My Right To Be by Nina Bogataj
My story? What to tell? Where to start? So many things have happened in the last few years. Five very intensive years. Five stressful, also confusing, and painful years, and years of many fears. Five years of the hardest lessons in my life.
Everything connected to leaving a non-loving relationship and everything that goes along with that, including everything that was affecting and still to some extent affects my children’s life, was the toughest lesson for me. Today I believe this lesson was a major lesson for my future. It didn’t start five years ago. It didn’t happen overnight. It started much earlier, 10 years before, a year after my second child, my daughter, was born. Already then I’ve sensed that in the relationship with my ex-partner living my true self, and living aligned with my most important values, such as honesty, compassion, freedom, and independence, would be a constant battle or I might disappear.
Looking back I’m realizing that by leaving that relationship I’ve saved my life. If I stayed, I think that I would get ill or in a way disappear. What followed was a constant financial struggle, because he wasn’t open to any kind of collaboration. At that time, at the age of 42 and after 20 years of making for a living (last years as a judge) and contributing to our joint household, my existence and the existence of my daughter became dependable on the financial help from my mom and my sister.
Although the financial struggle was tough, it was way harder and painful to deal with the emotional pressure in our relationships. So much pain, severe pain, and deep sadness, because it was almost impossible for me to understand and accept what was going on despite 18 years of sharing life.
All along, I was facing a fear of surviving and providing for myself and for my daughter and trying my best to not lose my mind going through many painful events one after another. So much self-questioning, and in fear for my children, searching for the right steps forward in all uncertainty, and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Despite all that confusion, pain, and fear, I never thought, even for a split second, of going back.
I would not have succeeded, if I did not repeatedly believe that the only way is to remain true to myself and to have the right to exist as I am and to be free in my being. I would not have succeeded without the solid foundations that my primary family, my parents, and my sister, contributed to. I have succeeded by the unwavering faith that all creation supports the one who dares to be true to oneself and to follow it, even at the cost of life and at the cost of losing everything. I have succeeded with the support of the unwavering strength and faith in me from my mother, with loving countless conversations with my sister, and with the support of my dearest friends who have listened and supported me through all these times.
During this time the circle of my close people has narrowed significantly. I am very grateful for that. All those who were in my company only for their own benefit went away. Those who have been with me as true friends and compassionate human beings have remained my friends forever.
After five years, I still live in a rented apartment. I’m still waiting for my ex-partner to pay me out of our joint assets. What is most important to me, however, is that today both of my children live with me. They are both already almost adults due to the experience of separation from their parents, with upright posture and their own views on the past situation.
What brings me the most peace and joy now in my life is that my children learned to recognize what’s the real power in people, and to stand up for themselves and fight for themselves. They are with me despite the fact that we live in a small rented apartment, despite the fact that they rarely get new clothes and that they often have to think about how we spend money. What counts the most is the peace of mind and the feeling that you are worthy, being able to relax in your own home, to be able to express if you don’t like or disagree with something, that you can smile without hesitation and that you can be who you are, and that you are surrounded by honest and loving people.
On this occasion, I celebrate you, my dear children. I am proud of you and I am also proud of myself that I have been able to endure and continue on the path, to live my life aligned with my values and my truth. It was worth it going through all, for gaining a true sense of self-worth, sense of self-respect, freedom of thought and action, and independence in every way. As I finish the day, I fall asleep calmly and at peace. Everything I did was dictated by my conscience to do the right thing. I never again want to overhear my inner compass – my intuition, my soul.
I know that the learning path continues, and I want to be a good student in life. It is increasingly crystal clear to me who I am, where I want to go, where I want to arrive. I know which are the values I want to live in integrity with at any cost. I respect myself. I respect my children. I respect people who are close and dear to me. I respect all the good people on this planet.
What drives my thoughts and actions every day is the desire for freedom. And another thing: I never give up. I’m sure there is no situation that has no way out. My belief in the good in people, faith in goodness, and support of the universe never disappear.