The Quest Begins
Amending Our Past….
Although John’s hardest struggle was to let go of his financial gains and assets of his past mine was my children. The loss of being a mother to my two young children was definitely the most heart wrenching circumstance that I needed to accept and release.
I had always known deep down that I had done the right thing by keeping them together in a home in which they were familiar. After all their happiness and welfare was by far the most important consideration whenever parents decide to divorce. This I understood indeed. Unfortunately for me, though, this love from a distance was not reciprocated equally. The real danger in any divorce is when one spouse takes advantage of their custody and instead uses it as a lever against the other. Sadly for me this was very much the case. The sands of time were obviously not on my side nor was my ex-husband and therefore it wasn’t long before the love and memories of our past together were being quickly erased from the minds of my children. As fate was to have it the poor financial times I fell upon after my divorce and separation made it physically impossible to be there for them.
This loss hurt me so deeply over the ensuing years I was convinced the hole in my heart from the distance between us both physically and even more significantly emotionally could ever be healed. It took years of yearning for their presence in my life and vast volumes of tears shed before I gradually began to realize that this was a useless exercise. Not only was it not bringing my children any closer to me but it wasn’t adding anything of benefit to my life either. If anything all this despair and remorse was greatly diminishing any hope for happiness.
Gradually with this thought in mind the vice grip that once held my heart hostage was beginning to loosen its hold. Then came a day when I just didn’t feel that pressure anymore, it just seemed to release on its own when I wasn’t even looking. My love for them never changed nor waivered but my understanding and perspective of it did.
Although it has taken much time to try to heal the wide gaps in my relationship with my children I still feel that I did the right thing for them even at the high cost to myself. Scott has always been a little more trusting and open probably because I was able to spend more time with him when he was young.
Shannon however, was only 3 when we separated so it appears she was more affected by the consequences of the divorce. Using much more caution in her relationship with me than Scott and definitely taking things at her own speed and In her own way. I can completely understand her hurt and probably the feelings of betrayal she held for all those years so long ago. I was really disappointed not to be able to see her on her Wedding Day but then again those were her wishes…
My only wish would be to change the course of our separated paths and write a much happier ending but I can’t. Having said that I still trust that I made the right decision for all of us at the time. One that I can and must live with. Nevertheless I can still take great pride from my own small part in their development and contentment in knowing that they have blossomed into their own lives with a strong sense of who they are. Having each found happiness in their choices of life partners they are now both blessed with little boys of their own.
Having to accept and integrate the loss or major change in a relationship for me has required much trust and patience. My breakthroughs came when I consciously allowed these deep emotions to just exist without over thinking or steering them one way or the other. Somehow through this mysterious mechanism the rigid attachments and strings of control and guilt were able to ease and eventually liberated me from the pain of the process I had just been entangled in. Allowing this inner process to take its course has with time enabled me the wisdom to reinforce the bonds which needed mending and the necessary strength when I needed to let them go.
Through this understanding I have been able to rebuild bridges with my many of my past relationships especially that of my parents. I can now understand and accept that my parents and those that had inadvertently hurt me somewhere along the line only acted through what they knew and could only give what they had. Sometimes we wish others to be more of what we want and need but they can’t give anything that they don’t already possess. My parents fall into that category because what I yearned for from them was never there to begin with.
Accepting people for who and what they are and most importantly forgiving them for not being as perfect as you had wished and hoped for is one of the greatest healing tools in the box. Personally it gave me far greater growth and an inner peace which I could viscerally feel than all the years of counselling or in the volumes of self-help books on my shelf. Not only did it have long term results emotionally but physically as well. Gradually I could feel my face became softer and less tense, the furrows in my brow loosened, my heart eased and my shoulders relaxed.
To fully accept those things in my past with all of its warts and wounds and then to forgive myself was also a huge step in the overall evolution towards my healing. Eventually I began to comprehend the importance of feeling complete within myself rather than seeking to fill the gaps from the approval of others. I could never truly validate my own existence while I still replayed all those mental tapes of the past in my mind. Continuing to feel transparent unless I was doing something really worthy of noticing or never being enough until someone else praised me or accepted my presence.
Now I felt differently ensuring myself that I was enough and I could say it without someone else’s opinion. I had finally found the secret combination and unlocked the invisible door which had held me captive. Confined within the prison of my own mind for all those years I had held this key all along…. Redefining my past had now shed a new bright light upon my future…