One Last Cry Caterpillar

one last cry caterpillar

Shared by Keisah Greenidge.

Driving home today, the enormous weight of the last few years came rushing in like the Amazon River. I was overcome with emotion, tears streaming down my face I had no choice but to give in to the grief. My lips quivered and I literally felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. Brief periods of loud sobbing followed by screaming and travailing would best describe my hour long commute. It was bad and I mean real bad.

My vision was completely blocked by the tears that would not stop falling. Traffic was so heavy that I couldn’t even pull over basically I couldn’t see so I was forced to get it together because I had no other choice. Wiping my eyes with the sleeve of my dress, snot running down my nose, cheeks stinging like air on a razor cut and all of a sudden I was sitting there trying to find my truth. I began thinking “Where in the world did that come from?”. Up to this point, I had been unbelievably strong and positive. I’d only shared a tear or two so why now? Why at the demise of the relationship and when things in my life were beginning to look up? Why in the world was I crying? I know I didn’t want him back. I am certain I’m over the marriage. UGH why?

You see some people go through these bitter divorces, but my experience wasn’t quite like that. It was almost as if once the pressure of our roles of husband and wife were removed a weight was lifted off of both of us. Sure we had the normal fights that most do, but at the end of the day we were able to focus on our priorities and leave amicably. Bottom line is we were really good friends we just weren’t good at being married to one another.

I mean I knew that I’d lost myself in him and I didn’t like the person that I was when I was with him. I knew that his face would never light up when I was around. I knew that we weren’t going out on dates and never spend time together like most spouses do. I knew that it was over and I’d accepted that so we just let go.

When I got home, I sat in my car a few minutes just stunned trying to figure out what in the world just happened. I mean I’d mourned the loss of my husband, the loss of my marriage, the loss of my kids ability to have a father in the house full time and even the loss of not having a man in the house to make you feel safe, I accepted alternating weekends and holidays and text messages that were only about the kids and about moving on with new relationship. The only thing I knew for sure is that I really didn’t recognize the person peering back at me in the rearview mirror. I mean how would I define myself now.

My next course of action was to take myself out of the equation. I needed to think about the advice that I would offer a friend who called me and shared the previous chain of events and it was really easy to offer words of encouragement. I believe I would say something like.

I’m so incredibly proud of you! Very few women can see just how amazing they are and refuse to settle for anything less. I cannot imagine how painful it must have been to suffer in silence as your marriage slowly fell apart. Even though there were days that you were on auto-pilot, you still got up, you still cared for your family, you still worked and you didn’t give up.

So today my dear friend, it’s ok if not have it all together. It’s ok to be vulnerable. It’s ok to cry and to scream and to do whatever you need to do. Seventeen years is a long time to love one person. The day you walked down the aisle, you wanted happily ever after and things changed- that happens. It’s ok that dream didn’t happen the way you planned and believe me you are not a failure.

The reason that tears fall now is because you are just unsure. You are probably questioning everything that you’ve ever done, loved or believed in. Then you have to reinvent yourself and find out your likes and dislikes and just start over and that’s pretty scary. But you know what I think you can do it.

Now I challenge you to take that energy that you used to fight for your marriage and put into a new fight for your dreams. You deserve a fresh start, you deserve to be loved, you deserve to love and you deserve to make your own decisions. The weight has been lifted, the chains have fallen and your new start is right at your fingertips. You are now free and able to follow your heart and make your own decisions and live your truth. You are empowered! You are strong! You are beautiful! You are woman! Now go forth and do amazing things it’s in you it’s always been there.

In writing my words of encouragement, I realized that I was the only friend that I needed all along. You see don’t mistake my message for sadness about my marriage.  He will always have a special place in my heart, but I don’t want to go back to him. I am not angry, I am not bitter heck I am not even mad. I am thankful that I had a union for 17 years! I am grateful for the experiences we shared and for our amazing children! Without him, I wouldn’t have been encouraged to go back to school, obtain 2 degrees, move to a new city and live out my dreams. During our season together we accomplished great things. Now the winter is over and that’s really ok.

For 17 years, I was being preserved, I was being taught, I was being educated, I was gaining experience, I was learning my limits, I was learning my weaknesses, I was learning my strengths. I learned to be a mother, a wife, a friend and I walked through it sometimes with grace and other times I fell flat on my face.

Non the less that chapter is closed and now self reflection, renewed purpose, goals and dreams, visions and a new journey becomes my new reality.

So those tears that I shed today cleansed my soul, this truth that I share through this blog emptied space in my heart, self reflection and release cleared my mind and I feel lighter.

In this very moment I realized the reason that I cried was just because I needed to mourn the old me. Today’s process was about  shedding my cocoon. I’ve lived 17 years as a caterpillar the last 2 years in a cocoon and this place is no longer comfortable because I for the first time I feel my wings are sprouting. I’m a little nervous because I’ve never flown before, but now I know I have to take the limits off and see where these wings take me.

Goodbye caterpillar and hello butterfly!

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