Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On loving again, living again

Many people are afraid of getting involved again after the collapse of a marriage. Some people would call them embittered, but beneath bitterness is fear. We have been hurt. We are afraid of being hurt again so we stop trusting men, or women. It's a simple equation.

I don't want to be one of those persons. This is not to say that I don't have my own fears. I do. Sometimes my fears are so huge they feel as if they will engulf me. But I'm willing to sit quietly in the center of those fears until they become something else, even if I chicken out the first hundred times and have to keep coming back to them.

I know enough to look at the world and see that it is made up both of people who are incredibly generous and open-hearted, as well as those who, in their woundedness, have chosen to turn their pain outward upon others. And these two types of people are not divided up by gender lines. And to recognize them you don't look at their faces or listen to their words, but look at their actions and listen with your heart.

Sometimes I read blogs written by my friends and they talk about the deep love and friendship in their marriages and I think, "How beautiful. I've never had that. I've never known what it feels like to be supported like that." It's true. I felt very alone in my marriage.

I could tell stories from my marrige that would illustrate this, but I won't. I must have been okay with it on some level, because I stayed. Then again, when you have babies and no job, and then you are diagnosed with cancer, it's hard to walk out. But I tried to make it work and sometimes I believed it could and sometimes I wasn't sure.

Two years ago I started seeing a counselor because I was unhappy and felt I needed to make some changes in my life. Six months later a friend and I traveled to Australia for three weeks. Alone, no kids. The following month I started writing again after a ten year hiatus. I started Wanderlust. I was becoming myself again, remembering myself.  Then things moved fast. My husband and I started marriage counseling, our marriage erupted, I was assaluted. Then one day three men showed up to search our home and confiscated many of my husband's belongings, at which point I discovered he was under criminal investigation. "You're going to need to get a restraining order, ma'am."

Bam. Welcome to your new life, Kristin.

So, where does that leave me? Have I been betrayed? Truly, madly, deeply. In ways I can't quite wrap my mind around. But not by all men. Just one man. Does it hurt? Fuck yes. It hurts so much I haven't even allowed myself to feel it all yet, because I still have to feed my kids and pay the bills and stand upright and I can't do all that and feel the full impact of the pain at the same time. I have to take it in doses.

But I'm still full of hope. I may not be as young as most, but I'm young enough and I still want to get it right.  The good news is I'm no longer afraid to be myself, to speak my truth, to use my voice, to enforce my boundaries and, most importantly, to be vulnerable. Perhaps that is the gift of getting it wrong.

There is a quote by Hafiz that I have up on Facebook: "I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being." I love this quote. I often think of it when my friends are in turmoil or I read blogs about someone struggling with insecurities. You know, someone writing about battling depression or maybe they were treated poorly by their parents or spouse. Because I look at them, each of them, and I think, "my god, you are so incredible, why can't you see how fucking incredible you are? You are afraid to reach out and take the littlest bit of happiness and yet you deserve the world!"

Even though I can see this beauty in others sometimes I still struggle to see it in myself. Sometimes I catch a glimpse and then it is gone. Maybe that's what we're all here for. To hold a mirror up to each other. If there is anything I could wish to accomplish with my writing it would be that, to hold a mirror up to each of you that reflected back to you your greatness.

Today I was laying in bed and feeling like shit. I was thinking of all the things in my life that are weighing me down, and they all have to do with my husband's criminal investigation and the vast repercussions it has had on my life.  It has stalled our divorce and interfered with my ability to move on with my life; it has been financially devastating, and has compromised both my health and my safety. My usual way to process and heal and garner support is to write but if I write about this, I fear backlash and so waver between speaking up and remaining quiet.

When I say it was weighing me down I could actually feel it. It felt like all this stuff was a web of dark energy that sat over me.  I hated it. I was sick of it. Today something rose up in me and just said no. I said it out loud: "NO!" I said, "I want to be free," and I felt it. I felt it all the way through to my core. I started crying because when I said it out loud I saw myself, in that mirror, and I knew that I mattered and my life was worth more than this, so much more. It felt powerful, like a rush of energy going through me, so I just kept talking and naming everything that I wanted in my life: love, joy, safety, freedom. It was liberating. In that moment, I felt like I could reach out and touch God. I felt something like a fire rising within me and I smiled and cried at the same time.

And then the doorbell rang.

The sacred and the mundane.

I got up and went downstairs. It was a package from Victoria's Secret. I had ordered a new bra for my trip to Sydney. It is turquoise with an overlay of navy lace and rhinestones. Gorgeous. No one will see it but me (and perhaps Nikki and Mrs. Woog, since they are taking me shopping). But it makes me feel sexy.

A new life, a new bra. It's a simple equation.


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46 comments:

  1. Great post, hon.

    I demand a viewing of the bra though. Sounds fab! ;) x

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  2. You deserve the best the world has to offer. I love hearing you recognise that, too.

    Let the good times roll, I say. Can't be soon enough!

