In order to conquer something, you have to understand why it affects you the way it does. You have to look at your history all the way to your earliest memories and and get a good picture of it.
For me, loss has been a near constant. At age 4, I lost my Grandmom. She died suddenly of a heart attack at her desk at work. What followed were the sudden deaths if my godmother (age 7) and mother (age 14). Four years later began a cluster of deaths: my Grandpop, Uncle Fred …both sudden… and my Granddad.
Some aunts and a young cousin died in there too, and my Grampy followed. There was a lull for a few years, then came my Grammy’s death. That was the only one I found peace with.
Through all this I had my dad, family, church family, family friends, and friends. I also had the haven of our family home on Money Island. It was where I reveled in family history, who I truly am and my mom’s memory. It was my grounding place.
That went away in 2013 when it was sold and we turned it over to new owners. I was now without a “home.” I was also losing the person that had been through everything with me…my dad. He was battling cancer and in 2014 lost.
He had guided me, as I mentioned before, through 2 failed marriages, job loses, and many moves as well as the loss of some dear pets.
I had been building a life with Tom, but my 3rd husband, and we opted to move to North Carolina because I had lost my job and there were no prospects up north. Since he lost his a couple years before, he also had no full time possibilities. There were surely jobs down there!
While enjoying life with his sons and grand children, he became more and more withdrawn. He told me everyday he was worthless and had no real motivation to look for work. So, he put in a small effort then completely gave up. I was supporting the household with my inheritance and small salary. The stress was monumental. I had 10 job interviews without success.
Then came the loss of my beloved dog Cocoa. It was a crushing blow. Life was spiraling, so I held on to my in-laws all the while keeping Tom’s issues quiet.
At least I had his love and the belief that we could weather this storm. I surrounded him with as much happiness as I could and prayed he would return to his old self. That never happened. Instead, he found his own relief in building a relationship with his first ex wife for the two months before I made him tell me.
I was now in utter shock and disbelief. The man who swore he was my “last stop” had betrayed me in the grandest fashion a person could experience. While I was still reeling from the loss of my job, Dad, island refuge, and dog he dropped the Atom bomb on me.
And…he expected he to let him live here and pay his expenses while he went to see her for hours each day. Really. Then some in his family, despite me being blameless, turned their backs on me. It became an even more violent loss.
So there is the history of my loss and it greatly affected how I got through the final straw. It was the last of my sudden losses, which happens to be the worst of all triggers for me.
Here’s how I did it, step by step.