10.13.2013

Where I've Been

The past 5 weeks have been the hardest of my entire life, and I haven't exactly had a comfy life. I've been with Dylan for 22 years, since we were both 18 years old. He was my safety, my comfort. I trusted him implicitly and gave him my whole heart. I became "the Jo part of Dylan and Jo" and lost more and more of myself in the process. When he told me that he was leaving me, I thought I would die. I was genuinely surprised that my heart continued to beat.  I thought I couldn't live without him.

I was wrong. 

I now know that I am stronger than I ever could have imagined.  My heart has been well and truly broken, but with the help of a wonderful support system I'm stitching it back together bit by bit. I'm learning to comfort myself. My creativity has always been healing for me, and I'm leaning on it heavily to get me through this. I'm allowing/encouraging/pushing myself to take a new path. It's scary. It's rough and overgrown and full of thorns, and I'm certainly stumbling along (hell, I'm practically falling off cliffs), but I'm just gonna keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that it's leading somewhere beautiful.

I didn't choose this. I'm deeply grieving the loss of my husband, of hopes and dreams of an imagined future together, but I'm also painting a new picture in my mind. I'm learning to embrace the possibility that my life can be whatever I make it. I'm choosing to make it wonderful.









64 comments:

  1. Sending you warm healing thoughts and as many cyber hugs as I can muster. You can move forward, I have no doubt at all.
    Laurie

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  2. you go girl! you do not know how strong you are until you are tested! hope the boy child and girl child are coping too...just climb out that new window....

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  3. beautifully said Jo. xoxo friend.

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  4. Big Hugs Jo...You can do this..

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  5. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Sending lots of hugs to you! xo

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  6. I'm so sorry. More mental hugs.

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  7. my heart is breaking and I am choking back sobs as I read this post. I have several of your pieces as a team. I have been twice divorced and have met the perfect person the 3rd time. I am not saying it will take you 3 times. But on an uplift I look forward to purchasing !!!""JO'S""!! Art. You show such beauty, love, and talent thru your art. You in my book are on of the Top Dogs out there. The best is yet to come. Now put on your "big girl panties", this is what I was told and "rock" the world, because I think, believe you have a lot of support out here. Love,love,love

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  8. Sending you my love & strength Jo... You are beyond creative, so w/o past restraints, your imagination can only soar... May your art and creative spirit help to heal your wounds & broken heart... xo

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  9. big hug... and another one...... and another one..............and another one....more hugs on the way.

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  10. Thinking of you Jo . . . I've been through the same and my life is so much richer now!
    All the strength that you have always had (But might not have known) will bubble to the surface and you will be amazing!
    Hugs,
    Lori Ann

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  11. Good on you girl, keep centred on surviving.
    There really is light at the end of the tunnel trust me.
    I was left with 2 small children and felt bereft but had to maintain the childrens life which centred my resolve.
    But anyone's leaving is a part of life sadly, be it through choices made or a death, its a grief that's hard to process, but given time, emotional back up from others and the belief in your own self (again) its a path each of us can conquer, each in our own way.
    Being once a part of a duo doesn't mean the individual has become transparent or has to remain so.
    Its time to allow YOU to blossom again and I assure you, you will not only survive but you will learn to love life again.
    Mind you, trusting again might take a little longer lol ( as in my case!)
    I have always said my creative work has been my therapy since a child so I reckon yours too will help you no end too.
    You are so naturally gifted.
    Good luck girl : ) Lyn

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  12. Jo, I don't know you but I love your work and follow you on Facebook. I even was excited for the whole camper life adventure that you were going on. What's going to happen now? I feel anger, like "why didn't he leave her before they sold everything?" But I was left with three kids 20 years ago, and you sound a lot stronger and more stable than me, so I have great confidence that you will soar!! I'm sorry this happened and I wish you the best!! PS,,you are the most original artist I've seen in a long time...and I'm an Artist myself, so I speak from experience. God Bless !!!

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  13. .... I was so shocked to read your post... I've been following your adventure for some time... When things get tough I always think This too shall pass.... And it will .. The sadness will fade and you will come out of it stronger and wiser.

