I knew they were going to come soon, but I wasn’t excited about getting the official papers.  I had taken my boys on a camp trip and knew that they would probably be there when I returned.  I found myself staying busy with all the unpacking and laundry, trying to avoid reality for one more moment.  Wanting to deny what was happening to me.  Dreading the moment when I would have to face my reality.

Can’t avoid it

The entire time I was trying to ignore it, a nagging feeling kept it at the fore-front of my mind.  The feelings and anxiety became worse than the possible reality, I finally took in a deep breath and made my way to the mailbox.  Sure enough, my lawyers letterhead stared back at me.  I reached in and reluctantly grabbed the pile.  The moment had arrived, I could not longer pretend that my life wasn’t happening.  I opened the letter.  I already knew what it was, but my heart sunk anyways.  I was officially divorced, and I cried and cried and cried.

A new title

I had a new title, one that I had fought so hard to avoid, and it stared back at me.  DIVORCED

Having to accept it left a bitter taste in my mouth.  When it came right down to it, it didn’t matter how hard I had tried.  It didn’t matter how much of my life, and my soul that I had sacrificed to save my family, to save my marriage….it was all gone.  I was angry at him, I felt like the victim.  I was a girl whose dreams had all been ripped out from underneath me.  It felt as if had been left with nothing.

No longer a Mrs.

The next few months were strange, I had been a Mrs. for 19 years.  Now I was a Ms.  I was so angry, and had to work through the shame of my new title.  When I was younger I remember meeting divorced people, I thought they hadn’t tried hard enough.  I wondered how many people looked at me and thought the same.  I wished that I could show them my resume of effort.  That they could see the list of all the books that I had read trying to learn more.  I wish that they could see the counseling sessions, the long nights where I pleaded with God to take this bitter cup from me. I prayed that they would not think that I had slacked in my efforts.

Stares and Judgements

I know there were stares and judgments.  It was hard at first, getting negative attention for a circumstance I never wanted.  I still hear them today.  People who will be talking about how ‘he comes from a broken family’ not relaizing that they are talking about my story too.  As if somehow being from a broken family makes me less worthy, less desired, LESS.  I worry for my kids as they grow, will they be defined by a condition that they didn’t ask for, a change in family circumstances that they can’t control? Is my family really more broken than anyone else’s?

Overwhelmed with tasks

As if losing the man I loved and judgements weren’t enough, I was also left with the responsibility of two people.  Tasks around the house that I once had help to accomplish were all mine.  They had been for months, but there was something about those papers that solidified my standing.  Mowing, weed eating, all the household chores.  It was overwhelming.  Getting the tires changed, changing the oil, so many things that I had never thought about were now mine to worry about.  Thank heavens I had a good paying job and I was able to pay all of the bills on my own.  A grace that God had provided me.

Struggles

I am past my divorce, it stretched me farther than I felt I was capable, but somehow I came out on the other side.  Somehow I survived it, and I stand after living through one of my worst nightmares.

Once the divorce was over I thought life would be easy.  I thought that I would find peace.  I have found some, but I would be lying if I said the struggles don’t continue.  It is a struggle when my boys leave every other holiday.  It is hard when they feel anxious because they don’t know if Santa will know where to find them Christmas morning.  It is a struggle to know that no matter where they are they are missing someone.  My heart aches more for them than it does for me.  They deserved more…we all deserved more.

We will always be known as a broken family, but slowly we are learning to become okay with that.  We are broken, but we have grown in ways that I never imagined.  My boys are amazing, they are strong and courageous, they have had to face more heartache than many their age and I am in awe of them.  I stand back trusting that God has a plan for all of us.  I trust that through their hardships and their tears that they can have more empathy and comapssion for those suffereing.  That they can become the men God wants them to be.  ….and really what more can a mom ask for….even when it hurts.

Sending Love,

Norma