1. It has taught me how to forgive.
I’m not talking about the you took my pencil I was using but its ok forgiveness, or the you left the toilet seat up again and I fell in at 2 in the morning. I’m talking about the you hurt me in a way that I didn’t think was possible to but I forgive you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what the other person did was right or that it’s even ok. It means you’re not willing to carry around the unhealthy angry attached to the situation any longer. For me it isn’t about making the other person feel better or even about them at all. It’s really a selfish thing. It’s all about doing something to make you feel better. I have learned that holding on to being upset and constantly wondering if he’s doing it again or when it will happen again, only holds me back from not only growing as a person, but holds me back from just being me. I’ve chosen to forgive, and it doesn’t make it ok to do it again and it doesn’t make it ok that it ever happened in the first place, but I’ve chosen to feel better for me.
2. It has shown me that I am stronger than I thought.
I always thought that if it ever happened to me I would crumble like a cookie, wither away from sadness, and break on the inside…and I did. I felt every emotion there is. I cried and hit things, I couldn’t breathe and the world felt like it was closing in, but I didn’t die. It hurt but I moved on. I went about my days from then on and I wasn’t a wreck. It hurt, that’s undeniable, but I lived. It takes a strong person to not only forgive but to keep going, and I found out how strong I really was. I wouldn’t wish being cheated on, on my worst enemy. The pain stays with you and you’re never really the same again, but I can say I am honestly grateful for the experience as it has made me into a stronger person in a way only something like that could.
3. I can make it through a hard time without returning to old behaviors.
Let me start out by saying being a recovering drug addict and alcoholic is nothing like how Hollywood portrays it to be. When I decide to get clean it doesn’t just go away to never be thought about again. When things get rough it sometimes floods your mind, and sometimes it wins. I have been blessed this time around to not have returned to that lifestyle, but it hasn’t been easy by any means. I remember the night I found out. I was sitting in my car when I was told and it didn’t sink in immediately, but my god when it did my radar for every bar in a 5 mile radius lit up. I called my best friend and let her know what I had found out and then I called my sponsor. To this day the only way I can describe how I’m still clean through that is by divine intervention. I felt as alone as I could possibly be but there was no way I made it without someone watching over me.
4. A baby won’t make him stop.
There’s that saying everyone has heard, sex won’t make him love you and a baby won’t make him stay, and my God is that true. There is not a single doubt in my mind that he didn’t love me. My god he showed it in every way he could. Even the smallest things were filled with vast amounts of love from the waffles for breakfast to warming my car up for me in the cold, he just made some very poor choices. Honestly when I found out I was pregnant I thought to myself that maybe because I’m carrying his child he would think twice next time and that maybe for just a little bit I could have some piece of mind that he wouldn’t do it again. I can tell you from painful experience, they will do what they want to do and a baby isn’t going to change that. When it comes down to it, in that very moment, if having someone who cares about you doesn’t matter, why would a child he hasn’t even met yet make a difference. In no way is that a stab at him, it’s just reality.
5. I am good enough.
Sitting there after punching my steering wheel with tears running down my face and ringing in my ears I thought to myself, what’s wrong with me? Why am I not good enough? What can I do to be what you want? When in reality after many discussions I eventually came to the realization that it really had nothing to do with me and I wasn’t broken beyond repair or flawed to the point of someone being unable to love me, his actions had solely to do with him. I can’t say I understand why he cheated repeatedly or even once for that matter, but I can say I am no longer confused with my self-worth or my value. He can chose to act however he pleases but today I know that has no reflection on who I am or if I’m good enough. One of the most important thing I gained was figuring out I don’t have to be good enough for anyone as long as I’m good enough for me.
6. Running isn’t always the best option.
Ever since I was little all I’ve done is run or give up when things get hard. Ended relationships, up and moved, quit classes…if it was too hard I didn’t do it. Actually putting effort into something to make it happen or to fix it to work and I was never ready for that concept. My first instinct when I was told the news? Run. Run as fast as I possibly could, maybe even move and never look back. By staying and actually sticking to something for longer than just the painful time has helped me grow immensely. Everything happens for a reason and I fully believe we aren’t always meant to know what that reason is, but we have a choice to grow from every experience and I’m glad I chose to finally grow.