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  14. I was worried that something like this was going on when you disappeared off the web. My heart breaks for your loss (having been there myself long ago) but I know you are strong enough to survive this. And eventually you won't just be surviving but moving on and moving forward. I wish you all the best and send you many hugs.

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  15. To say I know exactly how you feel would be like saying I know how to fly....what I do know is how it feels to be socked in the stomach so hard that breathing is impossible and I'm sure what you are going through right now has got to be close to that feeling.

    The fact that you are able to share this with the rest of us tells me you are on the road to recovery....Keep those you love close....it is okay to cry and feel the loss but remember not to loose yourself in it....everyday you get through is one day closer to putting this behind you. We never realize how strong we are alone until we are given no choice and we have to find out. Be kind to yourself Jo... You have an amazing group of followers and fellow artists that love you and have BIG shoulders! Take care......xoxox

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  16. So sorry Joe, if I tell u that this event will bring you greater fulfilment as a person then you would probably disagree with me right now because that pain is hard to think through and seeing the end of the dark tunnel damn near impossible so I will wish u a speedy journey through this period of ur life and hopefully share in ur future joys and new insights both in yourself and ur art. xx

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  17. Jo, I know it was a surprise, but so is your strength, right? You now get to create the next chapter, you get to invent who you'll be from now on. Grieve the loss of your relationship AND move toward what's next. All your friends are here for you! Take care! XOXO

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  18. Big Hugs to you. One step at a time....

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  19. Jo, I wish you all the best. It is a tough road. Last May, my husband decided unilaterally to end our nine year marriage (twelve year relationship). I am an artist, too, and making became very difficult but very important. After a year and a half, my grief still occasionally catches me off guard, but I too have found my strength. And while I loved my husband very much and was totally committed to our marriage, I found I had not perhaps been as loving to myself or committed to my own dreams during our time together. With my new strength has come new responsibilities - to MYSELF! Take care!

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  20. wow, Jo..I'm speechless..Please know that I'm sending you lots of good wishes and prayers as you move forward..Hugs!!

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  21. I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through and I hope that you find joy and happiness on your new journey in life.

    Debbie

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  22. Oh this made me so sad for you. Stay strong, believe in your self, and don't look back. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and let it carry you forward. I have been there and I know how hard it is.
    God bless you.

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  23. Sending you lots of love to start filling in that hole. So sorry to hear this, but warmed by the hope in your post. You are wonderful and amazing all by yourself! You have some wonderful children that grew out of your love for each other. The sunshine will find its way back into your heart at some point in time-- encourage it when you can... Hugs :)

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  24. Oh Jo...I'm so sorry you're having to endure such pain, especially at the hands of someone you loved and trusted. I have no doubt you'll get through this, that your heart will mend, and that your creativity will continue to shine. Please know you have so much love and support out there - not only family and friends, but your fellow artists and collectors too. Sending big, comforting (((hugs)))...

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  25. I'm so sorry Jo. You are such an incredible person and artist. Sending light, love and hugs that your new adventure will be all about letting you shine even more.

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  26. Sending you hugs! You will survive, and at times it won't be easy, but I firmly believe you will come out on top. All your collectors will be waiting for your new work .. Art is healing, you are so talented and stronger than you think.

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  27. Oh Joee!!
    Me too! 23 freakin years...for the better tho, there is life out there!!!!! Love Joee first! I lost myself completely...now im rebuilding, there are bad days, but more good days than bad! Be strong Joee! Its the bestest revenge, not that you need revenge...but it hurts deep, and fear sets in, throw it out the friggen window, girl!
    Sending you love, positive stuff and i know now that you WILL drive the highways of life!!!
    Always ,
    Jackie

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  28. Oh Joee!!
    Me too! 23 freakin years...for the better tho, there is life out there!!!!! Love Joee first! I lost myself completely...now im rebuilding, there are bad days, but more good days than bad! Be strong Joee! Its the bestest revenge, not that you need revenge...but it hurts deep, and fear sets in, throw it out the friggen window, girl!
    Sending you love, positive stuff and i know now that you WILL drive the highways of life!!!
    Always ,
    Jackie

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  29. Sending healing for you both. We will miss Dylan too. Wishing you both peace as you embark on different paths, and hoping after a time of healing your friendship will be strong and will weather this storm.

