Love is Infinite

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When I first left my abusive husband, kind-hearted people would often say to me, “Don’t worry you are still young and beautiful. You will find another man and fall in love again.” That was not what I wanted or needed to hear though. I didn’t feel young and beautiful. I didn’t want another man. I wanted the man who I had married to return to me without the mental illness. Now, I knew that couldn’t happen and so I just wanted to find myself and fall in love with her.

Every relationship both good and bad are unique unto themselves. I have one friend who I can honestly say probably understands where I have been because she lived a similar experience. When I married my husband we were so in love. He was my best friend and I just wanted to be with him every minute of the day. We planned a life together and shared dreams. Big dreams. Reality bites and sometimes dreams are crushed. It’s hard when a spouse gets sick. I vowed to be with him through sickness and health and I meant it. I never thought that the sickness would be mental. I never ever thought he would turn it all against me. I had never been abused before. I never wanted to break my vows, but the reality was that my life depended on it.

If you lose a partner to mental illness it will leave you shattered.  There is no way around that. For me it was akin to watching Mr. Hyde turn into Dr. Jekyll. Over time Dr. Jekyll came to stay permanently, but the memories and fleeting glimpses of Mr. Hyde kept me praying for a miracle. Years later I accepted that no miracle was coming for our marriage and I left. I stayed too long as it was. I took my heart and wrapped it up for good and put it on a shelf. The divorce was final and that was that. There was no desire left in me for another relationship. I felt like an old woman inside and I was content on surviving and raising my kids. That I thought, would be my life.

Now I know there is at least one person out there reading this who can relate. When you truly fall in love with someone and they disappear on you, that love doesn’t just disappear. You have to mourn and grieve that loss. So when you are in that place and someone tells you that you are young and will find another man it really just makes you want to throw up. Finding LOVE is the last thing you are thinking about. You are still reeling and trying to figure out what happened to the man you still love. There is no love switch to flip on and off.

Life can be so confusing and at times we feel our smallness amplified.

Years have passed since I left my marriage and I have spent that time finding Ella. Not only have I found her, but I love her with all of my heart. It just so happens that in the midst of looking for myself I found love. You know that old saying, “when you least expect it…” Well, that’s exactly what happened. I met a man who became a best friend. I had no idea that I would fall in love. Love? Yes, I said love. He didn’t look like someone I would have fallen in love with, but I did. He was an amazing person and he helped me grow more than I even realized at the time.

We have already established here that life can be cruel. I found love, lost love, found love, and then I lost it again. This beautiful soul that I had fallen in love with disappeared on me…just like that. We didn’t have much time together, but I loved him. He helped me to see that I wasn’t broken, just a little bent. He showed me that I was lovable and that I could love again. Sadly, it wasn’t long after he proposed to me that he left me. Twelve years sober and strong lost to drugs and all from a prescription cough syrup he got for Bronchitis. He fell off that wagon so hard and so quickly that within a month I didn’t know him. Four months later he was gone. Poof…

I don’t feel like I am plagued by bad luck. What I experienced could happen to anyone. I grieved his loss. My kids grieved his loss. Yes it was devastating, but through it all I knew that I was strong enough to survive it. However, this time around when people tried to console me they would just give me a heartbreaking look and say that they were sorry. I mean, what can you really say to this? “Run girl, you are cursed. Close your heart and your legs and leave the love shit for another girl.”

Well, here is the thing. What I learned from loving him was that our love is limitless. We don’t get to choose who we love, we just do. Our hearts are boundless and ready to stretch and be filled up at any given moment (even if we are feeling to the contrary of that). It’s fear of being hurt again, and I get that because that pain is brutal. Through his death I learned that I will never stop loving for it is who I am. I tried to deny it after my marriage, but love was stronger. The lesson here is that just because one person broke your heart doesn’t mean that the next person will. Love is infinite.

For any of you who are out there licking your wounds and hiding behind your fortified walls I want you to know that you are free to fall in love again. You know that you can love because you already have. Just because one person was a bad choice doesn’t mean that you have to punish yourself forever for their shortcomings.  I have forgiven my ex-husband for everything that he couldn’t help (and it helps that there is no contact with him). I forgave my fiancΓ© for being weak and failing himself (and us). I forgave myself for not being able to “save” either of them, and then I moved on. Yes, my friends I am here to tell you that I am still young and beautiful…and I am in love. I am praying for a long romance, but I know that all that is guaranteed to us is today.  So today I will let him love me and I will love him back with all of me.

xo Ella

22 thoughts on “Love is Infinite

  1. What a beautifully encouraging message! The timing is amazing as we (hubby and I) were just talking on this topic yesterday; and now I know that I cannot say what I will or will not do, because only God knows the plan he has for us! Thank you for writing this, Ella! ❀

