I came to the realization that the rejection I felt when my husband left me was more than I could physically or mentally bear at the time the event occurred. I simply was not ready to face such a tragedy. This resulted in my beginning a relationship with the first guy that would have me. This new guy, my rebound, was seeking Life After Divorce something casual and I, of course, would allow him to believe that I wanted nothing more but the same. When he was around I was able to hide my pain under his blanket of deception. I’d say anything to ensure that he continued to come around. It allowed me to avoid the reality of what I was feeling. The reality that I was unworthy, unlovable, incapable, unwanted and alone and that I would never feel the love of another again.
Life After Divorce six months with my rebound, it was time for him to move on. Things started to feel too intense for him and I started to hate the feeling that I was about to be rejected again! So the second I had decided that he would be dumping me; I dumped him. This is when the need to hide my intense feelings of rejection really blossomed. Suddenly I had no one to cover the pain of my true love divorcing me. As a result, the ‘”club slut” in me was born.
I became the standard 30-something Life After Divorce; seeking validation from any 20-something that would give it to me. I visited dance clubs, nightclubs, and bars as often as possible. Friday and Saturday night was not nearly enough to cover my pain. I needed Wednesdays and Thursdays too! And if Monday or Tuesday would have me, I’d be there as well! I would do anything to avoid being home and having to face the fact that I was home alone.
I drank as much as I could get away with as a means of medicating my emotional pain. With a bit of alcohol in me, I could then begin “batting my eyes” at the men in the bar and with enough alcohol in them they’d then have the nerve to approach me and ask for a dance, or a kiss, or to buy me a drink. VALIDATION SCORE!
For their time and energy, I was indebted enough to give these young bucks my phone number. Unfortunately, by the next morning, I was miserable enough to determine that I would never return their calls. This vicious cycle of seeking validation by getting a guy to be interested in me, but fearing rejection enough to never allow them closer than a few hours at the club, went on for months.
It was not about finding true love; remember I had already come to the conclusion that I was unlovable. Instead, it was about my inability to cope with the love that walked out on me. This was easily done by entering a fantasy world and pretending I could actually be desirable to a guy, at least for a few hours in a bar. Hiding my fear of being rejected and alone, by entering my fantasy world, was far Life After Divorce Better than acknowledging my inability to be worthy enough for the man I actually loved to spend the time and effort required to repair a union that had been cracked somewhere along the way. Besides, if I was not able to satisfy a man I truly loved, there would be no way I could satisfy the needs of a guy that probably only looked my way because he was drunk.
Eventually, I found myself deleting several phone numbers from my cell phone because it became horribly cluttered with Staves, Mikes, Roberts, etc. So cluttered in fact, that I began to have difficulty finding the numbers of my actual friends and family. What surprised me most, however, was how much I struggled to complete the task of deleting them. I certainly never intended to return their calls but having that list of names in my phone book gave me a sense of accomplishment. It was my way of keeping my pretend world of being wanted and loved around me at all times.
That list of phone numbers allowed me to show off to my friends how well I was doing. I actually had several of my friends believe that I had dealt with my loss exceptionally well and in record time! Of course, some of my closest friends knew otherwise and I will be forever thankful for their ability to hang with me, without judgment, knowing that eventually I would have to face the reality of my situation and when that day arrived, they would be there for me.
Today is that day. I have done a lot of souls searching this past couple of weeks. I now know I must face the reality of my situation. My husband no longer loves me. I am completing the process of a Life After Divorce. He is never coming home.
I must find myself and figure out how to be content with myself without the help of a pretend world filled with temporary fantasy loves. I am now ready to face the facts head-on. This is my Life After Divorce now and it is a life that deserves to be lived with my eyes wide open. No more alcohol-based painkillers, no more blankets of deception to cover my reality, and no more imaginary loves to validate my reason for living.
Each day of my life defines the next. False love the night before result in lonely days to follow. Allowing myself and others to be deceived about my life makes it impossible for me to actually heal and move forward with my Life After Divorce and takes away from my abilities to make my future a positive one. What I did yesterday defined my situation today and I now realize that what I need to concentrate on most is the choices I make today that will define my tomorrow.
Rather than bars on Friday night, I choose to do volunteer work on Saturday morning. Rather than alcohol, I choose water and exercise. Instead of meaningless relationships, I plan to work toward being happy with myself and cherishing the time I have with my children.
With these types of changes my feelings of worth should automatically strengthen, my phone book becomes filled with the numbers of people I actually can and will call, and my relationships, even if friend-only, will be far more valuable to me. My Life After Divorce will begin to repair itself and then, with a little luck, my fantasy of finding true love may be able to become my reality.
It has been two years since I wrote the above in my journal. For those still floundering where I was, take heed. Taking time to face your reality is the first step to ensuring your reality is one that makes you happy. It is never easy to get started, but once started, progress follows and the progress results in spectacular feelings of accomplishment. Stop hiding your true feelings and start feeling them. Know where you are, figure out where you want to be, and then start walking in that direction. One step at a time remembering to look back often to see how far you have come. You will be amazed…I know I am!