Don’t tell me

The roller coaster that is divorce is going at full speed lately. I think that I am in the middle of the corkscrew or maybe it’s the long dark tunnel, right now. I was riding with my arms in the air, screaming with glee only two weeks ago, boldly looking forward to the next sharp turns. Now, I am barely able to hold on to the safety bar and most days feel as if I want to vomit at any given minute. The world is a blur.

And while I am sinking into this darkness, while I am trying my best to get through my days with some semblance of normalcy and polite tolerance, I have realized that a list is forming in my mind. A list of things that well-meaning people have said to me in the last year and a half, and also very recently. It’s a list of phrases, explanations, etc. that are meant to encourage me, or snap me back to reality I guess. It’s a way for people to empathize, I’m sure. A way for them to feel useful, helpful.

It’s similar to the things you say at a funeral when you really don’t know what to say.

They want to feel as if they are helping, as if they can give me that one piece of advice that will make the clouds clear from my brain and the world look all shiny and new once more. They want to give me hope. A quick fix, an easy solution, that I obviously am too close to the problem to see for myself. They know that they can show me that I am looking at it with the wrong attitude, or that I’m focusing on the wrong things.

I’m not appreciating what I have, or how good it will be down the line, don’t you see?

Don’t tell me it will eventually get better. I’m sure that it will, I mean for godssakes it has to or I will be institutionalized. But ‘eventually’ can be next week or it can be a year or ten years from now. How do you know when it will get better? Can you look into your crystal ball and tell me when that is by chance? And now that we’re talking about “better”, what is your definition of better? Do you even know how bad it is now to compare it to better?

Don’t try to tell me that you have bigger problems, or more challenges, or how bad your day was because they ran out of your favorite flavor of chewing gum. Don’t try to commiserate with me about your pedestrian trials and tribulations, how hard your life is because you didn’t get your date night or your kids are driving you crazy and being jerks. I have no patience and I don’t really care. I know, that sounds incredibly insensitive, but I am raw and your daily bitching is like sandpaper on open wounds.

Don’t tell me how lucky I am that I am getting divorced now because he’s more successful now and that translates into a good financial settlement. Just think, you wouldn’t have this nice new house, or the kids in this great neighborhood, or be set for retirement…

News flash, it was never about money. I loved him before he was successful, without any expectations of a big financial reward in the end. I just wanted a relationship with mutual love and respect and to have a good, solid life together. I didn’t go into this with dreams of living in a mansion with designer clothes and an LandRover parked in my garage.

Don’t tell me that I should be thankful for my now broken marriage, no matter the outcome, because without it I wouldn’t have my three beautiful children. I love my children, I thank God for them everyday, and truly cannot imagine my life without them. But know this, I know in my heart that I would have still had children with or without him. Granted, they wouldn’t look the same, or be the exact same people, but they would be pretty similar versions of what they are today because I would still be their mom. I would still be the one shaping them into the amazing adults that they will be someday.

Maybe instead, had I not met and married my ex, I would have married a man that truly loved me with his whole heart, had a family together, and stayed together in love until we died. Maybe.

Don’t tell me that I will “be fine and meet someone soon enough”, or that I will most likely be married again in five years and it will be great. What makes you think that I want to meet anyone at this point in my life, or even later on, and that this is the cure for my broken heart? Why do I need to “find someone”? Can I not be happy on my own, creating a life the way I choose? Am I incapable of taking care of myself and my children? Or am I only half as good without a husband?

And what makes you so sure that I will ever want to get married again? Seriously??

Don’t tell me he will live to regret it, or that his new girlfriend will dump him soon and he will be miserable and alone. I know that this should make me feel better on some level, to know or hope that he will end up lonely and regretful in the end, but honestly it doesn’t. Because he had to destroy everything that was good to get there. He had to tear apart our family, destroy my memories of what I thought was a solid marriage, squander my love and trust, and kick me when I was down. He had to break me to get to misery for himself.

That’s not really the road I would have chosen, or one that I want to look forward to.

And the real sad part about that scenario is that he most likely will never live to regret it. He will never look back and wish he could do it all over again, and change the outcome, because he doesn’t have a conscience.

He only thinks of himself, what he wants, and what is good for him, and that will never change.

Don’t give me false hope. That’s a fairytale ending you’re painting that I don’t expect to ever see. My life is not a Disney film.

And lastly, don’t tell me to “live a little”. I am living, each and every day and every night, and even in my dreams. I am living through it over and over again. Like a bad movie on replay.

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17 thoughts on “Don’t tell me

    • Thanks for the support, truly. That’s the only way I can, I agree. And it may make me a much different person in the end, no I’m sure it will because it already has, and that person already doesn’t pretend to go along with the fairytale.

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  1. SDC says:

    I’m guilty of a lot of these but I was always speaking as a divorced person having been through my own fight. Some people are well meaning but they really have no clue unless theyve been through it. Ive been on both sides of this. I get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you. Before I was divorced, or going through it, I thought I knew enough about it since I was a kid from a divorce (when divorce wasn’t “cool”, the ’70s) so I should know the right things to say.

      I remember even thinking that if people got divorced after the kids were grown, or almost grown, that that shouldn’t be such a big deal to the parents or the kids. When I went to college a few people had that happen and they were devastated. My thinking was, “we did it when I was nine, and yes it sucked but we made it through, at least you got a family for twenty years!” – how callus and ignorant I was then.

      Now I see that it’s an even bigger deal with all of that history and so many shared memories. It’s like telling your kids that it was all a ruse, a made up story. Being in this position, especially after 25 years of sharing my life, is like nothing I have ever experienced. And I wish I could go back and apologize to the women I have known along the way that have gone through this before me, and say something better or do something nicer. You never know, until you know.

