Rebuilding yourself is a part of the journey of life. Many people have suffered pain, either physical or emotional, at some point in their life. You may have found the need to rebuild yourself at various points. I wanted to share my story with you. Many wouldn’t be aware of my past and it certainly has never been as bad as many others. I want to share it though to show you that you can never assume someone hasn’t been there in some shape or form and also that you can find ways to rebuild the person you are.
In my late teens and early 20’s I was always fairly shy, hesitant about approaching people. There were times when I would see people and know that I had to work up the courage to speak to them. My intuition told me that they were going to be an important part of my life. There was one such guy where I was working at the time and to this day we still stay in contact on and off. We’re always there for each other. That’s not what happened with my first husband though. I met him at the same place (it was a Defence establishment so I met alot of people through there). My first husband talked the talked, promised the world.
There were a few things I knew in my first marriage. One was that I never wanted kids. In hindsight I believe that was just my intuition telling me not to have kids with that guy. Not to create a link to him. I also knew, and to some extent learnt, not to trust a world he said. That also meant I lost my trust in pretty much everyone. He would tell people what he thought they wanted to hear. Not the truth. Mind you, he also wasn’t great at keeping his stories consistent.
During that marriage I grew apart from my family. He used to tell me that if I did the wrong thing by him then he’d hurt my family. Whether he meant it or not we will never know but my intuition was that I didn’t want him around my family. He also was one to believe rumours, so he used to say that he “trusted me to be me”. Having worked in a Defence establishment (which I enjoyed and never had any issues at), he believed the rumours the boys had. At that time I ran the gym and recreation facilities on the base and boys being boys – you talked to someone you were sleeping with them. It was something I could laugh off as I knew the truth. When one guy told me about the rumour that I’d slept with every guy on the base I laughed and said he should’ve told me earlier as I had a lot of catching up to do. For me they were just words and noone was ever disrespectful to me. But my first husband, he believed them and I suppose, as I type this, I realise that he was probably insecure.
Over time his words broke me down. I felt like I couldn’t have friends. Couldn’t talk to people. I still played water polo and hockey but didn’t really socialise much outside of that. When he was deployed I would, but not when he was home. By the time I ended the marriage I felt like I was a shadow of my former self. I wasn’t sad ending the marriage, I knew it was the right thing and something I should have ended before it even started. Even the counsellor I saw didn’t even try to convince me to stay. He told me it was the right thing to do. A mate of my first husband who became a mutual friend (and he’d been asked to look out for me while he was deployed) told me to hand him the divorce papers as he stepped off the plane. If only our system would’ve allowed it to work that way. He was even accusing his mate of having an affair with me which neither of us would ever have done. At the time I wasn’t aware that verbal abuse was a form of domestic violence.
The months and years that followed saw me then looking at myself and beginning the journey to rebuild. To create the person that I used to be. That person who trusted in herself, listened to her intuition and was determined to become a strong, independent woman. It wasn’t an easy path. After all my ability to trust had been completely destroyed. I reconnected with people from my past. Rebuilt friendships. Created new friendships.
At various times I would experience lower back pain. Sometimes it could be crippling, just the smallest movement would cause a spasm and I’d find myself crawling on the floor to get around the house. Other times there would be sharp pain towards the front of the hip.
I took time to reflect on the pain and the damage it had done to me. Time to acknowledge how it had made me feel. I learnt over time to talk about it. To give it it’s space so that it wasn’t building inside of me. Instead I eventually learnt that I had to let it go and let it out into the universe. It was a part of my past and not my future. I wasn’t going to let it hold me back. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an easy journey and there are still times now, 12/13 years on, that it creeps up on me. A dislike and hatred still exists there and I am not sure if that will ever completely go. After all, I felt like he destroyed the person that I was.
The flip side though is that it gave me the opportunity to build a new person. A stronger person. I had to learn from the mistakes. It was an opportunity to challenge myself to be the person I really wanted to be. It is so easy when you are with someone to bend a little and become the person they want you to be. Or the person they like. It can take strength to just be you the whole time. I even find now in my marriage now that I will hold back at times rather than saying the things I do actually believe. That is definitely going to be a lesson I will teach my children as they grow. To always trust their intuition. To listen to it and allow it to guide them. To be strong and confident. To not be led by others but instead to be the leader.
Be the person that you want to be. Don’t let others hold you back. It isn’t always easy. Plus it can be hard to find time as well. If you want something then you need to make that time. Take the time for you, the time that you deserve every day. Don’t let your past define who you are today. Rebuild yourself and you define the person that you want to be.
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