The Divorce Diaries Ep. 1
It's been months since I've written anything but stream of consciousness words to process what has been happening in my life. I often wondered if I would ever sit down again at this computer and share my story with the world. It seemed I finally found a topic difficult speaking about. Endometriosis seems like a piece of cake now (at least speaking about that struggle). I can speak about my health struggles for hours here, giving you advice and resources, discussing the struggles - but when it came to my heart breaking and building myself back up into a strong, independent and fully content woman again - that felt impossible to articulate into words.
This blog post is going to be heavy. Only because I want to articulate the emotions I felt when it all began to fall apart. I want you to know - that I am truly, blissfully, and intensely happy now. I have never felt so much ease in my life, have never felt more supported by my friends and family and coworkers, have never felt so confident, strong, independent and well, more myself. I tell the nasty parts because I think its an important part of the journey. I will never lie to you about my feelings or my experiences with pain and suffering, because they are part of life.
Early this year, my relationship began to crumble and suffer. There was a subtle distance at first, then complete avoidance, and then I found his wedding ring on the floor of our shower. I should have listened to my intuition then when it told me it was over, but instead I held on for dear life, losing pieces of myself in the process.
I had grown up dreaming of that prince charming, and that perfect wedding, and the perfect happy marriage. Day dreaming about that one person who would love me and have my back through thick and thin, no matter what shit storm life through our way. And to be honest, I thought I had found it. But in reality, it was life testing me to see just how strong I was and just how committed I was to a) my own personal growth and happiness, and b) finding a partner who would truly make me grow as a person, love me and face the world with me.
When I found that ring on the bathroom floor while showering one night, I remember feeling a pit in my stomach. It seemed like such a cruel and thoughtless thing to do to a piece of jewellery that meant so much. Being the endless optimist I picked it up, dried it off and walked with it into the office where he spent endless hours playing video games avoiding his own life, and quietly placed it beside him. Whispering something about how he must have dropped it. We both knew he hadn't.
It would be only a few short weeks before he started sleeping on the couch, and then out of our home all together. And he never came back.
Flashing back to months prior during the Christmas season, I remember having a conversation with my best friend H. I told her I was going crazy, because I thought he was having an affair. My intuition was screaming at me that there was another woman and that I needed to confront him, but my logical brain (and I only say logical because it was thinking what society has told us to think about women's intuition) said no, Jedrah, you are being a crazy woman - he's just going through something. Support him through it - no matter what. H and I talked me off the ledge, convincing myself that this was just a short term set back and there was no way this man I had married was cheating. The lesson I have to share here - is usually when your body is screaming at you through mystery illnesses, depression, anxiety and a never ending pit of dread in your stomach, that your intuition is telling you something, and baby she's usually right.
I could go through the whole timeline of lies, betrayal, and being used with you, but I don't know what purpose that would serve. What I can tell you is that I have never had someone I loved so much treat me with so little respect in my life. I have never experienced so much cowardice come from someone I once praised for being so strong. I always said I didn't understand how people could be so cruel to each other when getting a divorce, but now I know - it's usually because someone or both someones, make grave errors in judgement or do things that you would never even consider doing to someone you love. You fuck up. You make choices without considering the others feelings. And you act so selfishly, that the one being left has no choice but to never want you back.
This was not a conscious uncoupling. There was no conversation or attempt to salvage what was broken. One of us walked away and created a new life. And to be honest, now that I'm at the other end - there would have been zero chance of me forgiving or loving ever again. But all that has happened has not changed my feelings on our past - we were happy and in love, and the laughter and the joy was real. So I have no interest in tarnishing those memories wondering about how long the cheating had been going on, or the lies. I'm going to look back with fondness, and thank this lesson for teaching me my value, my worth and how strong as fuck I am. And now that I'm through to the other side of the tunnel - share it all with you.
In my moments of just pure pain, I often wondered if I was the only 25 year old to ever go through the scary D word. I mean, I kept seeing friends and friends of friends get married, and be blissfully happy, have children, buy homes, take trips. And that was not what married life looked like for me. We struggled within a few months, and the affection and work it takes to make a relationship work became one sided. So I knew, when I was ready that I needed to share my story. Because feeling so alone, confused and broken without anyone else who has gone through what you have gone through is excruciating and exhausting. Yes I confided in parents friends who had been divorced, once, sometimes twice. But most of the people I meet who have separated or gotten divorced are much older. I found it hard to relate to their feelings.
I feared what people would think. And I have gotten some judgements - mostly from men I meet, who run the other way when they find out I'm 25 and getting divorced. There seems to be a little bit of a stigma around women who are divorced. We're crazy. Overbearing. Something is innately wrong with us. We're difficult to live with. Maybe even we're the ones who made all the mistakes. And I won't lie - I was not perfect. But I tried my hardest. (P.S young divorcee's : there are men out there who don't think your damaged, but instead think your strong, beautiful and know better. Just saying).
And I've come to realize that feeling guilty, and a failure is a normal feeling when something falls apart. I felt ashamed when I thought of all the friends and family who came and shared in that day with us, the money and the gifts they spent and bought, and the expectations of a bright future. But I came to realize that no one who loved me would want me to suffer through life miserable, and that each and every dollar, each and every gift could be seen as a way of me building my new life for myself - and my family and friends would just want me happy. The biggest lesson I've learnt from all of this, is that there is always two ways to view a situation. You can sit there and think of all the negatives and feel really shitty, or you can shift it to something beautiful. Like I did with the gifts. And trust me - it feels way better when you shift your thoughts.
Going forward when I share about divorce and feelings and the many breakdowns, I promise you will get a glimpse into the humour I found along the way. The many times I laughed hysterically and the ridiculousness at it all. But I will not shy away from the times I sobbed on the phone with friends, or didn't leave my bed for days at a time. Because every feeling is valid. There is no one way to feel when your heart is broken and a love falls apart. How you deal is up to you. All I knew, is that I wanted to deal with it all with dignity, grace and not be a raging bitch. So I let him off easy, I have forgiven (but will never forget), and I'm moving on (quite happily). I found no joy in being difficult, or pushing or fighting. If someone doesn't want to love you, you cannot make them - so please just let them go.