Have you ever noticed that when your life gets flushed down the toilet in one area, all the other areas of your life tend to follow eagerly into the sewer system?
I have been through some really tough times throughout my life but the experience where I had my heart broken and shattered into a million pieces did not just bring me to my knees. It crushed me and left me broken, unable to breathe and so close to picking up a gun and blowing the pain away.
It destroyed every shred of self-esteem and self-worth that I had in myself. Getting passed over for a younger, prettier, sexier, richer woman than yourself, by the man you know you will love forever will do that to you.
The added challenge was that we lived in the same complex, a heartbeat away from each other. So the first night she slept over I was very aware of it. That night was a night filled with horror, despair and a desperate desire to hurt and destroy him as much as he was hurting me.
I discovered that I was capable of a white hot rage that could result in violence, destruction and possibly even murder. Thoughts of smashing her car windows and scratching my keys along that over-priced piece of German crap she was driving spun out of control in my mind and then escalated into taking a baseball bat to both of them until there was nothing left but a bloody mess on the floor.
All I can say of that night and the nights that followed is thank God for my friends. I was so terrified by the thoughts in my head that I phoned my oldest friend and did a manic freak out on the phone. She just let me cry and scream as I had a complete breakdown.
Everything fell apart. I went into a deep depression that filtered into every aspect of my life. My work suffered, I let clients down and to be honest I really did not care. I would spend most of my time numbing myself by watching movies just to escape that soul-destroying pain. Nothing mattered any more. I would get up in the morning, get the kids ready for school, drop them off and then come back and then do nothing except cry. I did not care if I lived or died. There was only one thing that stopped me from really ending it all and that was the thought that if I did die, there would be no-one to look after my children.
Gradually over the next few months, the depression changed to rage. My rage extended to God, people, my business and how life was so unfair. I had spent my life giving and giving and giving, and working my butt off for 18 hours a day, and all I seem to get back is a great big ‘Stuff you Diana’.
I decided to become the exact opposite of the person I was before. I used to be a firm believer in the thought that if you give of yourself to other people you will back it back a hundred times. Clearly this was not the case because here I was – rejected, broke and bitterly unhappy.
I became a complete shrew. I deliberately broke relationships with some friends and family because I could no longer tolerate any of their superficial rubbish. I wanted to find out what it was like to be bad, to not obey the rules that society and my upbringing had drilled into me.
On one particular occasion I went to the shops and bought a few items. The cashier forgot to ring up an item and I noticed it. In the past I would have said something immediately to make her aware of it but this time I kept my mouth shut. I walked out of that shop with the item in my shopping bags, knowing that I was now a thief. I was giving life a great big ‘Stuff You’ back and I have to tell you – it felt really good.
In the past I avoided confrontation. Now I went looking for it. The slightest provocation would set me off and I was harsh, sometimes deliberately cruel, especially if it involved the man I loved. I would no longer tolerate anybody talking to me like I was a no-body or disrespecting me in anyway. I know that I offended some of my very dear friends during that time because I would no longer listen to their well-meaning advice. All credit and my deepest gratitude goes to them for tolerating and loving me unconditionally through that time.
I pushed the boundaries of my behaviour and attitude as far as I possibly could, just to see what lengths I was prepared to go to ensure I now got what I want from life. With time passing, the boundaries receded back to the person I am now.
One realisation I had is that murderous white hot rage that I experienced comes from a place of deep and profound hurt. When you are invalidated and rejected as a person, the response is rage. Why rage? Because deep in your heart and soul you know just how much you are worth, but you have allowed yourself to be defined by someone else’s actions and attitude. The rage is not at them, but at yourself for believing that.
I am not a thief. That good feeling that I got from walking out of the shops dissipated far sooner than I thought it would. I realised that by stealing that item I was hurting the cashier. She would have had to pay for it. I returned to the shop and told the cashier that she had forgotten to ring up the item and I paid her for it. I walked out of the shop feeling good, and that good feeling has not dissipated.
This new Diana still loves with all her heart and is capable of great compassion and empathy. She now knows that her self-worth is not determined by what other people think or say or do about her. She is the only one that truly knows herself and is capable of understanding and loving both the dark and light parts of her soul. She accepts herself as a totally unique person who can and will do great things with her life. Any person who is accepted into her heart will be blessed with great friendship, love, passion and loyalty.
This text message that I sent to someone recently sums up exactly the person I am now.
“So let’s get one thing clear. Going forward if you are nice to me, you will get ‘nice’ back a 100 times. Be nasty and you will get the ‘B**ch from Hell’ back 10 fold.”
Written by the dynamic, delicious, delightful and divine Diana who does not give a flying fig what anyone thinks of her.
(Okay Diana, that is quite enough alliteration!)
(Edit) After some reflection I decided to change some of the swear words into something that reflects more accurately the person I am now.
Photo from http://www.ablessedday.blogspot.com/