I watched Dawn and Johnny both from a distance while I was going through that bad marriage. Johnny was in the Navy. Dawn was at OU and working. They could see I was making wrong decisions and was struggling. I could see how they also were struggling in their lives. Of course, it was easier for me to see what they were doing wrong and it was easier for them to see the difference in me. Eventually they each told me that I was really not doing well and they did not like what they saw. I knew they were so right.
When I began working on my Self before I filed for divorce, I heard a woman at one of my first Al-Anon meetings say that if a person continues to attend these meetings, that person gets better. Then about six months later, that person will see their children and others around him or her start to wok on improving life. She said “Do not even say what they should do unless they ask, but watch what happens and what they do.” That got my attention!
It was true. We had all three gone down in our lives after Don died and then more during my second marriage. Luckily one thing we never lost was love for each other. We also each had prayer and God. The three of us talked about the mistakes in choice and relationships we made. We also discussed what the abandonment done by me caused in them. They say I literally checked out. It hurts every time they bring that up, but it is so true. I did that. I ran to try to fill that void. I was hoping to give them back a family feeling. Obviously that did not happen. They did not want to be around that second marriage after they watched me in it. I apologize each time the subject is brought up. I knew I made a big mistake.
I do believe when the pain I felt in the second marriage finally doubled me over in hurt, something in me rose up and changed following the prayer I made on my knees. I finally got it! I knew God did not want me in that unhappy marriage. Nor did he want Dawn and Johnny to feel the way they did and make the choices they were making. I knew I had to heal and I needed help. I was fine physically, but could die feeling this way if I did not change me. I know a person can change their clothes, change their hair, and put a smile on his/her face and it might look like change. However, there is a huge difference when the change is within. My change after that prayer was within. I realized if I left him, he had a choice. He did not want to change within this marriage. Perhaps he would choose to improve his life if he was alone. It was not my responsibility to fix him.
LESSON: A major change in life affects children more than we realize. When I began to walk towards improvement in myself, they followed. It took time. Time does heal, but it greatly helps to have a healthy person working with you. It takes a strong person to ask for help. The lesson here is “Become strong. Find help to improve and watch what happens in life.” Many of us make mistakes. It is important to learn from our mistakes.
GIFT: We are all three survivors. We each learned from our mistakes and grew. Dawn moved home to live with me so she could finish school after taking a year off to work. Johnny returned from the Navy soon after Dawn moved in with me. He chose to live with us. It was amazing for all three of us to be back under one roof together. I believe I appreciated this opportunity more than anyone. We were able to talk and share with no one around. We all set goals. They each finished school. Johnny even eventually received his Masters. Dawn has had great success in the service industry. Johnny has done excellent with GAO. I also set goals for business as well as goals for other parts of my life. Today we are all three in happy marriages and I have a bigger family. Thank you, God!