Broken heart woman. Couple break up. Sad bride on unhappy wedding. Woman and groom quarrel. Girl with vengeful look burns in fire candle family pictures. Portrait crying female.

I was furious.

I stood in what had been his walk-in closet, I shredded my wedding gown with my bare hands. Seed pearls flew in all directions, lace and satin in jagged strips around the floor.

I shrieked with anger.

Eventually, I fell to the floor sobbing when all the fury had fled my body.

We hadn’t even been divorced a year yet and he had been living his “new life” in New York while his children remained in Georgia. He decided to wait until after the deadline to arrange summer visitation, then took only 9 of his allotted 28 days. When I reminded him that he had agreed to that parenting time and by refusing to take it he would not be in compliance with the court order, he then threatened me with all manner of things.

I was livid. 

At myself.

How Had I Got Here?

How that evolution occurred so quickly and intensely I’m not sure. I just remember thinking, “You MORON! What the hell kind of piece of crap father did you stick your children with?!” I paced around my bathroom and bedroom, fuming at yet another glimpse of what still proves true today, 6 years later: it has zero to do with the children. It has everything to do with playing the victim and punishing me over and over for the grievous “sin” of divorcing him.

Still…I was raging at myself.

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Aubrey Cole

Aubrey Cole

I survived a quarter century of psychological, emotional, economic and sexual abuse. When I got out, I vowed to help others do the same and founded the Emotional Abuse Survivors Network project in 2012. Now, I offer hope and healing to others on their journey as they rediscover themselves. My forthcoming books, Bodies in the Basement and Define Winning, chronicle my experiences, escape, and recovery. There is nothing so special about me that others can't emerge and thrive.
Aubrey Cole

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I discovered 4 specific actions that helped me to learn to forgive myself and, repeated over time, took me to a new place in my healing.

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