For a long time, I struggled with forgiveness. I had so much anger inside me and couldn't forgive my ex or myself. I clung to it like it was oxygen that I needed to survive.
I couldn't forgive my ex for how he had hurt me, for the trauma he had caused, the invisible wounds that I will forever have deep inside. He was supposed to be the one person on this planet that would love me and take care of me. I couldn't forgive him for his verbal abuse, his disrespect, and all the past pain he had caused. I couldn't forgive him for his contribution to the destruction of our marriage.
But worse than this, I couldn't forgive myself. I couldn't forgive myself for all that had happened that I felt I had contributed to. I couldn't forgive myself for marrying a man who would end up hurting me the way he did. I couldn't forgive myself for, what I felt, was a complete lack of judgement. I couldn't forgive myself for my short marriage. I couldn't forgive myself for the loss of a dream. I couldn't forgive myself for loving and marrying a man who could hurt me. I couldn't forgive myself for disappointing my family and friends when the marriage ended.
I couldn't let the past stay in the past. It haunted me. My inability to forgive kept my chained to my failed marriage and all that we shared together. It kept me chained to man who no longer was physically in my life, but haunted my thoughts daily. It also kept me chained to the pain that I experienced after the marriage ended.
The turning point for me was when I realized that I could change the word "couldn't," into "wouldn't." I was more than capable of forgiveness, but I wouldn't forgive. I wouldn't put aside my anger towards him and choose to forgive (even if he never asked for forgiveness). And I wouldn't forgive myself.
As soon as I realized that, forgiveness was easier to embrace. I understood that I had the power to decide to forgive. Forgive him and forgive myself. There was nothing holding me back from forgiveness except for myself. That realization was unbelievanly powerful and freeing.
Since choosing forgiveness, I have started to treat myself with kindness and love. I am better able to release past pains. I am starting to embrace and make peace with my life's story. Even though I always imagined a conventional journey for myself (job, marriage, children, etc.), it's alright that I'm being re-routed on a different path. I have let go of the grip my ex held on my thoughts. I have begun to move forward with my life.
Founder of the site Divorced at 30, Alexandra is a blogger who is passionate about speaking her truth. She is on a healing journey as she enters this new chapter in her life. A mental health advocate, she is passionate about motivating others to find “the light” and attain peace.