Surviving and The Trail of Ants

After my courageous self walked away from a 17 year marriage and survived,  (read about it here)  I had to start creating a new life. I was surviving!  

I changed my name back to my maiden name. That is who I was when I was happy. I needed to be that person again. I spent months recovering from my broken marriage.

My children hated me because I refused to bad-mouth their father. They blamed me for the divorce.

We Survived

But we survived. My heart allowed itself to grieve. I threw myself into my job and my schooling and my children. And I survived.  My ex was very angry. I felt like the entire city was hearing stories about me that were not true. Of course it wasn’t the entire city, but in my battered mind, it felt like it.  On the weekends that the kids were with their dad I felt totally alone. The house was too quiet. I would wake up, listen to the emptiness and spend the rest of the weekend crying.

A Shift

After a year of this grieving and healing something shifted. My children had gone to their dads for the weekend but instead of feeling the sinking sadness inside the pit of my stomach I had a feeling of freedom.  It’s hard to describe.  I remember thinking “I can go anywhere I want and I don’t have to answer to someone.”

It felt so good to put my coat on and just take off in the car with no fear of a husband following me to see where I was going.  I walked to the corner coffee shop one Saturday morning and sat there.  It was just me and my cup of coffee.  I had no plans at all and nowhere I needed to be.  This felt like freedom!  I enjoyed that cup of coffee and that beautiful morning of freedom more than I have ever enjoyed coffee before!

A Trail of Ants

One night the kids had gone to bed and I was locking up for the night.  I noticed a trail of ants coming in the front door and crossing the living room floor. Normally I would have freaked out, stomped on them, waiting until morning so that I could tell my husband why I was jumping in the car to run to the store for bug spray, (This was never allowed in our marriage. It was as though I needed permission to go anywhere and then I was timed.  If gone too long, he came looking for me.)

This particular night I walked away from the ants, thinking to myself that I would deal with it in the morning.  But something stopped me in my tracks. I decided that it needed to be taken care of right then and I HAD THE FREEDOM to go to the store to get a can of bug spray.  I left the kids a note, grabbed my keys and drove to the nearby 24 hour grocery store.  This was after midnight. 


I was out after midnight and there was no one to answer to!  This was one of the best nights of my life. Who would have thought a midnight trip to the grocery store would be so amazing.  Thanks to my trail of ants, I felt that incredible sense of freedom and the knowledge that I can make my own choices and my own decisions.  

It felt empowering and I’ve never forgotten that night.


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