The Power From Within

No matter what kind of relationship you have with someone, people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  In other words, it’s not just some chance encounter as nothing is ever coincidence. They are there to be your teacher so you can learn whatever lesson(s) you need to learn.  And believe it or not, you’re doing the exact same thing for them.

This got me thinking about the men that I had dated during my life and my marriage which ended officially (documents and all) in June 2017.  As I was thinking about each relationship, I noticed one common thread that was sewn throughout each one.

I gave my power away…

…to every man I was in a serious relationship with since college.

I gave my power away.  I gave my power away.  I gave my power away.

To me, this screams self-worth issues, abandonment issues (fear of losing them), and I certainly had very low self-love and actually zero self-confidence. Some of these relationships would be considered emotionally, mentally and verbally abusive, not to mention controlling and manipulative.

Thinking about this breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes as I can’t believe I allowed myself to be treated in this fashion. I did not stand up for myself and if I did, I knew I would be on the receiving end of someone screaming at me and gas lighting me. If you’re not familiar with the term gas lighting, according to google dictionary:

manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.

Isn’t that fucked up?  Just so you’re aware, this is a VERY common thing, so if you’re in a relationship where you feel this is occurring (whether you’re male or female), know that is it NOT right, NOT healthy and a form of mental abuse.

When I gave my power away, I found that I was fearful about speaking up for how I was truly feeling with specific situations. I would go along with what my partner ultimately wanted and since I was a people-pleaser their happiness always came before my own. If I did not want to do something, I would still do it…always wanting to please and then feeling like shit afterward.

I was always putting my partner first and 100% completely undermining my needs, my wants, my values, my morals, my worth, my love and my very own self-respect. Yes, there is such a thing as putting others before you, but you must know to do so without jeopardizing your own identity.  In trying to fix, to help, to rescue others, I lost myself in the process.

If you’ve ever flown on an airplane before, what do the flight attendants always tell you about the oxygen masks?

Place YOUR mask on YOU FIRST, then assist others. 

You can’t be something to someone if you aren’t something to yourself first. Learn to trust yourself.  Learn to listen to your inner guidance system because it will never steer you in the wrong direction.  It’s what most people refer to as ‘your gut.’  What does your gut tell you?  It’s time you started to listen to it because THAT is where your power lies.

 

 

 

Trolling

Being back in Tennessee with Henry was a nightmare.  I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder.  Henry would leave for work and then my mind wanted to know if there were there cameras in the house viewing my every move.  Paranoia was rearing its ugly head.  In my mind, I deserved to feel this way, but that didn’t stop me.  I continued to stay in touch with Mark.  It was nothing major but just knowing he was there to listen made me feel better.  I was fueling the fire for Henry to not trust me.  I know it was wrong, I do, but at the time I just didn’t care. I was in pure survival mode for my mental and emotional state.

Paranoia for Henry also set in as he came to me one morning before work and asked to see my phone.  You see, he had mentioned to me how a friend of his, who also cheated on his girlfriend, would allow his girlfriend to go through his phone and computer trolling through Facebook, phone calls received, phone calls dialed, etc.  You get the picture.  Henry presented this idea to me several times to which I ignored.  Until that morning when he bolted into the bedroom and demanded to see my phone and email.  My heart was pounding.  I was scared, I won’t lie.  Not of Henry, but of the possibility of him kicking me out.  I had no where to go and no money at the moment to leave. The phone numbers that I did not recognize, he would call to see who was on the other end.  He listened to voicemail messages, read emails and Facebook messages.  Then he flipped his lid when he noticed a post on Facebook…from Mark.  Just a post on his wall but nonetheless.   He could not believe we were friends on Facebook and asked me to immediately end it.  So I did.  Henry left for work.  I got in the shower and cried.

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It was during this time that I enrolled in certification for level 1 class in something brand new to me, Reiki.  Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy (reiki.org).  During this long weekend of meditation, tears, and connecting with other women who I know were placed in this class on purpose via Source, I believe I have found something much grander than me.  This was the beginning of me being aware that I was indeed on my spiritual awakening journey toward enlightenment and it has forever metamorphosed me into the person I am today and into the spiritual being I strive to become.  The reiki shares my teacher would hold became my social outlet and my way to decompress from the intense stress I was dealing with on a daily basis.  I really believe it saved my life.



The Scarlet Letter

My wedding rings were taken off my left hand as well.  I had all of them.  His and mine.  I put them together in a box as it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Henry called me later that afternoon and told me he didn’t really want a divorce but was just so hurt with everything that had transpired and asked to take me to breakfast the following morning so we could talk, to which I agreed.

Henry picked me up and off to breakfast we went.  With tears in our eyes and sad Christmas music in the background, we did out best to talk and eat.  On the drive back to my parent’s, Henry pulled over on the shoulder of the road.

“I’m sorry.” he said, “We should have at least tried to have children.” His eyes welled with tears.

I honestly could not believe what I was hearing. Would a baby have made things better between us? Certainly not, but to hear him say this to me, well, it just crushed me. I had given this up for Henry and here he was apologizing.  I didn’t know whether to cry or scream. Regardless of my emotional response, it didn’t matter.  It was too late.

