Sensible or Cynical?

imagesIt’s inevitable that at some point during or following your divorce you will question whether you want to give it another shot (marriage, I mean, not your ex — although shooting your ex is tempting).   I have come down firmly on the side of the “hell no, I’d rather cut my tongue off with a rusty knife than marry again” and it’s confused some people.

Let me explain.  This is my second divorce.  My second failed attempt at what is quite possibly the most important decision you can make in life.    I will take some blame for the failures of my marriages but in suffering through this second divorce I have realized that my two former spouses have a lot of dysfunctions and general fuckeries in common.  Clearly I do not choose well in the husband department.  So doesn’t it make sense to realize that my picker is broken, or at least severely compromised, and graciously remove myself from the marriage arena?

I think so but I have been told multiple times “third time’s the charm!”  Well, what about people who have been married four or more times?  They must have thought the third time was the charm also . . . and it wasn’t.

Someone also told me that if I quit, if I throw in the proverbial towel, that Number Two wins.  Maybe . . . but is this a game?  Possibly it was for Number Two, Douche Du Jour that he was,  but not for me.  So does it matter who “wins?”

I guess my question then is this – – am I being sensible in refusing to consider a future marriage or am I being cynical?

What say you, brilliant readers?

Miracle Monday #4

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What am I grateful for today?  (Well, yesterday too since today IS Tuesday.  I’m a day late, sue me)

I am grateful for my therapist.  I know that so many people consider therapy and/or counseling like that crazy relative you never want to admit having or that weird obsession with The Brady Bunch.  Okay, just me?  Whatever.  Regardless, many Americans look at therapy as something to be embarrassed by, something that indicates weakness.  Horsefeathers, people!  (Hey, it sounds better than bullshit!)   If your teeth are bothering you, you go to a dentist.  If your stomach hurts, you go to your physician.  Why not treat your mental and emotional health the same?

Let’s be honest.  The world can really suck.  The pressures can be immense.  Sometimes you just can’t deal with everything on your own . . . or sometimes you need to talk to an impartial person who is sympathetic but firm.  He or she won’t tell you what you want to hear but maybe what you need to hear.

I have a fantastic therapist.  He is kind and understanding and he keeps me on the straight and narrow right now.  I can tell him anything without fear of reprisal or rationalizing my behavior.  I can cuss up a storm, I can cry.  It’s all good because his job is to listen.  And sometimes that’s really all we need divorce survivors need, no?

Don’t fear the stigma of therapy.  Let’s talk about it.  Do you see a therapist or counselor?  Has it helped you?  Been a positive experience overall or one you’d prefer not to repeat?

 

And what are you grateful for today?

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

1-forward-2-backOh regression, how I hate you.

Maybe I should have known.  Having been split for six months and seeming to deal with it incredibly well emotionally . . .  Sure, a few sad moments here and there, that’s to be expected – especially around certain landmarks like birthdays, anniversaries or even hearing a familiar song that may trigger a memory.  My sad moments became full-fledged days of depression last week.  Not the type of depression that led me to a freeway overpass (melodramatic, yes) or unable to get out of bed (more realistic) but the kind where I felt as though the split had just happened.

All I could think of was my ex.  Not pining for him, absolutely not.  But feeling hurt and betrayed all over again.  Feeling angry and wanting to punch his face in, even as I remembered all the things that had drawn me to him in the first place (and questioning my sanity, as well as my sobriety levels).   Feeling anxious and scared about my future.  Would I ever find anyone to love again?  Would anyone love me again?  Would I want them to?  What if I was alone forever?  What if Number Two went on with his life without me?  What if he was happier?   What if he was more successful?  What did this mean for Thanksgiving?  Who invented Cheez Whiz and why?  (Okay, that one I stole from one of the funniest movies of the 80s – – The Sure Thing.  Haven’t seen it?  Get to it, John Cusack fans.)

Maybe the worst is the sleep (or lack thereof) issue.  I have a brand new bed.  It’s fabulous.  I have brand new sheets on my brand new bed.  They are fabulous.  I can sleep with my window open because it’s what I want – – plus it’s quiet – – so that’s fabulous.  Yet I am still tossing and turning and every damn dream involves my ex is one way or another.  So not fabulous.

