‘You did nothing. You deserve nothing.’ The words cut like a knife. I was a stay-at-home mom raising 2 kids, fighting stage 4 cancer.’: Single mom shares divorce, self-love journey, ‘I’ve never felt happier’

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“I am me again. My divorce became final today. This process took over a year and a half. And it was long overdue by about 7 years. I didn’t know how I’d feel when I got word a decision had been made. Scared? Sad?

Relieved. All I feel is relieved. He broke me. Not in the physical sense. But emotionally, he broke me. I am a stay at home mom who shriveled into a corner as time passed. I was never complimented or acknowledged. I spent the last two years of our ‘cohabitation’ being essentially ignored.

And then the divorce process was horrific. Ugly, ugly words were said. Things I will never be able to completely forget. ‘You did nothing. You deserve nothing.’ Meanwhile, I was a stay a home mother, raising two children under 8, while fighting stage 4 cancer. But I did nothing.

Mom and children take a group photo in front of Christmas trees
Courtesy of Katy L.

Those words cut like a knife. Until one day I realized, ‘Like hell I did nothing!’ I am raising two children. Two AMAZING human beings. I kept this house together from the moment we bought it. I played Memory while having chemo pumped through me. And I looked death in the face at least 4 times and said, ‘Not today. Maybe someday, but NOT TODAY.’

Once he left the new home we’d built just 2.5 years earlier, I began to find my shine again. I took control of my life. I realized I’d dulled my shine to allow him to be the star. I used to be funny. I used to be outgoing. I used to smile.

I stopped being that person in order to make him happy. I pushed all of it away during my marriage. Somehow, I’d let myself believe his needs and wants were more important than mine. And I became passive. Quiet. ‘Just’ a mom.

Single mom takes a fall-themed photo with her two kids
Courtesy of Katy L.

And now that he’s gone, I’ve returned. I walk taller. I’m proud of myself again. I’m focused on myself and my kids and I’m thrilled to be back. I no longer dull my shine because I’m afraid to be noticed.

I laugh and I engage with people and those who knew me pre-divorce are now seeing who I really am. A friendly, caring, funny woman who is also realizing who SHE really is again.

I spent a long time worrying about what I’d do after divorce. And now I know, it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Even my chemo is easier now, because I feel better on the inside. I’m happy again.

And I will never, EVER again allow someone to tell me I’m nothing. I’m stronger and I’m more confident. I’m now a single mom, a stage 4 cancer survivor and a damn good woman. And I’ve never felt happier in my life.”

Mom takes a photo with her two children while at a theme park
Courtesy of Katy L.

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Katy L. of Iowa. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Katy here:

‘It’s stage 4. Our best guess is a 10-15% chance of living.’ It’s now been 6 years. I never want my kids to think I gave up on them.’: Mom shares ‘what I’m fighting for’ through terminal cancer diagnosis

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‘Umm, I’m 32, DIVORCED WITH TWO KIDS.’ He said, ‘Yeah, we need your consent.’ ‘Yes, I CONSENT!’: Divorced single mom adopted at 32, ‘I wonder if they’re tired of me. I felt like it was too good to be true’

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