Children are a constant reminder ‘To Smile!’
Divorce: The Ugliest Way to Grow
Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. ~Henry David Thoreau
Children are a constant reminder ‘To Smile!’
Today I started back at my yoga class. I have a long way to go before I am super flexible or stretchy (and I am still terrified of the head stand!!) but it is -without doubt - soothing on the mind!!
Great way to breathe out all of that negative divorce energy ;-)
Tradition, what is tradition anyway? I could have gone through school, travelled for a year or two, returned to enroll in university, graduate, get a career, meet a guy, get married and start a family. Admittedly, there have been times I have wished I had chosen this predictable, practical life. Instead, I followed my heart, and so my life took a course I could never have dreamt. Twists and turns that leave your head pounding. The irony for me is in discovering what aspects of these twists and turns actually create happiness. Like, for example, my divorce.
Now, what divorce means to me is most likely something entirely different to what divorce means to you. Some people are heartbroken and remain hurt and angry until it destroys their very spirit. Like massive debilitating weights tied to one’s waist for an eternity. Of course, one could also just take a step back and untie the knot and walk-on free from restraint. The demented folks who like torturing themselves ignore the fact that they possess the power of “letting go” and instead they accept a life of bitterness and disharmony.
For me, when I realized that my ex had filed for divorce, my first thought was: He had put me through the wringer, with problem after problem. He had showered me with broken promises and constant letdowns. Divorce? This was F’ing fantastic! I could finally, break free! I could be the person, the woman I so longed to be. No more control. Happiness was on the horizon.
Yeah well, it didn’t, and it hasn’t gone in the ‘traditional’ sense. But then, nothing has in my life. I was never the traditional student. I started college at 19 on an F-1 visa, an international student from Ireland. I lived on my own and I worked on campus. Then at 22 I became a Mum, a full-time student and a full-time employee. Again, I didn’t fit the check box of tradition in any of my hats.
I have never been the traditional mother either. I learn as I go. I suppose when you don’t have family around you (in the physical sense) and your friends are students and none of them have kids of their own, it encourages you to be a problem solver to learn the ropes first-hand.
Like the time, I locked my keys in the car with my daughter in the back seat and I had to call the local fire department. Or the time/times I would forget the diaper bag along with, yes I know, the diapers!!
All of these experiences, the moments where I had to think “oh sh*t what the hell do I do now…” stood to me throughout my divorce. I mean, I was, always independent. I never relied on him financially; in fact, at times it was quite the opposite. I always held my feelings and issues with him separate to my relationship with my daughter.
It was always very clear to me. I am a mother first and I am going through a divorce, second.
Other women, who have gone through similar situations and have kids, generally have assets to divide. They have years and years of history to box away. They have spousal maintenance and settlement offers, modifications and collaborative solutions. It takes time and in most cases both parties are left dissatisfied.
For me, satisfaction will come the day I sign that document. I don’t want anything more than my freedom and a healthy, happy childhood for my daughter.
And so, I realize another hat that I do not wear in the traditional sense, my divorcée hat. It is a beautiful hat, made of hope, second chances, strength, perseverance and excitement! I will wear it well yet untraditionally as I let go of every grievance. But I will always wear it proudly. Because, I am in the school of thinking that tradition, sometimes, is just plain boring!
Divorce, ah my favorite thing to talk about over my morning coffee. Divorce and the resulting thrills, the plethora of lies and excuses and the time. Time? Yes, time.
I mean the opposing counsel’s client apparently thinks I have plenty of it. I have time to wait until he feels likes submitting documents that are considered ‘standard’ practice in a divorce case. I have time to sit around and wait two years to finalize our divorce. I have time to live 3000 miles away from my family and closest friends, my home. I have time to burn waiting for him to return our little girl to my home an hour late, consequently making us late to my best friends baby shower. I have time to stand at my front door and allow him to make ‘himself’ feel better by insulting me. I have time to be a full-time single Mum, while he ventures off on a long-term vacation telling me no more than ‘sorry I wont see (her) for four weeks.”
Saving time is a funny concept. I mean you can measure it with a watch, time an instance, record a memory, but you can never replace it.
And, so, at times in this thing called divorce, I ‘unwillingly’ depart down a somewhat melodramatic path. My frustrations are made known to those who are closest to me. Musings of the enraged soon-to-be (if it will ever f**king happen!) divorcée can be heard throughout the movement of glasses and pouring of Merlot. Morsels of sincerity sprinkle these heated dia…em, okay MONO, monologues! Signs that although, you wish you could take a step back and shout (impeccably lady-like so) “I don’t have anymore time for this, for you! I don’t have time to waste on you and your utter bol**x anymore, you piece of B**P!” You know, that the most damaging aspect of this confusion, missing lost time is your innocent little child. You know that if you had the power or a magic wand you would save time for her. Times that she has spent, happy with her Daddy.
Because clarity comes to those who wait, you wait for some understanding. In that glimmer of a moment when you see the situation for what it really is, you look down at her and you see, and I mean really see, the weight that she is carrying on her little caving-in shoulders. She is struggling through her own little battle.
