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.