January 5


Rising Strong: Finding Love Within In The Face of Trauma

By Odyssa

January 5, 2024

“There was nothing more I could ask for.” Aiza described her relationship with her former partner for over eight years. He was the most loving father to his son from a previous relationship and a partner who loved with no conditions, treating her family like his own. 

They blended perfectly together, finding a complement to each other’s personality. She assumed the role of a mother to his son who she found to be a precious addition to her life. He was God’s biggest reward. 

With certainty that they were destined to be together, they were ready for the next milestone: building a life bound by the sacred vow of marriage.

Love stories

The relationship was nearly perfect. They gave each other unwavering support and steadfast commitment. Their shared dreams for their family and careers made them excited about the future even more. 

A shocking turn of events happened only a few months after the wedding. 

Her husband abruptly ended their connection, leaving her blindsided. It was as if she had been thrust into an unforeseen disaster. The once beautiful dream turned into a harrowing nightmare that unfolded in real life. The bond they built for almost a decade was shattered. 

When alone, questions of self-worth battered her. She wondered if she was a bad person to have received such treatment.

Prior to this, she was in an abusive relationship that spanned ten years. 

These two relationships plunged her into the depths. 

Known by her friends and colleagues as a fierce woman expanding her food business across different cities in the Philippines, she had to maintain a level of mental and emotional balance. 

She had to find ways to cope, otherwise, everything she had accomplished could fall to pieces.  After years of enduring the ups and downs of love, she discovered tools that offered gifts of resilience, self-love, and new beginnings. 

Shattered trust

Betrayal strikes deep, leaving scars that take time to heal. The shock, disbelief, and the pain of abuse and infidelity brought by two defining relationships left her questioning if she could be made whole again. If that was even possible, she was unsure how to make that happen. 

She found the answers in different ways. 

In the aftermath of betrayal, therapy gave her the clarity amidst the confusion. With the help of an empathetic therapist, she found a safe space to share her story without judgment, and process her emotions. In each session, she explored her own motivations, patterns, and intentions. 

Through God’s words, prayers, and putting trust in His plan, she found solace and restoration. 

She clung to her family for the stability and consistency that her life, then, was missing. Throughout life’s peaks and valleys, her family welcomed her with open arms and became her calm refuge. A constant companion, her mother and four siblings became her sources of comfort and belonging. 

Finally, by showering herself with the love she yearned for, she regained what she had lost from the last two decades. She attended several meditation and yoga retreats, spent time with supportive friends almost everyday, and persevered with her reliable staff to keep her business growing. 

She realized staying in her room, mourning, thinking of what she had lost won’t help her recover. 

The people she surrounded herself with became her shield from experiencing more pain,  covering her in a blanket of comfort and care. They made her believe there was a better plan in store. 

Seeing herself back on track, she got back the trust in her ability to rise from the ruins. Life may have knocked her down but there was a strong inner belief that she could overcome any challenge that came her way. 

She also learned to respect herself for all the pain she had endured, the boundaries she has learned to set, and putting her well-being as priority over others’. 

There is no singular path to recover from the depths of deception, abandonment, and broken promises. Aiza’s story serves as a testament that there is, indeed, a way.

Finding love again

Months into her healing journey, Aiza found love again. This time, it is within herself. The pain inflicted by betrayal became the catalyst that empowered her to reclaim her power. 

With therapy, rounds of prayers, quality time with closest friends and family, and self-care, she now sees herself and her value as a woman from a different - better - light. 

Aiza has shed her defeated spirit. She has undergone a transformation into a woman whose tenacity lies in lessons learned the hard way - or blessings - derived from men who both loved and broke her. 

Being broken is inevitable, staying broken is a choice. Aiza’s story tells us that amidst the ashes, beauty can emerge, and it is possible to find wholeness once more.


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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