I finally got the papers that I just knew would send me into shock. My divorce papers came in the mail last week, and when I opened them, I was surprised by the way they made me feel. I wasn't sad; I didn't cry, I just read over them and filed them away. It was almost a relief to get them. Kind of like the end of that chapter in my life had been written and sent to me as a keepsake. I know you must be thinking I'm crazy, and maybe I am, but I never knew just how unhappy I was until it was all said and done.
My friends and family all noticed what had happened to me over the last 13 years, but I must have missed it. I didn't realize that I had completely changed who I was. To be honest, I'm not sure I ever really had the chance to figure out who I wanted to be. I just lived life; I think we (the ex) both did. We met when we were 16 & 17, and we dated, moved in together, and less than three years later, we got married. It was more like a natural progression in my opinion. We were just trying to make life work, together. We had no idea what we wanted to do with our lives, and who we hoped to become, we just lived day-to-day.
I honestly have no hard feelings towards my ex-husband. Is it easy? NO! But at the end of the day, we have four children together, and I want to do whatever I can to make sure they have the best life they can. My ex is a great dad, and I would never do anything to keep them apart. You see, the thing many people forget is that even though a divorce rips a family apart legally when you have children, you are always a family. You still have to make choices together and co-parent. I haven't handled this part correctly, but I am learning more every day.
In some ways, I think this divorce was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. For the first time in my life, I can appreciate who I am and not have to try so hard to be someone I'm not. My ex and I had different personalities (not that this is always bad), and I think that this was one of the things that drove a wedge between us. When you can't laugh at the same things, don't share the same goals, and feel like the most crucial person in your life just doesn't understand you, it can be detrimental. While I believe you can come to a compromise, I also think that both people have to want it. One person cannot make it work if the other partner has already given up.
I was miserable and didn't even know it. I knew I didn't want to fight all the time, and I knew I was tired of feeling like I couldn't do anything right, but I loved my family. I would have never stopped fighting to make it work.
Now that it's all behind me, I am getting to a place where I am happy again. Happy with the way I look, happy with my personality, and pleased with the life I have. It's not easy by any means, but I am learning that I can be healthy by myself and that my life is not over. If anything, it has only just begun.