Monday, January 7

divorce & grieving

Note: this post rambles a bit - but for good reason (I promise). Grieving a divorce is a long process, full of varying depths of stages that seem all at once bewildering and eye-opening. It's difficult to put into accurate words sometimes. 

“For every heartbreak there’s a sermon to be said and this pastor in my head is preaching to the choir.”Train, Felt Good at First

2012 was a year of “things” - life events that don't just happen - they are things we choose. Many not-so-happy things. Many test-your-strength things. Many ah-cheesy-Petes, give-me-a-break things.
Following the eye-opener that was 2011, 2012 just proceeded to rip my eyelids clean off. Because, obviously, I wasn’t seeing clearly enough. And, obviously, there’s so much more to divorcing happily-ever-after than anyone ever expects.

As anyone would tell you, that's just how divorce goes.

There’s being seriously conflicted while sifting through physical memories, separating everything into “truly mine” and “truly his” piles. There’s packing and boxing up only those things that don’t continue to impress confliction, and saying good-bye to those things you know in your heart you could never redefine as “truly mine”. There’s being confounded as you peer over the edge at the depths to which one person will go to intentionally violate your boundaries. There’s the scrambling to find safety for yourself and your children and, amidst that scramble, to create stability and continuity for your children and to make for them some sort of sense out of all the chaos. There’s dismay at the amount of unfairness demonstrated by exes, attorneys, employers, families and “friends”, and, goddamn, what begins to feel like the world in general. There’s being purely and totally lost because all of this territory, for you, is new and uncharted and absolutely no one has a map.
Along this road, there's a lot of disappointment. It settles in, deep with-in. Long after you’ve moved out of the old life and into the new one. Disappointment lingers, waiting. Clearly, it has no qualms about waiting because it knows you’ll come down to it once you process all the other emotions of divorce: the I-can’t-believe-any-of-this-is-happening, the I-never-thought-I’d-feel-like-this, the holy-fuck-why-me?!, the what-was-I-thinking?, the oh-thank-gaaawwd-I’m-free, the will-this-ever-end?, and then, when that end finally does come... the astonished and gaping what-the-hell-was-THAT?! uttered after the cloud of dust settles in the now deafeningly quiet war zone that was once your marriage and subsequent divorce.
But disappointment. No, disappointment, and it's friend grief, is a different beast altogether. Disappointment is what you get when you’re human. 
You feel disappointment in your spouse. In yourself. In the world. It's permeating, unrelenting. It becomes branded into some small, barely breathing (but just as much alive!) part of you that you’ve somehow left wide-open and vulnerable. It feels raw.
As I've said before, divorce is ugly. Grief isn't far behind.
After the chaos that is divorce, you have to get incredibly intentional. That's how life goes forward. Toward some sort of light that swallows up all the disappointment and makes the grief more tolerable. This divorce lasted way too long, was hell, as any divorce would obviously be. 

Yes, 2012 was indeed a year of things. It wasn’t a year of Life just happening. No. It was my life. My choosing whether or not I let the things that “happened to me” devastate me, destroy me, define me. It was my year for clarifying and choosing to define my life by how I wanted to live, by how I wanted to be affected, and by the strength I wanted my children to find in their mother.