Looking Up 

I’m always skeptical when big news about a break up, pairing up, or other breaking news is announced at the same time an actor’s movie is released. The timing always seems like it is strategically planned for publicity. Now I’m thinking it may be coincidence. When I reached out to Kinetic Content and FYI to share what I’ve decided after a period of laying low, they let me know that Seven Year Switch is coming back for season two and casting has begun. I immediately thought the timing was nuts, and I’m sure you will too. So with the announcement of the return of the show that is still changing my life, I have an update of my own. 
  
It’s going to take a while to rebuild my life, but the first step I’m taking is to separate from CW. It’s time to focus on my healing and take special care of myself, and I’m looking to God for strength and courage. I wish I could say that I’m happy at last, but this is the saddest thing I’ve ever had to do. I have hope for future happiness, and for those who want to follow along, I’ll continue to share my journey. Unfortunately, the deep emotional pain from a relationship of this nature doesn’t magically end when the relationship does. I’m taking the first step toward healing though, and although I feel extra fragile lately, I also feel an inner-strength rising within me like never before. 
  
Love and compassion for CW remains in my heart even as I say goodbye. I needed to become aware of the real cause of my emotional anguish and diminishing self-esteem that had taken over during the course of our relationship, before I could move on. Now that I’ve done the work of understanding it all, I’m able to make the best decision for my life and health. To stay in the marriage would have destroyed my heart and soul, and would eventually kill my spirit completely. That is no way to live. I did everything in my power to save the marriage and there was nothing else I could do. Seven Year Switch provided the third party perspective I needed, which was vital to sort through my confusion and cognitive dissonance. I’m thankful the opportunity arose at the right moment, and allowed me time and space to step away, hear my own thoughts without competing voices, and reconnect with my spirit. 
  
It’s impossible to grasp what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone who can’t deeply feel for you or have true empathy unless you’ve experienced it for yourself. I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone, but at the same time I feel grateful to have learned about it sooner than later. I didn’t realize there were so many people with this backward way of relating, and how nearly impossible it is to change their internal wiring and help them learn to meet human needs for connection and emotional intimacy. Now I know better how to recognize the signs and protect my compassionate and giving heart from future damage. 
 
It’s important to point out that those who are wired in this backwards way internally are often unaware of the destruction they are causing others. They are simply behaving in the only way they know how to behave in order to survive from their point of view. It doesn’t excuse the behavior, but it can help you not take it personally. 
  
There are a lot of good memories and fun times also, and although I feel sorry for the loss of my relationship, I’m confident there is no other option for me. It took me a while to sort through everything and research the psychology behind it all, but that was my necessary process to get to today and this first step toward freedom from emotional trauma. These days are strangely mixed with sadness and a life and death sort of urgency. I literally feel like two people sometimes. One half of me is distraught and wants to keep working on the relationship and never give up, while the wiser part of me is keeping the other half at bay and taking charge to save her life. The wiser side of me has learned about trauma bonding and that is how I know that I should not listen to that part of me that wants to reconnect. It’s tricky. But I’m staying the course. I need your support and I’ll try to document the process in hopes that others going through similar change can find comfort in my words. 
  
Taking this step toward freedom is the most challenging thing I’ve faced to date. The fear of the unknown can be crippling at times, and the sudden rush of uncontrollable tears and gut wrenching cries out of nowhere knock the wind out of me. But then I sit in my pain knowing this is part of the process and I have to tread through it to get to the other side. I am starting my life over and the last several years feel like a loss of valuable time and energy. But in other aspects, I know the lessons I’ve learned and the darkness I’ve endured will propel me to something God has been orchestrating for me all along. It’s walking in faith and trusting He has my future planned out that gives me strength to move forward. I had nowhere else to look and feel but down for so long, that I’m permanently fixing my gaze upward and feeling higher up each day. 
  
I wish our marriage could have been what I thought it was. But it absolutely wasn’t. 
  
I filed for divorce. It was the hardest day of my life.

16 comments

  • Jessg

    Jessg

    Rachel, I know this was a very tough decision for you. However I am happy you are taking the steps to help better you. Good for you, and I wish you love and peace on this new journey.

    Rachel, I know this was a very tough decision for you. However I am happy you are taking the steps to help better you. Good for you, and I wish you love and peace on this new journey.

