Tag Archives: Divorce

The First Wives Club Just Changed My Life

giphy (4)Uhhhmmm ok wow! When I first saw this movie I was 25 years old. Times sure have changed as I viewed this film today digitally through Amazon Video, but back in the day I owned a VHS copy of it and I’d watch it regularly like it was a tv program. I cracked up through every scene, laughing at the whimsical characters, those mid-40 year old women who were attempting to rebuild their lives after being abandoned by their husbands, who had taken much younger wives. Well fast forward 20 years and my view of this lovely and funny story is very different. I am now that mid-40 year old putting her life together post divorce. As much as I adored the movie then, seeing it today was much more than a revisit to this comedy that I love. I relate to these characters on a completely different level now, with a few important differences of course.  I am not white nor wealthy, which all the main characters in the film are, so there’s that. But I do relate to this ageism thing of what to do with your life if you are no longer such and such’s wife. And if such and such goes on to marry someone who is young enough for you to mother, then that tends to add insult to injury. Although I’ve been mistaken for much younger, (blame it on the melanin), in reality I am what I am, and I am who I am. And that is a mid-40 year old who holds every memory and experience from her past. I ache in my joints on a second by second bases and manage regular extreme pain. I have the energy level of someone recovering from surgery, with the metabolism of a pregnant snail. I have found that my favorite recreational activity is a good nap, or posting on Facebook or Pinterest after waking from a good nap. I have more responsibilities than I can balance in my own strength as I attempt to put myself and my life back together, while raising a young boy by myself…. oh who happens to have Autism. I’m exhausted even writing all of that because it just makes my real life all the more real.

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So when I get inspiration to move out of this place that I’m in, I try to take it.  This movie gave me just the inspiration that I needed. I am more than a little moved as I watch the women in this film reclaim their own power. Now of course this is a fictional story, but it is a reflection of art imitating life as divorce numbers are at an all time high. The reality of women piecing their lives back together in their 40’s and 50’s and older is amazingly common. I’m taking this motivation and am going to hold on to it. I’m going to take this moment to set some goals for myself, because you cannot you move out of a rut if you never take some steps to do so. We recess, draw back, fall off, loose ourselves, let ourselves go when there is no movement.  Mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, there must be movement.

giphy (5)So instead of sitting around and wallowing in self pity while I’ve been home nursing an injury and my car is not running properly, I’m dedicated to movement. I’m setting some goals and am going to act on them, but this time I’m going to be smart about it, as in setting SMART goals. Those SMART goals will be Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, and Time Bounded. Specific goals that are measurable. Ones that agree with my core values and are realistic to my real life, and schedule and responsibilities. And lastly ones that have a time frame on them. Now speaking of time, it’s a thing. Later in life you reflect on the time you’ve spent, the time you’ve wasted, the time you have left. We respond to that feeling with either hopelessness or urgency. Hopelessness sets in when you assume that you don’t have any options, that your best days are in your rearview and that nothing will ever get better than where you are today. But today I’m choosing to believe the alternative, I’m going to take this sense of urgency as motivation to do something new. I do not have the luxury of wasting time like I did in my youth. If God blesses me with life, I have a limited amount of it remaining and I have to use it wisely. Sitting around eating chocolate while I blow up is no longer a reasonable option for my life.

One of the main areas of my life that I have allowed to sit somewhere between dormantgiphy (3).gif and aborted is my entrepreneurial spirit, but it got a big kick in the butt watching this movie.  It is not too late for me to do the things that I’ve dreamt of that will set up a legacy for my child. That’s the key phrase, it’s not too late. It’s not too late to get healthy and pain free. It’s not too late to start my businesses, it’s not too late to make a difference in the world, it’s not too late to one day have the love of my life. And it’s not too late for you either.  All of this pivots on hope, and this movie just gave that back to me. I’m going to wipe the tear marks that the closing dance scene to You Don’t Own Me just left on my face, and begin my movement. This movie will be a regular pit stop for me again, but with a greater meaning than just for laughs. Thanks Bette, Diane, and Goldie! I hope that your residual check balances increase and that this film is revisited by those who love it, and seen by those who’ve never had the pleasure.  Hope renewed.

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WORTH HUNG HIGH

We live in a digital world. We store photos in our devices and then forget about them. We say we will go back and review them, those countless moments passed, but we rarely do. I have always loved pictures, taking them, being in them. I love to look back and remember times passed. I have been called the paparazzi at more than one social event. I love capturing sunsets and candid moments. However for the last several years I have felt less of the desire to capture life’s moments because those moments were filled with so much loss. Yet I cannot allow the loss of my past to arrest me from enjoying my present.

celecbrateThose moments are far too precious, my only child’s first moments, first days, first years. I have captured many of them in spite of pain that filled those days, oftentimes taking them through tears. So for the first time in my son’s young life, I put those pictures on a wall. That’s a big deal!  It is a direct and bold declaration to celebrate life and not be buried by it. It is the choosing to dedicate time and energy to something not dire to today’s survival, yet essential to the survival of esteem and well being. Those lasting moments of self reflection and overcoming, those reminders on how far we’ve come while remaining unbroken.  After the loss of our home and possessions, after a nasty divorce, after sickness, after homelessness, after the abandonment, lies and character assassination of those I once called family, and even after coming to terms with my son’s Autism diagnosis, life is still worthy of celebration.

So this weekend, a year after I purchased their frames, I created a small monument to what we’ve overcome. Those moments when we laughed and smiled in spite of the circumstances around us. Those moments of growth, of reaching, of becoming new. Caleb will grow up with a monument to his life, to his mother’s life, to his late grandmother’s life. He will have what I did not growing up, an account of his worth hung high. We frame what we want to celebrate, what we want to remember, and sometimes we decorate those moments with fairy lights.

