I think I’ve been crowned Queen Divorcee of the graduating class of 2006.
We tend to confuse the graduation ceremony with a mass wedding ceremony around these parts.
Seven years later, we’re all weeping on each other’s shoulders.
I’m not sure why so many have reached out to me for guidance or advice. I didn’t exactly handle my own divorce with poise. I was too busy ignoring the problem, drinking, crying, and waking up in my own vomit before quickly showering and running off to my two jobs and school. I didn’t sleep or eat well for weeks. I just stayed up tossing out most of his belongings. Thanksgiving night involved 8 LIT’s, Gail’s and another friend’s drinks, a $75 bar tab… and a lot of throwing up. On Christmas Eve, I got horribly drunk and threw out every dish I owned, because I felt like I wouldn’t have been drinking out of old pickle jars if he’d just gotten a fucking job. Seriously. Every single dish. I nearly broke my foot throwing away a couch at 4:00 a.m. from an upstairs apartment to the dumpster across the complex… alone. By the new year, my living room furniture consisted of a dining room table, an old office chair, and several empty bottles of Everclear. My guys, the kings of “penises cancel out all emotion” actually sat me down to tell me I was worrying them. It was bad. So why come to me?
My life’s improved exponentially and that’s obvious on Facebook. That’s my best guess.
I’m not good at giving advice. I’m too honest, so it looks like this:
“The first time you put up the Christmas tree alone is going to break your heart. But then you’ll realize that you know how to put up the Christmas tree alone and that’s something.”
That’s sort of a load of crap, considering the fact that my dear friend Chad had to come over and help me put up my pretty pink Christmas tree with my pretty pink hammer. That wasn’t really my point, however.
I don’t mind it, though. I know how badly it tears someone apart. I know how awful it is to feel like no one gets it and know that you’re just so many people’s story of the day. The “So… what happened?” question comes from everyone, even people you don’t even fucking know. Sometimes they have the nerve to put it on your Facebook wall… twice. You mention the word divorce and immediately want to explain every detail so they’ll know it wasn’t you… but then you’re the crazy lady ranting about her divorce… to the mechanic. Telling your family… via Facebook, by accident… or a voicemail… or by knocking on your dad’s door and blurting “I’mgettingadivorceI’msorryIruinedChristmas” twice and then bursting into tears…
There’s nothing easy about it. I’m happy to support anyone hurting through it.
My only problem…
I won’t tell anyone to stay. I actually posted on Facebook yesterday:
“I am the person who will support you through your divorce. I am not the person who will tell you to stay. I’m closer to a cynic than a romantic. Know that before asking for my input.”
Four people liked it… one immediately messaged to tell me about her possible separation and ask about the cost of my apartment complex.
I used to say I didn’t believe in divorce. Now I know that anyone who says that has never hoped that he’d eventually follow-through with all of those suicide threats so you could finally be left alone to wash the blood off the dog. The dog can get through bathtime without my singing now. I still can’t sleep without my purse within reach.
“Nothing gets rid of that victim feeling quite like shooting a gun.”
That’s the advice I give. It may not be poetic, but it’s fucking true. I own four now… and a range membership. He’ll never hurt me again. That’s what I tell myself in the dark.
So when that girl from high school tells me it’s gotten to the point where she’s considering leaving, my advice is always to run… fast and far. I don’t even get the details. I suppose it’s because there was so much I kept to myself in my marriage, that I assume she’s doing the same. Yes. That’s definitely why. Is it so bad that you’re reaching out to that one girl from high school? It’s bad. Leave.
I wonder if I’ll ever let anyone close again. If I do and he tells me I made the fried chicken wrong, will I tell him I just can’t do it anymore? A part of me wonders, am I telling women to leave their husbands over a fried chicken insult? No. I don’t really think so. They wouldn’t be asking if it were nothing. It’s always something. There are always secret horrors once you’ve gotten to that point. Everyon’e marriage is their own and I’ve no idea what’s pushed them to consult me.
I guess I’ll take that crown.
people turn to you over here because they see strength in you. You’ve been there. You have the scars to prove it. Don’t underrate yourself. And how can anyone do fried chicken wrong? 🙂 Chin up. I wouldn’t read your posts if they didn’t inspire and challenge me. Yes, inspire and challenge. And you’re not my story of the day 🙂 i don’t feel sorry for you. I’m not trading here in pity. I would just like you to know that you’ve true grit and more spine than a lot of people I’ve met.. And I’ve known a few.
Forgive me for putting this in your comments…trash it if you like. You being the librarian would no doubt be familiar with this –
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
― Kahlil Gibran
I think they go to you because even though they don’t know exactly what you’ve been through or what all happened, they know that you say what you think. You don’t sugar coat things, and most of the time when people are in those “should I stay or should I go” dilemma’s MOST people are sugar coating and making them feel terrible. You are one tough lady and I think most people see that. Regardless of them knowing how your divorce effected you at the time, they see you now and see you doing your own thing and not caring what the world thinks. 🙂 Give yourself some credit, geez!!!
Thank you, Ryan! I hope you’re right. I always worry that I’m telling them leave when I shouldn’t.
I always figured I could handle anything. I had a rough childhood; I had a rough young adulthood. I’m a pretty tough girl. But after my husband of 22 years developed a midlife crisis that included motorcycle clubs, drugs, and then becoming a cheating, lying schmuck, I was pretty wiped out emotionally. I tried controlling my temper…which is very Irish, so it wasn’t easy… by boozing away the pain. Turns out, I’m one mean bitch when I’m angry AND drunk. I guess I wish now I’d been “stronger” through the whole thing, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t the bigger person. I made lots of embarrassing mistakes..usually while drunk. And up until two weeks ago, I wished with all of my heart that my ex and his young girlfriend would be as miserable as I was. Now, I just feel indifferent. We’ll see how this progresses. I like your site very much. I can relate to telling my sad story to mechanics and fast food workers. I was traumatized…It happens!
Thank you for the encouragement! It’s so hard to find anyone to relate to sometimes, because everyone’s marriages are so very different. It’s nice to find the small things we all have in common.
I think as we start coming out of the grief, we get embarrassed at stuff we said and did and we don’t want people to know how vulnerable and weak we were. I mean, how horrible a person I would be if I called my cheating husband some names, along with his creepy girlfriend? Somehow, we’re expected to be the bigger person; how??? I don’t have that problem, though. I blogged when I was drunk, blogged when I was ambiened out, and recorded for posterity every temper tantrum I threw over the absolute injustice of the whole thing. I mainly did it because it made my ex’s head explode. He likes secrets. I don’t.Plus, people started writing me about what they were going through, and it seemed to make things better to try to help someone else. I guess it took my mind off of plotting to annihilate my husband’s entire existence.
So, I like to find other people who don’t tell women that they should be the bigger person or to stay in situations that make them compromise their own happiness. I’m looking for the wives who kicked some ass before they finally calmed down. It makes me feel a little more human! 🙂