I would like to begin by apologising for not posting for a while. Writing this blog and sharing my experiences with others, some of whom are also on this difficult path, has been like a gold thread in so much darkness and pain. Unfortunately, for a time, I came to find that each time I sat down to write I just couldn’t seem to find the words.
I feel that I can write honestly on this blog and that so many of you completely understand the painful journey that divorce is.
My divorce was finalised recently. To say it knocked me for six would be such an understatement.
Throughout the process, I have been coping, whatever coping looks like and have worked hard at keeping my head above water. Bit by bit I have grown stronger and stronger. I have also learned to exist on adrenaline and to live among the fear and uncertainty that the divorce process brings. I even felt myself turning a corner regaining a semblance of strength that meant my husband’s hurtful deeds were losing their power over me.
However, I also had an understanding and self awareness that ultimately my feelings were often being dictated by the momentum of the divorce process itself. It seemed to structure my life and consume my thoughts. I could have days when I would crave being able to just miss my ex husband, to grieve and cry for him. Then I would suddenly learn of a new development or receive an unsettling letter from his solicitor and it would force me to quickly shove away those feelings of longing and grief and instead harden up and prepare for battle again. Summoning up the courage needed for me to to get through the next part often meant that I couldn’t afford to focus too much on missing him as well. Focusing on how coldly unjust it all was, channeling my anger into facing each new obstacle my husband and the divorce process threw at me seemed to be just the ticket to help me turn down the volume on those other feelings. For a brief time anyway, as each lull in proceedings brought all the hurt, grief and betrayal flooding back. A cruel cycle.
But now the divorce is finalised, the settlement has been reached and it’s over, right? For a few days afterwards I felt immense relief that this cold and relentless process had come to an end. Just sheer relief. However this slowly evolved into a slow burning realisation. An understanding began to sink in of what the process being over actually meant. As the stress of the divorce process began to ebb away and withdraw from my life; it gave me back my days, my hours, my thoughts, my unguarded emotions and it allowed space for all the other things to flood in. No need to be on guard for the next letter or anxiety inducing stage in proceedings. I was free from it all, free to just feel… everything, all at once.
The letters went away, as did the the mediation, the schedules, the negotiations, the opposition. The marriage that bound us went away too. Everything got stripped away and we were back to him just being him again and me just being me. Separate entities, no longer bound to each other. It felt stark and alien, like all those years, all those kisses, and tears, and words, and moments between us were just a dream. I had this overwhelming sense that this huge chapter in my life had just been abruptly slammed shut, a chapter that I had had no clue was coming to an end.
It was as though all the shock, the confusion, fear and loss resurfaced, took hold and pulled me into the deepest depression I have ever known. I had become so used to getting myself back up again after each blow, each discovery of betrayal and each hurtful deed that had been dealt to me. I expected to be able to find that fight once again but somehow it just wasn’t happening. I just couldn’t muster that extra bit of fight.
I had mastered the art of holding the broken pieces of my heart together through this time but now it had completely shattered.
It was as though I had slipped back into that pit my ex husband had left me in when he walked out that night, like the lights just went out once again.
I felt myself not wanting to get up in the morning, not wanting to leave the house. I felt myself losing interest in conversation, in the things I love to do. I felt removed from everything. It all just felt pointless and hollow. I hated it.
I kept telling myself that I needed to snap out of it, to find the fight again but it seemed to just pull me deeper and deeper in. Knowing the divorce was all over brought with it the realisation that I was exhausted.
I felt fear overwhelming me. The fear that I would never be truly happy again, that I had lost my chance at love, at family, that I would end up alone. I seemed to feel truly lonely for the first time since my husband left.
The irony is, because of the stranger my husband had become through his betrayal and during the divorce process, I felt such relief at the thought of never seeing him again and yet it equally made my heart ache.
For some reason, I kept imagining myself as a child and remembering the way I viewed the world as a little girl. How I viewed my future, the things I would do, the love I would find. Then I would think of the words on the Decree Absolute and I felt so cheated, it all felt so cheap. I felt sad for that little girl. I felt like the world had taken her, chewed her up and spat her out.