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  30. A new chapter full of adventures to look forward to. Congrats on choosing the road less traveled. I'm sure you will be much better than well. :D

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  31. Sending healing thoughts your way , my girl, you are a fighter and I have every confidence that you will make your life into what YOU wish. xo N

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  32. I'm so sorry to hear this. Yes hang in there. You have so much love and support here in the cyber world. I'm glad you have many friends and family to help you too. Hugs.

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  33. Hell Jo, that was not the chapter I was expecting ( and obviously neither were you). From all the way over here on the other side of the world, I'm thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed that the roughest bit is behind you.

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  34. Jo, You continue to inspire me with your grace. "love you" is all I can say! Look within for you muse my dear one!
    Love,
    Jennie

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  35. Jo, I am so sorry to hear this, but take time to be kind to yourself, you are such an inspiration. With warmest thoughts from England.

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  36. Incredibly brave and honest post! You will emerge stronger, wiser, and creatively balanced. Follow the path and don't look back. We are all here to help you walk this unexpected journey. LOVE!!

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  37. Jo, I am so very sorry and I can truly sympathize with you. It will get better, stay positive (I know it's hard, sounds really phoney) but trust in yourself, your strength, your family, your friends and who ever else will lend an ear and a bit of support. You can find yourself again... a better, stronger version of you. Trust that you can do it Jo, we all have faith in you... you will find a little more in yourself every passing day. xo, Lori

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  38. So much love to you, Jo. Wishing you nothing but the best on your new path. xoxo

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  39. Sending good thoughts and big hugs your way Jo. Please know you have many friends as you move forward. xo, Suzanna

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  40. Thank you for sharing this with us, Jo. You are doing right by letting your creative energy be a source of healing for you, and it will lead your where you are meant to go... and we will all be here cheering you on. sending you hugs and happy thoughts xo, Lori

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  41. I wondered where you went, thanks for letting us know. Sending lots of strength, good mojo and hugs. Take care.

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  42. I am so sorry. Praying for you.

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  43. Love and prayers and big, big warm hugs to you dear! I was married at 16 and divorced at 44. It wasn't the path I wanted either, but it's been a good path after all. You have a lot to discover about yourself, just be as patient and loving with yourself as you can. Look for support for the days ahead, many of us here can offer you love and encouragement. Your art is a delight to see, and the new pieces that will be all you will be even more special. Thank you for sharing what you are able to, and know that you will be in our hearts and thoughts and prayers. <3

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  44. Oh my..I am so SO sorry! Too many changes all at one time...I bet it feels like the rug has been Swept out Abruptly, from under you.
    I think you are very brave and strong to tell about this so openly...but you know that we understand. I am sending you Love and Strength and Wishes. Be easy on yourself and Never doubt how WONDERFUL you truly are!

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  45. I am very sorry that you are having to go through this dark place but I have always believed that there is a reason and a season for everything. You will come out of this a stronger person and I can't wait to see where your creativity takes you. Sending you hugs but not for your loss but for your future which is sure to be fantastic. Sometimes the hand you hold is the hand that holds you down!

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  46. you know that i am deeply, madly in love with your fierce and tender heart. im with you on the cliffs and in the oncoming freefall into Wonderful.

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  47. I just want to add my voice to the ocean of support - whatever you are, you're never alone. xo

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  48. Jo you are in my heart and prayers.

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  49. I am so sorry, I hope you can find some peace!

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  50. I too am sorry for your loss. keep on creating your art. I believe (as a fellow artist) that it will be your solace and your salvation. Thank you for sharing with us. Hugs and strength to you.

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  51. I am so very sorry, but also find your words inspiring. I hope that your new journey someday brings you much happiness.

