Tag Archives: Healing

A Love Letter To My Ex Husbands

Last week I attended an event and I was peppered with the usual questions, are you married, how long etc? I am a pretty open person and when I mentioned my ex husbands ( yes 2 we will get to that), I was met with the usual negative perception, and eye rolling about the EX being bad, a problem, and wholly responsible for the break up.

It is customary to speak of our exes with disdain and eye rolls, and it is usual that the person with whom you are speaking assigns some blame, and assumed personal defect to the ex. This got me thinking? Why do we always assume the EX to be a bad person or a perpetrator. We cannot all be walking around sparkling clean and without blame in the break up of our marriages.

I find myself wanting to defend my ex husbands. I want to say to the person who has never met them but instantly dislikes them just  because they are my ex that, they are not a bad person and really do not deserve instant judgement. Being an ex does not = the bad guy or girl in the story.

Don’t get me wrong I know many people who have exes that I am well aware are perpetrators of abuse, control and drama that would make Jerry Springer blush. However, it is exception not the rule.

So when someone hears I have an ex and get the old eye roll and instant judgement towards that person I want to put on the brakes. Here are a few reasons why I think we should do this differently.

  1. I am 2 men’s ex wife. So whenever I am brought up in conversation I AM the instant target of judgement and scorn. Who wants that energy coming at them from every conversation that your ex has that involves you. I can tell you 100% that I was not the sole reason those relationships ended.
  2. They are actually not bad people, they have flaws and broken bits and have not always behaved well towards me or others. However, they were not 100% awful and I have been just as broken and guilty as them.
  3. I take responsibility in being the woman who thought that THIS BROKEN person was a good idea to partner up with. I can not blame anyone else for that. They did not force me to fall in love, or marry them. I made the decision to be with them, and even though I did it from a wounded place, I still did. I was the kind of woman at that time in my life that not only sought out that kind of relationship but actively participated in its dysfunction.
  4. These reasons make it so unfair to assume that my exes are to blame for our breakups and that they are bad.
  5. I was culpable in the successful moments as much as I was for the unsuccessful moments. My wounds sought out someone to continue the pattern. He was a willing participant in this and I was a willing participant in reenacting his wounds.

This is the harsh reality of trauma. When we have experienced trauma in our past via physical abuse, emotional abuse, abandonment or neglect. We are more likely to recreate our trauma in our behaviors and in our relationships choices. Our trauma story finds new people to continue the story. Both of my husbands played active roles in my continuing my own trauma story. The reasons I chose them and attached to them were because our wounds mirrored each other’s pain. This can be a very attractive and compelling connection.

I married my highschool sweetheart, and then a man who was 21 years older than me. It does not take a psychologist to see that I was working some stuff out in my marriages.

One of the reasons I left these marriages eventually was because I no longer believed in this trauma story, and no longer felt connected to the usual players. It was brutal to go through two divorces, because my tender wounded inner child picked both of them for very legit reasons. I can say this now because through therapy and energy psychology techniques I have and am healing those trauma wounds. I could never have said this before, I needed them to be the bad guy and me the victim in order to feel strong enough to leave.

I have apologized to them both for my role in letting my wounds choose them, only so that I could then allow them to let me down and continue my trauma patterns. I have apologized for my role in creating a pattern of re-enacting their own wounds. I was neither a good person or bad person in these relationships, I was merely working out my trauma and trying to heal. However, that does not mean I did not hurt them. It does not mean I was a loving partner, I hurt them both and let them both down. We let each other down abundantly, but I cannot help but still have good feelings.

I have been working on forgiveness of myself and others. One of the ways that I routinely do this is to write a love letter to that person. I have completed  this for them and here are a few of my thank you statements to them both.

  • Thank you for making me feel safe sometimes.
  • Thank you for showing me that I was desired
  • Thank you for always working hard so we had resources
  • Thank you for the laughter
  • Thank you for seeing the good inside me
  • I loved our time together in highschool when we were newly in love and I felt loved and protected for the first time.
  • I loved how you made me feel like a muse, and a cherished spirit and how it created a magical and romantic Sense and Sensibility Story.
  • Thank you for loving my family despite our own wounds.
  • Your sensitivity and your intelligence pushed me to be kinder, smarter and more worldly.

