I haven’t really been around this past week – well, I haven’t really been around much the last few weeks, but this week more so than usual. Things have been chaotic and my internet connection decided that this month was the perfect time to start being particularly terrible and unreliable – hopefully that will change soon! – which has made blogging next to impossible, but I wanted to quickly write a sort of haphazard update, I guess.
I don’t think I realized just how much everything that happened at the beginning of the month would effect me, never mind how chaotic things would continue to be. I guess part of me thought that once I left my husband, things would get easier, and I really didn’t realize just how much things would change, or what the fall out of leaving him would be and how bad it would get, how the trauma of the last nearly eleven years would effect me, or how messy things would become. Huge life changes are never easy, especially ones that have a huge emotional impact, but I’m getting through it, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. And luckily, I’m not having to do it alone.
I’ve probably spent more time with my family in the last few weeks than I have in any given year since my ex and I got together, and it has been wonderful. Friday was my birthday and I spent most of the day with one of my sisters and it was honestly the best birthday I’ve had since before our mom died. Spending more time with my sisters makes me realize just how incredibly unhappy I was before, because the contrast even in mood is so huge. My sisters give me a reason to keep fighting for myself on the days when it feels impossible to go on.
My cat and I have also been spending a lot of quality time together – she’s even curled up on my lap as I’m writing this, purring. She makes me smile and laugh every day and I’m so happy I have this silly little ball of fur and love to force me to get out of bed even on the days I just don’t want to. We have Mel Brooks movie marathons and cuddle and laugh at least a few times a week. I used to think watching comedies alone was depressing, but now it’s one of my favourite things to do – watch fabulous comedies with my cat and laugh until I cry. Which reminds me, I really do need to write a post on Mel Brooks one of these days!
Things have been incredibly difficult in ways I couldn’t have predicted, I haven’t been sleeping much, my sewing has definitely been suffering – as have most other areas of my life, I’ve been having daily panic attacks, and some days have felt almost unbearable – but the important thing is that as unbearable as they’ve felt, I’ve gotten through them. And I’ve been making sure to put things in place to help me get through all of this – including therapy with someone who specializes in helping women who have been abused. I honestly think this is essential when you are coming out of an abusive relationship or any kind of traumatic experience, and I’m so grateful and fortunate that (at the clinic I’m going to at least) this therapy is actually free – I don’t think that there should ever be a financial barrier when it comes to accessing this type of therapy, it is way too important.
The last week has been especially hard, but there is something very powerful about going through incredibly painful, brutally difficult days and coming out of them okay – it proves (to yourself, if no one else) how much strength you actually have, which can be incredibly empowering. It also helps you get through any other painful experience that might come your way.
A few nights ago (on one of the worst nights of the last few weeks actually), my youngest sister sent me some quotes that really helped me get through an experience I was sure would crush me. I wanted to share some of them with all of you:
“And then I fell apart, and it was the most beautiful moment ever, because right then I realized I could put the pieces back together the way I wanted them to be.”
-Unknown (if any of you know who said this, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to know and credit this properly!)
I love this because it reminded me that sometimes it can feel like your entire life and self have been completely shattered, but it isn’t, and you’re not – and even if they are, so what? That means you get to rebuild your life and your self in a much healthier, more positive way. It can be terrifying, but also exciting – and beautiful.
It’s really messed up to wake up after so many years and realize you don’t know who the hell you really are – what was put in place by other people who were trying to make you into the person they wanted you to be, and what was actually you all along. You hope that the really good parts were pieces of you breaking through all of the crap, you hope that there is something left buried underneath the rubble, you hope there is something worth salvaging. And there is, there is, there always is. And now you get to rebuild yourself into the woman you want to be, the woman you were meant to be all along.
The important thing is that you’re still here. No matter what has happened to you, you are still here.
And one day, hopefully soon, you’ll be able to truly feel this:
“I love the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her.”
Sisters can be the best kind of medicine. I don’t think I ever realized just how lucky I am to have the sisters I do, to have been born into a family of such incredible women, who are all intelligent, talented, funny, compassionate, empathetic and strong in their own ways. They have always made me strive to reach further, dig deeper and try harder, they have always been my reason to hold on, no matter what was happening, no matter how hard life got. I look up to every single one of them and love them more than I have ever been able to put into words.
I’ll end this highly irregular and completely pictureless but incredibly personal post with two more quotes, and then a poem, all shared with me by my wonderful baby sister, just because I absolutely love them – and her:
I am more wolf
& I am still learning
how to stop apologizing
for my wild.”
The Laughing Heart
by Charles Bukowski
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
And the last quote is one of my favourites, because it is so damned true and important (for me at least) to remember:
“I still have bad days, but that’s okay. I used to have bad years.”