Has your life taken a curve in the road?
I’m sure your life has taken a detour here and there – we all have detours. So learn how to share yours here!
My name is Kate J Parker and I am a detourist.
When I was 27 years old I appeared to have everything worked out. I had a carefully prepared life plan and knew where I was going, With a husband of four years, a beautiful house, a sports car, and a high-flying career with a six figure salary; everything was perfect. Or was it?
Hidden beneath the still surface was a swarm of secrets I had kept from everyone. I appeared confident and fortunate, but inside I felt worthless and fake. I accumulated success as a way to like myself. But, the more I achieved, the more I felt like an imposter who was living inside someone else’s skin.
The biggest secret I kept was the mental and physical abuse I experienced at the hands of my husband. He knew my insecurities and he exploited them to his advantage. He reinforced the negative beliefs I had about myself; and made me feel I didn’t deserve anything less than the treatment I endured from him.
I kept this secret because admitting the truth about the violence would unravel the perfectly constructed façade I had created. Revealing the abuse, would be admitting the truth about everything, including the imposter I felt I was. At work, I was strong, capable and a high achiever. This didn’t match the image of an abused and battered wife.
I was fragile, like a dandelion. A slight breeze and my layers of protection would be blown away. I used every ounce of strength to maintain the illusion of the successful 20 something-year-old high flyer.
And then it happened. He pushed my limits and something inside me snapped. I knew I had to leave my husband and it couldn’t wait any longer.
I left work after lunch; when I knew the house would be empty. I packed a bag of essentials and left a note on the kitchen bench saying I was leaving him. I booked into a hotel with no plan on where I would go from there. I finally found the courage to leave my husband.
This should have been the start of a new brighter chapter in my life. A slight detour that would transition into a better destination. It didn’t work out this way.
The first few weeks of separation, my husband begged and pleaded for me to return. He promised he would change and get help. He sent flowers to my work, and wrote a love letter with beautiful words. It didn’t work. The moment I packed my bag, I fell out of love with him and escaped his spell.
When his pleading failed, he turned to threats of violence. I was scared. I knew what he was capable of and could only imagine what he would do feeling this angry and aggrieved.
He didn’t know where I was staying so the only place he could find me was work. And that is what he did. He arrived at reception yelling, screaming and threatening my colleagues unless he saw me. The police were called and he fled. From then on I no longer felt safe at work.
I took an extended leave from work to hide from my husband until he calmed down and moved on. A break from work seemed like a good idea to clear my mind, but had the opposite effect. It gave me too much time to think and be alone. Depression set in.
I met a nice guy and we were hanging out together. He could see I was getting depressed and encouraged me to talk to others. With his support, I talked to two friends and told them about my dark thoughts and feelings. Both my friends were dismissive, almost as if my depression was an inconvenience to them – something they didn’t want to deal with. I withdrew even more and hid from everyone.
I wasn’t sleeping and went to the doctors. He prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. I spent my days drinking and sleeping under a haze of medication. I did everything I could to avoid being awake and feeling the darkness inside me.
Eventually, the darkness took over and become unbearable. I couldn’t live another moment inside my own body and head. I wrote a suicide note and drank a bottle of champagne. Once I was drunk I swallowed a packet of sleeping tablets. I remember feeling relief as I felt my consciousness slip into oblivion.
When I woke in the hospital my first emotion was disappointment. I had failed. I was still alive.
My second emotion was guilt. My sister was beside me and my Mum was on a plane to be with me (she lived on the other side of the world). I hadn’t considered the impact my suicide would have on my family. I had shut them out and they had no idea what was happening.
I spent two years in a deep depression, bouncing in and out of hospitals. I lost my career, my house, all my savings and most of my friends. I went from being a high flyer to hitting rock bottom.
As dark as this chapter was, I eventually found a pin hole of light. With the help of people who genuinely love and care for me, I was given a safe environment to recover. I moved to a country town to live with relatives and discovered mindfulness. From that point forward, brightness came back into my life.
I finally found my way out of depression. I was lost and had taken a detour from my perfect life plan. But the change in direction took me to a beautiful and amazing place. 12 years later and I have re-built my career, married a loving man, and we have two beautiful daughters together. Most importantly, I now have a healthy relationship with myself and no longer feel like an imposter. I am happy.
That is why…….I #LoveMyDetour.
Kate J Parker is a writer, dreamer and searcher. She writes about becoming the best you can be by sharing information, tips and inspiration to live the amazing life you deserve. You can find her at www.VivaLaMe.com.
Are YOU a detourist?
All of our journeys continue. So if you don’t know where you’re going yet, don’t worry. It will ONLY lead somewhere…if you keep going! Thanks, Kate, for showing us that!
I learned that again and again…
And then after the “happy” ending to my detour…
I DETOURED again.
So, now it’s your turn!
- First, read the Guest Post Guidelines.
- Write to me about it by clicking here!
- Paint your detour, take a picture of it, and tag it with #LoveMyDetour, to be part of my Instagram Detour Challenge, or tweet me!
- Use #LoveMyDetour to scrapbook your travels and know you’re not alone!
Safe travels, Detourists!
Watch an inspiring TEDx talk about getting through any “detour” in life! #LoveMyDetour [click to tweet]
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