I Will Survive.....happily

"Change has considerable psychological impact on the human mind.

To the fearful it is threatening, because it means that things may get worse.

To the hopeful it is encouraging, because things may get better.

To the confident it is inspiring, because the challenge exists to make things better.

I admit, I fear changing my life after 41 years of marriage to one man
This fear has kept me immobilized .. not being able to make progress and remain unhappy in my marriage.

The above says it all ....
If I remain in the state of fear ... I will die here ...
If I retain my hopefulness ... things may get better (one way or another)
However, if I become confident in what I am capable of changing in order to achieve happiness ....
I will have challenged myself to make things better.

My therapist yesterday made a comment that he must have made before but I never "heard him"
Yesterday I did ...
He said ... "you are not turning away from your life .. you are turning toward your life" .... a happier life

I can speak only for myself and admit that I feared ... financial instability ... and fear ending a long term marriage
Fear has caused me to become immobilized.

I know what would make me happier ...having a friend .. a companion .. someone who talks nice to me and doesn't put me down
Knowing that I am not annoying and that I am appreciated
Knowing that I am with someone who wants to be with me... not has to be with me for material reasons

Every day the clock is ticking away .... others may do what they want ... I will do what will make me a better person and live my life to my full potential ... emotionally, sexually and intellectually. 

There are no prison guards at my front door ... I have sent them away .. never to return
I am free to go whenever I want ... I have free will and I have confidence ....
I am my father's daughter ...  I WILL SURVIVE HAPPILY

reflections3 reflections3
61-65, F
12 Responses Jul 10, 2010

"We are all about as happy as we choose to be."<br />
That may not be the exact quote from Abraham Lincoln, but I think it is close. And it is important to remember that he was able to find inner happiness without running away from the difficulties of his life.<br />
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You way the prison guards have been sent away from your front door. GREAT! Even if you choose to stay, you can still choose to be happy. True joy is deep down where nobody (and no circumstance) can take it away from you.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear........

Understanding our lives as they are is totally diffferent on an intellectualy level than on an emotional level. Whatever our final choices the only judge of them is ourselves. Good luck.

As a member who knows R3 very well I understand how hard facing change is for her as we are similar in age and experiences. When one has lived under the firm hand of a controlling spouse for so many years, change is harder. R3 will make her decisions in her own time and we can give her respect for this regardless of what she decides. The best we can all do for one another is to offer support and kindness. There is a difference in telling a person what to do then offering support and respect as they work their way to their own decisions. R3 already knows what she has to do to regain her happiness but the process is not easy as we know. A woman cannot spend over forty years with a man and walk away as if those years never happened no matter how painful they were.

Sounds like you know quite a bit Gemini - I think I hesitate to be tough on R3 because I am her in many ways - although, I have young children and no career (been a stay-at-home mom for almost 12 years!) - but I relate to her fear and her hesitation - so if I am tough on her than I have to be tough on myself - ugh! LOL!!

Some people need gentle support, others need tough love. We're all here for some honesty, and R3 knows where I'm coming from. I'm not going to agree with you because that's what everyone else is doing. Have endless chats and sing kumbaya ... first of all, LIFE is damn hard. And when you're pushing 60, you need to push the pedal to the metal. There's a wonderful side of life out there waiting for you, and all this poetry isn't going to get you there.<br />
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I see people who struggle with leaving their marriage and I sympathize, but I also recognize those who just don't want to leave their comfort zone. I watch friends of friends who actually say "I will pay for your divorce" and still, that does not motivate someone to leave a marriage. Ok, forget divorce, how about just move out? What will it take? I'm not here to push anyone out the door, but I do wonder what all the "cries for help" is about when the means are available.<br />
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Dorothy is right, don't just sit there and listen to your therapist, HEAR what he/she is saying. That's what you pay them for. Then maybe, instead of busy looking for friends, you can be friends with yourself. Then REAL and CONSTANT action can actually begin.<br />
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My mother was 63 when she left an abusive marriage. She is now 71 and her greatest regret was leaving him later than sooner. Don't let that be you. I am surprise at the attention I'm getting though. I was hoping someone would say "go R3 go! Get out of there! Live!" Instead, the spotlight is on me. Not that I mind the attention, makes me feel like a celebrity. But I am disappointed that all everyone is doing is patting each other's backs and saying "life is hard ... change is hard ..." <br />
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But what do I know ...

