The picture on the left was taken by my brother who didn’t even know he caught me like this. I’ve cropped it so the rest of the frame isn’t visible, but the rest of my family was eating too. This was just this past August on a trip back to my home state, California. The occasion was my son’s 5th birthday and our itinerary included Disneyland, California Adventure, Legoland, Universal Studios and beaches up and down the coast. We traveled between Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas during my 10 day vacation and I was often fatigued finding it difficult to keep up with our jam packed itinerary. By the end of my trip I needed a vacation from my vacation. Little did I know when I returned home, my journey had just begun and the life I knew would dramatically change.
The night after I returned back to Texas was the night Leslie left, August 8th 2016. Leslie didn’t attend the trip. He stayed home because he had just started a new job and couldn’t get the time off from work. During my vacation we kept loose contact but that wasn’t unusual for us. Whenever I traveled he gave me my space and would just check in with me to make sure I was okay. While on my trip, and on a night I slept over my best friend’s house, I had a nightmare that woke me up out my sleep. In the nightmare, I found out Leslie was cheating on me, again. We had previously dealt with infidelity in our marriage but this dream deeply disturbed me and caught me off guard. Even though Leslie had previously cheated, I wasn’t insecure and honestly I didn’t even think about it anymore at that point. We went though the measures necessary to save our marriage back then and I had long forgiven him and let it go. Forgiving my husband easily for his infidelity sounds crazy right? I’ll explain that radical journey of healing on a different day and different blog post. So back to this dream I had on my vacation. I don’t often remember my dreams but when I do, they tell me of things that are happening or soon to happen. I thought of this as I stayed awake that night contemplating if I wanted to address this dream with him while I was in California. I decided to wait until I got back to Texas to address it.
I got back home on a Sunday night and returned back to work that Monday. I saw Leslie post something dark and cryptic on Facebook that evening as I was driving home. I was concerned and wanted to address it when I got home to see if everything was okay with him. Again we hadn’t really communicated in 2 weeks because I was out of town and prior to me being out of town, he was out of town too. I got home, settled down, and found Leslie upstairs on the couch. I greeted him with a kiss and asked him how his day was before mentioning that I saw his Facebook post. He asked that I follow him to the bedroom so that we could talk about it. When we got in the room and shut the door, he immediately confronted me stating that everything was not alright and this was the last time he was going to address me about a friendship that he did not agree with and that I now had to stop being her friend or that was it for him. (I will explain this friendship of mine in a separate blog post. I have already shared this story on my Instagram.) Back to the story. I interjected and said “Hold on, I know this is not what this is really about? Leslie are you cheating on me?” He looked shocked and caught off guard but answered, “I’m not going to lie to you, I haven’t cheated physically since the last time you know about but I am back on the dating sites.” I asked him for how long, and he said for a few months dating back to the last time we had a big altercation about my friend. I told him that he had been lying to me because this is the first time he has said something and it’s only because I had to ask. I took that moment to address the nightmare I had in California. Our conversation evolved into a heated argument with him turning the blame on me. He blamed me for pushing him to cheat because of my new friendship and me supposedly choosing her over him. I asked him how could my friendship with a woman who has done nothing but be a sister to me, pour into me and encourage me to be who I was put on this earth to be, cause him to entertain other women and look for love outside his marriage and on dating websites. I told him I didn’t care whether it was “physically” or “emotionally” and the fact that he was looking for companionship from other women other than his wife is cheating and I didn’t deserve that. I told him that he was not going to blame this on me this time and that I have done nothing but be the epitome of a submissive wife to him and been nothing less of loving, faithful, and loyal even in the midst of his disrespect. This was different of me. I’m not one to normally argue or raise my voice but I let him have it this time. I could not take it any longer. The disrespect, his selfishness, disobedience, and to top that off, infidelity! By the time I got out what I had to say, he was in the midst of packing his stuff to leave. I sat on the bed and watched him as he continued to place the blame on me. I was actually speechless at this point. It was like God took my words from me so that old loving, forgiving, and reassuring Taty wouldn’t interject. I couldn’t interject. I couldn’t tell him I have already forgiven him and that we can work this out like we previously have. I couldn’t even silently pray. All I could do is cry and watch him pack. After a while, I asked him simple questions like where he was going and does this mean we are getting divorced. All he said was that he was leaving and he will see what he wants to do. He didn’t have a car so he called his cousin to pick him up and stated he will be going to live with his dad close to Houston. I walked him to the door and I prayed for him as we embraced before he walked out. In that prayer I asked for God to break him beautifully and prayed that he find God again. He brushed a kiss over my lips as we parted and that was the last time I saw him.
I was numb for some weeks after this. I couldn’t believe we had come to this. It was bittersweet. I knew I got the release I so desperately needed to live but I truly loved my husband. I began my current healing journey then. I needed to pick up the remaining pieces of my life and move forward. I started with my health. I looked over my pictures from my California vacation and was able to see from pictures like the one above, that I had officially hit rock bottom. I felt ugly, I felt fat. I felt disgusting. I felt unwanted. And even at a point in time I felt that his infidelity was warranted. Maybe I did push him to cheat on me with me looking like this. I didn’t look like this when we first got married. I lost myself through the course of my marriage pouring so much out of me and into him trying to keep him afloat and our marriage alive. Now it was over. I had to make a change. That same month, I decided to become a vegetarian after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives on Netflix. This may not seem like a big deal to you because people watch food truth documentaries all the time and never make a change . For me it marked a pivotal point in my life. I loved meat. If my meal didn’t have meat, it wasn’t a meal for me. I never thought I would be able to cut meat out my diet. I didn’t think it was possible. Well, at least not for me. Watching this documentary scared me straight. I decided to conquer this ideology that I needed meat and it jumpstarted my lifestyle change. I wanted to be healthy and my health was suffering due to my coping mechanism. I was an emotional eater. However, I ate for all emotions and never got full. I ate when I was happy, sad, angry, depressed and my foods of choice were always fast foods, deep fried, fatty and salty. I literally coped with my toxic relationship with toxic food. I was killing myself.
The progress you see up until now, which is over the course of about 8 months, is all derived from a change of my eating habits. Specifically, me becoming a vegetarian because I still work out inconsistently. Even at the beginning of my transition I carried with me my bad habits. I still ate fast, salty, deep fried fatty foods, just without meat. I didn’t actually start eating clean until the end of October 2016 after taking part in a fast that detoxed my mind, body and soul. I’m still going strong and I have incorporated more exercise since the new year. This is my current mission. Becoming physically fit to compliment my healthy eating habits and results I have already achieved. August 2016 marks my official starting point and March 2017 shows the current progress I’ve made. I still have quite the journey to go and I’m excited for more results along the way. I am healing from the inside out, and I’m definitely in route!