I wrote a poem many years ago when I was going through great trauma in particular about love and my part in it. It was after the divorce.
Up to that point, I had been the worst codependent on the planet, well taught by my mother, so saying no and pretending I was independent with a lot of strengths, were largely a part of my fertile imagination. The marriage had been for almost twenty-five years and one evening my husband asked me, “What would you like for the Silver Wedding?” I was in shock as I hadn’t received gift of that nature and from somewhere came a voice. I still don’t know whose it was. It said – “A divorce please.”
I almost did a 360-degree head turn which we know is impossible unless you are going through some kind of evil protection!!!! You’ve seen the movie. I was as much in shock as my husband of that time. It was amazing. I wondered, “Who was that person?” and then I realized it was me. The reason for the request is unimportant. What mattered was that I had had enough and wanted no more.
Being a codependent is not a happy state of affairs and I was great at it. Actually I could have won an Academy Award. A great actress. The only people who were shocked at this decision were just about everybody who knew us. Today I realize I did it all wrong and then later it righted itself. However, the codependency went right through to the divorce and I had to work full time, take care of my children and house. All this is academic as it was without doubt the right thing to do.
After that I had a couple of relationships (How I hate that word and have been trying to find one to replace it, so the quest is on.) that were worse than my marriage as I hadn’t done the necessary work on the most important person in this constant disaster………………me! I got going on that with therapy.
Ask For Help
I believe in therapy. It isn’t necessarily for sick people, but rather for people wanting to make changes and feel better. The last event was with someone who was everything I didn’t want and one day to his utter dismay, I ended it and got into my car with him running down the road after his driver, meal ticket, encourager, accepter of his addictions including multiple women. I said to myself, the most important statement I ever made in my life. “IF THIS IS WHAT A RELATIONSHIP IS LIKE I WOULD RATHER BE WITHOUT ONE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. “ What freedom that was. I felt I was on air and when I left the car, that’s exactly what I was doing – walking on air!!!
I have done a lot of strange things in my life – in the moment stuff. Always turned out well for me. If I got into my head, I was in trouble.
So here I was. No man in my life, huge responsibilities and decisions to make. My car was in my husband’s name and one morning it was gone. He had it repossessed so I had to find a way of transportation too. However, I suddenly realized I would be able to actually keep all I earned, drive where I wanted to, see who I preferred to be with, which turned out to be women friends and family. Glorious. Even the grass looked greener and it was on my side of the fence.
Then the decisions. Obviously, I had to work even harder, buy a car, take care of my family and go to school. When I left England none of my credits were recognized so I had to start again. Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, Ministry. Thank goodness I lived in a blossoming time when educators understood that working people had academic goals. That meant I could go part time, weekends and even for my Masters, teach the course and earn the credits at the same time. At that time, understanding that in every situation in life, it isn’t a one-way street. With regard to my marriage, I was 100% responsible for my part as I allowed it to happen. Once in recovery, that would never happen again and recognizing that, released me from any ‘shoulds’ that had been plaguing me. I worked, learned, spent important time with friends and family. It was a good life.
Eventually I was working and presenting nationally and internationally. The most miraculous event that changed my life was an invitation to host a weekly overnight show on WWDB RADIO in Philadelphia. There had been a full page article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on my work with the Enrichment of Women. I was in Flushing, New York and a reporter heard about the seminar, asking if she could come with me. The article was the result of that weekend and the following week, someone was leaving the radio and another person took the article into the management and asked, “What about her?” Magic. That was 1982 until 2000. I would delight in another show and be there in a heartbeat. So understanding the complex yet simplistic person I am, I looked at what was needed for me to be at peace with myself, so I wrote this poem.
TAPESTRY OF A WOMAN
I am an emotional tapestry,
Created by the gifts of silken feelings
From those who have entered my life
And enriched it.
My core is formed from encounters with people
Who have loved me enough
To rearrange my thoughts
And show them to me.
I have learned from all those
Who have passed my way,
Experiences of all kinds,
Good and bad – nothing is wasted.
I have accepted the true meaning of life – for me.
I can give and I can take,
I can be wrong and I can be right.
I can be angry, happy, sad, funny vulnerable,
Passionate and serene –
All those feelings flesh is heir to.
I can grieve and I can miss.
I can lose, but of all things
I can love, and so doing,
Create for those who have never know it
A freedom that only deep love can bring.
I can only create if I am trusted
And that I have to earn………..constantly.
I am sure it is poetically incorrect but fortunately as I ‘ripen’ I really don’t care.
I wrote this, ten years before I met the gift – John. Love yourself. You can’t give what you don’t have. It’s worth the effort in the knowledge that you can do it.