This is the post excerpt.

And then she was free

Problogue (see what I did there?):

This is my new blog.  I finished my previous blog/incarnation in the early summer.  That character arc took me from married to divorced, Los Angeles to England with two youngish children in tow.  You can read all about it here:

This new blog is entitled: AND THEN SHE WAS FREE. Not because it’s unicorns and rainbows – the reality of freedom is far grittier than that.  I’ve burst forth from one cocoon to discover slowly slowly who I’ve now become (“I have legs?  Oh my word, I can see!”). But here’s the catch.  NOT into the old world I inhabited. No, no.  It’s a whole NEW one which clearly requires this new person I’ve become.  Old patterns fail fast, new capacities only begin to emerge and I want to cry, “Seriously? This is freedom?”

Yet I believe it is.

So, as I begin, I have come to some decisions.

I have spent a year feeling guilty for all that I have put my children through (divorce, transplant, multi-generational living). A year, I now realize, where I forfeited my right to be the parent because I simply felt so badly for the choices I was forced to make.  The right choices yes, but horrendously challenging ones.  Compromise, compensate, compromise.  Oh my word how the three of us have suffered on account of me.

It has been a year where, by force of necessity, the children and I moved back in with my elderly parents.  A sanctuary!  A safe place!  A kindness! But a time to recoup?  Well yes and no.  It turns out your childhood issues don’t go away when you return home as an adult. Either with your parents or your siblings.  And now there’s no escape.

It has been a year where I was determined to create new community fast, fearing isolation as death. I forged forward and was blessed to discover whom the Lord had placed in readiness in my path.  Sadly, not so for my children. Racism, alienation, and grief have consumed them much. And I have watched and grieved and felt co-dependently guilty as if, somehow, this were all my fault.

So now I emerge into Year Two.  How am I to make my way, like an elephant through the jungle, forging a path for my reluctant children to follow?  What must I decide?

  1. That I cannot live for anyone else. Elderly parents, unsupportive siblings, dysfunctional exes, friends with a different view, even my children.  I have to find a way to make this life work. I must focus and gain ground.
  2. Boundaries must be put in place. No more “anytime you need me, I’ll be there”.  It’s not possible.  I need to keep my eye on the finish line.
  3. That my schedule must be basic to succeed.
  4. That I need to close my door. To process what is truly needed and to reflect on what is left.
  5. To look neither to left or right, but to listen, watch and discern each step. There are wolves, alligators and swamps out there.

I have to say it’s not sexy, this life as a single parent replanted on the other side of the globe.  But is anyone’s?

I would love you to walk alongside me as I navigate this new way of being. Surely it cannot be as bad as where I’ve been. And if it is?  I’ve surely had the training to meet it before it meets me.


Jsg/aug 17

Author: josiegammell

Speaker, teacher, artist, actress, mom, believer... not in that order. And definitely British.

2 thoughts on “Decisions”

  1. I agree Josie, no life is sexy, and if anyone says their’s is then they are just fooling themselves. We all make decisions and it is up to us to make them work. I decided to split from my husband, a very good man but at the time (at 28 years old) just not the right man for me, or so I thought. I have no idea what I wanted so I went out and searched/worked for it. And that search wasn’t just about finding a man, in fact it had very little frontal lobe activity to do with looking for a partner. But it did involve my career, building a beautiful home, travelling, making new friends, discovering myself – my warped sense of humour, my desire to succeed (at whatever, not just career), my need to make people laugh and happy, to search for the outdoors, to try new things (except oysters!!!).

    And all of that brought me to the US. And then, OH THE PAIN!!!!! What a ridiculous country this is. And of course, so is England, and probably many other countries when you start to live in them and are not just watching them on the telly. But I didn’t give up! I went through extreme pain at work – low self esteem, questioning what and why, being the recipient of the endless corporate America bullying etc,. I struggled with my relationship (why I came here in the first place) – on and off, under the same roof and then not, rages, fights, bullying (again, just a different kind). I still find America ridiculous with its self-congratulatory attitude, it’s “super power” badge, and yes it’s bullying, oh and don’t even get me started on the health system!!!! But all of that said I have grown from my pain and battles; I appreciate what I learnt in corporate America about my personal strength, my ability to build teams, to succeed, and all the incredibly special friends I have made. I have learnt about compassion, compromise, commitment through my relationship. I have built my dream here in the United States and now live in a piece on heaven and am living a simple life that I have always dreamt of.

    This is your decision Josie, make it yours!! And I have to give you kudos for living with your parents, I love mummy but really don’t think I could do that. And think about what a gift you are giving SJ and Guy. They may not realise it yet, but the opportunity to spend so much time with their grandparents is a gift. Later in life they will appreciate it, and you have given them that opportunity! Right now they are teenagers and just angry at everything (at least I was). You are right, this is YOUR life and up to you to make YOUR decision right for you. They will recognize their luck later in life, but for now they are the children and you are the grown up , and therefore YOU make the decisions!!!

    Enough of my rant, but you just sparked a nerve! No-one has the right to tell you that you are wrong, unless YOU decide that you are wrong! And you are NOT!!!!

    Love you XOXOX

    Liked by 1 person

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