Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Nastiest of Nasty

Divorce can bring out the nastiest of nasty in people. I've seen it happen many times. Not only are there two people trying to navigate through this scary hell, families are forced to figure out their role in the divorce and often times, ugly things are said about people who used to love each other.

This isn't me just talking about my divorce in particular. It's everywhere. It happens often. You can be the loveliest person, inside and out, and you still find things said about you because you have been involved in a divorce. 

Often times, when I write about divorce or the things caused by our divorce, you'll see this after my post on Facebook or Twitter: #divorcesucks. And that hashtag is truer than true. Navigating through this new life while trying to figure out my role as an ex-wife seriously sucks a lot of the time. Missing out on time with my kids seriously sucks. Having the kids by myself without a spouse helping me along the way seriously sucks. Arguing with my ex-husband because we aren't understanding each other seriously sucks. Need I go on?

It isn't that marriage was better because most of the time, it wasn't. The sucky part is that marriage could've been better than divorce. It was possible. It wasn't this unreachable thing because "we weren't meant to be together". I don't really believe in that phrase. Two people can make a marriage work if they are both willing. The trick is that they both have to be willing. 

Navigating single life just seems like a mess most of the time because I've got all of this baggage that constantly parades through my mind and I don't know where to put it. Do I talk about it? Get over it? Pretend it never existed? The thing is, the answer is different for everyone. My stage of divorce grief is different than yours. It never looks exactly the same.

A lot of relief came after the initial shock of divorce. Months into it, I felt free and my home felt peaceful again. The kids and I were closer and life felt better. But demons were present in my fragile mind and those moments where I believed I was my strongest ended up being some of my weakest moments to date. I thought peace meant control but peace is about giving that control to God and trusting Him. The road I travelled down after separation/divorce was full of messes but I lived through it all and I learned from it all. It wasn't about being was about learning that it's ok to be weak. I've always had a hard time showing weakness, true weakness, because I felt like if people knew my weaknesses, they would see me as a failure. But I am not a failure. I may fail sometimes but I am not a failure.

This week I did something new and if you know me, you know that isn't always easy. I'm the girl who orders the same thing at a particular restaurant because I do what I know. Trying new things isn't my forte. But I took a twelve hour road trip by myself in the car. By myself. Not even with children.
For me, this was one of those "I can do hard things" moments because everyone was worried about me but I believed in myself. I knew my wings were ready for a new flight, an adventure I had only tried as a married woman with my husband in the drivers seat. I curved through hills, navigated my own directions, went through books on tape and new cd's, never stopped to eat, and made it to South Weber, UT with a smile on my face because I had conquered something I was afraid to do on my own.

Because although I act tough and strong and awesome most of the time, I'm usually afraid and feeling weak and stupid on the inside. My internal dialogue is full of "I can't's" and I have to shut them up with a few strong "I can do this's". I've always been ok to be the passenger wife because I felt like my husband could take care if everything. He could fix the sink, keep the fruit trees alive, and gosh darn it, he could take us safely on road trips. But I've learned in the past ten months that I am capable of doing everything he has done for our family. I am strong enough to be on my own. 
{And when I'm not strong enough, I call my dad.}
I'm now the girl who made it past Lake Powell and all the way to Utah. I am the girl who took apart the sink disposal because it was clogged and put it all back together effectively. I am the girl who remembers to water the fruit trees and mow the backyard. 

The fighting isn't going to end tomorrow. Our families are going to side with us, as they should, and once in a while, rude comments will slip out because of their protective nature over each of us. We are divorced. We are just kids ourselves. We are navigating horribly and wonderfully, depending on the day. We aren't perfect and often times, we will drive each other frickin nuts. 

But hopefully we continue to remember the importance of an "I'm sorry" and a humble heart because I believe that is what gets us through the nastiest of the nasty.


Jan said...

Your Heavenly Father loves you and will watch over you. That doesn't mean everything will go smoothly in life, but it does mean He will make you able to do what you need to do. I haven't taken apart the disposal, but I learned how to do other things I never intended to learn after my separation and divorce.

One of the most important things was that my Heavenly Father has been watching me for many years. He has protected me from many things I didn't even know were happening.

I cannot ever possibly thank him enough for what he has done for me (and I am not talking about the atonement, which is his ultimate gift).

People may say things about divorce--and those who get divorced--but until you have been through the agony, you cannot understand how hard it is. You would think that all people would want to work things out with their spouse, but sexual addictions change people's minds. At women's conference they had some classes on them and the speakers taught that they change their minds chemically. It's not just a thought process. The thoughts influence chemicals in the brain and create other chemicals, as if the person is on meth.

It's scary.

Anyway, you are a brave soul. Know you are loved, by many. Just like exercise makes us stronger, yet wears us out, so is being emotionally brave and strong. So don't get down on yourself when it happens. Do something relaxing to reenergize and you will be ready to go for it again.

tamy scheurn said...

Oh boy!!! If I was half as strong as you I would be ok! Suz you have taught me so much through your blog!! What a great example to your children you are!!! Love you sweet girl!!!

Joanne Krueger said...

Divorce can be considered a failure in one’s life. But it doesn’t define who you are. You just have to give yourself time to heal from all the pain you’ve been through, accept the changes that are about to happen, and move on. And I hope you’ll achieve that, one step at a time. Stay strong!

Joanne Krueger @ Kurtz & Blum