There I was walking the streets at midnight getting colder & colder until I started to die. Hypothermia was setting in. Thankfully a tax driver noticed that something was wrong with me, pulled me into his cab, warmed me up slowly, then wanted to take me home. I told him that I can't go home. He asked was I being beaten? Was I unsafe there? I said no, I just can't go home. He took me somewhere safe to sleep for the night.
Such was my discomfort in my own house, significant psychological trauma that I was subjecting myself to, believing that I could handle it as long as it made it better for everyone else, that I actually chose death over going home. It was a big wake up call. It was time to value my own wellbeing, not just everyone else's. The next day I made the decision to move out of my house & get myself an apartment. It would mean paying for 2 houses for a while, but I could afford it. It would mean facing the issue of shared parenting. It would mean actually acting on the decision I had made 3 months before that the marriage was over.
That decision was a life changer for me. Sure my life changed because of the physical change of address, sure I was happier & could start living again, but it was more than that, I had chosen to put my wellbeing first, I had chosen to look after myself. That was something I hadn't been taught to do, but none else was looking out for my wellbeing, so I had to be the one to.
Looking back I can see that I was the one who tried to make it easy for everyone else due to my feelings of guilt for making the right decision to end the marriage. I carried the guilt for forcing that change on 4 other people. I was the one who decided I would try to make it as easy as possible for everyone else, but that was an impossible task. It was always going to be a difficult process & I couldn't shield anyone from that. The moment I stopped trying was the moment that it got easy for me. It took me hitting rock bottom, facing death, to realise what I was doing to myself.
I've found that with every change in my life has come a process of grieving. Grieving cannot be avoided by trying to make changes have no impact on others. It just gets stored up for later as baggage. Change has to be faced front on, accepted & grieved for. We are all responsible only for our own part in that process. There's no way to avoid pain, as much as we try. There's no way to avoid causing other people pain without refusing to ever make a change again. But there is a way to make it easier, by putting our own wellbeing first, accepting the change & grieving for what has ended.
Today I grieved for myself, for me going through that crazy time 16 years ago, when I felt out of control of my own life. I grieved for the girl who put everyone else first. I grieved for the girl who felt bad about her decision instead of realising how courageous & brave she was actually being by facing up to the truth. I grieved for the girl who felt no value, that her own wellbeing wasn't important.
A part of me died on that cold night & it's a good thing.