A friend asked me the other day if I regret my decision to leave Maryland last year. I can unequivocally say, no regrets at all. Has it been emotionally hard? Absolutely. I pretty much lost everything, and I am starting over. For about the first year, I cried every day, liked sobbed and sobbed. I missed my boys so much, still do. The pain of missing them was overwhelming.
Up until this past month there was also so much anger inside of me. Some days when I was by myself, I would shout out my anger at the top of my lungs. I was angry at so many people for so many reasons. I lost my job. I lost my family. I lost my dog. I lost my home. I lost a lot of friends. Several friends made it clear I was a bad mom. There was even a friend of my son's who told me she didn't 100% agree with my decision.
So many failed to find out about my decsion, instead just passed judgement and assumptions. For the longest time that was really hard for me. I needed to share my story and my side. Now, or at least for today, I don't care who knows my story or my side. The only thing that matters is me and my boys know.
The decision to leave Maryland and head West was the best decision, for me, I could have ever made. It was the toughest decsion. I could have made an easy decsion and stayed. But, where would I be now? On the East Coast living in a rented room working at a minimum wage job, maybe. My son said, I would be dead from drinking too much. I was self medicating by drinking at least a bottle of wine most nights. The minute I came out to Colorado that all stopped, and the healing began. I don't drink that often anymore. I don't need to. I am where I need to be, doing what I love with people who love me.
I most likely would have never wheeled the Rubicon Trail and shared the beauty of the West with my boys. A memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.
This past year has been such a rollercoaster of emotions with guilt, anger and so much hurt. My marriage of 21 years officially on paper ended a couple of months ago. What may shock some is it really ended about eight years ago. My plan was to hold on for another three years until my youngest graduated high school. (I honestly didn't think I would ever be out West again) Well, that didn't happen. When I returned from my month long adventure, I was told one of us had to leave.
Without a job I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with house payments let alone any other bills. I didn't want my boys to lose their house. It wasn't a decision I made lightly nor on my own. My kids and I had several discussions. It was a decision we made together. There was a lot of guilt that came with that decsion. It has been really hard to let it go of that guilt. Just the other day, I was able to do just that with my oldest plaiying a big part in helping me let it go.
I still have a lot of healing to do. There are still things that happen that trigger my anxiety and overwhelming saddness, but I remind myself to take it just one day at a time.
Starting over after losing so much is mentally hard. There have been several breakdowns and anxiety attacks. It's a process. Several people have come into my life to help me through this process with words of wisdom. The Jeep community continues to lift me up daily.
And then there is Neil.
When our 2019 trip was over I didn't think I would ever see him again. Originally my plan was to head to Texas to where my neice was going to help me find a job bartending. Neil offered me a place to come and a new life direction. He said we can flip Jeeps together. He has played a big role in helping me heal and become a better person. It hasn't been easy, but he and my kids are helping me work through all the emotions.