Over the recent holidays, I was lucky enough to be able to take some much-needed time off. In that time, I read, cooked, binge watched the Housewives series and watched old movies. It was pure Heaven to have the time to just do things at a glacial speed. Things I rarely have the time or attention span to do.
Home after divorce
One of the movies I watched for the 600th time in my life but hadn’t done so recently… was the Wizard of Oz. My current relaxed speed allowed me to see this movie for the first time from a new lens. I found myself hearing lines in the movie that sounded so profound and so applicable to my life as a divorced mother for many years. They may resonate with you too…..
“You have no power here! Begone! Before someone drops a house on you!”
Glinda to her sister the Wicked Witch of the West
This was one of the first lines that I heard with a new meaning. When I was going through my divorce after his infidelity, oh how I wish I had the courage and power to say this to my ex-husband when his games started. These words are so powerful to me. They wrap you up in security and confidence.
He never had any real power
Because what I know all these years later after my divorce is that there were no truer words spoken. He never did have any real power. It was just his bloviating masked by his intense self-loathing and insecurities. If he made me more afraid, he got what he wanted. He huffed and puffed and threatened and behaved nothing short of the Wicked Witch of the West. This line just made me smile.
Dorothy: “How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?”
Scarecrow: “I don’t know. But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?”
This dialog exchange in the movie just reminded me of the endless days in court. Going round and round on my ex-husband’s need to pay less in child support and his desire for the Judge to grant him a bifurcation so he could marry the woman he was having the affair with. Every time we had to meet with attorneys or go to court, I would have an out-of-body experience as I no longer heard words spoken and just saw mouths moving. All the while my ex-husband said nothing. Leaving all dialog to the attorneys. Men that just seemed to have “alternative facts” and who sounded nothing but silly to me.
“You have plenty of courage. I am sure. All you need is confidence in yourself. You my friend are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage; you are confusing courage with wisdom.”
The Wizard of Oz to the Lion.
This line actually put a lump in my throat. What I know now after all these years, is that it took so much courage for me to keep getting up every day after my husband left me, his 4-week-old baby girl, and 4-year-old boy in the middle of home construction. He fled and left me to take care of everything alone.
It took all I had in me not to crawl into a fetal position as my then husband and his new girlfriend took a baseball bat to the life of my family. I was emotionally exhausted by his threats and I was physically exhausted by the sheer magnitude of what I was managing alone.
Scared and defeated
I felt scared and defeated every day. But the wizard was right. I too was a victim of disorganized thinking. It wasn’t my lack of courage at all. And I now have the wisdom to look back and see I was the Bravest Lion of all at that time.
“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”
The Wizard to The Tin Man
When I heard this line I looked around my home. The home I have created for my family and me. My children and I are close, and that makes me happy. They know I offer complete unconditional love to them, and I know they offer this to me as well.
We have our good days and our bad days. We bicker and we give our opinions on whatever it is we may disagree on. But we love each other. This is truly the measure of not just a good life, but a successful outcome to a tough divorce.
A simple, yet complicated action that broke a family apart. But the funny thing is, it didn’t break the three of us apart. We still show up for each other every day. I also think my ex-husband is a lucky man. His children accept him for who he is. With all of the limitations he imposes on them and who loves them at arm’s length. They still love him back with fuller hearts than he has ever possessed. His heart is firmly in place because of them.
But for the three of us….“There’s no place like home”.
“You always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”
Glinda the Good Witch of the North to Dorothy
This was the overall takeaway that I know the author of the book was ultimately conveying to the readers. You go through lots of bumps and scary things while on your own personal Yellow Brick Road. I felt helpless every step of the way always wondering when the Wicked Witch would show up and throw a fireball to my straw scarecrow suit.
That’s how my divorce journey felt.
I wasn’t sure who to be scared of on most days. My ex-husband, his girlfriend, his lawyer, the Judge, and the litany of subcontractors who were finishing the construction on my house; all with their hands out asking for payment. Life was terrifying to me then. Or so it seemed.
But maybe just maybe I did have the power all along. That’s what divorce does to you. It is intimidating and threatening. And you are left feeling weak, tired, and scared all the time. But you have to learn for yourself that it’s all a lie. You are more powerful than you even know!
So, if you are experiencing divorce or custody issues or anything else that scares you, just heed Glinda’s words. She knew what she spoke of. And all these years later, I know she was right!
And so…”If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why oh why can’t I”?”