Today marks the one year anniversary of my official divorce. My separation actually happened way before that– in June 2009. Yes, we were separated almost two years before we officially got divorced. So by the time it was legally declared and done with it was more like a celebration and wave of relief thing than anything traumatizing.
The hard part was the separation. That initial shock to the system.
I was the one who wanted the separation and the divorce so a lot of people take the point of view that I should have been off the hook for any sort of negative reaction to it. That’s a load of bull crap. I’m sure there are lots of people who want divorces and don’t experience a confusing tornado of emotions but there are way more than do and I was one of those.
In my case, by the time I asked for the separation and divorce I was done, beyond done. And even though I knew the marriage was past the point CPR would’ve helped, it didn’t mean I wasn’t without doubt. Was I seriously doing the right thing?
The answer was always yes. But there was always so many things to question myself on. And doubt is not the same thing as regret.
I have never regretted my decision to end my marriage. I regret my decision to get married and even that one is hard to do with 100% conviction because my marriage brought along two more children. Can’t have one without the other.
The biggest difference between now and then is probably the level of anger. I just don’t have it much anymore. Yes my Ex confuses the crap out of me. And sometimes he frustrates me. But for the most part, my Ex and I don’t really talk or anything so there’ snot many triggers to get the anger going.
Yes, you read that right. We have children together and they regularly go with him, but we have a system set up where communication and interaction with each other isn’t really required. It happens, mostly via e-mail, sometimes by text, and rarely by phone as his girlfriend doesn’t allow him to talk with me. But we have a system and we have a flow and thankfully there aren’t many hiccups. We rarely mess with the schedule. Child support is handled by the government. And I pretty much take on 90% of everything related to the kids so I don’t have to count on him. There are exceptions of course, but for the most part I just get it all done so I don’t have to deal with empty promises.
Honestly, the thing I keep thinking about today isn’t me or my former marriage or anything like that. It’s about all of you who are just starting this whole process now. Whether you’ve just thrown your husband out of your house or he’s left you for someone else. Whether you’ve left him for someone else or he’s thrown you out. Whatever your personal situation is. I’m thinking of those of you who are at the very beginning and everything is raw.
You probably feel like you’re on this psychotic roller coaster ready to just fall out at any moment. You probably have no idea how on Earth you’re going to make it through. You may feel like you may never heal from this, you may never trust again, much less love again. So many things hurt. So many things confuse. So many things doubt.
The questions are in the millions and the answers are in the single digits.
All I can tell you is I was there too not so long ago and I’m here now and I’m not perfect now and there are still more questions than answers but the questions are different now. The feelings are different now. I’m happier now. I’m calmer now. I’ve learned so much. So. Freaking. Much.
It’s almost been three years since I separated from my Ex. And you know what? Everything is better.
My job is better. My financial situation is better. My love life is better. My relationship with my children is better. My future is better.
I remember that vividly– the fact I couldn’t envision a better future when I was in my marriage or even when I was fresh out of it. But I was freaking determined to make it better even if that meant some major hard work.
So I guess what I want to say is please do not give up, cave in, or fall apart. Ok yes you can have meltdowns and breakdowns and tantrums. But do not let yourself fall past recovery. Do not dismiss your own power, your own strength, your own intelligence, your own creativity, your own bravery. Maybe you’re in the most brutal of situations and people are belittling you left and right. Please understand other people’s anger towards you has absolutely nothing to do with you. You are not responsible for their anger, their hate, their confusion. That’s all their stuff. They choose you to throw it at because you’re vulnerable and they know it. You scare them because here you are on your own and you are alive.
People are scared of women on their own. People are scared of you. And the better you get at being by yourself, the more people are going to be scared of you and resent you and hate you and call you all kinds of really ugly stuff. Let them work through their own demons– you have enough work cut out for yourself and your children.
So there you go. That’s my anniversary wish if you will. I’m thinking of all of you who are starting to navigate this difficult road. You aren’t alone. I wish you all the patience and the strength and the endurance and the courage I can possibly muster and then some. I can do it. You can do it. We can do it.