So, it's out there. I am filing for divorce. My friends and family now know and if you read this blog, congratulations - you now know too. I wasn't ready in my head yet to say it out loud and although a few close friends were aware, I just wasn't ready for everyone. I actually finished up all the paperwork on Monday, April 1st which is cruel in many ways. It's April Fool's Day and it was our 5-year wedding anniversary. I actually didn't plan it that way but that's the way it worked out and it was a little on the painful side.
I have realized quite a few things throughout the past few months. Separation and divorce is shameful. I was literally embarrassed to finally say the words "My marriage is over, I am seeking a divorce" Not only am a seeking a divorce, I am seeking a second divorce. I am sure this shame is in my own head and when I posted on Facebook that I was changing the relationship status - it took a really long time for me to hit submit.
Am I not a strong enough person to push through stuff? Other people push through. Am I damaged goods? I must be, holy crap - 2 divorces!! And it almost makes it worse in a hysterical sort of way that Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" keeps playing any time I turn on the radio. Google the words of that song if you need to know what I am talking about.
This is not a blog post to blame. There are 2 parties in a marriage, there are 2 parties in a divorce. This post was because I wanted to talk about the feelings I had been having and why it is so important to have or find a good support group. I have an amazing group of friends, who are supportive and kind and there for a shoulder for me to cry on and even a distraction - thanks again for the poker game :)
I originally wanted to do what I have always done when faced with something of this magnitude...hide away in my bedroom, sleep when I could, stop eating properly and be depressed. I am glad I have not. I have asked for help and am getting the help and have been surprised at how many people are there for me.
Divorce is scary because you can't really get your mind into a place in the future. A future that doesn't involve crying when you open a fridge door and see a condiment you would never eat but your husband did. A future where checking off the single box really isn't a bad thing. A future where going to an event alone isn't going to involve a spotlight on you all night (albeit an imagined spotlight).
There is life after marriage. And sometimes this is an easier transition for some because you may have spent a lot of time alone in the marriage anyway. One of the things that has helped me when I have felt particularly down and sad is that realizing I have been mourning the loss of what I wanted my marriage to be and not mourning what my marriage actually was. We all want the happily ever after, the knight in shining armour, rescuing the princess and being the hero as you ride off into the sunset together :) BUT, you need to be honest with the reality. You may have had different ideas of what you wanted it to be but my marriage isn't over because of what I wanted it to be, my marriage is over because of what it was.
This isn't all doom and gloom. I have realized I am a pretty strong woman. I have changed what was wrong for me in my life and am remaining true to myself. I am learning new and wonderful things about Melanie the person, the single person. I am not alone, if I feel like I am alone, all I have to do is turn around and see all those who support me standing behind me. It is not shameful, it is life. It is what happens when any relationship breaks down.
This past week, I have been changing all my id back to my maiden name. That's is a ton of work - phew. No one at work has known me by my maiden name so it has been confusing for some people and quite amusing as I see the look of confusion while they try to remember the email I sent out and what I said my name was. I have new business cards, a new nameplate on my office, a new email address. To be honest it has been kind of liberating taking me back :)
So in conclusion, divorce sucks. But so does being unhappy for the rest of your life. So does staying in a relationship because you are afraid to be alone or you don't think you can make it on your own. If you are reading this and you are stuck - reach out, don't struggle and drown on your own because you are ashamed. And to those of you that have been there for me - thank you from the bottom of my heart for handing me Kleenex and letting me cry on your shoulder and for getting me out into the land of the living.