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The week between Christmas and New Year’s was an emotional roller coaster.  Henry and I made appearances together to see old neighbors and family and to also share with them the fact that our marriage was in trouble and we weren’t quite sure what the outcome was going to be. I have no clue why we were sharing with people at this time and I also did not quite know what part of the story Henry was sharing with his family and friends.  Did he only mention that I had kissed another man?  Did he also forget the mention the years of struggle between us?  I was paraded around our old stomping grounds wearing, what felt like, the scarlet letter.  Whether it is was intended or not on Henry’s part, it was not a pleasant feeling.  I felt as though I were being judge by everyone.

On Christmas Eve we traditionally went to Henry’s parent’s house where his siblings, their spouses, kids, and friends gathered every year.  I was VERY nervous about going.  Truth be told, I didn’t want to go but did anyway.  While I was welcome with open arms, it was turning out to be an emotional night. Drinks were flowing for some and I’ll never forget sitting the front porch talking with one of Henry’s relatives.

“You fucked up, you just fucked up.” She said to me.

“Excuse me?”  I replied.

She then proceeded to tell me, after several cold beers, how I fucked up by cheating on Henry. She cast the first stone and I was NOT pleased.  I told her that I didn’t need to explain myself to her but that our issues stemmed long before I kissed another. I was fuming.  I sent Henry a text message and told him it was time to leave.

He was appalled by her comment and even told me that he told his family to please not talk about it so we could enjoy our night.  Great times had, let me tell you.

This summed up exactly how I knew everyone was looking at me.   I was wearing the scarlet letter.

Home For Christmas

No matter how old I am, there is nothing like the feeling of being at home with my parents. It is 100% my safe zone.  I wanted to run, run, run and in my mind, being back home, I had escaped the matter at hand. Reality, however, would soon follow me when Henry arrived three days later.

It was Thursday evening and Henry was slated to arrive at my parent’s house at 4 a.m. Friday.  Any discussion I have had with Henry, while truthful (for the most part), at this point was to honestly tell him what he wanted to hear.  Was this the best thing to do?  No.  Why did I do this?  I was scared…of him, of us, of the present and the future.  I had given him my power.  It was his way or no way during this time.

I had numerous messaging conversations with Tara about this entire issue and about Henry.  Tara is my sister from another mister.  She knows me like the back of my hand; the good, the bad and the ugly yet through all of that, she still loves me as I love her. When Henry arrived at my parent’s home at 4 in the morning, he greeted the dogs and then was out in the living area for a period of time.

“Wake up.”

“Wake up!”

It was Henry.  He turned the light on as I looked at him in a confused state.  He backs up, takes his wedding ring off and throws it onto the bed toward me.

“I want a divorce.”  He said.

While I knew deep down this is what I ultimately wanted too, his behavior threw me for a loop.

“You left the computer on and I read your messaging conversation with Tara.”  He told me.

“How DARE you bash me like that to her,” he said, “I would NEVER in a million years talk about you that way to ANYONE!”

In truth, I cannot remember this conversation to 100% accuracy.  What I know is that I shared my feelings about Henry to Tara.  Did I mean ill will by it?  No.  I was venting, I was desperate and she was the only person, at the time, I felt I share everything with.  Did I intentionally bash him?  In my mind, no.  In his mind, yes.

I never intended to hurt Henry.  It was now something I felt I was doing over and over again.  I dealt him a crushing blow.  He left, in tears and drove to his parent’s house.  I felt like the worst human being ever to walk the Earth.

It was now 6 a.m.  Crying, I cracked the door to my parent’s room.  They asked me what was going on.

“We’re getting divorced.” I told them.

Merry effing Christmas.

You’ll Know…You’ll Just Know

I had the purest of intentions on my wedding day. I wanted to get married and I wanted to marry Henry.  It was a dream day full of the most joy I have ever felt in my life.  We were surrounded by the most important people in our lives.  It was a day of love to the fullest extent.

It wasn’t until a few years later that became aware of feeling differently about Henry.  When these moments rose up, they scared me and I would simply ignore them.  How could this be?  We met and married four year later and here I was a year or so later feeling…holy shit, feeling doubt? Things he used to do that I found cute or funny were no longer cute or funny to me.

The red flags began to wave very high during this time as I no longer wanted to be intimate with Henry. In some ways I just wanted to ignore what was happening but you just can’t out run the truth. I could not turn my head from this feeling. And when we were intimate, I just went through the motions so it would be over. I didn’t kiss him the same way, I didn’t look at him the same way, and I realized I didn’t love him the same way either.  What the hell was happening?

On several occasions Henry would ask me about my level of attraction toward him because he too was aware.  I lied. I flat out lied to him, and to me.  I was not being true to myself and I certainly was not speaking my truth. Who was I to speak my truth?  I was scared.  So scared of Henry’s reaction to all of this. So scared of the repercussions if I did tell him.  Fear…living in so much fear.  This is not a good space to be in.

Things became too comfortable, we took each other for granted and never really fully appreciated one another.  I felt as if I was always second choice to his work.  I was sick and tired of picking up after both of us, cooking, cleaning, just EVERYTHING.  I remember saying to myself a few times, ‘If this is how it’s going to be for the rest of my life, I’m in trouble.’ And I was.

And while there is much to discuss about my relationship with Henry PRE-wedding, I want to begin in the January of 2014.

Let’s go back, shall we?