Some years are for learning and growing. Some are for changing paths and some are for revealing truths we wished never happened…
When 2020 bid farewell and 2021 said hello, I was in state of confusion. The answers I had been seeking for for so long had been revealed and I could no longer avoid them any more. The sordid truth was confessed to me, and I did not know how to handle it.
I had a term called delayed reaction to a traumatic experience. An out of body encounter where I listened to every word but could not comprehend what it meant to my reality. I had been betrayed by a loved one. I had had a gut instinct about it for years, but had not trusted myself, believing all the lies and manipulation instead.
In hindsight, I’d like to think that I handled things the best way I knew how. By continuing with my life one day at a time, and not letting on to anyone but my Sponsor and Therapist what was happening around me. However, it was an extremely lonely period. I was falling apart emotionally and I needed a break from my family. I could not stay in the house any longer. Being with my family was not making me happy and I decided I needed a separation.
Neil and I looked for a place for me. I was lucky to find something close to my workplace in Cape Town that was small, secure and fully furnished. I moved in in March and stayed until the end of May. I went to work, spent a day or two with the family over the weekends but mostly it gave me much needed time to process what had had happened to me. My healing had begun.
I slept a lot. I ate a lot. I ran, I cried, I spoke to God. I attended AA virtual meetings, I journaled. I read books. I asked why me, I asked why not me? I had panic attacks. I was on medication for migraine headaches. I learned to cope with my condition and carried on one day at a time.
My biggest stumbling block was my inability to feel compassion for myself. I was so hard on myself that I should’ve known what had been going on and that I should’ve done something about it early on. Love is blind and betrayal always comes from within. I couldn’t forgive myself for what had happened and it was holding me back. And now I needed to make a choice about my future and it was one I never intended to make.
When I eventually made my choice and chose what I wanted, I was persuaded by my family to give it one more try. So, I came back home and gave it a shot. Winter arrived and Neil decided he wanted to train for a marathon and I coached him. It gave us a common goal to work towards. The girls were happy to have our family together again and that made me glad.
My writing had taken a back seat this year and my novel needed to be revived. It made my heart sore that I had put in so much work over the years and there had been endless delays. When people asked me about the novel, I wanted to cry. But now I knew the reason for the delays – why I had feverishly written it in the first place, and why it could never get off the ground! And it was another thing I needed to forgive myself for as well. I’ve done the best I could under very challenging conditions!
With all honesty I can say 2021 was by far the hardest year for me. It took everything out of me just to keep it together. And by the grace of God, I survived it. My family remains in tact and for that I am grateful. I look forward to a better 2022.
I wish you and your family a peaceful and a blessed Christmas and a safe and Happy 2022.