Divorce. Loneliness. Restoration

How I overcame devastation while living in a new country, having a severely handicapped child and having not one family member to help me.

Loneliness. I recall one Friday afternoon very shortly after my daughter’s Dad dropped the bomb that he was leaving, sitting in my office vaguely aware of colleagues wishing me a beautiful week-end as they hurried off into their lives. I thought how unbelievable it was that  life was one way one moment and in the twinkling of an eye, another way the next. It’s the usual cliché, everything I had built up over 20 years suddenly fell apart; it seemed as if a huge wave came over and wiped away all traces of the life we knew. Suddenly other people replaced us. It was like a movie I was watching from a numb body.

Sitting at my desk alone that late Friday afternoon, I sank my head into my hands and wept.  However, through all of that I resolved to do things completely differently: I would not follow a route of bad-mouthing, I would not demand money, I would not force him to see his child – it would need to be either he wants to out of love and character or he did not,  I would not use our handicapped daughter as a chess game for manipulation, I would not speak about it to my colleagues until I was ready or never, I would not inquire and be curious about his new life. He was none of my business anymore and has the right to choose his happiness. Instead, I would focus on building a beautiful, new life for my sweet Pia and I. Conflict free.

The first six years after the divorce, I used for the restoration of my heart, learn new things and follow my dreams. Some might think that this is an awfully long time to be “single”. It was a very conscious decision. From the age of twenty three I had been in back-to-back relationships that lasted really long, had never been alone, did not know what it was like to completely make my own decisions, go where I want, say what I want. I did not even really know me! Most importantly though,  there was my daughter. I did not want her to deal with the instability of men coming or going in our lives so I created a cosy space for us where she would feel comfortable and was respectful and mindful that she too needed time to adjust, to grieve her Dad’s absence from home. I feel all too often, children are so badly neglected not necessarily physically but emotionally as we adults are keen to take care of our personal needs when a partner leaves. It’s hard for children, my heart bleeds for them.

The only way I could approach my new life in a healthy, balanced way was to ensure that my body, mind and soul was taken care of. Each decision I was going to make would come from a point of restoration. So I changed my eating habits. Changed my thought process from fear, negativity and doubt to believing that I have the power, am equipped and able to do way more than I thought I could. Yes, there were and still are, uncomfortable moments; stepping out and putting oneself out there, learning new things, walking down unknown pathways … it’s scary, it’s uncomfortable, it can be lonely. The thing is though, life is so much more than hopping into the next relationship, getting back at someone, rehashing disappointments. I feel that there is too much fear of being alone and it leads us to settle for less, make very poor decisions and very often, return to the same mistakes just in a different form.

In closing, my life now is beyond anything I could have imagined, however,  I do want to be real  and add that it is hard work and entails alot of falling down, getting up, sacrifice and help. (One of the things I have had to learn is to ask for help which is hard as I value my independents). The secret is to become selfish and to understand that it’s our duty and we owe it to ourselves and loved ones to take care of ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually; allow those who want to leave  to leave, declutter – not to “show” anyone anything but to free yourself from the old and move into the new. Decluttering played a huge role in transforming my life. Lift up your head, dry your tears, look!!! – a new day has come. 

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