16 years ago- just 2 days before Christmas, I found myself on a morphine drip in a hospital bed. The surgery was planned. What was a surprise was waking to find my husband looking down on me, announcing that we were getting a divorce.
Suddenly, without my permission or input, my life changed horribly. I felt completely victimized by change… by the losses beyond my control. I was broken hearted, simpy powerless, and it felt like my influence over my own life and the lives of my children had ceased to exist.
I dealt with the stress and the pain of my heartbreak (and my children's heartbreak!) as best I could. I learned to go college as a 47 year old woman, to become self-employed and to support myself and 3 children. Like others in similar situations, I got busy! I tried to balance my life again by learning to get out there to make a different kind of social life, to date, to dance, to get an education, and to juggle all the responsibilities of mothering while I did so. I even began to discover and truly honor my multi-passionista self.
Positive Changes happened for me eventually but what I did not learn soon enough, was the skills I needed to heal my broken heart, or help my children to heal. We hurt so much, for so long!
What's the problem? The problem with healing from the grief of divorce is that we've been taught how to enter relationships, but not how to end them! And so the way we've learned dealt with the losses of our marriages has been a disaster! A disaster multiplied by myths and cliches, those limiting beliefs accepted as truths by our friends and family.... and by ourselves.
If you are searching for information about Divorce Recovery, there is a pretty good chance you feel like your heart is broken too. And if you feel broken hearted, you want your heart to heal, you want to feel better. That is what Recovery means, "to feel better." Interestingly, Divorce Recovery is a skill you can learn. Your can learn to heal your heart when it is broken by all the losses that divorce brings.
To develop that skill, you will need to have pretty good radar to notice when you or your well-meaning friends are repeating myths and cliches. There are actually more like 15 or 20 common myths and cliches about grief that prevent healthy divorce recovery.
But let's just talk about the first 3 myths of break-up grief.
NOT true under any circumstances! Yet this may just be the most common myth about grief in divorce recovery. You are unique, and you are the only one who feels what you feel. Others may have had a similar experience, but the similarity is only in the facts, and the facts are now what need healing, our hearts do.
That said, it is important that you don't grieve alone, that you not isolate yourself. Support and connection are vital to recovery
Break-up Grief Myth 2 - "You gotta quit moping around! Let's go meet some new guys, party, have some FUN!"
Would anyone EVER say something like that to a new widow? No way! Because they recognize her grief. Somehow the grief of divorce is not acknowledged and there is almost a vengance, an attitude of "I'll show him!" involved in this 2nd myth about divorce. This "I'll show him" attitudetakes on a 'Fake-it-Till-You-Make-It strategy that just isn't a healthy way to heal a broken heart. It doesn't acknowlege and validate the pain of your losses.