Breaking Point: #8

I am hosting an end-of-winter series featuring stories from the trenches of pain.  My hope is that in sharing these breaking points, we will feel less alone.  Thank you all for your bravery.  You are helping the world to heal.  To participate and for more info go here.

yrs. Laura

Submitted by: Anonymous

I thought I had everything. I had the man I loved, two great kids, we just bought and remodeled a house I finally considered mine and was in love with.  Everything was wonderful…until about a week after our 13th wedding anniversary when he walked in and informed me he didn’t love me and didn’t want to be married anymore.  I begged for counseling, asked for a trial period, begged him to think about the kids.

His mind was made up, it was done. He took a loan out on a car, gave me $3000 to “get started”.  Since the house was only in his name and he wouldn’t be able to pay enough to me to make the payment, he was keeping it and I had to move.  Since the truck payment was too expensive, he would be keeping that too, so I needed to go get a car.  I could take what I wanted from the house.

Oh, how I wish I had the soundness of mind then, but to have all your dreams and then have someone tell you they were no longer yours, by his decisions and not your own, and feeling unable to control anything in your life at that moment, well… you tend not to think clearly.  I went through the home and took pictures of the kids to take with, but everything else had a memory attached, our bed, our furniture, our artwork. Everything reminded me of our life together, so I went to yard sales and got “new” furniture, new things for my own house, and with the kids moved into a 2 bedroom apartment behind a gas station.

I was blessed to make a great friend in my wonderful new neighbor, but honestly, I was embarrassed of where I was.  I gradually started letting old friends in on my situation.  Though I have to say that none of my friends still know the full details of what I have been through, I have come to rely on and appreciate them so much.

About a year or so ago one of my closest friends recommended a book to me…written by a personal acquaintance of hers…here in our little Montana town.  As I started reading it, I felt as if she had lived my life word for word. Oh, how I wished I had her insight and soundness of thinking.  Or I wish I at least had the book for reference as I was going through this.

There were times it was too intense to read…the parts where it was affecting the children was hitting a little too close to home and I would have to put it down for a few days and pick it up later.  It was a tremendous help.  But apparently I hadn’t reached my “breaking point.”

Last year, after a long period of unemployment, my ex got a job in law enforcement.  This meant he went out of town to the academy for a three month period of time.  Me, being the Supportive Sally I always had been, readily agreed to help out and take care of the kids while he was gone. I never received a single cent in financial help even though he was getting paid twice as much as I made to go to school. I took care of the kids, made sure they made it to track and softball and volleyball.  I took care of it.  So when his graduation time came, he asked me to come to the graduation.  He said it would mean a lot to him, he couldn’t have done it without my support, it was so important to him, so of course, I went.

So I packed up the kids and drove to the capital, spent the weekend with my ex and my ex-in-laws, completely uncomfortable, but making it through.  At the final graduation ceremony, the “MVP” of the class got up and gave a speech.  He was an Iraq war vet, had been in the service 20+ years, then came back and got involved in law enforcement.  He talked about how through everything, the good days, the bad days, the scary days, the most important lesson he learned was that he had support at home.  He always knew his wife would be there to listen and support.  It was then I realized that yes, I was that person for my ex, but even though I was the one that was worrying about him, scared for him, taking care of him, at the end of the day, he went home to someone else, and not even the same someone else, depending on the week or month.  It was then I realized I had to free myself of the dependency and responsibility.  I had to be done with the guilt and the hope things were different.  It was up to me to make my life what I wanted it at this point.

I thought, “I would love to have someone get up and give a speech like that about me,” but that was not my life at that point and maybe some day would be, but not if I kept the path I was on.

So after years of being a doormat, I can honestly say I am feeling strong…looking forward…hoping for the best.  I still cry myself to sleep at times, but those are getting farther and farther apart. It is still a struggle every single day and I still feel guilt for my kids and the life they have been dealt by someone else’s decision, but we are doing our best. We will make it.

5 Comments

Filed under Breaking Point, My Posts

5 Responses to Breaking Point: #8

  1. Don Stifler

    As I read your story my heart go out to you. You are strong and you are beautiful. You bare your soul and your beauty shows through. In my life, I have had two marriages end in divorce because of an affair. It is bitter. I had fuve son’s from those marriages (3-2). Your kids will be strong because of your love for them. Over time I learned to forgive my wives and in the process grew stronger. Continue to live in the beauty of today. I pray for your continued growth and healing.
    Blessings
    Don

  2. Laura Cassidy

    Wow, anonymous,
    that was a powerful testimony of your own heroism, I think. Your a hero by your own right. You kept things afloat and prevented major upheaval. At least in my eyes you rose high above what happened to you that was out of your control.

    But you took all the control you could and you had the strength to forge ahead in-spite of someone else messing with your dream. I really think you’ve already climbed a mountain and now it should be about you and what you want to do with you, for you and your new freedom…

    I hope you don’t mind my sharing this view about something was deeply hurtful and hard. I just see so much strength and love in you and your story. Big Hugs to you and best wishes. LC

  3. Alison

    What an amazing person you are. I can only imagine what that moment was like when your ex-husband gave that speech, but I’m so happy for you that you really ‘heard’ it and decided to change your life. Your children may have been dealt a lousy hand by their father, but they have YOU. They will grow up to be compassionate and caring individuals because of the choices YOU made.

  4. Bless you, Anonymous. Your children will be all the better because of your love and tender heart. Sounds like you are growing in wisdom as you travel… thank you for sharing your journey.

  5. Hazel

    I commend you on sharing this incredibly difficult and personal story. Sadly, I am facing a similar situation…I wish none of us have to go through this, though I truly feel everything happens for a reason. Continue to work on your fixing to make you the happy person you deserve to be. The rest will fall into place.

    You are VERY strong. Stronger than you think. Your children will admire and appreciate your continued love and perseverance. Many blessings to you.

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