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3.4.16

Five Things: I've Discovered About Me Due to Separation

As someone who tends to think negatively a lot, to worry about the smallest of things, to panic and over-react a lot I am surprised at how I have managed the last 6 months.
I'm not for a moment saying there haven't been moments where I have broken down. There have been lots of those moments. Moments where I sit and cry on my bed to the point I think I am never going to stop.
Moments I have doubted my abilities in every area of my life but I have pulled through those moments, because I have had to, and because of my belief system changing in the last year.

I know I had to end my marriage. I knew it was the best thing for me, and for him. And it was scary. Really scary. I think that is probably the reason it took so long for me to do. There was effort made to fix problems but ultimately, we grew apart and we were/are on different paths.
That is ok.
I am ok with that, and he is too.

I do seem to have this new sense of awareness when it comes to my life and I'm able to almost de-construct situations and break them down to not only work out their worth, but to also discover their purpose, if relevant.

I'm being as positive as I can and I'm proud of myself for that. Of course I have those days of “This is too much. I can't cope” but, due to my beliefs, I am able to soon get over that.



You discover what you are capable of

I never thought I could be a working mum. I loved being a stay at home mum so much and I became so anxious last year because I knew that at some point I would be returning to work. The deal, so to speak, was that I would stay as a stay at home mum until Harry started full time school, which was September 2015. I would stay awake at night thinking about it and dreaded it. Even though we'd agreed that I wouldn't have to go back as soon as Harry had started I felt this massive pressure, especially when I told my ex I was getting a tattoo and his response was immediately that I should get a job. I think the fact I was spending that money on ME and not to benefit the house, or children, was where I went wrong.
I never thought I could be independent and despite relying on my mum a lot I think I am doing really well.
I was always super shy too and I've discovered this confident me, and over time it has grown.
At the same time I know what I am not capable of and this has been a hard lesson but overall, I'm not doing to badly.

Realise how much crap you hoard
As soon as we split, even though we were still living together, I started to pack up my belongings and sent them over to my mums. When the house sold and I found a new house I started packing up the rest of the items and having a thorough and strict sort out.
I would say that I ended up throwing out around half of items we had hoarded for years. Things that seemed pointless to keep hold of, things that once meant something and now to look at didn't ignite any kind of memory at all. Electrical items and parts of items we got rid of years ago. Double bed sheets when we no longer owned a double bed. Old paint pots, tiles, rollers, paintbrushes crusted due to not being washed.
Every Christmas card we received over the years. And so many carrier bags!

Realise exactly who you have around you
In my town the only family I have are my children and my mum. That's it. My brother has moved away and the rest of my family are in Somerset.
That's hard. And it was hard when it came to my separation because I didn't want my mum to feel like all of a sudden she had to carry me and deal with this. I also felt a lot in the beginning as if my family would feel disappointed in me or let down by me. Like I had failed them.
I always loved being the grown up one of the three grandchildren/niece and nephews. I loved being the one who had settled down, had a family and pretty much had life in check.
And now here I was, the one with a failed marriage. At least that's how I saw it.
I craved so much to be able to see my Somerset family face to face so I could see in their eyes that they weren't ashamed of me.
They assured me over and over that they weren't and their support has just been incredible.
My Aunty Karen in particular gives me so much praise and support. She has made me feel strong at times when I have felt so weak, simply just with a comment on Facebook.
My nanny has been a massive help in so many ways. One of the best moments was when my brother brought over a box which was full of my aunty and nanny's old plates, curtains, glasses and cutlery. Using those everyday in the new house makes me feel as though the distance between us is smaller than it actually is.
It was hard not having my dad around but even worse that my brother lives so far away too. There were times I desperately wanted a protective mans arms around me, and I broke down a lot, crying to my mum that I just needed to have my brother with me. He has been amazing though. He has made me feel like I am doing well. And surprised me when I was at work by helping dismantle and rebuild some furniture we couldn't get up the stairs at the new house.
I don't have a big circle of friends but one in particular has been amazing and as soon as I told her about my break up she was there. I can tell her everything and I don't know what I would do without her. I can laugh with her, cry with her and she is there all the time. I probably rely on her too much sometimes but she never complains to me.
Then there are the online friends. The ones who support with comments and just checking I am ok.
I have a close friend I made when I went to the Isle of Man and he is incredible. Really supportive, grounding and one of those people you wish lived closer. Again though, I think you realise that distance is nothing during situations like this.

Aware of life

I wrote this list a while ago and when I saw “aware of life” when writing this post I wasn't sure what I meant. I looked out of the window for a while thinking about it and I get it.
I am now more aware of all aspects of life.
I'm more aware of time, and how short our lives are. I'm more aware of making the most of time off work, making the most of evenings, making the most of everything.
Growing up I was so stuck in this “I will get married, I will have children. We will live happily ever after” and I am surprised at how my thoughts and feelings have completely changed when it comes to this.
Marriage isn't something that is on my life plan now. And it's not that my marriage put me off because it didn't at all. But I just don't feel it is important. Finding a partner right now I guess would be nice, but to be honest, I kind of like how my life is going at the moment. Having fun. But when I do find a partner so many things that mattered before won't matter now.
Age in particular. Before I was so stuck in this “older man” vision and never thought I would be attracted to someone my own age or younger yet the last 6 months have shown that this is clearly not where I am in life now.
I'm more aware now of grabbing life by the horns and riding it.
Going to the Isle of Man last year was obviously a big wake up moment for me and due to that I am going there for a little longer this year and I am taking the boys and my mum to Tenerife in August. Which is a dream of mine really. I always wanted to take my children on a boat to see the dolphins and the fact I am able to take my mum and treat her makes my heart so happy.


Discover yourself

Now, I guess this depends on the situation. In our case, because it was a mutual decision and at no point did we question whether or not we should try and work through it, it has been easier to focus on myself as I haven't at any point had the “what did I do wrong? Why am I not good enough?”.
Instead I've been able to look at myself and to try and discover who I am. I'm not this wife anymore. I am still a mum yes and that side of me will always remain the same. But LAUREN. She is completely different, almost reborn I guess.
A couple of people have said how I am now experiencing the life they experienced when they were 17. Which I do agree with. I guess I am just embracing the single life and when I was 17 and getting into this serious relationship that would turn into a 10 year marriage, other girls my age were out having fun with guys who were 23, 24, 26….and now that's me.
As much as I do sometimes want a partner, and want someone to be there for me and with me, I also feel as thought I have a lot of self discovery to do first.
I am trying to adjust to this life where I am Lauren-the-mum, Lauren-the-daughter, Lauren-the-kitchen-advisor, Lauren-the-friend, yet to make time to sit and just be Lauren. To discover what makes me happy. 
What makes me feel good. 
What I want day to day and throughout life as a whole.