It. Is. So. Hard.
Both of them. Heinous.
It takes a long time.
It takes a long time to calm your mind about what others are thinking YOU should do about YOUR life…as if it’s not yours, but their -limited- opinions that matter more than your own.
It takes a long time to go through your profile photos to delete pictures of you & the ex. Let alone whole entire albums of family vacations & the like.
It takes a long time to finish paying for the divorce lawyer, the custody battle.
It takes a long time to make your private Facebook page actually private to non-friends.
It takes a long time to figure out who should be your Facebook friend, after a divorce. Because, people take sides. Because, custody battles mean privacy is necessary. Because, divorce makes you paranoid.
It takes a long time to not feel stabbed in the gut by everything that happened in long, first marriage but you’re so glad your free from it. Because, necessary.
It takes a long time to figure out who actually wants whats best for you, your ex & your children versus who wants to sit by and watch the train wreck of divorce.
It takes a long time to get your married name off all the bills, and legal mumbo jumbo.
It takes a long time to heal.
It takes a long time to hurt.
It takes a long time to understand the resentment let alone grieve it properly.
It takes a long time to realize: I shouldn’t have posted that. Or that. I was really scared (angry, mad, etc.)
It takes a long time, after divorce, to figure out what to keep around: Will my kids want this later or not? Am genuinely confused at what they may eventually hate me for. i.e. “I cannot believe you threw away the silver dollar Dad bought you on your 10 yr. wedding anniversary vacation you horrible shrew!” In a random example.
It takes a long time to understand what happened.
It takes a long time to get a grasp of it for yourself.
It takes a long time to deal with the hurt of how others respond who actually believe they know more than you about what happened even while you’re still working to grasp reality of the semi-truck crash that obliterated your soul.
It takes a long time to live in the tension of others’ bewilderment and disappointment while not allowing shame & contempt to suffocate and disable you.
It takes awhile to realize that process is an art.
It takes awhile to feel like yourself again at all.
It takes awhile to remember yourself, know yourself, like yourself, love yourself, to feel like oneself after the wreckage is a tall task.
It takes awhile to practice forgiveness.
The forgiveness of the ex + the forgiveness of self = modern miracle.
It takes awhile to not feel afraid. I don’t know how long.
It takes awhile to not feel traumatized. I don’t know how long.
It takes awhile to get a diagnosis.
It takes awhile to see through the tears.
It takes awhile to post silliness on Facebook.
It takes awhile to realize you’re strong enough to make better boundaries.
It takes awhile not to demonize yourself. Or your ex.
It takes awhile to realize the depth of the evil that lives in each one of us, but so clearly displayed in an imploding, disintegrating marriage.
It takes awhile to even acknowledge you’re in an imploding, disintegrating, emotionally abusive, spiritually abusive marriage involving two broken people with zero trust let alone respect for one another.
It takes awhile y’all.
It really, really does.
It takes awhile before you realize you put up a few too many walls.
It takes awhile to take the walls down for those you don’t need to protect yourself from.
It takes awhile to trust again.
It takes awhile.
All of it.
God is patient.
I wrote this reflection about 4 weeks ago. Within that time, Facebook came up with their big plan to make break-ups easier. Too little, too late Facebook! Not that it would have worked for my ex & I any old way. Because, 14.5 years. Divorce. Unfriending. Blocking. The works. Seriously, Facebook? Surely this function does not apply for divorcee’s.
Suffice it to say, the longer the marriage the more there is to sift through, Facebook-wise and I have sifted and sifted and sifted and still, what was once our life remains; to the tune of hundreds more images, albums and updates. Not to mention the 252 “marriage” categorized posts I’ve written here out of my 989 currently available blog posts. I’ve deleted or password protected about 10 posts.
My new husband & I discussed this issue last night. We needed to figure out if it was okay or not for each of us to leave sleeping bears lie. Is it appropriate for us to leave the tweets, instas, blogs and Facebook footprint of our previous marriages? Is it okay for each of us to be occasionally confronted with the reality of those marriages?
For him, this is easy, he simply has no desire to go back and look. (How is this even possible? I literally have no clue). For me, this is not easy. I want to go back and see each picture, each memory, each status update since he got on Facebook, which for both of us has been almost a decade. My (early) rationale was this: we’ve only known each other for a sliver of each our lives, going back into the archives gives us a little bit of a window into the other’s characteristics and social media presence yada, yada, yada. Oh let me tell you honey chile, I no longer feel this way. As he says, ‘if you don’t go lookin’ for none, it ain’t gone be none.” Meaning, if you look for trouble, you are going to find trouble. WHY DO I ALWAYS LOOK FOR TROUBLE? Ugh. Because, I am a triflin’, nosy woman that’s why.
Case in point, directly after our engagement I was home alone one night & thought it’d be “fun” to peruse his earliest Facebook status updates. I came across a few lovey-dovey sentiments for his wife, being “sooo” in love and her being super beautiful. I set the lap top down. I got up and went into the kitchen for the sharpest knife possible. I returned to my computer screen and I began stabbing it profusely until the knife went clear through. I then threw the laptop through my front window, shattering the glass, my laptop and my heart itself.
No. I’m sorry that didn’t happen. That’s just what I envisioned. I’m sorry, I should have clarified. This is the conclusion I’ve come to: it’s not helpful for me to see. ANY. OF. IT. EVER. He’s no more interested in seeing mine. Yet, are we each going to back through years & years of every tweet & instagram & Facebook status update to delete our entire life with other people? We decided no. Everything stays. And each of us have resolved not to look. I for one, have learned my lesson. Y’all. I have learned my lesson. Truly. Cross my heart.
One day, my boys might want to see a few happier posts, or pictures or blog posts or tweets of when their parents were together. What happened happened. The record of it on social media does not signal anything at all, but that everyone is an adult and acknowledges the past is in the past.
We are grown ups, each and every one. We’re letting it go.