Tell your whole truth, not what someone else wants it to bee
You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them they should've behaved better. -Anne Lamott
A good friend of mine shared this with me a few weeks ago, with the caption- "Does this remind you of anyone?"
She called me out- without really realizing it, but as my friend and someone who loves me. It is something that keeps popping up and keeps nudging me. I know that I need to listen.
I try to be as authentic and raw as possible about the loss of my son, the grief process (or whatever it's called) and how I have moved forward one step at a time. I share my journey with the hope that I can help someone else. To know that whatever it is they are going through, they will be ok. BUT, I don't share all of my truths.
Publicly, I still tip toe around why my marriage ended. What my marriage was like. What was deeply wrong with my marriage long before our son got sick. Many think that my marriage ended because the statics of divorce are so high after the death of a child. But the truth is, that isn't at all why my marriage ended. Instead, that was what gave me the strength and courage to finally leave. I had just buried my youngest son and still had three sons left on this earth. I wanted them to grow up to be the best men that they could be. What they were seeing as an example of what a marriage was and how to treat the person you "love" was NOT what I wanted for them.
When you are in an abusive relationship, emotional or physical, you become very well versed in hiding truths. It becomes very controlling. I was married for 15 years and together since I was 19, I became an expert. I didn't even realize that it was happening until it was over, and even now I am still working through it.
I covered up for all of the things that I knew were bad in my marriage. But there was so much that I didn't know. I never listened to my gut, my instincts. That voice in my head that was trying to tell me that things were not okay. I never followed up on things that I questioned, or that didn't seem right. I would often say to my bestie that my then husband broke every vow that he took, except that he never cheated. She would reply with a simple "yeah?". As if, not cheating, was a reason to validate all the wrongs and helped me believe things were okay. I should have listened and I should have questioned the one vow that I was holding on to. That, too, was broken. For years, I would also tell her that if I were financially stable, I would leave. I had given up my career when my third son was born, a decision that I would never change, but one that I made so that my ex-husband could focus on his career and travel extensively. Neither of these statements are normal to say (or why to stay) in a marriage. I was so focused on my four kids and hoping that things would change. I was a wife and a mom. My relationship with my ex was the only one that I had ever known in my adult life. I forgave a lot. A LOT. Mostly, because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I didn't know anything else. I wanted to believe that things would get better.
It took something so tragic and beyond devastating for me to leave. I was as low as I was ever going to be. I saw life through a different lens and realized that I had to do more for my kids. For me. My marriage was not normal, healthy or happy.
I haven't shared out of fear-which is still a form of control. But this is my story and a part of my journey. I know that there are people out there who need to hear this part. To know that you can leave and it will be okay. To believe that will be more than okay! By continuing to stay quiet, by not sharing your truths, it is the last form of control. Control that runs so deep that YOU are still protecting the truths after he or she is gone. You can't be truly free until the last link, the last bit of control, is broken. Letting go and speaking your whole truth gives back your control, your power, your happiness. Own every single thing that has happened to you. Not out of fear, control, or pain- let that go and live a life for you. Share your stories- all of them. It will truly and finally free you and it might become someone else's survival guide.