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  3. I hope you find, somewhere, whether in the words or the arms or the eyes of your friends, or your children, a place where you can see your own beauty shining back at you. In your words it is as bright as the sun reflecting on the ocean.
    To go through what you have, and not be bitter, not be ready to cut yourself off, is something quite amazing. To still have faith in people, in life, in love. To be prepared to sit with your fear until it is transformed, into fire, into passion, into peace, is a rare skill, seldom practised.
    Maybe you should buy a little notebook,with a dark cover, slightly sinister, but still beautiful, and write your darkness in it, until the day comes when you're ready to throw it into the fire and let it burn.

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  4. Oh you KNOW that you're gonna be showing everyone that bra now right? Rhinestones you say? As if we CAN'T see it. In fact, I demand it!

    It's GOING to get better. All that good in you deserves better, and I do believe with all that I am that you are going to get some good your way. It's just the waiting that sucks.

    Hang in there lady and just look down at those rhinestones as a reminder of just how much light YOU shine. I mean look at you...your tits SHINE!

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  5. Now we are going to have to have a public viewing - you do realise that don't you?

    On a serious note, this post could have been written by me, except that I am so sick of writing about that part of my life, about my pain. I can't bear to go there any more.

    I'm thrilled you had your moment of clarity, of closeness to God. Those are so rare, yet so nourishing.

    I too wonder what it's like to have a supportive, trustworthy, loving partner. I am learning not to feel resentful when I hear/read about such relationships, and instead to think, "Yeah, I want me some of that!".

    Every time I feel like I've made some progress in moving on with my life, I fall back down remembering how I've been betrayed and start thinking that I obviously deserved it because I'm such an worthless person.

    (((Hugs)))

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  6. You deserve a new bra every day! You've taken an important step forward - to know what you don't want is useful. To know what you do want is the key to true happiness. Go out there and get it!

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  7. You're only as perky as the ladies, my mother taught me! After every period of darkness, some new lingerie is mandatory.

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  8. I think that bra deserves its own outfit xx Beautiful post and not long now my lovely xx

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  9. "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley

    Don't we make mistakes in the search for that someone. Then we doubt our own perceptions, our assessments. Sometimes, we trust others before ourselves, but in reality, we are the only ones who know our own lives, the intimate moments and thoughts and solitary dealings and conversations. Ultimately, we must trust - and forgive ourselves when we get it wrong - ourselves before we can truly trust another.

    Enjoy the new lingerie. Sounds very sexy. X

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  10. "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley

    Don't we make mistakes in the search for that someone. Then we doubt our own perceptions, our assessments. Sometimes, we trust others before ourselves, but in reality, we are the only ones who know our own lives, the intimate moments and thoughts and solitary dealings and conversations. Ultimately, we must trust - and forgive ourselves when we get it wrong - ourselves before we can truly trust another.

    Enjoy the new lingerie. Sounds very sexy. X

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  11. Uplifting on so many levels! Love a good 'a ha' moment and love a good bra!

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  12. Claiming back your life, claiming back your voice and claiming back you .....starts with beautiful rhinestones and lace.

    A great post.... "Hugs"

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  13. You said no to that energy. I effing LOVE hearing that.

    Well done you.

    And I want a geezer at those rhinestones too xox

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  14. Thankyou for sharing Kristin. Big, bright and wonderfully fabulous are coming your way. I can feel it! xxx

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  15. God you're gorgeous. I see good times ahead for you, K. xx

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  16. *smiles*
    you will come to Australia loaded with candy and you will have to show your cute bra to all the other bloggers, i suppose you know that ?
    shame i miss that.
    it's a good thing to see that indeed, you have not been broken by the clash of your marriage's breakdown.
    I always believed in myself, deep down inside and, like you, I wanted to have a real loved one in my life.. and a real father for my child. I would never have dreamt it would happen so fast, but there you go... when you are not looking ...etc (and Visa included lol) xox

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  17. HI Kristin. I am glad that you wrote this. I honestly believe that this space, this is sacred. It was never easy to speak your mind, this space has that power. I wish you best for this new journey. Go get it. xo

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  18. new bra sounds like a very good start :-)
    xxxCate

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  19. My Mum has dealt with nothing but abusive relationships all of her adult life. She says these experiences have made her grow and change for the better - and she shared with me the other day that she too hopes to love again one day. Without hope we have nothing, she tells me.

    As sure as the sun will rise, I am sure she is will find love again and you too my lovely. Hold onto hope x

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  20. My blog is a visual representation of my own journey through separation and divorce and depression and turmoil up into the hope and, miraculously, true love that waited on the other side. You have faced far greater hardship in that journey than I did, but nevertheless I am here as living proof that YES, it can and does get better. Being embittered by it would have prevented that hope and love and joy, so you are exactly right in your approach.

    And a gorgeous bra like that one is a great place to start.

    (((HUGS)))

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  21. A wonderful, uplifting post. Good for you...and the new bra, too!

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  22. Good for you Kristen. It is funny because a couple of months I wrote about the power of a purple bra- sometimes those little things that no one else sees are reminders that indeed you are worth a fabulous bra and deserve to treat yourself well!

