“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.”
So it finally happened. The emotional breakdown and ugly, couldn’t catch my breath cry. Actually, it happened twice within the span of three days. Luckily, the first was on a Sunday afternoon at my parent’s house where I took my anger and frustration out on paper shredding, followed by my mother hugging me while I cried like a hurt little girl on her shoulder.
The second time was two days later after my first and last divorce mediation session. That time my breakdown was lonely as I sat in a car late at night- tired, hungry, and feeling utterly lonely.
I knew this was going to happen because throughout this process, I have had a relatively strong exterior. Yes, I’ve cried, but the tears were always a short release to the frustration of the moment.
I’m a fairly sensitive person at times and often when I get angry and frustrated, I cry. But in the splitting up of stuff and figuring out life as a singleton, I hadn’t hit the bottom of the barrel feeling. So I was somewhat prepared that it was going to happen. Of course, I assumed it would come in the form of some Saturday night spent alone watching cheesy television and eating ice cream out of a carton, basking in how utterly alone, unlovable, and messed up I was. But the breakdown happens when you least expect it, and having had a few in the past, I should have realized mine would sneak up on me too.
The first one started with a conversation about money. I was with my mom who is a budget savvy, super saver, getting her advice on ways I could curb some spending and have better control over my finances each month. While talking it out with her was super helpful, the quick realization of how drastically my life is changing came quickly and harshly. All the tears, the anger, the sadness, the broken heart- all of it came out in a giant flush.
Add to that some self-deprecating words from me about how much I screwed up my life and karma coming back to bite me now- and it was a full out yelling, red faced, hysterical breakdown. Seriously out of control. But— crucial. Allowing myself the ability to feel all of this was something I’d been denying and trying not to think about. The money talk was just the amount of stress needed to make me crack. My mom said after she was surprised it had not happened sooner.
The second came on Tuesday night. The particulars of the mediation are confidential but my response to the experience was what brought on the breakdown. Being hungry, tired, and frustrated were the precursors to the event, added to it getting stuck in traffic, then lost, and almost running out of gas. But in the end the tears came because the mediation session brought the harsh reality to me- in the end, it all comes down to paperwork and stuff.
I believe in marriage and am surrounded by people who have been married for years and are still in love. But a marriage is a legal contract- an act between two people that involves rights and obligations on a legal, monetary level. When a marriage ends, it’s all about property and paperwork. The years together, the good times, and even the bad times- don’t matter because when something is ending, it all just becomes a matter of law. And that night as I drove home alone, I was saddened by the fact that it all comes down to who gets the wineglasses. I cried for the frustration of the circumstances, but mostly I cried over lost love.
I can see how people who get divorced end up bitter and mad, so much to the point that they dislike spending time with married folks or people in love. As I drove and cried, I made a promise to myself that I did not want that. If this failed marriage and divorce has taught me anything, it is that love is the most important thing of all. I believe in it now more than ever. I’m surrounded by it with my amazing support system of family, friends, and the incredible Stratejoy tribe. But it’s more than that. Deciding that our marriage was not right for us was the best declaration of love to me and to my husband that either of us could ever achieve. We both deserve to be with amazing partners who share our dreams, hopes, fears, and more. I knew I could not be the person he needed and wanted, and I knew he couldn’t be that person for me either. It’s heartbreaking to see that we had that at one point in our lives together- the promise of forever, but out of that extreme despair is the knowledge that we’re making ourselves a priority, making love the most important value as we push forward- for ourselves individually and for the future potential of a life partner.