After the incident, I had no doubt in my mind that divorce would be the only choice for me. When I got married I told my husband there was one thing I wouldn’t tolerate: any kind of abuse. When the line had been crossed, we headed to the lawyers. I loved my husband in the beginning, but I really hadn’t taken the time to get to know him, or myself before we tied the knot. We were young and dumb and moved way too fast. I didn’t believe it then, and I know it’s so cliche, but you really can’t love someone unless you love yourself first.
When I first met my husband I was just happy to find someone who wanted to be with me for the long run for once. I had been through countless short relationships and one night stands before him, so it was nice to have someone take an interest so quickly. Back then I didn’t realize how unhealthy it was for us to be moving so fast, but looking back now, if we would have gotten to know each other this whole mess probably wouldn’t have happened. I can’t complain, though; even though the marriage ended we still had our good times.
When I first left my ex-husband I had nothing. I was taking care of my son and his, had no job, car, or anything but the clothes in my closet to call my own. Thankfully I was able to land a job at the local adult store, but I still had a lot more that I needed to work on. Even after the split, I thought I knew everything and had my shit together, but I quickly got slapped in the face by life and realized I wasn’t as much of an adult as I thought I was.
It took me 5 times to move in a year before I was finally able to settle down in my own place and focus on me for a change. I still slept around during the separation stage, and we both did our own thing. I was drinking heavily and most nights blacked out from the alcohol. Alcohol became my sleeping drug, and it wasn’t until I had a really bad hangover at work one day for me to realize I had a problem. It wasn’t really until I quit drinking that I realized I seriously had to do some soul searching to get my shit together if I wanted to continue living a happy life with my son.
When I first moved out on my own, it was the first time I experienced having my own bills. I have always had a phone bill since I was a teenager, but one bill compared to a whole slew of them was fucking overwhelming. There were times I considered leaving and getting rid of all of them, but I realized my ex-husband was expecting me to fail. I trudged on working sometimes for almost two weeks at a time to make ends meet, but I still always felt like I was behind. Once I finally got a budget going I was able to get everything on track, but I still felt like I didn’t have enough time for myself. I have always struggled with depression, and I felt it slowly creeping back. I decided to surround myself with friends and finally found some alone time to unwind.
In the time I spent to myself, I found some outlets and discovered that there were some hobbies that helped deal with the stress and depression. I started writing to go through my problems and found out a lot about myself. I started taking myself out to dinner and lunch. I didn’t rely on anyone else being around me. It felt great to sit in the corner and watch the world around me and see other people interact with each other. I have always been the type of person that has to have someone by my side no matter what I do. It was scary, but relieving to finally gain my own independence.
“It felt great to sit in the corner and watch the world around me and see other people interact with each other.”
After spending some time alone, I realized that even though I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I still came a far way over the past two years. I was able to leave a bad situation with nothing to my name, and turn a home into my own and have my own interests. When I was married I never had my own thoughts or hobbies. Everything I liked it was because he liked it. I found myself watching shows I would never imagine hitting play on, and reading books that would have never caught my interest. I discovered a whole new world of music and realized how much I loved vinyl records. I started cooking more and trying new foods. Some of the creations I made I would have turned my nose up at simply because he didn’t like them. I figured out now, looking back that there were so many things I missed out on by following whatever my ex-husband did.
While I was married I remember shutting out a lot of my friends. I felt guilty leaving the house to have fun with my friends while my ex-husband stayed at home, but then I understood that it was more him giving me a guilt trip, rather than me being a shitty wife. I was able to still have friends and see them even though I was married and it didn’t mean I loved him any less. That was one of the biggest obstacles to overcome after the divorce because most of my friends, understandably, wanted nothing to do with me; however the ones that did stick around during the divorce and after the separation understood that I was in a controlling relationship and were just waiting for me to come to the truth on my own. There was no bashing when I finally came to my senses, just open arms, and hearts and a lot of mutual coming to realizations about things. My friends are one of the main things that have kept me going through this long journey and I can’t thank them enough to this day.
Patience is never something I have had luck with. I always want stuff to happen when I want it to. I am still working on it to this day, but I have come a far way. Nothing ever comes to you when you want it to, and despite what people say, good things don’t come to those who wait. I worked my ass off for everything I wanted and needed, and although it took a lot longer than I wanted to, it was so rewarding to see all my hard work pay off. I was able to get a promotion and a couple of raises at my job and earned a lot more respect once I started to carry myself like I gave a fuck about my life. Once I realized that others could see my hard work, it pushed me to do more in my personal life.
I started working on my credit, which was shot all to hell. I was able to pay off a lot of small debts that I had and raise my score by almost 200 points. I was never one of those people who worried about credit scores, but when you’re out on your own, your credit score is the gateway to getting what you want. I was able to start saving money and working towards goals to get myself nice things. I am currently on the road to owning my first house, hopefully by 30, which is something my ex was never interested in. I wasn’t either, but it was one of those things I realized I took from him. One of these days I will post a picture of my brand new house, and I will smile knowing that I did it all on my own. One day I will have my dream home, which I earned by running my own business. Speaking of owning a business; it’s amazing what can possibly be put into a reality when you take the time to learn the tools to get EXACTLY what you want. I don’t currently own my own business, but the main thing I have come to learn about myself through all this was that one day big things will happen for me.
Working on loving myself was and still continues to be one of the hardest obstacles in my life. There are some days I still complain about how shitty I have it and how I’m not doing anything with my life, but when I finally understand what my life would have been like, had I stayed, I probably wouldn’t be here to tell it. Take some time for yourself and just be alone. Shut all your thoughts off, and just be thankful for everything you have. This has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, let alone write. I am way too hard on myself every day, and I need to stop because I know I have come a far way. I believe getting to know myself was the main reason behind it.