As the number of divorces surge in the New Year, there will be more men and women seeking healing. In honor of National Divorce Day on January 4, I have invited a woman on this journey to contribute. This is Dee’s story in her own words.
“Divorced?!! No way?”
“I would never believe that you two would ever break up.”
“What did he do? What happened? Why couldn’t you guys work it out, at least for the kids?”
These were the multitude of questions that were asked the day that I announced my divorce to family and friends. They were in disbelief and some had the “I told you so” looks and answers.
Why? Because of the front that was placed whilst inside a storm that was brewing. The number of times that I had to justify my reason for divorcing. The emotional journey that I endured, molded me into a much stronger person, a divorcee, a mother, a woman.
Many women before us fought for the rights to be able to end a marriage, but for some reason, there’s still that stigma that comes with being a divorced woman. Then add in the kids and all of a sudden, you’re in the very “undesirable” or over desirable (milf) groups.
The day that I handed in my divorced papers was March 8th, Women’s Day. I wasn’t aware of the significance of the day until I placed it in my calendar. I had a sense of accomplishment overwhelm me and I thanked these brave women.
I contemplated long and hard before I drew up the papers. My own questions barraged my daily thoughts and I feared the next steps of my life; unemployed, some savings and midway into my masters degree. I needed to breathe.
There were days of countless arguments, there were days that I felt great about my decision and there were days where I couldn’t crawl out of my fetal position from the floor in a pool of tears.
I asked that my spouse leave. I had to reconcile my emotions. I wanted to think that I’m a good person, that I can forgive and forget the tumultuous road that I faced—the lies, the cheating, the abusive behaviors, until that one day I had to acknowledge the polar opposite of love, HATE.
After a 16 hour shift, heading to my internship, running in the rain with no umbrella, aching bunions, missing my kids that I had to send away, whilst I pursued an education for a better income, seeing the bus about to approach the stop and I know I couldn’t run anymore. I stopped dead in my tracks and realized that I am capable of hate.
I was so in love, learned to love this man from childhood, did everything for him and our family, how could I possibly hate? Then I remember the saying that there’s a thin line betwixt those two. I don’t know when I crossed it—the same way you don’t realize that you’re falling in love but I was there.
You don’t want to speak about it; I mean what a horrible thing to feel right? Whatever shall I do with that emotion? It was eating me up and I refused to acknowledge the existence of it.
That day, in the brightest pink jacket getting soaked through, I allowed hate to run through me, to feel the rage course through my veins, to feel the anger burning in my soul and let the tears burst, as the dark clouds above.
That was the day that I knew that I couldn’t go back and that the decision to leave this marriage was not only best for me but right for my children.
We don’t talk about these negative emotions, it’s shunned upon to even think that it can possess us. You must be happy that this marriage is over, they say. Indeed you are but you must deal with every aspect of the mental collapse that comes with it, as well as the rising of a beautiful phoenix that must emerge after.
Throughout my divorce, I had to be upfront with myself about every emotion that I had, in order to heal and move to a place of peace. That’s the only way. I learnt fear, anxiety, grief, hatred, anger but I also learnt how to be brave, how to cry for cleansing, to be calm. I gained a deeper love of myself and believe it or not-my former husband, for giving me those life lessons.
I am divorced. I am a woman and in my best Katy Pery imitation, “you’re gonna hear me roar!”
Share your own experiences! We would love to hear.