Friday, May 29, 2015

Our Story (13): The Challenge Of Starting Over

"Starting over can be challenging, but also it can be a great opportunity to do things differently."
- Catherine Pulsifer -

(continuing from last time... )

The single mom years. My gosh how I enjoyed them. Sure they were difficult and exhausting and even lonely at times, but they were also a period of tremendous growth. The terrific counseling sessions with ‘D’ gave me clarity and healing. The books she recommended and some of the ones I discovered on my own gave me understanding. The spiritual journey I embarked upon gave me self-discovery and inner peace. The amazing people I met along the way, some of them single moms with their own inspirational and heartbreaking stories, gave me hope. And my own fierce determination to be happy gave me the ability to move forward.

It would take time, a long time, to shed all the intricate layers of emotional trauma and disassociate from my past. But that journey had to start somewhere. For me, it began during those single mom years. And even though the wounds were still raw and the sordid memories were still vivid, I pushed ahead. One day at a time. I had regained control of my life and discovered an inner strength and resilience that had been buried deep inside me. I had a vision of the type of person I would like to become and the type of future I would like to have.
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the
happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.”

- Andy Rooney -

Was any of it easy? Absolutely not. There is nothing easy about coming out of the fog and learning to fly again with broken wings. There is nothing easy about accepting what has happened and trying to reassemble the pieces of your broken life. There is nothing easy about rebuilding your self-esteem that has been shattered. There is nothing easy about getting your abuser’s voice out of your head and reminding yourself that you were the victim. That you deserve better. That you are worthy of respect and kindness and love. There is nothing easy about getting back up on those days when your legs give out beneath you. Because you’re exhausted and disillusioned. There is nothing easy about trying to remain optimistic about the future when you are feeling numb and dispirited in the present. And most of all, there is nothing easy about learning to trust again. Because everyone after that becomes suspect.

At the start of this journey of healing and growth and new beginnings, I was sure that I would never – could never – have faith in anyone again. I put on protective armour after I was free from my ex and built a fortress around my heart to protect it. I swore up and down that I would never EVER marry again or be in a committed relationship. And for a long while I had absolutely no interest in meeting someone new. But the eternal optimist in me could not be ignored and the hopeless romantic that I am, the one who believes in soul mates, could not be denied, and I began to be curious...even if only slightly...about what was out there. Who was out there. And eventually - with apprehension and caution - I reached out to the world. And began to date.

To be continued... (click here)

31 comments:

  1. Great and interesting thoughts...nice of you to share!

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  2. You are a strong person Martha, I love the part about self-discovery and inner peace.

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    1. It's a good place to be. I'm grateful that I was able to get there.

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  3. I would imagine after healing, you would want the opportunity to see what else was out there in the dating world, but of course now you would be much wiser.

    betty

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    1. Definitely wiser! I had to choose better this time.

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  4. So glad you found healing and strength! An optimistic spirit can get you through a lot.

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    1. You got it, Bethany. Being optimistic makes a huge difference!

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  5. From one of my favorite song:

    When the night has been too lonely
    And the road has been too long,
    And you think that love is only
    For the lucky and the strong,
    Just remember in the winter
    Far beneath the bitter snows
    Lies the seed that with the sun's love
    In the spring becomes the rose.

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    1. Of course...Bette Midler's 'The Rose'. I LOVE this song. There is a wonderful message in it. We have to take chances in life to fully live!

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  6. And? And?? We are finally getting to the good and happy part!

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  7. It was a bit wise to wait to re-enter the dating world. I've seen so many people go through bad relationships over and over and over again.

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    1. It was wise. Taking a little time to heal and think things through is important.

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  8. I think at times we discover ourselves and sometimes we like who we find and that gives us renewed confidence. I'll bet things echoed in your head for a long time. I really like how you are able to describe what you went through.

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    1. They certainly did echo in my head for a long time. But it's all in the past now. Getting to know the real me after my ex was out of my life brought on renewed confidence, which was wonderful.

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  9. I love that this journey ends with you marrying the most amazing man in the world.

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  10. You may be an introvert but having that special someone, well ~~~ you know!!

    Ron

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    1. I do! I certainly do! It's wonderful to have that special someone.

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  11. Martha, your strength and courage and patience are admirable. You knew what had to be done, and you did it.
    Thanks so much for sharing this and I am certain that it has helped someone along the way to have read 'your story'.

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    1. If it has helped anyone, Jim, that would be wonderful. I'm happy to be out of there and in a much happier place.

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  12. You very wisely did what so many don't -- took time after a troubled relationship to learn, examine, think, reassess and grow. If more people did that, they would not make the same relationship mistakes over and over and over again. But people are too often scared to be alone and just jump into a relationship again with anybody. I'm sure your introverted and introspective nature are what made all the difference for you!

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    1. You hit the nail on the head, Debra! Never has my introverted side been handier. That and the fact that I'm not afraid to be alone. I'm not an emotionally needy individual, so it was easy for me to be single for as long as necessary. It gave me a chance to properly heal and be very selective of future relationships!

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  13. oh yeah!!! I feel the happy ending coming on :)

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  14. the second paragraph is so sincere and powerful. i relate to it closely after losing my brother. after a few years of many rediscoveries and rearrangements of life, perspective being one of the main ones i still consider my self a work in progress. nothing is easy but getting to a new level of just being here for a reason and finding calm/peace, takes a lot of work, and love - main love to one self is very important.

    thanks for sharing this story martha <3

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    1. Thank you for reading my story. We are all truly a work in progress year after year. And I'm so sorry about your brother.

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