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  52. For some reason, I have been thinking of you a lot lately, about the wheelie house, and about the adventures and art you were creating, now. Stumbled over here and....wow. :-(

    If I have learned anything from life, it's that it still goes on. Sharing more than half your life with someone whom you put a so much trust in and having to suddenly figure it all out for yourself would certainly make anyone feel vulnerable. I believe you will be okay....MORE than okay. I have seen this same scenario occur with several girlfriends (and myself) over the years, and not ONE of them are worse off than they were, before. In fact, they've FLOURISHED! It also seems the guys that left them in the height of their "MANopause" haven't been as lucky. One thing that never seems to change, no matter what, is how the women in the situation grow and become happier and more beautiful than they EVER were, before, and the men become irresponsible, more childish, more saddled with repercussions of their newfound ways, and much less likable. A few I know have gotten themselves in with women who've made their lives MUCH more complicated than they thought they were with the original mate, and some that have lost their jobs because they went on a "freedom binge" that spilled over into their professional life. I am not trying to wish these things on Dylan..... I'm just trying to illustrate the differences of how the sexes handle this situation. The women always come out on top....ALWAYS. :-)

    Don't set time limits for yourself.... let things happen in their own good time. You won't believe it once it occurs to you just how much you have been neglecting yourself all these years! When you've reached that point, everything gets SO much better. In a year, and again in two years, you will be in a much different place than you could have ever imagined, and going back to the way things were, though perhaps a comforting thought now, will never again be a consideration.

    I know you probably like to keep your business and private life separated, but DO keep us updated. :-) I want to be sitting here in this time next year reading all about how wonderful your life has become.

    I hope you got the Wheelie House. ;-) If that's not what your heart wants, after all, I hope you are where you find comfort until you are ready to step out and show the world something it's never seen, before. :-)

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  53. What heartbreaking (and shocking) news...(((HUGS)))...You are so precious Jo I can't imagine anyone EVER making the choice to leave you. As you go through this time of grieving and finding your way I think you will be surprised at how the prayers and well wishes from all who love you will carry you...I look forward to seeing the beautiful somewhere you are heading to.

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  54. At some point in the not-too distant future, you will find you can once again take that deep cleansing breath. For now, it's enough to just keep on keepin' on, seeing how many of us cherish who you are as visible through your truly and consistently stellar work, discovering how deep your strength and courage goes, and simply breathing. Sending thoughts of comfort and a peaceful heart.

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  55. Your courage, strength and self determination are an inspiration. You are and will be fine

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  56. So very, very sorry. I hope there comes a time, in the not too distant future, when you find yourself caught up in a moment of joy like flying, when you find yourself healing and looking forward to whatever life holds next. It may not seem like it now, but it will come.

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  57. Sorry to hear this but you will get through it. More than likely, there is something wonderful waiting for you that you would have missed if not for this heartbreak. Life is funny and strange that way. Hugs to you.

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  58. I'm so, so sorry to hear this, Jo. The pain you are feeling must feel like it's absolutely unbearable. But, as you know, it's not unbearable--because you ARE bearing it and finding more strength than you ever knew existed. It's definitely not what you hoped and dreamed for, however it's bringing you to a more beautiful place than you can even imagine. Please know that there are SO many of us "out here" that are holding you in our hearts!

    Heaps and heaps of hugs,
    Cheryl

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  59. Jo, I am so very, very sorry that you are having to go through this, it is a shock to me so I can't begin to imagine what emotions you are experiencing. Although it probably doesn't seem like it right now, you will survive, your heart will mend and your life will go on. Words won't help much right now, but know I, and everyone else who loves you and your amazing creativity, is here for you and sending as much positive energy and love as we can. Big hugs to you Jo, Deb

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  60. Proper words fail me, it's such a shock. I'm glad you have family and a beautiful place to be while you get your sea legs, so to speak. You're an artist and that will help to save you. xo

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  61. Jo, for years you have been such an inspiration to so many. I wish so many good things for you. Please know that you are in my thoughts, and I am sending you positive energy, as so many are. Hugs, love, support, peace, comfort, and all good things to you, Jo!

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  62. Oh my goodness... I've only just now read this Jo! You're one of the strongest and most creative people I know that's out there so I know that you'll emerge more amazing than ever. Sending strength, hugs and new beginnings.
    ~ Deb

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  63. Jo, I'm so sorry to hear this. My heart breaks for you! Your creativity and talent has been an inspiration to me for years. I hope with your family around you you'll start to feel stronger every day. I'm sending good thoughts your way and wish you the best!

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  64. Joee, I too am just reading this for the first time. I am so very sorry. But as painful as it is, I know in my heart you'll be fine. As clich√© as it sounds, time really does heal all wounds. ♥
    ~Peanut

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