Thursday, October 22, 2015

Learning to have a relationship with myself

I first had to learn how to have a relationship with myself.

Once I figured this out, I knew I couldn't stay in my relationship with my husband.

It's kinda scary being alone, isn't it?!  I'm one of those people who needs people.  I enjoy being around others, I draw from the energy of other people.  I've never had a problem making friends.  I could always find some way to connect to another person.  I was good at surrounding myself with people.  And when people weren't around, I was pretty good at busying myself with work (again, more students, more people).  I don't know why I'm particularly like this: maybe I have low self-esteem? maybe I am afraid of myself?  perhaps I won't like what I see when I slow down?  The answer: a little (or a lot) of all of these.

On the bathroom floor of my Korean apartment in the summer of 2013 is when I decided that I had reached my tipping point.  Down on my knees, hands pressed to the cold floor, tears streaming down my face I called my mom and dad on Skype, "I cannot be here alone," I said.  "I am not safe."

I bought the next one-way plan ticket to Canada.  It cost me $2500, but when you're choosing between your wallet and your life, the price becomes less of a precedent.  That night, I walked myself to my friend's apartment down the street for the night.  They spent the evening with me walking me through my first ever anxiety attack.

I am thankful for those two friends.  They saw me at my worst.  I owe them my life.

I had one-month left of my three-month stay in Korea.  I was there alone.  Sung Hyun was in Canada working.  The intention was to stay with my mother-in-law for the three month duration in Korea, however, after an unpleasant incident with my Korean mom that involved some physical altercation on her part and lots of tears and frustration on mine, I decided that I'd spend the following two-months in a one-bedroom apartment.  I went to Korea to work on my thesis research.  In the three-months I should have finished writing my Masters.  I didn't finish.  Two years later, I still haven't finished.

I have spent the last two years working on myself: counselling, medication, honest conversations with Sung Hyun, and quiet nights alone.  A lot has happened in two years.  Nothing that I can show you!  I don't have a full-time job.  I don't have a university degree that I can hang on the wall (soon I'll have a divorce certificate).

What I have gained in the last two-years is mostly internal.  I learned a lot about myself.  I wasn't taught any of this in the classroom.  The lessons came hard, they hit me to the ground and rocked me to the core.  I wasn't sure I could ever write about any of it.  I felt like a failure in my marriage...a failure at life.  I know now that isn't true.

So here I sit...ready to own my story.

Thank-you ALWAYS for your love, your support, your kind and caring words.


Wandering said...

Sending tons of support, Jen. You have always given your all in every situation you've shared over the years. That's never a failure. I understand the pain of ending a marriage. But freeing yourself to grow into who you are meant to be and freeing your husband is something many aren't able to do.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I've always loved and appreciated your honesty. I admire you.