Eight years on – from trauma to triumph

 

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.

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Image courtesy[digitalart]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

19 thoughts on “Eight years on – from trauma to triumph

  1. This is truly a triumph – I feel like saying “I told you so!” but that would be mean. You are a shining example and I’m sure that many other women will have taken courage and inspiration from you. All the very best for 2020 and a big hug for your achievements.

  2. This post makes me feel so happy and hopeful. I too am thankful to be out of my former marriage and believe I have been able to become a better version of myself being on my own, though my triumphs have been a series of starts and stops and hiccups. My youngest is the only one still left at home, so complete freedom from responsibilities of motherhood are not fully behind me yet. I think the hardest parts for me have been watching my children navigate the new world they were thrown into and the resulting effects. At times it has been heartbreaking. I am so glad to hear you have found a niche where you feel successful and fulfilled. I hope to also get to that point in my life, at least by my sixties! 😊 Happy 2020! So glad you posted. J

    • Thanks for your update. It has not all been sweet-sailing for me either but I am at the point where I am able to twist things into a positive frame. It helps me to do that, and then makes to easier to navigate those hiccups. I was so happy to hear from you and I am hoping to write a bit more regularly again. I miss that.

  3. So glad to hear you have come through it all , thrived and become so successful.
    I have found my niche 6 years after a tsunami divorce which ended a 38 year marriage. I now volunteer with conservation groups, practise Tai Chi, yoga, and aerobics, befriend the elderly, meet friends, and the best part is seeing my children and grandchildren whenever I want, without the restrictions of a grumbling husband.
    I didn’t believe I would get to this point, but I am actually happier and freer.
    I wish for others going through divorce, that they are able to find success and happiness, after such a traumatic event.

    • Thanks for your message and it is good to hear from others in a similar situation. It makes me feel less alone. I too have been able to forge my own path and the feeling of freedom in difficult to describe. You voiced it well. Thank you for joining my conversation. I wish you all the best.

  4. Hello Elizabeth! I was searching for something this morning on my blog and your name appeared. Seeing it reminded me of our coffee in Vancouver, of our many words shared here, of your journey and my awe of how focused and committed you were/are in being your true self.

    I am so grateful my search this morning lead me to you — and so happy to read of all you’ve achieved, of what you’re doing and how your life is unfolding with such beauty and grace.

    Blessings

    Louise

    • Hello Louise. I think of you often in Canada, and I am glad you found your way to my blog. I have been an infrequent visitor here the past 2 years due to moving house and my studies that are now complete. I was so sorry to hear of your mother passing. My mother passed away in 2015 after a ten month illness during which my siblings and I cared for her. We all became very close during that time. When she died I felt I had lost that link with my grand-parents and great-grandparents and times gone by. Suddenly life began in 1954. It was a deep loss that I felt and I would never have imagined before that it would be so painful. Now I can look back with gladness, and all those people come back to me, in my thoughts. I feel close to them still.
      Thanks for your wishes. Take care.

  5. Your story is inspiring. “Turning trauma of lost trust into a transformation of self and living a life with purpose.” This is no small accomplishment. Thanks for sharing.

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