Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

Divorced and Happy


I thrive and sure you can!
I thrive and sure you can!

Today, I simply copy and paste my recent article on the Divorce Magazine:

It is so scary to finally get to that point when you so want a divorce!

That was me and I finally got one when l recently returned to Cameroon my country and place of birth.

Synopsis

I used marriage as a refuge from my mother’s house.  I was running away from a home where I felt so out of place as I rightly or wrongly assumed I wasn’t welcomed. But, I also wanted to be married hoping the new status as a Mrs X, will shield me from my self harm and provide me some sort of ‘one in all social and emotional package’ that I longed for.

The foundation of my marriage was already damaged and so was the marriage itself.  The abuse started soon after and before long,  it became clear that the Marriage I had ran to, was now threatening to devour me and at some point I remember spending several days and weeks contemplating suicide.  I needed to escape…again.

This time, my route out of my unhappiness consisted of having one affair after another seeking validation and attention from others.  Needless to say that this behaviour only made me feel worse each time but it also led me to realise that if I were to save myself, I would need to leave my marriage.

I knew how divorce was viewed by those around me and I knew that I risked being labelled as one of those women who allowed her marriage to fail, who was unable to hold on to her man.  But I also knew that that was what I needed if I were to survive.

The Divorce Process

Obtaining a divorce isn’t the easiest of processes and it’s not just about whatever is written on paper declaring that a marriage has been terminated.

For me, the divorce was getting ready to let go of six years of my Life, owning up to my mess, and being ready to start off again but most importantly and making the very difficult decision to leave my children behind.

At first my now ex-husband and I wanted to go ahead with the divorce procedure after 7 months of living apart.  I thought I was ready but he wasn’t and he made it clear that he would make my life hell.  I knew I wasn’t strong enough to go test his threats so I left him to take his time and make up his mind when he would need the divorce too.

It took a whole year, or thereabouts, before he was ready. He informed me on the eve of filing the papers and I being a lawyer, advised him on the most effective procedure, guaranteeing I would not make any claims other than the right to see my Children whenever I came home. I never sought any financial support.

Once filed, the procedure took barely 5 months. I did not make a court appearance nor was I represented by anyone. This was a deliberate choice and one made out of need to simplify procedure. A divorce by default is easier to obtain in my Country.

What took a long time in my case, was obtaining all the necessary papers for a final judgment to be established.

Realizing my ex had lost momentum in a procedure he initiated, I got in touch with his lawyer, a senior colleague I knew and had actually encouraged my ex to retain,  paid whatever fees he was reclaiming and I followed up the divorce I now so badly needed.

I finally got all the papers I needed to proceed to my change of status and today, I am finally divorced!

Although the memories will forever stay with me, for a long time coming, I really don’t feel bad about that period anymore.  Yes, my sons don’t live with me but I know their father loves them and is an even better dad now than when I was around.

Divorced and Happy!

Although I never got to meet my ex when I was recently in Cameroon, I really wasn’t bothered.

I called him a few times, I even brought him a gift which he acknowledged out of politeness. I don’t care if he decides not to keep it for whatever reason but there’s a part of me, my flesh and blood, which he would never consciously give up – our children.

He is very firm when he tells me they are HIS SONS. He even denied me contact on the eve of my departure even though I had had them alone for two weeks. No ill feelings though, no trauma, no painful emotions to address in that area. I am moving on and I know my well being is of utmost importance at the moment.

I am just glad I finally got divorced!

Marie Abanga – Follow Marie on Twitter

Author of My Unconventional Loves: My Hurts, My Adulteries, My Redemption

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

Interviewed by the Divorce Magazine


This week, I want to do posts with more personal insights. I share today my interviews on the Divorce Magazine where I am a humble and modest contributor.

You should know I assume, that writing a book is different from talking about it right? 

