The Divorce Chronicles
 Healing Takes Time: 5 things NOT to say

Yes I know.  Don't say it.  
"Terra, you share too much."
Well, yes.  Yes I do.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  For so long I have always done what others told me.  I stuffed things down.  I lived my life for others.  I'm 47 years old (almost 48).  I will no longer live for others.  At least in the sense of trying to please everyone.  I don't have to hid.  I don't have to feel ashamed.  AND, I don't have to agree.

I'm getting ahead of myself a bit.
I'll never forget the day I knew my marriage was over.  May 7, 2017.  
1 year, 7 months, 10 days, 11 hours, 18 minutes, 30 seconds ago to be precise (at the time I wrote this).  
The year before that our marriage almost ended.  There was 'forgiveness' and we moved beyond.
9 months went by.  I thought everything was perfect.  Better than ever.
That Sunday all I heard was "I tried so hard.  But I just don't love you the way a man should love a woman."  
With that I took my rings off forever.  
There's an indentation still there.  Over 1.5 years later.  The rings didn't leave my hand (not even for dishes or the birth of our 2 sons) for 11 years.  
How do you walk away from 11 years (married) 14 years (total).
How do you pick up the pieces and begin again.

The short answer?  You don't.  At least not initially.  
The divorce was final October 11, 2017.  
I year, 2 months, 6 days, 11 hours, 35 minutes, and 16 seconds ago to be precise.  
A lifetime ago.  Yet just yesterday it seems.
It was a civil divorce thankfully.  Neither of us Neither of us was interested in a long drawn out battle where mud was slung.  I honestly wanted to sweep things under the rug and and forget.  The day of the divorce proceeding, I wore the red wrap dress that I loved.  I remember thinking as I waited in the courthouse lobby, how loose the dress was now.  I had lost nearly 40 lbs since the separation (purposely).  But I had not really given thought to buying new clothing yet.  I barely had enough to make ends meet.  It was a big adjustment going from 2 incomes, down to one.  
I remember 'people watching' others around me.  A mixture of sad and happy faces.  I wondered about their stories.  About what brought them to this place in time.  Then, my now ex-husband walked into the lobby and gave a faint smile.  I told myself I wanted to be anywhere but there.  
The divorce hearing took all of 10 minutes. We had already agreed ahead of time on child support to be paid, visitation schedules, and division of assets.  
"Look for the decree in the mail in the next week.  And remember you're still married until the court processes the documents."
Those were the judge's final words as we walked out the door. 
"Great I thought.  I just want to be totally done and forget."

The papers arrived about 5 days later and the documents had been processed the same day as the hearing.  We were officially divorced.
I felt great!  Dating again.  Happy.  Enjoying "my" time (plus my sons of course). 
"Wow, this was easier than I thought!"  I told myself.
Those painful, horrible moments of crying and wondering what the hell happened, those months before seemed to disappear. 
Life was on a roll.
I soon found that it wasn't that easy.  I wasn't moving on but merely suppressing everything! 

And it all came exploding out somewhere early in the new year (2018).  I found myself crying so much more.  Lamenting.  Lonely.  Wondering if I'll ever be lucky enough to fall in love again with.
I also soon learned that everyone had their own take and offered input.  Now don't get me wrong.  I am SO thankful for all the support that I got and still get.  More often than not it was people not as close to me that seemed to offer the most advice.  Now I know they meant/mean well.  
But so often it fell flat, and even frustrated me many times.

I found there were 5 things that just did not need to be said to a divorcing/newly divorced person.

1.) You will get through this.  The truth is, no I won't.  I couldn't see that far ahead.  Thinking about 6 months, or a year, or 5 years down the road seemed truly unreal.  I could barely make it through the days ahead (and trust me, I still have these days).  The world I knew for the last 14 years was gone in a matter of months.  I wasn't even concerned about getting through it.  I was concerned how I was going to do this on my own now.  What if I get ill and pass away while they were still young?  What if I don't make enough to support my sons?  How am I ever going to fill the void in them the divorce caused?  When will my void ever be filled?
So many questions.  And no answers seemed to ease my mind.
Time.  That's all I know.  Time is starting to help.
I just wanted someone to say "I'm so sorry."  And hold me.

