Friday, February 16, 2018

Finding My Way To Peace

My friend Brenda over at Cozy Little House posted today about how she conquered her fears to get to a better place in her life. 

She really got me thinking. 

I often post about the peace that I have in my little mountain top home, and how happy I am living here. 

But many of you are newer readers and don't know how that peace came to be. 

So here's my story.  It's a long one....grab a beverage and settle in. You're going to be here for a while. 

(All photos were taken with an old cell phone, so excuse the quality....)


I was married to a wonderful man who has a generous heart and the kindest soul. 

He would do anything for anybody. 

He would be the first to show up to help if someone is in trouble.

And he wouldn't say a bad word about anyone. 


But.....and you knew there was a BUT coming, didn't you?

He's an alcoholic. 

A functioning alcoholic, as he manages to keep a full time job and keep his life plugging along, but an alcoholic none the less. A binge drinker to the extreme. 

He many not drink every night of the week, but when he cracks open that first beer, all hell is about to break loose.

He will drink and drink until all the beers are gone - usually a 24 pack. And then he will set off looking for more. When we were newlyweds, he used to sneak out after I was asleep and head off in the car to a local bar. 

I would wake up and find the bed empty beside me, and call around to see where he ended up this time. Often I would then head off in my jammies to pick him up in our second car, so that he wouldn't drive home. That usually involved me getting out of the car (still in jammies, mind you) and going into the bar to drag him out, as he cursed me all the way. It was incredibly embarrassing, but if I didn't do it, Lord knows what might have happened to him. 

I tried to keep him safe, I tried to protect him from him. 

It didn't always work. 

He stumbled out of a skanky sleazy bar and into the street one night and was hit by a car and left for dead. 

That was a year-long recovery, something I have never quite healed from myself, and also the end of my music career.  

There were multiple DWI's, incredible amounts of money spent on legal fees, and so many vehicles wrecked.

After a while, when I would see him open his first beer I would gather up all the keys - cars, tractor, quad, neighbors' tractor and car - and put them in a ziploc bag and hide them. Protecting him from him. 
 

I would lie awake all night listening to him stomping around the house, cursing me, looking for those keys so he could get out and head off for more booze. 

Eventually I would hear him opening the front door and I would know he was heading out on foot. That's when I would get out of my bed and physically wrestle him back into the house and try to calm him down and get him into bed. 

Protecting him from him.

There were repeated promises that he would change....but he always slipped right back into his old ways. 

He was the best man in the world....when he was sober. 

Eventually that wasn't enough anymore. I had a beautiful home that I loved, surrounded by gorgeous gardens I created from nothing, yet I was crying myself to sleep every night.

I couldn't change him....so I had to change me. He refused to get help, so I had to help myself.

The only person I could control in life is me. I can't control his actions, so I had to take action of my own. 

I started planning my 'escape.' I had enough, I was DONE. I couldn't take another year of waiting for the other shoe to drop....waiting to hear the sirens....waiting for the phone to ring. 

I started tucking away any spare money I got my hands on into a safe spot....a little nest egg to fund my escape. 

I started researching my rights in a divorce. I made lists, I said prayers. I prayed for strength.

I was Done. With a capital D. It was over. It was time for me to live my life, and stop worrying about him.  Time to head for the other big D.

The best guy in the world when he's sober. I knew that when I married him. I knew he drank too much. I thought oh, he's young - he'll grow out of it.  

He's in his 50's now and still parties like a frat boy.  

There were other issues, no doubt, but that was a whopper. 


It's painful to write this now and remember all I went through with him. But it's also therapeutic. My daughters tell me I should go to therapy to deal with some of the lingering issues I have from our marriage, but I have my own ways of healing my soul. 

I am always most at peace out in my garden, in nature, listening to the birds in the trees, and the tinkling of my wind-chimes. That's my therapy. 

People deal with things in their own way. What works for one may not work for another. I found what works for me. 

We lived in separate rooms in the same house for a good 6 months while we both planted our feet and refused to give up the house. 

Eventually I decided it was just a house, and my peace was more valuable to me. The hardest part was leaving my parents who are right next door....and my gardens that I had created from nothing. But I would start again in a new home, and create my own beauty among peace.

