I found this on Instagram and it resonated with a heavy force.
I’ve basically been making my way across an icy pond for well over a year. I’ve hit patches where the weight has been too much, the ice has cracked and I’m frantically trying to escape to a more solid spot. I’ve come across patches where I’m crawling because I can’t bear to pick myself up, only to slip right back down and land on my back. There are patches where I’m shuffling my feet at a snail’s pace because I’m too scared to move any faster than that. And I’ve stopped in spots where I’ve waited at a standstill, simply frozen in fear.
Life hit me with a wretched force a couple years ago and I’ve been coasting on auto-pilot for quite some time, fighting my way through each day. Going through the grind because that’s what I thought I needed to continue to do. I wasn’t ready to alter the lives of myself and my children if I could manage to just suppress everything and continue to walk with a smile – albeit forced and fake. And then the exhaustion and the heavy weight of it all finally hit me like a ton of bricks; I deserve better. My children deserve the best version of myself that I can offer. And admittedly, I have not been that version for a while. But I finally found the courage to make hard decisions. To be honest with myself [and everyone else]. And to walk away from something that has disgraced me on many levels.
I made the difficult decision to end my marriage of almost ten years. Trust is the most valuable thing in a relationship and when that has been taken away, it is no longer purposeful. For anyone who has walked this painful path before, you know that it’s awful. It’s one that envelops you with anger, resentment, sadness, disrespect and regret. None of which are healthy emotions to carry around for as long as I have. All because I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought I was making the ultimate sacrifice to keep my family together. But instead, I was only participating in a deep level of self-destruction. One that had an evil upper hand that chipped away at my confidence, my self-respect, my emotional well-being, my physical health and even tested the thing I hold closest to my heart – my faith. It wasn’t until I found myself crumbling in front of my teenager, that I realized what I was doing was no longer working (if it ever did). For the first time, I couldn’t keep my emotions in check, and I fell apart.
The day after my son saw me in my state of paralyzing tears of tribulation, I was met with an experience that seemingly served as the catalyst I needed to shift myself from the deep despair I’d been sitting in for a very long time. I had spent far too long holding myself captive; burying myself in the anger and sadness that overwhelmed me and losing sight of who I really was. Then, after many months of prayer, I finally found myself presented with the perspective that helped me shake off some of my sorrow. And from that moment, I vowed to move forward with forgiveness.
Healing takes time. It is a process that is not bound to any concrete parameters, and it does not mirror the movement of someone else. As we make our way to the other side, I think it’s perfectly okay to understand that the pains of forgiveness do not always mean acceptance. It is simply a state of shifting from hurt to healed. The memory may fade but it does not mean it’s forgotten. You do not have to concede to what transpired. But you must cut loose the ties that bind you to the anger. In doing so, you will realize that everything you’ve shackled yourself to is not worth the destruction and the distress.
You are better than the downfall. But you must be willing to rise above the resentment.
One thought on “For Me Not Them”
This is so powerful, the way you describe feeling like you were making the ultimate sacrifice but then realizing that damage. You have such a talent to describe the human experience, Alison. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share.
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