Before anyone starts reading this article, please do this first: Stand up take a deep breath and say this word out loud “DIVORCE”. Say it loud and with force. Now take another deep breath and breathe normally. Did the world stop turning? Was there an earthquake? Will it make the six o’clock news? Probably not unless there are millions of dollars at stake.
For months after my divorce, I couldn’t say the word. I knew I was divorced because I signed the papers and received my copy in the mail. It was like the world had stopped on its axis and I had fallen into a crevice. I couldn’t talk about it or tell anyone. When I told my family about it there was silence from them on the phone and then they would say “Oh I’m so sorry to hear that” as if someone had died. In a way it was a death.
My marriage died and was put six feet under. After about a year, I still felt strange telling people because I knew their reaction would be a look of pity and “oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” When I heard that my ex had moved forward with his life at a fast pace and started seeing someone else a light bulb went off for me. What was I hiding from? Why didn’t I just tell people and get it over with?
For me, the hiding from reality, was about anger, pain, embarrassment, pity, and a hell of a lot of guilt. I just didn’t feel up to talking about what happened or what didn’t happened. I was living it every day and adding to it was just not on my agenda. It was hard enough to hold myself together for my children’s sake.
I was living a nightmare that played itself out on a daily basis. I finally started telling family, friends, coworkers in that order. I remember filling out an application for a credit card, one part of the application was about your status, “single, married, divorced, widowed.” I circled divorced and I took a deep breath and a tear fell out of my eye.
That was my moment!
The world kept going.
I didn’t get a pity look!
My breathing slowed. I felt good and bad at the same time. I got the credit card and no pity letter came with it. I think that it is just human nature for people to want to comfort you when they hear bad news. No one really knows what goes on in a home, but the people who live in it. Now I can say the word divorced openly and not feel bad.
I still get some sad looks from people a “call me if you need to talk.” Divorce may not be the word anyone expects to hear, but it is a word and it’s very common. Divorced women should not be afraid to say it. It takes time and you will know your moment. It may not come in days, weeks, months or even a year. When its your time you will know it.
I don’t openly engage people with conversation about my divorce. I talk to close friends, family, and of course the kids. The only difference now is that I’m standing a little taller. I have more bass in my speech, and my eyes are dry. A really good childhood friend sent me a beautiful text the other day when I needed it most, “You’re a diamond dear, they can’t break you.”
No pity, no sadness, just a friend being a friend.