Monday, February 16, 2015

What does divorce really cost?

So, divorce. That's fun. In a kick yourself in the teeth kind of way. I've been trying my best to hold it together, the past week I think I've cried more tears from a place of pain I didn't know I had. It's funny, how tears come from different places. 

I have been so close to losing my mind I can't even tell you. And I'm not being facetious, I'm not being self depreciating, when I say I've been close to losing it, I mean it.  I've often thought of driving myself to the closest mental ward because they would have to know what to do with a crazy person like me. Better than I know what to do with myself.  But I don't even know where those are. Which I guess may be a blessing in disguise and keeping me out of lockdown and a padded room. 

Divorce sucks. It's the ending of something that I went into without a contingency plan. I never even considered one because I knew, finally, I'd found the person I was meant to be with forever. Who would protect me, love me unconditionally and be beside me through everything good and bad that life brings. And let me love and take care of him, too. 

I didn't expect that to end. 

I don't think I could have handled losing my husband with a fully intact heart. That my heart was already completely shattered, I can say, only by God's grace have I not given up.  

Laura Story sings a song called "Grace"
that I heard the other day and it spoke so strongly to my torn and beaten spirit. 

"And each time I will fall short of your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?  But you answer: "My child I love you, and as long as you're seeking my face, you'll walk in the power of my daily sufficient grace." 

Dang. If that doesn't answer every question of "how am I still breathing with a brokenness I don't know how to maneuver" than I don't know what does. 

Divorce is expensive. It robs you of all kinds of things that go beyond splitting this and that. 

What has it cost me? 

My Sanity- 
When you basically have an entire family erased from your life and you are left with only yourself, feelings of insanity are a constant companion. 

My Self worth-
When you're told by someone you trusted your heart with that you're nothing, you gave nothing, you did nothing and you ruined everything, it's hard to feel like you have anything to offer anyone.  And this is what's been hardest for me.  Because I know in my heart who I am, what I have to offer, but if the person you're trying to give everything to doesn't want it, how can you be blamed for not doing enough?  My old self would have said "screw you, I'm pretty fantastic and it's your loss for not recognizing what I am."  My current self screams, "please love me, please tell me that I was worth something, anything."  Sigh. 

My Dignity-
When you scream and cry to an empty room because you are desperate to matter to someone, when you beg to not be ignored and looked thru as though you aren't important enough for a second glance, your dignity flies out the window. 

My Health-
When you internalize every failure, every hurt, every what might have been, it takes it's toll.  When your resistance is already down from a year of trying to keep from drowning, stress can manifest itself in all kinds of ways that make your body hate you.    

My Appearance-
I used to feel pretty more days than not. Now I feel lucky if I don't scare small children. I'm haggard and I'm wrinkled. The past 2 years have not been kind to this gal. 

My Pride-
When you fight for every conversation for a year, when you have to defend every nasty, hurtful, cruel thing that's been said about you, and you continue to go back to the source of pain in hopes of finding a glimpse of what you are losing, pride is the last thing you feel. 

Today I had a series of much needed light bulb moments.  Thoughts were flooding my mind like a movie I was watching, memories of good times, devastating times, confusing and frustrating times. Tears fell as I thought back on so many things. 

Did I fail?  Am I worthless?  Did I never make him feel like he mattered or do anything nice for him or make him feel special?  

No. That's not accurate and I'm speaking truth to this so that I can move past it. 

I had a friend, she was self admittedly very overweight. And she joked one time that she was anorexic. The group we were with all kind of stopped what we were doing and looked at her like, "huh?"  She said, with a big smile on her face, "I know I'm anorexic because everytime I look in the mirror I see a fat girl looking back at me."  

It was a "duh" moment but she was making fun of herself and saying hi to the elephant in the room before anyone else could point it out. 

I've often felt like saying "I'm an abused woman because no matter how poorly I've been treated by those who are supposed to love me, I still only see the best and good in them and I keep going back for more verbal assaults. But they must really love me, somewhere deep. Maybe he's just confused because he couldn't possibly believe the horrible things he is telling me about myself right?!"


Abuse is a big word. I don't use it lightly and it kind of punches me in the gut to admit it.  Abuse can range from a multitude of things but emotional and mental anguish, cruelness and verbal attacks are very real. Sometimes they don't come from your spouse, sometimes they come from people connected. It's still wrong, it still leaves marks and it's not acceptable. 

I'm guilty of losing my temper, obviously. I've thrown things, I've hit things, I've screamed and I've cried.  Desperation brings out the ugly. Dignity and pride gone, remember?  I'm certainly not proud of that. 

