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Picking up the pieces: one year later

2020 will be the year most of us will never forget. From a raging pandemic, to fears of a civil war from racial injustice to millions of people losing their jobs, their homes and their loved ones. This year started with a shattered heart and utter embarrassment over the manipulation that I fell for. If you haven't already, please reference back to my previous blog titled : An open letter to my narcissistic sociopath ex. This will make much more sense if you read that first.

I rang in 2020 alone, hiding at a motel 6 in Joshua Tree, CA after the ex began stalking me. Calling me from 10 different burner phones non stop, showing up to my house unannounced. My dog would wake up in the middle of the night barking furiously at the open window on the side of the house and I knew it was him. I could not fathom what he was capable of after all the lies I originally discovered. Broken. Hallow. Empty. I allowed myself to feel it all. On New Years morning I went to mountain of rock, climbed as high as I possibly could and sat. Cold and numb with only a tinge of warmth to my face from the luminous rays of sun shining down.

I decided this was the last time I would allow myself to feel like a victim. I will learn from my heart break once and for all. And so began the healing.

It was a slow process. One of the first things I did ringing this new year in was breaking off a friendship of over 10 years. Through one of the biggest traumas of my life, I felt so unsupported by the only friend I really had at the time to turn to. I chose to be alone rather than to carry that extra stress. Releasing the open letter on this blog was quite cathartic and luckily was read by many people in the community. A handful of women reached out to tell me that they had dated Ray too. He had given the same children's book to one of them with the same exact message written in it. All of our stories were similar. Talking to these other women brought me further closure knowing that I did nothing to cause the lies and deceit.

My friendship with the other two women who were in the love triangle with me continued to blossom. They were my first real friends since moving to LA. We have laughed together, cried together and everything in between. My connection with them is unconventional to say the least; but beautiful.

Through the transition of finding a new gym I became friends with someone who I feel was divinely placed in my life. I was very transparent about what I just went through. He had just recently ended a long term relationship and was also hurting. We both set clear cut boundaries on platonic friendship. I was neither capable or interested in anything more. The wound on my heart was still very fresh.

He was not allowed to know where I lived. I required to see his driver's license and registration. I googled his name multiple times. I had a new found awareness of questioning so many things that most people take for granted. It was right around this time that Covid hit the US and life as we know it shut down.

We both lost the ability to go to the gym so he created a weightlifting platform at his house. After being friends for only a few months, I was now seeing his family regularly for our Saturday morning workouts. The playdates with his little sister at the end of the workout were the best. I didn't think much of it then, but he was creating a safe space for me. He gave me the reassurance of meeting his family so that it was one less thing I had to question. This man continues to do everything in his power to make me feel safe, loved and protected.

The pain waxed and waned as I patiently allowed time to do what it does best. My heart was healing but my mind was ambivalent as hospitals became overcrowded, death rates from covid started soaring and protestors looted all major cities in protest of the murder of George Floyd and numerous others. It was one heartbreak after the next.

Through all of this collective trauma that has been experienced in 2020, I am in a much better place now than I was one year ago. Being able to share my story along with writing on other topics in this blog has been a dream of mine for years. It took my breaking to force the rebuilding of self in a new way that I have never experienced. Albert Einstein brilliantly states that the definition if insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So I did something different. Daring bravely I started this blog, started my nutrition coaching business and set boundaries in all areas of my life.

A few key lessons I have learned in 2020:

  • Mental, spiritual and physical health are priority over everything.

  • Sometimes we have to cut people out of our lives that we love dearly for the sake of our own well being.

  • Maintaining a consistent bedtime and exercise routine has been my constant throughout this year of so many unknowns and been the center of what maintains my sanity.

  • Boundaries are biblical and so necessary.

  • Crappy diet = crappy attitude and hella brain fog.

  • Life is so very precious. We must appreciate this very present moment as tomorrow is not guaranteed.

As this year comes to a close, I am filled with an abundance of peace and gratitude for surviving and thriving in 2020. Life continues to be a rollercoaster that I will face with the upmost optimistic perspective.

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