Finding Fortitude

My journey started 35 years ago, I had a wonderful childhood, having moved when I was 5 and growing up in South Africa, but when I turned 18, I decided I wanted to get some experience of working in the UK.  Flying solo as a newly turned 18-year-old was rather daunting, but I did it. 

Over the next couple of years, I had a few jobs, but in 2007 I met someone, he was special, and in 2011 we were married.  We went on to welcome our first child in 2013 and I had everything I ever wanted.  A few weeks later, whilst still in my bubble of bliss, I was told something that no one ever wants to hear.  My whole world came crashing down around me.  My husband had been unfaithful.  What I didn’t realise at the time was that he was struggling with his own demons.  I later realised he so desperately wanted an escape from reality that the thought of a different life was his way of coping. 

There I was with a 3-week-old baby, still feeling the after-effects of a very difficult birth and trying to figure out what to do next.  I had so many unanswered questions.  It was the most challenging year for us, but I chose to forgive him, and we worked on moving forward.  A few years went by, and we welcomed our daughter; what a wonderful bundle of energy she was; there was something missing though, was it trust?  I don’t know, but we both realised in 2018 that we couldn’t carry on with the way things were, and we sadly separated.

We had both changed, and it felt like our paths were going separate ways.  Once again, I found myself in a place that I didn’t like; I was uncomfortable and scared of what my future looked like.  

What a journey the past few years has been.  I lost who I was, but I realise I had to in order to grow again from the ground up; my outlook, priorities and perspective have changed entirely.  Even after experiencing heartbreak, I am proud of the relationship my ex-husband and I have now.  Don’t get me wrong, it has been the hardest thing I have ever had to face, but we have two beautiful children, and we do a fantastic job at co-parenting them as best we can. 

What I have come to know, is that you can go through tough times, and you may feel like your whole world has been crushed; you will experience feelings of anger, upset and disbelief, but if you want something badly enough, it’s about making the right choices.  At the time, I chose to forgive, not many do, but for me, it was the right thing.  Do I hold what he did against him?  Absolutely not.  None of us is perfect.  He just made a bad choice at the time. 

I have since met my new partner, who is supportive of me and my children, and in 2021, we welcomed our very own surprise baby into the world.  To those who feel like their life has ended after heartbreak, please do not give up hope.  A new chapter is on the way.

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