8.19.2013

When Loneliness Creeps In, Let It


{2010}
When the kisses were like fireworks and his touch made everything right again.

I'm missing Joshua tonight.

Not because I miss him per se, but because I miss having my best friend to "do life" with.

Things like randomly quote our favorite movies, play our favorite board games, watch our favorite TV shows on Netflix, eat at our favorite restaurants.....I just miss having someone who gets me, loves how much of a dork I am, and enjoys doing all of those things together. It's so rare in life that you fall madly for someone whose the same kind of weird as you. Tonight my mind is tricking me into believing I'll never find my "One" again.

I know that most of you are going to be tempted to comment with something encouraging along the lines of "so much better off without him," or "better things ahead," and I know that's the truth, but I can't help the way I feel at this moment. I can't help feeling lonely and just plain sad. I don't feel these things often, but I need to feel them once in a while. So please, just let me.

Tonight is just one of those nights.


8.13.2013

Guest Post: Cindy Holbrook of CoachingForDivorcedWomen.com

Today's guest poster is a dear friend and mentor of mine, Cindy Holbrook. I first met Cindy when she became my divorce coach in May of this year and our weekly discussions have been instrumental in my healing process. If you're going through a divorce and need direction, an unbiased listening ear, and someone to cheer you on as you begin your new life, I would highly recommend speaking with a divorce coach. Cindy offers a complimentary 60-minute introduction session if you'd like to learn more. Visit her website here!

7 Ways a Divorce Coach Can Help You

Your emotions are high while you are going through a divorce. At times you may not even understand all of your feelings, causing you to do or say something that you really regret.

When you announce your divorce you are typically not greeted with tons of helping hands ready to support you. They are not there for you to cry on. They do not bring you food to be sure you are eating. Instead, you are usually bombarded with statements and questions such as:

·      Why, what happened?
·      He was never good enough for you anyway.
·      You deserve so much better.
·      God doesn’t like divorce.
·      You didn’t try hard enough.
·      What did you do to save your marriage?
·      I knew it wasn’t going to work out.

Or, you are hit with the fact that some of your friends do not even associate with you anymore.

Going through a divorce is considered the second largest stressor in life. The first one is the death of a spouse. Yet, society in general does not treat you with the same empathy and support that you need to get through this challenging time in your life.

A great way to heal, love and find inner peace during and after your divorce is to work with a divorce coach.

     1)    Talk out your feelings in a safe nurturing environment without fear of retaliation or your ex finding out about it. A divorce coach will guide you as you work through and sort out all of your emotions including, rage, jealousy, revenge, sadness and fear.

     2)    A divorce coach can help you gain clarity about what type of settlement you want and need. Remember, every decision that you make right now has the capability of affecting you for the rest of your life.

     3)    A divorce coach can save you money because you will not be telling your story and all of the drama around it to your attorney. This leaves room for the attorney to do his job.

     4)    A divorce coach helps you to navigate the new life of being single. You are losing your identity as a married woman. The depth of your confusion around this matter, may lay in how long you were married. It’s time for you to discover who you are and what you want without having to consider how it will affect your husband.

     5)    A divorce guide brainstorms with you to find the best path for you to follow to overcome your fears about the future. Many women fear becoming a bag lady or being sad and depressed for the rest of their lives. The core fear is simply, the fear of the unknown. You thought you knew what your future was going to look like, and that future has been pulled out from under your feet.

     6)    A divorce coach can assist you in determining what type of career path you should take, if any. If you never worked, or just worked part time jobs for some extra money, you will probably need to consider what you want to do in order to secure your financial future.

     7)    When you are ready to date again and possibly find your real Mr. Right, your divorce coach can assist you in pinpointing what type of man you are looking for as well as what red flags you should look for.

You may be asking, so why not just go to a therapist? There is a vast difference between a therapist and a coach. A therapist typically tries to help you understand your feelings by delving into your past. Though your past will probably come up during coaching, the primary goal of the coaching agreement is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be. The focus is on the present and what you are able to do now in order to secure the future that you desire.

During life we all have our ups and downs. Regardless how bad you feel right now regarding your divorce, you will not feel this way forever. Think of your divorce as a stepping stone in your life journey to help you grow and develop into the beautiful being you are meant to be.

There is no reason that you have to walk along the painful path of your divorce alone. 

Cindy Holbrook is a certified divorce coach and founder of CoachingForDivorcedWomen.com.  She understands your fear, despair, loneliness and confusion as she left an emotionally abusive marriage after 20 years. Sign up for her “Life After Divorce” newsletter (http://www.coachingfordivorcedwomen.com/coping-with-life-after-divorce-newsletter/)  to receive encouragement, tips and support during and after your divorce.