I wish them both health and happiness. I will no longer mention them with disdain and with judgement or anger in my heart. I will not participate in the usual conversation that instantly demonizes them because they are both children of the universe who deserve love and compassion.

This is my own story and my own journey. I am not saying that YOU should do this, because it would not be fair of me to step into your story and tell you what to do. However, I do hope that this will give you food for thought. When they stay the villain, we stay the victim and that is a very stuck and dark place to be.

I want to remind you that if you have been a victim of abuse, and power and control abuse in your marriage, I understand this story could be triggering for you. Please know that my situation was different then yours and it is your story to heal from. No judgements from me and you have all of my love and support. These are two very different situations. But if you need some support please email me nicole@lewis-keeber.com and I will connect you with resources.

My final thank you to my ex husband’s. Thank you for being a part of my journey, because without you I would not have found, or been ready for my current husband Jason. We have been together for 13 plus years and married for almost 7. Each and every day is a gift, and I do I love him dearly. My ex husband’s taught me how to be a better partner, and gave me the clarity to know what safety and true pure love feels like when you find it. I love you Jason.

P.S. As a licensed clinical social worker and therapist, the study of trauma is of interest to me. I continue to heal my own, help clients heal theirs, and study the impact of trauma on relationships. Trauma impacts how we treat ourselves, and how we treat others. It impacts the dynamics that we create in our relationships at home, socially and in the workplace. My current focus is on how trauma impacts the small business owner and entrepreneur. Stay tuned for more information on my findings, and how I can help.

P.S.S. If you are interested in learning more about Nicole Lewis-Keeber LCSW and the coaching programs that she offers on Money and Mindset, Healing your relationship with your business, and the use of Emotional Freedom Technique. You can contact her here and schedule a Complimentary Discovery Call.

The Healing Curve

I will be honest when I tell you that I feel like I have been seeking to heal from things since birth. I never felt whole, secure, safe or valid. This is a hard way to live your life.I have always felt like I was a problem that needed solving, or that there was some kind of evil force in the world that was just waiting to reveal itself and come get me.

If you know me you know that I experienced a variety of wounds around my power by different sources throughout my life as a child and adult. This journey of healing has been a long and imperfect one. I have been very open and honest about the twists and turns in my life. I have been married 3 times, bankrupt, 360 lbs and suicidal.

But let’s get back to the feeling that I was born needing to heal because it is true.I was.I am so thankful that I now know that this is true, that we can be born carrying the traumas and pains from our families, our mother, and our ancestors. It is pretty freeing to know that you are not the origination of that pain. I am empowered by this knowledge and have embraced that it was my life’s work to heal it. Not only for me but for my family, ancestors and to teach those I coach.

You may not know this but I was a premature baby, and this was a  label I integrated into the areas of my life where I felt weaker or less than. I am so thankful now that I know that I CHOSE to get here early. I had work to do in this particular day and time and I NEEDED to be an Aquarian. It was an absolute necessity to do my work in the world. Kind of cool huh? I chose when and how I would get here. I am now choosing how to heal.

If you have read any previous posts of mine you know that I have been working on forgiveness and I have been teaching my clients how to reclaim their power. The response to this has been huge and I know that I am right on track with what I was meant to do here and to share with you all.

So how do we know when we have healed something?

This is always the question that I have tried to answer for myself and my clients. I mean think about it when you have a physical wound or a broken bone, there is not one light switch moment when you are healed. It does not work that way. In reality, healing happens in all of the little moments and we do not often notice that the healing took place until we look back and see how far we have come. You realize that the wound has now stopped bleeding, or the scar is fading. The break is impacting your mobility less, you can now walk with one crutch instead of two, you can get out of bed by yourself again. These are all of the little noticings that happen as you realize you are healing.