Yes, publishing a memoir is nerve wrecking but being interviewed about it and not even knowing the questions in advance, men …

To make it more nerving, my book is on the unconventional fence because it ‘spews’ it all out.

So in the first series, Soila leads me through my ‘twin divorces’ and how the first one impacted the second one. Let’s get it right, the first was my parents and the second mine:

Part two of the interview is the difficult one too, albeit the most sensational part of the series. Soila gets me to talk about my adulteries and the why, how, when ,what and all. Gosh, it was tough and I was nervous. There is no doubt I wrote that book and wanted it all out but now talking about it and probably over and over:

Then we got to part three.   I love this part most because I talk about my kids and my struggle. I share my struggle to stay connected with them because in the wake of trying to stay alive and sane, yes I left them in that same home I ran away from:

Now, I wrote that book first and foremost for therapy.

What next?

I am realizing my journey isn’t going to be just therapeutic, it is going to be a real message to you all and a testimony. It is inspiring and motivating so many others to even look at themselves in the mirror, analyze their emotions and their management thereof of their lives, relationships and all.

I have decided by next year to have a revised edition, a great website, a good marketing strategy, a  plan for this and other books I will hopefully write, and above all, a great team for my coaching business.

I may not even be on the first step right now, but as Brendon Burchard, founder of the High Performance Academy rightly beckons, we must never let our ‘small business’ make us small minded.

Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, I am on a mission, fueled by passion to reach out to as many as possible, to inspire and motivate just as I have and still am. These interviews are just steps in my journey and soon I will be taking greater steps.

Thank you sincerely for reading, liking, commenting and sharing.

Posted in Marie's Garden, Uncategorized

The Twin Divorce!


Just me, battered and shattered by life but not tattered.
Just me, battered and shattered by life but not tattered.

I have heard some Africans talk of Generational curse or whatever and other wonder if there isn’t something wrong with the family history?

I am a regular contributor to the Divorce Magazine and the other day, I read with interest an article by JungleDiva  on that noble  Divorce Magazine where she highlighted her uncle’s premonition about her own marriage.

Her uncle hinted that said because her parents had been divorce, the chances of her own marriage carrying that same ‘gene’ were pretty high.

Yet, I also know it is not an established fact that kids from divorced homes will end up down that same tunnel especially if they marry for the right reasons I suppose. Well, both my sisters are still happily married.

As for me, the stakes were pretty high that I will take that same path, not because of any curse nor family history but by own ‘negligence’ I must confess.

I got married actually because I was trying to run away from a similar path. Marriage was my Refuge, turned jail in which I all over again left even younger kids than when we were left too.

Now, a little history right?

My Parents divorced when I was thirteen or so. I am the second of four siblings but the one all considered the ‘toughest’. They still call me to date ‘L’homme de situation difficile‘ (The man of tough times if I could translate it such).

I took charge soon after our mother left. I skipped the wall at my father’s to go fetch us food and all when our step mother denied that we touch her anything. I also jumped that same high fence to bring my mother some stuffs she left behind and needed. I did this because my dad locked the gate with a key on leaving for work and his wife kept it locked!

I had known from my tender age that all was not right and it hurt me who was considered a favourite of my dad’s. My mother often taught me some good lessons with the whip or her shoe. I was a revolt.

I testified in court at their divorce and none of my siblings had the courage to do so, hence I spoke on our behalf.

Simply put, I grew up my own way, out on the streets or in boarding school, wherever but home.

That was why I wanted so badly to have my own home. There was a problem however, I already had a son and so I wasn’t according to the African Tradition, a worthy woman anymore. Marriage was going to be hard to come by.

I thought I could force one into being and keep it up.

Don’t ask me where I learnt about marriage. Don’t ask me either where I learnt about Love. Still do not ask me what I intended to do to stay married or avoid a divorce at all cost.

So, it came to be that I knew barely nothing about marriage. It came to pass that I knew little or nothing about love. And the inevitable came to happen that my ‘sham of a marriage’ collapsed at even a faster rate than had my parents before mine.