8.08.2013

Guest Post: Chambanachik

*Hello, loves! Over the course of the next few weeks OWTM will have some wonderful women guest posting about their own experiences with divorce. Each of their stories are unique and I hope you'll learn some valuable lessons, whether you've been through this process or not. Today's guest is Erika of Chambanachik. She's a fellow military wife/divorcée, mama to two beautiful babies, and a dear in-real-life friend. Stop by to say hello!*


{The Leaving}

"Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave."  — Cormac McCarthy

It’s so deep in my past at this point, I hardly think of it anymore. But what Meagan is going through is what I went through several years ago. I remember how surreal and intimidating everything felt, the way my world seemed to spin in circles, and how it seemed unfair that I was supposed to somehow get on with this life while trying to process something as life-altering as a divorce.
But, for me, it wasn’t ending the relationship. It was the leaving.

I prefer the status quo above nearly everything. I couldn’t fathom the thought of picking up my belongings, my friendships, and my job. I couldn’t imagine leaving the curves and bumps of streets I drove every day, or the slowed-down drawl of southern Indiana that I had become accustomed to, or people who were intertwined into my life there. It wasn’t that I was even in love with most of it. It was just paralyzing to think of starting over, as if all of it had never happened. As if I hadn’t existed for those years. As if they were empty.

 One late summer evening, as the sun was setting and the moon was rising over my lawn, a very sweet friend sat on the concrete step with me at my front door, and she told me to go. Katie probably knew there was a good chance I would stay in that little house forever, and that I didn’t know how to be brave on my own.  As the sunset’s glow turned into a deep dark punctured by a few small stars, we talked about it. About the things I would leave. About the possibilities I would gain. About the way I would grow. I’ll always be grateful to Katie for that hand pulling me out of the quicksand.

I spent my 24th birthday packing up bits and pieces of a life; keeping books and clothes, and throwing out a beaded white satin gown and photos from that trip to Jamaica. Two days later, I stood on the ramp of a U-Haul, directing family members about which things needed to go and which could stay. I probably cried once or twice during that long drive, but I also already felt the courage in me begin to spout. When I collapsed onto my bed that night, in a bedroom of the house I had grown up in, I still felt a little bit like a child, unsure of what I was doing and if I was doing it right. But the courage that it took to leave was growing even that night, and it would continue to even months after I had left. I did it. I was gone.

It wasn’t an easy road, of course. The depression I had struggled with for so many years came back with a vengeance for a while, and I coped with it in some destructive ways. When Meagan came by and said goodbye a few nights ago, she mentioned that she missed touch. I understand that instantly. I would crawl into bed at night and wish that someone, anyone would hold me. Any hug from a friend, anytime a co-worker brushed by me in the hall, any affection from a boyfriend…anything that felt connected suddenly became so valuable, because I didn’t have that connection anymore. There were bouts of joy, a relationship here and there, but the longer I lived this new life, the easier it became. Suddenly, I realized I was peeling back the layers to who I actually was. I liked that girl so much better.

And after I left, I became married to someone I actually truly loved. I had a daughter and, now, a newborn son with him. The family I was meant for has happened, and it wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I had this story sitting here, waiting for me the entire time.
The leaving was hard, as it should be. But it brought me to a beautiful place.


8.05.2013

Guest Post: Aim High Erin

*Hello, loves! Over the course of the next few weeks OWTM will have some wonderful women guest posting about their own experiences with divorce. Each of their stories are unique and I hope you'll learn some valuable lessons, whether you've been through this process or not. Today's guest is Erin of Aim High Erin. She's a fellow military wife/divorcée (and military member herself) and just welcomed a sweet baby girl with her second husband. Stop by to say hello!*

Lessons in Leaving


[Bonus points if you can sing the song that inspired this title.]

Hello, I’m Erin, and I was a divorcee at the age of 24.  Before I dive into my story and wisdom about the experience, I’d like to thank Meagan for allowing me to guest post and for her own honesty during this process.  Divorce is an open wound for many, and leaving you vulnerable and humble.  It’s never easy to discuss in such a public fashion, and I applaud Meagan for being willing to put herself out there.

