This was me – at the lowest point I can ever remember being...in my whole life. This was me, literally quite broken and for lack of a better description, a shell of the person Robyn. Everything that was me – who I was, what I knew and thought I was and wanted to be, and everything that was my whole life, was slowly being threatened, beaten down and torn apart (it felt like).
A huge blow had come only a couple weeks before my birthday and this blow was to be the most difficult. I was still scrambling to make sense of it, to do the right thing and to handle it the very best way I could, for me, and for my little family. But honestly, for a few months, every single day I just existed-went where I was suppose to go and did the things that presented themselves in front of me. I cried almost nonstop. I never knew I had so many tears and that they could fall instantly.
It felt like every single part of me was being attacked. Being challenged. Being broken. My very ROBYN spirit (who I am or at least who I thought I was) was completely in shambles; shredded to the very core.
My marriage was in the worst state it had ever been. Our little Longhurst family was barely hanging on. All four of us affected indirectly and directly with the ‘arrows of life’ that were coming our way. Although it is easy to say that most of these arrows were ‘hitting’ me, the four of us were being injured and affected in each of our daily lives.
I lost 30 pounds in 2 ½ months and weighed the lowest on the scale in over 15 years. I remember laying in bed more than one night realizing I had not even considered eating anything that day. Food didn’t even register on my to do list (and THIS was alarming because food is a priority for everything to me). My hair fell out. And I cried about that. More than once. I slept very little and don’t know how I didn’t get sick.
My hair has grown back-Is still thickening back up. And unfortunately, food is front and center again. And my weight is slowly creeping back up – NOT good. This is all part of the healing and rebuilding. And I'm thankful for it.
(My 2013 Birthday luncheon. My body was here - enjoying this, but my heart and mind were a million, painful miles away)
The ‘hits’ (life’s arrows) as I have chosen to call them started months prior to my birthday in October.
Who I was and how I loved, served and shared was being questioned (or so it felt like).
Our marriage, our family, our home and farm, our business, our success, our ability and choice to be generous, my personal foundation, my past, our weaknesses; all hit – sometimes over and over through the months and sometimes several items were hit all at once. These hits started in February 2013 and have continued through this past summer.
Just when I would get my feet back under me, here’d come another damn arrow – lit on fire and nailing our life right in the ass (and ok, sometimes my life/ass only). It truly sucked and there are days I simply wanted to leave my life and escape the dark and negative-ness around me.
I am only writing now about it because I feel an anniversary is here – and I can honestly say, finally say, that I’m over this massive hump, hill, mountain, shit-storm, God-Awful time in my life. And I’ve come through it, hit the other side, whatever……better. Most days stronger, some days, more weak. But overall, much, much, much better! And honestly, writing about it - is releasing it (hell, I should’ve done it sooner).
I was hit by people who loved me. I felt utterly broken. I was hit by people who I thought would/could never hurt me. Talk about a blow! I am absolutely sure that I was broken and hurt beyond anything I had felt before that point. The people who I thought would be there to help and support, were not. I thought I could count on them-at least their understanding. And more importantly, their love. Some of these same people were the ones who turned on me when I least expected or could handle it. This was a blow as well. I know the literal meaning of kick people when they are down. I was naive. And I am hardened from it. I wish that weren’t true, but it simply is. I’m a more hard, protected person now. I’ll try to work on that. Or not.
Near strangers, old friends and true people, with Christ-like love and souls were the ones I went to. Or they came to me- noticed something was ‘off’- and wanted to help. Concerned. They gave me time, they gave me understanding, perspective and most important, patience and love…as I worked through all the many layers or ‘items’ I seemed to have to work through all at once. And I will FOREVER be in their debt for this. And I will try to give the same way to others when the opportunity arises. This was truly a gift given to me by them. I think they all know who they are and I hope I did a good job thanking and loving them for their friendship and loyalty.
I took some of my troubles and emotions out on people who were not a part of the situation/challenge whatsoever. Some of those people have forgiven me for that. And some have not. And that’s ok. I cannot take back mistakes and emotions. I can only wish those people know of my regret. And I will continue to move forward, with or without their forgiveness and/or understanding. I have to. Lots and lots of lessons learned.
I have learned that it’s ok to be Robyn. Even if that’s over-the-top sometimes. Even if that’s in-your-face sometimes. Even if it’s offensive and difficult for other people sometimes. I have to be me and I’m a pretty good me (on most days). Those who allow me to love them will know that I love deeply, fully and as much as I possibly can.
I was helped and continue to be healed by people who love me. Our little, Longhurst Family contains the three most important people on this planet to me. They have always been – but now I believe they know it and feel it every single day. I know that guardian angels have helped our family through our struggles.
