THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

What an eventful week it has been. If you missed it, I announced a big move to Denver at the end of the month. I was able to continue in my position at iHeart Media and it’s slowly proving to me that if I make the changes and have the balls to commit myself to something new, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I say this because so many people sit back and watch life happen to them. We often think the world is not on our side, there’s people out to get us. In reality, the only person that can affect change in life is you. You have the power to alter your course. That’s what this whole blog is about, right? Something bad happened but I do my best to consistently choose to remain positive and make choices that will help me shine brighter. I have heard from so many women after sharing my story on my coworker’s podcast. It has been wonderful to connect, learn other people’s stories, and often hear about the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s my favorite. Getting emails from people who tell me “I was there and now I’m 10 years married to someone who loves and respects me.” Someone very near and dear to my heart is also experiencing that light at the end of the tunnel. And, I thought would take my post today to share her story, her light, and how she made life happen for herself.

A little background, we went to basic training together and were pretty inseparable. We live in different states, but our friendship is strong. We talk almost daily, and I’ve seen her go from single, to married, to divorced in the entirety of our five year friendship. And YES, other people get divorced as fast as me, so there. We are calling her K.A… K.A met D (because he’s a dick, get it? Hahahah I’m so funny) While she was in college. Her exact words to me were “He wasn’t cute but I was interested in the whole cowboy appearance more than anything” LAWD HELP US ALL. Unless they’re Jason Aldean don’t settle just cause they’re cowboys. She’s from Texas y’all so who knows…Anyways, he would message her on Facebook from time to time and eventually they started talking until one day he blocked her. She was shocked, but after a bit he added her back. Obviously, she had that “What the fuck” feeling, and he eventually told her that his girlfriend caught them talking. He had to block her. She told me it made her feel like an idiot—which he did often in her relationship. (Ok red flag number one right?) She had no idea he even had a girlfriend; however, by the time they started talking again he assured K.A that he no longer was in a relationship. (K.A Trusted D because why wouldn’t ya).

As their relationship developed the ex girlfriend kept coming into the picture. His ex was on his top friends on Snapchat, she would message K.A on twitter saying the D was telling her he was in love with her still.(Are you following?) K.A being the bright ass light she is, confronts D. As we know, the best cheaters are experts at manipulation and gaslighting. He blows up when she confronts him, and it becomes her fault for creeping on his phone and accuses her of cheating. D disappears for two weeks and she is stuck with this idea that she has suddenly upset the balance in their relationship, that she messed up, even though the D is obviously a lying cheater. It’s not obvious in the moment. You have so many feelings for that person, you want to believe them because they are close to you, you trust them with your heart. It’s an immediate feeling of OH NO HE’S UPSET WITH ME NOW. He disappeared from her life for two weeks and it became a cycle. Some people get the idea that this is passion. I mean make up sex right? Ew. I know sometimes I thought if you didn’t fight you lacked passion, you can’t always get along.

Time passes, and he gets this great idea for them to get married. He was on a deployment but would be home soon. She was young, 21 at the time, and who isn’t dreaming of their wedding. Everything is bigger in Texas, so you know she was planning a banger. So D proposes, they get married in a courthouse and start their plans to live together. All in all, they were engaged 23 days, but still planning a big ceremony for 7 months down the road. The time came for them to have their Bachelor and Bachelorette parties and shit hits the fan again. D really becomes a Dick, through the course of the evening he’s calling her a slut, saying that a real wife wouldn’t need a bachelorette party (double standard much?) then, naturally he stops speaking to her again because he’s a D. Never the less they get over it because relationships are hard work right? If someone frequently tells you that call them on their bullshit. Because yeah, there’s work involved but it shouldn’t be miserable, it shouldn’t make you feel like you’re doing something wrong. Your relationship is working toward a common goal. It is not more work for one party or the other. RANT OVER.

Wedding day arrives and so does Hurricane Patricia. Don’t they say it’s bad luck if it rains on your wedding day? Imagine a hurricane on your wedding day. Was it a sign? Probs. Well K.A’s friends tell her they saw D at Texas Roadhouse (classy AF before your wedding day) and he’s wasted AF. Sounds like Groom material. So naturally she’s not feeling great about his ability to stand at the alter with her and confess his love and affection. Oh, and then she learns he also has a black eye because, well, Bar Fights on your wedding day are a must. It’s easy on the outside for me to be critical and judgmental. But all K.A wanted that day was to be with the man she felt she knew. Sure, he had the occasional slip up but it wasn’t who he truly was, right? He would grow up someday, right? All too often though we have to go through this experience before we know what our standards really are. She told me that she had to hold him up during the ceremony, which was symbolic because it sounded to me like she had been holding it all together this whole time. She kept trucking forward because it’s your wedding day. By the time they started cutting the cake she started questioning if she wanted a divorce. He continues to be an embarrassment the rest of the evening. Shocker, right?

The next morning D wakes up and tells K.A that she embarrassed him that night. GASLIGHTING. Luckily, one of the groomsmen called to talk to him and told him EVERYTHING that happened. They talked it through, made up like they always did and moved forward. Naturally he wanted her to take the next step in their relationship. Which would include bringing a human life into the world. She finds herself sneaking her birth control in the car every day. Meanwhile his career was taking him to Hawaii and she was packing up to go with him. They got in yet another fight and the fight ends in the final straw. Physical abuse. Listen, everything you read up to this point was abuse too. Many people don’t realize that it doesn’t have to be physical. People show their respect or lack their of for you every day. She should have ended it before it became physical, but at least she knew to end it now.

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Mama K.A came to the rescue, packed up the apartment, and drove them home. While they were packing K.A found women’s clothes between the mattress and boxspring. K.A made a decision to make a change in her life. It took a lot of bullshit before her balls grew in but they grew in strong. She’s found the light at the end of the tunnel, and along the way didn’t rush into being with someone else. Now she’s with a man who treats her with the utmost respect, and together they are a team. And he has a sweet mustache. Literally inspiration right there.

I’ll end with her reflection in her words.

-I didn't cry the whole time I typed this. This might be because I'm at work, but it's also because I'm confident in the decision to leave this man.

-I got my spark back. "Getting my Spark back" was the internal theme I had with myself, similar to you "Letting your bright ass light shine"

-At first I always questioned why God let me go through this, but I started to go to church again. My first time back was Christmas Eve and I cried the whole time (hell I'm crying now) but it's because at that church service I felt Jesus hug me. I was sitting by myself, no one was around but he hugged me and I hugged him back while he told me that I was forgiven for my divorce (that was something I really worried about), and that I was home. I knew I was lost but to have him spiritually tell you that you're home its weird. It's beautiful. I know this sounds crazy, but I know it was real because even now I still long for that touch. I can feel his presence with me sometimes, but that hug was the greatest thing I ever needed.

-Finally, I wouldn't be who I am without my divorce. I wouldn't be as happy as I am, I wouldn't have the job I have, I wouldn't be close to my mom, and I would've never met the boyfriend I have now (which I firmly believe is a gift from God). Ultimately, my divorce was my call to faith. I have taken more chances, I have stood on my own two feet and I have made THE BEST FRIENDS since my divorce, I wouldn't trade a thing.

When you choose to let your bright ass light shine, the light at the end of the tunnel gets just a little closer.