Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Below are a few tender words about my journey back to me…discovering my wholeness.
I grew up in a suburb of Dallas, the youngest of three kids, the only daughter. My parents worked hard to provide us with as comfortable life as possible, while instilling the importance of hard work and “family values.” They meant well and I whole-heartedly believe they did the best they could. However, my family lineage was plagued with alcoholism, a cycle which my family had not escaped. I was raised in a cluster of contradictions, implicit and unaware, and carried this pattern unknowingly into my adult life.
Alcoholism and the intense codependence that rides along side left little room for me to be me. Our family suffered from a disease, and it was slowly killing me. I left home when I was eighteen. The next handful of years I worked hard to support myself, knowing that going back was not an option. I struggled; I was a young woman living paycheck to paycheck, frequently with no more than $10 to my name. While I didn’t have the words or even the luxury of thinking such thoughts, I longed for security…
When I was twenty-two years old, I met my knight in shining armor, the man who would be my husband for twenty years. We married two years later and started a family right away.
The next twenty-two years of my life were dedicated being a supportive wife and raising my two amazing children. I tackled motherhood with incredible zest, devouring the influential parenting books of the time and seeking out advice of trusted friends and professionals. I found motherhood to be both incredibly rewarding and my greatest challenge, as children will always show us where our personal unfinished business lies.
However as the years passed, I knew something was off in my life, but could not put my finger on what it was. As I began to question the world around me, the universe began to open my eyes to what was awry.
One day in 2013, I was awoken to a painful reality. I had spent years in denial, seeing only what I wanted to see, ignoring the quiet voice of my intuition. My desperate desire for security had come at a very high cost. On the outside, it looked as though I had it all. I had the marriage, the house, the family…but it was built on shifting sand. I felt an intense tidal wave of shame as I began to absorb how I had played a role in self-deception and self-betrayal.
The next three years, I desperately dove head first into books about marriage, going to a silly amount of therapy, and trying desperately to heal and create a mutual and loving relationship. It didn’t work. As a mentor of mine says, both people need to row the boat, and I felt that I was the only one rowing…I was exhausted. I filed for divorce in 2016.
I refer to those years as the great unraveling. The years that followed were my reconstruction.
I began taking ownership for how I was showing up in relationship and committed to changing my ways of being; a road I continue to travel each day.
My earlier experiences had taught me to repress my voice, my wants and desires as a way to keep the connection of which I so desperately longed. Unconsciously, I had betrayed myself and morphed into what I thought others wanted me to be. My greatest pain of losing my marriage turned into my greatest gift. Along the way, I learned (and continue to learn) to identify and speak my needs, to hold boundaries and to take complete responsibility for my life. I learned to befriend fear- to welcome it along this journey with me. I now live a rich and full life of meaning. My relationships with my kids, family and friends have all vastly deepened. Perhaps most importantly, I have truly learned to nurture and tend to my most vital relationship- the relationship with myself…(more to come about this.)