Sunday, February 26, 2017

1,095 Days

February 18th.  

This is a weird day for me to remember---the day I received finalized divorce paperwork in the mail.

Because there were positive and negative feelings that accompanied that paperwork. 

The months leading up to this day held some really important decisions---decisions that caused me to feel like I was drowning.

But in the end, when I look back on those months, they actually went pretty smoothly. 

We took one morning in late November of 2013 where we sat in a room and screamed and cried and laughed and yelled with/at each other and settled on a parenting plan. We finished our divorce paperwork and split up our assets. It was done. All in one single morning.

That was a hard time for me because I felt like I was losing a piece of myself---not only with the loss of my husband but moreso in realizing I'd be without my children every other weekend and possibly losing my "stay at home mom" title.

Our divorce affected motherhood and for me, that was the lowest blow. Because now, instead of having a cohesive unit of parents who work together for them, our children have two parents with two different opinions of how they should be raised.
*picture taken two months into our separation*

I never expected it to be like this. 

In the beginning, I always expected that we would remain friends and find a new normal. I always envisioned us doing activities together---because even though we didn't love each other, we loved our two precious children.

But it isn't all rainbows and butterflies like I thought {Go figure!}. There have been major bumps in the road for our family.

I couldn't have anticipated the things that have happened. They've surprised me each and every time.

The frustrations have been at boiling points way more often than I ever expected. 

*picture taken a week after our divorce papers came in the mail*

And one of the weirdest things about divorce, for me, is growing apart from someone who had made the commitment of eternity with me.

Maybe that's why it's harder now than it was in those first 6 months. Maybe it's because we no longer know each other.

Like how he came to pick them up one day and he was wearing glasses. Or how I've been straightening my teeth with Invisalign.

It's these weird, unimportant, little things that catch me by surprise every once in a while. Because when we were married, we knew so much about each other.

And now he's just my kids' dad. 

Three years have passed since I walked through the doors of that courthouse and filed the paperwork.

We have grown up so much in that time.

I have grown up so much.

I can remember when he left, how I was so incredibly surprised and heartbroken but also how I put my armor on and quickly learned how to fight for myself and my kids.

I remember how scared I was to live alone but how I adapted to it so quickly.

More than anything, I remember how my people rallied around me.
The night I got that paperwork, I sent out a group text with some joke about being able to go on dates now (which is more of a joke now that it was even then).
But I remember as the days went on and I let it sink in, how painful it started to feel that I was divorced.

The D word. 

The word we promised never to even bring up in our marriage---because it wasn't an option.

The truth is that it was always an option. 

And when things got hard in our marriage, it seemed that one of us would fling the word out into the universe to see how it tasted.
And each time, it tasted bitter. 

Now I know why. 

Now I know why the thought of losing my husband was so bitter.

Because in the past three years, there have been more bitter moments than I can count.
There has been so much hurt and so many accusations.

Because we don't know each other anymore. 

And I think knowing each other is what used to get us through our rougher patches.

But even though a lot of it has felt bitter, the sweet has been equally outpouring. In fact, I think I'll change the word 'equally' to 'more' because I cannot see my life different than it is right now.

I mean, a husband would be nice for so many practical reasons but I have been pushed and have grown so much over the past three years.

As painful as it's been, I just don't think I would change it. Because even though we aren't friends and my visions of our divorced life did not come true, my story isn't over. And I have faith that it won't always be like this, that someday the pain and heartache will dissipate and that I'll look back and see the beautiful moments outshining any of the low moments we've had.

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