One Step Closer: Rising from the Ashes of a Tumultuous Relationship

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One Step Closer: Rising from the Ashes of a Tumultuous Relationship

At 32, I entered one of the worst relationships I have ever been in. The man was manipulative and yet a smooth-talking charmer. He was younger than me by four years, which is not much but still enough to boost my ego. His blue eyes and sweet boy-next-door looks swept me off my feet.

I was a late bloomer, having recently finished my bachelor’s degree and was about to embark on getting my master’s. I had dreams of returning to Hollywood and getting my big break. But then along came this gentlemanly Army officer, and soon we were married. It was only after our vows that I learned he was actually an immature, sheltered boy who was under the control of his overbearing father and jealous older sisters.

I took him away from them.

Their contempt for me was palpable. All the while my husband was unable to speak up and support me. He would rather die than tell his family to leave us alone.

Despite years of therapy to help me adjust to their family, the multiple deployments and moves across the country from one Army base to the next took their toll. I grew increasingly depressed, and I found myself suffering with the worst bout of clinical major depression in my life. I became a shell of my former independent self, unable to keep full-time employment. My creative video production and writing skills were meant for metropolises like Los Angeles or New York City, not the rural outposts where I was forced to make a home, only to learn six or nine months later that we’d have to pick up and move again.

We sojourned from state to state, town to town. My husband, meanwhile, went back and forth between the States and Iraq or Afghanistan. I stayed home, of course, but thousands of miles away from the support of family and friends. I grew more depressed to the point I began taking medication to help me stabilize.

I pushed on and even wrote a novel based on my personal experience as the wife of an Army officer, who was away from me more than we were together. I painfully took steps to depict the trauma and hardship of being married to the military. The story is not at all cute, humorous or romantic. Instead it is painful, heavy, and dark.

Most of all, it is honest.

I completed multiple revisions only to stop after the novel became too unbearable for me to read and read again. “Scars of Valor” was birthed from the very real pain that I experienced while being not only married to my ex-husband but to his controlling parents and his jealous sisters. It was cathartic.

sunflowers horizontal

Just as I finally started taking steps toward regaining a little bit more of me, and obtaining a master’s degree at one of the top communication schools in the country, the other shoe dropped. During finals week, I came home one day to an empty house followed by a knock on the door. I was served divorce papers. As if that was not shock enough, I discovered my husband’s cell phone on the table with his email inbox on display, as if he were tempting me to discover the reason why he was leaving me. He had always been passive-aggressive, but this was a new side of him.

I found dozens of e-mails from his father coaching my husband over the past year on obtaining a divorce. Each message was evidence of what I had suspected all along; his father wanted him to leave me almost from day one. He went so far as to pick out a lawyer and pay the bill in full. I also soon learned that one of my husband’s sisters had set him up with her best friend—a woman almost 10 years his senior—before our divorce was even final.

Five years have passed since then, and I survived divorce despite thinking at the time that I was not strong enough. However, at 36 years old, I had completed my master’s degree in only one year while enduring the most tumultuous time of my life. I picked myself up off the floor, literally, and looked at my aging body. Despite being alone, I desperately wanted to be a mother. I also wanted to finally land a great job, one that would allow me to use my skills in digital content production.

Today, at 40, I am remarried to my best friend and have an amazing little 2-year-old girl. I have the job I’ve always wanted. Then, out of nowhere, my ex-husband called a couple of weeks ago and then started texting. I learned he was just a year into his marriage to the woman he essentially left me for but had already become bored with her. He admitted to having fantasies of being with me once again. I was honest with my new husband and told him everything about my ex contacting me. My husband agreed with me that this man’s attempt to get back into my life was nothing more than the scared schemes of a frightened and immature boy who was facing his next deployment abroad.