Wow, was that some curse? Was that something to do with my childhood? Was it some mistake on my part?

As for a curse, I don’t believe in those, don’t care to and don’t want to think of that possibility.

Are there any statistics to link kids of divorce homes to their own divorces?

As for my childhood, I definitely think it had a lot to do and Soila published a very interesting article on the adverse effect of Divorce on Kids.

As for mistakes on my part, definitely. There are many. I did not Marry out of Love, I badly loved to get Married and out of what I considered then a jungle.

Secondly, I did not Trust the man I married, well eventually because I started out trusting him until he indicated by his actions that I was wasting my trust.

Finally and yes the big wreck, came via a string of adulteries which pushed me to suicide’s door and then out of the country all together. My tale of Unconventional Loves is now published and both the Paper back and the Kindle versions are on the amazon.

I tell my stories of course just mine and I share them to heal and help further.

I really do not know if there is any statistics to link kids of divorce homes to their own divorces should they get married.

I also had this question asked me during my book launch by a friend: ” This book captures your life during a period of time… Aren’t you worried about the implications it may have on your kids?”

I asked her to explain further and this was her explanation: ” Some stigma may be attached to you and extended to the kids. To be honest, I remember vividly when your parents divorced. No one stopped to blame your Dad- it was always why couldn’t your mother have stayed, what kind of woman is she? Etc. And with your divorce, most people just attribute it to your parent’s divorce. In your case, unfaithfulness – if any of your children stray -well, knowing our society, you know what they would say. Their mother was unfaithful, why would you expect  better? ”

And so I gave her this reply: ” you are right and you remember well. All I can say is, stigma don’t mean a damn unless you want it to. They are boys soon to be men and I hope to by my own example teach them to develop thick skin. You know too that regardless of the reasons of a divorce especially back in our country and or continent , the woman is to blame and hence her Children will have to live with it somehow.”

I don’t even know if I would ever get married again at this rate.

I am therefore a little concerned about my own boys marriages should they get married too.

What do I do now? What do I teach them? From where do I start or how do I proceed given that I have only social network routes to them for the moment?

Sincerely, I would appreciate your comments, advise and resources.

Watch “Day 134: Walking in the Light Eph 5:7-14” on YouTube


If you are a Christian, then you have to walk in the Light of God. Walking in HIs Light means walking according to His words and precepts, inviting the Holy Spirit to fill us up with its fruits and radiating this Light and Goodness to the world. Above all, we have to be mindful of our fellow pilgrims on this journey, and don’t hesitate to divorce any of them who bring darkness into our lives even if they are our spouse or friend or even family ooooooo. There is no condemnation in Jesus so we should each be trying our best to walk in the Light and not waste our walk scared of what agents of darkness would say about our choices AMEN. Happy mid-week world, Min MAG

Have you ever felt some mum guilt? I sure have


A very very spot on conversation. I have dealt with mum guilt until I have made peace with myself lol. I was even once a transcontinental mother and was struggling to hustle to pay for my school and livelihood, and mother my kids the best I could even though I was divorced by then and had legally lost custody of them. I am back today to my country living my children and more busy than when I was abroad. The good thing however is that they are now grown up (the last is 11) and we all deal and heal the best we can. I don’t feel guilty again and even prioritize my #selfcare moments or days away because I still need to take care of me Momhood there nonetheless. I wish all moms the best. Keep up the great work gorgeous host AC Mbeng

https://youtu.be/6Rghg8pgW5E

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Poetry

When you say…I will say…


When you say I don’t know me anymore, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say my mind is murky, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say you can’t take it no more, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say you had a miscarriage, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say you just buried a child, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say those kids drive me nuts, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say I am having a divorce, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say I left and lost everything, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say I was abused and raped, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say I want my life back, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say I really need help, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say am making progress, I will say I can imagine how you feel…

