When I started this blog, I assumed that nothing about my life would be off-limits. That was part of my depression: the encompassing feeling of alone-ness. To fight it, I wrote openly about the “hard topics.”
Turns out, there is a topic too hard for me to really cover.
In fact, this topic came up loud and clear about the last time I published a post. You may have noticed: I took a blog hiatus.
So here it is. An explanation of my absence, and maybe the only time I touch on this particular topic (at least for now).
My marriage has ended.
I’m not interested in going into the details of the why and how. It wouldn’t help and it certainly could hurt a lot. But I will pen this post, as an homage to my pain and a declaration of my future.
I am getting divorced.
I hate even typing it. It sounds so… I don’t even know. I started to write the word “final,” but that’s not quite it. It sounds the way a gavel sounds, slamming into a desk as a judgement is made. “Divorce” sounds like a sentence. It’s a label I never wanted, a future I fought against heart and soul. The word is heavy both in my mouth and on the screen and I despise it.
I’ve come to despise a lot of words lately.
“Ex” is another word I hate.
Any word that smacks of the legal aspect of all of this, “custody” in particular; hate it.
And I hate writing this blog post.
Amy Poehler once wrote a painfully accurate chapter on divorce in her book Yes Please. It’s honest, but not overly-detailed. The chapter cuts to the heart of the matter and also makes you laugh and I highly recommend it to everyone. I read it years ago, before marital issues were even on my radar; even then Poehler changed my perspective on the issue. Two quotes in particular lodged in my mind:
“I don’t want to talk about my divorce because it is too sad and too personal. I also don’t like people knowing my shit”
It’s fucking sad. And it’s fucking personal. And I don’t like people knowing my shit. She goes on to add,
“I don’t think a ten-year marriage constitutes failure.”
And my seven years should not be completely undone by how it all ended. It just shouldn’t. I don’t want it to be. I’ve been married my entire adult life, since I was nineteen. I refuse to believe that those seven years were wasted.
Divorce is a grieving process. Most of the time, my struggle is not the grief on looking behind (although I certainly have and will continue to experience that), but the grief looking forward. I mourn the life I thought I would have. Some days I feel like that dream has been stolen from me and stolen from my boy.
My dreams have been crushed. And yes, some of those dreams were unrealistic. But they were my dreams and I held them extremely close.
This whole process has taken my heart and soul, it has re-framed my entire world. It has made me feel both powerless and powerful. It has narrowed my viewpoint of myself but also expanded my horizons. It has forced an inner perspective that I often fight and sometimes abhor. All of it just doesn’t make sense and yet it is all real and somehow mine.
It will be okay.
I will survive. I am surviving. I have a tribe of beautiful humans surrounding and protecting my son and myself. I am facing myself in new and hard and awful ways, but the kind of awful that forces a person to grow. I am growing more than I thought possible, and healing more than I knew I needed, and I am grateful for that.
I’m actually grateful for a lot of things, lately. I am incredibly provided for.
And so is my son.
And we will continue to be.
Even though that part of the dream has broken, we are all surviving. We will continue to survive and thrive and yes, hurt. But move forward in our hurt onto better and healthier things. The dream has died and I will mourn that. But we all will survive.