It is eight years since I became suddenly single, which was not my choice. In the dark and painful place in my early days of aloneness I would never have dreamed that life could become so fulfilling for me. I now feel happier, healthier and more content than I believe I would have been had I remained entwined as half a couple. I have direction and purpose, living my life as my true self. I have found my voice.
Nevertheless It has been a long journey.
Life for me changed over a cup of coffee when I was told that my marriage of 37 years had ended. The pain that began in an instant, like a knife piercing my heart, I gradually came to recognise was pain from a series of crises from which I needed to heal: the loss of my past, a crisis of identity in the present, a fear for my future and the trauma of shattered beliefs.
I grieved my past and my dreams that would never be realized. Eventually, I acknowledged my past life was gone. I craved my lost identity. In the process of searching for it, I found my true self that had been hidden under my former role of wife. The intense fear I held for my future dissolved as I built foundations of courage. I began dreaming for a more valued tomorrow, a dream that would become fulfilled by leaving my past life behind and stepping out into my new world.
Finally I turned the trauma of lost trust into a transformation of self and living a life with purpose. To begin that transformation, I have over the past three years completed a Masters degree in Human Nutrition. As part of the course I completed a 4-unit research component. I will, over the next three months, be writing three academic articles from that research. After that my plan is write a series of educational material for lay-persons, in my area of expertise. This is a triumph for me. I had previously given up my original career, devoting my life to my marriage, family and community involvement. For me, this new degree is thus a crowning achievement. Not only is it something worthwhile for myself, after years of trauma, but I will be able to use the knowledge I have gained to help other people. I can become a voice for those less fortunate than myself.This is one of my deepest values, to rise above myself and help others in need.
I am 65 years old. I have learned that it is never too late to become my true self, to become someone I can believe in.