Some People Won’t Get It

Along your journey you will find many well-meaning (and some not-so-well-meaning) individuals who have an opinion about your situation.

Try as we might, often times their opinions affect us, but they don’t help us. They don’t help us because they don’t get it. You’ll encounter PLENTY of people who, quite simply, don’t get it.

One of the most common things I hear from people is how many people don’t get it. They can’t relate and their ‘advice’ sends them backwards or at the very least frustrates them.

I’d like to share with you my rule, which is easier said than implemented : if they don’t know my heart I don’t take it to heart.

I still feel like I’ve been punched in the gut when someone waves their negative opinion around in front of me, especially if its misguided or unhealthy. It’s HARD to silence that. I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable to thousands of strangers here and in doing so opened myself up to a great deal of criticism over the years. I stay at this because there are far more people who I believe I’m helping than are just here because they need a punching bag.

How do I maintain a thick skin? How do I keep moving forward? I do this because I keep a close group of warriors in my life who are always infusing me with truth, so everything must first pass through that truth filter. This is how we protect our hearts and remember our self worth. I am challenged as much as I’m encouraged, but I’m never fed lies. Nor does my circle allow me to sit in lies. We do this for each other because we get it. You want to surround yourself with people who get it, so you have the strength to keep climbing.

Some people don’t know how invalidating it is to hear, “you knew what you were getting into.”

But I do.

Some people don’t know what it’s like to be a stepmom, or a mom who’s been replaced.

But I do.

Some people don’t know that being an alienated parent means your soul is fighting through hell and you don’t want to get out of bed because half your heart is missing.

But I do.

Some people don’t understand that custody battles and parenting time schedules and simple communication is so freaking exhausting sometimes you just want to quit.

But I do.

Some people don’t understand domestic violence, emotional abuse, and fighting to stay afloat.

But I do.

Some people don’t understand how defeating it is to pour into your marriage and receive what feels like only mocking for your efforts.

But I do.

Some people don’t understand what it’s like to want a child so bad but be denied over and over.

But I do.

You see, there’s still a part of me that hurts when people don’t get it, but I stay tightly bonded to the ones that do, and set appropriate boundaries with the ones that don’t.

So the next time you’re feeling down because someone else just doesn’t get it – pour that energy into finding people who do. They will serve as a foundation of truth, self care and wisdom. You need this to be in relationship with others.

Don’t let people tatter your heart who don’t know your heart. They’re fighting their own battles and if they aren’t lifting you up, they shouldn’t be close anyway. There’s only so many seats at your table. Save them for those who are wise counselors and truth soldiers only.

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I Threw My Wedding Dress Away

I filed for divorce a year ago. I moved out shortly thereafter. I took my wedding dress with me, along with family photos. I can’t describe entirely why I did this. While I’ve never once regretted my decision to divorce, at the time I was still spinning.

You know what it looks like when  you dip your finger in water and spin it around? You take your finger out, but the water is still spinning? That was my life for the past year. He was gone, but my life was still spinning.

Such is the case with victims of emotional abuse. I’m now learning that I have suffered PTSD from that relationship and it actually changed my brain chemistry. In short, I needed time to stop spinning. My recovery from this divorce has had several parts, one of which was to simply do things alone. Attend dinner alone. Attend a movie alone, etc.

I chose to attend War Room alone last August. I was still suffering the effects of invalidation, and although I had peace about leaving that prison I once called home, some part of me still prayed feverishly for reconciliation. I prayed to have my boy back. I prayed, if it was God’s will, to restore my marriage. After all, according to Christian and secular counselors alike, the purpose of not jumping into a new relationship right away is so you can restore your heart, become healthy and whole, and if possible, attempt reconciliation. So that is where my mind was. That is why the wedding dress and family pictures came with me. What if his heart softened and he gained valuable wisdom from our split? What if he realized all he had done and wanted to put the swords away? Like any normal person would, once the dust had settled, I had to come to grips with some of my ugly behavior during the marriage. Surely he would too at some point? I spent this time praying, and adamantly, not dating.

He spent that time sleeping with a stranger. He spent that time ignoring my attempts at any contact with his son. I was nothing. No one. Not only had I been replaced, I had been replaced by a boldface lie. Borderlines create their own reality, and this was exactly that. He very comfortably lived in the lie he told himself and others about the end of our relationship.

The months that followed have been up and down. Healing from a divorce is much like grieving a death. Losing a child to parental alienation is like someone ripping your heart out every single morning. By nightfall, you may be able to sew some spots back up, but in the morning, it’s gone again. Repeat.

Though, there is a light and great hope in the truth.

I recently had a week from hell. God shook up my whole life like a snow globe and, in my obedience, I didn’t fight it. Sure, I thought “oh of course, take everything away AGAIN!” but I knew He was doing something big.

And in a week’s time He has created for me the most beautiful forward path. I am amazed at how things can just fall right into place sometimes. My ex husband has moved this new woman in. A stranger, that he met merely months ago. She is in my home. She is raising my son. And they are ignorantly blissful while the ones who know the truth are rolling their eyes. I do not get satisfaction out of that, I see it for what it is now; sad. But it helped me to put a hard stop on a place of healing. I wish them well, and I hope for all I can hope for – that she is good to my son.

I will grieve the loss of that child for a lifetime, until he and I are reconciled. I am working through the triggers that still plague me from such a tumultuous relationship. But as I move on, I had one new step to take.

Getting rid of that wedding dress.

It was not very expensive. I did not feel it was appropriate to “trash the dress” with my girlfriends and some wine. Now, surely I could have donated it. But the truth is, I have made it my life’s mission to speak truth and empower others to seek and live out truly healthy relationships. That dress is a reminder of many painful years and life lessons. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. As such, I wouldn’t want someone else to wear it.

So I threw it away. Like he threw me away. 

I didn’t even give it a second thought. Like he didn’t give me a second thought.

I held onto it for 6 years, we had a 6 year bond. And in a moment it was useless. Like to him, I was useless.

And it was cathartic.

I will never repay evil for evil and that man is sitting in the mess he made with his own hands.

But for me, it was time to toss that symbol in a dumpster, and move on.

I am so glad I took this time to truly heal. To not take shortcuts. To be WHOLE. I’m a work in progress but I’m a hell of a lot farther than the ones running from themselves.

I will be full of grace, humility and love for my boy whenever life returns us together.

Until then, onward.

 

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