Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

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


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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 Marie's Garden

Deciding by Faith and not by Fear


Dear World,

Sometimes and yes there are such times, we get to a crossroad in life where we have to imperatively make a critical decision. In such times, one or more of those dreaded emotions overtake us, and we feel so frustrated because we just want to be Ok. We just want whatever situation it is to be over, and not being sure of how to proceed nor the outcome, fear creeps in. In such moments, I think if we decide led by that fear, we may make a painful or even bad decision.

Now my story… I have made a decision to use my story as often as I can to illustrate my write ups.

Yesterday was a day like most, I sent my boys off to school. My last son however, has since returning from the Christmas vacation developed the aching habit of leaving school once they close, and going to his dad’s until evening. This will leave me worried and I’ll be making calls sometimes ignored. Yesterday and even on Wednesday my birthday, he did same. I have been praying over this situation and yesterday it came to my heart to let him go live with his dad if that will make him wander less, make me worry less and keep him safe and stable. We talked and he told me that’s all he wanted.

I talked with a few others especially my mother, and I called his dad. We prayed with his brothers and I took him there. It’s a 15/20 mins walk from my home and he’ll stay in the same school as his brother.

Ah, although none of us shed tears, I wept within. That was another of those emotions, that negative voice trying to convince me am a failure at motherhood. The same kids I fought for and came back home for, can’t stand me blablabla. But this I know deep within, I let him go for him and not for me. My ego can hurt all it wants. My boy is entitled to his own experience. He’ll be Ok by faith.

Posted in Book Reviews, Marie's Garden

Book Review: Peace from Broken Pieces by Iyanla Vanzant


peace-from-broken-pieces

Hello world, My Biological clock is ticking (turn 38 next week by Grace); and peace is my number one top priority at all times now. I admit to having several broken pieces in my life – heck still do so much and they sometimes just poke up and make me bawl my eyes out all over again. I was thus very excited to pick up this other soulful memoir by Iyanla Vanzant one of my all time favorite – No nonsense authors. I mean, I cried again when I read one of her other power books titled Yesterday I Cried – Here, you can find my review of that one. I have had it for almost two years now but I guess it wasn’t time for a review. I even mentioned the book in my own personal journey to uncovering the source of my peace.

When I look at my notes from the book, I can share some of the most poignant I made:

  1. …I didn’t know anything about rebound relationships. I didn’t know that it takes a respectable amount of time for one person to get over another person and come to a place of completion… (Neither did I and it’s barely 3 months I finally knew and got there);
  2. …One powerful lesson I learned from him was that just because a man is a good man, it does not mean that he knows how to be a good partner ( my comment on that note says it all: woah, similar to what l wrote about mine);
  3. When two broken people bring their broken pieces together, chances are they will never become a whole anything. (very high chances I think too);
  4. Unworthiness always puts you in debt to anyone and everyone who shows you the slightest degree of attention or love or energy. Eventually, in this form of bankrupt relationship, your benefactors will demand or expect more than you are able or willing to give. This is the precise moment they will choose to call in the loan; (I can relate 99.99%);
  5. When you do not believe that who you are and what you do is good enough, that message will contaminate everything you do. When doubt is present in your consciousness it indicates a much more profound problem. It is a story that we tell ourselves about who we are and what we do and do not deserve in life. Your personal lie is a function of all of the broken pieces of your puzzle—all of the elements of your history, all of your experiences, all that you have been taught about yourself merging with all that you have made up about yourself. 

