This is a tough topic for me to write about! By sharing my experiences, I open up my life and am vulnerable with you. Not a comfortable place for me to be. But I also know that if I am called upon to help others going through similar experiences, I need to be open and honest. Is it too soon to be sharing this? I don’t think so. It isn’t that it is difficult, it just takes me out of my comfort zone by sharing private experiences. I have promised quite a few of you a blog about the point I decided enough was enough so, here it is!
My Turning Point
That Saturday was just like all the other Saturdays except for one very important detail: We had a family event planned. This event was disguised as a birthday dinner for my husband so she wouldn’t ask any questions. The day started normal enough.
Every Saturday, my husband would get up early to go to breakfast with friends. It wasn’t like he didn’t ask me to go every once in a while. I just always chose sleep over food on the only days that I got to sleep in. Owning a 24/7 business never guaranteed sleeping in either, by the way. So, it was a gamble and one I frequently lost.
Every Saturday (and Sunday by this point) was the same. My ex-husband went to breakfast and hung out with his “friends” all day while I answered work phones and got caught up on household things that didn’t get done during the week. Because apparently, I was the only one who cooked and cleaned and did laundry at our house.
Sometimes he would come home and other times he would go sit in a bar and drink all night long. By this point, I was already long tired of doing things with him because it always ended up being pressured into going to a bar after and then we never came home until bar time. I was so over even putting myself in that position anymore.
I Had Enough
Back to the Saturday in question: He knew he was supposed to be home, changed, and to the restaurant at 6 pm for this once in a lifetime event. By 5, my daughter and her boyfriend were at the house waiting to all go together. By 5:30, I knew if we didn’t leave now, we would be late. I had to do the one thing I swore I wasn’t ever going to do anymore since my kids were little. I had to call him to see where he was.
He said that he and his buddy got tied up at a bar in a different town and he was on his way back to town. Could I bring him a change of clothes?? WTF… (That does not stand for “well that’s fine,” by the way.)
I told my daughter to drive separately so they could get home faster that night. I met him to change his clothes and then knowing I wasn’t at all happy, he asked me to give his friend a ride home even though we were already late, and everyone was waiting for us. Can you say completely selfish?
A Tough Moment
Everyone was, of course, waiting for us and the first thing he did was go to the bar to get another drink along with numerous shots. Apparently drinking most of the day wasn’t enough yet. After we sat down for our meal, he ordered shot after shot after shot and was loud and obnoxious at the dinner table. He was nowhere around when it mattered most. He came outside with drinks in each hand for himself staggering across the beach.
Once I had enough of the celebrating, I left the restaurant and knew that this was not going to be the rest of my life. He was never going to change his behaviors. He was always going to be selfish. I was at the end of my rope and I needed to decide if I was going to keep hanging on or just let go. I gave him a few months to get help for his drinking and other behaviors he was struggling with. He just got worse.
Enough Was Enough
A few months later, somebody sent me text messages and pictures of the latest affair he was having while he was begging me to stay and saying that he would change. Was it really the alcohol? Or was it just him? I didn’t really know. But the one thing I did know… I WAS DONE.
Just because you love someone, doesn’t mean you stay and let them drown you too. This is the point when I decided that I had to learn to love myself enough to leave. I had to learn to set healthy boundaries and be a good example for my children. This was ABSOLUTELY the hardest and scariest thing I ever had to do. I had been holding on for so long, I wasn’t sure I knew how to let go.
It was also the best thing I could have ever done for myself. Listen, I still struggle. But I have never once looked back and questioned whether I did the right thing. I am growing every day and I love who I am. I am no longer focusing on hanging on to something that wasn’t good for me.
Taking Back Control
Now, I am growing and experiencing and learning. I am no longer someone who settles just to make things work. I am no longer someone who allows poor treatment just because I understand the other person isn’t healthy. Believe me, I still understand but I no longer allow. I have learned my worth and know what I deserve.
It has taken a lot of hard work, acceptance, and forgiveness to be where I am. I now look forward to brighter days instead of just trying to get through the one I’m currently in.
That first step is always the hardest, isn’t it? With anything, right? You just have to believe in yourself and know what you want. You got this!! I share all of this because even if you think you can’t handle whatever is in front of you, you can. I’m not saying it is easy. But, it is worth it.
I Could Let Go and So Can You
“When you love yourself enough and believe in yourself enough, you will know you are capable of great things.”-Michelle Sukow
We all have our hard and difficult moments. Each of our journeys is as individual and unique as we are. When I learned that I didn’t have to go it alone is when I grew the most. By sharing my struggles and experiences, I hope to show you three things:
1. You are not alone.
2. You are capable of great things.
3. You can have the life you deserve if you believe you can.
I am also here to share that it can be done. You can look back and see when you realized enough was enough. You can take back control of your life and have the life you deserve and want. The path isn’t always a straight one. But with courage and strength, we will get there! Live your life. Not someone else’s definition of what your life should be. Yours, my friend. I believe in you.