Finally this morning I experienced a feeling of incredible relief.
Relief that the spotlight of “marriage failure” has been removed from on me and transferred to the latest casualty – my brother and his wife. (Not that I wish it on them).
But that’s how it’s felt these last 32 months. As far as the people living close to me – my neighbours, family and friends, I’ve been the one who has been the local casualty. The one who needs nurturing and caring for.
The one in the spotlight.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve been stunned and humbled by their kindnesses and concern. The way they’ve been there for me to help me through. The hours they’ve spent listening to me go over and over the same ground – especially that first year of indecision and trauma – as I floundered around lost in my own despair. Then the encouragement and nurture as I fought my way through to where I am today.
The fact they thought I was worth it.
But today the sense of relief is incredible. A big weight has suddenly gone – one which I hadn’t realised was there – I am no longer weighed down by being the latest statistic. Someone else has taken my place.
I have now moved up a rung on the statistical ladder. I am a survivor.
In this new place I feel released from the limelight. I have learnt so much. And actually hope I still have more to learn. I’m finding it all too fascinating to stop now!
I can turn to my sister-in-law and listen and listen. I can empathise like no-one else near her can. I know what it’s like. The fact that my experience is still so new. OK I’m not in her shoes. She will react differently to the way I did. We are, after all, all unique. We will react in our own unique way. But hopefully I can help.
I also know what NOT to say or do!
I hope she allows me to be there for her. I don’t envy her. I wouldn’t wish the spotlight on her at all. But I hope her ‘journey’ is enlightening as mine has been and still is.
I still have my goals to resolve – which with Stephen’s help and guidance I hope will truly make me buzz.
Today for the first time I felt that my own personal mountain top is finally in sight. And when I get to the top I’d like a new spotlight turned on and a banner across the sky saying “Sensational Survivor” – because for my sister-in-law (and hopefully my brother) that might be the incentive to get the help I feel will help them both!