As I am facing down the third anniversary of the end of my marriage, I am bombarded with flashbacks. Those days leading up and after. How scared I was. How hurt I was. How flabbergasted I was. Not understanding why or how this was happening. Yet, I remember thinking that this is short term. Soon I will be over it all and will have moved on.
Now sitting here, I cringe at what I imagined how it would all go. I really didn’t know. What would happen. The continued actions that broke me. How I would react. I misunderstood grief and the grief process. I was mistaken in believing divorce was simple and brief. I had no idea that still years later, I would be working just as hard to heal as I was then.
Today, I know, I will never get over my divorce. Move on. Let it go. Add in whatever cliche phrase that belongs here.
I have heard them all too. Multiple times.
I will never “get over” what has happened because how do I get over something that has fundamentally changed my life. Changed who I am. How I live. How I love. What happened on that Tuesday night altered the course of my life. The past is not in the past. Because the past gave me my present and my future. My life includes divorce. And all that goes with it. Co-parenting. Split custody. Every other holiday. Single motherhood. Stepmom. Half-siblings. New relationships. Dating. An ex-husband. Every decision and choice that I have made in the last three years stems from the end of my marriage.
It bothers and frustrates me greatly when I am told these words. I want to scream and yell. And slap myself if I have ever said these words to anyone else before. Why am I just suppose to get over it? Move on? Let it go? Our society hates anything that has to do with grief, hurt, suffering, and real emotions. Especially when actions create invisible, internal wounds.
No one would tell my friend with breast cancer to just get over it. Or my friend whose husband died leaving her raising four boys on her own to move on. Or my friend who lost her baby at 20 weeks pregnant that the past is in the past. Why is our culture so scared of change that occurred from divorce and other hardships? Changes in life due to wanted events are celebrated and praised. A marriage. A baby. A graduation. A new job.
This is my life. So, no, there is nothing I can do to get over it. And I am not even trying.
But I am learning to be at peace with my divorce. Peace with the actions that transpired. Against me. And the ones that had nothing to do with me, yet I was deeply hurt from. Peace with the dreams that will never happen and the new ones taking over. Peace with the childhood wanted for my sons to the one where they will never know any different. Peace with who I use to be and who I am today.
I am learning to accept this life that is now mine. One I never wanted but forced upon me regardless. I am learning to thrive despite. I am learning to heal the wounds. I am learning to love the new chapter of my story.
I am taking what was and is and living. With it all. I am not brushing it off. Pretending I didn’t change. Acting nonchalant over my failed marriage. Ignoring the issues and problems that are present. Divorce carries an abundance of shame. Guilt. Humiliation. Disgrace.
What I am doing is turning that abundance into love, forgiveness, acceptance, growth, redemption, freedom, and respect. I want to be proud of my actions and words. My hope is when my life is coming to an end, I can look back and see just how important it was to not leave it all to the past. I took what was handed to me and I made it into something beautiful and worthy.
So. For me. I am not getting over it. Ever.