When I think of journeys, I think of world-travel, hiking across some giant mountain you can instabrag about, or discovering a new hobby. I am sure the definition includes shitty events as well, so maybe I shouldn’t get so angry when people refer to my or any divorce as a journey. But I do get angry. But that’s ok, because this past year after I packed up and left my home of the prior ten years, I have pretty much remained angry since day-one of the “separation period.” And at this point, ten months into the separation, I am perfectly content to stay angry. So, fellow angry ladies (I am sorry, I just can’t relate to the way I see men deal with divorce, with that steely emotionless resolve, making it even harder on women like me who cry in the grocery store line), you have at least one other person who totally gets it if you throw eggs at your ex’s car, if you scream at people you don’t know, or if you curse out a perfectly nice guy on a first date for no reason whatsoever. I don’t understand the women who meditate, breathe serenely, talk about how much they’ve learned about themselves, and stay positive (disclaimer: I don’t have my own children and I am not talking about losing one’s shit in front of the kids).
Divorce is horrible. And although you may see it as the following things, no one else has the right to tell you it is:
- a blessing in disguise
- an opportunity to grow
- a chance to really get to know yourself
- a time for peaceful reflection.
Or, my favorite, compare their “college breakup” to your divorce. Because I have been through both and they are not the fucking same thing. At all. So don’t steal my thunder and try to identify my pain with your story of how the Cranberries “Linger” was your and Billy Bob’s song and omg how it hurt so bad to hear it in bars.
I am not a psychologist, although I’ve been seeing them since I was ten years old for anxiety, being a pain in the ass kid, and various and sundry other reasons. So none of this advice is at all useful from a healthy, therapeutic point of view. But I don’t care, because if I try one more time to listen to an e-book on gracefully surviving the hardest fucking year of my life, I will vomit. Because they ain’t helping, and I hate the quiet, patronizing voices of the narrators. Because sure, I should be getting up at a regular hour, exercising, eating vegetables, being social. But instead I just want to lie in bed and cry and listen to my playlist entitled “Fuck My Life.” I want this feeling of a hand squeezing my heart so hard I cannot breathe or eat to go away. I do not want to “sit with the pain”; I am a fucking normal human being who is selfish and shares no characteristics with Ghandi and who just wants to be either happy or numb, neither of which I can seem to achieve.
And guy friends- they mean so well. But they don’t get it and they never will. “Don’t be bitter on dates” is my favorite piece of advice. Well Stanley, I am bitter, and I am too tired to smile with one ounce of sincerity. Now, does that mean I will stop dating? Of course not, because everything I do this year is pretty much the definition of insanity and pushing the boundaries of what is unhealthy for me. I will download and delete the dating apps, toggling between the high of feeling wanted and the low of faceless rejection. And then I will eat a Hershey bar and listen to Lana Del Ray and go to sleep with chocolate on my face.