My divorce was final 7/29/10.........14 months and 1 day after it was officially filed. If you add up the cost in just financial cost he and I both spent, it was $30,000 dollars wasted. This doesn't take into affect the entire divorce process. What A NIGHTMARE, yet so cleansing and rewarding. In the last 25 months, I have had the roller coaster of emotions. I have been scared of the unknown, confused as to what to do, happy when I win a little battle, free from the "Hell" I was living in, sad because of all the dreams lost, it goes on and on.
I have hated him, missed him, loved him and then hated him again. But really, it isn't even about the Ex. It's really about me. So now that it's all over where am I now? Can you guess? I am almost exactly were I was before it all started.
EXCEPT, I AM HAPPIER!
I have given up so much.
I lost stuff. My house, My car, clothes, furniture, dishes, lamps, lawn mowers, bicycles etc. That is a really hard thing to do, by the way. Imagine going through everything you own and getting rid of everything that you don't need at this very moment. All my kids baby books, all those sweet memories GONE! My PROM dress GONE! My Wedding dress GONE! All REPLACEABLE to some extent.
I lost pride. I was belittled and demeaned in front of a town of people. Police came to my house regularly because of petty arguments. My neighbor gossiped about me to the PTO and other parents in the town. People who didn't know me from anyone. People formed opinions about me based on information a bunch of drunken men discussed and passed on. The wives of these men eventually saw that the man I was divorcing was hurt and making up lies in a drunken angry rage. One friend said to me, "There is his side, her side and then the TRUTH, which is usually somewhere in between!" You were right friend.........
I lost innocence. My children had to lose friends and realize that people they thought were nice really were just playing in the game of life. My kids asked me, "Mommy, why don't you have any friends anymore?" And with a smile on my face, and my head held high, I had to say, "Baby, because they think they know the truth about Mommy and Daddy and they don't." Teaching my children the tough lesson in life that no 5 year old should ever have to learn is very hard.
The losses are great. But what I gained is greater.
I gained self respect. Self respect is defined as pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity.
I never realized I was capable of enduring all the things that happen in a divorce. I never realized I was strong enough, let alone able of showing my kids that mommy can have people whisper about me in front of me and hold my head high and smile when inside, I was crying.
The fact that I was so clueless about how to fight fire with fire, makes me realize that I am a good person. And for that I feel proud! Proud that I am able to teach my children this hard life lesson and still stand strong.
I gained perspective, perspective on life. I learned acceptance. I learned until you walk in someone's shoes, you have no idea what they are going through, or how you would handle it if it were you. I learned not to judge. I learned what LOVE is, and what friendship is and what Love and Friendship are not! I learned to hug my babies every chance I get. I learned to appreciate every moment I have with them. I also learned to appreciate time I have without them. I learned about people, friends, fake friends, attorney's. I learned about bullying. I learned about how to protect from bullying and make sure I am not taken advantage of. I learned how to fight for what I believe. I learned that I am a strong woman. I learned that I can teach my children life lessons by setting an example. I learned how to treat people and how not to treat people.
Mostly, I learned that if you have a garden and you tend to it daily, it has great rewards. But if you do not tend to it daily it fills with weeds and looses it's rewards. It requires hard work and effort to get it back to were it was before. BUT the goal is to return it to the state in which it has rewards again.
I gained freedom. Freedom is often taken for granted. However, when you feel stuck, freedom is the one thing you would give anything for. Sometimes when that freedom is finally granted, you wonder, "OK, NOW WHAT?"
And then comes the real issue. NOW WHAT? WHERE DO I GO? DID I FIGHT ALL THIS JUST TO GO BACK TO WHERE I WAS?
To those of you that it seems like I am back were I started, Sorry it seemed like a meaningless fight to you.
To me it was worth it all! I gained so much personal insight that I would never have. It has changed how I think forever. It has made me close to who I was before, but so much better............Did you see all I gained and all the meaningless baggage that I lost?
Life is really about about building character. And while innocence is lost, character is built. I have the rest of my life to try to make sure my kids learn a valuable lesson from this and not walk away making the same mistakes in their lives.
But I am slowly getting my life back.
I am back where I belong, in TEXAS.
I am on good terms with my ex which is so, so important for the kids.
I have learned that I have a passion in my heart for being a mother.
I have learned that I have PASSION, that is something I totally lost all together.
I am slowing beginning to become ME again. Not a person defined by others.
And really all the things I lost in my marriage I didn't lose because they were taken from me, I lost them because I gave them up. I lost myself because I allowed people to take from me what was mine. I stopped standing up for myself. I stopped caring.
I stopped weeding my garden. I became an overgrown mess of weeds. So many weeds, I just had to mow it down and start all over.
Now, I am glad that I am almost back were I started. This means, where I started wasn't that bad.