Healing has been hardest of work! Gut wrenching, soul searching, messy, emotionally exhausting, and painful work. The inner work of recovery after betrayal is not for the weak kneed or faint of heart. It’s the work of warriors and only the mighty dare enter therein…
When I stop and think about what has happened to me, on this day, 5 years ago, I am amazed that I am still alive, let alone, dare I say it, thriving? If someone told me I would be where I am today, 5 years ago, I probably would have stared at them blankly or slapped them, that is if I had the energy. But it’s true, I am healing, and beginning to thrive. I can hear a great sigh of relief from everyone around me.
That first year is mostly a blur. I barely survived it. Years later, my energy healer would tell me that my soul actually floated in and out of my body. She could actually see it happening. If the pain got to be too much, my soul would leave. I find it ironic that my soul even abandoned me. That explained why I felt numb most of the time, and barely alive, with what was left. I will never completely forget this feeling. Shattered is how I would eventually come to describe it. I felt I had been completely shattered into a million pieces, and I had no idea how to find all the pieces, never mind trying to put them all back together. Was I going to live the rest of my life thoroughly and utterly broken? I couldn’t know. I could only go into survival mode and put one foot in front of the other and move forward, however slowly, with complete faith in God and hope He had my back, even though I couldn’t be sure He was still there at all. How could I trust, when my truster was thoroughly broken! It was the hardest leap of faith I’ve ever had to take. I surrendered completely. What else could I do? I had nowhere else to turn.
I can’t ever say that I would have willingly chosen this path. I never wanted my Ex to cheat on me, and destroy everything we built together. I never dreamed he would callously blow up our family, and then turn his back on us and walk right into the arms of another woman, completely replacing our family. I never believed he could be responsible for cutting out my heart and stomping on it like he did, and then refused to fix any of it. He even fashioned the weapon to do his dirty work. Cheating. Knowing he was ever capable of this is what hurts the most, how could I have so foolishly misjudged his character? The result is experiencing a pain that was so excruciating that I would prefer death most days for the better part of the first two years. Death, it seemed to me, at the time, would be a preferable alternative to the deepest pain I have ever known, and bring the only relief I could see from the searing, agonizing pain inflicted on me and our children by the one man who had covenanted with God to protect us.
The next 3 years I would search for ways to heal. I was desperate to heal! I hated the way I felt and acted. I tried counseling, I tried EMDR, I tried hypnosis, yoga, massages, and a host of other things that helped me cope, but didn’t actually heal me. I wanted complete healing and a miracle! I spent money I didn’t have on anything that I thought would work. My Bishop paid 1/2 of my therapy bills. (I find it ironic that the one who caused all of this devastation and destruction has done nothing to pay for the damage, and left others to clean up his messes.) All of these resources were ultimately helpful and greatly appreciated. But I couldn’t help but wonder if the panic and fear that resided in my heart would take up permanent residence there. Was this my new normal, to live in fear? No matter how hard I tired, it was always there bubbling up just under the surface. Something had to help me heal completely! I was determined to find it. With the Holy Spirit as my guide, and prayers that were endless and never ceasing, I was lead along as quickly as I was ready. Finally, one day, in desperation I cried out to God, “I am tired of feeling like I am going to crawl out of my skin! Please make me whole!” I found the key was in the submitting. It’s getting to the point of being so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired that the answers will finally come. Submitting. It’s a an action with which I have become well acquainted, along with his cousin, surrender. Two actions that are those most difficult, if not impossible, to take while suffering from major trust issues. There is a “sweet spot” when living in pain where you are willing to do just about anything to make it go away!
That’s the critical point I was in when I was lead, and turned, to some very ancient healing modalities. Some of them over 3,000 years old. I was looking for solutions not only for me, but for other women who, like me, had a quality of life that was below survival. I embarked on a journey of deep discovery and intense research. I learned about the differences between Western and Eastern medicines. Eastern Medicine was based in healing living cells, genes, and tissue, while Western Medicine was founded on taking apart dead bodies to see how they worked. Both are needed, but each one is very different in purpose and scope. Some of these Eastern healing modalities are thousands of years old and were practiced by the sages, holy men, and shamans of the past; meditation, acupuncture, energy healing, chakras, frequency, vibration, and meridians all became new words in my vocabulary. I am only beginning to scratch the surface in my limited understanding of each of them, but I am much encourage by what I am learning! The promise of complete healing is hidden in there, waiting to be uncovered. I was delighted to know that these ancient practices are now being backed up by solid modern science! Along with the new words I have already learned, I’ve also added quantum physic, epigenetics, brain plasticity, and neuroscience to my growing body of knowledge. I’m so grateful for all I have learned and will continue to learn on this healing journey. I know and understand that it is all for a purpose I have yet to fully comprehend. All I know is that I am on the cusp of something truly magical!