And now three lessons she shared which helped her find peace amidst all those broken pieces

  1. Until and unless you know that you are enough just the way you are, you will always be driven to look for more. Knowing that you are enough is a function of consciousness. Your enough-ness develops in direct proportion to the relationship you have with your true identity. Until you wholeheartedly believe in your own worth, in spite your of accomplishments and possessions, there will be a void in your Spirit. I had more than a void. (here is my comment: this is what l wanted);
  2. When you are starting your life over, with a new sense of self, who you once were is going to challenge you. Who you once were is going to dangle old carrots, old wounds and issues, in front of your face. When that happens, you will be tempted to revert to old feelings, old patterns of thought, and old patterns of behavior. When, however, you have made up your mind that the old you is dead and buried, when you have embraced a certain level of clarity about who you are and are not, as well as who you are choosing to be, you have a different response;
  3. “When you can tell the story and it doesn’t bring up any pain, you know it is healed.” (I got there Amen)

This really is the best way I can review this book – I broke down again so sourly two days ago, and bawled myself to instant sleep just where I was – I got up and with so much unconditional love and support – I decided to stick by the new response to ME and my Life. A big gratitude among others to Iyanla Vanzant and memoirs of hers like this one. I can’t rate this book any less than a 5/5: written in such down to earth english – so personal – so fine to read without a break.

About the Author

iyanla-vanzant

There isn’t anything I can say about Iyanla which isn’t everywhere and I mean including on O. here is a snipet from her website:

“What I have learned from all of the difficulties in my own life is that human beings have very thick skin. I call that skin, spirit, our Highest Most Powerful self. Spirit is the key to everything we desire. It is our weather-proofing, our Teflon, our line of credit that assures if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day; there will be a miraculous payoff.”

Visit her website and there you’ll find all the links you need to that great woman described as: ” one who embodies a no-nonsense approach in her message and teaching style. Outspoken, fiery, transparent, truthful, and sage-like”.

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 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.

Posted in My Heroines

Soila…


SOILA

Love and appreciation is in the air right?

So today I will write about a heroine of mine I met last week (em yes I sometimes fall too quickly for people especially when my nerves chick me to). Well, tomorrow, I will post about my Hero so just be patient.

Now, why Soila and what has she done to make me do a post on her so soon after we e-met. Hm, cozy down and read on.

Last year, when I came to Belgium and the weather was just making me more weary, I started to roam the internet more. Ah, ye I was looking for Divorce sites where I could read others’ stories and maybe one day be ready to share mine too.

“I registered with a few of them like the Huffington Divorce, Moms Divorce, Dads Divorce (yes even from that angle I had a thrice divorced dad, a divorce husband, and now a boyfriend who recently got divorced) and oh not forgetting Kids Divorce ( and here, I was a kid from such a home and now I have kids from such a home oh life).”

Yet, I just read on every now and then but didn’t feel ready to start sharing. I think I needed to find love first. I need to love myself hard and to find a gentleman.

The next apprehension was, with the huge crow in those websites, would I not even get drowned and trampled upon before I even learn the basics of contributing articles? Who would have time for an MJC (Mary Just Come) like me?

One thing led to another and I became very social network active along the line. People even started following me on twitter before I could understand the ‘twittatics’.

Soila and her Divorce Magazine were one of such people. Hm, I looked them up and felt a thrill. It popped out at once – that’s what you  have been waiting for so go for it.

You see, I had been following those other sites since July 13th and yet I didn’t even know who ran them of if they even smiled just like Soila does.

I thus quickly contacted her and this is a brief of the response I got and less than 48 hours later:

” Hi Marie,

Thank you for getting in touch.

Your story does indeed sound not only interesting but also one that may inspire others and ease the pains that others might be experiencing which is really the aim of The Divorce Magazine.
 
I have read your story on your blog and there is so much there, I’m not sure what to say.  ” Feb 9 (4 days ago)
You can imagine the rest right. Well, my first article was published on the magazine yesterday so you can refresh right here and I have a page on the DM too,  full of kind words.
Soila is a strong and powerful woman just like my friend June.
Yes, Soila recently shared with us how she survived her divorce(s) or rather how she is dealing with pain.
If she hadn’t I wouldn’t have guessed.
I was ready to share my story, actually, my book is to be released in barely 15 days from now.
Because Soila has giving me this other opportunity to heal and help more than I hurt, I consider her one of my heroines.
Dear Gentle followers, share one of your heros or heroines with us or maybe just leave a comment and spread the work?