their life reduced to nothing more than occasional mentions in conversations and faces changing in photographs…..
They exist to you now as nothing more than living proof that something can still hurt you … with no contact at all.
― quotes from
“I thought of all the others who had tried to tie her to the ground and failed. So I resisted showing her the songs and poems I had written, knowing that too much truth can ruin a thing. And if that meant she wasn’t entirely mine, what of it? I would be the one she could always return to without fear of recrimination or question. So I did not try to win her and contented myself with playing a beautiful game. But there was always a part of me that hoped for more, and so there was a part of me that was always a fool.”
The above quote reminds of Glen and George whom I’ve met on two separate occasions with years in between. The first when I was a teenager (with decades of experience being forced to grow up fast) and the latter during my wild episodes. George said he didn’t want to start something with me because I was just passing and he had no intention of nursing a broken heart when I’m gone. The night before I left while we were walking around the neighborhood, he confessed that he regretted his decision and called himself a fool for not taking advantage of the time he could spend with me creating memories he could hold onto when everything is over. Glen, I wrote his story here. Some of it anyway.
Guys are funny. With their notions and expectations. Why not just enjoy the ride and make most of the experience while it lasts.
The poem at the bottom reminds me of the time I was convinced I had a crush on a senior in high school. I was a freshman, we were both in pilot classes. The best of the best.
I was there by brain alone. No prestige no wealth not even looks. He had all of those and more. Naturally, he didn’t want to be associated with me. Avoided me like the plague. I remember enrolling in the woodworking class because I thought he would be there but no, he was in embroidery class. Joined the gardening class hoping to catch him there but what do you know__ he was in the baking class!
He grew up to be the most successful individual I know past and present. Traveling around the world for his job and belongs to crème de la crème in his field. He is never married. To his job by the looks of it. He never stops studying. A Ph.D. here, there and everywhere and still going. I wonder what his motivations are. Anyway whatever it is, he made it.
A couple of years ago, his cousin – who used to be my classmate – and I came across each other online and since she was just across the border from where I live we decided to meet for old time’s sakes. I heard he will be there as well. But at the last moment, he dropped out. I concluded that even after all these years he still doesn’t want to be in the same room with me. I retreated inside my walls and never heard of them since then.
you said you like old stuff
so I bought a vinyl player
and a typewriter.
I thought it’ll make you like me too,
how could I be so futile?you said you’re into painting
so I enrolled in an art class
and practiced drawing.
I heard you wrote him handwritten poems,
oh god, this feels like drowning.you said you’re into bad boys
so I tattooed a dragon across my chest.
I saw you date your nerdy classmate.
guess I’m all too late
see? no matter how many times
I change myself for you,
you still can’t see me.
no matter how fast I chase you
I’m still miles away behind
you said you’re still a virgin
so I stopped watching pornography.
I heard he banged you hard.
God, I deserve a drink.
~from Postcard Promise via Facebook