I booked the movers. I made a list of what I was taking, and what I was leaving for him. We discussed our split like calm, rational people....but all the while our hearts were breaking.


I found a cute little rental not far from where I work, on the mountain top I now call home. It was 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, perfect for me and my two daughters. And my pups, of course. Plus it had a great wrap-around deck where I could have a container garden, my wind-chimes, and a swing.  My peace. 


The house was like a tree-house, with my living space on the second and third floors and the wrap-around deck surrounded by woods. 

I settled in, planted my container gardens, and found peace among the treetops. I grew herbs and vegetables on the deck, we dined under the stars, and it was just what I needed to start healing my soul.


I lived in that house for over a year, until the owner decided he wanted to move back in. That was tough, I was really content there and felt as if I had just gotten settled. 

I started looking for another rental....all the while the divorce was dragging on, and my stress level was through the roof. 


I eventually found another rental house a few miles away, on the banks of a creek. Two bedrooms, two baths, with a covered front porch and open deck area, plus established gardens. I signed a two year lease, and on the night I moved in we also celebrated the bittersweet joy of the final divorce papers being delivered. 


I stayed in that little house for two years, and I was glad to be able to settle in for a while. Moving is tough, divorce is horrible, and I needed to stay put and find some tranquility for a while. 

Once again, I turned to gardening to soothe my soul. There's something about the smell of fresh earth that is incredibly calming. 

My swing went on the front porch, and many lovely evenings were spent on that porch swing, listening to the sounds of the creek. 


We dined alfresco, watching the sun dip low over the mountains, and listening to the birds in the trees. The Pileated Woodpecker was a regular visitor at mealtime, peck peck pecking away at the trees, adding music to our evenings. 


It was a good place to stop and heal, and just what I needed at the time. 


I stayed in that sweet rental house until I bought the home I am in now. My little mountain top chalet. My forever home. 

And once again there are gardens, and wind-chimes, the sound of the birds in the trees and the trickling of the creek. 

And I am at peace. 

Life's not always easy, I deal with stresses the same as the rest of the world. Health issues, money issues, too many bills, not enough time. 

But when I step outside all that falls away and I can feel my heart rate slow, my breathing calm.  I am surrounded by nature, and that's all the therapy I need. 

I have a dear friend who is going through a divorce at the moment, and I am here to listen and help her through....but at the end of the day she has to find her own peace. 

And I pray that she finds it soon. We all deserve that.

78 comments:

  1. Debbie, I know that was difficult to share. I do understand however, my one brother is a recovering alcoholic (his youngest son is an alcoholic as well). It's hard. I am so glad you have finally found some sense of peace. And agree, being out in nature really is healing. You have quite the green thumb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fell in love with gardening when I was a young mom and bought my first house and I've been hooked ever since. I just find it so therapeutic! I don't know how I would have gotten through some of the trauma in my life without having that outlet.

      Delete
    2. My Mom lived with my alcoholic Dad for years with abuse ,physical and mental not only did she suffer,but the children did also. She finally divorced him but the younger siblings did not fare well, my youngest brother killed his wife and himself,he was an alcoholic to,and my brother next to him,drank himself to death,it’s a wastes life,alcoholism.

      Delete
    3. Oh, Deborah, that's terrible, I'm so sorry for what you've suffered, and what your family has been through. You are so right, it is an awful, awful disease.

      Delete
  2. Alcoholism is a horrible disease. My cousin died from it at 50. You've traveled a hard road and you've worked hard and made sound decisions to land in a safe and peaceful and healthy place. Good for you -

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen Ann - yes, it is an awful disease. My ex husband denies that he has a problem at all....it's amazing that after he lost everything he still denies it. He's with someone new now and I wonder has she seen the dark side of him yet? If not, it will surface eventually, that's for sure....the good thing is that it's no longer my problem.

