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10 Things I Learned About Myself After I Walked Out.

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I didn’t really just walk out. He got a Dear John letter. Leaving was hard. I thought about it for months. A couple of years even. Right after I discovered the last lie it was a matter of time before I left. I had to get all my ducks in a row first.

There were several things I had to make sure were in place before I even wrote my Dear John letter. First and foremost, was a stable income. I never once really thought about the life I would have after him. I didn’t know the magnitude of the self discovery process I would go through.

I just knew I had to leave. Eventually.

It was a rocky 8 years. There was good, lots of good, bad, lots of that too and ugly. Oh there was ugly. The lies, the bullying, the emotional manipulation. Yup there was ugly. So much ugly. I had to get away. I was losing myself in a vortex of hate and anger. When I finally left,  my self discovery journey was an eye opener.

You might also like these posts about leaving a relationship and how to deal with all the emotions afterwards:

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Ending a Relationship

5 Steps to Loving Yourself Again

8 Signs It’s Time To Let Go and Move On

My self discovery journey revealed these things

I’m pretty strong.

Like stronger than I ever imagined. I mean, I’ve always been a bit of a durable kinda gal but, wow, when poop hits the fan I sure can scramble to my feet in a flurry and maintain my composure. I had no clue. But wait, when strong is all there is left…well.

I’m really smart.

I am. For years I was programmed to believe there were many things I couldn’t do for whatever lame reason there was that week. I have discovered there are many things I really can do, all by myself. And I do have a brain. How awesome it was that my self discovery revealed that!

I’m really nice.

Like I’m a really nice person. I do have a great personality after all. For years I was this quiet meek and mild mannered girl trying not to speak out of turn. I actually have a sparkling personality that people like.

Facing fear is kinda fun.

I had a lot of fears and I still do but it’s actually kinda fun when you have to face serious stuff on your own, when no one has your back. When no one is gonna be pissed at you because you did something dumb (but had fun anyway)

I have great friends and family.

I put them aside for my relationship. I didn’t have to; it was just easier to go through life that way. When I picked up the phone to call for help, everyone came out of the woodwork. People really do like me and are willing to help.

I have purpose and passion.

Things that I didn’t even really know existed inside of me. They were buried so deep for so long, they were just gone. I realized there were a few things I really loved (besides eating cereal for dinner and staying up late) and I needed to pursue them.

TV is stupid.

Like I really hate television. I hate it so much that if I never watch another TV show again I will die a happy woman. Wait, except Vikings. And UFC. Ya, just those two. The rest of TV is dumb. Like the news? Forget it.

I have hope.

I found a new hope to do things that I’ve always wanted to do but never could because I was a zombie in this relationship. A zombie that had her life planned out and scheduled day in and day out.

Find self love.

That was a tough one but I had to find it. I had to break the pattern of always getting involved in relationships that were just clearly not good for me. I had to love myself and spend some time alone. Now that was scary, hard but fun.

Life is so much fun.

I really loved life. Loved it like I never have before. I used to dread waking up in the morning, I used to dread each day and never looked for anything good, but man, my self discovery showed me that life is awesome.

I write this blog from sunny Guatemala. Something I would have never been able to do had I stayed in that relationship. I am here, working as a freelance writer, and helping the poor people which is one of my purposes. Yes, life really is beautiful.

10 things you will learn during your self discovery after a breakup

Are you in a toxic relationship?

I’m not really one who should be handing out relationship advice but I will tell you this. If you are in an abusive or toxic relationship and know you must leave. start preparing to do just that unless you think counselling will work for you two.

I stayed in my relationship for longer than I should have. I’m not going to say I wasted precious time because I learned a lot about myself the whole while I was there. But I will still say I wish I had left sooner.

If you are thinking about leaving, have faith and know that you can do this. Know that there are most certainly people you can reach out to who will help you. It might not be family or friends but it could be organizations who help women/men get out of toxic or abusive relationships.

Don’t stay any longer than you have to. It takes a long time to repair the damage done from abuse and the longer you wait to leave, the longer it will take to heal.

And remember, abuse isn’t just physical. Emotional and verbal abuse is still abuse and extremely damaging. If you aren’t sure if you are in an abusive relationship, here are a few signs to watch out for:

  • extreme jealousy and rage (with the jealousy)
  • making you feel guilty all the time (it’s all your fault always)
  • putting you down in front of others
  • using money to control you
  • domination and control
  • threatening you if you leave
  • making you feel stupid or unworthy

If you recognize any of these signs it might be time to take a deeper look into your relationship to see if things can be worked out or maybe it’s just time to leave.

Either way, you should always be in a relationship with someone who respects, values and appreciates you (among a million other things)

Watch for these signs, look into your heart and know that you need to do what’s best for you. You are #1 and so is your mental health and well being

Bartender another glass of red please.

Peace and Love


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14 Responses

  1. That post put a smile on my face because it is so inspiring for all of who have been in similar situations. Thank you!


    1. Thank you for dropping by Zaria and thanx for your comment. I think there are still too many trapped in relationships, like I was, that they need to leave. :)

  2. I was trapped for 35 years. Your old relationship and your self discovery are very similar to mine except I’m a man and men don’t come out of the woodwork to help, and it’s only been 9 months. I’m loving life and look forward to showing my children what a healthy relationship looks like.

    1. Hi Lorenzo thanx for your input!! Self discovery is scary but awesome. Also I think it’s never ending. I’m glad you are in a happy place!! Good for you :)

  3. Hi iva, I just read your blog. I just left an abusive relationship two weeks ago. You give me hope that I too will be able to get to that place in my life. Unfortunately he has free rent in my head constantly. I’m going for counseling. I’m looking for a book titled why does he do that inside the mind of angry and controlling men. I heard it helps with some of healing quicker. Sorry so long. Thank you for your letter it gives me hope. Yvonne

    1. Always hope Yvonne. One day you will look back and smile to see how far you’ve come. It took me almost a year. You will get through this!! Stay strong and true to you!!

  4. Achievement isn’t it???? I’ve been there and took me a lot of courage to do things straight. It’s hard but fulfilling and it’s very very very essential for ur to leave on that kind of toxic relationship. I left after 13yrs by the way ♥️

    1. Yay you!!!!!! So many stay because it’s just easier. That hurts my heart because I know there is a happier life waiting for them xo

  5. Thank you for this post. By having the strength to leave a 5 year relationship with a narcissist, I was able to find love…. Real love where the other person thinks of my feelings more than of himself. It is hard to leave a relationship, but so worth it when it has to happen for one’s own sanity.

    1. SO hard, yes Cindy. And downright scary but wow, the freedom and peace you feel afterwards are mindblowing :)

  6. I would to have the strength to leave im so wore down

    1. If leaving is something you must do, find the strength. You deserve a happy life.

      much love

  7. It’s a beautiful article Iva. Thank you for these words of courage, strength and hope. I could connect instantly. There’s so much to life that we fail to realise and stay trapped around all the negativity. Break free and live a life you choose to have. Thank you once again.
    Love and regards.

    1. Thank you Namrata. I’m glad you enjoyed it and appreciate your comment :)

      much love
      xo iva xo

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Iva Ursano is a retired hairstylist turned badass freelancer, who left behind 52 years of her life in Northern Ontario, Canada for a life of freedom, love and beauty in sunny Guatemala. She has two main purposes in life: feed hungry bellies and help inspire people to live a life of joy and love.