If you don’t learn the first time, you can count on the universe to throw the lesson back in your face. I learned the hard way that when it comes to betrayal, lightening can and does strike twice. Was the risk of loving again worth it? Here’s my story.
It was a Tuesday afternoon when my car pulled into the corner of Dancy and King Street. My mom wasn’t home, and Ann was there to catch me as the tears rolled down my face.
“Didn’t we do this three years ago?” I said.
“Oh please, it’s not that serious this time,” She wrapped her arms around me and ushered me inside.
Three years before that on a Tuesday was the day my marriage blew up. There are the types of marriages that end due to a run-of-the-mill affair or irreconcilable differences, and then there are the types of marriages that end like mine did.
“Prepare the guest bedroom, mom. I’m coming home,” I said to my mom the night I found out three years ago. Within an hour I was in the car with my babies, and within 24 hours I was driving down I-95 back home to Florida.
The day Ann caught me in her arms in my mother’s driveway three years ago, I was a puddle of devastation. An hour earlier I was blasting Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” as I crossed the state line. There in the driveway of my mother’s home, with my boys sleeping in the backseat, I gave myself permission to fall apart.
Two years after I landed in my mother’s driveway, feeling re-entered my body on a whole new level. I met a man who swept me off my feet hard and fast. Within a week he asked me to be exclusive, by week six he was “in love” with me, and by month three he proposed a two-year blueprint that involved us moving in together with our children.
I still remember the ride home from a campout with a male friend two weeks into the ordeal.
“It’s been two weeks and you’re already calling him your boyfriend?” He seemed confused and almost disgusted.
Looking back I admit, it did feel a bit like Princess Anna gushing to Kristoff about the prince she met and got engaged to all in one day. But I was alive and happy, and hell—I could feel!
“Are you ready?” my friend asked. About a month earlier I had told this same friend that I didn’t feel capable of a healthy relationship, that I still had work to do.
“Yes,” I said with conviction.
But apart from the romance, there was a flip side to this new relationship. By week eight the anxiety set in. By month three he started traveling for work. By month six I exhausted myself with trying to find concrete proof that something was off. That’s when I asked the universe to show me if there was something I needed to see about this man. And so began a series of what I believe were increasingly intense nudges from the universe.
Logically, I couldn’t fathom why anyone would choose to mess with me given my past and the amount of patience it must take to love me through the healing process. So I assumed the uneasiness had something to do with me and marched myself off to therapy and support groups. I had trust issues and trauma to clear in my mind as I practiced tuning in to my heart and getting curious about the mounting signs. Then one morning just over a year in, I was ready. I realized I wasn’t the problem, and I called it quits.
This time around I chose Kelly Clarkson’s “Don’t Be a Girl About It” as my theme song. It was the hardest thing I’ve done in a long while. I decided to act on my intuition with no concrete evidence to back it up.
There were moments over the next week that I second-guessed myself and my actions. I don’t think I would have changed my mind, but after a week had passed, the universe decided to be extra generous and gave me the concrete information I had been seeking all along.
The morning I found out that my intuition was right, I went through the necessary steps of the day. Then I picked up the phone just as before.
“Mom, I’m coming home tonight,” I said. “I was right all along.”
I didn’t regret anything except for the way it ended. I didn’t need or want to know the specifics anymore than I want to deep dive back into the details of my failed marriage. I had to experience it to see my Self. It was my fast-track path to an up-close-and-personal look at all my unhealthy parts, and it showed me my astounding ability to perceive truth in the absence of concrete information.
Moving forward, I was no longer a trauma survivor with trust issues. I was awake and strong in the core of who I am, confident in my ability to discern and perceive danger, authenticity, and truth. I realized I’m the only one who can give me the safety and love that I crave, and for the first time, I felt capable of that.
I’m back, and I know which way is up.