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  23. You will definitely live and love again! Fully! Promise! :D
    Because you are worth it, and you want it

    I am so glad I went through all the darkness with an X - I came out valuing myself so much more. That made somebody else value m as well! And I am much much happier! :D

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  24. I'm so glad I saw your tweet with this link. I needed to read this - to know this - today. Thanks for writing it, truly. I feel stalled and broken and it feels a bit better knowing that someone is facing her own demons with her head raised high, thinking positive thoughts about herself and others and is a shining example of how it should be. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your words.

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  25. There is a gorgeous, special man out there just waiting for you to come into his life when you are ready. And he'll be incredibly lucky when you do.
    Plus he might also want to see you in that bra. So don't wear it out too soon. Okay!

    Trish
    xx

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  26. Oh, I love all your comments (especially yours Trish!) Thank you. Showing of the bra to take place in suite de Woog/Sawhole/Wanderlust. No cameras, please. Dollar bills accepted.

    @ Jurgen Nation - Thank you. There's a whole sisterhood of us, you know. Quietly fighting our demons. We will prevail. If you ever doubt that, keep coming back to look in the mirror. We'll be here holding it up for you. xx

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  27. I really overuse this quote, but "A life lived in fear is a life half lived". You inspire me Kristin.

    P.S. I'll show you mine if you show me yours (though my bra will be a manky maternity one so you're getting a bum deal there).

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  28. Your light just shines through in every thing you do, everything you say, Kristin. There are plenty of men who are just going to want to bask in that light forever.

    You will find them and you are ready now. You are not the same person you were when you were married. This new Kristin has not been treated badly, she has not lost trust. She was not the one in a loveless marriage or lonely or hurt. She is not you.

    You are brand new and fresh and ready to take on the world.

    And look out world. x

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  29. I follwed a linke from your comment on Anastasia's blog to read this post and I loved it. I can relate to so much of it.

    I am in the process of divorce, being drawn out interminably by an ex who sits on paperwork and has pretty much made it impossible for me to go forward without an attorney. Our marriage was so angry and bitter, and I have two small children, so the thought of loving again terrified me. More than a year after my ex moved out, though I started to date a little bit, and then I met someone really great. Now I find my own codependency issues rising up again and threatening to sabotage the new relationship. Its hard to let go of old wounds, the scars that past relationships leave on our heart can so often influence the way we react to others today.

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  30. What a beautiful, inspiring post. You have a great grip on the world, a sense of what's important. I was going to say "I wish I had your courage" - but maybe I do - I'm glad I've never been tested like you have. I reckon the others are right - your future looks bright.

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  31. beautiful as always Kristin. Looking forward to meeting you and your bra soon.

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  32. I too want to meet your new bra (and of course you too - that goes without saying) - how about standing up and flashing us all at the conference - wouldn't that be a hoot. Of course, here is me, Mrs Scared of Anything That Draws Attention To Myself - urging you on. But I just love beautiful bras as I always have boring ones because of my larger than life figure.

    But then this post is not all about that gorgeous bra - you are an amazing woman who I admire in immense proportions. I love that you have thrown those shackles away, you are the Key, and you have always known that, so glad that you remembered.

    Much love - see you in a couple of weeks. xxx

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  33. great quote

    I am sad that you felt alone in your marriage

    but i am happy that you have hope....and that you had the guts to get that Victoria Secret bra...simple things like this are not always as easy as they sound

    and yet, they do make you feel bloody fantastic

    and that's all good, right!?

    Gill xo

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  34. Once again I'm left in awe of you. Such a brave and beautiful post xx

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  35. Oooh, love the hope and wonder in this. Love the quote too!!

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  36. Don't hold yourself back from any of the joy that is coming your way -- you deserve it and should be open to finding love, honesty, and true partnership with a soul mate. It's out there. Be kind to yourself first, then you can shine your light for others to see!

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  37. Kristen you're too beautiful (in every sense) to never love or really live again. And you deserve it; happiness in every form. xox

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  38. Great post. I love that you are postive. You are living and will love again. Once the garbage with your ex is over (or even before) you are going to knock teh socks of the world. And that will be without flashing that bra.

    :)

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  39. I'm so glad that you know that your worth so much more. I wish everyone could be like that.

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  40. Gorgeous post by an equally gorgeous woman. Thanks for the link love. Soon when you are ready you will find that love you deserve and it will be amazing! xx

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  41. Kristin, this is an absolutely beautiful post. You are such an inspiration, and you succeed in what you aim to do here. You hold up that mirror. You inspire. You convince others we are strong and beautiful too. You create smiles. Thank you. Have a fabulous trip, so excited for you!

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  42. Hugs. Can't wait to see you and your new bra! xo

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  43. Damn, I so understand how you feel. Love you.

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  44. What an empowering story. Thank you for sharing what is obviously a very personal experience. I'm sure there are so many women out there who need to hear your words. And what a fantastic quote on your Facebook page. Perfect! :)

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  45. Dang! I wanted to see the bra too! Kristin, I truly wish to see to find love with someone who will love you, support you, and love your kids.

    I just can't imagine who anyone couldn't love you -- you gorgeous woman.

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