It was late fall of 2019 in Seattle. The leaves that crunched under my feet had fallen and served as bronze and amber reminders that change was imminent.
My marriage had been long over, but for financial reasons we still lived together for over a year after being separated. If you’re wondering what that was like just imagine living in an environment full of tension, resentment, violent outbursts and basic boundaries not being respected. It was a hellish and traumatic period of my life, to say the least. It was in that environment that I lived and learned the saying, ‘you cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick.’
By the time I finally gathered the courage to leave my marriage, I discovered that I had fallen into the category of what society would call a “displaced homemaker,” a stay-at-home parent who is unemployed or underemployed and no longer supported financially by a spouse. Since I chose to drop out of college at the age of 19 to devote all of my time and energy to starting and taking care of a family, I wasn’t left with many options. There I was in my late twenties with no college degree, little work experience, nothing to my name or even in my name, and two small children to provide for. Whatever work I found wouldn’t pay me nearly enough to live off and provide for two children. I attempted to go back to school but was unable to finish due to living under extremely stressful conditions. The odds seemed to be stacked against me. I had no support system and I couldn’t seem to get ahead no matter how hard I tried.
One day after another heated argument and getting called out of my name for the umpteenth time, I was so triggered and fed up, I decided it was finally time to ask for help. Something I had not done for the entire ten years I was married. I swallowed my pride and called my favorite aunt who had also recently gone through a divorce to ask for help. When she answered I could hardly speak. I couldn’t seem to form an audible sentence through the mild hyperventilating and heavy sobbing. I was finally able to catch a breath and explain everything I’d been enduring and keeping to myself for all those years. She told me she would help, told me to say a prayer, and assured me that she would call me back. She never did return that call. I had never felt more alone.
After the death of my paternal grandmother, I spoke with my dad over the phone and he invited me to come live with him back in my hometown. You would think I would jump at the opportunity to accept his offer. But I knew that moving back into my father’s house would mean facing childhood trauma for another time and living under his thumb. After all, I had been doing all of this inner work and diving into my spirituality seeking my true self and true freedom. Wouldn’t moving in with him be taking a huge step backwards? One day after yet another explosive argument with my ex (which is putting it lightly), I realized I didn’t have a choice. All the signs confirmed that it was time for me to go back to my hometown.
I walked to the front of my apartment building, took my bare hands and dug a small hole in the ground. I placed my wedding ring inside the hole, said a prayer, patted the dirt back down, and went upstairs to continue packing. That day, I loaded my entire life into a small trailer I had hitched to the back of my steel blue mini suv. My son and daughter, both under the age of 8 years old, sat in the back seat while I hugged their father goodbye for the last time. Even though our relationship had been an undoubtedly toxic one, it was hard to say goodbye to something that had become all we had known for just over a decade.
Tears streamed down both of our faces as we held and released the last fleeting seconds of our marriage. I wiped my tears and got back into the car to find my son and daughter crying in the backseat. “It’s okay babies. We’re going on a trip to California. You’ll see Daddy soon,” I reassured them.
As we drove into the sunset, I turned on the soundtrack to Mary Poppins Returns, one of our favorite movies. Each of us sniffled as Lin-Manuel Miranda soothed our sorrows: “Have a pot of tea. Mend your broken cup. There's a different point of view awaiting you if you would just look up. I know, yesterday you had to borrow from your chums. Seems the promise of tomorrow never comes. But since you dreamed the night away, tomorrow's here, it’s called today. So count your blessings, you're a lucky guy. For you're underneath the lovely London sky!” Beautiful sounds of hope that we all needed in that moment.
Although being in the thick of it still, moving back home has felt like a chaotic misadventure, the struggles I’ve faced have made me richer than ever. Sure, I may have lost my mind (a couple of times), been in conflict, experienced betrayal and heartbreak. Here I have had to face my deepest fears and most painful childhood wounds, and I am thankful for every wild second because everything has been working together for my highest good.
The journey back to myself is just that, a journey. I wasn’t given all of the tools and taught how to love myself from a young age. These are all things I’ve had to learn and uncover for myself. And looking back, I’m so thankful to God, my angels, my ancestors and spirit guides who have been with me, guiding me every step of the way. They led me to meeting my best friend, to the love of my life, and they continue to lead me to my truest highest self.
Even though life still has it’s challenges and I’m still waiting for divine timing to be able to move out of my dad’s house (please God let it be tomorrow! Lol), I am learning to stay in a state of gratitude and thrive in my own vibration through spiritual practice. I can honestly say that I have never been more happy in my entire life. I have manifested beautiful, nourishing friendships and creative connections and opportunities. I’m being the best mother I can be, I’m growing and living life as my authentic self, I’m in love, and it’s only the beginning! What more can I ask for.
Connect with Porshe: @PorsheMichelle