Divorce: Not always the easy option 

If you’re ever in a relationship where there are adverse issues, sometimes it feels like divorce will be the option to resolve things but instead you swap one sort of pain for another. Divorce is not the easy option.
Rejected

Abandoned

Unloved

These are three words that still reside in my heart, even after four years of physical separation and fifteen months of being officially divorced. If you asked him, he would say it was ‘over’ long before he left the house… I would probably agree but for ease of reference I’ll use the poignant dates of exit and divorce as my memory markers.

A few days ago I received a text which disturbed my peace. Please don’t get me wrong, it was not sent with that intention at all but nevertheless I still felt a pang of hurt at what was shared as it was information that further solidified the split. I use the word split because divorce is the separation of two parts that were once fused together. If you can imagine two pieces of wood being glued together and being in that situation for years… as time goes on, the adhesive begins to fix firmly and there is nothing much that would make you think that it wasn’t one whole block of wood. When divorce happens, its like tearing those pieces apart and no matter how careful you may be, there will still be remnants of one piece on the other. So with divorce, no matter how amicable it is, there will always be something of each left on the other, sometimes taking years to erase if ever at all. So with that being said, when things happen even after years of being apart sometimes it will still hurt. It’s like a scab that had started to form over a cut being ripped off, rather than falling off naturally, exposing a wound not yet fully healed… in fact it’s still bleeding.
So why do I still feel like this? Is it because I loved hard and I was fully committed and that I didn’t make the choice to end the relationship? Is it merely because I’m a woman and I feel things more deeply? Is it because I’m soft? Is it because deep down I still want reconciliation/restoration? Actually, do I even want that? Am I envious that he is moving on so swiftly in his life? Is it because my life has been filled with lots of other trauma since our separation? Is it because my mommy, my go to person, is no longer ‘here’ for me to share this with? Is it because I’ve just lost my dad? Or is it all of the above mixed up together? Or none of the above, just part of bereavement?
I just don’t get why I feel this way sometimes… in fact it irritates me that it still gets to me… and it seems like there’s no one that I can turn to who would understand. You see, I’m not looking for someone to remind me of how much better off I am without him (how he was) in my life… or for someone to try and give me all the positives as to why this is a good thing… I get it already, I’m not dumb! (pardon the expression) I just want someone to understand how I feel and give me permission to feel it.
You see divorce grief is pretty much the same as death grief. Having experienced both, I would say it’s worse to be honest. However people don’t seem to allow you to experience it in the same way. If four years on, you have a moment of sadness over the loss of a 20+ year marriage, you’re expected to be ‘over it’, especially if both of your lives have ‘moved on’. However if it were the loss of a close friend, a sibling, a parent or a family member people would empathise with the fact that you will still sometimes feel a pang of pain for the loss of that relationship. It seems so unacceptable to be grieving over the loss of a relationship especially if it wasn’t even 100% positive.

So what do I do? How do I cope?

I ride the waves (allowing myself to go up and down with the emotions)
I cry (I mean I sob)
I write (that’s what you’re reading now)
I talk to myself (I do a lot of that)
I say a prayer (sometimes find it hard so it’s usually only a few words)
I search for a relevant scripture (thank you bible app)
I find an encouraging, motivational quote (thanks Google)
Then…
I dry my tears, brush myself off, reframe my mind, fix up, stand tall and face the world again… with a smile. After all, the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased… But it can be accepted.
Anyway like with all grief, this is just a stage… I’ll be ok!

Gratitude 

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me! 🙌🏾 Lol!

As you’ve probably guessed today is my birthday. Not just ANY birthday but it’s the big 5-0, half a century, the new forty, my golden jubilee… And I feel so so SO happy! I’m sat here on my bed, thinking “I’m so grateful to God that I’ve made it to this landmark age”. Despite the fact that I was married for 26 years, have three grown up children, a daughter in law in waiting and two grandchildren I only now feel like I’ve ‘grown up’ and it feels good.

My life, probably like yours, has been a mixture of highs and lows, with the last five years being the most challenging of my life so far. If you know you know. However, for every challenge that I have faced in life, I can confidently state that God has proven himself to be my ultimate protector, provider, confidante, friend, healer, counsellor and he has always provided me with an unexplainable peace in the midst of it all. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some bad days when I didn’t really cope very well – went to work casually dressed, no make up, lol! You know it’s bad when that happens right?! Lol! Joking aside, I’ve had times of feeling so low that I really did believe that the world may be better off without me…. Woah, just reflecting on that I realise that I’ve been in very dark places. However, that was a very long time ago now and it feels so strange to even acknowledge that that is where I’ve been at my lowest because I feel SO different now, years on. I can genuinely smile from the inside out even in the face of life’s current challenges. How so, you ask, especially if you know my journey (that’s for another blog). Answer: Well it’s my faith in the Almighty God that has been my saving grace and because of Him; His faithfulness and His love – I smile, even though I hurt see I smile, I know God is working so I smile, Even though I’ve been here for a while, I smile, smile…

Last week I had a ’50 & fabulous’ photoshoot and I got the pics back a few days ago. Imagine though, I had to talk to myself hard because the first thing that I did was pick a fault with myself and make a negative statement… It’s not often that I do that but some bad habits take a while to disappear completely. When you’re looking at full body shots from every angle and all you’re used to doing is head shots everyday (lol!) it can be a bit shocking to say the least… BUT I quickly rewrote the narrative in my head and told myself that “THIS IS YOU Dawnie!” And despite what changes I may wish I had made before the pics were taken, regardless of what others think of me (like me, dislike me, love me or hate me) and irrespective of anything negative, I love me, all of me and I make no apologies. It may have taken 50 years to get here but it’s been fantastic… Even the negative experiences have taught me lessons and for that I am grateful 🙏🏾

So today I say THANK YOU

To God – for being my ‘all in all’, for loving me, keeping me alive and in good health

To my parents – for looking after me, loving me, nurturing me, teaching me. I don’t know how much longer I will have you around but I cherish every moment that I spend with you.

To my family (immediate and extended) – family love is something else! No words can adequately describe the levels of love that I’ve been shown by my family over the years.

To my children – having you three has been my greatest achievement in life to date and you all make me proud. Thank you for lovin’ on your mama especially these last few years.

To my friends – The bible says that a friend loves at all times and I know that to be true. I have lived long enough to be able to sift out the real ones and also to have met some new ones who have become incredibly important to me. You know who you are!

This is the first of series of blogs that I will be posting with a view to share my life experiences (good and bad) so as to inspire, encourage and motivate anyone who resonates with me and what I have to share.