It’s really easy to get lost amidst the stress and the drama of a divorce. It’s too easy to forget that you are loved…. to easy to feel lost and alone. This is especially true when the person that you are divorcing is controlling and abusive. I felt myself withering away. There were times that… if it weren’t for love of my children… I’m sure that I would have given up. There were days that I had to force thoughts of walking onto a busy highway out of my head. It’s not pretty…. but it’s the truth. John had whittled away my sense of self worth… my identity… and worst of all… my hope.
Once the parenting plan was agreed upon I was given permission to move out of the house with the kids. This meant that I was giving the $400,000 house to John and getting nearly nothing in return. It meant starting all over with nearly nothing…but it also meant that we would be safer, so I agreed.
The parenting plan depressed me because it gave John ample opportunity to be abusive towards our children. I had no money to get a place of my own and John was keeping the very expensive house. John made a list of the items he was asking to keep from the house, which included everything except my personal effects. He even included the dish drainer on his list. He was trying to leave me defeated, with no money and nothing to call my own. It was his way of punishing me for growing strong enough to leave.
My mother graciously agreed to take the kids and I into her house. I honestly don’t know what we would have done if she hadn’t. My self-esteem continued to diminish. John’s voice was still in my head telling me I wouldn’t be able to make it without his help. I was terrified that I had no money to get the children and myself a place to live. I felt immense guilt that my mother was now going to be inconvenienced as my children and I prepared to take over her house. The loneliness and desperation were slowly creeping into my heart.
It came to be moving day. I had posted something on Facebook a few days prior letting people know that I was going to be moving if anyone would like to help. I didn’t expect anyone to come. After all, the loneliness had already set in and I no longer felt as if I was valuable enough for anyone to go out of their way on my account.
My family, of course, came to help me. I was grateful for their help as we tried to pack up the last few items that needed to be placed in boxes. But then… to my surprise… I watched as car after car pulled up to the house. Eventually the road was lined from one end to the other with cars of friends that had come to help me get out of this bad situation.
I was most definitely loved. How could I have forgotten that? How could I have gotten so lost? Why did I believe John when he made me feel worthless? I found myself surrounded by people who loved me and wanted to help the kids and I find safety.
I fought the tears that threatened to fall from my eyes and helped to fill the U haul truck that was going to take the majority of my belongings to a storage unit for the months that followed. With everyone’s help, I was moved out in a matter of hours.
I know that some of the people who are reading this may be going through similar experiences. Hang onto your hope. Remember you are loved. The days that feel the most desperate are the days that you will be surprised by the amount of people who show up for you. You are loved. You are worth it. And there will be a day in the not too distant future where you feel your value again.