Mediation and breath work have been my lifesavers. It’s a game changer for me. Some days it’s the only thing that works to calm the constant trauma response, triggers, anxiety, and panic attacks that are a “normal” part of life for me. I have been meditating for at least one hour in the morning, and again at night, for the last two years. I found that in the hours I spent in mediation I could feel at peace again! I wanted more of that in my life! But it required of me a complete lifestyle change. My life has already changed so much from what it used to be. If it causes me stress, I can’t do it, that includes everything from TV to hobbies, books, music, or relationships. Sometimes I can’t even sit through all of church and that’s ok too. I listen to my body more, and worry what other people think of me a lot less! I can’t do many of the things I used to love.
However, I am learning to love the new things in my life. I’m quite certain that I will never be the same. The old me died with my marriage to a man who never really loved me. I never would have believed 5 years ago that I could claw my way out of the black hole I was dropped into by this shocking revelation. And in the process, I have been changed so completely that I will never go back to how I used to be. I can never go back. I know too much now. And here’s the interesting part, I don’t think I want to anymore. I am right where I belong. I know I am healing because I can finally leave my house, and interact with people who are not related to me, and not have a full blown panic attack! That is what meditation has done for me. I find the “generous present moment” in meditation and in that moment there is no fear of the past and no anxiety for the future. In that present moment, there is only peace! Glorious, blissful peace.
I’ve leaned so much about myself over these last few years. It turns out that I am pretty great, and now I know this with every cell in my being! I no longer need outside sources to tell me who I am. Validation comes from within. I know for myself! I’m sad to say, that I really didn’t know that before. Besides my previous talents and abilities, several more have been recently revealed to me. One of which is, that I am an intuitive empath with a gift for energy healing, both for myself and others. I expect these gifts only to expand and grow with practice and grace. I am convinced that others will be discovered as I develop these existing gifts further.
I have been busy working hard to become a certified life coach, NLP practitioner, certifying in mindful meditation, hypnosis, EFT and other energy healing modalities, finishing my book, and developing my signature coaching program. It’s a lot! And sometime the progress is slow and plodding. But I keep moving forward with the encouragement and divine directive of heaven.
So as you can see, I have no room for anger in my life. Or pain, for that matter. I work daily to live in a place of peace. But…that doesn’t mean I am a doormat. Little does my Ex realize that his actions awakened the fiercest of warriors in me, not just for myself, but for others too. Anger takes up too much energy and it’s not worth the price it costs me. It’s unproductive. When it comes to emotions, I’ve learned how to measure what it costs my body in terms of the amount energy expended in emotions. I have finally found my pathway through, and out of, the anger! It is transmuted into my life’s purpose in helping others who ended up broken by the choices of someone else who was supposed to love and protect them. When you find your purpose, nothing else matters, it becomes your quest in life, your soul’s focus. I have found great wisdom in this quote “Where your focus goes, energy flows.”
Thankfully, I have better things to focus on now.
This insight comes from knowing that I deserved so much more than the crumbs of love I was thrown by a man who never appreciated even 1/10th of who I was. I never deserved to be put down, made fun of, treated like I was stupid, or criticized incessantly! No one will ever talk to me like that again. And I certainly didn’t deserve to be cheated on! We teach others how to treat us, and I, wrongly, believed that acquiescence was my job. He must have mistaken my compliance for consent. My job really was to set strong healthy boundaries and keep them. I now have those strong boundaries firmly in place, never to be moved again. Staying silent to keep the peace was killing me one small piece at a time. I will never be complicit in being abused again!
Let me be clear, my Ex doesn’t get to take any of the credit for my hard fought emotional work, or my metamorphosis! I did this on my own. I am the one who entered into the “dark night of the soul” alone, and emerged, transformed. I could have chosen another outcome, but I didn’t. He has nothing to do with any of my choices, just like I have nothing to do with any of his choices. That is the gift and blessing of agency.
I am relieved that I don’t have the time, nor the energy, to think about him much these days, another gift resulting from my choices. When I do think of him, it is usually with some sort of sad variation of pity. He has lost so much more than I have, and the worst part is that he did it to himself. Quite frankly, he doesn’t matter to me anymore, he has become irrelevant in my life. Someone once said that anger is the other side of love, and you don’t need to worry when someone is still angry with you, because it’s a sign they still care. It’s only when they reach apathy that you have to worry. That’s where I am. Apathy. I’m finally there, and it feels good to sense the chains of emotions I had for him falling away.
I have no doubt that my current path will bring me complete healing, in time. I have already come so far from those first few weeks, where, on my knees at his feet, I begged a man who was completely unworthy of me, to take me back. The thought of it now is laughable! He should been the one begging me! Today, I have enough self respect to never do that again. I also love myself enough to never give another person that kind of power over my happiness. That power is firmly in my own hands! One day soon, I hope to show other betrayed women how to find this place a lot quicker, and with more of their soul intact!
This poem, by Robert Frost, is one I have loved since I was in high school. It is more relevant to me now than it was then, and sums up so many of my feelings today…
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Stay Sweet, Be Strong
The Cupcake Warrior