**I originally posted this on October 3, 2011. I can look at this now and see the humor, and I actually laugh. However, at the time this was the worse thing I ever thought I would have to deal with. Recently, I have had to face divorce head-on from a different viewpoint. I am remarried, I have two beautiful boys, and I know now that this was a blessing in disguise for me. However, as a writer, I want to touch my readers. I want to reach out to them with my words and give them a hug. A sort of, “you got this.” <3 I decided to revisit the day my world changed, make you laugh, make you cry, but leave you with a sense of hope, especially if you are going through a divorce right now or know someone who is.
Written: June 14, 2011
June 14, 2011…..will forever be remembered as the day I had a pap smear and a divorce. Why not? 🙂 Either the world or myself, have a very warped sense of humor. I just haven’t quite figured out which one it is yet.
I wake up next to my mother in a travel trailer that is parked in front of my grandparents’ house, 3 days after my 25th birthday, which was spent working 14 hours straight packing up my life into boxes and moving out of the house I had come to call home. I have to be in Stephenville, Texas by 9:00 am for my divorce. Reality check! AT LEAST THERE WAS COFFEE!!!
Mom and I are running late, never thought I would be rushing to get to my divorce on time and yet I arrived TOO early at the wedding. The cruel irony of it all.
Hurry up and wait. I am sitting in a room full of other people waiting on their marriages to be over. I am grateful that I have my mom with me. However, I also have my soon to be ex sitting next to me. Awkward? I think so! I can’t even describe the way I felt sitting in that room. There had to be at least 15 divorce cases, just that day. How depressing is that? I felt like a total failure. I wanted to stand up on my chair and yell at the top of my lungs, “I am not like you! I’m different!” Then I just felt even worse for thinking that. Who am I to judge? I don’ t know their situations any more than they know mine. (However, personal note…..our court system when it comes to divorce sucks! I might not have known their situations when I walked in this morning, but seeing as how they left our case for last then I now can tell you all the gory details of each of their marriages. Some daddies, not daddies…..’nuf said! 🙂 )
Case #………Shipman vs. Shipman. Yep, that’s us. How did it come to this? Two people who were supposed to last forever are now pitted against each other. Shipman vs. Shipman. Really why add the versus in there? I mean, honestly, versus implies there is a winner in the end. Who are we kidding? No one really wins in this situation. Another ironic twist, we both had to say “I do” again. This time it was an ending, not a beginning. Seriously?!? I do. Why not, “I don’t,” or “Not anymore,” or “I changed my mind.” Don’t those make more sense? What do I say to the man that was my everything for almost 8 years? What do I say to the man that was supposed to be the father of my children? What do I say to the man that was supposed to watch me turn old and gray? We were going to sit in rocking chairs on our front porch and watch our grand-kids and great grand-kids grow up. We had plans. All my future plans revolved around him and us! What now? Same plans, just minus a main character? Start all over at 25? He was my best friend. I had so many things that I needed to discuss and the one person that I wanted to call and vent too was gone and was the main topic of my sadness and frustration. We walked out of that courtroom together, but yet so far apart.
Mom and I pull out of the parking lot. We already had our background music picked out prior to today. My mom told me that we needed a song that was upbeat and optimistic when we pulled out of the parking lot. So I press play and KID ROCK comes blaring from my speakers! Gotta love him! Mom and I head to lunch which felt weird because apart of me felt bad because we didn’t invite him to come along. Would that ever go away?
Sitting at a doctors office, waiting for the exciting yearly exam to begin.
Sitting in an exam room, wearing the lovely 2011 edition of paper gowns. No need to expand on this part of the day.
Mom and I head to my old “home” to discuss a few last minute things with my now ex-husband. I have to say goodbye to my beautiful Bear. This was something I had been pushing to the back of my mind. Bear was my dog, but he got her in the divorce and I got to keep Bella. I can’ t go into this right now. This goodbye was difficult for me.
I’m mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. I’m not 25. I can’t be 25! I’m too tired and I’m having trouble grasping the fact that I am going to have to start over again. Why haven’t I cried about my marriage falling apart? Will it ever hit me? I fill sad, but I haven’t cried.
Mom and I are back at Granny and Pappy’s trailer. They have dinner ready, but I can’t eat. I slap on a pretty smile. Tell them everything went fine and I’m glad it’s over, but all I want is to go to bed.
I’m in my pj’s, drinking a margarita with my mom, and she is playing with my hair while I lay in her lap. I feel 5 again and for a short period of time, this is all I need.
I fight to turn my brain off, but I can’t seem to quiet the thoughts. Finally I doze…….
June 15, 2011, at 9:45 am:
9 Ways To Cope With Divorce
Some of these ideas might seem like common sense, but let me tell you when you are in the midst of a divorce, sometimes, common sense it the first thing to fly out the window.
1. Find someone to talk to.
This could be anyone that you find a sense of comfort with. Maybe a friend, family member, co-worker, preacher, etc…but remember this person needs to be someone who will listen, not stir the pot or say things to make the situation more confrontational. Just listen. I was lucky to have found a friend in college that had gone through a divorce.
2. Give yourself time.
Divorce is a loss and just like any other loss, you need time to grieve and move forward. Don’t rush yourself or the feelings that you are feeling. Feel everything.
3. Take care of your physical health.
- Eat healthily
- Get enough sleep
- Try not to overuse substances
I joined a gym and it was such a great outlet for all my emotions. It gave me somewhere to put my anger and heartbreak, with the added bonus of taking care of my body.
4. Make time for yourself.
Reconnect with things you enjoy doing. Is there something you have always felt like doing? Invest time in your hobbies, volunteer, and take time to enjoy life and make new friends. This was huge for me. I enjoyed getting to meet new people and do things for myself, on my own. Take a lot of bubble baths, pick up that book you always wanted to read, do anything to make yourself smile.
5. Realize that your emotions will be all over the place.
It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated and confused, sometimes I felt all these emotions in a matter of minutes. Writing/journaling helped with this part of the healing process. I tried to write everything down, every emotion I felt, and I even wrote about the moments where I didn’t feel anything.
6. Maintain stability and routines.
This is so important if you have children. Children need a sense of normalcy. I didn’t have children with my ex, but I still found this to be very beneficial to me. I tried to fight it at first, I tried to run away from all my responsibilities, but they followed me. Once I found a good, solid job and kept to a normal routine of work, gym, home, etc…I started to slowly feel better. It was nice to know what was coming.
7. Ask for help.
Do not feel like you can’t ask for help or that it would mean admitting failure if you asked for help. Create a list of people that you know that you can depend on. This is huge if you have children. Don’t be afraid to admit you need a little extra help.
8. Change your way of thinking.
I started a gratitude journal about 3 months after my divorce was finalized. Shifting my way of thinking from focusing on what I lost to focusing on the blessings I had was a huge turning point for me.
Laugh when you can. It is so much better than crying. This is why I am so happy that I wrote down my story because I can laugh about it now.
I think these are all great ideas, and they personally worked for me, but the truth is we all deal with grief differently. Something that worked for me, might not work for you. The key is to never give up and never stop looking for what works. I wish you the best of luck, and you really will get pass this.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31