My Motivation

Why can’t my hair look like this every day? 🙂

People keep telling me I’m brave to share my story. I don’t see that. Living through it was the hard part. This is the gravy.

Within days of receiving the text, I got online and searched for answers and support. Most sites offered me nothing. They discussed how to have an amicable divorce (yeah… somehow that didn’t seem too likely in my case), they talked about how to prepare for an upcoming divorce (too late!), and they focused on the legal process, not the life change. I found a few sites that dealt with spousal abandonment, which gave the comfort (and the horrifying realization) that I was not alone. I spent only a short time on these; however, as they mainly focused on people telling their “shock” story over and over. That’s important, but I wanted to get beyond that moment in time. Many of the sites were angry and blaming. Sometimes we need that; I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t raged and cursed and pictured his head on the punching bag. But again, there comes a time to let that go.

I felt so alone, so isolated. People rallied around me yet I had no one that had been through an atypical divorce that could show me the way. I sought guidance from my “love mentors,” but I wondered how my crazy situation would translate. A seed was planted in those early weeks and months. I knew I wanted to thrive and I knew I wanted to somehow create something good from the tsunami. I had no idea how to do it.

Running parallel to my emotional struggles were the legal and physical ones. I spent my days talking to police, lawyers, and doctors. As I shared various portions of the tale, I could see their eyes grow wide with shock and disbelief. “You should write a book,” was an oft heard refrain. So, my personal journal started to become a book. For the first several months, all I did was recount the events and describe my powerful emotions. I envisioned an “ending” where he was in jail and the courts came through in my favor. I didn’t get it yet. I still saw my happiness tied up in his.

The divorce finally happened. He got his slap on the wrist for bigamy. And I found I spent the next couple years living. I no longer recounted my story frequently and I stopped writing altogether. Instead, I focused on learning the lessons I talk about here. I knew I still wanted to finish the book. I had the first half written but I had no idea how to finish it since the pictured ending never came. It turned out I had to live it first.

That’s when everything came together. I saw how I could use my story to let others know that they are not alone. I realized that there were lessons I learned that might be able to help others in many situations, not just divorce. I also was acutely aware that I had a great movie-worthy framework (thanks to my ex) from which I could anchor my lessons.

Throughout, my writing has help my own healing. I’ve written about the therapy inherent in the writing process. Sharing has also helped me move forward and release some of the anger as I can start to transform something that was so ugly into a form that can be of benefit.

I’m not brave. I acutely remember those moments when I felt so isolated and lost in the dark during the divorce. I knew there was a path out, yet I could not yet see it and I there were no guides. I hope that by writing and sharing my story, I can at least give you a flashlight to help you find your path. Please leave the light on for those who follow behind you.

Thank you for sharing!

13 thoughts on “My Motivation

  1. I know the feeling, I join a group for divorced women but I had to stop going. They only kept re-living the divorce details over and over again, and I’m at a point right now where I don’t need that anymore. For a while I got what I needed out of that, knowing that I’m not alone but now I’m trying to move forward and rehashing it is not helpful.

    PS. You will have to get rich enough to have a hairdresser do your hair every morning, then it’ll look like that 🙂

  2. I had a “run away husband” experience and have worked very hard to move on. I co facilitated a group for women called “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.. Post divorce”– the goal of the group was to help each other stay focussed on moving forward and with a sense of humor. We didn’t let each other repeat the story….we shared all the forward steps and unexpected smiles we had during the meetings. A few tears were allowed.

    I am also finishing writing a book on my experience– again aimed at the positive– I had an international experience and faced obstacles that are uncommon for most women. However, I have found myself laughing more, smiling more, growing more and rediscovering more!

  3. Is there such a thing as a “typical” divorce?
    My husband and I, after 30 years together and having spent 2 years trying to heal the relationship, decided to end it. So I guess we’re having the “amicable” break-up referred to in the literature. And yet I, too, feel like everything that has happened somehow doesn’t fit my perception of how others experience the end of a long marriage. It seems most divorced people I know (my parents and parents-in-law included) cheated on each other, beat each other up, or hate each other. I look around for role models and can’t find many. When my EX and I shop together or help each other, sometimes I wonder if we’re doing it wrong.
    The feelings of isolation and darkness and looking for an unseen path out – my experience was very different from yours and yet that’s how it felt to still be living in “our house” with my husband while we waited for it to be sold. I felt like I was in a tunnel with no air, trying to dig my way out and finding every step I took was harder than the last. I’m out now, and breathing freely for what feels like the first time ever.
    Glad I found your blog!

    1. Thank you for sharing your perspective. It’s true they all unique and I have a feeling many of us have a “grass is greener” view (at least I know I do). It’s so true, however, that even when many things are in your favor, divorce is hard. Very hard. Welcome to the site and I’m so glad to hear you’re breathing again! 🙂

  4. Congratulations on finishing your book! I’m sure it will help so many people out there who are going through a similar experience. It’s unfortunate you had to go through this. I remember the loneliness during divorce although mine was very different circumstances.

  5. This is a large part of why I’ve yet to finish my book as well. I found that the narrrative was still being developed experiences important to the story. It’s the ending, the seeing how the story ends, where is the good in this that seems to be the hardest part. And it’s difficult to write what you can’t yet see.

    1. So true. It was strange how I was compelled to write at the beginning and again the last several months, yet for years I had nothing to say. It was also interesting to see how the ending evolved. I honestly didn’t know how the book was going to end until I was down to the last few weeks of writing. It really is an organic process and one that we just have to let evolve. Good luck with yours!

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