Chat with Ruthie How I survived Divorce
I’ve thought about writing this post for awhile… several months actually. It’s not a fun thing to write about BUT, I’ve been asked by several different people to share about SO, here we go!
It doesn’t super matter what the circumstances are that cause a divorce (there’s always two sides to every story) each person involved is going to go through some pretty tough times. I’m writing this in hopes that it may help somebody out there that’s struggling with surviving a divorce and give a few ideas on how I survived it.
I was married for 11 years to my kids dad and never in a million years did I think I would have ended up divorced. Sure, we had good and some bad times- just like everyone else. BUT, I was pretty much blown away by what went down and it was honestly a daily trial to even get out of bed. I’ve haven’t truly struggled with depression but I can honestly say I came pretty close. Were it not for my family and good friends… I’m not sure I what I would have done. SO, my first suggestion is to let your self reach out for help and receive support from those closest to you. We all need each other and I promise at some point in the future you will give give back.
My oldest daughter was 9 at the time and I had three little kids who honestly saved my life. It’s because of them and knowing that they needed a mom, that I was able to get out of bed and function everyday. It’s really hard at first but after reality sets in and the shock wears off- you realize that life will be okay again some day! That you’ll survive and your kids will survive and piece by piece you can put life back together.
It’s funny that the hardest times for me were the quite, boring, daily task things— like showering or mowing the lawn or driving in the car.
I came up with a list of “Theme” songs to blare during those times when my mind would wander and I felt like the world was caving in. I’ve grown to love these songs and I’ve burned many CD’s and shared them with good friends and family that have since gone through divorce too. I must admit a lot of these songs apply to gal’s cuz, I’m a chic 🙂
Here’s my playlist of Theme Songs:
~ Fighter by Christina Aguilera
~Don’t Worry ‘Bout a Thing by SheDaisy
~Beauty from Pain by Superchick
~Family Tree by Cherie Call
~Stand in the Rain by Superchick
~Free to Be Me by Francesca Battistelli
~Stronger Woman by Jewel
~The Whole Shebang by SheDaisy
~Holding On by Cherie Call
~Bowling Ball by Superchick
~Had a Bad Day by Daniel Powter
~Faith to Find the Answers by Cherie Call
~Picture to Burn by Taylor Swift
Anyway, you get the idea… compile a play list of songs that speak to you and will help you through those times when you just need a little lift.
Going through a divorce forces you to look at yourself and get ‘real’ with life in a way you’ve never had to before. Even though it sucks– A LOT! In the end it’s a refiners fire that can ultimately help you become a better, more understanding and compassionate person. (your kids too) There’s a really good workbook to help out with this process it’s called The Fresh Start Divorce Recovery Workbook , I used it and went through each page and even though it took a little while- I learned a lot about myself and how to recover from what I’d been through. I’d really recommend it if you’re newly divorced or even still struggling with stuff from years back… it’s so helpful!
Don’t be afraid to see a counselor… if you’re just not doing well then find someone good to help you through this process. I’d try and get a referral for a good counselor either from a friend or family or clergy at your church. If you go a couple of times and it’s just not a fit just try someone else. There are some really good counselors out there that are trained and have the skills to help people through life changes like a divorce.
If you have kids, like I do, then their well being is so important and it’s really vital that the communication stay open with each child. Kids are all different and deal with change and loss in different ways. I believe the most important thing you can do for them is to keep the divorce issues/fighting away from them. Let them know that both their mom and dad loves them very much and the divorce is not their fault. But, I don’t find it appropriate to share details of the divorce with them or let them over hear you talking with someone else about it. To this day my kids DO NOT know why their dad and I divorced, we felt it was better for them to be raised and co-parented (which is another whole subject) without having to deal with feelings of who did what right or wrong. Maybe someday if the need arises we’ll have that discussion?!
There’s a really good book that helps young kids right on their level and it’s called Dinosaurs Divorce (Dino life guides for families), Dinosaurs Divorce Will Help you Understand: * Divorce Words and What They Mean * Why Parents Divorce * What About You? * After the Divorce * Living with One Parent * Visiting Your Parent * Having Two Homes * Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions * Telling Your Friends * Meeting Parents’ New Friends * Living with Stepparents * Having Stepsisters and Stepbrothers. I think I read this book to my son almost every night for at least a year and then through out his younger years, he was only 3 1/2 years old when we divorced and he didn’t understand at all what was happening, this book helped him understand at his level so much better than I could.
Another thing to remember is that kids grieve in stages… it’s like, as their brain matures and their ability to understand increases- they grieve again. It’s important to let them go through this process over a period of years and love and support them through it. Divorce will always be a loss to everyone involved, it never goes away… there’s always a part of you that wishes it would have been different and I believe that’s totally normal! Give yourself and your kids the time to move through it and reassure them that they’re safe, and loved, and that everything will be just fine.
It’s honestly NEVER green on the other side! You’re just trading one set of problems for another so if you’re sitting on the fence wondering about getting a divorce, I’d recommend that you give it everything you can and try in every way to work things out with your spouce. If it can’t be worked out or there is some form of abuse happening and divorcing is the only option, then take the time to get yourself and your kids in a healthy and stable place before jumping into another relationship. Not many people know this about me BUT I’ve actually been divorced twice! YAH… think it sucks the first time, it really sucks a secon.! (I highly recommend that you don’t date long distance- anyone can be anything they want a few days a month). That is also a chat for another day.
I really hope some of this information is helpful for anyone who’s going through a divorce or it may give ideas of how to help someone you know survive a divorce!
My heart goes out in either case and I truly hope the best for anyone in this situation… just remember that life will get back to a new “normal” and some how things will end up just fine!