R3: Fear is normal. I am two years into my "new" life and I still have fear at times. And then it hits me, I have made it this long without my suff, and him and I go, Oh yeah!<br />
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I know it's hard. But R3 you have already come the realization that you can not continue to live this life. It's so easy to get used to being miserable, isn't it?<br />
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One day at a time girl.<br />
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Love and hugs,<br />

Being busy with life here has caused me to miss some stories of friends so I want to comment on this one and say that the process of leaving is one that each of us has to work out in our own minds. It is not being lazy but being cautious as change gets harder as we grow older. Even a bad marriage is a known quantity. A person knows what to expect even if one's partner does not have the capability or desire to change into what we want or need. The change has to come from within ourselves and it is frightening, especially financially. <br />
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I spent years spinning my wheels and some of my friends commented on this in RL however they understood that I had to make my own decisions and respected me for this. R3 has grown tremendously in the time I have known her here and she continues to grow as all thinking people do. <br />
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The best we can do as R3's friends is to always be supportive and listen as she has done for us many times. Keep writing, our friend, and keep growing and know that what you want and need is possible. Blessings and love,D.

R3 - your story inspires me - makes me think of me and my situation, but you already know that we are living similar experiences in our marriages. I too think Enna is very wise in her words to you.<br />
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Gemini - you have some good points, but I don't think R3 is lazy - I think she hit the nail right on the proverbial head - she is scared - and fear can be paralyzing! PLUS, a realization I had in counseling the other day (with a lot of help from my counselor!), I don't value myself - I thought I did, but I have come to realize that I don't do it enough - and that has made me make some debilitating choices in relationships - wanting people to NEED me so that I feel valuable instead of accepting myself as good enough to have someone that is not so needy in my life - and not fearing that they will not want me anymore if they don't NEED me to rescue them!<br />
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R3 - my desire for you and my prayer for you, that now that you have truly HEARD what your therapist has said, that it will motivate you to REAL and CONSTANT action. I have the same prayer for myself - I don't know about you, but I have been out of the work world for over 11 years, so that is one of my biggest fears and disappointments - I LOVE being home for my children - volunteering at their schools, helping them with their homework and being there when they get off the bus each day PLUS, I don't have to worry right now about what to do if they are sick and can't go to school - I am home - it will be not only a big change for me BUT a big change for them IN ADDITION to going through their father moving out! Ugh, just talking about it can be intimidating and overwhelming! <br />
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Just know I am always going to be just an e-mail away if you need some support!!! Love you!!

I think the time for talking, writing and thinking has been over many moons ago. You count 41 years of marriage ... I mean, hellish existence ... care to make it 42, 43, 44? In my opinion, you are too busy feeling sorry for yourself to make plans for your departure. Too busy looking for someone to fill your life when no one can do that except yourself. I say count your blessings as you step out the door ...<br />
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You are healthy, you don't have children under the age of 5, divorce laws are on your side and there are divorce lawyers out there who does pro bono. Most of all, you are not required to show up at some psychiatric facility to be interviewed so they can judge whether you are a fit mother for your child now that you are a single parent. You don't have to show up every 3 months at a pediatric facility so they can weigh your child to make sure you're feeding him, check his body to make sure you haven't harmed him, solely because you have been diagnosed with a disorder. <br />
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You, my friend, are lazy. And if you are too lazy to make yourself happy then stay where you are and stop wasting time going to a psychiatrist/therapist. Afraid of change? try being afraid of social workers who watches you like a hawk, ready to take your child away. And all because you dared to leave a marriage.

A process takes time and understanding. Many years of being lost and feeling broken have turned into finding that I am living in the shadow of myself. <br />
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I noticed only a couple of responses to my writing ..<br />
Being on the dark side of the moon seems self destructive when there is so much more light on the other side ... and the grass ... doesn't get green without sunshine ... I understand and appreciate your comment ... as always ... you are a very wise, balanced woman and a joy to know.<br />
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And vegassbaby ... I understand the joke ... I have given up the martyr role.<br />
You are young and also wise. As Roosevelt said .. "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself'<br />
We will overcome with dignity and confidence and address our lives and stop making excuses for ourselves and our spouses .. "it is what it is" ... <br />

R3, my sister's psychologist said something to her one day that resonated with her as your counsellor's words have resonated with you.<br />
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My sister was debating leaving her very unhappy marriage, and was reluctant to make the break. She said:<br />
"The grass isn't always greener on the other side."<br />
The therapist said:<br />
"The grass doesn't look very green on this side . . . "<br />
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My siter truly realised then that she was stayinbg because she was scared to make the changes - rather than because she truly thought her life was fulfilling. It sounds as if you have had a similar epiphany.