It’s the shortest month, the most romanticized month, and it’s also…just…a…month.
2017 was a false positive for the vast majority of us; what I mean is that we had inflated, unrealistic hopes of what the beginning of this New Year would bring.
2016 was hard on a lot of us for various reasons.
But our body clocks don’t understand or work like the calendar reads in terms of distress, healing, and even these new beginnings that we paint for ourselves.
The start of a new calendar year simply is what it is. Nothing more. Waiting for our circumstances to change, waiting for those clouds to part so we can see the figurative sun unfortunately relies on us and us alone.
Let all of this negativity, anger, frustration, and heartache fuel your writing. Write about it. Get it out of you and onto paper!
Which brings me to my next point: my personal life.
So, how does one begin the healing process after the demise of a 12-year relationship?
I have no clue.
I have even less of a clue on how to handle it when there are two children in the mix who always see mommy crying.
Of course I’m sad. Of course I’m depressed.
Divorce is never easy…and I know it’s especially difficult for the so-called wounded party. That isn’t to say that the other person isn’t experiencing their own roller-coaster of emotions. I just, unfortunately, wouldn’t know.
It’s that day when your spouse comes to you in a moment of calmness and clarity, and tells you that they resolutely want a divorce, that you no longer make them happy, and that they don’t love you anymore that bubbles up in your mind’s eye over and over again. It’s impossible to shut out or to forget.
I am Daniel (Robin Williams’s character) in Mrs. Doubtfire. When he and Miranda (Sally Field) are standing there in the kitchen arguing, until she just can’t take it any longer and shouts out to him, “Daniel, it’s over! It’s…it’s over.”
He comes up with some solutions, all to which she shakes her head.
“But we love each other…Miranda? Right? We love each other.” And he says it with such sincerity and pain in his eyes.
She shakes her head. “I want a divorce.”
And just like that, it’s over.
When we (my spouse and I) had our discussion about the divorce, my response was, “You’re the love of my life.” I said it through teary eyes and with a strained voice as he simply said, “I’m sorry,” and walked out of the room.
Divorce “ruins” a lot of people – ruins may not be the right word, but it certainly smashes their world apart for a good amount of time.
A lot of people are never the same after their divorce; they put up walls that are unable to be climbed by others who attempt to get in and get to know the person while dating. Others do that and more; they turn to alcohol, drugs, any outlet they can get to that will relieve the absolute, utter devastation that the rejection of a divorce brings. This deep level of personal rejection can sit with someone for a very long time; it can stew, it can fester, and it can breed a lot of hate and anger. It can make a person go crazy. And it does.
The truly sad part about the majority of the people who are on my side of the glass, the hurt side, is that we don’t even hate our exes or soon-to-be-exes; not at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We still love them and can’t seem to reconcile this cold, unfeeling person in front us who looks a lot like the person who used to love us and be there for us, with the one we knew in our not-too-distant pasts.
I remember how I felt any time I went through a break-up with a boyfriend while I was in college; I went through a myriad of emotions, including incessant crying and screaming into pillows before violently throwing things across the room in a torrent of anger.
But – it always would dissipate. I would always feel better pretty soon after all of that happened and would simply move on.
However; 12 years is different. 12 years, two children, many, many moves from apartments to houses, a dog, a life, and a wife who thought that this was her forever is different than a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. Because I’d always blindly believed that he was “the one.” I really did. From the first night we met, I thought, this is it. That’s him.
Marriages go through their fair shares of ups and downs. It’s life. Especially with two children. It just is what it is.
I thought that this was just like any other time of our marriage that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows…because life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. If it was, then that’s a lie. That’s not reality. Reality is that there are ups and downs, fights, times where you might look and think that the grass is greener on the other side. But it’s not. It’s just not.
“All that matters are the children.”
“Take care of yourself.”
“Don’t let him win.”
When I hear things like this, I think, what the hell are you saying to me? I don’t want advice. I don’t want canned, regurgitated garbage that’s applicable to every divorce where there are children involved.
My reality is that a little over a year and a half ago, I quit work so I could stay at home with my children full-time. Within this time, I finished my book, was picked up by a small publishing house and published, started this literary journal, and have met some amazing people along the way. I wanted to be the next great American writer. I guess the joke’s on me.
Some of my posts relating to my personal life have been rather middle-of-the-road and painted me as “the bigger person.” But I don’t know if I am this bigger person – I am sad, broken-hearted and desperately trying to crawl out of this hole that I am in.
I may not be okay right now, but I know that I will be in time.
And so will all of you, no matter what your current circumstances might bring you, no matter what you face each day as you walk out your front door, ready to face the world and give it your all.
We all face battles. But putting yourself out there – as you are – is the bravest thing that a soul can do.
Your Favorite Editor,
Kelly Fitzharris [Coody]