Hands down, this was the most difficult period in my life. Shining my light seemed impossible. It was days, weeks, months, of darkness. I cried every day for a whole lot of days. I spent the rest of the time that I wasn't crying using every little bit of my energy hiding my pain and trying NOT to cry so my daughters would be protected from so much distress. Divorce is sad guys. Supersized pain and grief. Six years later, I am happily remarried to an amazing man who means the world to me and I have revamped my life in so many ways, but I can still feel the death of that dream at times.
Like when I just recently changed the phone number on my CVS card. It was the last remaining evidence of the land line that I owned. The family home number. We were a family. We lost everything. All these years later, and still a small stab in my heart.
Oh and don't get me started about the smell of laundry detergent.
It can take me right back in time to a place of beginnings and love and hope and dreams. When I was 23 years old and newly married. Living with my husband in our first home. A nice solid 3 bedroom brick ranch in a modest but nice neighborhood. Tree lined streets. We were lucky and in love. I would walk around the neighborhood in love with life, the trees, and my place in the world, and I would catch the scent of laundry being done, proof of home, safety, and security wafting from my neighbors' homes. Now, 23 years later, a simple smell of laundry detergent on a walk in a neighborhood with my dog brings a steep sense of melancholy. Each whiff reminding me of a time I believed in happily ever after.
It feels like hope and death and then and now, all mixed up into a big jumble of a burning heart.
There is leftover pain that may always remain.....the remnants of a marriage and family life that was once whole and happy and ideal and then just gone. That is divorce. I bring this up because it doesn't matter what stage of divorce you are in. One needs support when considering divorce, a very serious and life altering decision; in the early stages of pain and anger, during the most difficult stages of grief and loss, and post divorce when there are new issues to consider, like figuring out how to be a stepparent, and dealing with the ex wife of your new partner. There's also the memories and lingering pain.
Divorce with Dignity is beginning at the SheHive at the end of this month, February 25th. It's the implementation of my vision to provide support and inspiration to other women who are experiencing or have experienced such a monumental loss. I hope to help women find the beauty within the pain of divorce. Divorce is letting go and holding on... for dear life. It is endings and beginnings. All at one time. Magnified and electrified. It does not require a celebration, nor does it require a pity party. It requires strength and perseverance.
Keep in mind, I'm not a therapist, but yes I consider myself an expert.
I've done divorce and I've done it well. In fact, I'm frequently asked what my secret is. I can tell you this. I am straight up amazing at loving and lighting myself up. This is a practice. Like yoga. Finding your superpowers of optimism, hope, and gratitude is essential. There are tips and tools to learn. The most important piece of a support group, however, is the power of supporting one another's individual experience in a collective group of "me too" and "I understand" and "I'm sorry", and "I'm here."
Sure. There will probably be some anger and disparaging remarks about exes. After all, it's important to express and vent and share and let go.
Divorce With Dignity is the place to release all the toxic yuck out of your emotional exhaust system.
This is healthy. This is necessary. Better here in our support group than out in the social media world or in front of your kids, or suffocating your friends with it. Just remember, we will always come back to the mission, which is to overcome the negative, keep your dignity intact, your heart open, and your soul shining. We can all get there together. That is where the magic lives. That is our focus.
"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." ~Unknown