Two years ago, I wrote about understanding the power of presence and how to stay in line with our self-love, reminding ourselves to recognize when something or someone does not serve our higher self and is toxic to our growth.
Two years later, after experiencing what I thought was the love you knew was meant for you, I sit here with an immense amount of emptiness—both a good and cruel feeling measured by time. I fell deep in love, or what I thought was love, and married the person who would unknowingly become a person I feared, loved, resented, and was heartbroken over so many, many times. It has taken me awhile to truly sit down and write my thoughts and feelings about where I’ve been these last two years.
I lost myself. I let who I love consume my life. I forgot how to love myself. I became a victim of broken promises. I lost respect for myself. I allowed the person I loved to continue harming me emotionally every time I accepted his apologies. I didn’t listen to myself. I second guessed my intuition, when all this time it kept telling me the truth. I was empty. I became so empty that I couldn’t function in my daily life, in my hobbies, in my passions. I became depressed and sought nothing more but to end my life because my marriage wasn’t working. Where did I go?
Two months ago, I experienced the most terrifying thing in my life that I could imagine. After two years of what felt like a slow emptying of myself through tears, arguments, late night drives to cool off, and constant forgiving and believing in someone who promised to change, I became a victim of abuse in 20 minutes of the most traumatic experience of my life. How could someone who says they love me do this to me? Writing this isn’t easy, and the anxiety and stress from the trauma still creep into my spirit, but I hope that my story can help you understand what it means to get out before it’s too late and how you can find hope in this tragedy.
My life was threatened by someone I love and in those 3 breathless seconds that I experienced, my life became more important to save than the love and broken marriage I was in. I managed to get out safely and report the incident to the police and soon after I moved my belongings out. Where did I go? I went to heal myself and protect everything that has ever made me full of the love that has given me my life, my soul, and spirit.
“Where did I go?” was a question I asked myself countless times throughout the day, ruminating on the past and what signals I should have taken a closer look at that got me to this place in my life. I stopped writing. I stopped feeling. I stopped expressing myself through love in ways that brought me joy. And for what? To be with a man who did not even know how to understand his own source of love, and falsely propose to give you what you needed in a partnership?
I blame myself for not having taken the time to truly test the waters and swim in the ocean of love long enough to know that a person I was going to marry is someone I could trust in turbulent and calm waters. I was a fool for believing so quickly in eloquent words and in the ideal that he would come to learn how to become himself through me. That he could grow with me. But ultimately, I did not have that kind of influence or power, no matter how hard I tried to inspire and motivate him to be the best version of himself that he could be. No matter how hard I tried to set an example of good habits and values, it was of no use if he didn’t care to practice these things in his own life.
At one point, I thought I was the crazy one—he would tell me I was crazy and was overly sensitive and should just “sleep things off”. I wish I had known not to have given so much of my love and effort to someone who was incredibly stubborn and prideful. The toxicity sucked every ounce of my empathy and compassion for myself that I became so disillusioned by the state of my marriage. In essence, I became a reflection of him during that time—picking up his habits because he wouldn’t compromise with mine, suppressing my emotions because he couldn’t express himself, not speaking or hanging out with friends or family as often because he didn’t like people knowing about us, becoming a complete hermit because he didn’t have any interest in making friends or hanging out with mine, making excuses for his absence at family parties or events because he was too anti-social, and all of this in hindsight, I see now, was enabling his behavior every time I forgave him and protected his values. I felt so unloved and neglected.
This was not a marriage or relationship I could tolerate any longer.
I had wanted so much to be married, but this was not the marriage the Universe and the Divine had intended for me. I wanted so much to believe that all the things he shared with me were true, and maybe some of it was, but our love for each other was felt in two different ways that could not grow together.
So often we forget to heed the wisdom of those who come before us and have felt love. While some are lucky to really know when they know the one, I find a lot of comfort and value in the thought that you cannot know unless you both have felt the treasure of time separately, first, and then, together. That with the treasure of time, you each would choose to live with intent and awareness in growing your self-love and learn to understand what compassion and empathy look and feel like because when you have that, the rest is simple when you choose to marry. When you have a sense of self respect for your love and your values then you already know what you must do to protect the love and values of the one you choose to spend the rest of your life with.
I don’t regret having gotten married and then disappearing for two years from my passions. I do regret not leaving sooner when the relationship was at its breaking point several times. I know that I am stronger than I feel or think and I am happy that I got out when I did, but how did I miss the warning signs? Signs that my intuition had pointed me to look at closer, but then I’d second guess myself. Warning signs found in the constant refusal of a substance abuse problem, lies masked in wordy excuses, denials and circular conversations, financial mismanagement and disorganization in goals and ambitions, broken promises and emotional neglect, refusal to understand on an emotional level, and pride that was prioritized first before the love and feelings of the partner you chose.
So many vows were broken. I never thought someone I love could emotionally and physically hurt me so much. In moments where the anxiety and PTSD creep in, I tell myself, “I am so sorry, Noemi. I am so sorry this happened to you.”
And in between the moments where my eyes well up and my throat is in a knot, I exhale a deep breath and hear my soul whisper, “But you are immensely loved. Do not forget the gift I have given solely to you in this life”.
I am crying as I write because I feel so sorry for having turned my heart away momentarily from what has always sparked my life and spirit: my own source of love.
It is an ever growing source that will never betray me or hurt me as long as I continue to believe and nurture it.
The end of this marriage has also reminded me of the one thing that has stayed true and constant in my life thus far: that my intuition is part of the gift I have been given to understand and express the truths of love and life in my time. In hindsight, it has been the silent compass of my soul, directing me to what I know is my divine purpose in this world. While the direction that it is going remains a complete mystery to me, I can trust that the direction will always be that of growth if I choose it to be. A huge part of my heart and soul have been emptied by this traumatic experience and the ones I experienced in the duration of my two years of absence. I have drowned and have been broken in love and after all of it, here I am.
I am a survivor.
I am stronger than I have ever been.
That there is hope after tragedy.
I am always reminded by the resilience of nature and how life and death is a cycle that can be seen in its seasons. This was a great and turbulent season of my life. It has washed away so much of what I had grown and yet there I am in pieces, scattered throughout the soil of my broken heart and soul like seeds, waiting to be nurtured and grown again—that in time, I will rise and become the garden of my love, once again.
I am so grateful for the friends and family who have shown me so much love and support during this difficult time. They are the ones who help water the soil of your brokenness while you take the time to make sense of the chaos of it all and heal from it. They are the ones who are truly heaven-sent to ensure your path is always comforted by reminders of real love and joy.
Having endured this momentary absence from my own life and the traumatic experience at the end of it, I realize that the process of my emptying in this marriage was necessary for me to learn so that I could understand how to grow myself again when destruction and chaos come to uproot everything.
It was a necessary emptying so that all I had left was everything that I began with—the foundation, the soil, the earth, the nothingness and everything, the messiness, the beauty and hope of starting all over again with the only tools I needed: my hands, my heart, my mind, my soul, my faith, my choice to live again in this emptiness in time, where darkness can be abundance, and death can bring new life.
I see now. How important it is to empty ourselves, whether that be emotionally or spiritually. I see now. How time is our silent friend in all matters of life, death, and love. That this emptiness in time that we all experience at one point in our lives, is one of the greatest reflections of love that call to the depths of our inner self to feel the incredible lightness and plasticity, magic and resilience of our divine soul.