  • Linds

    Linds

    I was in the same position 10 years ago and while it was difficult each new day I found more happiness and more of the self I thought was lost forever. Hang in there, the new path is worth more than you could ever imagine.

    I was in the same position 10 years ago and while it was difficult each new day I found more happiness and more of the self I thought was lost forever. Hang in there, the new path is worth more than you could ever imagine.

  • Sky

    Sky

    Warm hugs my friend.

    Warm hugs my friend.

  • LynnF

    LynnF

    You are a very wise woman, Rachel. You've thought this through carefully and authentically. Your words make a lot of sense and I know they will help others in similar situations. I'm so relieved for you. Love, hugs, and prayers for you as you step into this next chapter of your life.

    You are a very wise woman, Rachel. You've thought this through carefully and authentically. Your words make a lot of sense and I know they will help others in similar situations.

    I'm so relieved for you.

    Love, hugs, and prayers for you as you step into this next chapter of your life.

  • Susan

    Susan

    Miss. Racel, It's not "The End," it's the "Begining!" Godspeed! Love & Peace, Susan

    Miss. Racel,
    It's not "The End," it's the "Begining!" Godspeed!
    Love & Peace,
    Susan

  • Danielle

    Danielle

    I am so proud of you. It isn't easy allowing our selves to heal. It is worth it and you will feel all the better for it.

    I am so proud of you. It isn't easy allowing our selves to heal. It is worth it and you will feel all the better for it.

  • Janna Bavar

    Janna Bavar

    Good for you, Rachel, for protecting yourself and shedding the shackles. You were never meant to be controlled and repressed. And certainly, love should not stifle and destroy authentic bids for connection. Good luck in your journey to heal and rediscover the things you've always loved about yourself.

    Good for you, Rachel, for protecting yourself and shedding the shackles. You were never meant to be controlled and repressed. And certainly, love should not stifle and destroy authentic bids for connection. Good luck in your journey to heal and rediscover the things you've always loved about yourself.

  • Sodypop

    Sodypop

    I'm proud of you for making such a hard, but necessary decision. You are a good person and have a great heart. This can't be an easy time but to stay married would be a slow suffocation of any spirit you have left. Stay strong. You can do this.

    I'm proud of you for making such a hard, but necessary decision. You are a good person and have a great heart. This can't be an easy time but to stay married would be a slow suffocation of any spirit you have left. Stay strong. You can do this.

  • Hello

    Hello

    Dearest Rachel, Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

    Dearest Rachel,
    Proverbs 3:5-6
    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

    1 Peter 5:7
    Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.

    2 Corinthians 4:16-18
    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

  • Tanya

    Tanya

    Seven Year Switch has just come to Australia.... I watched your episodes with sadness, coming from an abusive relationship myself. I found your blog and am relieved to see you are looking to the future..... even though it was not the ending you hoped for, I know your future is beyond bright :) Thank you so much for sharing. ... you truly are an amazing woman!! Hugs from down under xoxo

    Seven Year Switch has just come to Australia.... I watched your episodes with sadness, coming from an abusive relationship myself. I found your blog and am relieved to see you are looking to the future..... even though it was not the ending you hoped for, I know your future is beyond bright smile
    Thank you so much for sharing. ... you truly are an amazing woman!!

    Hugs from down under
    xoxo

  • Helen

    Helen

    I've just finished watching 7 Year Switch and I just wanted to adopt you as a little sister. 7 years ago I left my husband of 14 years a very broken woman, with no identity of my own. It was a long, slow, subtle process to lose myself so totally, and I could see you heading down that same path. I understand the heartbreak of being the one to end a relationship, but am relieved you are not leaving a mere shell of your former self. Be very kind and gentle with yourself through this time of healing, enjoying every small thing that brings you joy. Keep immersing yourself in your amazing music, you are a talented musician.

    I've just finished watching 7 Year Switch and I just wanted to adopt you as a little sister. 7 years ago I left my husband of 14 years a very broken woman, with no identity of my own. It was a long, slow, subtle process to lose myself so totally, and I could see you heading down that same path. I understand the heartbreak of being the one to end a relationship, but am relieved you are not leaving a mere shell of your former self. Be very kind and gentle with yourself through this time of healing, enjoying every small thing that brings you joy. Keep immersing yourself in your amazing music, you are a talented musician.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Hi Rachel. I had to find you, having just watched you in the tv series 'seven year switch'. I have read your blogposts and although the kind of change you are undergoing is difficult, I am so glad to hear that you are spreading your wings. Long may you flourish.

