Monday, November 19, 2012

Let's talk about divorce again ...

Before you read this post you need to know it gets better ... everyday is a day away ... everyday is a better day ... but that doesn't mean that it isn't an uphill battle.

When you are considering divorce you need to realize that there will always be a part of that person with you. I cannot put a word to it ... so I will describe it ... it is something you should be prepared for ...

R has E ... this little girl will eternally tie him to his ex-wife ... which means R will have to see the ex and talk to her quite a bit ... conversations that reminder him as to why they had to get a divorce. In some ways I would say that this is easier ... especially if you can establish some form of friendship or respect for the other person. But I have nothing that ties me to my ex-husband. Most people will look at this last statement and wonder how I could ever feel ... even for a second ... that I got the raw end of the deal ... but sometimes I do. What everyone should know about me now is that my glass is half full ... always ... what happened to me after my divorce was as time went on I began to forget the bad. When that happens the good things come flooding back ... I mean ... you loved this person once ... you pledged eternity with them ... you did some fun things together ... it was never all horrible ... there were good days. Imagine what that does to your soul ... you just left someone that only has good memories that correspond with them ... it rips your soul to shreds.

I took a marriage and family relations class with my ex-husband before we were married ... they warned us about this ... there is a special bond that is created between a husband and wife ... something sacred ... even when the relationship is dysfunctional ... and when that bond is broken you learn that it can never be fully broken.

If you are considering divorce please acknowledge this fact ... prepare yourself for it. Eventually what I had to do was write it all down ... from start to finish ... my marriage .. my divorce ... everything I could remember ... that was negative. It took me a long time to dig it out of me ... years ... almost literally taking my heart out and dissecting it ... trying to relive the bad so I knew why it was healthy and good for me to leave. It was hard ... it still is ... sometimes I still find myself romanticizing the good ... especially when it gets hard to swallow that I am a mother.

For a while you need to accept that you will think about your expired significant other once a day ... it took me around two years before I had a day that I didn't think about him in some way ... now it is just random times ... If you aren't a heartless person you will probably find yourself wondering how they are doing today ... curious because you really do wish them well ... it's ok to be curious ... but don't let it affect your life.

Along those lines you need to be prepared for the "flashes" (that's what I call them anyway) ... they used to happen a lot ... I would lose my breath ... I would see pictures in my head ... I think that I suffered a little PTSD from that last day ... R will tell you ... we couldn't play wrestle or play fight for over a year because about two minutes into it I would be screaming or crying at him to stop. These flashes don't just go away ... Three ... almost four ... years later I still suffer from them randomly ... the other night at recipe group one of my new friends was explaining how her hubby planned their wedding ... then I thought she called him Chris ... all of a sudden I couldn't breath ... I was back ... if only for a millisecond ... that's how my first wedding was ... I screamed inside ... and then it was gone. Or even the other day ... it lasted longer ... I was driving up fifth north ... the way I would drive home ... I had E in the back seat ... we were going to meet R on campus for lunch ... he was there for a conference ... as soon as I turned onto that road it hit me ... I couldn't breathe anymore ... I started to silently hyperventilate ... the world melted around me ... it was just me ... in my car ... driving ... I wanted to turn and run ... it lasted for a minute ... maybe two ... I lost track of time ... but it happened ... three and a half years later ... it happened. I know it will happen again ... it will probably happen for the rest of my life ... even if its just the general curiosity ... it happens ... be prepared.

What is worst are the songs ... I am a huge believer in the strength of music ... I know what it can do for someone. When I was divorcing my wonderful friend Jordy introduced me to the script ... and suddenly "Breakeven" was all over the radio ... every time I heard it I wished that that was what Christopher was thinking ... I heard it a lot ... then it started to peter off ... every time I heard it I would again and again be unable to breathe. Slow music has that effect on me too ... I have a Pandora station that plays nothing but slow ... and somewhat sad music ... sometimes you just need to feel those feelings. Katy Perry and Russel Brand's divorce was especially hard ... I don't know when it happened ... her breakup songs started to come out a couple of years ago ... meaning ... I was a year divorced and thinking that I was getting over everything ... then they hit me in the face. I still cry ... whenever one comes on ... sometimes they come on Es Alvin and the Chipmunks Pandora station ... I cry ... Her newest one ... Wide Awake ... posses the ability to shake me to the core ... every time. I think I enjoy feeling those feeling now ... when she talks about strength ... about this being the part you will never get ... about being awake ... that is what divorce was for me ... an awakening ... coming out of my depression coma ... that doesn't make it easy ... but it makes it worth it. I will say though ... I can honestly still not listen to country music ... I have some stations programed into my car ... they go untouched (did I ever mention that I was not allowed to listen to anything but country for then entire time I was married ... I didn't like country to begin with ... not I can't listen to it) ... shortly after my divorce I went to Vegas with my best friend and her little sister ... on the way back we listened to not even an hour of country ... it felt like the entire car ride ... one song felt like eternity ... but I tried to be strong ... told her I was ok to listen to it ... even tried to sing along ... I don't think she knew ... I wouldn't let her know ... that I silently cried in the back seat ... cannot handle it to this day.

I have just given you all the warnings about what will happen to your head, heart, and soul after you get divorce ... or maybe I have just scratched the surface ... I will have to search some more ... but I haven't really said anything positive. But, there is a positive ... it does get better ... you do stop thinking about your ex daily ... flashes are few and far between ... do I ever think that they will go away fully? Absolutely not ... because for however long that person was a part of you ... one with you ... because in a marriage you have to be at some point ... and the knowledge of that will never go away. No matter how hard you try to forget their name you will always know it. But it will get better.

Things to take away:
  1. If you have the opportunity to save your marriage, do it. I know that this sounds hypocritical coming from the divorcee  ... But Chris and I did everything that my twenty one year old brain thought we could ... counseling ... check ... talking to the bishop ... check ... talking to each other ... check. The only thing that we didn't do was try to improve ourselves. You should do that ... do everything you can ... things aren't fully broken until you decide to break them ... it is soul ripping to divorce ... if it could make a horcrux it would. (this all, of course, excludes abuse and multiple cheating)
  2. Be prepared for the storm that is going to come.Your heart, head, and soul have just been cut ... and not a clean cut either ... jagged and bleeding ... what else can you expect from divorce ... there will be flashes ... spells of hyperventilation ... simple words will set you off ... be prepared.
  3. Be prepared that if you have nothing that forces you to talk to your ex on a weekly basis that you may start to question your judgement. Write a list of negatives if you have to ... especially if your relationship was unhealthy ... it will feel like things are being ripped again ... but it will help. It helped me ... I was able to recognize that it was negative then set it all in a drawer ... if I needed a reminder it was there ... is there ... I know that I am a glass half full girl ... but sometimes you have to remember the bads in order to recognize the blessings you have now.
  4. Understand that you may have feelings or memories like this for the rest of your life ... but that they do not define you ... they do not control you ... you are in charge ... remember to recognize all the blessings that you have in your life currently ... because your life is filled with blessings. 
  5. Feel the feelings ... they will come ... feel them and then let them go ... it is healthy to feel feelings ... it helps me feel better to know exactly everything that is going on in my head and heart ... that way I don't just shove them down until they brew up so large that I end up in a padded cell hugging myself. Feel your feelings ... let them course through you ... they may only last a millisecond ... others may last a couple of minutes ... but always feel them and let them go.
Anyway ... I hope that this all helped at least one person ... have a fantastic night ... count your blessings ... love everyone ... and remember it gets better.