  2. Moved me. I’m all teared up Ella. Just beautiful. It is true. Love is infinite. No matter the pain and loss of the past…we must be courageous and still live with an open heart. I will try and believe again. Love youπŸ’œ

    1. Oh sweet sister I understand completely. I am here though as proof that if it is meant to be then it will be. It’s always out there….love. I think that some people want it in a certain way which is understandable, thats biology. But love truly lives all around us and through us. It has many sources and once people accept that deep down then I think that it opens a door to an amazing bounty of more love. I sound like a stoner πŸ˜‰ but you know what I am saying my darling. ❀

  3. What an amazing story.
    I’m in a horrid marriage of 20 years trying to find me so I can get the strength to leave. He’s no longer physically abusive bc of going to jail 6 years ago but horribly mentally abusive.
    I have grieved the dream of being married to my husband who was my first everything since junior high. I’ve grieved over having the intact family and everything in between. I’m done! I can’t stand to even look at him. I get horrible anxiety when it’s time to come home from work. I hate the weekends because that means I have 48 hours with him up my ass accusing me of cheating or conspiring to cheat. Yes, every day he dreams up something new about me. Today it is the pest control guy! Mind you someone different comes to spray every single month!!
    I have no desire to ever date, remarry, or have a male friend after I get out of this. I just want to love ME and finish raising my children. I want to fall in love with me and them and show them I can enjoy them and not be a complete mess their whole life.

    1. Dear one I understand. I was there once myself, right down to the constant accusations of cheating. I want to clarify something for you about abuse. So many people are programmed to believe that if they didn’t hit you then it’s really not abuse. That is NOT true. For 11 years I suffered from emotional, psychological , and physical abuse. While the physical is often visible it sometimes pales in comparison to some of the invisible wounds that were inflicted with his words. I feel compelled to say this to you. Please Leave. Life is so fleeting and I am living proof that you can have a beautiful life. You are worth it. Please do whatever you must to find your road to freedom. I walked away from everything to gain everything. Sending you love. Xo Ella

  4. Simply beautiful my sweet, perfectly written ~ full of hope and inspiration. You are truly a gift, you have found your true calling in life and you are doing amazing things. You are beautiful inside & out and so very loved. Thank you for being you and sharing your “incredible” self with us.
    Like so many others who love you, I am blessed to know and love you.
    I love you gorgeous girl. xoxo

  5. Thank you for that encouraging message! I just wish more people would understand that Love is limitless. You cannot corral it or make someone love you, all you can do it put your love out there and see who bites.

  6. I almost kept scrolling down your Rebel Thriver timeline…and it’s a blessing I didn’t. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your love experience. It brought me to tears. Thank God you have found your God-gift with sharing heartfelt words…you’re helping so many people, including me.

  7. Reading this was like reading a page from my own life…I’m so glad to know that we are strong enough to survive it. ❀

  8. Beautifully expressed, my dear light-being Ella. “… and at times we feel our smallness amplified.” Today, I embrace that smallness and tonight you find me in a particularly vulnerable place. I was not abused but my dear one struggles with conditions I will not state here. We tried and it breaks both our hearts. Most days, the glass half-full gets me through … but knowing that he sees his as half empty … well, what can I say? I love my meSSy, as you know, and I absolutely trust the Divine in all of this. As to the “another man” that dear friends reference to because they see a woman who loves so deeply? Can I trust to that degree again? SHOULD I? At 60 that is challenging. A very different paradigm … I am set in my ways and my creative autonomy and I come with this messy package that not too many men my age understand. Divorce means DIVORCE … not forgiveness and a continued friendship. When I look around for a “model” I see no one who is attempting to do this, this way. I grew up with this man. Married at 20 and for 37 years. We are who we are for what we shared and are trying to share. There are those who wonder why we didn’t just “stick it out married” at this age and some days I have to shake my head and shrug my shoulders … yes, crazy I suppose. But there comes a point when one recognizes a soul’s calling for healthier constructs and a realization that, though love is present, it is better practiced from a distance BECAUSE you love and want to be the best that you can be … and want the best for them though they must do it for themselves. Thank you, Hon. Loved this post. Hmmm … wonder if I will click post comment on this one …

    1. Bernadette, I love your comments and I am so glad that you hit post! You are doing what is right for you not anyone else. I know quite a few couples who have gone this path. Yes there is a sadness but also a acknowledgment of growth (or not) on both sides. A growth that beckons you to another place and another path that his. You are beautiful and vibrant and anyone would be lucky to help you unpack that baggage. I know it’s scary. (I had a trailer full of baggage and little kids). I’m proud of you for being so brave and for listening to your calling. It goes against the grain but then that’s what artists do. We paint, write, sing, dance, and create our lives from the indie out. You will find your way I have no doubt and remember that love is always around you for it is within you. That kind of love attracts others. xo Ella

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