I do not care who you are or what "type" of divorce you have been through, questions like this go through your head at some point in time. For me, I lost everything. I lost my husband, my home, my vehicles, my sense of stability. But I also lost respect from my kids, friends and family. Everything that was normal in my life was suddenly gone. Poof!
Its been over a year since the divorce and I still find myself distancing myself from friends that my ex husband and I had together. Many of them I do not talk to anymore or very little. I have found myself isolated and a lot of it was done by my own doing. Many time I put up this big, brick wall and act like loosing my whole life doesn't matter to me. "Its just a life." "I can always rebuild a new one with friends who love me no matter what." The truth of the matter is, it hurts. It hurts to see friends that I was so close with not interacting on my Facebook page with my posts, but liking my ex husbands posts. It hurts to know I wont ever laugh with them again or talk with them about my kids or theirs. Deep deep down its hard to know that the life I did love is gone, because I was selfish.
Its hard to know that you were once so important to others and now your nothing. My kids grew up with their kids and they were best-est of friends. My kids will ask me questions about why we do not see these people anymore. They have even said "mommy does not talk to them anymore because she is mad at them." Or "We will never see them anymore because Mommy and Daddy got a divorce."
As a parent that will KILL you inside. Its like a knife in my gut every time something like that is said. You do not know how to respond to it. You do not know how to make it better. Sometimes I feel like I am trying my best and getting absolutely no where.
So how do you rebuild when you have lost everything?
I do not have the answers for that question. I do however have what everyone tells me to do.
1. Rather you wanted the divorce or did not it still hurts. Its still hard. And you still lost someone you loved at some point in your life. So Let Yourself Grieve. The experts say it takes about half the time you were in the relationship to fully mourn the loss. Let go bit by bit.
2. Keep A Journal. I am good about writing, but not always in the same place. For this moment in my grieving process I would say this blog is the place for me. That could always change and I am sure it will. Writing out my emotions helps get them out. If I did not write I would keep it all in till I exploded, seriously...... I would!
3. Lean On Friends. This one I struggle with because I am having to rebuild everything I once knew. I can say that through my divorce I still have maybe 2 close friends. That is a tough, tough pill to swallow. I did not think very rational when I went through my divorce and this caused a lot of my friends to hit the road. I try to think about this positively and say they were not really friends if they could not help me through my hard times and struggles. But lets be real. Its still hard and hurts very badly.
4. Seek Professional Support. Yea.... this is the toughest for me by far. I do not like talking about my problems at all. Period! My ex husband begged me to go to a therapist and work through my emotions and feelings. He wanted me to even if we did not work things out. My parents begged me and even my current boyfriend has told me I still need to go. I went for several weeks a few months ago and stopped because I thought I was good to go. Recently I have decided to go back. There are so many things you cannot work through yourself. So please, listen and go! You cannot do this yourself.
5. Reinvent Yourself. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is important. I however, struggle with figuring out what those are because I feel so confused and lost sometimes. I think subconsciously I know what they are, because they have been instilled in me since I was a kid. But you loose a sense of self worth when going through a divorce. Even if its for a moment. I am still working on this one. Its a work in progress.
6. Make New Friends. I have never been someone that has a hard time making new friends. However, I feel myself holding onto the old friends because we were all so close. This is not healthy and I know its not. But its almost like you have to mourn the loss of these friends you have lost. You have to make new friends that have the same interests as you. For me I have 3 kiddos. So I need friends that have kids and can do the same type of things as myself. This is as well a work in progress for me. But I am getting there.
7. Start Dating Again. I did start dating again which was a mistake so soon after I split with my husband. Huge Mistake. You have to have time to work through everything. And lets be honest, I had not worked through everything and drug them through my shit (excuse my language) with me. Its not fair to them or you. Work on you! You cannot be the best person you can be in a relationship when you are torn down by the last. Plus if you have kids, which I do, let them heal to. This was a huge deal for them and I should have been much more focused on them and myself. Just sayin!
8. Get Smart With Your Finances. Yup.... for me this was a HUGE issue. I had stayed at home with our 3 kiddos for the last nine years, so not only had I not had a job in nine years, I personally had not had to go out and make money for my family. Huge shock! Huge! During those years I had stayed at home with my kids I had gone back to school and received my bachelors degree so this did help me in looking for a job. Once I got a job I struggled with it being just that. A job. What I wanted was a career. I was 31 years of age and had no career. I have to say I have worked very hard and I now would say I have a career that I am loving so far. If you need help with budgeting, ask friends how they do it, or family. There is someone out there who can show you how they make it work. Stay on top of it.
9. Forgive Yourself Completely. Your marriage did not work out for whatever reasons it may have been. You made mistakes and so did he. You cannot go back in time and change what is already done. You have to forgive yourself of the hurt you have caused others. You have to forgive yourself for the failure you feel inside. I struggle more with this then anything in my life. I do not forgive myself at this moment. And it has been a true struggle inside to try and rap my brain around the things I have done. Ask for forgiveness from who ever you feel like you need to. Pray a lot. Turn to God and understand that he forgives you too.
10. Make a Bucket List. I did not do this until I met my boyfriend I have now. This is really cool and it gives you something to work towards and look forward to when there may be so much negativity in your life at the moment. Try it out. Here are some of my bucket list examples I have on mine.
- Visit California
- Squat 300 pounds (I went backwards on this)
- Support myself
- Buy a boat
- Run in a Spartan Run
- Visit Australia
- Travel down Route 66
- not live paycheck to paycheck
- start college funds for kids
Divorce Sucks! What I had pictured in my mind is no where close to how things are. Nothing turned out the way I had hoped. Even though things have not gone the way I had hoped for, I have to stay positive. I have to keep going and I have to learn to forgive not only others but myself. It does not happen over night or within a few months. It takes a long time working through it and realizing you are a good person, you have a good heart and your values and beliefs are stronger than they ever have been.
Divorce sucks..... But you can get through this.