I had promised someone recently that I would write an overview of my direct experience in this area. I did not have a mid-life crisis, I had a seven and a half year mid-life transition. The major difference was that I did not run away from it. I walked through in full, experienced every aspect that was unique to me, as an individual, completed that whole process, and have not suffered any additional bouts.
The recounting of the process I endured, located elsewhere, most likely came from some questions I once answered about what I endured during that process. I had just as many issues as your average mid-life spouse, and the transitional period I endured was extremely painful. I also found that my journey to wholeness and healing began all over again from a whole different aspect than what I had gone through when I dealt with my spouse’s mid-life crisis.
You see, the issues faced during my spouse’s mid-life crisis, were different than they were when I started through my own transitional time. When I had walked through that first process, (that came during his mid-life crisis), those issues only partly dealt with my childhood.
There were various issues that had to do with how to grow up in areas dealing with relational aspects within my marriage that I repaired within myself during that particular time. I was struggling some, but I managed to set all of my feelings aside in this area, so I could help my spouse navigate through his mid-life crisis.
However, once he was out of his crisis, and my transition went “full-blown,” I was surprised to see various aspects, and more childhood wounds and issues come forth as a result. These were more personal-type issues than what I had faced before. Some were aspects of the issues I had faced before, but most were directly from a hard childhood I had faced within my past.
I gained a lot of insight during that time that I use in my writings to help people better understand what mid-life spouses are facing. I cannot say I remember everything, but I remember enough to understand that I speak the truth about the emotional pain that all mid-life spouses go through.
It is true that depression, and withdrawal do show all during the time of transition. I had a hard bout of Menopause that heralded my subsequent emotional battle that followed. It is no fun to feel like you are out of emotional control, and any pressure applied from anyone (whom you perceive only wants to control you), sends you spiraling downward. All you want is to be left alone. The pain within my psyche became so bad, I asked God to simply let me die, but of course, it did not happen, because I lived to tell about it.
It is very true about the children of a mid-life spouse’s issues, because I had many of these who screamed day and night for my attention. I did not sleep much, I did not eat much, I worked, and functioned in the best way I knew how, but it was more out of habit than anything else. However, as each child was “settled” within me, each one disappeared, never to be seen again. I can tell you that I did settle all of my inner children during that time.
It is true that temptation to run away from everything, and never return, is strong during that time, because I faced that, too. It is also a hard thing to say, “No,” to the temptation of wanting something different, but I did, because I intuitively knew that if I did not, I would never sleep for the guilt, not to mention the fact that my own moral code remained quite strong during that time.
There was no committing wrongs, and covering them over with justification, there was only the “knowing” that I could never compromise the person I still knew myself to be.
As a result, my core character remained intact, undamaged, as the worst thing I probably did was get extremely hateful with my husband, because he did not understand what was happening. However, my son did understand what was happening, and helped me in every way he could, as he stood as my Stanchion in place of my husband.
No, it was not easy for him to watch me go through this, but there was a lot of help given from his quarter that I was very grateful for at a later time.
It is also true that there are fires of change, growth and becoming that burn most of the “old” out of a person, making way for the new to come forth. It seemed that I “burned” constantly; my face, different places of my body, and even the bottoms of my feet bore “hot spots,” as it seemed my inner fires were constantly burning from inside out. It was a terrible time.
There is even truth in the fact that once someone has gone into the transition period, they never come out as the person they once were. This is neither good, nor bad, it just is what it is, and what it shall be.
In addition, some of my tastes in food, clothes, and even friendships with people were permanently altered. I did come out settled, peaceful, stronger, and ready to take on the world again, only in a different aspect. I had gained a renewed confidence, strong self-esteem, my steps were sure, and my forward “view” of the future was once again positive, even as all the negative “rear-view” aspects faded into the distance behind me.
Last, but not least, when I came out, I was whole and healed in full, and for a long time my memories were broken, fragmented, and some were faded. However, for the purpose of the work that I now do, in time, these former memories were restored in full around four years ago, one year after I finished my transition.
Because I had gone through full emotional healing, these old memories became a “fact” rather than a feeling. I remembered, but did not “relive” back through those past times.
However, my ongoing growth did not stop there. I immediately began another journey, this one continued from the point of the past learning I had already completed. However, this time, it became all about the aspects of all the Life’s Lessons I had learned during my prior two journeys forward.
I have been on this particular learning curve ever since. Around a year and a half ago, I began to have some pretty strange experiences that at first looked like “flashbacks” or “rewinds.” However, those turned out to be what is so often called, “hindsight” views of the past that were designed to teach me even more than I had learned before.
When you go through an experience of any kind, there is not only the straight-forward learning you do. If you remain open to the continuation of the learning experience, you will also be subjected to “hindsight” learning that assists you in understanding a lot more, as your experience begins to teach you all about the aspects connected with the prior learning you have completed.
Of course, I am only one person who successfully navigated through a time of life that changed me, rearranged me, transformed me into the person I became once this whole process was worked out in full within me.