Sept. 14, 2009 (blog post)

It’s exactly at times like these when the going gets tough and people begin resisting change, that you know things are about to get really, really good.

It’s the calm before the storm. You have new tools to cope, you have done a lot of healing, and you have a plan of action you are working to and now recommitted to. Things will get really, really good! Remember you are amazing and deserve the life of your dreams!

This project has been just as great for me and I thank you for allowing me to share and encourage you.

Here’s to the next level…
Lesley


9/14/2009 blog post

Hello my dear,

Ok, yes, I do recommend creating a little ceremony for yourself to move past the relationship. Remove all the photos or reminders of your ex in a ceremonious way. Play some uplifting music while you go through the stuff perhaps. Assemble it all in one area, put it in a box or bag and then decide what you feel you want to do with it. Burn it, shred it, keep it? Part of the ceremony can be saying a prayer over the stuff. Thanking God for your new life and freedom, that you are free to be healthy again.

Plan a celebration for the day your divorce is final as well. Gather some friends together, go out for dinner and just have fun or do a dinner party at home. But, make it a great day. I found I felt pretty emotionally drained right after my court appearance so took a big nap and then joined friends that evening. It was great!

Talk to you soon,
L


9/14/2009 blog post

Hey girl,

One of the struggles it seems is self love. A great exercise is to write yourself a love note. Write all the great things you have accomplished, all the wonderful qualities you possess and all the promise you see in yourself. Do this when you are in the place that you are in right now where you are struggling to feel encouraged. I have implemented this on more than one occasion over the years and I am sure I’ll use it as a tool the rest of my life.

Sign up for Love Notes from Your Fairy Godmother too so that you can get a daily boost of love.
It’s unfortunate that in the type of marriage you (we) were in that we really did not get true love. I have found that I have to of course still work on my own self love but I realize that if we can rely on ourselves for it versus expecting others (men in particular) to provide it we are in an even better place to enjoy life and eventually receive love from a worthy partner.

Love ya!
Lesley


9/14/2009 blog post

Some days you do just have to let it go. Take a nap, be alone, cry, stare at the wall, journal, whatever you need for your soul. Sometimes we can let ourselves off the hook by doing this too much, thinking that we need it for our recovery, our personal development, healing etc. Sometimes we do but other times that can be an excuse to escape. If you need to escape for a day or an hour then do it, be real with yourself about it but try to recognize when it might be a way of avoiding what really needs to be done to move your life forward. I am talking to myself as much as I am you in all this.

We both need to get back on track with laying out what we want to accomplish and sticking to that plan. We’ll discuss that in our call.

Love ya!
L


blog post 9/12/2009

Hey Girl,

Ugh, what a week huh? This week was definitely me needing more support than you. We are both in different places in life with the recovery from our marriages but we are also in similar places just from transition.

I see so much of my own struggles going back to a damaged self esteem. I am constantly working to improve this and then it seems I “fall down”. I can see progress and there are times when it really all does just seem too hard and like giving up would be so nice. Really though, what does giving up look like? That’s a different answer for each person. I know I have had times over the last few years as I shared with you where I just wanted to disappear. That’s not really what I want deep down but I “go” there in my mind when everything catches up to me.

What’s the answer? Not sure yet, working on that one. I believe it comes down to a measure of spirituality and faith. Adopting Divine Discipline and a true hunger to choose that route which is actually where life and freedom will reign. Easier said than done when you have been mentally and emotionally beat up and have lived from a very self defeating (self-hating) kind of place.

Thank God for counselors, friends and God himself.

Talk to you soon,
L


Sept. 8, 2009 (blog post)

Hello my dear,

Here’s something else for you to give some serious consideration to. Have you forgiven A. and have you forgiven yourself?

It’s natural to go through the process of forgiving our abuser but what a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s just as important to forgive ourselves. Forgive yourself for choosing this person; for not loving yourself enough to allow him to treat you the way he did; for staying in it as long as you did.

You must remember that you did get out and that’s the important thing, you loved yourself enough to do that. And, you made the choices you did based on the information you had at the time and who you were at the time. You are no longer that person. We are our own worst critics.

This can be a process that happens in layers too. You may have to forgive A. at various times in your recovery as you touch upon new issues. Same goes for yourself.

Take a breath though because even though the healing part isn’t easy, it’s better than still being abused and allowing your spirit to die that slow arduous death which is what was happening.

You are doing great.
Love,
Lesley


blog post Sept. 8, 2009

Question from Susie: So, do you trust men now, Lesley? How did you overcome the issues so you could trust again?