      Delete
  3. I was married to an alcoholic once that lasted 6 months. I too knew his drinking problem but thought it was his immaturity at the time. It wasnt until I married him that when he drank, he was also abusive. When he was sober, he was a charmer. Everyone loved him. Behind closed doors he was evil. Im glad that I escaped the monster. I have been happily Remarried now for 24 years and he has even adopted my daughter. Life is good now but sometimes it takes a mess to see the message. Glad your free.
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were smart to get out after only 6 months, Lisa - I was there for 16 years! I still wonder at times how I lasted so long, I guess it was because he was so good when he was sober. I'm glad you found peace with your hubby - we all deserve to be happy!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Your gardens are beautiful. Your home now is so comfortable. I wish you endless years of peace. I would love to hear about your music career
    I'm glad you are safe.
    Monica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Monica. My gardens are a mess at the moment but spring is around the corner and I'll be out there getting them all cleared up again! Perhaps I'll write about my days on the stage someday....

      Delete
  5. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am so happy you are in a better place in your life filled with the peace you deserve. You are a great inspiration! Rhonda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rhonda. If I can inspire one woman to get out of the same situation.....or think twice about marrying into it in the first place....then I'd be happy. Whatever you see, that's what you get - don't expect any magic changes once you are married. I tell my daughters that all the time....also do NOT settle for less than what you deserve.

      Delete
  6. I'm glad I stumbled over from Kris's blog. I was drawn in right away. I could related to what you were saying but my circumstane was I was raised in an alcholic family. My father was a functioning alchololic too. But my dad was never a nice man and quite violent. The stress level in our home was always off the chart. You are a strong person to finally realized you should focus on you. This must have been hard to share but I for one am glad you did. Only one who has been through it can really understand....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cathy, I'm glad you stumbled over also! I'm curious if your mom eventually got out? It sounds like she went through an awful lot, as did you. You must love your peaceful 1929 home now, free of all that awful stress!

      Delete
  7. Thank you for sharing that with us. I am glad you have your peaceful place now with your gardens. Nature has a great way of calming and healing along with the peace that GoN can give. Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Nancy - my gardens are a lot of work but also a great source of 'free' therapy. I could do without a few of the weeds, no doubt, but they are a small price to pay for all the joy I get out of my gardens! It makes me a little sad to look at the photos of the gardens I created in my marital home, though.....those roses were fabulous by the front door!! I had forgotten about them!

      Delete
  8. Debbie, having read a little about this when I first "met" you, I knew what was coming but it was just as profound this time. The sense of loss, of waste that people can make of their lives sometime. And how hurt and pain expand throughout the circle of family and friends. But reading this post now I realized what hope it could give to someone reading it, that someone, maybe many, will find their own garden to work in, mountain to look at, place outside to dine alfresco.

    Even during these last few days when I've felt so beaten down with sadness for the families of the latest school shooting--and how unbelievable it is to even write that word "latest"--this post encourages me to think about doing what I can, little as it may be, to make a safer better world around me, demand it for all children. And to look for healing in my own garden and home.

    Being reminded what you and your daughters went through makes me recognize how important that home you love is to you and why you take so much pleasure in your life there on the mountain.

    Keep on gardening, Debbie. It makes a difference,
    Dewena

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, my sweet friend, for your kind words. I do hope that someone, some day, will take strength from my story and the stories of others that have been through a similar situation and know there is hope on the other side. I'd rather struggle financially by myself but have my peace at the end of the day!

      Delete
  9. I've been following you for a while, and had no idea what you've been through. So glad that you found your sanctuary. May you be duly blessed there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Daisy - and nice to hear from you, hope all is well in your world. My story is nothing compared to others, but it was hell for me when I was living it....and leaving was heartbreaking but absolutely necessary - I wouldn't have survived another year. I had already put in 16 long years!

      Delete
  10. What a heartbreaking story, so glad you were able to escape. I know the devastation alcoholism can bring, my cousin is one in our family - three stints in rehab but now sober for one year. We all pray it lasts this time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sending prayers it lasts, Carole, that's so difficult. My ex refused to admit he even had a problem, wouldn't consider any help at all. I think because he hung around with people who drank the same way he did he thought it's just the norm. But normal people don't get thrown out of a bar at 5 AM barely able to stand....that will never be normal.