My bleakness unnerved me, it’s not who I am. I began speaking, well, begging God to pull close to me like he did at the beginning of all this. Like I’d felt Him do time and time again. I needed Him to pick me up out of the pit I just couldn’t seem to get out of myself. I knew I needed Him more than ever.
I realise now I talk as though God had gone away from me. I talk like he had left me to get on with my problems on my own but the reality is, He never ever left me.
As sure and ever present as His love, God has once again surrounded and supported me with His grace and I know he is gradually helping me out of that pit. He has blessed me with everything I know I need to slowly step out of that pit and into my new future. I am starting to feel stronger once again and feel His light driving out that darkness. I have started feeling hopeful again and I am holding firm to his hand. He knows the way out and He has seen the way ahead.
I can feel Him working in my heart to deal with those things that perhaps only now, with the divorce process ending, I’ve allowed myself to fully feel. His love is a healing one and it tells me that I will not remain broken, damaged and incomplete but whole and healed. He is that missing piece in my broken heart.
There is so much I don’t know and so much I don’t understand but there is one thing that I am sure of – I am not alone. In every place I find myself, God is there too. In every ache of my heart, every struggle, every step forward, He is there beside me cheering me on, weeping with me and offering His love, peace and strength to rest upon.
I pray that wherever you find yourself today, that you will know that God is there too with ceaselessly loving arms that you can rest upon as he leads you forward.
5 thoughts on “Valley Walking: Find Me There”
I would go through my bookmarks and see yours — and wonder how you are doing. It’s good to read your post, it’s good to see that you are making slow-but-sure progress.
I’m sorry about what has happened BUT you do not need a pity party. You need encouragement, you need to know that this too shall pass!!
Really, the longer we go with the empty seat, the empty bed, the empty whatever — our minds readjust to them just not being there, and it’s not that they are just missing, it’s that they no longer belong in the seat, the bed, etc. They wanted to leave, and our love has set them free!!
It’s good to see that you are getting stronger, you are moving forward.
I’ve been trying to say this every night out loud: Today was a great day — and then I like to focus on some things that made it good.
And this little positive statement has helped me. And no, I’m not lying to myself. Today was great. Why?? Because I was able to live life, I was able to enjoy all that God has given to me, enjoyed a good appetite, I have good memories from the past, etc.
My wife was the extrovert, and I’m the introvert. So doing new things and meeting new people is not easy for me. But I decided to visit churches until I found one that fit what I need at this time in my life. It was a bit scary, but I’d just show up and find a seat, and act like I belonged there, haha. On the 4th church, I really felt that it would be good for me to go back. I’ve only gone 6 times, and it’s only once a week for an hour but it’s important to have things like this in our lives to support stability. When our spouse leaves, our stability is lost for awhile. But, we work on getting a routine back into our lives, and we begin to feel a bit more peaceful inside.
The sermon series at church is “I Quit” — it’s an 8 week series, and we are on number 5. I remember the sermon “I quit complaining.” For that whole week, I worked hard on not complaining but being thankful and focusing on the good in my life. The minister said that if I complain about my job, for instance, those complaints will bleed over to other areas of my life. And so with that week of no-complaining, I’m now attempting to put it into practice every day. Oh I’ve still complained, but I’m catching myself sooner now, and attempting to stop before I have a full-blown complaining session — if you know what I mean, haha.
Thanks for writing, and thanks for the kind words to your readers — and don’t make us wonder if you are ok — please put it into you schedule to post every so often just to let us know you are ok!!
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Thank you so much for your message and your encouragement. You are right, it is so important to refocus on the good that God is doing in our lives. I always try and write honestly about my experiences, the lows and the highs. There are so many positives I want to write about too and so much encouragement I want to give to others.
It is a very difficult thing to work through because we are only human and love deeply. God is healing me in His time and I have every faith in that.
It sounds like you are making great strides in moving forward and it is fantastic that you are getting out there, meeting new people and visiting new churches. Sounds like you are embracing new life again and that’s amazing.
Thanks so much again for reading and I will be posting weekly going forward and look forward to sharing thoughts and experiences with you all and in turn hearing of how you are all doing.
Have a wonderful week! 🙂
It is good to see you back! Take care and be strong.
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Thank you so much, it’s great to be writing again. 😊
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You are welcome! 😊
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