Yes, I do trust men. I realized that just because my ex was awful that all men are not. What helped was to educate myself on abusive traits so that can identify them quickly. One of the first coffee dates I ever had after my divorce was with a guy who was divorced. He actually told me that his ex-wife was afraid of him. He didn’t understand why, ‘everyone raises their voice’. He also shared with me that he had been in counseling and was really proud of himself for how he handled the bad traffic on the way to meet me. There would have been a time when he’d have driven up the on ramp in the opposite direction just to get out of there because he was over the top with frustration. Hmmm, yeah…red flags for anger issues. Those are pretty blatant but you’ll learn and pick up on really subtle things too. You might find yourself overly sensitive at times to things men say or do simply because of your past. This you can’t help, but how you respond will be the key.

The biggest thing is to remember that not all men are bad and you know that you’ll never repeat what you did in the past. Part of this is working on your own self-trust and self-love. As I mentioned before, for me the decision making has been a bit tough at times.. Self-love as you know is not natural either. If it was I don’t think either of us would have been married to the type of men we were. It’s a process. Still working on it 5 1/2 years later. I am getting better and better at it though. You are doing great so far with all your new choices and doing what really serves your best interest.

Love ya!
LL


Sept. 8, 2009 (blog post)

“Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.”
Diane Sawyer

Hello my friend,
I had to share this quote with you. I LOVE it. It really spoke to me today. This is a reminder for each of us to always believe in ourselves and that we really can have what we desire, even if it appears someone else has it. God has plenty for all of us.

BELIEVE. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you but I have struggled with this a lot as aftermath of the divorce. I know I really felt that I didn’t make a good decision in who I chose to marry and I have seen how that’s kept me from believing in myself and succeeding now that I am on my own. Very damaging.

I look foward to your update.

L


Aug. 31, 2009(blog post)

Hello friend,

I’ll share more details when we talk on the phone but the gist is that I hung out with Adam. recently, we had to discuss some of the final details of the divorce etc. He is accepting it and really we were able to just have fun. It was really nice to get some male attention too since I have been on a detox of sorts from men. He did pull some of his normal crap though with acting wierd about how he was feeling and then not talking about it and telling me that I always react like “this” etc. I am clear that I don’t want to be married to him anymore and have made the right decision.

I woul like to stay friends, do you think I should ask him why he was acting wierd and ask him to open up more about what he’s feeling or going through?

Thanks for your insight here, I could really use it. There’s no manual on this stuff.
Susie

Lesley’s response:

We’ll talk in more detail on the phone of course but in a nutshell, no, do not ask him to open up or what’s going on with him. You are a kind and caring person and I know you sincerely want the best for him even though you no longer want to be with him. But, it’s too soon to try out a friendship. By trying to have open conversations about feelings etc. you are keeping the intimate part of your relationship alive and opening yourself up to his manipulation again. You already saw bits and pieces of that in the time you spent with him as you mentioned.

Yes, it was lovely to get some of that male attention and it felt comfortable of course, easier than spending time with someone new. You’d honestly be better off going on a date with a complete stranger right now–not that I am recommending it or suggesting it’s time, you will know when it is.

So, keep your guard up, do not let him in and do not attempt to build a friendship with him. Back off, deal with what you must for the divorce and keep your distance for at least 6 months. Even then you’ll have to keep your guard up if you choose to still pursue the friendship. Chances are after that period of time and continuing to strengthen yourself you will not see a need for the friendship.

If you give him an inch he really will take a mile and that is ultimately your soul. You have given that up long enough and are working so hard to regain it. Stay the course, you know it’s worth it. You are too young to get sucked into a lifelong relationship again with him or anyone like him and you are too old to waste your time. Really have figured it out but now have to let it settle in and truly live it.

Hang tough, you are doing great.
Talk soon,
LL


August 21, 2009 (blog post)

Question from Susie to Lesley: Did you feel like you couldn’t say anything for fear of the response?

Answer from Lesley to Susie:

Yes, I was walking on eggshells. I got to the point where I hardly shared anything. I certainly didn’t share emotions because those weren’t received well but I wasn’t even sharing day to day stories about my life. I would be met with the famous response, “why are you telling me this? get to the point.” Who really wants to keep talking after that? And, why would I ever want to share anything with him ever again.

As a result I remember feeling very alone in my marriage. I also became very conditioned to sharing very little and disconnecting from my emotions. After the divorce I found myself highly emotional. I think the 7+ years of stuffing my emotions and expressing very little had to be compensated for.

Now I value self expression so much for all people. Yes, it’s part of it my dear…you are not alone.

Love you,
Les