Wednesday, August 10, 2016

On Thriving

The thing about divorce is that even the “best” ones are, for a time - a shit storm. Your life is upside down and everything you defined yourself as is shifting. You are watching your partner of close to 20 years move out and then sell a house and move, all the while reminding yourself to breathe. And reminding your kids that their world is not ending. While doing all of that, it’s hard to not become self-involved, selfish and perhaps blind and deaf to everything that is not immediately in front of you.

Your expectations of your people become larger than life. You need life rafts, buoys and Atlas sized shoulders. And sometimes that’s ok. At others, it’s not.  You become so wrapped up in your own storm that you often forget that everyone’s lives are still in motion and they too are experiencing their own hard times, their own loss, and their own needs. You are so focused on staying afloat that your weight becomes an anchor, keeping you in only one place, focused on only your tugboat.

Different friends and family respond in different ways and you take that personally and make it their fault. You are hurt and angry and full of blame when they no longer show up. But they don’t see it that way. They have their own lives and they miss your presence in it. They need your strength and support at a time when you don’t have it to give. Time goes on and you feel alone and isolated from those who used to be your everything. And for a while no one is willing to give. Fingers point in every direction but the right one.  At yourself.

Eventually you are lucky enough to have it out with someone you refused to give up on, even though you should have both thrown in the towel. Lucky enough to have them call you out on your sh*t and remind you that it takes two to tango. Remind you that you have always believed in owning your own sh*t, but have been too busy feeling badly for yourself to pull up your big girl panties and do so.

Divorce is like a death and it too has stages of grieving. In three years I’ve passed though shock, through denial, through anger, through bargaining and depression and testing and into acceptance. But divorce is different too. It’s about moving through surviving and into thriving.

So that’s where I am. I am working on thriving and to do that I must own my sh*t.

I own my failures as a wife and a mother.

I own my selfishness as a friend, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a lover and a girlfriend.

I own the passive aggressiveness and blame I wove through my writing when I was hurt and felt betrayed.

I own my weight gain, lack of motivation and strength when I could do nothing more than crawl under my covers and cry.

I own my voice though it was often harsh, crass and hurtful.

I own my mistakes and indecision.

I own the pain I've caused myself and others.

I own my lack of self-esteem, self-doubt and self-loathing.

I own the kind of friend that I am and I own that alone.

From here on in, I WILL OWN MY SH*T and I will thrive.

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