Lesson 1 of Heartbreak: Self Worth.

I’ve been trying to figure out a way I can talk about the breakdown of my marriage for some time. I want to talk about it in a way that doesn’t really focus on the bad messy stuff but actually use this as a great time to self reflect and share the journey with you. For those of you that didn’t catch my little life update, you can read the (very brief) overview here before we get into it.

The three heartbreak lessons I want to talk about are Self worth, re-discovering yourself and re-learning to love. I’m going to start with the most important one; self worth.

a notebook with the words self worth printed on the front with a label maker

I always thought I was a very head strong, independent woman who knew her worth. I know I definitely was once upon a time. I guess over the years I was worn down to a shadow of my former self. The sad thing is that you don’t really notice it, you don’t notice the gradual change in yourself. Slowly acting a certain way, dressing a certain way and doing less and less of the things you love and more of the things you think you should be doing to please someone else. I became that person that based her happiness on her husbands level of happiness, when her husband didn’t give a shit about anyone but himself.

When he left me, I thought the world ended. I spent weeks in shock, pretending like it would blow over and we’d look back at this like a little bump in the road, a rough patch of marriage. But in reality it was like walking through a waterfall, washing off all the layers i’d build up over myself over the 5.5 years until I’d come out the other side baptised, shedding my old life and preparing for my new one.

Over the next few months I started to recognise signs of the old Tarnya showing through. I started to realise all the behaviour I endured wasn’t normal and was far from acceptable to be treated that way. How could I ever let myself be treated so badly? I’d lost sight of my own self worth.

After spending the next few months for myself and doing all the things I loved (blog post coming on this) I started to re-learn about how important having self love is. Remembering how important it is to put yourself first and making yourself happy.

He actually came back about 5 months later, realising his mistakes. Realising that I was in fact everything he wanted and the grass ain’t so green on the other side. Promising all the thing you want to hear from someone who’s left you, all the things they’ll change to make this work. Except by this time I’d realised I was worth 10,000 times those promises. I deserve someone who didn’t consistently hurt me, try to change me and push aside all my feelings and hobbies to prioritise themself. I deserve actions not words. I deserve love and kindness and fun and not emotional abuse. I was strong enough at this point to say no to a life that didn’t make me happy however hard that was.

My being and existence is not purely to fix someone else’s missing attributes. I am not a missing puzzle piece for someone else’s jigsaw. I refuse to have my kind and selfless nature be taken advantage of and I refuse to have my mental illnesses be used against me.

My self worth is worth more than my marriage.


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