Saturday, March 9, 2013

Death by Divorce

Tonight my husband and I were playing around on Google Earth and I decided to show him my bike route from my house in Fort Collins to Colorado State.  My last semester before I graduated, I made a vow not to drive my car to class and to ride instead.  Thinking back over that I time, I remembered how much I loved those rides.  The path was beautiful and it allowed me a fresh start in the morning and a stress-decompression time in the afternoon.  Recalling memories from this time in my life, is almost like recalling a dream.  I haven't been back to Fort Collins since I moved.  This isn't because I didn't like it there, I did.  I think it is more because I needed time to lick my wounds and heal from my divorce and the pain I went through leading up to that point.

Until last June, I also had not been back to the Midwest since my last visit there with my Ex to baptize Sage and Saxton.  It was there and then that he told me he wanted a divorce.  The act of going back and reliving those, as well as other painful memories of the past was not easy.  It was as if I was dealing with the death of part of me, years of my life lost in a void of space and time.

Maybe my experience is unique in the fact that I did move so far away at the very moment that one part of my life ended and another began.  Not only that, I moved to a place where no one knew me.  They didn't know what I had been through, who my friends were, anything about the journey I had been on with my four oldest children.  It was like starting my life completely over, a clean slate.  However, it also meant the near death of my past, both good and bad, including memories of my life with my Ex and our experiences with our four children, family and friends.  You could liken it to the act of getting rid of a tumor, where sometimes you have to lose good tissue and healthy parts of yourself in order to get rid of the bad.

This "death" is hard sometimes.  I often wish to bridge the gap between my two worlds and allow some of the good to come over into my new life.  Most importantly, I don't want my children to lose their memories because of the association with the negative.  They experienced their childhood during those times and deserve to cherish special memories, as well as feel free to talk about them.  As an example, my Ex and I took several cross country road trips, spanning several states.  These unique trips are still priceless to me as I recall introducing my children to the ocean for the first time, the mountains, great cities and spectacular monuments of our country.  These are the moments that deserve to live.

Our bodies and minds are amazing things.  When we are injured, broken, our body knows to shut down and only run the most important functions in order to heal.  People who have grave brain injuries often go into comas in order to allow for this necessary healing.  I think painful emotional experiences result in a similar phenomenon.   We shut down and only deal with what we have to until we are better.  Then, as we "awake" again, we might feel pain, and have to conceptualize our injury, but hopefully we have had enough healing time in order to deal with it.

I still have rough days as a result of what I have been through and continue to go through,  but thankfully the good far outweigh the bad.  I am finally able to begin to look back and bring life to those memories.  I believe this is all part of the healing process and hopefully someday I can permanently bridge the gap between my pre-divorce and after life.  Until then, I'll liken the process to my rides back in Colorado, and I'll remember the joy of the experience instead of the dips in the road.

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