Today marks the anniversary of the day my divorce was finalized. In a marriage, each anniversary is a reason to celebrate. For a divorced woman- it is a reason to celebrate as well.
When I think back to when my marriage ended, which is quite a few years ago now I see a person I don’t know anymore. To be honest, I don’t think about that time, or that person very much anymore. When my ex husband dumped me – and there is no other way to put it than he dumped me- I was crushed. I was lost. I was heartbroken. I thought my life was over. I wallowed. I was depressed. I cried pretty much every day for three months. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do.
Then…slowly, I started to move on. I stopped crying every day. I remembered things that made me happy. I reinvented myself. I slowly started to crawl out of divorce hell into a brighter future. It took some time, but crawl I did and slowly the crawl became a stumble and then the stumble became a walk, then the walk became a confident run.
I can credit a few people with helping me here. My sister: I think she listened to me cry more than anyone. To say her feelings toward my ex were negative would be putting it nicely. But she was totally supportive of me and especially my girls during this turbulent time. I think I talked to her pretty much every day and for the first 3-6 months and every conversation included me crying. After awhile I remember her saying to me, “Hey! You don’t cry every day anymore!” It was almost a cause for celebrating! And you know what? I WASN’T crying every day! Over the years she has been a true source of support. I love her so much!
I would also have to credit my mom and dad. My mom was the one who told me I had had enough and encouraged me to let my ex go. I know this was hard for her because she really liked my ex. She was sad for our marriage to end also. My parents gave me more support in those first months and years than I could ever possibly repay. When my mom died, I lost a major source of support and I still haven’t gotten the over that.
My girls- when the walls crashed down, they were 12 and 14. Not the easiest ages to be and have your parents split up and your life to end as you know it. They were amazing during this time. I know this was devastating for them and in many ways they have still not gotten over it. But, as I did, they realized their father does not have to define them and they have grown up to be amazing young women of whom I am extremely proud. They struggle with their own feelings surrounding this time. I was far from perfect to say the least, but I tried very hard to keep it together for them and to continue to raise them the best I knew how. It was difficult, very difficult to do so much alone.
So what have I learned in the years post divorce?
NOTHING is so awful you can’t triumph over it.
Do NOT be afraid of change and to try new things.
Awful situations have a way of working out for the best.
Everything really does happen for a reason (I especially hate that one, but know it to be true- it’s also the hardest one to believe in.)
You can move on after true heartbreak. You WILL get over it!
I ran into an acquaintance this morning while running errands. We know each casually and are friends on Facebook. We exchanged pleasantries and then she said to me: “You have a pretty cool life! You do the funnest things!” Wow- she’s RIGHT. I DO have a pretty cool life! Is it perfect? Ummm- NO! But I look at where I was when the dumping happened and where I am today and realize had I stayed married I would be doing NONE of the things I and doing today. I was suffocating in my marriage. Always afraid of making my ex mad at me. Never feeling like I was good enough or pretty enough or skinny enough or anything enough.
Thank GOD (everyone say, Amen!) I don’t have to feel that way anymore. I do what I want, when I want. I travel where I want. I see who I want. I go to as much theatre as I want. I have a pretty bedroom. I have a poodle (a dog he NEVER wanted and I LOVE- NO sheddng!) I don’t have to cook meals that someone always complained were never good enough (I just don’t cook anymore! I assemble!- and I’m MUCH happier). I am complete and content and totally at peace!
I have absolutely no ill will toward my ex. I’ll be honest and say that took some time, but I wish him nothing but happiness. For all the sadness I suffered at his hands, he did give me the two greatest treasures in my life- Elizabeth and Sarah. And if we were brought together for only that reason, the grief and sadness were worth it.
Divorce is a horrible thing, something I don’t wish for anyone. But, I am proof positive that so much good can come from bad. Happiness can follow great sadness if you let it. You can’t be afraid to go after it.
So, on the anniversary of my liberation, I can honestly say I am happier than I ever have been. And although I am in a period of transition yet again, I love my life and all it brings me. I am one lucky girl – with a pretty cool life!
Take Z Challenge: Oprah Winfrey said : “You are responsible for your own life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.” I challenge you to take responsibility and look for something in your life that makes you happy. Don’t blame someone else for the troubles you might be facing – own up to what you really want a take steps to achieve it.
She Needed a Hero, So She Became One Herself