When my husband first left on the 22nd February 2017, I remember searching the internet for stories of women who had gone through what I was going through, for a beacon of hope that things will get better.
So I am here to tell you, mumma, that they will 100% get better. I promise you.
But, it does take time…
Like childbirth, I actually forget the pain and the hurt that I experienced in those first few months. I can’t really imagine how it felt now; our bodies are incredible like that.
But I do remember how much of a failure I felt, and how scared I was. I was petrified. All the thoughts of not being with my daughter ALL the time, and having to share her with my ex, made me feel physically sick. The thought of him meeting someone else, and Georgia having a step-mother, ripped my heart out of my chest. I didn’t want to go through that. I felt trapped and claustrophobic by these circumstances that I would eventually have to face; I felt completely out of control of my own life.
I had no one to help me when she was sick, or do the night time routine with me. I had no one to help me cook, and clean, and do the washing, and take the bin out, and water the plants, and change the lightbulb, and get the spider out of the house. It was all on me, and it was fucking terrifying!
So for the months that followed, I tried to reconcile with him. I ignored all the reasons why we shouldn’t be together, because I just wanted to mend my little family. I wanted to go camping together. And go for walks on the beach together. Go to swimming lessons together. Go to BBQ’s together. Do all the things you’re supposed to do when you’re a family. I wanted that so badly, that I didn’t care how bad our marriage was. I just wanted it together again.
I grieved what could have been more than what I had lost. And sometimes I think that’s worse, as we tend to romanticise about stories that never existed, and in hindsight, would not have happened anyway. We were too broken.
I seeked counselling and poured my heart out. I talked to the friends who would listen. I cried. I wrote in my diary. I stepped away from my studies and my business so I could go inward and focus on my healing. I sat with the pain. I let it consume me. I felt sorry for myself and pittied myself. I drank too much, and ordered ubereats too many times a week. I put on weight and felt shit about myself. But in those moments, I didn’t care. Self-destruction seemed like my only option.
Until one day a few months ago, a day I can’t recall, I didn’t feel sorry for myself anymore. I stopped crying. I stopped wanting to work things out with my ex. I was ok with the fact that Georgia would have a step-mum one day, (she will just be another female figure in her life, like an aunt or a teacher. She will never replace me. I know that now). I started to embrace the weekends that she would spend with her father, rather than cry and miss her terribly. I finally had ME TIME! Something that my partnered-mummy friends don’t get very often; so I actually started to feel lucky about my situation.
I re-enrolled back into Uni, and started to focus more on my business again. I started to eat well (and NOT order Ubereats anymore. Well, not every week anyway haha). I booked a dentist appointment to get my teeth fixed (currently wearing Invisalign to straighten my teeth, FINALLY!). I shave my legs everyday. I enjoy my own company again. I don’t let every little thing my ex does affect me anymore; I have finally jumped off his rollercoaster ride. And I’m truly happy that he’s moved on and found someone else.
Right now, 12 months on, I am totally contented and happy to be on my own. The feeling of not needing another person to look after me, is the most empowering gift that anyone could ever have given me. I am stronger, more resilient, and the determination I have acquired to create a life that I have always dreamed of for Georgia and I, is stronger than I could have ever imagined! I am a woman on a mission, and no one can stop me now!!! <3
So my advice to you, beautiful mumma, is this:
– Feel the pain. Cry the tears and let the whole, traumatic experience consume you for a little while. We must sit with our pain in order to heal properly. So take the time to wallow in your shit. This is important.
-See a counsellor, talk to your friends and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Let people help you, without feeling guilty or like you owe them something. Let them in.
– Talk to Centrelink straight away. They were amazing when this first happened, and started sending me single-parenting payments within days (pity this level of service hasn’t continued bahaha).
– Learn not to react. This is the most powerful lesson I have learned. Silence is golden.
– Wait until the dust has settled before seeking legal advice to sort out your finances and custody (if you can). Our emotions obviously play a huge part in our decision making process, so you want to be clear in your mind and unemotionally charged before going down that road.
– Most importantly, know in your heart that you are going to be ok. Once you emerge from your cocoon, you will be a big, beautiful butterfly; with wings that will soar you high, and a confidence that will take you wherever you want to go.
Sending you love xoxo