Warning: My crappy mood continues. Thank you for loving me as I am.
I have this one friend named Julia and when she heard I was getting divorced she told me, honestly and beautifully, that she didn't know what to say. She asked what she should say.
And I was surprised to find that I was stumped.
I don't know what I want people to say. I only know what I don't want.
1. "Sometimes people just grow apart."
This bugs me because my husband I didn't just grow apart. It was way more complicated than that. It wasn't a slow fade. I don't want people to think that we stopped holding hands for longer and longer periods of time and then one day we realized we had wandered miles apart from each other in the woods.
That wasn't what happened.
But I don't want to talk about what did happen.
2. "My spouse and I are celebrating our 112th anniversary next month."
I'm so happy for you, really I am.
Except I'm not.
Know what I mean?
3. "Children are so resilient."
Resilience is over-rated. I wanted my kids to grow up in an intact family, with a mother and father in the house. In a house filled with harmony and love. One that was a healthy environment for them. That is what's best for children but it wasn't one of my options. I had to choose between some pretty bad options and I chose the least bad of them. But the thing about kids being resilient, it's like saying that after an amputation you're going to weigh a lot less.
Yes, you weigh less. Big deal. Everybody wants two legs.
4. "OMG, I can't believe it! I thought you and Buddy were so happy together! How can this be?!"
Umm, this is a moment where I need you to be there for ME. Don't ask me to comfort you through my divorce. Take it in stride, this stuff happens every day. If you thought my marriage was perfect that makes two of us. Sh*t happens.
Now I'm back-pedaling a bit because I don't want to be mean:
If you have said any of these things to me please don't feel bad. You were trying to make me feel better and that is what I will remember.
Here's what I guess you could say.
Can you tell me about a time when you experienced a loss that was also a gain? An end that was also a beginning or a beginning that was also the end? Pain that was also joy? Sorrow that was also beautiful? Maybe you could tell me that story in the comments section or in an email.