HopePainful experiences and awful relationships make us stronger. I believe the pain and trauma I endured during my last marriage made me a stronger, more driven and even successful person. Yes, I succeeded. When in the midst of suffering set backs, it seems like we will never truly heal. When we are forced to walk through the fire of life, the burns we suffer feel like failure. Yet only through failing can we succeed, as the steps we commit to taking each day force loose the shackles of tragedy and make us better people. We literally rise from the ashes a stronger more resilient soul because of the pain that we conquered rather than letting it conquer us.

Victories are sweeter the more pain and struggle we experience. And years after my divorce, I picked up my novel again, dusted it off and just completed it with the help of a professional editor with agent contacts. He said my novel isn’t just okay… it’s damn good. I might eventually get turned down by agents or maybe I might just land one. Either way, I intend to finally publish the novel that came to me through agonizing trauma and hardship. In our darkest hours, we can take our pain and use it to create something beautiful and everlasting. If nothing else, we can take steps toward our future and, hopefully, ascend to the summit victorious at last.

Final Note To My Ex-Husband: You didn’t break me, and sorry, but you’re too late. You lost me for good years ago, and I now find myself better off without you in my life.

Relevant Article On Narcissistic Abusers: 5 Signs You Haven’t Fully Healed from Narcissistic Abuse

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Please check out these other amazing and inspiring posts on One Step Toward the Impossible. You will feel like YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!!!

 

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48 thoughts on “One Step Closer: Rising from the Ashes of a Tumultuous Relationship

    […] Sonyo Estavillo @ ‘Lil Pick Me Up: One Step Closer: Rising from the Ashes of a Tumultuous Relationship […]

    Liked by 1 person

    geminilvr said:
    August 5, 2017 at 4:18 PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry you had to endure this but I am happy that you did find your happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 5, 2017 at 7:07 PM

      That’s what’s important is finding a happy ending and taking charge of our own story. ❤

      Like

    Sharon, Leadership2Mommyship said:
    August 5, 2017 at 5:48 PM

    I am so sorry to hear this Sonyo; however, look at you now. Truly, I wish you the best of luck on your book publication.

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 5, 2017 at 7:08 PM

      Same here, I really hope I can land an agent. Traditional publication is the route I want to take and hope it happens.

      Liked by 1 person

    Barb Caffrey said:
    August 5, 2017 at 5:58 PM

    I’m very, very glad that you got away from him, Sonyo. You are much better off. And you are a very strong person, to be able to not only rise from the ashes (as you so cogently put it), but to thrive and find a better life so quickly.

    Good for you! (Loved this post.)

    Liked by 4 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 5, 2017 at 7:06 PM

      Thank you Barb, luckily my now husband were very good friends for years and years. Our relationship developed first out of friendship and in my opinion, that’s key in healthy relationships. Most relationships that begin out of lust and rebounding, doesn’t usually last.

      Liked by 2 people

        Jainey said:
        August 6, 2017 at 10:21 AM

        Very true. And by the growing divorce rates, it’s obvious many are still doing it on a foundation of lust.

        Like

        Barb Caffrey said:
        August 6, 2017 at 12:18 PM

        I agree with you about all of that. Lust alone is not enough. You have to have friendship and understanding and agape (higher) love, or all the lust in the world won’t do much. (But lust on top of all that is astonishing. I found that out with my late husband. ;-))

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        August 6, 2017 at 6:39 PM

        Definitely if you can have it all…and sorry about your late husband. Friendship plays a key role in relationships because looks fade.

        Liked by 1 person

        Barb Caffrey said:
        August 6, 2017 at 8:25 PM

        Plus, if you have the right person, you see their soul rather than just his/her body. (And that definitely gets better with age. ;-))

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        August 6, 2017 at 9:31 PM

        Liked by 1 person

    Jim said:
    August 5, 2017 at 6:26 PM

    Sounds like you’re much, much better off without him.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 5, 2017 at 7:04 PM

      Yep…I 100% agree. They always crawl back when it’s too late.