Quick background on my own story of love lost.  I met my first husband when I was 19, and away at my first year of college.  He was 13 years my senior, but that didn’t faze me, or those close to me at the time, because we were compatible on other levels and I always gravitated towards older men.  Two years into our relationship I was engaged, and then married a year and a half after that.  Two years into our marriage, I was pulling the plug.  While there were a number of contributing factors to my divorce, I can best sum them up by saying that I married at too young of an age, and before I had time to “grow up.”  Don’t read too much into that last sentence, thinking that I needed to sow my wild oats, as that wasn’t the case.  I was immature and I was never held responsible for myself, fiscally.  Within that marriage, I was not forced to grow as I so badly needed to – I went from daddy’s house to my husband’s, never learning to appreciate what I had, in terms of creature comforts.  I was in bad need of humbling.

Eight years have passed since that relationship ended.  Meeting my current husband was a catalyst in the ending of that relationship, and for that I endured a lot of outside judgment and learned the lessons I’d like to impart on Meagan’s readers.

1.     No one knows the true nature of a relationship except the two people involved.  I can’t stress this enough.  Doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, sibling, best friend, etc.  You don’t know what that relationship is like unless you’re involved.  Therefore, don’t pass judgment on who’s at fault for the demise of a marriage, because you don’t know.  No one knows what happens behind closed doors.  We can speculate, we can guess, but those are two unique individuals.  I was criticized quite a bit because on the outside there was nothing “wrong” with my marriage.  My ex-husband was not a horrible person, nor was he a bad husband.  He just wasn’t the right husband for me at that time, nor was I giving him the best of me.

2.     The details of the divorce settlement are no one’s business except your own.  Again, I dealt with my fair share of unsolicited advice, particularly from family members, about what I should be “getting” as a result of my divorce settlement.  Frankly, those legal details aren’t anyone’s business.  I wasn’t looking to take him to the cleaners or ruin his life.  I just wanted an amicable split.  I signed over the condo that we’d lived in for a few months, a move that I was criticized for doing.  Ultimately, I knew that giving up that property and that asset wasn’t going to be the end of the world for me.  I would be fine, I would own property again, and I would get back on my feet.

3.     No one enters a marriage thinking it won’t work.  Another philosophy I can’t stress enough.  There are plenty of idealists out there that tout beliefs like, “Divorce isn’t an option,” but that’s not always realistic.  We’re not martyrs, folks, and no one should be forced to live in a relationship with someone who doesn’t bring out the best in them, make them happy, inspire them to better themselves, or worse yet, who abuses them in any sense of the word.  If you’ve exhausted yourself trying to make it work, there’s no reason not to walk away holding your head high.  Divorce is an option.  It may not be the ideal, but it is an option.

4.     Divorce ends more relationships than the marriage.  Be prepared to watch a number of your relationships and friendships slip away as a result of the divorce.  Sadly, it’s inevitable, but it’s also eye opening.  As much as I may preach #1, you’re going to have “friends” who insist on judging you and taking sides.  Expect it; don’t fight it.  It’s going to hurt, but it’s not worth bad-mouthing your ex in a pitiful attempt to preserve a friendship that may not be worth saving.  Let the cards fall where they may, and move on.  The truest of friends will want to see you happy, regardless of whether you’re married or not.  Some of the hardest relationships for me to let go of were the connections I’d made with my ex’s family members.  It hurt to let them down, to lose that part of the family, and to know that I was no longer welcome.  Unfortunately, that was a consequence of my actions.  It also may be difficult to wrap your head around not having any sort of relationship with your ex, a person who’s had such an impact on your life, but it happens and you make peace with it.  Only in rare instances do I see exes who manage to remain close friends.

5.     Divorce may be exactly what you need.  I wouldn’t say that divorce was one of the best things to happen to me, as I wouldn’t wish that level of hurt on my ex – he didn’t deserve it.  But our divorce was one of the most pivotal moments of growth in my adult life.  I often cite that year, my 25th, as being the time in which I finally grew up.  I stopped being carefree and careless, and started appreciating the little things, like being able to pay my utility bills and put food in the cabinets of my humble, one bedroom apartment in a sketchy area.  Divorce can be freeing, pushing you to accomplish those goals you’d previously cast aside.  I completed my teaching licensure program while living on the couch of a friend, starting my new career while essentially homeless.  I learned how to ride (and subsequently purchased) a motorcycle.  This period of growth made me a better person, the sort of person my ex deserved, but that growth wouldn’t have been possible without the divorce.

Eight years have passed since my divorce.  Eight years have seen so much change that I barely know that individual that I left behind, and I’m not talking about my ex.  I’ve finished a master’s degree, become established in my career, lived in two different states, enlisted in the military, purchased a home, and had a child.  I was happy to see him find love again and remarry this last year.  As for me, I’m celebrating six years with my second husband this month, and looking forward to our future.  Life goes on, love is found again.