I failed at a lot of things. 

But my marriage didn't fail because I wasn't good enough. I didn't lose an entire family because I didn't make anyone feel special or do anything good for them or I didn't grieve fast enough. 

It failed when it became more work than being easy and the scales were tipped and I didn't measure up.  The realness of me and our situation and the work it would take to get us back to healthy wasn't as appealing as erasing me completely from their life.  When things got hard, he left. Me sobbing on the floor. Over and over. He took the kids, he left and he hasn't looked back. 

It's made me feel like I was losing my mind. For 5 years they had consumed every part of my life, every memory I have.  So when every. single. thing. I was used to being involved in was taken from me, of course I was lost. Of course I was emotional. I didn't have my husband I loved more than anything, my life partner to talk thru the daily struggles with, laugh with, love with, I didn't have baseball games, football practice, dance competition, school projects, homework, vacations, never ending laundry, a dog that was in the middle of everything to keep me busy enough to forget what left me. 

I only had me. And after so long of having total chaos that being married, with 3 kids and a dog brings, the silence was absolutely deafening. 

I've been beaten down. I've kept going back for more, shame on me. And every single time I've lost more of who I am and what makes me me. Because I gave someone else the power to control my feelings, my emotions and turned my belief from knowing who I was to feeling that I wasn't good enough. 

I've been scared. So fearful of living a life without them that it's made me blind to the fact that, for a long time I haven't had them and I'm still surviving. And the only thing the memories and thoughts and attempts at making sure I was remembered and important and revelant in the lives that mattered so much to me, didn't change that I wasn't as important to them as I thought.  


But that's not a failure on my part. I gave absolutely everything I had and left my heart on the table. 

I realized tonight that I tried everything I could to make it work and I wouldn't be able to close this chapter of my life, as painful as it is, if I didn't try everything I could. But the only way it ever got ok was when I made myself smaller.  I stopped talking about God because it made him uncomfortable, I stopped laughing so much because he couldn't understand how I could be joyful when life was sucking so bad. I had to accept unacceptable behavior from others because that's just how they were. 

No. That's not ok. You don't perpetuate bad behavior, you grow up and make better choices. 

I know this, more certain than anything else, I outgrew him. And a friend threw me a lifeline today that she didn't even realize she was throwing. She told me "Don't let  anyone dim your sparkle."

I've spent too long fighting the voices in my head that remind me that I failed, that I grieved too long, that I'm an attention whore, that I'm selfish. And me going back to the source of my pain that adds new verbiage each time is no longer acceptable. When you know better, it's time to do better. 

The chapter is closed. It's over. And as painful as that is, it can't hurt anymore than being attached to someone who told me and made me believe that I wasn't worth it.

God gave me a huge gift today in the way of removing the rose colored glasses that inflated all the memories to better than they were for a long time to how life is right now. 

I'll never regret loving him and giving him my heart. Because when it was real and true, it was the most beautiful thing I've ever been part of. I'd never felt more beautiful, more special and more loved. 

He decided I wasn't good enough. That's on him. I'm still me and I'm still full of so much that I want to give someone who is capable of loving me back. 

When I'm ready, there will be someone else who will love this crazy, blonde, haggard mess. 

What does divorce cost?  A lot. Ask anyone who has been thru it. 

But what have I gained?  A lot. Ask anyone who knows me. I'm constantly seeking for truth, for the strength to be better tomorrow than I was today and I've never let anything make me doubt that God has a plan. 

Divorce- $1500 that I made him pay for
Botox to help the haggardness -$400
Boxes of wine- $50
The peace that comes with knowing that you are closing the door on a part of you that no longer brought anything positive- 

I'm going to take the advice of a very wise and loving aunt and I'm going to be selfish for a moment and take care of me. I'm going to love me and cut myself some slack for not losing my mind or my smile. Most days. 


  1. God Bless you, Missy. I wish every dumped-on person would read this. You are right on, as far as I'm concerned. I was married 27 yrs, alone 12 yrs, and now married 3 yrs, and I'm still here! Yes, it hurts. Life will never be the same: (not just the good stuff, but also the abuse will no longer be there). And there ARE better people than that out there, and God has someone for you; He sent someone for me. Hold up your head, and protect your heart and your spirit. You are worth it!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story with me. And for the encouragement. God certainly makes beauty from ashes, the pain of what is now can't compare to the joy that's coming, I know. Thank you for letting me know of His grace and faithfulness in your life. <3