And yes, I know.  My subconscious is at work.  It’s working overtime and it’s driving me crazy.  And I know that eventually it will go crawl into a hole until I’m stressing about Christmas or (hope against hope) I meet someone else that sets my heart aflutter.  But for now it sucks ass – – I’m tired and I’m a grouchity grouch when I get tortured sleep.

The stressed out stomach could be good, if I was losing numbers on the scale the way I wished I would.  And if I was at home where stomach cramps aren’t nearly as annoying and embarrassing as at work.  It’s a fact that if you ever have stomach issues at work, it will be the day all your bosses are in or you are stuck on a conference call or in a meeting . . . or the most gorgeous man ever sets foot in your office.  Irony is a cruel bitch.

So what do YOU do when you find yourself regressing?  It’s easy to know that it’s a normal part of the grieving process but how to accept that and still go about your daily life without strangling the impatient and rude woman in the grocery store checkout line or burst into tears when someone makes eye contact with you or launch into your sob story when making idle conversation?   (Okay, so I haven’t strangled anyone . . . yet).

Just Get Over It

If you are divorced or going through a divorce, chances are that you’ve heard the above sentiment.

I have.  Both times.  “It’s been (insert length of time) .  Aren’t you over it yet?”  “Stop thinking about him/them/it and move on!”  “You’re never going to get over it unless you stop thinking about it.”  All well-meaning comments, surely, but all woefully inappropriate, incorrect and inconsiderate.

First, there is no timetable for grief.  And have no doubt, divorce is a grieving process.  It’s like a death, sure, only worse because there is no finality and closure as when someone dies.  Your ex continues to walk around, potentially populate the earth and make you miserable rather than being buried under six feet of earth.  Some people may work through their grief in half the time it takes others.  It’s okay.  There is no right or wrong timeframe for healing, despite what others may tell you – – including some of the books on the shelves today.  And most definitely don’t look to celebrities for guidance – – I have been separated from Number Two since March and am still hurting and grieving.  I’m sure some in the celebrity realm would think I was an oddity for not yet having my next engagement lined up.   I am still grieving because the life I thought I had, that I thought I would have, is gone.  It’s devastating to suffer such a loss . . . and that’s okay.

Secondly, of course you’re thinking about your ex, your relationship and what you’re going through.  No shit, Sherlock!  There is nothing wrong with that.  It’s how you move forward and get to the other side.  Maybe it’s all-consuming right now but it won’t always be.  Each day the thoughts may lessen.  The only time there should be concern is if you can’t get out of bed, you’re missing work and/or you are figuring out the distance from your window to the pavement below.  Again, people mean well but if they haven’t gone through it — and especially if your split was precipitated by lying, cheating and/or abuse – – they assume that you should just be grateful you are no longer with the asshole and have no more feelings or thoughts about it whatsoever.  If you didn’t have feelings or thoughts about it, even months later, you wouldn’t be human and your relationship wouldn’t have been genuine.

Third, you don’t just get over divorce. You can get through it, as you would any type of loss or setback, but you don’t “get over it”.  Those people who do are the ones that immediately move from person to person (like Numbers One and Two) to avoid dealing with any emotional fallout.  That is what is not healthy and not normal.   When someone has lost a job, do people say “Get over it!”  Generally not.  Most people have sympathy and offer to help in ways they can.  So why are we so critical of people who are separated and divorced and insistent upon them getting back out there and moving on?  The loss of a relationship, of a home, of a way of life is much more stressful and serious than the loss of a job (although losing a job sucks too).

So if you’re grieving, it’s okay.  You’re not doing it the wrong way (unless you’re bottling up your emotions, refusing to acknowledge them and/or jumping into a serious relationship immediately to avoid dealing with your feelings).  Just be gentle with yourself and surround yourself with those people who will encourage you, support you and uplift you, not criticize you or tell you what you should be doing.  Accept the loss at your pace and do what you can to embrace your new life, the new YOU.   Know there will be bumps along the way and even setbacks.  It doesn’t mean you’re failing, it means you’re human.

