I am writing again because I have some friends who are in the same place I was 2 years ago. Newly separated, trying to wade through the murky waters of divorce, single parenthood, dating again or not, and living with their parents. Some of my friends have children, some do not. Some are living with their parents again, some are not. The common thread connecting all of us in this position is that we feel broken. It is so damn scary.
I don't have all the answers. I have stumbled through this craziness by the grace of God, the love and support of my family and friends, and lots of therapy. Mostly everything I am about to say was told to me by others. I still need it told to me at times. Maybe that is the real reason I am writing this down...so that I can take my own advice sometimes. Whatever the reason, I just had a strong feeling that I should write this in my blog today. I have started and stopped several posts over the past 18 months. This is the only one that has made it this far. Take what you need, leave the rest. All my love...Melanie Rose
What do you do when you feel like you are completely broken?
- Reach out to someone...call, text, tap on the shoulder. I had (have) drive to work phone call friends, walk into their office at work and tap on their shoulder friends, text in the middle of the night friends, and those who I would call and not say a word because I was crying so hard. You know what I mean. I know you do. And you need all of those kinds of people in your life right now.
- Cry. Shout. Scream into a pillow. Bite the shit out of that pillow if you need to. Before I actually left, I would cry in the shower or on the bathroom floor because that was the only place I could hide. Holding it in is not good for anyone. I tried to hold my shit together for my daughter, who was 6 years old at the time. But you know what, our lives were changing and parts were really, really shitty. Is pretending that everything is honky dory good for a child? I truly believe that it is a disservice. Emotions are normal. We need to let them know that moms (and dads) are feeling the same things they are. Be aware that you don't put the responsibility of making it better for you on them. I know my daughter takes on that role anyway. She hates to see me sad. But I tell her that it's a normal part of our human experience. None of us escape it. So when I needed to really let it out I made sure I was able to do it where and when she wouldn't be around. I would scream in my car. I would cry in the shower. And in my car. And when I was sleeping in her twin bed with her and could not move for fear of waking her, I would cry into, or bite, my pillow.
- Hug the heck out of your kids If you have children, hug them. Every second they allow it, let your love for them, and theirs for you wash over you like a wave of healing energy. Your love for your children is a very powerful force. Use it. Also, hugging them gives you the physical touch that you need right now. Let their touch heal you.
- Go to your momma, grandma, aunt, best friend, sister, SOMEONE who loves you unconditionally and is not judging you for your decision, crawl into their lap and let them stroke your beautiful head and face and tell you that it is all going to be okay. You need someone in your life who can do this for you. It may not be your mom. Not everyone has a mom, or maybe mom is not on the same page. I was blessed that my mom was right there with me. But, we also know that sometimes moms take on our pain, and maybe we need other people in our lives who can be this person, too. Allow someone else to care for you in this intimate, motherly way.
Here is the truth that you need to hear. You feel broken because you are broken. My beautiful lovelies, you are so broken. But it is okay. You are breaking open so that your beautiful soul and heart can emerge. You will be stronger than you ever imagined. You will be more YOU than you ever dreamed. You would not be in this place if this did not NEED to happen. You would feel more broken if you chose NOT to take this giant, scary step. Somewhere deep in your hurt, you know that with all of your being, you are being true to yourself by leaving. But it fucking hurts.
About 6 months before I actually left my ex, I was working at a summer camp. I was the cooking instructor and I had a free period and I was doing my prep, with tears streaming down my face. I had decided the day before that I was leaving my husband. I had not told him yet (or for months to come) but I knew in my heart that it was over. A woman I did not know very well was walking by and saw me, stopping to ask if I was okay. I told her that, no, I was really not okay. This woman who I barely knew told me this, "This next year is going to suck. It is not going to be better 1 month from now or 3 months from now. But a year from now, it will be a little bit better. And each day after that it will be a bit better until you realize that you are good. And this process, it takes time. It does not go away by trying to avoid it. So just go through it. You'll survive. You may not feel like you will, but you actually will. And you will be a better person and mom for it." I don't even remember this woman's name. She had never been through a divorce, but her best friend had and we were all around the same age. I found her bluntness to be comforting and her words true.
Which brings me to my final words for today. Sometimes you will need to take this one day at a time. Sometimes it will be one hour at a time. And sometimes it will be one fucking minute at a time. And you need to swallow your pride and gather your tribe around you. Whoever it is....brothers, sisters, family, friends....gather them in and let them support you. You will make it through this. Let those who love you hold you up.
Thank you for listening my lovelies. I don't know if there someone else out there who needed to read this today, but I felt a strong feeling that I needed to share it. xoxo