While I started writing this blog with a focus my breast surgery, I have also felt compelled to be honest in sharing other big things that are going on in my life too. I started writing this piece some months ago and have not felt ready to post it until now.
It is with a very sad heart that I share with you the news that my marriage of 26 years has fallen apart, and I am now separated from my husband. The past few years have been so hard, but I’ve not felt it appropriate to share what was going on between us, being as it is, a private matter involving the thoughts and feelings of two people. We have been in counseling for some time to help bring us closer together. Of course, I had hoped that everything would be resolved between us, with no need to share this sorry news. We are both deeply saddened with this outcome.
I know some may think that I have been through so many changes in recent years, it’s no wonder my marriage has suffered. But I think it is more a matter of us doing well in the good times, but being unable to navigate the tougher times together. The problems were there, unseen in calmer seas, well before this past few years. My challenges and need for closer communication have brought it all to a head.
I’ve done so much thinking about marriage and what it means to me in recent months. I see marriage as a sweet little wooden boat. Your partner is the one you choose to sail with. Together you sail the seas of life. Sometimes we are lucky to have blue skies and warm sunshine. Then there are passing showers and, of course, big scary storms. Sometimes the storms are bigger than the capabilities of the sailors and the boat falls apart. It is dreadful to be out in those seas by yourself, without a boat or a partner. But soon enough, the universe delivers you a new boat. You drag yourself in. You rest and become strong again. You learn so much from your last sailing experience, it helps you sail your new boat better.
So that’s where I’m at, resting in my new boat, gathering energy for my next sailing adventure, wishing my old boat could have lasted me a lifetime. Sadly it is not to be. I loved being married. We had so many happy times together. We created two spectacular children. I am grateful for the special times and, most especially, our now grown children, Holly and Tom. I tried my best and will not regret a moment of it. Once I my energy returns, I will sail on in the new boat. I am a bit afraid of sailing by myself and deeply afraid of being lonely, but I have Martha, Lou and my own wise heart to guide me along. Everything will be okay.
I never imagined myself being anything but happily married, and expected that we would be together to the end of our days. I suppose everyone does when they commit to a marriage. It is a very tough situation to come to terms with, especially having been together for over 27 years. It’s a huge loss, there’s much grief to be processed and more lessons to be learned.
As we already had the lease on the place at Sunshine Beach, I am spending most of my time there, whilst also traveling to Sydney often to see Holly and Tom. They have been a wonderful support to me. It has taken me a long time to tell people my news, for the most part, because I have not wanted it to be true. It takes a toll on me every time I tell it. I have gently worked through telling family and friends in person where possible, so that I feel heard and my news is shared respectfully. I’m not sure where I will live in the longer term, so am allowing myself a bit of a holding pattern in coming months and trust my path will become clear at some point. Now I can let you know that the life traumas that I have experienced in recent years have had the overlay of a disintegrating marriage behind the scenes. No wonder it is taking me so long to heal.
I think that perhaps we all receive joy and sorrow in equal measure throughout a lifetime. I feel I had a pretty good run up until I turned 50, when my business began to falter and then Martha passed away. I’m hoping that God has been laying the hard times on thick for me these past few years, in order to get many of my sorrows over and done with in as short time as possible, and then, I am praying, happier times will return. I feel like Martha’s death was a wrecking ball, knocking me off my perch, followed by the death of Lou and the loss of my breasts. This chapter feels like a steamroller, squashing me flat to the earth while down.
At times I think I will drown under the weight of so much sadness for all I have lost – my sisters, my business, my breasts, my role in the family home, my long standing marriage, my old life as a wife and businesswoman. I loved my old life, stressful as it sometimes was, in a business sense. These changes have turned my life on its head. I feel hurt, tired, disappointed, scared and sad. It is scary not knowing what the next chapter holds for me. I used to be so self assured and I am sad for the loss of that confidence too. I know that the sun will shine again for me. Martha and Lou are walking with me and they won’t lead me astray. I will be happy. I will have the creative, fulfilling life I desire. Life part one is finished. Life part two has yet to begin. I just have to keep going and TRUST that everything will be okay.
Tomorrow marks four years since Martha passed away. What a journey I have been on since then. I will be spending the day with Holly in Sunshine Beach, having some lovely time together and remembering her aunt and god mother well.
With gratitude for the love and support that has been sent my way already