      Delete
  11. Oh Debbie, I'm so glad that you are happy and content now in your very own place with your two daughters. Every word you wrote brought back memories of my first marriage. I left after 16 years of marriage with nothing but my two young daughters. My husband came to my work and stole back the car I left in. I loved this man dearly, but he could not stay out of bars, stop drinking, or leave other women alone. Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Henny, we are so alike - I was in this relationship for 16 years also! Like you, I loved him dearly....when he was sober....and forgave so many transgressions because of that love. But eventually enough is enough and I'm so glad we are BOTH in our peaceful little country homes now!

      Delete
  12. Your story might as well be what I write about me, right down to the peace and therapy you find in your home and gardens around you. It is nearly exactly like mine, except for an accident and vehicle damages. After 13 years I had had enough. The pain and coming to terms with how something like that affects a spouse, the children, and even extended family is tough. There are days I still become very saddened by all that changed so very much - my life, his life, the lives of our children..... and it just didn’t have to be, IF ONLY he would have admitted his addiction and gotten help. Ten years later I am married to a man who I really believe is my soulmate, the love of my life. Is am so loved, so spoiled, so treasured. I’m extremely blessed. But it still doesn’t erase those dark memories, those what if’s, those times where you wonder if only.... I’m not sure that any of it ever goes away. The divorce, his bitterness, the resentment and ways he tried to lie to others and retaliate against me still make me emotional. I just recently saw my ex, and it was a terribly sad, heartbreaking moment. He looks old, unhealthy and frail - like a man 10 years older than how old he really is. We don’t even speak to each other; his doing, not mine. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through in my life so far. I did not realize until I went through my own ordeal, just how many women have experienced and been through much of the same. I’m so happy your have your peace, your beautiful home and your lovely gardens to lift you up and bring moments of happiness and continued healing in your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimberly Marie, thank you so much for sharing your story here as well! I truly hope we can give inspiration to other women out there who might be in a similar situation. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel, but first you have to take that first step! I think that was the hardest part....getting to the point where I was just DONE and knew I had to make a change. Once I got to that decision there was no turning back, though.

      Delete
  13. Deb thanks for sharing your story. I think we can all find peace and hope in your story. I am glad you found gardening to be healing to your soul. Alcoholism is one of the toughest disease to deal with. I am sorry your ex husband does not want to get himself help. Just glad you could recognize he needs to do it for himself. Glad you found peace after a long hard journey of moving from the home you loved, divorce and having the trials of moving and renting to now being settled into your beautiful mountain retreat. I think one of the lesson's learned when we go through something so hard in life is just how much strength we have inside ourselves. Glad you found the strength to move forward even when you life was in such a struggle.
    xoxo
    Kris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kris, I am always glad I found the strength to make a change....I can't imagine still being in that situation now....it's been about 8 years since I left and although the pain is still raw, every day I heal a little more.

      Delete
  14. Wow, it sounds like you had quite a challenge. I am so glad you found a way to save yourself and your girls. I am blessed in that I haven't had to deal with issues of alcoholism in my life, so I can't say I know what you were going through, but just reading your story reveals your strength of courage and resilience. You are a strong woman and I am so pleased to be one of your many blogging friends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are truly blessed, Vickie, no doubt! Alcoholism is an awful disease and I still have nightmares about some of the things he put me through. Fortunately, when I wake up, it's either with Sweetie cuddled up next to me, or if he's not there it's in a peaceful, quiet, tranquil bedroom of my own! And I am also pleased to call you friend, Vickie - thank you for always being so warm and supportive!

      Delete
  15. What a very heart breaking story. I felt the pain and hurt you endured with every word you wrote. How wonderful, you have come to the place you are now, in your very own home, sharing with nature. I am 78 years old, and I still remember my father, who had a drinking problem. His story did not end well, as it ended in suicide, when I was 10 years old. MY Mother made it through the tough time that followed, and she met and married a wonderful man 5 years later. Life goes on, my Mother was happy, but she never....never forgot...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Bonnie, how awful for you and your mom to have to go through that terrible tragedy! I'm glad your mom was able to move on, but what a terrible ordeal that must have been for you both!

