I was reading Cathy’s advice to Mindy. Mindy who is experiencing everything that we experience when it all falls apart. I wanted to respond but it’s too long for just a comment… here we go:
Mindy, this is a time like no other. You are allowed to grieve, to be raging mad, to cry ~ but you will find that people don’t have a lot of tolerance for the ‘histrionics’ of a woman who has been scorned. That old adage “there is no fury like a woman scorned” really rang true for me. And, I cried. I cried oceans. I felt SO alone and SO miserable.
Then, one day a few months into my agony I looked around. I saw the kind faces of my beautiful friends and knew that no matter how much they loved me, I had to do this all by myself. It was an epiphany, I felt lost and afraid and very much in the dark.
I became a believer. I recognized that I did not have a clue where to steer my ship, that I had too many decisions to make, that it was all too big. I went to bed one night and called out to the Universe (God, Gaia, Buddha, Allah, Krishna, take your pick, choose your heart). I stated clearly that this was too big for me to handle, I didn’t know where to go.
I needed guidance and didn’t know where to find it. I begged, ‘Please, Please, take these decisions out of my hands and let me do the right thing. Please help me stand again and learn to walk. Please let me guide my children without malice‘. And, with that, I fell asleep into one of the first dreamless, uninterrupted sleeps in months.
When I awoke I was ready. I know how foolish this sounds but things started to fall into place for me. I took baby steps and didn’t stumble too much.
My boss hugged me tight and suggested that I was absolutely capable of scaling this mountain, that I needed to compartmentalize my time and allow myself specific hours to cry, to bake, to shop, to work… that if my tears crept up on me during my children’s hours, that I would learn to save them until night, after they were well asleep and would not be haunted by the sounds of my grief.
I began to grow strong, I began to laugh again. I began to feel lighter and happier and more prepared. I will not say that it was all rosy after that, I had times when I backpedaled and felt that suffocating grieving blanketing me again but each one of those times were shorter, less painful.
It took a long time before I felt healthy again. I did use antidepressants ~ for six long years… and I am grateful beyond measure of what they allowed me to achieve.
I found a counselor who listened to me and I poured myself into him for three years. I kept up with my medical care, my pap smears and mammograms. I took extremely good care of myself because I knew that I was still fragile, too easily overlooked.
It took time but in hindsight, it was the most superb growth spurt of my life. I found in me a woman who was my best friend. I found all of those things that had been tucked away, those dreams that were not shared, those hopes and plans, those trips where we did it HIS way… all laid out for me to do it MY way. My home became MY home, filled with color and flowers and scents. I got animals, I took in foster children and everything changed, my life became exactly what I had dreamed.
This is YOUR time to live. If you want to stop at some out-of-the-way antique shop, you can stop. If you want to press on without checking the surf, you can press on. It’s all about you.
Savor those old memories but don’t forget the ugliness that took you to your independence. You’ll have to go back there sometimes just to take that next step. Love the children who fell in love, be grateful to be the woman who thrived after the nightmare ended…