To embrace feelings, including the bad, is important to the human experience

Alyza LeBlanc

Lately I’ve been processing feelings of anger which is strange. From a big picture standpoint, I am usually a very upbeat person. I am happy with my life and the direction I am headed. I do believe, however, that we experience the most growth through challenging times because that is when we have to step up to challenges, learn something new or face our fears. We are meant to feel not only the positive but the negative in order to develop and become better versions of ourselves. Being human is allowing ourselves to feel it all and let that help us to evolve.

This recent battle with anger started when someone reached out to me and made a false remark that was based from a complete lack of knowledge. The unknowing was not their fault, but the approach with which they came at me with the accusation certainly was. You see, I had to make some difficult decisions a few years back to protect my adopted daughter and in doing so was unable to be transparent about the reasons behind these decisions. Some of these changes appeared to be selfish and for my personal benefit, rather than in the best interest of my child while, in fact, every decision was specifically with her in mind. Not being able to share this has certainly been difficult as it painted me in a negative light in the minds of many.

I take solace that my daughter is safe and secure, she adjusted very quickly to our new environment and is thriving. I am so grateful to see her so well adjusted and on a path toward a bright future. The changes made turned out to be much harder for me. Moving out of state, I lost my friend network, changed jobs, was not only transitioning into being a parent, but now suddenly a solo one and I was so focused on making a clean break, I was overly generous with financial settlements ending my marriage.

I finally stop to absorb all I’ve experienced in the past two years and suddenly feel an overwhelming sense of anger; unexpected. Reality is, I would do it all again but I am ready to evaluate these feelings, process the learning, the fear conquered and growth so I can release the anger and move on. As I evaluate all I have faced, I am tasked with finding the positive outcome, so here we go:

  • I am a survivor. I face change head on and am determined to succeed, rebuild and live happy regardless of the circumstances.
  • Considering the unexpected and unplanned experience of becoming a Mom, I know with certainty I am really good at this job. My child knows that she can trust, rely and depend on me and I have proved it by putting her first. I conquered the fear of whether I could take on this role.
  • Being a parent requires a ton of patience. I am grateful for the patience I have developed.
  • There are no breaks, there is no second party for the “good cop / bad cop” roles, to run to the grocery store; if I slack on keeping track of her homework, or chores or doctor appointments, there is no one to back me up. I have learned discipline and structure, but most importantly grace for self.
  • I am more self aware than ever before. When I make a mistake I acknowledge it and apologize because I want that to be a characteristic she develops as well.
  • I have learned to worry less about the judgement of others or trying to justify my decisions, particularly in relation to caring for my daughter.

In writing this, I recognize some areas that I need to focus on to flip the script and turn the negative into a power story, but I am thankful to be able to identify these things.

*This nonfiction piece is based on observation and research. I do not claim to be an expert in areas of public health, academia, mental health, or science, nor am I providing professional medical or legal advice. Opinions shared are expressly drawn from personal experience.

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Lifestyle insights on work, parenting, and relationship balance from the perspective of a business professional and solo parent to an adopted teen.


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