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Don't let the sadness of your past ruin the present.....

A year ago this weekend, is the weekend that changed my life.  I had a conversation with a random person that spoke loud and clear and told me for once, to follow my gut.  And I did.  And what I found was shocking and devastating.  At the time, I thought it was one of the worst moments of my life, now I realize, it was a blessing.

I went through all the right motions and cried.  I cried A LOT.  I felt defeated.  I felt hopeless.  I felt sad.  I replayed the prior 12 years in my mind.  All the problems we faced, the struggles we had been through, and tried to blame myself.  But I couldn't.  He continued to convince me he wasn't seeing the other woman, he wanted me back.  But finding out he was lying to me (big surprise) and living with her is when I think I hit rock bottom.  But it all made sense.  And that's when my determination kicked in.

I made it through the holidays.  Of course there was turmoil.  He was living with her and I was seeing someone.  He couldn't take it.  He went crazy.  Just days into the new year my father was hospitalized for complications from a surgery he'd had just after Christmas.  He spent 6 weeks in the hospital and almost died.  I tried to balance single motherhood with being the daughter who wanted to spend time with her sick father.  Because the ex stepped up to help out so I could spend time at the hospital, his relationship with her ended.  So I became his new focus.  I'll admit, it was nice at first, but he soon became very controlling.

Of course this all led up to that one moment that truly opened my eyes.  The morning he physically attacked me.  A day doesn't go by when I don't think of it.  A night doesn't go by when I don't close my eyes and see the crazed look on his face as he rears back to head butt me.  The nightmares are not as frequent these days and the emotional scars are healing.  He did me a favor that day.  He gave me the strength and determination to make a better life for myself and for our daughter.

I set into motion, found a new home, finalized my divorce and spent the summer finding myself.  While he moved in with the next woman who came along.  I was never jealous, but felt sorry for him rather, I still do.  To be that insecure that you can't spend a minute alone.  For a while, that's what I thought I needed, was someone to fall to, but thankfully, I took the time to find me.

It hasn't been easy finding myself again.  But I did.  And I learned a lot about myself in the process.  The main thing being, I'm an incredibly strong woman.  And I'm proud of that.

As I previously wrote, I'm truly happy for the first time in years.  I've made new friends, lost a few friends, reconnected with old friends.  I've learned what it is to smile again.  I've been reminded of how a simple compliment can make me smile from ear to ear.  How a text that just says "Good morning" can make my day.

I'm thankful for that weekend a year ago.  Thankful for my family and friends that have stood by me and helped me get to where I am today. Thankful for those who advised me to not "rush into anything".  From this day forward, what's meant to be will happen.  And I think I'm finally ready to open up my heart again.

And to quote my favorite group Lady A... "I'm ready to feel now -No longer am I afraid of the fall down. It must be time to move on now - Without the fear of how it might end. I guess I'm ready to love again"

Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

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