Success Story: Hiraldo's Story of Releasing Frustration, Loneliness, Depression, Guilt and Being Withdrawn Following Divorce
Hiraldo Describing His Experience in His Own Words
As a Hispanic and a catholic – divorce is not a word that is used very often. I went to college got a job got married and worked hard to provide the “American dream” for my family. Until one day after 16 years of marriage and 4 kids my then wife asked me for a divorce – she told me that it was not me, I was a great father, a great provider and finally I was a great husband, just not for her – she did not love me anymore.
The first six months of the divorce I struggled with thoughts of being alone, thinking of what is it exactly I did to be in this position. Could I have done something different with my job, could I have provided something better for my family, I could not sleep or eat. This is something that I was not expecting – my parents had being married for 53 years, they had ups and downs but they always found a way to work things out. Her parents have been married for over 40 years – so how could this happen to me.
My professional career taught me to deal with the toughest unions in America. This, I could not deal with. I even thought “what if I was not here anymore”.
I became very withdrawn, depressed. My biggest frustration was from trying to figure out what I did. I was faithful, I provided a great environment for my wife and kids, could not wait until they went to college. My wife kept assuring me that there was nothing that I did – it was all her. She wanted to be independent.
Finally, I listened to my family and sought help from a therapist – reluctantly I made an appointment. I struggled at the beginning, explaining to this stranger what had happened and how I was feeling. My first thought was to ask him for a pill, the magic wand that is going to make all this go away. Obviously, this did not happen;
What my therapist offered was a structured method which helped me to understand what I was feeling and helped me to forgive myself. Within the first two meetings, with his guidance I set goals for myself: three months, six months and one year. In addition, he explained and offered a variety of forgiveness related literature, real life examples, affirmations, the psychological uplifter, exercises and a series of forgiveness oriented analogies which helped me to understand my role and the different choices I needed to make. One of the most important choices was to decide to forgive and love myself, to look at myself in the mirror and know that I did and continue to do the right things for my kids.
The bottom line is this: The methods, processes, examples, exercises, affirmations, what ever you want to call them helped me to get my life back. This may not see to be such a big deal for a lot of folks but for someone that was used to solving every problem under the sun, I was very happy to have my life back and start feeling really good about myself again.
P.S. The relationship with my kids has been enhanced, my career change has been one of the best decision I have made. They (kids) spent 80% of the time with me; my oldest has finished her freshman year in college and my other kids are also looking forward to attending. Finally, my oldest daughter has told me how much of a role model I have been to her…at the end of the day this is what really matters.
(from The Forgiveness Solution: The Whole Body Rx for Finding True Happiness, Abundant Love and Inner Peace by Philip H. Friedman, Ph.D. Conari Press, Dec. 2009, p.85)
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