Been There, Done That

Today’s #30Layers30Days prompt is Been There, Done That.

I absolutely did LOL. If you’ve been following my self discovery journey, you would know why. But you know what? I’m getting comfortable with talking about this part of my life1. Here we go!

What have you overcome? How can you use your experience to help someone else? How can you turn something that caused you pain into something that gives you purpose?

Okay! So before I told the story about committing adultery2. When I ‘fessed up to my husband, we fought. Really…fought… I ended up with a fractured nose. I stayed with my husband. Not because I was afraid of leaving him, but because I felt like we could work through our problems by increasing our level of communication and, of course, counseling. And you know what? It worked.

We were able to overcome a situation that most married couples can’t. Not only did we fall back in love with each other; we developed a new level of trust. And in case you’re wondering, no. He hasn’t laid a hand on me since that night.

I haven’t been using my experience because I was ashamed. Not about the fact that he hit me3, but because of what caused it happen. I know so many married women who are considering stepping out on their husbands because they aren’t feeling loved or understood. I have a story to tell about the not-so-glamorous side of mediocre sex with someone other than your husband4.

I want to help people. I really do. I feel like people need to hear from someone who has experienced what they are going through firsthand. Yesterday, I wasn’t ready for that. This morning, I wasn’t ready for that. But now at this moment, I can confidently say that I am ready.

**stepping off of the soapbox**

  1. That’s good, right?! []
  2. I really hate calling it a story, by the way []
  3. even though he should have kept his hands to himself []
  4. No lie… Hard to enjoy when you know it isn’t right. Trust me. []

For Sure

Today’s #30Layers30Days prompt is For Sure.

What do you know for sure about life and love? Perhaps it’s a lesson that you had to learn over and over again before you got it or a guiding principle that now informs your decisions.

What I love about this self discovery challenge is that it’s bringing so many things to my remembrance.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

That is from 1 Corinthians 13. I was raised in church. My parents even had a Prayer Room upstairs. I grew up as a “PK”1. Everything I know that is for sure about love is in that scripture. It’s a guiding principle that I seem to have forgotten on my journey to happiness.

What I know for sure about life is that it is tough. IT. IS. TOUGH. There’s no room for selfishness, especially when you have a spouse and children. There’s no room for giving up just because you feel like it.

I know for sure that life and love go hand-in-hand. It’s hard to live my life… A married life… Without patience. Without kindness. Without truth. Without everything that love should represent.

  1. Preacher’s Kid… We always get a bad rap []

Favorite Mistake

Today’s #30Layers30Days prompt is Favorite Mistake. “If you are down on yourself for making ‘bad decisions’, take the opportunity now to consider what is blocking you from perceiving your mistakes as lessons that will eventually benefit you. We are only able to progress by making mistakes. To be truly happy, we have to stop romanticizing perfection and make authenticity our guiding principle. Sometimes we have to do things the wrong way many many times before we learn what’s right for us. Trust that process1.”
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What mistake have you learned the most from?

This post is one of the hardest for me to share. It brings me back to reality. Away from the sugarcoated version of my life. I have to remind myself that no one, including me, is perfect.

I cheated on my husband once.

It was during a time when we were in a bad place. He was going his own way and I was going mine. There was no communication, no trust, and no understanding. I consider it my favorite mistake, simply because it’s one that I don’t regret. I know why it happened and I use it as a reminder of a place where I never want to be again. In hindsight, I went about it the wrong way. I should have never gone that route. But that is the beauty of mistakes, right?

It’s been four years and we’ve had our ups and downs, but we are still fighting to make it work. There have been plenty of times where I could have taken the same road, but I chose not to. Not because it isn’t right, but because it isn’t fair.

What I learned from the experience is wrong plus wrong does not equal right. There is no better solution than communication and understanding. I was worried about my husband spending a lot of time away from home, while I was stuck with our child2. I went through every scenario over and over again in my head. He would ask me to open up and talk to him about what I was feeling and I wouldn’t. I had convinced myself that he was this terrible person. If I had talked to him about what I was feeling, it could have saved us a lot of heartache. Chances are we’d be in a much better place right now. But we aren’t…

  1. Quoted from GG Renee []
  2. who wasn’t even one yet []

Joy Snatchers

Today’s #30Layers30Days prompt is Joy Snatchers. “Joy snatchers are those little things that pick away at your peace of mind and drain your positive energy. They distract you when you are trying to be productive. They cause strain and stress in your relationships. Perhaps they bring out a side of you that you don’t like or they bring about feelings of depression and self-loathing. Joy snatchers can be people, places, things, feelings, thoughts, and more. Joy Snatchers are often responsible for those black cloud days when you’re in a funk and you can’t really explain why1.”

Identify some of your joy snatchers and their impact on your life. Narrow it down to your #1 joy snatcher. What can you do to minimize or eliminate its influence? More importantly, do you know and believe that you have the power to do so?

This isn’t hard for me as I’ve already identified the things that snatch my joy.

  • My marriage
  • Not living comfortably

If I had to choose one to be more of a joy snatcher than the other, it would have to be not living comfortably. It’s not that we don’t make the money, it’s just that we have too many bills. Between paying the IRS and student loans2, it’s hard to have enough money to live comfortably. I’ve been making a lot of changes as far as paying off small bills and switching service providers. We were paying Verizon $320 a month, and by switching to T-Mobile3 we are saving over $200 a month. The transmission went out on the Altima a few weeks after getting it fixed and painted, and the decision was made not to get it fixed. At this point, it’s more affordable4 to just use one vehicle. I’m also considering becoming a SAHM, simply because of the fact that the majority of what I make goes to daycare/kindergarten costs.

That last one is still up in the air. There’s so many other factors that become involved… Especially since divorce has come up. I know that things will work out. I just have to keep pushing.

  1. Quoted from All The Many Layers []
  2. Both his bills, not mine []
  3. who offers similar service in the city, but not back home []
  4. even though it’s not convenient all of the time []

Start. Stop. Continue.

Today’s prompt of the #30Layers30Days is Start. Stop. Continue.

START: What do you want to start doing? What do you want more of in your life? What feelings, what activities, what energy? What baby step can you take today?

I want to start loving myself more. I want more love in my life. I’m at a point where I’m mostly filled with hatred. I feel like I’m always angry and I hate it. I just want to feel happy. I want the smile that is always on my face to be real. I want to be positive. I want to get out more and do things that I love to do… Things that I have forgotten. I’m not sure where to start. There are so many things that I feel are holding me back. The most I can do is let the journey start from within.

STOP: What have you had enough of? What are you tolerating or feeding into that is not adding value to your life? What area of your life is begging for more boundaries?

This is hard to say, but I’m tired of my marriage. I know marriage isn’t easy, but over the last six years, I feel as if I have lost more than I’ve gained. I’m tolerating the emotional abuse that I know isn’t good for me. I’m tolerating being married because I want our children to be happy and grow up in a two parent home. As much as I would love for things to work out, I have to say that they won’t if things don’t change.

CONTINUE: What habits or trends do you want to continue? What’s been working for you? What can you do to ensure you keep it going?

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I want to continue being a great mother to my children. I feel like I exist because of them. I’m standing up for myself more. Not taking any s***, and even though we argue more… It’s working for me. At this point. I have to start with me. And I’ll end this with a verse from one of my favorite songs:

And her name is me
And she loves me more than you’ll ever know
And I finally see that
Loving you and loving me just don’t seem to work at all
So patiently
She’s waiting on me to tell you that she needs love
And to choose between you two
Boy you know if I have to choose I choose me

-Tamia: “Me”