Endings

August 27, 2015 § 38 Comments

Tomorrow I will go to court, and when I leave, I will no longer be married. Tomorrow, part of the way I have defined myself for half of my 46 years will be gone. Tomorrow I will be divorced.

I’m struggling to wrap my head around it. I’m not sure what I expected to feel, but this isn’t it. It’s all slightly surreal.

Divorce will school you in ambiguity, in loss of control, in living the questions. Divorce will pelt you with things you never thought you would ever have to face. You will learn that some days all you can do is focus on now, on this moment, right here. For now you are okay. For now you have enough. For now you are enough.

Because if you think too often about the future, about what still has to be done, arranged, separated and divvied up, it can overwhelm you. The anxiety will pool at the base of your throat and threaten to submerge you in its thick, loud thrum.

There are days when you feel like you’re on the edge of a canyon so deep and dark and cold, the ground so unstable beneath your feet, that the tiniest thing might cause you to lose your grip. There are days when fear’s clammy tendrils feel like cats’ claws on the inside of your chest.

And what will take you by surprise is the grief – even if this is something you want; even if it’s something you chose. You will mourn the loss of the dreams you tucked away in the folds of your heart. You will mourn the passing of who you once were. Because this was not part of the plan on the day you took someone’s hand and looked into their eyes and made promises you fully expected to keep.

Divorce isn’t an easy way out, make no mistake. And the disentanglement process is a bizarre mix of cold and clinical on one hand, and raw and emotional on the other. There are no means, no averages, no middle grounds. You swing from extreme to extreme like a pendulum operated by a sneering, vicious clown.

I’ve turned small corners where I’ve felt like I’m healing, like I’m seeing the first rays of sun peeping over the horizon, God’s fingers pointing out the vastness of the skies’ possibility. A day has come where I’ve noticed a jauntiness in my step; patches of technicolor bleeding through the sepia, and the scent of jasmine on a warm breeze.

And then suddenly, this. The night before the day when it will all be over – in the legal sense, at any rate. Another milestone on the journey reached. And I am plunged back into that skin-crawling place of anxiety, of fear, of what-ifs and worries and wild imaginings.

But underneath it all there’s a sense of peace. This is a strange kind of ending, more like a slow sloughing off of skin than a clean break. But every ending heralds a new beginning – even if it takes some time. Somehow, somewhere, in a future moment, I will be okay.

I don’t give up easily; I never have. And that’s one thing that won’t change.

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§ 38 Responses to Endings

  • Kim Barker says:

    Tomorrow I will light a candle…for you…and for all your tomorrows which lie ahead. No easy answers but lots of love xx

    Liked by 1 person

  • MRJones says:

    You describe the gamut of emotions and the physical side so well. I have been through divorce. You are right, someday you will be all right. You will emerge stronger and more capable of dealing with life. It’s okay to feel the anxiety and dread before you go to court for the judge to finalize it. You were nervous the day you got married.

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  • Though I may not (firsthand) know what you’re going through, I will be thinking of you in the morning as well as the days and time to come.

    Lots of hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Barbara Gz says:

    Sending you support from afar. Every ending is a new beginning. Let your heart be your guide into the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Sometimes, very rarely, words fail me. This is one of them.
    But I do know that you’re one of the few truly exceptional people that I know.
    Multi-faceted, gifted and wonderful in so many ways.
    The universe has no choice but to steer you and your beautiful girls through this.
    Big love.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Julie says:

    lovely writing Mandy I know some what you’re eloquently rawly talking about . . . Sorta . . . in that I’m divorced. But we did it in California and it was uncontested so didn’t go to court . . . just received our completed, stamped papers in the mail. That was surreal. Might be better to have the ritual of the final court appearance. As for a few years after it was done I still had a nagging feeling of failure like a Titanic sunk. And occasional feelings of “gosh I couldve worked it out if I Knew more or tried harder”. But that has lessened the more time I have co-parented with my ex. The more I realize how we work so much better than before -how much I love and respect him now that there is more space between us. Yes I’m glad I have more space to grow and be my true self.

    Liked by 1 person

  • joslyn says:

    Thinking of you today.
    You’ve captured this feeling so well. I remember all of this. It eases. Fades. And some days you find yourself almost normal. And somehow stronger, braver. Kinder even.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Joan Villet says:

    Life is difficult… I will pray for you and I know that you will overcome, by the Grace of God, who made you wonderfully and fearfully in His own image! Much love and hugs for today!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Megan says:

    It’s a beautifully written, delicate post.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David Lock says:

    Well written Mandy. Divorce is such a difficult thing with so many people emotionally affected. I pray that all of you that it might be a good divorce with very little lasting damage and that the scars may heal beautifully with a good life for you all on the other side. Strength for today!