      Delete
  16. Thank you for sharing your story. I was married to a man who was bipolar. I had to take my daughters and leave because he refused to get help. Life with him was a nightmare and leaving with two daughters to raise alone was not easy. we all survived and like you I have found peace. I love my small retirement apartment, but I miss having an outdoor area to garden in. Digging in the earth is therapeutic to me also. xo Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, that must have been so difficult for you - no doubt although it was a struggle raising your two girls alone at least you had peace! Perhaps you can take a job part time at a garden center, like one day a week, to get your hands in the dirt again? Or sign up for a community garden?

      Delete
  17. What a wonderfully truthful post. I had no idea you had gone through all that. My husband is an alcoholic, although no-one would believe me if I told them. I suppose he's what nowadays is called a 'functional alcoholic' He's a charming and wonderful man, and all our friends love him, but they don't know what he's like when he drinks spirits. I don't mind if he drinks every day, as long as it's cider or beer, but my heart sinks when he comes home with a bottle or two of scotch. He's like a totally different person, and he scares me. We are both now in our 70s, and I've learned to cope by never arguing with him, and pretending to be asleep if he starts to get aggressive. I have MS, and he is wonderful as a Carer, doing everything for me, and cooking wonderful meals. I love him so much, but it's like being married to two totally different men.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh, Lesley, you hit the nail right on the head! Even though my ex was awful after enough beers, heaven forbid he got into the spirits, that never ended well - he got downright mean!! Of course if we were out together he would wait until I went to the bathroom to order and drink a shot....I caught him in the act more times, which always ended up in a fight! Lordy I don't miss those days!

      Delete
  18. Debbie, we are very much kindred souls. I had a very similar situation, was married 21 yrs before I realized I couldn't change him. Not only was mine functioning, he was a nice drunk, which made it even harder for outsiders to understand. My family still likes him, and there has been more than one awkward situation (eg., when each daughter married). My entire world is so much better now, and without ever trashing him, my adult daughters now understand in their own right. Happy you've found peace. We deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We DO deserve it, so true, Rita! Yes, mine was a nice drunk to everyone but me....because, of course, I was the one trying to control him. We have those awkward situations ahead of us....I have two daughters to marry off! Not to mention he is still in our marital home, which is next door to my parents and one house away from my aunt....for a long time I didn't go anywhere near those houses but now that my dad is housebound I have no choice. It's never easy, is it? 16 years with him....8 years gone....and it's still painful.

      Delete
  19. Dear Debbie: Thank you for sharing your story and I know that it will help many! Coming home to peace is so wonderful. I am glad you were able to find your own home and get to "stay put"! I have learned a lot from you about gardening and thank you! I will be planting my seeds in the ground this year though instead of growing them from seeds. The basement is just too cold!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhhh yes you need a warm spot, Bernideen - my utility room is perfect since it's always warm with the furnace in there! Do you have a furnace room that would work for seed starting? I used to use the windowsills in my apartment in NYC also - they were wide sills and right over the radiator, so that worked - they got leggy if I left them too long, though!

      Delete
  20. Thank you for sharing your story, Debbie. Alcoholism is a terrible disease. I am so sorry he has never gotten the help he needs. You are a very strong woman for taking action and getting yourself and your daughters away from your ex-husband and now making it on your own. {{hugs}}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Melanie - I don't think I could have made it another year, I would have had a breakdown!! I hope my daughters learn from me to not settle for less than what they deserve - I have been trying to teach them that message. What you see is what you get, there won't be any magic changes after the wedding!

      Delete
  21. It takes strength to leave a marriage after many years of alcoholism and I know you're very happy and contented now. I love your mountain home and the gardening is just beautiful. But one question, do you still live near your mom? I ask because I was so close to my mom and took care of her for 5 1/2 years before her death.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Skaya, I am about 20 minutes from my parents, so I get down there when I can....I joke around that I am 'meals on wheels' because I usually head down there with a picnic basket filled with meals for their freezer and usually something I've baked. We all take turns (3 sisters total) helping out with little chores and things they need....my dad is housebound now, on oxygen, so we do what we can. I do wish I was still next door to help them out more often, however.