    Hi Rachel. I had to find you, having just watched you in the tv series 'seven year switch'. I have read your blogposts and although the kind of change you are undergoing is difficult, I am so glad to hear that you are spreading your wings. Long may you flourish.

  • Rachel Farris

    Rachel Farris

    Helen, I would love to have you as an adopted sister. Thank you for writing. I can see that you know all too well the destruction that can slowly happen over time and what is needed to restore what has been lost. I appreciate your words of advice, they are very apropos and vital to recovery. Thank you also for recognizing my songs and music. It's always been such a large part of who I am. xoxo

    Helen, I would love to have you as an adopted sister. Thank you for writing. I can see that you know all too well the destruction that can slowly happen over time and what is needed to restore what has been lost. I appreciate your words of advice, they are very apropos and vital to recovery. Thank you also for recognizing my songs and music. It's always been such a large part of who I am. xoxo

  • Rachel Farris

    Rachel Farris

    Nelly, I'm glad you found me. Thank you for checking in. I'm grateful you care and appreciate your support. Keep in touch. xoxo

    Nelly, I'm glad you found me. Thank you for checking in. I'm grateful you care and appreciate your support. Keep in touch. xoxo

  • Michael David

    Michael David

    Hello Rachel :). After watching Seven Year Switch, I was keen to find out if things worked out for both you and CW. I'm sorry to hear that it has ended in divorce but I think it was a very wise decision on your behalf. It was sad to see that your feelings being dismissed in the relationship therefore in this healing process, I'm sure your true personality will continue to flourish :) - You seemed very sweet and I'm sure good things are still to come in your life! On a side note, I wish you every success with your music :) x

    Hello Rachel smile. After watching Seven Year Switch, I was keen to find out if things worked out for both you and CW. I'm sorry to hear that it has ended in divorce but I think it was a very wise decision on your behalf. It was sad to see that your feelings being dismissed in the relationship therefore in this healing process, I'm sure your true personality will continue to flourish smile - You seemed very sweet and I'm sure good things are still to come in your life! On a side note, I wish you every success with your music smile x

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    I too have just finished watching 7 year switch and just had to find out if you had left your husband, and I'm so relieved to find that you have. I was in a very similar relationship and I left it five years ago - I was squirming watching CW do such familiar things to you and I just prayed you would see it was not you and get out. Thank God you did. Please don't ever worry about people (or you) thinking that you were weak to get into that situation - until you've experienced it it's really hard to imagine how someone can so gradually and systematically dismantle someone that they do not notice, let alone stop, it from happening. It's a scary fact that it happens more than we might like and in such clever and subtle ways. You are not weak, and I think you're amazing for having stepped away from the abuse and to call it for what it is. It took me ages to have the courage to call it abuse as I was worried people might think me dramatic, but that's what it is. I'm sending you tons of virtual hugs from the UK and hope that by hearing from others who have also been through it, it can help. And one day a gentle and worthy soul will come looking for you and love you properly and beautifully. Xxx

    I too have just finished watching 7 year switch and just had to find out if you had left your husband, and I'm so relieved to find that you have.
    I was in a very similar relationship and I left it five years ago - I was squirming watching CW do such familiar things to you and I just prayed you would see it was not you and get out. Thank God you did. Please don't ever worry about people (or you) thinking that you were weak to get into that situation - until you've experienced it it's really hard to imagine how someone can so gradually and systematically dismantle someone that they do not notice, let alone stop, it from happening. It's a scary fact that it happens more than we might like and in such clever and subtle ways. You are not weak, and I think you're amazing for having stepped away from the abuse and to call it for what it is. It took me ages to have the courage to call it abuse as I was worried people might think me dramatic, but that's what it is.
    I'm sending you tons of virtual hugs from the UK and hope that by hearing from others who have also been through it, it can help. And one day a gentle and worthy soul will come looking for you and love you properly and beautifully. Xxx

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