Tag Archives: Grey Divorce

It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again – Intro

We’ve been talking back and forth the past few weeks about how we’re progressing through our post-divorce lives, how we’re feeling about ourselves.

There’s no denying that we were both blindsided when our husbands walked out on us, and the immediate aftermath was terrifying. What were we going to do? How were we going to survive? What had been so deeply wrong with us that our husbands felt their lives would be better without us?

It affected us both physically too. I can remember one time, standing in a Walmart, shaking in fear that I might fall to the floor if I moved. It literally felt as though I was standing at the top of a high-diving board, where the ladder had been removed. The only way down was to jump into the deep water.  As a non-swimmer it was petrifying.

But jump I did… because I had to. I survived the fall, doggy-paddled my way to the side of the pool, and grabbed hold of the railing.

It’s taken a few years for both of us to claw our way back to some kind of normality. Although there are still days/moments when we feel overwhelmed and when our exes take up too much space in our heads, we’ve reached a plateau.  For now, we are financially stable, we’ve discovered great support amongst family and friends, and life is not just okay, but is better than we could have imagined a few years ago.

We’re safe.

And yet… in our own ways, we are still holding on to that rail, unwilling to let go.  I read a quote recently – which of course I can’t find now! – that said something along the lines of, ‘Letting go of something is easier when you have something to go to.’

For everyone that ‘something’ is different.  We’ve been asking ourselves, ‘What do we want to be able to reach for’?

In all stories, Act Three (the last act) is the most exciting one.  It’s where the hero(ine) doubles down their efforts and emerges victorious. But that glorious ending is precipitated by what is called The Black Moment at the end of Act Two – the moment in the story when all seems lost.

For those of us who’ve been betrayed by the men we loved, who’ve had to go through that despair, fear, awful self-doubt and grief, that was our Black Moment. But now it is the time to emerge into our third act.

But how do we DO that?  How do we make our own Act Three one that’s exciting, that has value and purpose?

We recently heard about Julia Cameron’s new book, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond, and it seemed that it might help us discover some of the answers.

The book guides the reader through a 12-week programme of self-discovery, examining the past, present and future.  It involves daily writing, creating a memoir, weekly ‘dates’ with yourself and walking. It’s a three-month commitment to learning how to leave one life behind and head into one yet to be created.

So we’ve decided to go for it. We are both determined to move forward towards something good and creative, a rich and fulfilling Third Act. We are going to let go of the edge of the pool and start to swim!

We decided we would record our journey on this blog, but how?  Usually, we run our posts by each other before posting, but for this, we’re each going to put up a weekly post at the same time and without conferring with the other.

Our next question was… When to start?  Well, sitting in the garden today, we decided we’d start right now!  So we’re putting up this post tonight and will follow up each Sunday night with posts about what we’ve each discovered in the week before.

We hope you’ll join us on this journey. Consider picking up a copy of Julia’s book, find yourself a notebook to write in and see what insights you gain. See what’s out there waiting for you. All we have to do is reach for it.

May ALL our Act Threes be exciting, creative and meaningful.

Woyaya – We Will Get There!

 

Photo by Krivec Ales from Pexels

In the years after my husband left me, I had to stop listening to music popular in the years we were married.  The memories were just too painful.

Instead, I went back to music from before I met him.  Those songs held no negative memories, and helped me find ‘me’ again… if you know what I mean. Continue reading

My Year of ‘Yes’.

 

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

 

Mum

May 2016 be your year of yes.  May it be filled with love, family, adventure, travel, new experiences and empowerment.

All my love,

xx

That was the inscription my daughter wrote on the book she gave me for Christmas 2015    Year of Yes (How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and be Your Own Person) by Shonda Rhimes,- the incredible creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Private Practice (amongst others).

2015 was the year my husband left me, and that Christmas, despite my daughter giving birth to her first child a few days earlier, I was truly lost and in despair.

There was one particular paragraph in the book that really resonated with me.  Losing yourself doesn’t happen all at once.  Losing yourself happens one ‘no’ at a time.  ‘No’ to going out tonight. ‘No’ to catching up with that old college roommate.  ‘No’ to attending that party.  ‘No’ to making a new friend.  Losing yourself happens one pound at a time. Continue reading

Travelling Alone As A Single Woman

I’ve always wanted to go to Israel, ever since I read Leon Uris’ book Exodus back in the late 60s. I even dreamed of going to work on a kibbutz when I was in my late-teens, but wars and life got in the way.

And then, this year, I finally got my chance.

But I was scared. Although I’ve travelled with friends and family since my husband left me, this would be the first time travelling completely on my own – albeit as part of a tour group.

So I sat down and went through my fears. Continue reading

Seeking Revenge

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.  Confucius.

In 1995, a woman in the city where I live – let’s call her Lucy – who’d been married for 38 years, was dumped by her husband for a younger woman. As with all women of that generation, Lucy had devoted her life to her marriage, family and his career.  Distraught by his betrayal and her pain, she shot him six times.

Lucy’s husband recovered and went on to marry his mistress. Lucy was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of temporary insanity and served time in a mental institution.  On her release, scorned by society and abandoned by many of her former friends, she struggled to rebuild her relationships with her adult children and find a purpose to her life. I’m not sure she ever did, and, sadly, she died within a few years, aged 66. Continue reading

This too shall pass…

There are times when all the inspirational quotes in the world, all the positive self-talk, all the telling yourself that you should be over this, that you’re moving on, that you’re stronger and better than you were, all the kind supportive comments of friends, family and counsellors just don’t cut it.  Something triggers you and the tears and pain and grief cuts right into your soul leaving you as raw and in such emotional agony as those early days.

There’s nothing – nothing – anyone else can do to help or console you. You know you’re just going to have to go down that dark path by yourself and know you’ll come out the other end into the light.

And when you do emerge into the light, it’ll be bitter-sweet, because you know that somewhere down the line – maybe not for weeks, months or even years – that darkness is waiting for you up ahead, hiding out of sight, waiting to pounce again when you’re feeling vulnerable.

For me, it was a combination of things. I had packed away all the pictures that include my ex-husband – or at least I thought I had.  But last night I came upon a family photo taken of us all a couple of years before he left me. We look happy.  Solid.  I’m looking at the camera with total innocence, his arm around me, no idea that my marriage and family are about to implode.   Continue reading

It gets better…

Although my husband left me almost three years ago, I was only officially divorced exactly one year ago today – March 6th, 2017.  One of the saddest days of my life.

In many ways, I feel the end of our marriage was the biggest failure of my life and for so long the pain was excruciating, both physically and emotionally.

I remember people who’d been through the same thing assuring me that things would get better, but in the midst of that agony I couldn’t see light at the end of the tunnel. Continue reading

On Being a Single Grandparent

My husband’s job took him away from home, so I spent a lot of time as a single-parent. Particularly when our kids were really young, he was often gone for weeks, months, and one time for over a year, with only two short visits home.

I loved my husband.  I love my kids and grandkids.  As immigrants, with extended family living thousands of miles away, I cherished our tiny family unit. When our kids got married and the first grandchild came along, it was wonderful seeing that family expand.

I loved it when my husband and I spent time with our little granddaughter, babysitting her for a few hours, or having her for a sleepover.  We took her to our local park, out for dinner or breakfast, and once – unsuccessfully – to the movies. Spending time with her, it was like we were getting a chance to make up for all the time we’d spent apart and unable to enjoy our own kids together when they were little. Continue reading