      Delete
  22. I love your story....it is a testimony of your strength and resilience. It is also a testimony of who we are as women, always fixing and sticking it out till we can't anymore. I have a similar story and I know what it is to be DONE. Unfortunately, both my daughters are in that same place with their marriages. I am so sad that they have followed in my footsteps. I tell them they will know when they are DONE and then they will be able to move on. So sad. I am so happy for you to have found your peace and your forever home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, that's terrible, AnnMarie - I'm sure it must break your heart to see your daughters suffering the way you/we did. Yes, they will know....the time will come, and they will feel it in their heart. My friend is in that situation right now, she's just void of emotion ending her marriage....she's definitely DONE.

      Delete
  23. I'm so happy for you (and your girls) in your present life. Many times walking away is the only thing to do. You are a very strong and smart woman who knows how to deal with any stress that comes her way...garden! I admire your talents and your energy. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a little lacking in the energy department right now, Donna....this darned cold is still kicking my butt!! Let's hope by the time the spring weather comes around I'll be well healed and raring to go! I'm anxious to get out there and do some spring cleanup!

      Delete
  24. Debbie, I have read your story before and each time I think, wow, what a strong woman you are. You and your girls deserve peace and you have provided it. I am so happy for you my beautiful friend. Enjoy that charming, cozy, mountaintop paradise and your very cute neigh-bors! 😉

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would have loved the sight out my bedroom window the other morning, Kim - the horses LOVE to play in the snow, they bound all over their little paddock, jumping and playing in the snow! They knocked over their feeder they were so rambunctious - it was so much fun to watch and the sight of them never gets old! They definitely add to my feeling of peace and contentment in this home!

      Delete
  25. You sure described something that's harder than anyone can imagine! I understand and agree with you that gardening is good for your soul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's difficult to imagine how painful it is unless you have actually been in that situation, Stacey. On the outside, everyone saw him as this perfect man. Living with him was a different story!

      Delete
  26. Oh Debbie- not an easy post for you I'm sure. You come across as a very strong woman and I'm so glad you were able to figure out that you needed to leave for your own well being. I can relate to what you say about being around nature, your gardening, just being outside enjoying your surroundings. That is always what grounds me in difficult times.
    Your cute home exudes peace :-)
    Take care
    Jeannette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I needed my home to exude peace, Jeannette - that's what keeps me sane! It's not always peaceful.....sometimes there's chaos. But mostly it is quiet and calm and my sanctuary...and the best part is it's all mine, and I don't have to walk away from this home.

      Delete
  27. I have heard many pieces of your story before and already admired your strength, Debbie, but reading about it here provided even further insight. You have come so far and fought so hard for your hard earned peace. Now I understand even better the deep level of comfort I feel when reading about your home, your girls and your pups. Your life, and willingness to share, is an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so sweet, Courtney, thank you for those incredibly kind words!! I'm feeling a little less than strong these days as this darned cold is still kicking my butt....but that's only temporary, and hopefully I'll be back to myself soon! Meanwhile, all I want to do is snuggle in my cozy house under a blanket and read books until I'm better. Why do I have to have this darned JOB thing to go to? :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Debbie, You braved your soul to us girl ! That is why you are my most beloved blogger. Life is so tough. I have had my share of recent tragedies and throughout have been trying my best to care for my Dad who is in his 80s with advancing Parkinson’s. We have to trudge on though. The sun eventually shines again. I would love to hear more about your singing career one day. God bless you my girl.

      Delete
    3. Awww, thank you Susan!! Yes, we all have our struggles, no doubt! We just have to find the things that give us strength to smile and get through them....whatever that may be, as we know it's different for each person. For me it's gardening, for another it may be quilting or baking...whatever it is, make time for it!

      Delete
  28. Glad that it's all worked out and you are happy now ! :) I didn't know all of the details and how interesting to see the places that you lived in prior to your dream home :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I settled in an made each one of those places a home, Deb - even though they weren't my dream home or my forever home, they were still a place of peace in the interim.

      Delete
  29. I'm sorry I've been busy and just now getting to this most heartfelt and beautiful post. You bared your soul and it will help a woman somewhere, I promise you.
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do hope so, Brenda, that's what I was thinking as I was writing it. I was thinking of women like me and you and so many others that have to make that difficult choice to get out of a bad situation - it's so hard, but there's peace beyond the pain.