      Like

    […] 11. Sonyo Estavillo’s Post. […]

    Liked by 1 person

    […] Sonyo Estavillo @ ‘Lil Pick Me Up: One Step Closer: Rising from the Ashes of a Tumultuous Relationship […]

    Liked by 1 person

    Ipuna Black said:
    August 5, 2017 at 10:22 PM

    Raw but true. I’m glad you are in a better place right now. You deserve it. Keep pushing forward. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 5, 2017 at 10:23 PM

      Thank you Ips…you know the full story. It hasn’t been easy but I’m here and I’m pushing forward one step at a time. Thank you for all of your support along the way sis, it has helped. Big time. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

        Ipuna Black said:
        August 5, 2017 at 10:24 PM

        For sure! ❤️ I definitely know the whole story. You are in a good place right now. You are a talented writer. Always have been. Your books will get out there!

        Liked by 2 people

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        August 5, 2017 at 10:29 PM

        And to you as well, may we both continue forward towards the competitive world of traditional book publishing. You too, will see yours in print. One step at a time. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        Ipuna Black said:
        August 6, 2017 at 7:31 AM

        Thank you. ❤️ That means a lot to me.

        Liked by 2 people

    […] Sonyo Estavillo […]

    Liked by 1 person

    Nicolle said:
    August 5, 2017 at 11:28 PM

    Thanks for sharing your story; I’m sorry to hear what you went through and am happy you came out stronger and away from your ex! I think you’re amazing, and now you’re a beautiful, shiny phoenix that rose from the ashes. ❤️
    And good luck on getting your novel published! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 6, 2017 at 12:15 AM

      Thank you, Nicolle, I hope that readers can relate to my “rising from the ashes” story. Sometimes our past can unexpectedly show up via text or phone call or whatever. But, it’s a reminder to let us know how far we’ve come. I hope my novel can get published as well. Traditional publication has always been a dream of mine. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        Nicolle said:
        August 7, 2017 at 6:33 AM

        I agree, and good luck with your publication! 📚

        Like

    Beaton said:
    August 6, 2017 at 12:33 AM

    All the best with your novel…. It takes quite a lot to share and as they for everything there is a season and a reason, rise from the ashes newer better and stronger….
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 6, 2017 at 12:41 AM

      Indeed, you have just a couple of options crumble and cave in and break from the trauma or rise above it stronger than ever.

      Liked by 1 person

        Beaton said:
        August 6, 2017 at 3:31 AM

        You know what they say…. if you are not getting stronger you are dying, or something like…. I would make a terrible Life Coach
        ~B

        Liked by 1 person

    Author: Sadaf Siddiqi. said:
    August 6, 2017 at 2:44 AM

    Glad you are happy with your kids now. A man who can’t take a stand and support a right cause, isn’t a man actually. He didn’t deserve you. Hope you fly high with your novel. Best wishes. Stay blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 6, 2017 at 6:47 PM

      I couldn’t have said it better and I totally agree with you. Women need to feel like their husbands will take a stand for them and defend their honor. I know this sounds old fashioned, but I really believe this is true for most women today. And when you’re married, you are supposed to separate from you immediate family and try and establish your own. There’s nothing worse than a man who’s coddled and controlled by his family. I’m definitely much better off and I also hope my book gets published, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    Ashlyn said:
    August 6, 2017 at 4:32 AM

    I love your openness and honesty! Thank you so much! Happy you’re in a better place now 🙂

    Like

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 10, 2017 at 8:42 PM

      Thank you for commenting, honesty at the end of the day is the hardest to write and the only way a writer should. Thank you for reading. I really appreciate it. ❤

      Like

    Jainey said:
    August 6, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    I’m absolutely happy that you got away from him, Sonyo. I can’t imagine how your life would have turned out if God didn’t find a way to free you from that. You are a much better person without him.
    Good luck with your novel!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 6, 2017 at 6:41 PM

      I believe this 100% as well and him trying to contact me now out of nowhere…is life throwing me a warning sign, it’s a test. And believe you me, I am not going down that road again.