When you say thank you we did it, I will say thank you too we really did…

P.s: Excitedly looking forward to starting a new chapter of my life as a professional life coach and CBT therapist. One of my life coaches told me I had an impressive toolbox of personal experiences. I sure do and am grateful for those… I say the serenity prayer now more than ever…I see where all this is heading to…My long term goal with all this is to open ‘Marie’s Healing Home for inner peace’

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Poetry

I will not choose


Let it be clear once and for all

I will not choose between you

I owe my existence to you both

~~~

I am a by product of all I learned

Directly or indirectly you both taught

Directly or indirectly I got it straight

Why now do you think I should choose?

~~~

I am sorry for your grievances

Maybe you’re not able to let go

All the scripts and expectations

I have come to shred and have none

~~~

I prescribe myself just one thing

To love each of you just as you are

To love whichever ways works per situation

I also appreciate silent love

When unspoken words and actions say and prove it all

~~~

Thank you both for loving me silently, just as I am

I have mastered the lessons, and give some to others

But now I must confess: consider it a final word

I will not choose

……….

P.s: For closure after an awesome 3 good days with my dad. Be inspired other Children of Divorce in the house. I was never implicitly asked to choose, but grew up with that feeling. So, if you must choose, as it could come to be, follow your conscience and be not swayed by emotions and hearsay. I hope my boys who had bravely not chosen even where I was so far away, will not someday have to choose between their dad and I. I do all I can to leave communication lines open while taming my ego.

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

Please Parents: leave the Children out of your fights…Please…


41621163-Child-Custody-Quarrel-Parents-trying-to-influence-their-children-when-they-divorce-in-order-to-get-t-Stock-Photo

I know I know easier said than done.

On a very personal note, I am so grateful I found that enormous strength to not involve my children in my ‘fights’ with their dad. I had a small choice when fleeing in 2011 to remove them and ‘hide’ them or give them away – but I decided to sacrifice my ego for their ‘right to their other parent’. Gladly today, there are no more fights and I am even open to co-parenting although that is a dream considering what I know and what the current status quo is.

Back to these fights between parents and the children brought in, it is sad what I have witnessed in life and what follows those children into adulthood.

I watch this movie starring Diana Ross “Double Platinum”, the child was estranged from her mother allegedly ‘for her own good’. The mother’s crime had been that she had uped and fled to pursue her career since her husband was having nothing of it. Now, that dad was hurt the daughter was even considering moving to New York with her mum who had ‘abandonned’ her all these years… Is it the man she left or her daughter? Even if it was her daughter what prevents reconciliation?

On a most personal note once more and as written in my memoirs, I stopped trying to understand what happened with my parents (or between them), and I started trying to have the best relationship I could with each of them in their own measure. I am not chosing one over the other, they are the only mother and father I have. I mean, the approaches to our relationships are different and sometimes go through their own shenanigans and all, but I want to have a relationship with both of them without feeling guilty of letting the one down. When we were kids, I feel we were brought into their fights especially by my father who had the upper hand financially and economically. I think he has learnt his lessons and at 72 he ain’t getting any younger.

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My Brother and I both loved our parents so much  – He never got to have a relationship with my dad, I am not losing out on that equally in his memory

If a child decides to go ‘No contact’ with a parent for their own reasons, that is one thing … but the feel ‘pressured’ to ‘staw away’ physically, emotionally or even spiritually from one parent is outright wrong.

I thank God for the Grace to not make my boys feel or go through that. My house is open both to their dad(s) and the in laws. We are on good terms and they do stop by to see the boys – or call them on phone.

