September 27, 2014
I’ve had a lot of bad days. We all have. Contrary to what our facebook profiles might reflect, life is hard and sometimes it knocks us down so hard, no status or instagram filter can even begin to express how we feel.
I scroll back through social media history, my timelines, messages and photos and see so many amazing memories, adventures, trips and friends, its hard to even believe the pain I have gone through the last year. You probably wouldn’t believe it by looking at my profiles or blog either. Here’s the truth, without shame or fear of what you might think, because the ugly parts are just as important.
A year ago today, September 27th, 2013, my heart broke. I think it cracked right down the middle.
As I was flipping through photos on my boyfriends ipad, in our beautiful house by the beach, that together, we made a home, my stomach dropped as I saw photos of girls I recognized, models he had shot for his clients’ photoshoots the last few months, but they weren’t from any photoshoot. There were dozens of photos of different girls, shameless selfies, photos of him in our bed he had definitely never sent me. Even screenshots of naked pics from Snapchat. (Yeah, you think its a safe route, ladies?)
Even writing about it now makes me shake and feel sick.
I was in disbelief. I completely lost my mind that day, and while he was giving his Oscar worthy performance to prove his love for me and his “commitment to living a life of integrity,”
I was getting all the details from the girls who I easily identified and were already fed up with his lies and manipulation.
One girl told me she felt terrible when she realized he “still” had a girlfriend and ended things with him after months of dating. He continued to pursue her until the day I caught him. She said he had convinced her we were done, that I had moved out but my stuff was still there. (He forgot to mention I was also paying rent.)
She sent me the letters he sent her with the same things he told me, showed me cards and photos of coffee and flowers he delivered her while I was away, working.
She even told me the day he had flown to Vegas to surprise me, picked out an engagement ring and even discussed the story we would tell our grandkids about “this day,” he had woken up in her bed.
From the day he surprised me in Vegas to take me ring shopping. I was so fooled.
Devastated is a word that is commonly misused, but I think it is fitting to describe how I felt.
I loved him and was not ring shopping and building a life and home together because I enjoy playing pretend. I was in it for real and I was in deep. I loved so hard that it hurt me and my individuality. I gave up parts of myself and my life that I loved because I wanted to sacrifice to show I cared. I lost a lot of who I was and it has taken me a year to regain a lot of it back.
I threw myself into work. I “picked myself back up” instantly because I didn’t want people to think I was weak. I wanted to get back to being happy because, well, I am Miss “Live More Happy.” I didn’t want to be depressed over someone who didn’t value and respect me.
A week later I was giving a talk to 100 entrepreneur women about overcoming obstacles at Inner Goddess Unleashed, and the following weekend I was hosting a fundraiser and coordinating 25 volunteers on a trip to Mexico to visit Door of Faith Orphanage.
I put my happy face on and got into “do” mode, so that I could avoid “being.” Just being me, being still, being here, meant I had to feel the pain and face the reality. No matter what I did, where I flew off to, I could not escape what I felt inside.
I kept my heart completely guarded. I decided men were of no interest and the ones I did spend time with were distractions, remaining completely unattached and closed off to anyone that could mean anything.
I joked that I built a wall of smart, beautiful and inspiring women around me, but it is true. The kindness, patience, support and love that has poured out of my friends on to me has been the most beautiful acts of friendship I have ever seen.
Because of this situation, I now feel more connected and loved than ever before in my life. You ladies tolerated me at my worst and loved me even harder. I’m crying for the first time while writing this because of how deeply you have touched my heart.
In a very “The Other Woman” kind of way, I even have bonded with several of the other girls he was seeing. We have chosen kindness and to support each other, looking past the negative common denominator and have become honest friends over our other common interests. (Let’s face it, he has excellent taste in women.) I had to learn to remove my own insecurity, jealousy and anger and feel empathy for their hurt and frustration as well. (Happy Anniversary to you too, ladies. I love you.)
I have learned more about compassion and self love this past year than in 25 years of being alive. I had to have my heart and trust completely broken. I have shared more about myself, become more vulnerable with the people I know and with people I don’t. I’ve had people I’ve never met reach out to love and support me, tell me they knew how I felt.
I have attended the School of Inner Beauty, created my own sisterhood retreat centered around community service and purpose, and recently joined the Free Your Voice coaching group where I am stepping outside my comfort zone even further to express my heart through song. I am even shifting my blog from a “database of events and causes” to my personal story with my first person voice to share my journey through the struggle to live more happy. I realized I have been hiding a lot of who I am and by sharing more of myself, my “weakness” and my heartache, I have become closer and more connected to people I never knew were even listening.
I’m certainly closer to myself, and in fact, got engaged to me during a wonderful heARTists way workshop hosted by Debbie Lichter and Jess Johnson.
Thank YOU for being apart of it. Thank you for reading this and weather you can relate or just think I am crazy, thank you for being here and now, sharing with me in my moment of truth and honesty, regardless of how scared it makes me.
There you have it, my ugly truth. It has been the best year and the worst year, but as much as I used to wish I could go back and somehow change everything, I wouldn’t.
One of those girls I discovered in that ipad is still with him, and they just publicly celebrated their year anniversary in July. If they are proud enough to share it, so am I! ;)
Well, if the rest is history, here I am! ;)
I am proud to celebrate my year anniversary with myself, my true, honest self, today, September 27, 2014.
*** UPDATE: To read HIS side of the story for an interesting perspective, visit his site***
Oh, and HelloAmanda, you were right. ;)