My Grandma and Grandpa Pilling have been close by. I don’t question it. It was a statement put in my head one day and I believe and know it. Steven’s Great Grandpa and Grandma Longhurst have also been very much watching, protecting and influencing us. This is so comforting to me. It brings me peace. I love them, without knowing most of them (only my grandma Cleo).
I have decided that some of the people who are the most solid, the most genuine, and the most loving are not those in prominent positions in a community, church or family. They are sometimes the ones who look a bit rough, who say little, who listen the best, who can be scary on the outside, but have the largest, truest, most giving and kind hearts on the inside. They come through when everyone else is selfish and busy. These are the people I’m forever drawn to, who I will defend, love and protect and call my dearest friends.
Although I stepped away from my Heavenly Father for a while, I KNOW HE DID NOT STEP AWAY FROM ME. This is an awesome realization I have had through this process. My personal spirituality and faith never seemed to be ‘attacked’ or ‘challenged’ (only by myself) but I did very little to protect and even safeguard what beliefs I hold dear. I’m thankful for mercy and love given to me by a Heavenly Father who I know is mindful of who I am specifically and what I’ve gone through and what I am still currently rebuilding and strengthening in my life. I can only try hard to strengthen this relationship I have with my God and build upon the beliefs I hold dear at this point.
I have learned that I am much more fragile than I knew and I have found out I can be broken. But, I am much more strong than I ever knew and I can always rebuild and become a better version of myself. I hate that I’ve had to learn this going through the pain and months and months of tears that I have, but…I would go through it all again tomorrow….to have the clarity and understanding and priority of life that I now have.
I am more patient. I am more compassionate. I am more understanding. But I am not afraid to distance myself from people who judge, nit-pick, hate and bring me down. I will not hesitate to leave people and situations that are negative or who do not help me be my best self. I have had to do this to survive, let alone rebuild. I hope to soften on this intolerance, but am not making any promises. I will protect my marriage and family at all costs!
My animals have been my counselors. This farm has been my refuse. The greenhouse my safe place when I felt cold, even on a warm day. There have been many, many days where I held a purring cat, drenching it’s fur with my tears and feeling so much better afterwards. I have always been soothed by purring and fur. I’m thankful for lots of cats following behind me as I wandered this beautiful backyard. These cats made me smile on days I didn’t think I could.
I’m so very thankful to be where I’m at today – at age 43. I’m thankful to NOT be where I was a year ago. I can still feel that poignant pain as if it were yesterday and I don’t really want to go back. But I know if I want to be where I am today, I would have to go through it all again. If 2013-14 was to be my hell year, I’ll take it again tomorrow to have 2014-2015 be my best year.
I still have those that mean the very most to me in my life. I’m thankful that no matter how hard the hardest days were – there was no ‘final’ tragedy for me to be forced to deal with (death, etc). I’m thankful for mistakes and forgiveness. I’m thankful for deep love, deeper love than I ever knew existed, with so many different people, on so many different levels. I’m thankful for the opportunity to see situations, relationships, people and life in general on a much, much deeper, larger-than-life scale.
Our little Longhurst family is stronger than ever. We are closer than ever and we fight and love much deeper than ever. We are all forever changed…for the better. Things and images and involvement and even some people that we thought were important and wanted by each of us – are no longer any of that. And that is good. We are each other’s priorities. We will always have each other’s backs. And that feels good. We truly long to be together, with each other (even if there is fighting and bickering – it’s still togetherness).
This was an opportunity (wanted or not) to break myself down to my very core and then rebuild at a much more slow, sure, solid, and better version of me…hopefully. I’m still human and very aware of my faults and shortcomings, but I’ll continue to work on me, just like I do every day.
I still try hard to keep positive. And some days staying positive is a HUGE, HUGE effort for me. Some days I'm just grumpy. But most days, I enjoy being happy and laughing and looking for the fun in life. I try to stay honest with myself about me, my life and trials. And I try to laugh often at everything I can. Most important, I try to live my life with passion, fun and make a shitload of awesome memories as I go along.
I’m not a person who likes to be stuck, look back, have regrets or be down. Some days, because of all the ‘hits and arrows’, these GREAT ATTITUDES can be difficult to find. So, I fake it till I make it and I specifically find those people who bring those qualities out in life for me and I distance myself from those who are the opposite. And I try to think of others, find someone else who could use a smile or a text or a ‘thinking of you’ – I’m 110% sure there is always someone else worse off than I am (and I start with my little family). Thoughtfulness is always the best therapy I can get (besides Robyn time in the backyard).
I’m so excited to move forward in my life – with Steven Longhurst at my side and our two ding dongs behind us. I am anxious to help and love and watch our kids grow and develop into adults and people. My goal and priority is to love and support and be there for them. Always. I hope I continue to have opportunities to love, serve and help others. Here’s to 43 more years as Robyn.