It is the same when we are healing our soul wounds, the body and spirit traumas we have experienced. We often notice that the healing quietly took place while we were focused on other things. I want to share with you how I knew that I had healed part of my story. I am hoping this will help you look back and see your own.

For many years I have hated Christmas, it was a time of year in my past where many bad things happened and was always a stressor that created more painful experiences. I have been a full on BAH HUMBUG for years. My husband will tell you that on November 1st the anxiety and anger, grief and dread would begin. I wished that I could fast forward to January and be done with November and December altogether.

This year something happened, I was in the car the first week of December and a Christmas song I loved as a kid came on the radio and electricity shot through my body. You know that feeling you feel as a kid when you know Santa is coming? The Christmas spirit! Yes, that one! I noticed this new feeling. I then became excited and sang in my car and had a longing to go look at  Christmas lights and drink eggnog 🙂  I was noticing that I was not in dread of the season.

This year I released all of the obligatory routines of the season that drove me crazy and I felt no guilt for it. This was a new feeling…I only did the things that gave me joy. As Christmas approached I felt excitement for spending quiet time alone with my husband celebrating the holiday together. This is not something we have done in 13 years because I was either traveling to see family, we had put our celebration on hold to travel together, or I was such a CRAPPY BAH HUMBUG it was no fun.

This year I did not feel bad about not being with family, I sent them love and well wishes. I did not grieve the past times with my Grandparents that are no long here. There was no sense of dread and the thought of being with just my husband with a few gifts some good food and Christmas movies made my heart happy. There was no loss.

Did I feel when the healing took place? No, not really, not that one moment. I noticed the signs, and then recognized the day after Christmas that it had taken place. It slipped in, it integrated, and it made itself know in subtle and not so subtle ways. I did not know the exact moment, but I knew now that I had been healed. I can tell you when I realized it I did NOT ignore it, or just overlook the miracle and move on. I expressed gratitude, I thanked the spiritual beings in my life, and I gave myself credit for doing the hard work. No way I was going to minimize this revelation.

Ok so there is a lot about ME in here, and my goal is always to show you how to heal by sharing my journey. So now I want to give you some tips on how healing takes place.

  1. Talk about it. You know the saying we are only as sick as our secrets. Find a professional you trust that can hold space for you to talk about your wound.
  2. Move your body, because our body holds our story and our pain. You can reach your emotional pain while getting in touch with your body. You can use many mind-body techniques like yoga, massage, EFT.
  3. Create boundaries with the people around you who have wounded you. You may have to create protective boundaries which mean you do NOT engage with them. Or you can negotiate boundaries with those that you want in your life but you do not want to resent or be angry with.
  4. Forgiveness work is important (see my blog post on it,) and speaks with a spiritual advisor or professional on how you can work on it too.
  5. Spiritual connection.I have gone from being a Southern Baptist Christian, to an atheist and now I am a spiritual child of the universe with no denomination and no edicts. When you can connect with the divine spirit in yourself the healing is right around the corner
  6. Gratitude. Get a journal and write in it daily. Write down at least 5 things you are grateful for. In you cannot express gratitude you cannot heal.

There are many more steps that you can take, but my deepest desire is to show you that healing is a process, it is a gift, and sometimes it is part of our soul mission on this planet. At the end of this blog post, I am going to include some resources that I have found to be helpful.

It would mean so much to me to hear your feedback, comments or your own experiences in healing. Please comment below and share your story with us all. If you would like to share it privately contact me here and share.

Have you been working on healing your wounds? Do you feel like you need support with this process? I would be happy to speak with you to see if I can be of help. Please contact me here.

Resource Books:

Women Food and God, Geneen Roth 

Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live, Martha Beck

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert

The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence, Jessica Ortner

The Emotion Code Dr. Bradley Nelson

People:

Anything and everything Debbie Ford

Anything and everything Dr. Christian Northrop

Anything and everything Marianne Williamson

Anything and everything Tara Brach

Last but not least Anything and Everything you can get your hands on by Brene’ Brown