If it is the parent who decides to stay away, not call or not want them to come over … it their loss (not on my conscience). Taking care on your mental wellbeing and helping your child do same is very important in my modest opinion. Don’t make it harder for them please…

I need my both parents

Happy midweek to you all

Posted in Book Reviews, Marie's Garden

Book Presentation: Sassy, Single, and Satisfied: Secrets to Loving the Life You’re Living by MMH


sss-by-mmh


For All the Single Ladies in the House

My Story with this epic book

When I first came across this book by Michelle Mc-Kinney Hammond, whom I really just so love, I really contemplated whether I should buy it, read it, and review or share my reading /enlightenment journey whenever I was done. I knew even then, that this book wasn’t going to leave me the same although I couldn’t for sure figure out what this book was going to do to me. I could only hope that whenever I did get to read it, I should want to read it a second and third time again. I have had it for 12 months, and I have read it 3 times, and I now feel ready to share my reading/enlightenment journey.

After my third read, I realized I had never looked up the word sassy before:

sassy: ˈsasi/: adjective informal lively, bold, and full of spirit; cheeky.

Single we know or I do, and satisfied I think I do too. Honestly, it is the sassy I didn’t know what to really make of in relation to ME. There is a me and there is a ME and after my divorce in 2011 I can’t even tell which was living inside and outside my body. Today, over 5 years later, thanks in a very large part to the hundreds of books I have read in the past 3 years, from great authors like Maya Angelou, Iyanla Vanzart, MMH… and up coming ones like my friend June Whittle and several fellow bloggers, the inspirational and motivational messages listened reverently to from Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama … I can say I am well on the scale of ME living inside and outside of my body: Closest I feel to being Sassy; Single and Satisfied. Don’t get me wrong, one day I could get back into a relationship, MMH is actually in a fabulous one now – but I guess the big deal is in embracing and loving your singlehood to the point of being sassy and satisfied enough with you and life as is. I think you contribute best to a relationship you go into being whole inside out than otherwise!

What is in this book  Disclaimer: I don’t know what happened to the formatting, just bear with me am no techy

This book is about Love! Wow wow wow… MMH takes us through her personal journey of finding, keeping and sharing love. With who? First with herself; jointly with God; and then with the world; and then with whoever came next by God’s Grace. In this book, no one came next but that was ok for then. The most important she shares in this book is her journey to loving the marvellous mess she had made of herself, and of realising and accepting and surrendering it all to God who in his Awesome Almightiness revealed to her that she had every right to be Sassy; Single and Satisfied until her next chapter as He would will.

MMH uses her knowledge of the bible and much more, to teach us and share with us much of what she has learnt and now knows about Love – and Men – and Lovingly Living with Yourself all through the process of Life. Maybe I am gradually becoming a very intense person or am just being so really ME and sharing same in all vulnerability – but I have no regrets whatsoever.

This is another of those books I can’t do any justice to with any rating or review: has hit me as hard as the Four Agreement and Taking The Mask Off. Before I got married, I never really contemplated what being single meant and how I felt about it. I actually lived that stage of my life out waiting for the next boy friend/man/relationship … a very tiny and near insignificant me to my eyes and mind lived inside my body and I even at one point thought of discarding that body completely from the face of this earth. I can never forget that. This explains my total Gratitude to all who have helped me along my journey to ME. I hope this book does something to anyone who picks it up especially the single women in the house.

About the Author

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Michelle McKinney Hammond is the author of over 30 books on living, loving, and overcoming. She is the President and Founder of HeartWing Ministries, which hosts annual DIVA Weekend Getaway Conferences. As a relationship and empowerment coach, internationally known speaker, singer and television co-host, it is Michelle’s mission and passion to help women and men to first be intimately connected to God and then empowered to become their personal best in order to experience victory in every area of their lives.


Michelle’s ministry began many years ago when she suffered a devastating leg injury from being hit by a car. The accident was a spiritual turning point, a wake up call to embrace her purpose and fulfill her destiny. Those bedridden months gave her time to complete her first bestselling book, “What to Do Until Love Finds You.”
Michelle eventually left behind her career as an advertising art director/writer/producer for clients such as Coca Cola USA, McDonald’s Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and others, to speak to audiences, encouraging people to fulfill their God-given purpose in life.

