Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.

When my marriage fell apart and I decided to walk away I had to get to the place where I felt okay with this. My ex will always want to throw in my face that I did not give it another chance, and that I did not try. I know I tried for 8 years, I know I begged and pleaded long before I left, for us to get help and try fix things. I waked away knowing in my heart that I made the right choice, and that no amount of fixing or trying would change the fact that we were ill suited in the beginning.

I have to deal with him telling the kids, that I broke up our family, and that it was my fault, and I would not try. I had to deal with him becoming like a saint overnight and trying to show my friends and family, that he was different and that I was the bad one for leaving – his saintly behaviour never lasted long, as I predicted, but there was a time that I had to cope with being the only person that thought I made the right decision leaving. I understand people’s intentions and their desire to make sure that I was doing the right thing. It is never good to break up a family, but sometimes it is worse to stay.

I felt guilty for leaving, but in a way was so glad to be free, then felt guilty about feeling glad to be out and not trying. It was a vicious cycle. I am now in the place I know I did the right thing. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I landed up in that position in the first place and I have forgiven my mistakes too. I hope lessons have been learnt and most of all I hope that I can pass these lessons on to my kids.

Leaving

Very few people ever knew how deeply unhappy I was in my marriage. I never really spoke about it and when I did it was always with the resolve that it would get better. Few people ever see what it is like behind closed doors and that emotional neglect and abuse is hard to understand when the person in question is charming to others. So my decision to separate and stay in South Africa with the kids after we had come from the UK on holiday was quite a shock to most people.

I think a lot of people saw my decision as quite drastic and a lot said they were not going to take sides and hoped we could sort it out. But I knew I could never go back, I knew that all the promise to change in the world would not be enough. Once out, it was like the blinkers I had been wearing for ages, without even knowing it, were gone. I saw people and places differently. I was not under this negative cloud that covered my outlook with gloom. I could see our beautiful country South Africa for what it was and not just a crime ridden disaster to be run from, but an opportunity and a place to be involved and make a real difference. I think the biggest change was the way I saw myself, I can never be that person again.

I was terrified by the prospect of being alone, not something I like. But there is in fact no lonelier place than being in a relationship that destroys your spirit. So now I am alone again but not lonely. I have the most amazing friends and family that are getting me through, but they need a whole post of their own…