      Delete
  30. I am fairly new reader of your blog, so didn't know your difficult story. You have my deep admiration for sharing your journey with such honesty. As another person commented, I now will appreciate even more your deep love for your Mountain Top home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jan - I'm glad you came upon my little blog, welcome! Thank you for your sweet comment, I love to meet new readers. It's sad, because of course my marriage wasn't all bad....it's just that the bad eventually blocked out the good, and that was when it was time to end it. I still think of him every day and hope he's doing well.

      Delete
  31. I did not know your back story Debbie and I am sorry that you had to go through all those years living in fear of what might happen and also of what did happen. (((((HUGS))))) I am proud of you for finding the strength to leave such a toxic and stressful relationship and for creating a haven for you and the girls, where ever you landed. You made each place you lived in a sanctuary filled with what brought you joy and peace. Much love to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really nested into each space, Debbie. I needed to have that calm, quiet space to come home to at the end of a long day, a place where I could let the stresses of the day slip away. Each of those homes was a sanctuary in its own right....but of course I'm happiest in my own, forever home, where I know am staying for the long haul.

      Delete
  32. Hi Debbie,
    It sounds like he is a man with a beautiful soul who struggles with a disease. I can see why you were drawn to marry him, but I can also understand why you had to leave. Thank you for baring your soul to us. I love how you see the everyday beauty in your surroundings. It has a true ripple effect on your readers. I would love to hear more about your music career one of these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Susan - he is a beautiful soul, and the struggle is real. Unfortunately as the wife who dealt with it regularly, I felt he made a choice of booze over me....but in honesty it's no longer a choice for him.

      Delete
  33. Mom this made me cry! So proud of you for getting your peace back and doing what you needed to do for you, as hard as it was (still is.) We love you so much and so glad you found your "fur-ever" home with the pups. Lol xoxox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, honey. I didn't mean to make you cry, we did enough of that for years, didn't we? xoxo

      Delete
  34. Thank you for sharing your story. You live your life with strength and grace and an obvious deep love and appreciation for what you have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My life is quiet and simple now, Jen - I work hard, I go to bed early, and I am very happy with that simple life. The less drama in my life the better!

      Delete
  35. Dear friend,

    Once again, as I read your story - even though it is a difficult, sad and ultimately bittersweet one - I find peace in your words. I think it is also the images of your gardens. They evoke that feeling of peace and tranquility that you talk about and I share that feeling just looking at those pictures. Thank you so much for sharing that story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's just something about being out there among the gardens, with the sounds of the birds in the trees and the windchimes....it just calms my soul. Everybody should have something in their life that calms their soul.

      Delete
  36. It must have been a difficult post to write, but I hope it inspires your readers. I put my freedom above all, above love... And that's the reason I settled alone (with cats) in Cottage when the move to Brittany was actually something I had planned with a partner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's something to be said for freedom, Magali....and also something to be said for love. My sweetie and I each have our own homes, which works well at this stage of my life...I'm not sure I could live with anyone again, although who knows what may be in my future. Right now, I'm happy just the way things are. And 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it!'

      Delete
  37. So glad you made the decision to have a life. That fixing the only person you can do anything about is 'you'. And being healthy mentally,with having peace in your home is a rich, deep therapy that is ongoing each day. Not a day goes by, that there isn't a deep soul felt thankfulness for the safety and quietness of a home full of peace. Healing comes as we validate our self-worth. All the name calling and effects of the abuse cause you to nurture yourself. You should. You are a strong woman. His loss. Your gain.
    Life holds so much for everyone. I love your sanctuary. The self-expression it says about you. Plants all around you...very gifted you are.
    lol My son gave me 'a plant' for Christmas. I'm thinking, "What do I do with this?!" He said, "It will improve your air quality." lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plants are wonderful to surround yourself with, Dot - they give you something to care for and watch grow and they do improve air quality as well. I have many plants in my home....and of course I can't wait for spring to plant my flowers and gardens once more - that's where I find the most peace for my soul!

      Delete

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment...I truly love reading your comments and I try to respond to each and every one of your sweet comments right here on my blog page!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
09 10