In an upcoming post, I’ll be sharing about how a dream about facing a bear reminded me to have a lot of Strength & Courage when facing a huge challenge in my day-to-day life. In this post I’m describing the challenges in more detail and I hope that my story can be an inspiration for other women who are walking the same path I’ve walked. Sometimes people can have a really rough month or year … in this case… I had a really rough DECADE. But all is well now. The battle is over. The war is done. And Peace has been achieved!
After two years of trying to divorce amicably, I was forced to bring the matter to court.
In Fall of 2010 I was living in a house with my husband and 3 year old daughter. A miscarriage in 2009 led to the discovery of a serious health condition which I spent a year healing. Unfortunately, by October 2010 even though my health recovered it became clear that the bonds of marriage had dissolved. To make matters worse, the house we were living in had the worst sewage issue imaginable – a tree root had busted through a buried sewage pipe causing sewage odor to permeate the house and feces-filled water to flood the basement. When neither the city nor the landlord would take responsibility for fixing the problem, I decided enough was enough and I took my young daughter with me to a women’s shelter and asked for help. Unfortunately, when I approached social services to apply for financial assistance, the worker told me she thought I was lying about my need for assistance and my application was denied. Needless to say, my initiation into single-mother parenting was not an easy one.
In July 2010, like so many families have done before me, I packed up a van with my 4 year old daughter & moved Westward, hoping for a better life. When I arrived in Fort McMurray, Alberta I believed a cooperative co-parenting arrangement could be fashioned with my ex-husband and that our daughter would benefit from the active & collaborative involvement of both her parents. Despite trying to make it work this way, after a year it was crystal clear to both of us that it was impossible to work out a respectful arrangement so I approached a Family Justice advocate at the local courthouse. That’s when I discovered two important things: the first is that every province requires the parent to live in the new province for at least a year before filing for divorce; the second is that a divorce will not be granted until all issues regarding finances & child rearing have been resolved.
These two factors ended up causing a tremendous and unpredictable delay in the finalization of our divorce which wasn’t granted until 2017. And even then, after we had court-ordered custody, access & visitation arrangements the tumultuous episodes continued. I don’t need to go into full details now but just wanted to give a scope of what kinds of issues I was facing in my life where I needed Strength & Courage so I could be like a Mama Bear protecting her cub. When I felt powerless & hopeless, I’d have these amazingly inspirational dreams which would map out a direction for growth & change. Whether the issues were with lawyers, court process, employment, parenting, etc., I could always find the Strength within me to stay out of the conflict and move forward peacefully.
Eventually, the war was over. The battles seized. The issues were put to rest. And now, at last, 11 years later, I am finally able to begin living my life, free from the chains which bound me for the past decade. That’s how I know the best is yet to come!
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