People ask me all the time what made me decide to take the leap to move overseas. I usually tell them about how I wanted more opportunities for advancement at work. That I just needed a change. That I wanted to travel. But, I am going to be totally, 100% honest with you. Yes, all of those things are true, but the main reason why I decided to make the move was because I was stuck in a cycle. The kind of cycle that comes with a heartbreak so vast that I wasn’t sure how to break the endless repetition of bad choices, tears, and agony. That’s right. You heard me. I moved to the UAE because of a man. Not for a man. BECAUSE of a man. I had to escape from the suffocating hold he had over me. I had to get away so I could remember how to be the real me again. The me I was before he had broken me down and made me into someone that even *I* didn’t like.
And you know what? The cycle got broken faster than I expected. Once I was out of his grasp and away from the memories, I felt a little lighter, more confident, and dare I say a bit more stable. His lies became more transparent. His calls and emails became much easier to ignore. His pleading for forgiveness (followed up with his justifications “It’s your fault too because you believed my lies”) became laughable. His tried-and-true techniques for drawing me in stopped working. It just became easier to breathe without him choking the life out of me. I started living life again.
So, when people ask me if I like living in the UAE, I say yes. Oh sure, there are some negative aspects of being here like not getting to be with my family enough, not being able to eat certain kinds of food, and not having weather conducive to outdoor activities. But, on the positive side, in the UAE, I learned how to laugh and smile again. I became a better mom. I taught my daughter that despite the past, you can still have a bright future. I found a way to let go of the baggage (or at least downsize to a manageable size). I met Clark, and with him, I found someone that loves me for me – the real *me*. Oh and on top of all of that, I am boosting my CV and traveling the world.
Almost 10 years of my life was spent in one way or another dealing with the ramifications of meeting my very own living, breathing nightmare. But no more. With this disclosure, I now have final closure.