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The Tsunami-ed Life (Part 2)

by Jessica Circe 3 years ago in breakups
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#TheArtofStartingOver

Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash

Hardest part of a tsunami-ed life isn't the wave when it hits you, though that part is pretty rough. Like I imagine with the natural phenomenon, the hardest part is the aftermath, the clean-up and the rebuilding. You spend days, maybe even weeks in a daze of "What just happened?" Perhaps you go through the motions of life; going to work, eating, sleeping, planning a funeral, looking for a new job, all the things that keep life normal.

But the truth is things couldn't be farther from normal. No matter how hard you try or you pretend. You've had a transformation, meaning that something has happened to you and now that it has you can never go back to being who you were before the tsunami hit. It's not possible because you are a different person. You see the world differently, your world. You notice things that you never would have paid attention to before. Things that normally you would have enjoyed you have no interest in, or they irritate you to your core. Extroverts hide away, introverts make a go of being social butterflies. People who are logically driven in all matters suddenly start to make rash decisions from nowhere, and the most spontaneous people now need to plan every detail before making a decision.

In the days after my tsunami I was shell-shocked and literally wondered through the next several weeks of “What do I do now?”, “How did I not see this coming?”, “Why is this happening to me?” I went through the motions of speaking with my husband and talking through what had happened, processing my anger and my grief and eventually forgiving what had transpired. But I was never the same, I was no longer the woman I had been before; trusting, vulnerable, tactile, open and communicative. And ultimately our marriage was not the same as a result. It would be almost two years before the tsunami fully receded when I left for good, ending my marriage.

In the aftermath, I struggled to rebuild and put my life back together. When I made the choice to leave, I knew I was going to have to figure out my visa, find a new place to live, perhaps even move back to the US, but in the months that followed I discovered previously unforeseen consequences of my choice that I hadn't considered in the moment. For example, it suddenly dawned on me that I might never have children, despite not really knowing if I wanted them in the first place. But now that it might not happen, the realisation wrecked me all over again. And these are the part of a tsunami-ed life that can be the hardest, the things you discover after the waters have receded when you are picking up the pieces of your life. It’s the picture from a favourite holiday you discover in the bottom of a drawer. The Facebook memory that reminds you of day you met. When friends invite you both to the same event because they don’t realise what’s happened. These were all things that sat me right back on my a** just when I thought I was starting to stand on my own two feet again.

This is part of the struggle of the tsunami-ed life; the aftermath and the unintended consequences or unforeseen results of the tsunami. Through the rebuilding, there are parts that test your resolve and can set you back if you let them. You feel like you're making progress, and then *wham* you get hit by something new and you're back to where you started. This is where you are forged in fire, where your resolve and your resilience grows into a new hardened skin, a skin that becomes the cocoon you are reborn from, through deep self-discovery and learning, self-care and time.

breakups

About the author

Jessica Circe

Professional Coach specialising in #TheJourneyToMore and #TheArtofStartingOver. To find out what that means, read my blog post here. To find out more about me and coaching visit my website.

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