Gabriele McLaren

“I was so exhausted that the tranquility of my office was a recovery space. Working was recovery. At my desk I saw another woman and she was single. That’s when I realized, ‘I can do this by myself.'”

I used to live in Germany with my children. I was married at the time. The man that I was married to was American and he wanted to believe that he’s a multi-cultural person, but he was not. I knew this and I understood that, but he did not. He wanted to think of himself as world traveler who can blend into any situation. But in Germany he could not integrate. He could not make friends. So, while we were in Saarbrücken he would often go two and three months to be in America. When we first arrived, everybody was overwhelmed, completely under stress. We needed to adapt to a new culture, to a new life.

Everybody really did well, except for my former husband. One morning when he was in America again and I was on my own with the children, I still needed to drive them to school. I made the children breakfast, organized everything, made sure they had everything, dropped them off, and then ended up at my work desk. I was so exhausted that the tranquility of my office was a recovery space. Working was recovery. Imagine that! I sat at my desk, looked out of the window and saw another woman and I knew that she was single. I thought, “There’s no difference between her and me.” That’s when I realized, “I can do this by myself.” Because he didn’t help. He was a weight. You want to have a partner that’s not a weight.

Always Made New