      Liked by 1 person

        Jainey said:
        August 7, 2017 at 9:08 AM

        Well, I’m glad to hear that! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    Ajibola said:
    August 6, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    I commend your great courage to get through those circumstances, and am glad that you’re living a fulfilled life that you aspire to live. I wish you all the best in your endeavors, stay blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 6, 2017 at 6:38 PM

      Same to you as well, I wish you blessing too in all the struggles and triumphs you overcome. It all makes us stronger. I really believe this.

      Liked by 1 person

    motgpr2014 said:
    August 6, 2017 at 9:54 PM

    Hey Sonyo, I finally got a chance to like & comment. My WP is crazy this month. Anywho, thanks for sharing your testimony. You know, I’ve heard so many story’s like your from women who were married to men in the miliatry. Hmmm. Puzzling. I’m so happy that you moved on with your life. God always has a better plan. I’m glad you are following through with your book. #keepwriting. You deserve a good life. Struggles im life are difficult, but they make us stronger humans. Congrats on completing your education as well. Oh yeah, I understand the Hollywood situation as well. My little one is an actress/model and its in her blood. 💟

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 10, 2017 at 8:32 PM

      Thank you for commenting and I know how it can get with trying to comment. It’s not easy to get to everyone you follow. I try to continue to write, but have also learned from my past and will not be repeating it again. I hope your little one does well in Hollywood. I never wanted to be in front of the camera, but behind it. I sort of am behind the camera now with my current job. So, I’m happier now than I have been in a long while. 🙂

      Like

        motgpr2014 said:
        August 10, 2017 at 8:36 PM

        Absolutely. As long as we learn from our past, it’s most important. Thank you for the well wishes for my daughter. She’s actually not too little anymore. LOL, but she’s done very well. Check out her page when you have time. http://www.wendimotte.com please lmk after you check it out. I will delete the link in this post. Ty.,💟

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        August 10, 2017 at 8:39 PM

        I definitely will check out her page. I know what it’s like. Many young adults get into the Hollywood scene. It’s competitive, but life is competitive. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        motgpr2014 said:
        August 10, 2017 at 8:42 PM

        Yes yes yes. Very competitive., but indeed. You are correct. Life is competitive. It’s in her blood. She will be exactly what her heart desires. If she changes her mind, Im cool with that too. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

        motgpr2014 said:
        August 10, 2017 at 8:40 PM

        Oh yeah, behind the camera is great work too. My daughter will be going to college for directing and producing. All my best

        Liked by 1 person

    iamthatgirl23 said:
    August 7, 2017 at 5:12 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear about all this. This had my heartbeat raised. What you went through! God it must have been hell! Hugs xx. You’re a strong woman!
    I’m so glad that you shared this with us. This was very brave. Really happy for your new life. You deserve all the happiness.

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      August 10, 2017 at 8:37 PM

      Thank you for stopping by and reading my story. We all have them, stories of our lives and some of us are too scared to share them. At one point, I worried about sharing “too much.” But, at the end of the day, I believe in honesty, above anything else…especially honesty in anything we write. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        iamthatgirl23 said:
        August 11, 2017 at 1:57 PM

        That’s so true. In a web of lies, rare n pure honestly stands out the most. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    Happy Birthday Day to Me – Mylene C. Orillo said:
    August 9, 2017 at 6:46 AM

    […] Ajibola Sunday, Ipuna Black, Sadaf Siddiqi, Addison D’Marko, Barb Caffrey, Tajwar Fatma, Sonyo Estavillo, Divyang Shah, and yours truly, Mylene […]

    Like

    Samantha said:
    August 13, 2017 at 12:13 PM

    Well done to you, rising from those ashes and becoming the beautiful, strong person you are today! I hope you’ll find a kick-ass publisher and your book will become a bestseller. Now that’s be karma 🙂

    Like

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