Welcome to The D Spot’s Sponsored “Extraordinary Love” Column. Our company values our community and believes that it is important to continue to support one another. Each month a woman from The D Spot community will be featured and sharing her story in hopes to inspire you to continue to have extraordinary love or to find and receive extraordinary love. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Laura at The D Spot.
Getting to know Shannon, her story and how The D Spot community has supported her after her divorce!
Please share your marriage/divorce story and how you found The D Spot Community?
I was introduced to The D Spot community during the Start Over Smart expo in New York City and attended a panel where I listened to Laura Campbell along with three other women. As I listened to their stories, what they shared brought a positive light to a very negative, depressing situation. I was completely depressed, distraught, desperate for help and was inspired by their stories. What intrigued me was that this panel of women had their lives together, were career focused and I felt like I could relate to them. Laura in particular was well spoken, confident and shared her story with honesty, integrity and confidence and I reached out to her after the expo.
2. How has The D Spot Community helped you move through difficult times?
Laura Campbell was available to support me through the most difficult time of my life. I had anxiety, grief, and trauma through my separation and divorce and she helped me work through a lot of my issues including reviewing what happened during our past, what was broken, what caused our divorce, what I needed and wasn’t getting in my marriage. She helped me see what characteristics I really wanted in my partner, and she helped me see things in my marriage that I couldn’t see at the time that were broken. She also pointed out books to read and other tools and resources to help me review to help me let go of the past. I was in desperate need for support, since I was living in a new city all by myself and was devastated by my ex husband’s behavior. Laura was available via email, whenever I needed to talk to her. I was in bad shape, actually, I was in the worst shape in my life. Not only was Laura great support, but she also became a good friend.
3. What advice would you give to a woman that may be going through a divorce?
There are reasons why the divorce is happening and you need to look really closely at what is or has caused the divorce; those underlying issues may have be covered up or masked, and once you step back and take some time, it becomes clearer. There are probably cracks in the relationship, or issues that are probably buried, and in order to heal and move on, those cracks should be looked at through a magnifying glass and brought to the surface, otherwise the same mistakes will repeat in the next relationship. Everyone says that divorce is a “process” I didn’t understand this for the longest time. It is a very painful “process” that you have to go through in order to heal and it takes a long time. I wanted it to be over and done with but the pain and hurt were unbearable at the beginning and became better over time as I uncovered more and more information that I couldn’t see before. I realized what type of person I was and the type of person I married and how and why it didn’t work. I grew to accept it, and it was a very long, drawn out process that takes as much time as you need it to. No one can force the time to go faster. You’ve got to do the work on your own. Get as much support as you can. Do whatever it takes to get through it.
4. What has been your biggest achievement through this process?
I’ve grown tremendously as a person, become more self aware of what I want in my next relationship, friendship and anyone that I let into my life. I have noticed that I went with the flow, thought everyone was like me in life, which is not the case. I only saw the good in people and not the bad, or the characteristics of those that may hurt another person. With my ex-husband, I always thought he had the same values as I did, but in the end he didn’t. I had to accept the fact that not everyone has the same values as me. I realized that I am very giving, patient and a good listener, and I was very giving in my relationship. What I didn’t realize in the past, was that sometimes I surrounded myself with others (not only my ex husband) that were not so giving and were self absorbed. Now, I am mindful to surround people who are considerate, thoughtful, care about other’s feelings, supportive — those qualities I didn’t really look at so closely before.
I’ve grown up. I moved to New York City, with the hopes that my ex husband and I were going to work things out, but it didn’t work. I had to live through a painful, lonely, time and I had to get up and take care of myself. Though extremely difficult, I was able to start a new life, make new friends in a very lonely city, and create new positive experiences with new people in my life. If I could do that in New York City, I feel like I can now do that anywhere in the world, especially because I went through such a difficult period by myself. I was alone for so long, to without friends or family or a lot of support around. I had to take care of myself and I am in a much better place now.
5. What were your initial steps into making the decision to fight for extraordinary love in your life?
The steps that I took were:
1. I got as much support that I could — the best therapist, the best divorce attorney, I got a new job
2. I hurt, I went through hell, I cried, I was depressed, I went crazy, I wrote letters, I called, I couldn’t understand
3. I went out, partied, spent a ton of money over a 2 year period
4. I spoke to everyone I knew, I went over everything in my head, over and over again
5. I started a support group for divorces under 40 so I could relate to those in my situation
6. I started making friends, planning activities, going to Landmark Education
7. I started reading a lot of books on narcissism, divorce, how to cope, how to let go, Buddhism, – I’ve got an entire library of books
8. I spoke to other friends who went through divorce, but I realized each situation is different and I needed to figure this out on my own
9. I started working out, again I joined Equinox
10. I went back to everyone I knew and went over everything in my head, over and over again
11. I ate healthy, took vitamins, went on a low carb, high protein diet
12. I read and read a lot, and started thinking about the red flags, the things I should have noticed but didn’t in my relationship that I should have caught about my ex husband. I should have noticed how he treated people, other’s and his commitment level, his impulsiveness, his hot temper
13. I started feeling bad for him, and then compassion for him, and felt a relapse
14. I got laid off — and went through a slight depression again, couldn’t get out of bed, and then decided to keep myself busy with 2 consulting jobs
15. I bought a gratitude journal and a white board. I made myself write what I was thankful for everyday, and made myself do it on a daily basis and my list got longer and longer. I used the white board to map out exactly who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do whether it be exercise, have fun, travel, be charming, charismatic, sexy. I made myself lists, and I keep making these lists. I still look at them everyday.
16. I realized I can’t change anyone but myself — and he was who he was
17. I cut the negative energy, controlling, bossy people out of my life and started surrounding myself with thoughtful, considerate, smart people only
18. I started to take classes, spin and pilates classes
19. I cleaned my apartment, and started organizing my life again, started cooking again (my hobby)
20. I started focusing on what I love again: my career, my dog, my family, exploring life, travel, exercise, creativity, fashion, exploring the city, cooking, looking great
21. I started to make friends of the opposite sex, I started to enjoy having a nice time with great company
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
I accepted that I was naÃ¯ve, accommodating, controlled, passive, stubborn, had lack of awareness (with both my ex husband and myself). I was anxious, depressed and went through trauma, and negative thoughts for almost 3 years since our separation. I had to grow as a person. I saw the good in him, I felt sorry that he had a bad childhood, lack of love, I thought I could fix it, provide a loving environment for us. As much as I tried, he would sabotage it. I couldn’t do it, and I had to accept it and let him go.
2. What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate that I was innocent, naive, and loving. Part of me wants to still be that way. I am an open, compassionate, considerate person and I know that now. I didn’t before. I appreciate that I have grown so much, have done the really hard work and feel like I can get through anything now. I’m still very appreciative for the life that I have, a successful career, my health, my family, my friendships. I have a good life, despite what I went through.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
One of the most rewarding achievements in my life is that I was able to move to New York City on my own, go after the career I wanted to, survive and go through this divorce on my own and still come out with a good life. I know now, that I can be whoever I want to be and I can do anything I want in life. The sky is the limit. I still have goals to be Ms. Ambitious Career Woman/Mom/Wife. I still want to fall in love again.
4. What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
My not so perfect way is that sometimes I’m a bit messy but clean, sometimes I analyze too much, I am too serious sometimes, and now I am now too spur of the moment (I don’t plan like I used to)
5. How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my freedom, I love my strength, I love that I’ve embraced who I am.