Silver Linings.

Every day further from them is a day closer to true happiness.

I thought it was about time for a more positive post. So here’s a list of good things and experiences that have happened since I left or little things I’ve noticed.

• It’s a small thing, but I don’t have to correct people who say “she/her” and “your wife” anymore….yeah, he was a husband. Awkward. It happened a lot more than I expected, then I noticed how androgynous/feminine his name was. I can laugh at it now and I don’t have to worry about it.

• Sometimes I’ll still be a little self conscious about what I wear and wonder if I look ok. A few weekends ago I went out and ran into a couple I knew and they said “wow you look great!” I don’t think they knew how much that meant to me at the time. We got to talking and were having a great conversation when they stopped me to say “I never realized how cool you were. You seem a lot better after you left.” That made me the happiest I’ve been in a while.

• I have so many more friends already. Some I had had before and had grown apart from, some are new. It’s so nice to be able to go out and hang with friends and not worry about getting a slew of text messages asking about where I am or who I’m with.

• I’ve made some great friendships as a direct result of this relationship ending. One of them being with my now closest friend on island. She was involved in the situation and he had originally pitted us against each other, but as soon as we talked and realized what had been going on, and how SIMILAR we were….we were fast friends. She’s been there for me through thick and thin. We’ve called each other with good news, bad news, and everything in between and text and share memes all day every day. It’s so great to find someone who thinks so similar to you and who’s been through the same struggles and come out the other side stronger. We encourage one another and reassure each other when the doubts occasionally creep in. She’s a big part of the reason I know I can make it through this and be even better than I was before it happened. Plus she’s a weightlifter like me, automatic swolemates!

• Leaving improved all of my relationships in general as well. I’m closer to my family now especially my younger sister), my best friend from high school and I get along better now that she isn’t afraid for me and I’m not stuck in the abuse cycle any more, another of my best friends from home and I can talk about things besides my fights with my partner, I’m not afraid to try to have friendships with coworkers like I used to be because of his judgements. I’m much less restricted and lonely.

• I actually have free time now and I don’t feel rushed, guilted or pressured when I have things to get done.

• My stress levels are down so much in general without worrying about the random fights, barrages of messages, and wondering when I’ll find out he cheated on me again.

• Quite a few girls have reached out to me since I started this and it honestly surprised me just how many of us have been through something like this. So if you’re out there and you feel alone, know that you definitely aren’t. There are a lot of us out there.

• I’m more confident and driven than I have been in a long time. Having a clear mind for the first time in months has been amazing.

• I can take care of myself again without being shamed for it.

• I like myself again.

• I can take me time just because.

• I can make future plans how I want them with no one to worry about but me.

• I don’t have to obsess over who follows me, likes things, or adds me as a friend on social media.

• Taking a picture and someone saying “I think that’s the first time you’ve looked truly happy in months” and knowing they’re right. And you feel happy.

• Re-learning that you shouldn’t feel guilty or shameful that someone thinks you’re attractive. It’s a compliment. It’s ok to accept it and move on.

• It’s ok to post pictures just because you think you look good and you like it. That’s the whole reason you should post in the first place! It’s nothing to feel guilty of.

• I learned so much about myself and can already tell I’m getting better every day.

• I’m about to leave for the field, and I don’t have to dread my first contact with him after I get back.

• Although I have lost some faith in people through all of this, there are some who have pleasantly surprised me with their defense of me and readiness to have my back. You know who you are and you’re very appreciated.

• I’ve learned I can handle more than I thought and the harder I’m pushed the harder I push back. I missed that about myself.

Things aren’t perfect. But even when there’s still uncertainty and you’re still waiting, there is good to be found. I thank God every day for getting me out of the situation I was in. There are days this blog is hard for me, especially when I have to go back and re-read conversations. But knowing there are some of you out there being helped by this makes it so so worth it and so much more than just a way for me to get things off my chest. I hope you know I’m always here if you need to talk.

Every day I feel it more…..happiness. It’s coming back slowly but surely, and so is the old me. I feel free again. I love myself again. I’m not perfect, I have work to do like I always will, but I am free, and I am me.

I’m writing this blog partially for you, next girl. I know him pretty damn well after what he put me through, and I’d bet reads this every day. I hope you will one day. Sooner rather than later. Good luck, you’re going to need it.

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