Freedom Isn’t Free

April 25, 2014 should have been a happy time in my life. This site was set to go live. I had envisioned it being a platform for a book manuscript that I had worked really hard on creating, not to mention a place for me to speak my truth about my spiritual processes, healing modalities, and other artistic expressions.

The spiritual part of my life was something I had to hide or I would be faced with ridicule since my husband did not experience or view life the way I did.  Writing was a secret pleasure that I found in situations that felt very much like a prison cell, but where I could connect to Spirit.

There’s nothing like fleshing out scenes in my marriage in which I could see unhealthy aspects of my relationship that I could no longer ignore. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that the closing of my manuscript was also the ending of my marriage. What I had put up with for all those years because I had two children no longer felt bearable, and the children no longer felt like a reason to stay.

Having a conscious uncoupling would have saved us a lot of money had we hired a mediator and respectfully gone our separate ways. Instead, my husband predictably steered me toward traditional marital therapy (again), where we were given the unwise suggestion by the therapist that I show some of my writing that I had held under wraps for years, to improve intimacy with my husband.

Against my gut, I decided to comply with this out-of-touch so-called expert.

I am certainly no expert in the field of psychology, but I sure wish I had seen the video before I had made decisions to leave.

This brings me back to the evening of April 25, when I found myself with my husband downtown at a restaurant I didn’t want to be in. Had he not heard my voice? It was over. I didn’t love him anymore. What happened that night was spousal betrayal. It was like someone throwing a bomb into our marriage, not caring about who survived or who got maimed in the crossfire. I may have survived physically, but emotionally I was knocked down so far it was like walking out of a streetcar and getting hit by falling scaffolding from a high-rise. Whatever work I had done on myself over the years was ripped open in the course of a night.

Unfortunately, it took a really big experience to catapult me out of the marriage I had been trying to leave for years. A nasty divorce followed. I was faced with making important decisions that some self-help articles say not to do after a traumatic experience. Some of those decisions were wise, and others were not so great because they hit my bank account pretty hard.

Both of my children handled the aftermath the best way they knew how. My youngest had challenges that brought me back to the place I had fled. “Co-parenting” was the guise to bring me back to old roles I never wanted to take on again.

I had reached a point where I knew I would never get an admission or apology for that night, and co-parenting was really me taking on everything with my now young adult son with special needs. I no longer had the energy to manage him when he wasn’t willing to take on responsibility for himself because it was easier for him to blame me. I could barely manage myself or my life, let alone him. I tried to leave the situation many times but was always reeled in. The plan was to stay until I made sure he jumped through the hoops for a legal issue. I was deathly afraid of letting him fall, even if I was the one on whom the consequences fell.

Another unexpected experience happened when I was pulled out of my marriage, but this time it was between me and my son. There was no more denying it. I needed to extricate myself. Boundaries were crossed, and I took a tough love approach, even though it was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.

A family member took me in, and I’m here, ready to heal and mend myself in the sand and sunshine.

Guilt floats into me on a daily basis, but my leaving takes me out of the toxic three-pronged relationship so every person can take responsibility for themselves. I have to believe that there is a Divine realm ready to help my son, just as I have been helped through hard times myself. My presence in this relationship was actually keeping my son and even my ex-husband from taking responsibility for their own decisions and hearing their own guidance. My role of saving or making either one of their lives easier was over.

A Reiki healer had once wisely told me that I am not my story. I had a hard time with that at first. I had defined myself as having PTSD and admitted I was living with my ex-husband, who caused it to begin with. I couldn’t see I was in prison once again, but I felt heavy and sick and was not moving forward.  Was this label and my story—all of them—really holding me back? Could I own my different stories, keep the wisdom and let the drama go, so I could live my life, as though that part of my life were truly over? There’s a fine line between denial and healing to the point of letting it all go.

The choice is and always has been mine for me to make. Every decision I make and consequences that result from now on are my responsibility. My parents’ role during my formative years continued to influence me during the various stages of my life. I am free to learn from my roles, but I am not destined to replay those scenes over and over. After all of the times I have felt imprisoned, shackled to my childhood tree, I have realized that I am free to remove the shackles because I am the only one who holds the key.

There is an inherent metaphysical lesson: A long time ago, when I first started this spiritual journey, I learned, as a soul, I agreed to take on everything that I have had experiences with thus far. I picked my parents, my intimate relationships, my friends, children, and even my pets. Remembering this makes me forgive myself and all the characters and experiences that have hurt me, and I realize it’s a lesson learned. I hope that the collective experience of childhood and adult abuse that we see in our outer world will move past blaming and projecting our unhealed personal experiences onto others, so we can take responsibility for our part in our individual healing, so we can clear, heal, forgive,and learn another way of interacting with each other in a respectful and healthy way.

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