I have held back on sharing here because I have struggled with how much to share. I also want to make sure what I do share is honest and real, and not hurtful or spiteful in any way. My time off has been great at letting me digest things and get past some of those stronger emotions that have come from this situation.
I bet you are all wondering what I am about to share!!
Well, this year was my 17th wedding anniversary. It sounds like a great accomplishment and something to be celebrated, but last month, after a year of counselling, and trying to work through some issues, I decided that we needed to take a break. From each other.
Yes, that means we have separated for now.
There were many issues involved, on both our parts. I accept just as much fault and responsibility as the other and I am ok with that.
In the past month I have done a lot of "soul searching". I have started to learn some things about myself, and I feel that my eyes have been opened more to things that are happening around me. It feels like it is a blessing and a curse, all at the same time.
We went away for a few days, to Quebec, with the 4 older kids and dad. It was kind of weird, and a little awkward at times, but the kids had been looking forward to spending time with him and they had a blast at the aerial course on the last day.
I enjoyed chatting with my aunt and my cousin and just having the opportunity to dig a little deeper, in the quietness, to learn about myself. I finally accepted the fact that for my whole life, not just my marriage, but my whole life, I have defined myself based on others around me, or by my responsibilities.
Being a teenager was difficult for me. I became like the people I hung out with. I really wasn't an individual. I wanted people to like me. Then, I got pregnant at 18, married at 19 and had a baby. I jumped into my role as a mother and a wife. Those were roles that started to define me. And at that point I was ok with that. I started to volunteer at church, and that was a new role, then I started to homeschool, and that became another great role. So many things defined me.
I struggled through quite a bit of depression, and I could never figure out why. I had the "seemingly" perfect life. House, husband, kids (good ones at that) and great friends. What more could I want?
This past month I finally figured some things out. I was always so smart in school. I LOVED school...for me it was not the social aspect at all, but the assignments, the work, the projects. I may sound crazy right now, but I was really smart and had plans for my future. I was going to go to college for ECE (which I am glad I didn't now) and all that fun stuff.
I just seemed to get sidetracked. And not in a bad way, just not what I had planned right away.
In these roles that have defined me, I have not really had to use my intellect...now, you may disagree with me, and you need to be smart to survive through everything I have...but I don't think I was being challenged in a way that I would have liked to be. I love having conversations with people, where I feel like I have to think outside the box, to figure out how to respond.
I have a few friends now that I enjoy spending time with that do that for me. But this is something that I was missing before. I really believe a lot of my depression issues stemmed from not being able to express myself in those ways.
Now, it was not my husband who did that to me, and it wasn't my kids. It was me. My self esteem has always been something that I have struggled with, and I would always overthink things, and not get involved in conversations with people who I considered "smarter" then me. Because, in my brain, I was not smart.
I now see that that was a big problem. I was not able to view myself as a strong, independent, smart woman. And that is a big deal. We, as women, need to know that we are more then just our role or responsibility. I know I may get some flack for saying that, but oh well...it is how I feel right now.
I have started to walk, I have cut down a lot of my fast food eating, I have put my computer down more often and gotten off the couch. I am realizing that I have this confidence, that has been gone for some time now, but it is coming back to me.
I am strong!!
I am smart!!
I am confident!!
I am a mother!!
I am a woman!!
And I am becoming who I really want to be. It is my time to define myself as a woman. As a smart, strong and confident woman. I am a role model to 4 young ladies and I want them to know who they are. I want to empower them to become who they are meant to be. I don't want them to feel that they are not capable of accomplishing even the biggest of dreams.
I have not felt depressed in the last month. I have lost over 5lbs. I have plans to go to university. I have plans to start running with my oldest daughter. Things are moving onward and upward, and I am happy that I had the courage to take a stand and do this for myself...
So, that is my long winded post about what has been happening lately. Who knows when I will be back to write more, but stay tuned!!