My Story Is How I’m Getting Through My Story
In a span of five years, from 2011 to 2016, I lost everything I knew, including my identity. It all started with the sudden death of my father and ended with divorce. Everything that happened in between would try my will to live and go on, despite all that I was enduring.
During that five-year span, my husband was accused of criminal fraud with his company and resigned. Slowly, we started to lose everything. We experienced foreclosure on our million-dollar home, our cars were repossessed, and our lifestyle and marriage disintegrated. Eventually, I would learn of his infidelity after we were divorced and he left me and my mother with a financial mess.
My daughter was also going through her own personal hell at the same time this was all going on. She was being bullied for her weight, which led her to suicidal ideation. She was hospitalized for depression three times in a four-month span. During this time, my then-husband decided to get his own apartment and flee the responsibilities of being a father. Ultimately, we had to send our daughter to a wilderness program and then to a therapeutic boarding school across the country for two years to get her the help she needed. We got divorced during her stay there.
When my daughter finally came home from that school, my ex was not fulfilling his child support obligations. I had a nervous breakdown and told him I was moving in with my friend so I could save money to get a cheaper place to rent with our kids. For months, I had been selling my belongings on Craigslist to make ends meet. With all that I had been going through the last several years, just like my daughter, I was beginning to have suicidal ideation. I needed to take care of myself, and I knew he could provide for them.
I had a divorce lawyer who didn’t look out for my best interests. I didn’t receive alimony after being a stay-at-home mom for 16 years because my ex had too much “business debt.” My ex wasn’t fulfilling his child-support obligations at all. The biggest betrayal yet was that he ended up taking me back to court for child support a few months later, and I lost. I am now paying him child support after being a stay-at-home mom and wife my entire marriage.
Just like that, I was homeless, divorced, broke, and without my kids (they are 18 and 19 now). I was living a $2 million lifestyle at the height of it all—and I lost everything. I ended up going back into waitressing. I’ve been working two jobs six days a week, trying to figure out who I am and what the next steps are for my life.
This experience cracked me open. I can’t say that I’d ever want to go through what I went through again, but I’m glad it happened—because I’m finding myself. At my lowest, I would think about the best way to end my life. Now, I see my life as a gift to share with others. I want to take my mess and make it my message.
In order to get through this ordeal, I had to learn how to change my perspective and see that everything that is happening to me is for me. I’ve had to learn how to get out of victimhood. I’ve had to learn how to support myself and handle my own bills. I’ve been humbled by my realization of the true value of a dollar and hard work after living a lifestyle many only dream of.
I’ve had to challenge my limiting beliefs about myself. I’m still working on those feelings of not being enough, worthy enough, and important enough. I’m building up my confidence slowly as I rebuild a new life with a new man. I’ve had to find support from friends I can count on, because I quickly learned that my family wasn’t enough. I’ve been in therapy. I read countless personal development books. I listen to podcasts with a positive message.
My biggest and most profound transformation has been my rekindled connection to God. Soon, I will become the inreach/outreach coordinator for my church. I want to give back and help others through their own adversity, pain, and heartache. I want to give people hope. My experience has brought me to my knees; without God, I would not be here today. I’m learning to forgive at a deeper level, and I’m finding my identity through Christ. I love who I’m becoming on my healing journey because my struggles have only made me stronger.