I am what I choose to be. Simple enough words. Most people don’t know what they would choose if they could, particularly after a divorce. Often people choose to react to the actions and deeds of others rather than stand in their truth. For me I chose to be a victim, a volunteer victim. I was victimized as a child until I was eighteen, I was a true victim in those circumstances. Then, at nineteen, I married. I chose to be victim for the next 31 years. My now ex-husband once told me that he didn’t tell me about a family gathering because he felt embarrassed for me because I had not lost my pregnancy weight. Hurtful events like that one caused an abrupt closure in part of my heart and that allowed my victim to stay the course. I didn’t realize all this until a year ago, at the end of my divorce. Each time he called me fat, or turned away from me, or threatened me or tried to bribe me to lose weight I closed another door to another piece of my heart and I chose to stay a victim. My victim reactions were also triggered every time I was afraid he would abandon me or I was afraid he wouldn’t or didn’t love me. My victim isolated and protected my heart as only one of many self defeating protections. I chose to stay in that relationship for all the wrong reasons. I enabled him to disrespect me because I gave up on me. Eventually, I was able to take back my power but I had to recognize my part in the dysfunction of my marriage first. I had to give it a name. The name was volunteer victim. Realizing that has allowed me to chose who I want to be and I want to be me, my true loving, enthusiastic and happy self. People will come and go from our lives, good or bad, but it’s our choice how to react to those people and their departure from our lives. Nobody can define who we are as an individual unless we allow them too. I choose to be me, Marie, and in that I choose not to allow anyone to tilt the scales of my happiness. Since my divorce I’ve lost 82 pounds, gotten my diabetes under control and I am living my authentic life. All the pieces of my heart are stitched back together where they always belonged. I paid a hefty price by choosing to be a victim, so I encourage you to choose a new beginning with The Journey After and choose the life you were meant to live…