If I could go back and tell the Feb 2018 KG a word of encouragement, it would be to KEEP GOING. The me from two years ago was afraid…BIG TIME. As the mother/mother figure to 5 children and at time having been with my husband for almost 17 years, I did not know what the future held but I knew I could not do more years like the last 17. I truly stepped out on pure faith and decided to walk away.
At first I cried. Then came the fear. I started to have anxiety, something I can’t say I had ever experienced to that degree ever before. I did not know how I was going to provide for my children. I was afraid that our lifestyle would drastically change. My husband and I didn’t make a lot of money but there were two incomes. Two people to run decisions by. Two people to face hard times together. Two people to raise teenagers with. Two people who loved each other but did not know how to love each other outside of the toxic relationship that took us almost 17 years to create.
Two years ago, I was hurting after just watching not one, not two, but three people in my life literally die. The most profound of those deaths was my paternal Grandmother, Geraldine. She was our matriarch. She was a very important person in my life. At her funeral I was asked to speak and I encouraged the attendees to look at their lives and ask themselves one question, “Am I creating a legacy I can be proud of?” It was in that moment that I realized I was not. I was not happy, in fact, most days I was depressed. The environment at home was not a positive one to raise children in. In fact, they would retreat to their rooms most days.
Nope! I was not doing my Grandmother’s legacy and hard work justice. I was not creating a legacy that not only she could be proud of but one that my future self could look back on and say “job well done”.
Was it all him? It would make me feel better to say “hell yes” but the truth of the matter is, I played a starring role in the demise of my relationship. I too knew nothing about what a healthy relationship looked like. I didn’t have good examples of healthy relationships growing up. What I know is that we often become the thing(s) we often despise the most. I had become a blaring replica of the toxic relationships I had seen growing up.
Sure, there was lying and manipulation being done. Often times I ask myself if I made the right choice. My life today does not mirror my life then. I am in fact happy now. I grew in leaps in bounds since I walked away 2 years ago. I became more of the woman I needed to be. So, when I look at my now, I can truly say YES, I made the right decision. My children, though we have had challenges, they are better and in better environments. Me and my now ex-husband are both in better spaces, mentally, physically and emotionally.
God met me at every need. Every fear I had HE showed up in every area of my life. I lost a part of my income that year and I had to pick up odd jobs to stay afloat. I eventually lost my job that year. God blessed me with a better job. At every corner he was right there to take my hand. I had challenges with one of my teenage sons that year. God covered him. He graduated high school the following year. At every challenge, at every need, with every fear God showed up and provided. He sent people as resources. Provision was made. HE MADE A WAY! I just had to keep walking forward.
Today I am a divorced single mother who can honestly say I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire adult life. I didn’t leave because I didn’t love my husband, I left because I had to learn to love me.
So, if I could tell KG from Feb 2018 anything, it would be to keep going, trust God, and to trust his plan. As my then 19 year old son told me, “It gets greater later.”
I thought I wouldn’t find peace. I thought I wouldn’t ever NOT feel anxiety. I thought the heart break would last forever. I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it financially. BUT GOD.
I’m standing stronger, healthier, and happier. I survived my storm so that I can teach you how to hold on through yours. In the words of my son, it will get greater later. Hold on!