#FairyLights #Pictures #Photos #FrameWorthy #LifesMoments #MomentsCaputred #Worthiness #Perspective #Thankfulness #Loss #Autism #Divorce #Newness #Hope #PlantedNotBuried

The Hard Place

This is the most personal and transparent thing that I have ever written. I share aspects of my life, but I only share them once I’m passed them. I share once I’ve overcome something, or am close to overcoming it. But this, this is today, this is raw, this painful… today. Writing this brought me to this place of healing it. I hope it helps someone else too. #TheMostVulnerableIveEverBeen
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I grew up believing in principle. That if you treat people well, you will be treated well. That if you are upstanding, honest, and give respect, you will receive all those things in return. In reality sometimes the good guy loses the girl to the bad boy. Sometimes the one who lies and connives gets the promotion. Sometimes the bully gets the sympathy of the victim. I still believe that in the end that all things are working for my good, that truth always comes to light, and that people do one day get back what they have put out. Like Celie told Mister, “aint nothing good goin come to you do till you do right by me.” (Color Purple junkies will understand). I have been living on this principle for the last five years since my divorce. Knowing that there could be no way that anything good was coming towards my ex-husband until he does right by me. But today I sit stunned and amazed with new information. It’s been three days since I found out my ex-husband is marrying another woman.

I think I missed that scene in the Color Purple, it must have been cut in the final edit, but I don’t recall Mister going on to marry another women, in a beautiful farmside wedding, right when harvest come in. I missed that scene when he could go on to new marital bliss after beating and badgering Celie, his first wife, for twenty years.  They really forgot to show me this twist in the story line.

What’s amazing is this very and exact thing that I am living is what my mother lived some thirty-five years ago. Going through a divorce, raising children alone, broken by the happenings of her marriage, to then watch her ex-husband go on to marry someone else. Today I miss her in a new place. I would love to ask her how she did it, how she got through this… this hard place. But the painstaking truth is my mother went to her deathbed never overcoming this reality, this hard place. Jesus help my heart.

For the last 5 years since my divorce I have been giving my ex-husband this great benefit of the doubt. That he must be living under a bridge, or in prison, or maybe he was dead, there were no other reasons that could explain his abandonment.  Maybe he was in a mental institution… yeah that’s it, as to why he abandoned his only child and left me holding all the pieces. I mean these are actual conversations I had with myself, lol. But I am now finding out that he was fine. That not only was he in his right mind, but that he was living well, was going on dates and to events. He was snapping pictures, and smiling big, not ever taking a moment to look back at the ruin he’d left behind. Not ever sending so much as a Scooby-snack to making sure his child was eating. He never looked back. Wow, and amazing! Where’s the manual on how to react to  this level of revelation??

Now let me be clear. This is not about me still wanting this man. Lawd ham mercy I don’t want him!! Truthfully I get a visual, and I can literally feel this in my gut, the thought of returning to him would be like throwing up and returning to my own vomit, (See Proverbs 26:11). I see that every time I use to be tempted to go back. No this is not about still being in love with him.  I can truthfully admit that I still have love for him, but the in love stage has passed. No this is about that principle I grew up believing. This impossible yet very tangible reality of reaping what I have not sown.

It is a terrible thing to give out encouragement and receive back resentment. It is a terrible thing to give a warm, peaceful and beautiful home and receive back hostility, cruelty and chaos. It’s a terribly hard thing. And when those hard places are also weighted down with raising a child solo, even though you did not bring that child here by yourself, this hard place compounds by a thousand, every moment, of every day. This is a hard place.

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I didn’t deserve it. The abuse, the mistreatment, the tearing down and the abandonment that I received. I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve his lies, his cruelty, his yelling, his screaming, his cursing, his torment. I didn’t deserve it.  I didn’t deserve to be slammed into walls and tossed over ottomans, picking my body and spirit off of floors. I didn’t deserve it.  I didn’t deserve to exchange my love and support for cruelty, empty promises and broken dreams. I didn’t deserve the trauma. I did not deserve it. And above all, my only son did not deserve to be born into this turmoil. He did not deserved to be flung in the air by his father, leaving his mother to catch him before colliding with the ground. There is no other moment in my whole and entire life that makes me more angry than that moment. And it was in that moment that I walked away from this marriage.  We did not deserve it, we did not deserve any of it.

I am now in hopes that there is not a new woman unknowingly setting herself up for what I have suffered. No matter what the outward picture looks like, the reality of what goes on behind closed doors is the only thing that matters. What glitters is not always gold, sometimes… it’s just glitter. The character of man is the only thing that stands.

I don’t have all the answers, and although my heart aches on this new level, around this marriage and divorce that I mistakenly assumed that I was mostly over, I must remind myself of some truths. Now is not the time to focus on how he’s going to get his, but time to focus on how I will get mine. Mine will be the reward at the end of this season. The reward for not returning cruelty for cruelty. The reward for not allowing bitterness to take root in my garden. The reward for not losing my faith or my walk when I’d lost everything else. The reward for not losing my integrity. And knowing that I will get back twenty-fold what I have suffered.  And that the suffering has been a gift to me, it showed me who I am.

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In this hard place I know what I will not to do. I will not fall into bad habits, and self sabotage. It is so easy to do when you’re in pain. I will not lean on a vice that will make this season the turning point into self destruction. I WILL NOT!! He will reap the harm that he has sown, but my focus will be on my reaping the love that I have sown. I will remind myself that this battle is not mine, but it is the Lord’s. I will remind myself that my latter days will be greater than my former. I will remind myself that I have not become completely broken by any of this. I will remind myself that I am still here.  Just like Celie said, Dear God, I’m still here!!”