When a loss is a win

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When I started writing ‘Break Up and Shine’, I wanted to show others that a painful divorce need not be the end of everything good in your life, however horrendous it feels in the beginning. You can heal and move on, and it can also be the catalyst to make your life way better than it would ever have been, had you stayed in the relationship.

This week has resulted in one of the biggest testimonies to the changes my life took after my ex-husband left. My grief led to soul searching, which led to a lot of personal development work, which led to embarking on counselling training which ultimately, (after almost 4 years) has led to me finally becoming a qualified counsellor! Continue reading “When a loss is a win”

The New Year: Cycles and Goals

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I feel like 2016 has been a year of consolidation and sowing the seeds for the next fruitful chapter of my life. I have barely written on this blog all year and have considered whether, six years on from the end of my marriage, it is still relevant or necessary to do so.

I’m in a very different state to when Break Up and Shine began; my life has shifted beyond an exploration of why things happened the way they did and from my initial healing path from divorce. For six years I’ve been busy laying the foundations for a new life, and enjoying it as it unfolds. I’ve grieved for and learned from my marriage; trained in a new career; shared a loving new relationship and reclaimed my life on my terms. Continue reading “The New Year: Cycles and Goals”

Closing a door

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As I approach the end of my counselling training this year, I have also just reached the end of more than a year of my own personal counselling. I ended my therapy with the feeling that although personal growth is a job for life, for the present, I have finished what I went there to do.

So what was my goal?  Well, although it certainly wasn’t articulated or planned as such at the beginning of the work, I realised that I had gone into therapy to loosen a lifetime’s grip of shame and criticism which had begun in childhood, and culminated in the car crash ending of my marriage. I finished  my counselling at a point where I gained the courage to literally close the door on my ex-husband.  Continue reading “Closing a door”

New Life

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Today is my daughter’s birthday and I was feeling quite reflective this morning, as I often do when I contemplate the birth of my children. This time six years ago I felt blessed. I’d just given birth to our third child and our family was complete. It was a smooth, easy birth. She was healthy. We brought her home and introduced her to her two adoring older brothers. Of course it was hard work, but I was happy and I stayed for some time cocooned in new baby bliss, feeling thankful for my family.

But I was actually clueless about what was going on behind the scenes. My husband was cheating on me; 3 months after our baby was born I found out and he left me. The cosy bubble had been on borrowed time. Everything I believed exploded around me and left me reeling. Continue reading “New Life”

Good Therapy? Feel More, Think Less

As humans we possess a natural curiosity to find solutions for problems, and to look for reasons why things don’t work. When dealing with emotional issues, this can have real benefit, but it isn’t always the most helpful thing we can do, particularly in the beginning.

A colleague on my counselling course recently used the term “analysis paralysis” with regards to healing; the need to analyse, intellectualise, make sense of and understand what has happened can hold us back from actually feeling what we need to. We then become stuck and unable to move forward. Continue reading “Good Therapy? Feel More, Think Less”

The Loneliness of Unmet Needs

Here’s an interesting revelation that only came to me through my current counselling training:

          It’s not wrong to have needs in a relationship

It may sound obvious to many, but I really didn’t understand that properly during my marriage. My ex-husband used to try to make me believe that it was wrong to need anything from him. He made it clear that people should have no expectations of others. I realised eventually that it was actually some theory, possibly misinterpreted, which allowed him to suit his own ends; he believed that having needs was the same as being “needy”. He may or may not have been doing this with awareness, but the ultimate result was that he got to satisfy his own wishes, while I felt clingy and like a nag for asking for anything from him. Continue reading “The Loneliness of Unmet Needs”

Children: The divorce heroes

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My beautiful boys were 6 and 4 years old when we sat down and told them that daddy was not going to be living with us anymore; my baby girl was little more than newborn. I was as angry that day for them, as I was for my own betrayal; my grief was as much for the hopes and expectations for my children’s childhoods, as it was for our relationship.

But in the last four years I have witnessed that children have their own life paths to lead too, and this was part of their life journey. I couldn’t shield them from the event, but I was committed to ensuring they were allowed full emotional expression, and that their needs were at the forefront of any decisions made; they had been let down badly enough already. Continue reading “Children: The divorce heroes”