2018 17I decided I wanted to have some monthly reflection in 2018 and posting here seems to be a good way to keep me accountable.  I’m going to  kick it off with a reflection of 2017, what better way to look back on 2018 and see how far I’ve personally come.

2017 began in extreme turmoil, chaos, and hurt.  I never in my life imagined that I would experience the pain I did in that short time.  Witnessing someone you once loved self destruct and attempt to take you with them, is indescribable.  I remember toward the end of the first two months of the year, after I had spent EVERY single night crying, all at once I just realized that I was not present with my children, my own life was falling apart, because I was grasping onto something that I needed to let go of.  I was so sick of crying all the time, I hated looking in the mirror and seeing this girl looking back at me who was destroyed.  I snapped a picture and decided that was it, I would never again allow that to be the girl who stared back at me in the mirror.  I was no longer going to allow a man who was suppose to love me, continue to destroy my life and his.  I knew I could do nothing more for him, I had fought as hard as I could for not only the last two months, but in reality for the last 20 years.  I had given my marriage absolutely everything I could, and there was just no more that I could do to keep fighting it alone.  I had completed the initial paperwork to file for divorce.  They set in my drawer for 24 days before I finally called a friend and asked her to accompany me to the courthouse to file the papers.  I will never forget sitting their listening to the required recording for those filing pro se, one of my best friends and biggest supporters text me and asked how I was doing (knowing I was there filing), I nearly lost it.  He told me to take is slow and breathe, and it would all be ok.  This was one of the most painful things I could have ever imagined doing.  I cannot imagine ending a marriage at any point is easy, but we had been together and just had (not celebrated) our 19th wedding anniversary and 20 years together.  I had been a child when we met, barely 20 years old.  I was now sitting her 40 years old ending all my hopes and dreams.  I’d love to say I felt confident right away, but I wasn’t.  I waited a week and served him.  At that moment, I felt confident.  This was what needed to be done.

Music has played a huge part of my life in 2017.  Just two days before I had filed, we had been at our last tournament club tournament for the season in Columbus, OH.  A few things occurred during that tournament that changed my life and made it painfully clear I needed to get out, and fast.   I hate driving in the winter, really hate it.  In fact, I’m not a fan of driving super long distances alone either.  This time I had to drive it alone, despite the fact that he was in the car.  I drove the entire three hour drive all by myself.  I listened to a lot of music on the way home, but the one that I really remember was the last song that played as I exited the interstate home.  I remember thinking just before that, I did it, I conquered a HUGE fear of mine and did this entire drive alone. I remember looking over at him while he slept and feeling sad, but confident that it was time.

“Say Something”

Say something, I’m giving up on you
I’ll be the one if you want me to
Anywhere I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on youAnd I… am feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all
And I… will stumble and fall
I’m still learning to love
Just starting to crawlSay something, I’m giving up on you
I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
Anywhere I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on youAnd I… will swallow my pride
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbyeSay something, I’m giving up on you
And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
And anywhere I would’ve followed you (Oh-Ooh)
Say something, I’m giving up on you

Say something, I’m giving up on you
Say something…

The months following filing weren’t any easier.  I struggled with how to handle each new thing thrown my way.  He did not make any of it easy.  The denial of the entire situation really took a toll on myself, the kids and eventually even him.  After a failed attempt to finalize earlier in the year, I had put off the necessary things to just pull the trigger and get it done.  Something was always looming and not the “right time.” We had Andy’s graduation, Alex’s nationals, Andy moving to college, just something always there. Finally in September, I did it.  I will never forget the look on his face when I handed him those papers.  That was the one moment of this entire process that I actually felt sad.  I did not feel regret, but I felt like for once, one thing I was doing was hurting him, and that made me sad.  Anyone who knows me will say I’m way to nice for my own good, and this was a classic example of that.  He went back and forth over the next 5 weeks fighting over it.  Finally 15 minutes before he started his job (after being off work for 5 months) he signed the final papers, and later that day after my final court hearing, I was officially divorced.  He could no longer control me, manipulate me, or destroy my self esteem again.  I had taken back control of the person I once was.
As the year was winding down, I had many months of reflection on myself.  The mistakes I had made, the things about myself that I loved and the things I didn’t like very much.  I had time to reflect on what I had dreamed of when I was that blind 20 year old first getting involved in this relationship.  At the time I wanted to be a wife and mother.  I couldn’t imagine what I would do with my life if I wasn’t those things.  Most importantly I didn’t really think about what I had to offer anyone at that time.  I didn’t see my own worth.  However after many months of being single, really looking at my life, the next 40 years, ect, I had so much clarity.  Late in the year someone asked me how I was, my response:
“All things considered, the fog has lifted, the sun shines again, life goes on. 🙂 Time for new adventures.”
I reread that a few times over the last few weeks of the year.  I was so proud of myself for how far I had come.  I knew that statement was 100% where I was.  I was finally done with the hurt and the chocs.  I was ready to move on to my next adventures.  I was happy.
Like I said music seemed to play a big roll in my healing this year.  Earlier in the year when I would hear this song, it was what I hoped for.  I wanted to be BRAVE.  I wanted to see myself be brave.  I wanted to heal and take back control of my life.  On New Years Eve, I sat an listened to this song, and for the first time in a very long time, the words meant something so different to me.  It wasn’t something I was hoping for anymore, it was who I was.  I was brave.  I was the words people had used to describe me.  I was strong, brave, kind, I finally knew my worth.  I had even been brave enough to express my feelings to someone, despite it not turning out how I had hoped, it really turned out as I expected.  The most important thing though, was I knew my worth and I was brave enough to stand up for that and speak up.

“Brave”

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking upNothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if youSay what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be braveI just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be braveI just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave

And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
See you be brave

I just wanna see you (yeah)
I just wanna see you (oh ooh)
I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

So as 2018 begins, I want to thank all the people that shared 2017 with me.  Those who held my hand, prayed with me, cried with me, sent me words of encouragement, made me feel loved, showed me I was brave, strong and independent, encouraged me to be everything I could be despite the hiccups life was throwing me.  What I am looking forward to most in 2018 is not only continuing to be brave, strong and independent but owning those adjectives and adding determined and joyful to the mix.  Good bye to 2017, I will never forget you.  I always thought I wanted to, but in reality, despite the enormous amount of poo that was thrown at me, It will probably go down as one of the best years of my life, because it prepared me to be so much more then I already was!  Hello 2018, let’s make this a great year!!!!
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