    Liked by 1 person

  • charliesbird says:

    I just want to wrap my arms around you today, and hold your heart for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jono says:

    Am sitting at my desk and cannot stop thinking of you. If I have to count my heroes you are on top of that list. This is a brand new chapter and life for you and I can guarantee you that I am behind you, supporting you, loving you, and cheering you on in my best Hugh Grant Love Actually dancing way like only I can… Love you Twirrah Mom!

    Like

  • Love and strength, Mandy. You write beautifully and those words will help to sustain you on this new journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The time from when I stood up in court until the judge pronounced that I was now single after 31 years was a mere 93 seconds. The grey-suited powered-dressed blond lawyer shook my hand, no doubt grateful for the money she had extorted from me for her brief work, and I stood bereft, shattered, and alone on the steps of the SC.

    The sun came up the next day and has shined brightly ever since. Sometimes it really is better the second time around. I wish that for you too…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mandy, I cannot imagine the pain of divorce, nor do I have any appropriate words to say to you. I just want to acknowledge your mastery of the craft of writing. Thank you for taking time, even in the midst of your pain, to put into such evocative words where you find yourself. You have given us all the greatest gift a writer can give: a way to put into words what we felt could never be expressed. I know of many people who will find your words helpful and comforting, even though – or, in fact, precisely because – they express such deep sorrow. Don’t stop writing. Ever.

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  • Dorian Uys says:

    Thursday will be my night before, when I left in March 2014, never in million years would I have realised how hard it would be.
    There would be days where I would think should I have stayed? Should I have done more …
    In those days God has shown me that he is constant, never changing.
    It has not been easy, but I know that I know I did the right thing.

    Like

    • If you know you did the right thing, then just hang on to that. The court thing is over in a matter of minutes and before you know it, you’re out in the sunshine, blinking away your shock and wondering what just happened. But a few hours later, I had the sense of closure, after all that terrible limbo. And I feel like life has begun again. So hang in there. And make sure you have sympathetic support. And be kind to yourself.

      Like

  • This is one of the reasons why I said to you that there is NOTHING ordinary about you. Be strong.

    Like

  • Tracy Todd says:

    There is good reason why divorce is seen as one of the most traumatic events one has to deal with in life. For me, my divorce was far worse than being paralysed. It made me feel like a failure and ashamed – possibly because it was not my choice. Yet, with time and healing, it was probably the event that taught me the most life lessons. Somehow, though, we survive the heartache. We adapt. And we learn to embrace the change. Thinking of you and hoping that you’ll get through this difficult time and start truly living again. Good luck, Mandy. Thank you for your beautiful honesty in this post. There is no doubt that you are indeed a special and remarkable human being. Your strength shines through.

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  • Di Atherton says:

    Mandy how incredibly brave to share so openly something that is so deeply personal. Thank you for this beautiful writing. In awe of your talent and your honesty. There is no way around this. Its “break on through to the other side” – take good care of yourself xx

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thanks for sharing this Tracy Todd, otherwise I would not have seen the post to leave comment.

    My two cents worth…… divorce is a process, and in most cases a necessary process. The light at the end of the tunnel is that you should have grown quite a bit during the process, all for the better.

    I used to tell people that there are three important things to remember when going through a divorce, but I have now added a 4th….

    1. Get a lawyer, if you don’t you will get the rough end of the stick;
    2. The children will be fine
    3. There is life after divorce, and it is good.
    4. Both parties have fault in divorce, and both need to take responsibility got their part.

    I found it pays to take one step at a time …. don’t focus too much on “the future” it will take care of itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Wenchy says:

    I honestly can’t believe I have survived this twice.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Martin Trollope says:

    Thank you for this. Strength to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jane Maguire Williams says:

    You captured the true essense of divorce in it’s entire reality. The night after my divorce, my ex and I went out for drinks. I sung the song “D.I.V.O.R.C.E” at the karaoke and we both cried, as you say, even being something we both agreed that we had wanted, the broken dreams still brought us to tears. Overwhelmed with emotions, we thought were long forgotten, we were better friends that night, than we had been in years. Sad, but true. Strength to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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