When vising with the GAL last week I was presented with this question. Stated very straight forwardly...
"Are you proud of yourself?"
For a moment there I just looked at Dr. Britt with what I can only assume was a bewildered look on my face. You see we were about 2/3 of the way through our two hour meeting and I had confessed through her probing questions about the terrible mistake I made getting and staying married to an emotionally abusive man. I had also been very honest about the affair I had two weeks before the X and I decided to get divorced. I had told her that after my X brought that gun to my house my children and I were essentially homeless, living off the generosity of my parents and Ethel's family.
My answer was, "No - I'm not proud of myself. Mostly I feel foolish, and weak. I know I didn't handle things the best way possible at the end of my marriage and my children and I all suffered horribly."
Dr. Britt cut me off there and said, "No, I mean... you SHOULD be proud of yourself. You survived something really terrible and traumatic, and you've come out at the end of all this doing really well for yourself. Your kids are, from everything I can gather, healthy and happy and well adjusted. You didn't let this define you or stop you. You went on with life and built something really good for yourself and your kids. So I ask you again.... Are you proud of yourself?"
And you know what... I AM! I AM PROUD OF MYSELF, MY FAMILY, MY KIDS, AND MY LIFE! Wheww...you know it feels pretty damn amazing to say that out loud. I don't think I've ever done that before.