Thanks, again, for all your comments — I’m glad you seemed to like the more light-hearted approach on my last post! This week there have been so many things I could choose to write about that I simply don’t know where to start. I can assure me, it’s unlike me to be lost for words, but that’s how it feels at the moment.
You see, the past couple of weeks have been magical in so many ways. I have re-connected with old friends. Extraordinary business opportunities are opening up everywhere I turn. Publishing contract now agreed, the words are flowing for my first book (I am so excited!) And as if all that wasn’t enough, one of my dear friends swam across The Channel from England to France this weekend to raise money for the specialist school his severely disabled son attends. It’s an astonishing feat by a very brave man — an ordinary person who faced extraordinary circumstances, and who chose to fight for love rather than give up to despair. He and his beautiful wife have tackled so many challenges over the years since their beloved son was born, and each time they pull through stronger and more determined than ever before. Sarah-Jayne and Peter Windridge-France — I salute you both.
I seem to be living in a great space at the moment — but I know that isn’t the case for so many people within this Lovefraud community. So I decided that, for the moment at least, I’d rather look back at the darker places of my life when I was struggling with the reality of my own living nightmare. I don’t want to belittle what is happening for me now — far from it. My intention this week is to re-iterate to everyone here, wherever you are on your journey, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is so bright and so warm, and it’s longing to bathe you in its healing love. I know this to be true with all my heart and all my soul, and I can say it with conviction, because I’ve been where many of you are now. Okay, my situation and the details of my story may be different, but the hurt, pain and shame are just the same as so many accounts I continue to read on this site.
So today I thought I’d share a story I posted when I was less than a year in to my healing. Looking back it was a horrid time — every day would bring me more struggles, but I simply refused to give in. I focused on the positives, I kept my head held high, I held strong to my vision of a wonderful life. And it worked. It may not have been easy, and there were times when my positive mantras seemed a lifetime away from the reality I was facing — but I stayed firm in my conviction, and also learned to be honest with my emotions.
I hope that this story, written in March 2010, gives hope to people out there that are on their way to freedom. It’s called “Dancing In The Rain”
Dancing In The Rain
I received a lovely email this week, which ended with the following statement: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain and merely opening your hands to receive something better”
It couldn’t have come at a better time, because yesterday was just “one of those days”. They don’t happen very often anymore, and when they do they always come as a surprise. And while I’ve already come through so many battles, I still don’t always handle those sort of moments very well. Yesterday afternoon was no exception. It all kicked off with an email from my solicitor. One of the creditors is chasing particularly hard, and despite the fact that I’ve written to them to explain my situation (that I am going through a divorce, that the debt is a matrimonial issue, and that their debt is one of many that all need to be handled together) and asked them to freeze the account and address queries to my solicitor, they still insist on sending letters demanding payment and a financial statement. Cripes, if they had that they’d certainly stop chasing me, as it’s blatantly obvious that I have no money whatsoever!
So, in my mind, I’d already done my bit in letting people know what’s happening. And also as far as I was concerned, I had explained everything in great detail to my solicitor – and I’m sure you’ll remember the battles I had even hiring the right person! Someone I could trust, and who would be prepared to fight for me and with me. So it came as a bit of a shock when he emailed me with the creditor’s latest demand, and said he thought I should find a debt specialist as this isn’t his field! You could have knocked me down with a feather. Open mouthed and noticing the heat of anger rise in my body, I felt as though all my battles, my research, my hours talking with debt advisors had all been for nothing.
I’ve Failed Again
My solicitor had advised me when we met that the debts were to be handled as a matrimonial issue – and added that any advice I’d already been given by debt specialists had not taken that in to account. We’d already agreed a way forward, and I had fulfilled my part of the bargain by writing to each and every one of the companies who are owed money — giving my solicitor as their contact point. So why, now, was he advising me to seek help from a debt advisor to deal with this one creditor? It made no sense whatsoever, and in fact could jeopardize the whole plan! Just as I thought I had a professional who was on side, understanding, and competent, I suddenly felt I’d been shunted right back to square one again. I had made another mistake and put my faith in the wrong person. The anger suddenly subsided, leaving me feeling ashamed, crumpled and very small. Once again I started wondering where I was going wrong.
It would have been all too easy at that stage to link together all my other ‘failures’ and really beat myself up properly. Trust me, it was very tempting…. and it was as I noticed the return of a familiar sneering voice in my head reminding me scathingly that “I’ll never win”, “who do I think I am”, and “just look at the mess I’m in” that I decided enough was enough. The tears of defeat were already pricking in my eyes, and my emotions were mirrored by the gathering storm clouds outside. Undeterred, I pulled on my coat, shouted to my dog Hamish, and we set out for a walk together.
Well, to be honest it started off as more of a stomp than a walk for me as we marched off towards the river and across the fields together. Geoff had decided to join us as well. He’s my ginger tomcat, and he hates to be left out of things. So it was no surprise when I heard him meowing, calling out for us to wait. I stopped with an exaggerated huff and shrug of the shoulders, hands on hips, eyes rolling and head thrown with a tutting “can’t I get any peace around here?” going through my head (just think of a sullen pouting teenager, for I’m certain that’s how I must have looked). Turning round towards the sound of his meow, I saw him running towards me from around the corner of the lane. My face must have had the sulkiest expression in the world, but Geoff didn’t seem to notice, and just tripped along happily towards us – and if a cat could smile, that’s certainly what he’d have been doing. And there it was – just like that. My mood was instantly broken.
Laughing In The Face Of Adversity
And I burst out laughing at the absurdity of the situation. Here I was, stomping around all alone, carrying my very own dark and thundery mood-cloud with me, and yet my two pets still wanted to be around me, just happy for some attention. They didn’t care that I was in a filthy mood. That I was teetering on the edge of falling prey to that malevolent voice in my head and giving up on all the progress I’ve made. No, all they cared about was being petted and having fun. So I decided to join them. Even though it was raining, all three of us sat by the river bank, Hamish and Geoff taking it in turns to get as close to the water as possible without actually falling in, and both of them coming back for regular petting and cuddles.
What more could a girl ask for? Unconditional love and affection, beautiful natural surroundings that money just can’t buy, and a whole world of possibilities stretching out before me. Who cared about a small creditor getting their knickers in a twist over in England? OK, so my solicitor had slipped up – but then don’t we all do that from time to time? And just who was in charge of creating my great future in any case? Well, me of course. And stomping around in a filthy mood, just because of a small set-back certainly wasn’t conducive to receiving something better in my life! No way, no how!
So I took a deep breath, held my head back, opened my mouth and I shouted. And I shouted. And I shouted. And I shouted. At the top of my lungs – just to make a noise, and clear out any unwelcome emotions that had become trapped inside me. Although a little hesitant at first, I soon got the hang of it and boy did it feel fantastic! Giving me yet another good reason to be grateful that I’m living in the countryside, far away from anyone else. Mind you, the French wouldn’t bat an eyelid – I’m known locally as being a bit of an eccentric!
Back home I contacted my solicitor, correcting him and re-confirming the path I had understood we were following. I instructed him to keep all creditors at bay, asking them not to make any further contact until they hear from him, and not to respond to any more letters or emails. Each one of his letters costs me, and leaves me less money to clear the debts. And he responded beautifully – with an apology and re-focus on the plan. Job done.
So last night I played the piano at full volume. I sang at the top of my voice. And I danced around the living room with Hamish in my arms (that poor dog has a lot to put up with!). And I went to sleep wearing nothing but a dab of perfume and a big fat smile as I contemplated the great future that is coming in to my already fulfilling life.