I’ve been divorced now for exactly 2 years. I did it. I took a ride on the crazy train, hopped off, and find myself now, mostly intact and happy. I have friends that are at the crossroads in their marriages, and they call and text me, because, somehow, I’m like a professional now. I did it.
My kids are okay, actually better than okay, they are intact and happy too. I offer advice to my girlfriends when they ask for it and offer support, but I always tell them the truth: divorce is a hard thing. Divorce sucks. Sometimes you might think you can’t make it, either emotionally or financially, or both. But you do. We all somehow do.
Looking back, I can see all the stages I went through with my divorce. The first was the absolute shock that I felt when I realized that my marriage might not actually turn out to be ‘forever’ after all. It could never happen to us. Really, it couldn’t. We aren’t those people. We made our vows solemnly and with faith that we meant them. I wasn’t a bridezilla, we were getting married because we wanted to spend our lives together, not because we wanted a fancy wedding or were afraid of being alone. How could we not last? The shock of that realization lasted a good 3 months for me.
I had all the symptoms of crisis: the feelings of panic, the loss of appetite, loss of concentration, and sleep disruptions caused by the anxiety about the situation that we were in. Our situation was self created. There wasn’t an affair discovered by one of us which pushed us to the crisis point. We just became unhappy. Resentful. Estranged.
Then, we said the words. The words, the bad, bad words that now I realize shouldn’t be said unless you are ready to consider getting on the crazy train, the words, “I’m not happy.” Those words are on the sign at the Crazy Train platform.
“I’m Not Happy”
CRAZY TRAIN ENTRANCE HERE
All of a sudden, you find yourself riding it with no idea where you will end up. All of the first stops are in scary, dark neighborhoods, with empty dirty lots and vacant buildings with boards on the windows. You pass through them slowly but try not to get off because any of these will surely land you in Despairville. I saw signposts for:
- What will happen to my children?
- How will I ever support myself?
- What if I never have another man in my life?
- My friends are all married and I’ll be alone.
- People will feel sorry for me.
- What will people think?
- What will happen to my children II?
- Will I ever be happy again?
Yet somehow, although the train slowed, I found the inner strength enough to answer each question well enough to keep me on the train. The kids will be okay, we (or me) will make it so. I realized that he wasn’t dying, he was just not going to be my husband anymore. He would still have to provide something for the kids.
I would have to work more, but that was okay, it was the price of my freedom, the freedom from dreading when he came home from work. I was going to be free at last. My friends are all married, but they are still my friends; if they stopped being my friends because of my divorce well then they really, really weren’t friends anyway. People will feel sorry for me, but they probably do anyway for being married to that loser. Will I ever be happy again? Well, I’ll be happier than I am now, because all of this started with the words, “I’m not happy” after all.
At some point I realized that, while still on the train, the signs on the platforms weren’t as scary. They were more manageable and the neighborhoods weren’t as dark and abandoned. The stations were called things like:
- OMG, I have a date!
- What am I supposed to do on a kid free weekend?
- I don’t like his new girlfriend.
- Am I supposed to do things like, wax, to date in 2013? Yikes!
At some point, the train slowed down and life became normal again. I think I got off sometime in the last year but I don’t know the exact time I stepped back on stable ground. It’s not to say I will never get on and ride a while again, but it feels really good to realize that there is life and happiness outside the station. Although my life is different than I thought it would be, it’s still mine and becoming more normal every day. Crazy Train EXIT HERE.
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