I'm pleased to introduce Kelly Wilson as my guest blogger today. Kelly is a writer and comedian who isn't afraid to share her struggles with PTSD and her recent divorce. I believe some of you can relate.
Divorce: The Struggle and a Win
I've been thinking a lot about how it's the smallest things that bring me down in grief. Like stepping on that tiny Lego or the cat puke in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom. Unexpected and uncomfortable and curse-inducing.
There's a lot to dislike about divorce, even in the best of circumstances, which I think we have. My ex and the kids and I have a meeting every three months to discuss various issues - schedules and calendars and jobs and meals and chores and school and whatever else. My ex and I are not together anymore, but there are some things that we continue to get right, and a unified parenting front is one of them.
The fact remains that I don't live with my kids.
But the fact remains that I don't live with my kids. I'm at the house several mornings and afternoons a week and pursue regular time with them. But. But. But there's always that time where I drop them off at their home and watch them go inside. Without me.
The worst part of divorce - if you have kids - is not learning to cook for one, or the identity crisis, or the moments of crushing loneliness and grief. Not the wondering and knowing and processing. Not the holidays or grief anniversaries or special occasions. It's not going places by yourself. It's watching your kids go inside the house without you.
I'd drop the kids off and burst into tears.
In the early days of this process, I would drop the kids off or leave the house and burst into tears. My friends Margaret and Chris were on my route home, and I found that - more often than not - my car turned onto their street. I would find myself parked in their driveway, hiccuping and sobbing. They had told me a couple of times that they were here for me anytime, and I took them literally. Two to three times a week, I would get out of my car and hiccup and sob in their living room. We would chat or eat or watch Netflix, or not. They absorbed me as part of their routine in the most comforting way.
There's a point at which you get to see the results of what you have been fighting for. When you change your diet and the cholesterol and blood sugar numbers go down (why yes, I *do* have experience with this, why do you ask?). Or when you beat your personal best in a sportsing thing. Or when your kid asks you to go hiking the next weekend.
I've always fought for the kids to go hiking with me.
I think that was the small thing. I have always fought for the kids to go hiking with me, making them through the whining and bellyaching and even yelling and fighting. The hill I died on - a small hill, but still a hill I was not willing to surrender. To spend that time walking and talking and away from distractions, surrounded by trees and fresh air and renewal, even in winter. There is no life without death.
The small thing in the caveat, "Not just Mt. Tabor, Mom, but a *real* hike." The kid who had been so angry with me, a deep, dark, swirling cauldron of rage, for so long. The conversations and the tears and the fighting. The moving and working through.
The signal that we have reached a plateau of some kind in this process. It is a steep climb. My leg muscles quiver and my lungs ache and my stomach growls. This part of the hike was *hard*.
But the view is amazing. Even through tears.
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? Or encouraged? There are hurting people who would like to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com
Free Resource Downloads
12 Steps to a More Joyful Life after Divorce
30 Things to Do When You're Single
Resources for Healing from Spiritual Abuse
As long as you are hiding from your pain, you're hiding from helping other people.
Kari Oberbrunner - Author, speaker, coach.
If you're interested in sharing your story of divorce and the response of other Christians, email Linda at Linda@LindaMKurth.com for guidelines.
Linda's memoir in progressGod, the Devil and Divorce
A Transformative Journey Out of Emotional and Spiritual Abuse