You May Not Get What You Want, But You Get What You Need
Over the past year since divorcing, most of my separated and divorced friends have found new partners and set up exciting, new lives for themselves. And at times, I’ve felt frustrated: Why isn’t the same happening to me? After all, I crawled and slashed my way out of Rock Bottom, relentlessly performed my internal housekeeping, and grew and stretched spiritually in so many positive ways. So why, in the grand scheme, wasn’t the universe being as kind and generous to me?
But today, as my third year post-divorce wraps up, I almost laugh at my impatience. Only now can I see that I wasn’t ready at all. And it’s a wonderful reminder to me that even when we’re convinced that we want something NOW, events do unfold at a rate that has our best interest in mind; a “master plan,” if you will.
Large chucks of ‘Year One’ was a blur to me….even though yes, I did in fact write my book, The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom. Numbness. Despair. Grief that came from infidelity and the death of a family dream I’d based my existence upon. Year One was Delaine hanging on for dear life. Surviving. Shielding myself from getting MORE hurt, feeling MORE pain. In some ways, I felt like I’d left my body; I was shell of a Woman. And as much as people told me “this too, shall pass” and “it’ll turn out for the better’, a part of me wanted to scream at them to shove their spiritual pom poms up their you-know-whats. But anger required too much energy; the thought of getting run over by a truck seemed easier.
Dating became my refuge in Year One. I know – a risky and potentially hazardous choice. But dating was exciting. It rubbed my ego. Everywhere I looked, there seemed to be available and interested men. The thrill of rediscovering single life at age 37 contrasted my dark internal world and temporarily elevated me above my pain. I explored. I indulged. I tore down self-imposed rules. And ironically, through dating, new seeds as to who I was and who I might grow into were planted. Maybe I AM a prize worth fighting for, I strongly considered for the first time ever. I felt beautiful…desirable…stronger… in ways I’d never known before.
As Year One ended, I thought the worst was behind me; I’d made it through hell – nothing thereafter would be as difficult. But I was wrong. Year Two was to be about ‘getting down to the REAL work’ – the stuff that Newly-Separated Delaine hadn’t been able to confront.’ Most surprising was my anger – old anger that I wasn’t even conscious of. I began taking it out on men – any man. Unconsciously I was blaming them for the transgressions of others, and was determined to see them fall flat, want-me but not-have-me, to ridicule the entire male species, and simply not care. This heart will NOT be broken again, I resolved.
I don’t know if my internal chaos caused the external chaotic circumstances in my life, or vice versa. Regardless, mayhem ensued; I was hit from every angle: financial challenges, an uninvolved and bully’ish ex, three young kids to look after, an unfinished book deal and struggling career, a pending legal battle that I’d tried to avoid at all costs… And no one to take charge except me.
Year Two has tested me in virtually ever other way that Year One didn’t. And I proudly say, I’ve been humbled, and strengthened, and wizened in ways I never thought possible. I see how potent and dangerous my anger was, and how its suppression was more dangerous still. I’ve learned to fight like a wild animal for what I believe in, yet still allow my Wise and Caring Self to helm my decisions and the ultimate course of my life. I’ve affirmed that my role as Mother is the most deserving and profoundly important role I have. And I’ve learned to grab onto and savor happiness in the many forms it takes, whether it lasts on the timeline for minutes, hours or days.
In my mind’s eye, I see a giant pendulum – a massive, iron pendulum that has been swinging around perilously for the past two years. It represents me – the course of my life, the wide scope and range of my emotions, and the actions that ensued. But now, that pendulum is starting to rest – it has found some homeostasis. I am more balanced. I have more peace. I am more of me. And as I look ahead to Year Three I find myself asking yet AGAIN: Will THIS be the year I am ‘ready’? And I can’t help but laugh at myself – you’d think I’d know by now NOT to be impatient.
Originally published in 20009
Books like Fifty Shades
Mr. M, Stella Lancaster, pen name
- Lie Beside Me & Read, Sweet Lover
- Anger & Bitterness: Have Your Walls Become Your Prison Since Divorcing?
- Screw Him! He Didn’t Want to Get Serious Because I Have Three Kids