Posted in Marie's Garden, My Memoirs

The Fear of Loving: Philophobia – Chapter six of WCS… Part 1


Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process
Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process

Philophobia‘[fear]] of falling in love or emotional attachment. The risk is usually when a person has confronted any emotional turmoil relating to love in the past but also can be chronic phobia.

Fear

The Fear of Loving

This chapter is definitely one of the most delicate, sensitive and VIP chapters in this memoir of mine to the extent that I had to getaway to write it. I currently find myself in Limbe, a famous city in Cameroon with its coast to the Atlantic ocean. I wish I could insert a video or image of the waves hitting the creeks very close to the motel I checked into! I have finally taken the example and advice of dear Maya Angelou seriously, to retreat to a motel to write, although I don’t have the items she would take along. Talking about the waves hitting against the creeks, this is making me contemplate if that’s what’s been happening in my life and relationships? Do I start loving and only find my love waves bouncing off some creeks put there inadvertently by myself or what?

  1. I have had my fair share of relationships in this life and for my age that’s a wow. Indeed, for the sake of not sounding frivolous as Maya had once advanced as reason for not saying how many times she’d been married and divorced, I wouldn’t say the number of the relationships. I admit they are many, yep too many probably for an existence of barely a score and sixteen strokes. Today I think there was a pervasive like kind of element hovering over most of these relationships, which fear really prevented me from loving to the fullest even when and if loved in return.

  2. Oh my, when did this thing start? What is it really so I can face it once and for all and rise above it all? I really need to do that now and not later because I am simply fed up with this thing. No sooner do I start loving, than all kinds of doubts set in and nag on and on until I terminate the relationship. Truth be told, I have been the party who has put an end to almost all the relationships I was ever involved in. Almost just because there may have been an exception I am not aware of. This ain’t funny one bit and I am definitely sick enough about it to want to face that fear once and for all. So many false emotions appearing real whenever ‘love’ is in my air, causing me to fold my stuffs up and run instead of facing it all and rising.

  3. Why fear to love in the first place? Probably because of the fear to get hurt. I think we all agree that matters of the heart are very delicate and some people are more vulnerable and fragile than others. So, if I sensed that I was going to get hurt or maybe put in too much in the relationship and yet risk losing in the end, even if that sense was not real (which I wouldn’t know anyway), I’d rather take the closest exit and ‘cut my losses short’ as some say. I have done some research on this fear of loving and was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one having to deal with this dilemma. Indeed, this fear of mine around love, whether receiving or giving, is called philophobia (which I just discovered), and oh my I read that as far as unusual phobias are concerned, Philophobia certainly ranks high in the list. Source: http://www.fearof.net/fear-of-love-phobia-philophobia/

  4. That article goes on thus: “This phobia is more common in women than in men. The condition can greatly affect one’s life to an extent that it becomes difficult to commit or form healthy relationships”.

  5. Philophobia is an unwarranted and an irrational fear of falling in love. Sometimes, the sufferer does fall in love but it causes an intense emotional turmoil in his/her mind. There are many theories why this could happen:

  • Some therapists believe that an intensely negative experience in the sufferer’s past might have triggered the reaction. Parents divorce, watching them fight or separate or witnessing domestic violence in one’s childhood might be responsible for this phobia.
  • As stated before, many cultures and religions prohibit romantic love or term relationships between man and women as illicit under certain circumstances. This can cause intense panic in the mind of the sufferer since s/he firmly believes incurring the wrath of elders/society or God if s/he has feeling or thoughts about love.

  • Fear of commitment due to a few failed relationships, constant negative thoughts, anxiety and panic disorders are also linked to this phobia. People who are overly anxious or high strung might be more prone to it.

The nature, extent and causes of Philophobia all vary from case to case and sometimes it is a real mystery as to why it might have occurred in the first place… To be continued