I haven’t been honest, with others, or with myself about all of my feelings. I paraded myself around as a strong woman. I believed I was a strong woman, I believed I could do anything, say anything, be anything. When I left my husband I realized I only felt that way…with a man standing behind me. I realized something that almost broke me more than the separation itself. What I actually believed, in my soul, was that I needed a man to survive. I didn’t feel I could take care of myself in this world on my own. The knowledge of that feeling was crippling. I felt scared to be in a world without a partner backing me. I felt lost with certain things. This was mainly my fault for assuming ignorance, some aspects of how my car works for example. Anything to do with my vehicle I had always left to my husband, it was one of our divided tasks. I did most of the indoor cleaning jobs, he dealt with outdoor stuff such as our pool. I did most of the cooking and groceries, he took my car to the mechanic when necessary. For women reading this some of you may understand where I’m coming from, others may not. Some of you may truly understand but not want to acknowledge that to yourself. For those of you who don’t know me I’m not a meek person, I do not lack common sense and I have always been up for a challenge. That’s part of why admitting this was so much harder for me.
My now ex husband was a pathological liar, he was incredibly manipulative and calculating. When we separated I felt that I was no longer a strong woman because I was believing I had a strong man supporting me, always in my corner. I felt this way, then a good friend of mine said something that has stuck in my mind. They brought to light that my husband was never really in my corner, he was out to serve himself and his best interests. He did not want to truly partner with me or support me, he wanted to control our situation. In his heart he did not believe I was a strong woman or even an equal. He did not respect my mind or my opinions, instead challenging them when he felt threatened. In reality, I had actually been supporting myself the entire time with him in the background. With that being the case, I could surely continue to do so now without the false backing?
That thought process makes me feel stronger, I turn it over in my mind on the days when I’m feeling like I want to stay in bed and cry. You’ve likely been through something difficult in your past before this, something you may forget the details of. You may not remember how tough it was to navigate but whatever it was, you did it. YOU did it. Women are forces to be reckoned with, our sensitivity, strength and emotions are powerful tools. If you’re at the point where you need some extra strength or a hand to pull you up then know there will come a day when this is easier. It won’t happen magically overnight, by exercising everyday or calling a counsellor non-stop, it will just happen. It won’t be 100% better but it will be easier, and I have to believe – for myself as well – that it will continue to get easier.