      Liked by 2 people

      • SDC says:

        I always wondered why grown kids care if their parents divorce too. I think you understand that we all need to be happy as we get older, but that does make you reflect on if it was some type of illusion all those years. Idk…i think its rough on everyone no matter when it happens. It doesnt necessarily have to be, but it is.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand and empathize, it is very hard when you are going through perhaps the toughest period in your life, and people around you get all “cheerleader-y” on you. I have had that a lot aswell, after my narcissistic relationship. It is annoying as hell. Keep fighting, you are awesome for making it this far. Only you know what is right for you and how to get through this awful thing that happened. Sending you my support. 🌹

    Liked by 2 people

    • It truly was a narcissistic relationship – I just hate myself for making excuses for so long and giving half of my life to someone who basically just shits on it all in the end. So yeah, the cheerleader-y thing is obnoxious and insulting to me right now. And I’m tired of being strong, of fighting through each day, only waiting for the next kick in the head. This too shall pass…like a kidney stone while having a root canal.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My sister is going through a divorce and I’m guilty of many of these sentiments with her and thought I was being supportive. This makes me question even bringing it up with her or continuing a conversation if I might actually cause more harm. Are there any “do’s” when it comes to being supportive? As her brother this isn’t something our parents taught us.

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    • That is so thoughtful and caring of you to be worried about her and what to say. My parents didn’t give us the tools to deal with things like this either, and they were divorced when I was nine without any real conversation with my brother and I. Back then it was “kids are resilient and it’s over so why talk about it?”
      I really didn’t intend for my entry to scare people away from trying to be supportive, you’re not the first one to respond this way, worried about what to say now . I think of it as how you would treat someone with a terminal illness, they grow tired of hearing “stay strong” and “you can beat this”, you know? I would really suggest that you just let her know that you are ready to be there for her in any capacity – even if it is just to vent, cry, scream or take a break from her kids (if they have any) and clear her head. It’s a lot to deal with on an almost daily basis. She may not be meeting with her attorney or going to court each day, but she is thinking about it in the back of her mind I’m sure. I have a couple of friends that text me every couple of days and just ask how I’m doing and it means the world to me. No matter what you do or say, as long as you are trying to support her she will appreciate it, really. Hugs are always good too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ladyinthemountains says:

    I sure understand these comments in so many ways. Another thing that I hated hearing was when a door closes a window opens. Interesting what you say about your kids. I feel the same way. I am not sure I would do the same things again, even knowing that I wouldn’t have the same children. People are always shocked when a woman says things like this but if I still had children, I am sure I would love them as much as I do the ones I have and they would still be wonderful. About yourself now, you have to do what you need to do on YOUR time. Some people bounce back quickly. Some really want to get married again. I know several women who divorced after I did that are married again already. No way have I been close to ready. After four years, I am FINALLY feeling whole and complete. It has been a hard and difficult journey that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I do believe that I am better off without my ex. I know I am physically and mentally healthier and happier now than I was five years ago. Hugs to you. Keep venting and take care of yourself. You deserve to be happy.

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    • Thank God I’m not the only one. I love my kids with everything I have but I’m realistic enough to know that if I hadn’t met and married their father it would have been someone else. I would have had kids with that guy and I wouldn’t even know about these two that exist now. I’m sure I would love my new fictional children every bit as much as I love the two I have now.

      I’m also guilty of saying that if I knew we would end up divorced with me losing everything that I never would have had children. I mean that one, too. I’m sure I would have missed being a mom and I’m glad my two are around, but if I’d never had kids I wouldn’t know what I was missing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ladyinthemountains says:

        So true. I love my kids. They are wonderful human beings and I am proud to be their mom but I don’t know if I would do it again knowing how it ended. I have three adult children that want nothing to do with their father. He was a great dad when they were young but became a crappy dad when they got older. I wouldn’t want that for anyone.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I can totally relate. I have come to the conclusion that my father was never meant to be a “dad”. He was a great friend and a fun guy, but not a great dad. I am still thankful that my stepdad came into the picture and gave me a good example of what it’s supposed to look like, or to strive for, as a family.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have two teens and neither one wants anything to do with their father. They refer to him by name when they speak of him most of the time.

        According to him I’ve poisoned them against him. Yeah, I’m sure the fact he walked out the door like he was going to work only to move out of the state he’d just drug us to had nothing to do with it. The fact he hasn’t set eyes on his kids or even attempted to visit them in over a year hasn’t played a part either.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I am so sorry that you’ve had to go through that. I can’t imagine someone doing that, but I know that it happens. My ex’s brother did pretty much the same thing to his wife and kids, only to take up with his wife’s best friend and move out of state. It was like a soap opera – but in real life! It’s truly unbelievable what some people will do to make themselves happy at someone else’s expense.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I HATE all of those “helpful” comments. Like you said, when people tell me that I’ll find someone else I wonder if they think I’m nothing without a man. Don’t they realize I didn’t get divorced to find someone new? I don’t see this as some wonderful opportunity. The thought of dating makes me absolutely sick to my stomach.

    And I’ll be so much better off? I’ve lost *everything* in this divorce- my house, my possessions, the ability to stay put so my kids graduate from their current schools. I was forced to move out of the state and move in with my mom. I work two freaking jobs because he hasn’t paid support in almost a year. And I’ve been out of the workforce for 15 years so neither job pays exceptionally well. Please, for the love of God, tell me what is so much better about this life?

    Just tell me you’re sorry I’m going through all this. Tell me you’re wishing for evil things to happen to the Ex and his GDW (love that term, btw). Just ask me how I’m doing and don’t roll your eyes when I honestly answer.

    I’ve got those friends, too, who check in on me. They are a godsend.

    Liked by 2 people

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