I haven’t written anything in about five months. Life has been hard. Really hard. So many things have changed in the last five months that I’m not even sure where to start. I’ve put of sharing these things, because I wasn’t sure how ready I was to air all of my dirty laundry, but I think it doing so is a vital step for me to be able to move forward.

My marriage is over.
Whew. Got that out of the way.

It’s extraordinarily difficult to write those words, I’ve just gotten completely comfortable saying them out loud. I was in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship, and that relationship changed who I was. It broke me. It shattered me, but I am trying to put myself back together. For so long my life has revolved around my husband and my children that I lost who I was, and I let myself be discouraged and damaged beyond recognition. I lost myself trying to be who I thought I should be, who my family expected me to be, and in doing that I not only did myself a huge disservice, but I short changed my children as well.

I left my husband because I wanted to be the best mother I can be for the boys, and I couldn’t do that while being with him. It has been a terribly difficult transition for all of us—we moved in with my mom and my sister in October, and we are still learning how to make the best of our cramped quarters until we can finish the bedrooms upstairs. It has been hard, but through that hardship there has been healing, and self discovery.

I discovered that I am strong, even when I feel the weakest.

I discovered that I am worthy of love, even when I can’t give that love to myself. When I feel useless and broken and invisible, I am reminded that I have a purpose, and I am unbelievably loved.

I discovered that friends, true friends, are the best gift in the world.

I discovered that my children are smart and resilient. They are dealing with this process better than I am most days.

I discovered that even on the worst days, when the boys are with their dad, when I miss them more than anything, and struggle just to breathe, I am still better off than I was in a miserable relationship, and so are they. My children deserve to see me loved in a way that will show them how to love their future spouses. My children deserve to know that their mom and their dad care about them enough to do what is best for them and give them two loving homes rather than a single broken one.

I don’t hate my ex-husband. I genuinely wish him all the happiness in the world, but I know that that happiness could not be found with me. I know he never intended to hurt me, but that doesn’t change the fact that it happened. I’m not in any way trying to make him out too be a bad guy, I am at fault as much as he is. Our relationship simply wasn’t heathy for either of us.

I’ve got a million things to say about this process, about the things I have learned, and the multitudinous emotions I have been dealing with, but each of those things will be written about on their own to fully hash them out. I am ready to do this now. I am ready to heal, to share, and to hopefully make something beautiful from this ugly situation.

My final thought for this blog is to encourage anyone who finds themselves in an unhealthy relationship to reach out for help. Abuse isn’t always physical. My husband never once laid a hand on me, but that doesn’t negate that abuse. Mental abuse is often more damaging and permanent than physical abuse.

I found this article written by Teresa Newsome to be quite enlightening, and very applicable to my marriage.