Divorce, noun or verb?

Good morning Travellers,

Eight months ago my marriage imploded. Almost nine weeks ago, my then husband moved off to another state. One week ago today I got divorced.

There’s a sentence I hoped to never say.

Not because I think less of people who have been divorced, but because of my parents divorce and my mother’s subsequent divorces. Because when I hear the word divorce, I think of seeing my mom in the hall bathroom in my grandparents house with my great aunt. She as crying so hard her face was purple. My aunt was telling her it would be alright. At 8 years old, I had no idea such pain existed. Because my dad seems to still be scarred by the event. Because when I was engaged at 21 to a different guy and  a “friend” told me I had no business getting married because the way I had grown up didn’t teach me what marriage is.

By the way, that guy is now divorced as well.

When I was riding up in the elevator to the court room with my friend, I compared the feeling to the day I had a uterine biopsy. I wasn’t sure how much it would hurt, or what the procedure itself was.  I was pretty sure it was an experience I would have rather lived without and just didn’t really want to do it. But I did, in both cases. I needed to know if I had cancer AND this relationship needed to end. Both felt surgical and I felt like I was outside myself, numb, watching me going thru the event. Sometimes I think when fear and pain reach a certain level, we just disconnect.

Thankfully, he was not there. Thankfully that day was not dramatic.

What’s interesting is that the choices and catalyst of my divorce were not mine, they were his. No matter how broke down I felt in my marriage when I began therapy for myself and it was healing so much, I had hope that we could go and rebuild. But he didn’t. Or he indicated to me he was uncertain while telling his mom, he only wanted a divorce.

I don’t think there is a villain in my story, but I do have feelings about my choices in this relationship. I don’t think he treated me well in many instances, but I’m sure he would say the same. I still chose to stay. I wasn’t happy in my marriage and I’m sure he would say the same. I still chose to stay. He made unkind remarks to me throughout our relationship that made me feel diminished, maybe he would say the same. I still chose to stay. I was alone in this marriage, we were separate and lacked intimacy in all it’s forms. I still chose to stay. He broke my heart into a million pieces before we got married and I still chose to marry him.

My heart feels shattered right now and some days I wonder how long it will take to heal. But I will. Because I feel like I broke it more than him. I broke my own heart and life, that’s how I really feel. I feel like I betrayed myself more than anything else.

Some days I am angry at him, some days I am free, some days I feel a pang of the memory of love. My house feels like home still albeit a strange new home. Mostly I randomly feel lost and sick to my stomach when I think about it all. My identity has shifted in a way I did not forsee, but maybe I should have. My mom in law had remarked how they only heard one side of this story, his side. This post is all I’m ever going to say. Not because he is innocent nor am I guilty, but I decided nine months ago how I wanted to behave throughout this nightmare. I want to remain unashamed of my behavior and at least have no regrets in how I behaved when it fell apart.

I want to move thru this, move with this, not away from it or move on from it. I’m just not sure how long that will take, and it seems everyone has a different story of divorce. There’s a guy in Instagram named John Kim who I feel at times is offering advice that feels like a narration of my current life events. It was his idea about the not moving on verbiage but rather through, because I’ve had a lot of people telling me that I need to move on. I don’t think it’s been long enough to hear that yet.

I don’t regret my marriage. I don’t want to regret it. 15 years of my life was spent with this man, but I have to figure out how to move thru this so I’m not beholden to it for another 15. I get hopeful and then afraid. I convince myself I can do this, but then my living room ceiling leaks. Sometimes I think there is a great adventure waiting for me, calling to me, but then it feels like I just want to give up. You hear stories about how a person’s life collapsed and then they built a better one. They found themselves. They built something better. That’s where I have set my sights. That’s where I am heading, however long that journey takes. I’ll let you know when I get there…




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