“A divorce is like an amputation. You survive, but there is less of you”
Bravado is a dangerous thing. I’ve approached my divorce with so much of it I have spent a lot of the last 8 months lying to myself about how I really feel about the fact that tomorrow, 24th March 2017, I will officially be a divorced mother of four minions at the age of 36. No one gets married assuming at some point they may get divorced, but I often feel that people need guidance on this potential.
So as I sit here, I’ve decided to actually ‘feel’. Many friends have been amazing, telling me to mark the occasion with celebration, but is there really a cause for celebration? Is it the bravado simply masking the reality of the sadness? No, I genuinely do not think that is the case for me. Since being separated I have grown more than I ever thought possible. I no longer feel anything when the ex arrives for the children. I have no animosity towards the man that turned my world completely on its head anymore, no anger, no sadness. The man who collects the four most precious people in my life is very much a stranger to me these days and as long as he does what is agreed, I have no more requirement to draw him into conversation. I have no animosity towards the person who helped create the chaos either. After 8 short months I am at peace with the fact that another woman plays a part in the life of my babies and that’s cool – they are impossible not to love so it was inevitable and that is never a bad thing.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am sad. I am still grieving, but not for a person. I grieve for a life that is no longer. Twelve months ago I lived in a five bed house, two cars, a husband, a career and now I’m sat in a rented house, clapped out car and alone. I am better, but twelve months ago I knew where life was going. As a little girl I dreamed of that exact life I had back then, that was my aim and I had achieved it. There is nothing quite like having the rug pulled from that dream to make sadness strike. Dreams can be re routed. After 8 months I haven’t managed that yet. I’m still very much in limbo and tomorrow’s Decree Absolut does not change that all of a sudden. Instead it does mark a sign of survival. I have survived the minefield that is divorce and come out relatively unscathed. I’ve learnt a lot about myself, but even more about the man I used to love and that has helped the transition. I will be a little less, that is inevitable. My dream life is no more and that will always have an impact on me as a person.
Tomorrow does not mark a new beginning, it marks a time for reflection. It marks a time for re grouping, ensuring the surface of the water gets a little easier to stay at, but most of all it does not mark a failure. The only thing that failed was the strength of the love that created that marriage. We are human, to maintain that strength is not always possible. To make peace with that concept sets you free from guilt and disappointment.
For those of you looking into the chasm of divorce, a few things I have learnt:
- Friends WILL get you through this. Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing. You will feel lonely but you will never be alone – seek out those who will hold you as you cry big snotty sobs.
- Your ex WILL change. You will be amazed and saddened that this person can change so much, but it is not a reflection on you. Allow them to change, do not get angry or fuel that change as often that is what they want – it is so hard but being the bigger person is the way forward
- Seek out the positives, but allow yourself time to wallow. Whenever things overwhelm me, I allow myself to cry, feel sorry for myself and generally be miserable, but it has a time limit. One evening, but then I sleep and when I awake I must find the positive in whatever the situation is and focus on it. Its bloody hard but it works.
- Divorce is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of the limit of human nature’s ability to maintain strength. If the divorce is not your doing remember it is not your lack of strength and refocus that strength into building a new dream.
- It WILL get better. I am 8 months down the line. I love spending time at home lounging. I have a better social life than I have ever had. I smile more, laugh and know exactly who has my back when I need it. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of things that are still a tangled web, but the fact that my strength is back means that tangled web is achievable.
- In your darkest hours remember you are not alone – search for that inner strength that you DO have.
Tomorrow I will celebrate finding myself, I will mourn the loss of a part of me that my inner child wanted and I will drink to a future that offers new dreams and doorways.
‘Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it’