Tineke was left after 17 years: I wanted to be strong

13 Apr 2021Updated: 4 hours ago | 52 people are reading

Tineke was left after 17 years: I wanted to be strong

Tineke Terluin (51, financial administrator) was with her husband for 17 years when he left her at the end of 2017. In a short time, she became single mother of two children (now 12 and 16) and she also lost both parents.

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"A few days before Christmas, he did not continue with wanting me. The ground fell from under my feet. I had experienced so much with the loss of loved ones that year. I felt paralyzed. My head was full of sorrow, but I didn't know when I cried why. That has partly been my salvation. Because my head was so full, there was no room for worry. Fightingly, I thought: come on, you can also add that!

I knew that I shouldn't keep on wallowing in my grief. I wanted to be strong. For myself and for my two daughters. I had to take good care of myself and find myself again. And it worked. I received a lot of support from the people around me. I discovered how many friends I had. I received a lot of sweet cards and I had an incredible amount of support for my colleagues. There was always room to collapse and cry.

I learned how important it is to ask for help and accept help. Asking a shoulder to cry on, allowing them to help you move ... I used to think: never mind, I'll manage. I didn't want to bother others with my grief. But you can't do it alone. You must learn to trust that people mean the best for you. If you can do that, you are one step further. That gave me back my self-confidence.

Soon I found a nice home through friends. My ex-husband and I have the girls every other week. Not seeing my children for a whole week is difficult. In the beginning I was terribly worried: would something happen to them? A friend then gave me the best advice: "Let go of your old lifestyle and do not want to influence what happens there. If you let go of your old life, you create space for new things. "And that is true.

Friends and family often give me positive feedback. Then they say: "Tineke, you are doing very well." This gives me confidence again. I have a door with pictures of all the new memories that I make and I look at it every morning. It feels like I'm smiling at myself in the mirror. I have also taken a tattoo. I wanted to do that for a long time, but now I don't worry about what others think. And I lost 20 kilos. A positive consequence of all stress. I used to be very sporty, but I lost that in the busy family life. I am so glad that I have that back. I do strength training and pilates.

© Brenda van Leeuwen

My daughters are doing very well. And I am happy that I have good contact with my ex-husband. The week that my daughters are not there, I am still stuffed with fun things. But I also enjoy an evening alone on the couch with a glass of wine. I learned how strong I am. I am proud of myself. "