Divorce is a complicated beast. It’s the ending of a marriage realtionship. The ending of dreams and hopes. The ending of ‘family’ as we have known it to be. It affects not only the marriage partners and the children, but extended family and friends as well. Healing and recovery take time. Sometimes lots of time. Each person who is affected has a process of acceptance to pursue and come to terms with. It’s a messy and difficult process.
My divorce wasn’t what I wanted. I tried everything I knew to prevent that outcome. My therapist told me to leave. I tried to prove her wrong for four years. Four long, tearful, sad and frustrating years. I learned that some inner injuries are deeper than others. I learned that other people, meaning family members and friends, do not, can not, grasp the scope of the emotional injuries. Well-meaning? Yes. Supportive? Yes. Understanding? They tried to be.
My kids, 3 of which were young adults living away from home, were also injured by the divorce in various ways. They were all newly married. Beginning the journey together. It’s threatening to think that a given, like your parent’s marriage, could disintegrate. It forced them to face the possibility that their own happily ever after, might not end up the way they had planned. The way I had planned.
I understood when the kids had to step back from the possibility that happy endings can take unexpected turns. In order to do that, they stepped away from me for a time. It wasn’t a good time in my healing process to lose the connection with my kids. I had already lost so much.
Rebuilding began even before I left. I started to build a plan. Where to live, how to afford this. How to face all of the fall out for leaving. Everything fell into place in a very short period of time. It was a validation to me that I was going in the right direction.
Over the next three years there were so many things to learn and figure out. The kids each processed things at their own pace. And together we pieced back the family quilt that had frayed edges and threatened to unravel completely. Our family hadn’t dissolved. It hadn’t disappeared. It just took a new shape. We were all still standing and breathing at the same time. Then miracles began happening. New growth took place. A new plan was born.
My relocation to Wisconsin was the new beginning that followed the closing of many doors in my life. My marriage, my job and my kids. My relocating had a purpose for all of us. My absence from the daily lives of my kids quickly became apparent. I started getting phone calls from them. When I was back in town for weekends, they all made special efforts to get together. Connections were strengthened. We all experienced my physical distance and correlated it with the emotional disconnections that had been the cause of the divorce. A new path began to take shape.
Things in my life in Wisconsin had begun reaching their expiration dates. Endings took place. And feelers began appearing as options for the next steps. All of these options were back here in Iowa. I followed through with necessary actions steps. Online job applications. And apartment hunting. Then it happened. One job offer, then two, and three.
I had to decide. So I looked at the purpose for my returning. The purpose was to be close to my kids once again. To participate in their lives on a regular basis. To be accessible. That became the plan.
As I look at how it stands right now. The plan has been achieved. I’m here in Iowa. Accessible. I chose a job. I found a place to stay until I locate a permanent residence. Since I arrived exactly a month ago, we have celebrated family birthdays, Father’s Day, and the birth of a new grandchild.
Here’s the part I’m having trouble with. It was my ex that said I could stay til I find a new place. I had stayed there at the farm on the weekends I came for visits with Hunter. I had a job starting in a couple of days. There was no time to find an apartment and get moved in. His offer was the quick and obvious answer to the immediate dilema. He isn’t asking for rent. Instead he appreciates the cooking and cleaning. Hunter appreciates having Mom right there. The adult kids are enjoying family times. Everyone seems happy with this. Everyone except me. I’m worried.
I’m concerned that the longer I stay at the farm, the more settled everyone will become with me living there. Today, I got a call from one place that I’d checked on. Unless I’m over 62 or disabled, they don’t have anything for me. I’m not 62 or disabled.
I guess I have to trust The Plan. It must not be time yet. There is a purpose to my being at the farm right now. And I believe that once that purpose has been achieved, when it’s time, I will find just the right place. In the meantime, my family is enjoying solid connection. It turns out that our family is stronger now. Healthier.
So, I’m going to set the worry aside and let myself enjoy this part of the journey.