The trials and tribulations of going through a divorce can pretty much be summed up as a roller coaster ride…from Hell.
You start out somewhat confident that it won’t last long, roller coasters are fast moving after all, and you will be happy that you did it in the end. You can tell everyone that you “survived”! You may even get the t-shirt.
You tend to ignore the fact that it has many ups and downs, not to mention those twisty parts and the couple of times that you will actually be dangling upside down, with barely anything holding you into your seat. And let’s not even mention the creepy guy running the ride, who’s probably out on a work release program for the summer, who’s hands you’ve now placed the fate of your existence.
He’s usually a creepy guy, isn’t he?
We tend to let our eyes sweep right by those visions and obvious facts, and only look for the good stuff. The easy stuff. The stuff that you can digest and convince yourself that you can handle.
But it’s the part that we don’t focus on that makes it the longest ride of your life. It’s the extra twist, the unnoticed backwards part, the extra pause at the highest peak before you plummet into the free-fall of your descent. It’s the surprises that aren’t always the “good kind”, that leave your stomach churning and a burning sensation in your throat.
That’s what divorce is, in a nutshell.
And just when you think it’s almost over, and you will soon be pulling back into the station happy and relieved to be finished, it takes an unexpected turn and you go through a dark tunnel that seems to have no end in sight.
The only thing you can do is to hold on tighter with a white-knuckled grip, keep singing your happy song in your own head, and wait to see the light of day again hoping that the platform is there. You may even close your eyes for awhile to try to get through it.
Hoping that the ride is over so you can finally stumble to the garbage can and throw up. You’ll need time to get over this one before you get on another ride, that’s for sure.
But this ride doesn’t end just because you’re ready for it to end, or because you want to puke or cry (or both), and there really isn’t a set speed or time that it takes to get through it. And every ride is different, for better or worse, so you can’t really tell anyone what to expect. You will never know until you’re in your seat, pulling away from the platform, and it’s too late to change your mind and get off
All you can tell anyone on the verge of divorce, or going through one, is “hold on tight”.
And you may want to get them a t-shirt at the end, they’ve earned it.