Let’s talk.  Has anyone told you to “get over it”?  Have you felt pressured by well-meaning friends and family to speed up your grieving process?  What’s the best advice anyone has given you on getting through your loss?

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Miracle Monday #2

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What am I grateful for today?

I am grateful that I have the entire bed to myself. I don’t have to deal with sheets/blankets being pulled off me (waking up to being freezing cold is no fun), my pillow being pulled out from under my head (waking up to your head smacking the headboard is no fun), being kicked or shoved (waking up to hanging off the bed is no fun) or being drowned in morning breath and/or excessive farting (no comment is probably necessary). I can sit up and read as long as I like, without the bedside lamp disturbing anyone and I can work on my laptop whenever I want without the clicking of the keys keeping anyone awake.

Tell me, what are you thankful for today?

Single Shaming

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Happy Friday, my fellow Divas! Fridays are always good and welcome but I know I have seen them differently since my split. No longer do I have standing plans or an automatic date for whatever is going on. The weekend can be good for going out with friends (I don’t have to check anyone’s schedule but mine) or relaxing at home (yes, I am going to wear my pajamas half the day . . . so?) but if you’re feeling particularly down or lonely, the weekends can bring that pain to the surface. You can feel isolated and alone at home; out with friends, you can be surrounded by couples, further highlighting your new singledom.

Before you split, you may have been thinking about all the wonderful things that being single would bring you. Your friends and family may have told you how awesome your life would be. You may have reminded yourself how great your life was pre-marriage and expected it to go right back to where it was. But the reality may be entirely different.

I have felt single shamed. It happened to me probably a month after I moved out. I had an appointment with my therapist and had time to kill. I did some window shopping and then decided I would grab brunch. I had a book to read while I ate so I thought I would be good to go. And I was . . . until I was seated at one of the mini-booths that hold two people and realized that I was the only solo person in the place. Everywhere I looked were couples and families. Worse, I was seated by the front door so every single family and couple that came through the door took a gander at me. I immediately felt self-conscious and shamed. Were they asking themselves “Doesn’t she have any friends?” “Why is she eating alone?” “Wow, it must suck to be her!” I felt naked and exposed. I had no wedding ring to say “Look! I’m part of a couple!” I had no Number 2 with me, or Kidlet. That was the first time it really sunk in for me that I was on my own.

Obviously I have no idea what those people may or may not have been saying about me. I speculate because I remember doing that myself, seeing a person eating all by their lonesome and wondering if they wanted to eat alone, if they enjoyed eating alone or . . . well, anything! I never meant anything rude or bad by it – – maybe it’s human nature – -but I was single shaming. Ouch.

So I have to wonder . . . does our society single shame?

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Why worry?

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I love this saying. Not that I necessarily follow it, of course.

I am a worrier. There, I said it. I worry about everything. I try not to. I try to keep a balanced, business-like approach but sometimes I guess I’m just too damn emotional or hormonal or something but I worry. Even when everyone tells me not to, I worry. I could definitely be a Class A worrier before the split but since — Worry City. I guess it’s natural, given the many changes my life has undergone this year. And most people are very happy to share their miserable, holy-cow-does-life-suck divorce stories with you.

What is crazy is that I work in a field where I have to be level headed and not emotional. I’m fine at work. I can separate myself from whatever is going on. I can analyze cooly and clearly with the best of them. And I know that worrying won’t change the outcome of anything. It truly won’t. But when it comes to my personal life and emotions . . .

Case in point: When Number 2 told me he was going to drag me into court, I worried. Even when family and friends told me that he was likely just blowing hot air because he’s impulsive and stupid enough to do that, I still worried. What if he’s not? Even when I was told by an attorney that he was shooting himself in the foot and such a thing would only benefit me, I worried. What if it doesn’t? I worried to the point that I had stomach cramps, I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t sleep. I have moved on from Number 2, I’m ready to be done with him so why?

Are you a worrier? Were you a worrier prior to your separation or divorce? How do you deal with a worrying nature while going about your day to day life?