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  • Writer's pictureCate

So Close, Yet Still So Far

It’s been four years since I began this journey. When I stood on that beach watching my children experience the ocean for the first time, there was no way I could have known what I was about to go through.

I was sick and afraid, seemingly broken for no reason. I was searching for something and I had no idea what it was. The events that were set in motion by the most innocuous moments turned into the most profound experiences of my life. One book. One conversation. One leap of faith. One realization. One mind.

I feel that it’s maybe appropriate for a brief recap of the journey, now that I am so near the end. The journey began on Melbourne Beach in Florida in August of 2018. I had worked so hard to make this vacation happen for my children. It had been my one true goal for so long, to just give them something wonderful to remember.

The goal was realized. But instead of feeling elated and proud, I felt miserable. What was wrong with me? It would be a year before I realized that my thyroid was out of balance. At the time, I just thought I had severe anxiety.

I’d just started a new job and I was feeling stressed instead of relieved. The job was everything I’d wanted, yet still something was missing. My dear step-father gave me a gift card to a book store for my birthday.

I wandered the aisles of the bookstore, not sure what I wanted to read. I gravitated towards the Physics section. I picked up a book called the Holographic Universe, among a few others. I wanted to really understand the different explanations of this world.

Maybe there’s that one book for all of us. That book that makes us realize that we had lost the thread of our true spiritual nature. Not all of us have found it yet. We may never find it. But that book was it for me. It was a spiritual awakening.

All of a sudden, I knew that I had to know the answers. I had to know where from and why and for what reason. What better place to start than with the books I had in my hands: physics and quantum physics. I read many wonderful books. Then an offhand comment from a co-worker about a link between quantum physics and buddhism led me to a buddhist zen center.

If the questions weren’t burning inside me, I’m not sure if I would have had the courage to go to that zen center for the first time, much less continue to go. But I had to know. Though there were countless books that I could read, the answers weren’t just sitting out there.

I established a meditation practice. I asked for a teacher. I started meditating nearly every day. I started unwinding the damage. It soon became clear that I was very sick. My thyroid had become so unbalanced, I was barely hanging on.

Over that next year, I got on a regular medication regimen and I started to feel the most normal I’d felt in my entire life. My meditation practice was quieting my mind. I kept going deeper.

The pandemic hit and all of a sudden, I was home with my kids. They told me how afraid they were of my husband. They told me the awful things he said the them. They didn’t know that I was unaware of how bad it had become for them.

At first, I tried to work things out with my husband. But he didn’t think anything was wrong. He said some pretty awful things to me too. I knew I had to do something, but the problem was bigger than me. I wasn’t sure where to start.

Underneath it all, my meditation practice was unlocking memories of a disturbing nature. I started to have terrible thoughts and I had no idea why. Then a simple conversation knocked it all loose. I had been molested, raped, and trafficked from a very young age by my father.

The memories began to cascade forth. I thought it would drive me mad. It threatened to kill me. I found a counselor and started e-counseling through all of the shame and pain and the betrayal. I worked very hard, trying everything, just to get better. I had to be better. My kids needed me.

I learned that I needed to take care of myself. It wasn’t frivolous to do things for myself. It wasn’t selfish. I began my divorce. I bought myself a computer. I started taking ballroom dancing lessons. I saw an energy healer. I worked with my buddhist teachers.

I began to evolve. I went through hell and it changed me. I found the answers I’d been searching for. I now know what I’m after in this life.

Solving that equation I was presented with at the beginning of this journey was the most rewarding experience in my life so far. I unwound it all, until I got to the very core of who I was. I let it all go. The past is at peace.

I have come so far. I am something that I never dreamed I could be. I am stronger than I ever knew I could be. I surprised myself with my tenacity.

Now I am a divorced woman. I have great friends. I have a great job. I am confident in the relationships I allow in my life. I have healed. I have all but solved the unsolvable equation I was presented with.

This past week, I was approved for home financing and began working with a realtor. I had worked hard to improve my credit and that work paid off. The market is still tough in the area I want to be in. But I have faith that I will get to where I’m going. I’m not afraid.

I know things are going to keep getting better, because I’ve earned it. I have no doubt that I will get what I am after. I will find the perfect house for myself and my children. We will be free.

But patience is still needed because this process can drag on. The closer I get to leaving my ex-husband, the more dangerous it becomes for us all. I must continue to be careful. I must still try to save every penny.

I’m close. But I’m not so close that I can relax. I must redouble my efforts and become ever more diligent. But I’m going to make it. And when I do, I’m going to throw the biggest “Freedom Party” there ever was. I will be free of abuse and I will never make room for it in my life again.

I’ve never been this healthy, this whole, this happy. I am content. I have it within me to be patient. I’ve come too far to give up. It is only up from here, and I am grateful!

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