2.) You are so strong.  All you have to do is read my previous post about this, here -->"Stop saying I'm strong!" .  I'm not strong.  Not at all.  I'm only doing what I have to do.  And some days, it's not a pretty sight.  I'm hanging on but a frazzled thin thread
 I'll be completely honest here.  There were/are times I wished I simply didn't exist.  I questioned "why am I hear?"  Until now, I haven't told many people about this struggle.
Suicide is such a taboo subject it seems.  I'd be lying if I said I had not reached out to a hotline/crisis person.  I surely wouldn't do that to my sons.  But there were times it seemed it would be so much better to disappear into thin air.  

Which brings me to my next thing not to say. 

3.) Forgive/"god" has a plan/everything happens for a reason/spiritual platitudes that "problem solve".
So this is one of those areas where I've been fairly quiet and just smiled an nodded. ..until now. Mainly so I wouldn't hurt anyone OR hear lectures.  Neither of which I want.   The last couple of years have really tested me, tested my faith.  And honestly I do not know what I believe anymore.  Yes, I believe in 'The Great Spirit' as my Native Ancestors called him.   However, not in the way many Christians think.  I'm not going to really get into that as faith, spirituality, and the like are deeply personal to me, in my opinion.  I have a huge spiritual connection.  I always have (another story for another time).  

With that said, I do not believe everything happens for a reason, I don't believe The Great Spirit has a detailed plan down to what pencil I'm going to use today, for my life.  I also do not believe that the answers are simple and found in some book. 
I also do not have to forgive.  I'm learning to let go of grudges as I KNOW I am so far from perfect.  But forgiveness?  At this point in time, no.  Simply no.  And I don't even have to explain my reasons why.
Life is messy.  Life is fun.  Life is chaotic.  Life is peaceful.  Life in pain.  Life is happiness.  Life is tears.  Life is laughter.  It's life.  While The Great Spirit engulfs us in love, we still live on this earth and go through that journey.  And everyone's journey is different.
The platitudes only make the healing process worse for me.
Absolutely PLEASE offer prayers/thoughts to or what ever you believe.  I welcome ALL of that healing and positive energy.
What I don't welcome, is the thought that for MY life only, I can have easy solutions.  Let me heal in my own way, with my own tools.  

4.) You don't need a partner/man to fulfill you or make you.  I know this.  Truly, I do know this.  However, it is OK for me to be lonely.  For me to NOT want to be alone.  For me to realize that I LOVE being with someone.  We are all different and that is OK.  (General) you may be fully confident in that thought and I respect that.  I even understand it.  However, I have a different thought, a different view.  I enjoy sharing my life with someone, taking care of the, growing together.  Who ever said we all had to be the same anyway! ;) 

5.) Get over it!  You're not over it yet?  Simple answer?  No.  No I'm not.  Now, I would not want to go back to the "old life".  I would not want to have those issues ever again.  That love is gone.  However, the shattered heart and life is still very much in pieces.  It takes time.
Give me time. 
I can not tell you how much.
There's not a time limit to grief.
I realize life can not stop.  I don't expect that. 
However, please know.  I have great days and I have low days. 
I will say that the great days are starting to outweigh the low days.  THIS is a good thing! 
I even caught myself thinking about how I'd like to some day help others who have and will travel this divorce journey.  And my heart felt full!
I had to stop for a moment and I became so happy.  I realized this was a huge step in healing.
I KNOW life moves forward.  Life moves on.  I don't need to be told. 
I just need that hand the hold mine, to tell me "I'm sorry.  I'm here if you need me."

In essence, these 5 areas  can simply be expressed by saying "I am not looking for someone to solve my issues or take away my pain.  I'm rather looking for a friend who says "Hey I also have an ear for you.   If you have a dark time and you think about not existing, CALL ME.  My door is always open."

That's all I need.  The healing is working itself out!  

When I look back at the last year and half.  I see a definite valley.  I've been wandering this wilderness for months.  But I see flickers of light ahead.  I see an upward hill.  I have family and friends by my side.
I am good!  I do have all I need (even if I don't  quite accept it all right this moment!)


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