It was one year ago today that my divorce became finalized. Lets see if I am able to formulate some cognitive thought as to how I am feeling about this…
Lets start this out with a video shall we…
I’m not a fan of country music, but I love this video! It makes me feel really good to watching it. However, my divorce went nothing like this. I did the exact opposite of the woman portrayed here. I played fair. I did my best to behave in a reasonable, respectful, non-hateful way. Although, I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t admit… at times my inner evil twin did entertain a few fantasies of throwing all of his personal belongings out in the snow and taking him for all he was worth.
In looking back, I find it truly remarkable that even while going through the extreme turmoil that I was in at the time, I conducted myself in a way I can sincerely feel good about. I didn’t stoop. I didn’t get ugly. I wasn’t driven by anger and I didn’t try to hurt him back or punish him. But don’t be mistaken… I didn’t just roll over either. Yes, there were a few things I wish I would have done differently or held out for when looking at the final papers, but in the end I really feel like it all turned out as it was supposed to.
I want to live my life with as few regrets as possible, so I try really hard to always be aware of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, what my motives are and do they come from the right attitude.
Well just what exactly is the right attitude when going through a divorce? It’s hard to even begin to describe the myriad of emotions that I went through ~ they were all over the board and ranged from zero to infinity in their intensity. It was a nightmare of a roller coaster ride to be sure. I guess to me, the right attitude would be one where you are conducting yourself and behaving in a way that is being true to who you are ~ aside from the emotions you may be feeling about the immediate set of circumstances you find yourself in. All along the way as each thing came up during the process, I had to decide how I was going to respond/react and thought about what was truly going to help me come out of this feeling good about myself.
That’s not to say I didn’t get real good and angry and I’m sure that I still have some resentment and bitterness issues that I will have to work through eventually. There’s no telling yet ultimately just how much this experience has affected me and my outlook on life and on how I will view romantic relationships going forward. I was married for 21 years for crying out loud, I’m not so naive to think that there isn’t going to be some serious negative residual effects from the betrayal and loss of what I thought was to be a lifelong commitment.
But I would imagine that divorce is different for everyone. There are so many variables. One thing that I’m very glad that I didn’t have to deal with were any custody issues as many others have to go through. My daughter was 18 by the time it was all coming down. He planned it that way… so he wouldn’t be responsible for helping provide any sort of ongoing financial support for her. Which he hasn’t, of course. He has also chosen not to continue any sort of relationship with her. His loss. She is such a beautiful and talented, delightful young lady. And he’s a stupid fricken idiot for not realizing or appreciating that… Yeah, I’m sure you can hear some of that bitterness I mentioned earlier in those words. Well I’m sorry, but I won’t try to hide the fact that I am extremely disappointed in him for just up and abandoning his daughter. There is no excuse for that. Doesn’t matter that she was 18, she’s his daughter and deserves better than that…
In the end, for myself… I have to say that I am just very relieved to be free from that relationship. He definitely wasn’t the man I thought I married. I’m sure that’s a common feeling after a divorce. I wonder… do people really actually change or do they just revert back to their real selves after they can’t keep up the facade any longer? I know that I did my best to make it work and remained true to the vows I made.
Now… I’m just profoundly glad to be free.
To be free just to be myself again. What does that even mean? “Free to be me.” It sounds so sappy and cliche’ doesn’t it? Well as you can imagine, spending 21 years focused on being a wife and mother, taking care of your home and working, you get a bit caught up in your roles. And you don’t realize it while it’s happening, but you let those roles define who you are.
I remember times over the years when I would fly out to Seattle to visit my sis. I’d usually spend about a week there at a time ~ without my husband or my daughter. Just hanging out, doing whatever, whenever. It felt so refreshing to just… be. To not be anyone’s wife or mother or employee, just myself. My sister is a bit of a free spirit too so of course we usually just fluttered around like leaves in the wind adventuring off to wherever that wind blew us. Such precious, cherished times we had together. ♥
I would always come home totally renewed and feeling positively energized ~ ready to meet life and to be all that I was meant to be. And guess what? My ex hated it. He resented me for having that free time and was threatened by my new sense of purpose. He would immediately start trying to tear me down. To make me feel bad for being away ~ that it was selfish of me. He didn’t realize that those times away only served to help make me an even better wife ~ because in being free to be myself, I would be happier in performing in my roles and in turn become better at them. But he had to keep me under his thumb and make sure that I knew my place… and that he was in charge. He was a very controlling and domineering person and it is of that I am truly grateful to be free from.
The dissolution of my marriage a year ago was a horrible ordeal. It left me feeling lost and unsure of myself. Even now I find that I’m still more than a just a little apprehensive ~ especially about my financial future. But I’m also starting to feel some excitement to discover what’s next for me. I’ve still got a lot to work through. Heck we all do! But I know deep down… without a doubt… that I’m going to be okay. ♥