Letting the tears fall

One piece of advice from a woman who had also gone through of infidelity and divorce was to let those tears fall. She told me there were times she didn't think she would make it through the day, and she got through those days 10 minutes at a time. Let those tears fall honey.


I thought ok, a month maybe two, I will put this behind me. I really didn't realized how much hurt, anger and frustration I had stuffed down inside of me. I honest to god thought I was ok, just a little sad and mixed up. I was told, "your not ready for a romantic relationship" At that time, I had no idea what they were talking about. I am fine, I thought. Supporters told me "it will get better" and without fail they looked me with the same look. It was a knowing look that said "Oh honey! you have no idea, you cannot even imagine it yet". I could see without question these women were happy. I couldn't really relate, they were like aliens and I couldn't really understand the culture. I envied it, I wanted it, but I couldn't see for a second how it could be possible. I saw Isabelle, and she was always a beacon of hope for me, if she could make it through than I could too. In my darkest times, I looked at her smiling face, happy with her new love, I thought to myself, just keep going in that direction.



The way I was feeling during this time was how I always felt. Very confused with a heavy weight constantly sitting on my chest. Every day was a struggle. I did not really feel the smiles that were on my face, I didn't really experience real joy. I was doing all the things I was supposed to do, the things good wives and mothers do. I was following the script. Get a degree, get a good job, buy a house, pay the bills, just keep marching. I was not truly enjoying my life. I truly believed this is what life was, an endless series of obligations.


With my divorce came the opportunity to actually live my life. I wanted to jump in full force, lets go! I have been waiting long enough. I got out there, I started dating, I started doing activities. I made new friends. Life was good. But for some reason, whenever I was alone. I cried. Tears fell all the time. I had no idea why. I would leave an event where I had had a whole day of fun and I would cry all the way home, wondering what was wrong with me. Months went by, tears would still inexplicably fall. I absolutely did not miss my ex-husband. Nor did I miss my marriage. Why couldn't this just end. Lets just get to the good part.

That's when I got some support from an expert. I told her my story, what was bothering me, what kept floating through my head. And she said to me "It sounds like you need to grieve" I thought I had been doing that? Then she said, you have to grieve what you thought you had, not what it was.


Now when I talk about this, there is a little more to it, that just my ex. After my divorce I met someone else who was amazingly supportive and critical to me moving forward, that "relationship" didnt work out and got really messy in the end. But that person was a godsend for me for a little while and gave me something I didn't know was possible. He wasn't the man for me, but he showed me something. Losing his friendship was incredibly painful for me. When she said I needed to grieve it was for both these situations.


With this advice, I reflected. I realized a lot of those tears were for the life I missed out on. I never had my twenties, thirties or forties. When I met my ex, I was on the verge of getting all the dreams of my childhood. I was in university, I had a plan. I was going to get my degree, then I wanted to live in various cities around the world. I had already done an exchange program to Indonesia (Canada World Youth) and I planned to do more of that. Meeting my ex, ended all of that.


At that time, I didn't have a strong belief in myself, I was certain I was going to fail. I was going through life terrified. It was easy for him to seem like a safe port. Even though I was scared, at that time I still moved forward, but for some reason, during my marriage, I reverted back to the belief that I couldn't do anything like that. My world became very small. I didn't even think about those goals. I was completely ruled by fear.


With my marriage breakdown, and as I started to achieve things on my own again. I suddenly realized, I could have done anything. Not only that, I would have. I realized how close I actually was to living the life I wanted when I gave it all up. All those walls and limitations were in my head. I realized that being successful was actually inevitable. You couldn't work that hard and fail. There may have been set backs, but at some point I would have made it and I would have been fine.


This was the first part of my grief, grief for this loss. The years of emptiness and frustration, never being good enough. The wasted effort. That other "relationship" (I use term loosely I dont know what else to call it)I was talking about he told me "back then you were doing your best to keep the balls in the air, you were doing what you needed to survive." He was right. And this leads into the second part of my grief. For a little while, there was someone that understood, he understood my pain even better than I did. He put it into words. His support and guidance changed everything for me. But that ended and he turned really cold, and he actually said somethings to me that were very hurtful. That lifeline he threw me though, for that little bit felt really good, comforting and warm. then it was gone. I needed to grieve that too, even if it was short. And while I pondered on this, I realized it wasn't really about him. It was about living a lifetime in cold relationships, never having a warm loving caring partner. One thing he said to me, is you deserve love Carolynne. I came into your life to show you that you deserve love. Oddly. I think he actually achieved that, he gave me the taste. He has moved on, and isn't in my life anymore, but the impact remains. I was carrying so much hurt because I never felt loved in my life. Then I realized, I was grieving the lack of warmth love and support in my past. Something I never ever had, he had shone a light on that and it hurt.


So in closing, the message is, you have to allow yourself to feel those feelings. And even though you think everything is well, deep inside there is still a lot going on and its all healing. This stuff will keep bubbling up until is all worked its way out. And I can tell you, it takes a lot longer than you think it will. Don't beat yourself up if you don't recover as fast as you think you should. Just keep stepping one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. You will get there.


Let those tears fall. One day life will get better, those tears will dry up, but for now just accept it. There is no fast track through the pain.

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