As a mum and a strong woman it dawns on you, sometimes you don’t need a lot of magic to save time. When she rubs her eyes and with a little moment of strength asks you ”Mommy where is my Daddy?” You kneel down and tell her that her Daddy loves her very, very much and will most definitely see her again soon, very, very soon. You tell her that you and her are both players in the best game ever, where you both must have as MUCH fun as possible. Laugh as much as possible. And definitely no worrying, worrying is not allowed. Except, that is, if you should worry about the amount of fun you are having and whether or not you can possibly have even MORE fun, then, I tell her that type of worrying is acceptable.
Because in those moments, I have all the time in the world, and somehow, I think we save time, together. The sparkle in her eye returns and the heavy bottom lip begins to twitch and bend upward. Until, eventually you stand back and she reveals only the widest, high-spirited smile you have ever seen.
Divorce is not just about hard times. Divorce is also about the times you, as a parent, choose to make important. The time you designate to be filed high on the most important shelf in your child’s heart. Save the moments that matter most, sometimes all it takes is a little magic.
Mondays, Monday is globally known as the ‘ah crap!’ day of the week. I’d be pretty confident that some things are common practice no matter where in the world you live. The Monday terrors, definitely, do not discriminate.
Today, being that it is Monday and all…I decided to take a deeper look into what it is for me personally that I absolutely ‘dislike’ about little aul Monday.
Starting with the most obvious: the issue of placement, knowing that it is positioned at the beginning of the work week, eww back to ‘normality’ or, at least, your excuse for ‘normality. It all starts here, every fantastically engineered, genius idea you drafted up and sketched out on Saturday night after your 5th glass of wine is now staring at you in face (no, you can’t punch it!) Yes, your peaking moment over the weekend, where you were going to change the world, change your career, change your attitude, change your ‘look’ or even, change the color of the bathroom wall is now dangling right in front of you. But slightly to the left is your, dubbed ‘Monday size’ serving of coffee.
So, it begins again, change the world? Monday sized coffee? Change the world? Monday sized coffee?
We all know how it ends…simple really, because at the end of day, we are only human and sometimes the bare minimum is our best.
Nearing mid day Monday is usually a little less ‘terrifying’ and generally I have come to terms with the fact that yes, I am awake, no I cannot get back into bed and sleep my little head off.
I check my emails; the old familiar open treacherous pit feeling in my stomach is ready to launch into action at the sight of anything received from my attorney. Be it an update, a response from opposing counsel or an invoice, it is commonly unnerving info and rarely welcomed.
Late afternoon Monday is a vast improvement, I have eaten; I have accepted the ‘BS’ of the day thus far. I am now entering into the more optimistic part of the day. Where all my thoughts are based on ‘be positive’ so what, you married a douche, with whom you can’t even divorce from at a normal tempo! Be positive!
You just want a hug from the mammy, a cup of tea and a hug, but it’s impossible, considering they’re at home in Ireland while you’re in Texas confined to a life you didn’t choose all because your daughter’s Dad is an American. Just a technicality! Be positive!
Seriously, be positive! Sometimes, that is all you can do, life as a single Mum, going through a divorce, with a full time career is hectic, even on Mondays.
So get your Monday sized coffee and don’t punch your week in the face, after all, it has only begun. Be positive!
Divorce, whether you loved him and are completely, utterly devastated and/or you couldn’t stand the sight, never mind the stench of him and couldn’t wait to flee for the hills, the only common denominator here is – clearly – how much DIVORCE actually sucks b*lls!
You blindly think, “oh yeah, I’ll grab a lawyer, preferably the best in town, for the least amount of dough. I’ll tell the judge ‘MY’ story, ah sure he’ll be sure to understand, in fact, he/she will lap your every single word up with nothing but genuine and sincere sympathy for all the hardship you have been thrown – NO! Forced! into at the hands of your grotesque excuse for a…A…Ahem! Soon-to-be ex-husband!
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go the way you want, nor does it tend to go the way you would like to plan it to go and sometimes it doesn’t even steer in a somewhat favorable direction whatsoever. Divorce is many things, one being a constant reminder that when communication goes south, and bitterness seeps in, human beings are pretty darn cruel creatures. You’ll be surprised and you’ll surprise…it is just the nature of the beast.
I have compiled a little ‘helpful’ list, things that I have practiced over the past two years.
1. Wait, wait and wait before you respond, learn not to react. Or, if you must (which I do, react in a quiet place where no one is around to disagree with you) You most likely don’t need rationalization…especially when you are completely irrational.
2. Know one thing when it comes to divorce and finances – lawyers need money to argue on your behalf. Time is money and time racks up along with the money so choose your battle wisely.
3. Expect the worst, actually visualize the worst most painful things that your ex could possibly say about you. Keep these thoughts in your mind before a hearing that way when he/she expels their verbal cr*p it doesn’t hit you quite as hard.
4. Finally, on my short list is this, my divorce mantra “you cannot (no matter how hard you try) you simply just cannot argue with stupid. Don’t do it, don’t try it!