Divorce and My Discovery
Written by: Anonymous
See the first part of this reflection piece here: https://www.dearchereen.com/divorce-and-the-death-of-me/
The days turned into nights, then weeks and months. I really can’t even say for certain how long I was lost in myself. I was broken. How could this happen to me? How could I end up in such a situation? I had so much going for me. Everything was perfect, and now, even getting out of bed didn’t make any sense to me. What was the point?
Somehow, things started to change. It’s true; time really does help. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true.
I used to tell people, that divorcing a spouse was worse than losing a spouse. At least when your spouse dies, it isn’t their choice to leave you. But with divorce, it’s a decision they make — they didn’t want you anymore.
I wasn’t good enough. He wasn’t happy with me. He didn’t like me. He didn’t love me. He didn’t want me.
But I wanted him. I loved him. Until I started to wonder: What was it that I really loved about him? The more I asked myself that question, the easier it was to move on. He was no-longer the kind-hearted and compassionate person I thought I knew and loved. The person whom I loved was gone. I didn’t know when, but I at least knew he wasn’t there anymore.
He really was not worth it anymore. All my girlfriends would say it, but it wasn’t until I realized it for myself, that things got better. He wasn’t worth my misery. I wasn’t going to give him the power to control my emotions anymore. He had already taken so much of my time, already broken my heart, already shattered my dreams.
He wasn’t worth it.
My happiness was not in his control. The only person who should have the power to control my emotions is me. This was my turning point. This was my discovery.
I took plenty of time to grieve — and trust me, it was a long time — but there must be a limit. When that time is right, you’ll know. The tears will eventually subside. Eventually, you’ll open your windows to let in some sunshine.
The awkward stage was the anger. I hated the question, “How are you?” People didn’t really want to hear my answer: “To be honest, I feel like utter garbage. Thanks for asking.” I mean, how else was I supposed to feel? But of course you can’t say that. My mother taught me to have better manners than that. So on the inside, I cursed everyone who asked anything about “feelings.”
Truth is, I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and do better. Nobody owed me anything. Nobody was obligated to make me feel better or help me. I couldn’t wallow in my own depression and loss anymore. I still had a roof over my head. I had friends and family who loved me and supported me. I had my education. I had my own future to build.
I found comfort in surrounding myself with others who were in much more desperate situations than myself and trying to assist them. I thought I had hit rock bottom, but I was far from it. There were others much worse off than I was, and they needed the extra help and the right kind of boost. That’s when things really started to look brighter. I was helping others and I felt better about myself. I was a good person, and I needed to remember that. I had no reason to complain or feel bad for myself. There were people really suffering from starvation and oppression right down the street. I had a broken heart, but I also had my health and strength.
I had wasted enough time and energy on him, and even on myself. It was time to give back and thank the Lord for at least protecting me from physical harm, hunger or pain.
Philanthropy. Gratitude. Optimism.
That’s how I overcame my rut and that’s how I found myself again. Some days were easier than others. There were days that I questioned my own intentions. Was I really trying to help others for the sake of helping others, or was I projecting my own inability to help myself? Was I just trying to forget about the past or had I really gotten over it? Was I lying to myself?
In the end, it really didn’t matter, because I was helping others, and, slowly, they helped me.
Ladies, surround yourself with positive people. Give yourself time to grieve. Cry, scream, cry, scream, repeat. Then pick yourself up. You have a bright future ahead and he’s not worth it. But you are.
I dabbled with hobbies and various humanitarian projects for a few years. Then I moved to a foreign country, went back to school, and re-married.
The hardest part of starting over is learning to trust somebody else after being hurt, and that’s fine, but you have to give it a try. It’s only fair to the new guy, and to yourself. Again, don’t let the loser from before screw up your future. He’s not worth it.
Take the risk. If things don’t work out again, at least you know you’re stronger and wiser. You know how to overcome grief and pain if need be. Truth is, you’re a completely different person now and if the roof were to cave in, I bet you could handle it without breaking a sweat or shedding a tear.
Over the years, as I climbed my way up from the ditch, I discovered abilities and strengths I never thought possible. My heart was much more resilient than I ever imagined. I was smarter and more beautiful than I gave myself credit for. I deserved better. He wasn’t worth it, but the person who I became certainly was.