My Confession

By Shannon Lelievre

I need to make a confession: I have no idea what I’m doing 99% of the time.I spent an hour with my counselor this morning crying because I have no idea how to navigate my life post-marriage. No sweet friggin’ clue what I’m doing and I have no idea where to start to even figure it out.

I’m an overthinker and I feel things deeply. I’ve always felt compelled to apologize for that, as if  they’re character flaws. I caught myself just before I apologized to my counselor for being honest this morning. I lie when I pretend to know what I’m doing, but my honesty about not having a sweet clue is what is going to help me move forward.

My 10 year marriage slowly chipped away at the person who was once confident and sure of herself. I spent so much time managing the emotions of my partner that I forgot I was allowed to have some of my own. I needed permission to go out with friends, cook a meatless meal, or go for a run. I did the dishes wrong, didn’t do the laundry well enough, and of course, I ran too much. I talked too much, yet not enough, and I wanted too much of his time yet was accused of avoiding him. I was even told at times that I was too depressed, only to be followed up by being told I was too happy. I left him almost two years ago and I still look for permission to live a life that’s supposedly my own. I don’t know what to feel about anything anymore.

I thought leaving him was going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But deciding where to take my life now is so terrifying it actually hurts to type these words. I do not know how to do this on my own. I don’t know what I’m allowed to feel or when or how I’m allowed to express any of it. I don’t know how to trust people and I most certainly don’t know how to trust myself. 

I have a tattoo that says “fly” which stands for “first love yourself” but I don’t even know where to start to accept the woman I was and the woman I am becoming. Maybe it starts with forgiving myself for staying married for so long. Or to stop beating myself up for wanting to see the best in people who hurt me. Maybe it starts with learning to let go of the guilt for making choices that broke hearts, including my own. So, while I still don’t know what I’m doing, I’m going to start by not asking permission to live the life I have the freedom to create. (And I lied, it’s more like 99.9% of the time.)