Life, Part 2 – After the marriage

Hello, old friends. Long time! I’ve missed you… while I’ve been busy finding me ; )

As I write this, I’m sitting in the most beautiful room that ever was, feeling the most peaceful I have ever felt, because it is mine – As Virginia Woolf famously called it, ‘A Room of One’s Own,’ – I have my own place, with my daughter. We’ve settled it, and it is absolutely amazing….

J and I separated 8 months ago. It’s strange to think there was a time when I couldn’t imagine life without him, when now all I remember is the abuse.

In June it will be official – and I am so very ok with June coming.

Sometimes I think I’ve found a nice memory – like the special tea he used to make me when I was sick, or the amazing vacations we took to Cuba, Paris, Mexico. But no sooner have I thought about the nice thing and the bad part comes rushing in with it. The way he yelled at me for not appreciating the tea, or the way he treated me during his fits on every one of those vacations….. Horribly. Even on the Honeymoon and ‘babymoon.’

I’ve thought about the many women (and men) who suffer verbal abuse for years and years with no escape and no name for it. I want to do something about it, but not sure what I could do. It’s such a slippery little topic. So hard to define. And the attitudes you face: Did he hit you though? No… So it’s not ‘actual’ abuse then….

Ok.

Patricia Evans’ definition set me free last summer, while I was recovering: Verbal abuse is a lie told to you about you.

Yep. You are not any of those horrible names/descriptors. And how liberating to be free of those lies.

Back then, and for many months before that, I was blogging pretty regularly. I was going through a huge change from not drinking alcohol and kind of rediscovering myself.  But for the past 8 months – barely a word huh?! I hope you are all doing well on your amazing journeys.

I’m quite happy to report that I am dating an old friend turned new flame… somebody who always liked me and I always liked but we were never single at the same time. It’s a total breath of fresh air… and while I am not moving fast I am enjoying it so incredibly much. This delicious new love.

I know that many of the bloggers I read are quite religious. I am not, but am spiritual… and I just have to say… I am so positively sure that God has been watching over me, and I am so grateful for the guiding light that has led me through all this insanity, into the beauty of a healthy new life.

XOX

 

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Mammas, don’t let your daughters grow up to be wing men.

Women in their 30’s who are not in a committed relationship fall into a few camps, I’ve started to notice.

4 brands of single.

Too few feel like this:

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Most seem to feel more like this:

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All…… kinda trapped in their own unpleasant situation.

Aww, ladies…. we women…. we tend to get so lost in our own circumstances sometimes. And I kinda wish I could give you a real what’s what some days, because you are so much more capable and beautiful than you think!

So here we go:

#1

Dear friend who has never found love and who doubts she ever will, and who believes that the interesting guys want younger women, and there’s no hope…..

Don’t be the fool who loses her chance because she lost hope. Probabilities state that like, every minute, a bajillion men are getting out of bad marriages, reaching emotional maturity through blogging ; ) , deciding they’re ready to settle to down, figuring out who they are, joining Tinder, taking a chance on life, or moving into the city from somewhere far away. This is happening every day, constantly. To lose hope is to give up on a firehose of potential partners! What you need to be doing is building up your positivity reserves, your sense of self, your inner strength, your accomplishments, and your love for life, so that when your special partner in life comes along – you are both high functioning, fit, healthy, happy individuals.

I know personally that you are funny and kind and smart as hell – please don’t be discouraged or afraid. Live life with the verve you deserve, and love will come find YOU.

#2 

Dear friend who still wrestles with a pushy ex-husband, whose kid is going back and forth on joint custody.

You are still letting him walk all over you. Which first of all, kind of defeats the purpose of divorcing the guy, and second of all, is just not something you need to be dealing with anymore. You are too nice because you have low self-esteem, and you let him walk all over you because you are too afraid to assert yourself. Trust me… I know a thing or two about this syndrome myself…. it’s yucky and no fun. Bad cycle.

Listen… You have no control over him and he has no control over you. You can value his opinions, but not at the expense of your own. You no longer need to be overwhelmed by him and you can and must discern inappropriate behaviour. If he is disrespecting you, you have a responsibility to YOU to lay down a boundary. Don’t go through life being the nicest because you are afraid of being clear about what works and doesn’t work for you. Don’t be bullied and bossed around, ok?!

#3 

Dear friend who loved and lost, who is desperate for a rich prince charming, even to the point that your young daughter is being used as a prop to catch men. 

Buddy… you know how much I love you! You are the funniest, kindest, sweetest girl I know! The life of the party, even when you’re blue. But this man-catching business really has to stop. You are teaching your daughter that her value is to be found in how valuable she is to others. You are teaching her that others determine her worth…. and worst of all, you are teaching her that mamma can’t ensnare a man without help from her cute little seven year old self. So what’s she going to do when she turns 13? She’s going to do what her mamma did… try to catch a man. And she’ll succeed, and succeed again, and succeed too many times to count, until she learns this lesson that you should have taught her my friend…. to love and cherish herself and nurture her inner resources relentlessly. Never stop improving. Teach her that if she doesn’t value herself highly, nobody else will. Please rethink the wingman strategy and replace with proud gender-less independence, achievement, and ferocity. You have so much strength, and are so self-sufficient – teach her what a virtue that is, because it is!

#4 

Dear senior level executive at my office who always looks really great and is a super high-functioning and independent single mom. 

You’re pretty cool you know. Yeah, you know.

I don’t have advice for you because I think you’re rocking it, and I like the way I feel around you. You are empowered. You are boss. You’re not giving yourself up to nobody, nothing, no how. You’re funny and beautiful, and you know you have your pick of men when you decide you want another partner in your life. You’re not there yet. And you aren’t scared. And you aren’t indecisive.

Go you!

# 5

ME!

Dear Georgey who put her foot down on a long cycle of bad behavior and is now unsure what comes next. 

It’s been a long 10 days, the longest of your life maybe, and you’ve grown so strong in such a short time. Sure, you still wake up full of anxiety and don’t feel certain about step, but so far, every step you’ve taken has worked out well. You’re trusting your gut. So stop being scared that you’re going to end up like this person or that person, and that the future will be or won’t be any number of things. All you really have are these single days, these hours, these moments. Be impeccable. Be assertive. Be smart. Use these calm days to think and grow and to love your little girl. Be aware of your thoughts, don’t run from them. Be aware of your feelings, but don’t act on them. Stay the course Georgey, be open to life’s miracles, just like you to told your friend to be.

When in doubt, think of astronauts and Amelia Earheart and the artists you adore who are fierce and brave! Think of the women who have achieved great things, and know that the only thing that separates you from them is not fear but the willingness to DO SCARY THINGS ANYWAY!!!!!!!! 

There is absolutely zero chance that their marital status had any baring on what these women did with their lives…… never forget that. You. Be. You.

Roberta Bondar

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