De-mything divorce

I want to make my blog somewhere where I can be authentic and talk about real world issues in the hope that it will remove some of the pretences and encourage openness and sharing amongst people. This week I’m talking about a really sticky, awkward, angst ridden subject and even writing words down on a page on this topic is hard for me as I hate to acknowledge let alone begin to accept that things get to me.

But underlying everything I know that we’re not untouchable, we’re only human and sometimes even though we don’t like to accept it–things affect us and that’s OK.

Divorce needs no introduction. Everyone knows what it is, but only some of us know what it is. I’m talking about the messy, battle of war that happens when grown-ups go their separate ways and kids get stuck in the onslaught that ensues. It’s like being caught up in a human hurricane of hurtful emotion and hate. And you have no control over absolutely any of it; the adults in your life do, only they forgot how to behave like adults the second their egos got hurt.

I remember when I was younger thinking when will this all end? Why so much unnecessary pain? Why all the anger? I wasn’t one of these children that wanted my parents to get back together. Even as a child with no real life experience it was clear things weren’t working out.  I turned to anything that would comfort me; I lost interest in learning, loving and I lost all respect for my parents. I don’t wish to sensationalise but all of this really did have quite a catastrophic effect on my life. It was like being washed up in a massive wave, a kind of drowning, sinking, suffocating feeling.

Quite simply, child hood was chaotic when it was supposed to be fun, care free and without stress. I look back and it’s like the years slipped by like this. In this chaotic confusion, not knowing whether I was coming or going, shoved from pillar to post. Years later I realise that I learnt a beautiful lesson from all of this, and that is that sometimes all you need is a blueprint of what not to do. That’s enough. If you’re a resourceful problem solver; you’ll work it out.

It’s only when I went to university, away from my home and family that I realised how many repressed emotions I had from my childhood. My self-worth was zero, my confidence was zero and my enthusiasm and energy for life was, you guessed it, zero. I was still letting pain from my childhood get to me even into my early adulthood.

At this time I felt like a storm was brewing inside of me, and anything I did to try and cover it up, was never going to be enough to fix it.

I was broken and I knew it.

Or more appropriately, I was broken and I could no longer cover it up. So I did what any self-respecting ‘crazy’ person does and I went to therapy. I didn’t know what to expect when I walked through the heavy door and sat on a rather opulent and comfortable seat, water and tissues already laid out waiting and expecting to be used. But I was surprised. It’s like the years of hurt just came tumbling cathartically out.

It was me, that women and my shitty broken record of a life story coming out that had been going round and round in my head for years. For me, that was a moment of overdue vulnerability, which led to a wonderful transformation and I haven’t looked back since.

See, this is a positive story…

Being open and letting things go you realise that the things you cling on to, are the things that burn you up inside, trip you over and make you not a very nice person to be around.  It’s like you are willing your suffering to stay present with you in each and every moment. It’s all pain, pain, pain and you leave no room for any of the good stuff; you miss all the good stuff because you’re so busy getting distracted by the bad hand you’ve been dealt.

I’ve found it’s important to not let self-pitying thoughts go on too long. In fact, the sooner you can catch them wicked little thoughts the easier it is to stop them snowballing. Thoughts have gravitational pull; they will pull you all over the place–if you let them.

Divorce isn’t ideal but we certainly don’t live in an ideal world. I think a massive take away from divorce is realising and really understanding how fragile life is and how resilient it can make you when things fall apart. Change is the only constant. Get used to it, or not. It’s going to happen whether you try and fight it or not.

2 thoughts on “De-mything divorce

  1. Greg Sadler says:

    I’ll say this – as someone on the other pole of divorce (i.e. a parent who divorced): one of the toughest things for me in my divorce was my daughter (8 years old at the time) coming up to me and showing me her diary, where she’d written an entry that said that I’d broken her heart by starting the process of divorcing her mother.

    That was after my soon-to-be-ex wife had spent about 8 months effectively keeping me from my children, and from my family (we had bought a house on my extended family’s land) – and filing for divorce was what regularized as much regular contact as I could get with my kids (I had taken an academic position 4 states away, in the middle of the economic meltdown of the late 2000s).

    But, whatever rational reasons there were – and there were many – for my divorcing her mother, in my daughter’s mind, it was a real blow to her on my part. And that sticks with me today, even as she now enters high school. . .


    1. abromley91 says:

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for your comment. What you did was courageous. Hard, but courageous. Today, I am so grateful that my parents divorced as my life back then was an existence and not a life. Good luck!


      Liked by 1 person

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