Pulling back the shower curtain

25 September 2014

Divorce.  Heaven knows I hate it.  And hate is so strong that the only other thing that could also be categorized there - millipedes.  The two go hand in hand.  One billion legs.  One billion pieces to sift through and heal from.

And, well, I enjoy talking about my divorce as much as I enjoy stepping on piles of millipedes with my bare feet.  I don't.  There is a fine balance between allowing myself to move on and live beyond it, with more and more time as a cushion beneath that deep bruise.  But then sometimes, I must sink deeply back into it and feel all those little legs crawl all over me, so I can let go of one more piece. 

And ya know, three years down the road, and I see more and more the power of my journey.  All that I know, all that I've processed, all that I understand and share in regards to heart break, grief, betrayal, the submergence of human experience.  Though I still sometimes find myself in Subway shops with weepy little tears, texting my mom about how much it gosh dang freaking hurts, and my only real option is to put on a black cloak and swear my life away to celibacy.  And well, I don't want to do that.  Because my hair is too pretty to be covered by a robe.  And also, most importantly, I really really, really want to put my trust in a human man again and experience the depth of love and loyalty that I know exists.

And why is this all surfacing now?  Because I'm dating a man who has really captivated me - I'll share about him soon enough.  But walking down that path of romance means that even though I pick up and hold the hand of giddiness, a shadow always comes along too.  I try to breathe in deeply, breathe out wholly.  But really I just choke on the silt and ashes of the looming darkness, and the pain is so overtaking that I ditch the endeavor altogether and go back to shopping for my nun outfit.  Just making sure I'd be the best looking nun while I sing on the hills with children dressed in drapes!!!!

But, it's time for me to stop running and let the pain of being close with someone, allowing the fear and incredibly deep anguish wash through me.  to submerge.  to feel.  to be terrified.  Then open my eyes and see the new security and honest heart before me.  To regenerate my reality.  To build trust.  And feel safe.

Even saying "divorce is painful" holds no relative truth.  One person could walk away as unaware and numb as they walked in.  And the other is jarred and traumatized for years to come.  Some heal in a year.  Some in decades.  Some never heal at all.  And general emotional intelligence is so far undertapped that people say the most inane things.  Which is why I don't care to talk to people about it.  Because I'm mostly like, oh your ideas about divorce are cute.  LET ME MURDER A BUNNY ON MY WAY OUT!  But fortunately, God pulls people into our lives who have breathed the same silt, and will help us unravel all the unanswerable questions, the unjust pains, and the lonely agony.  Tears and black humor.  Come one, come all.  Very grateful for the perfectly timed entrance of my new divorced girlfriends into my life. Most of the time, people like us are warriorlike on our own.  But sometimes, we go to our soft place, and it helps to have people who can go there with you. 

So, some days am I overcome with God's ever-extending arm of mercy?  yeah.  and I'm flooded to the bone with love and forgiveness. 

Most days do I just simply not care and feel liberated altogether?  yeah.  Proper healing for the win. 

And on occasion, do I lay really still and let the remnants bleed through?   ... yes.

I believe in healing.  I believe life sprouts again.  I believe God mends all to a greater level if you allow Him in the journey.  And I believe laughing about it makes it easier to stomach.

Here's to the heroic efforts of holding the fire power of our lives and marching the torch forward.  Also, fire power reminds me of that star on mario kart that gives you invincibility and rapid speed for four seconds.  May ours last longer than that. 

Upward and onward,

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection."

“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” 

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  1. I think one of the hard parts is forgiving and letting go. At least for me. I feel like I forgive them then later I'm still thinking that they are SO dumb!!! And I wish they weren't in my life. So then I need to remember to forgive again, not that it does anything for the offender, but to me-- to truly let go. Its a challenge.

  2. I don't know you and you don't know me, but I loved this and needed this. No matter the situation, there isn't a single word in the English dictionary to describe how the pain of divorce feels. So happy you have come out triumphant. (P.s. I would like to publicly announce that I'm obsessed with your writing style and blog.)

  3. you really deserve that, to be able to trust and be trusted. and I know your relationship with God will allow you to do this, and find the person worth stepping out of that shadow for. you're wonderful!

  4. Proud of ya and love ya, Chantelly - really good to see you doing so well!

  5. I know how much you don't like talking about this topic, so I was surprised to see it on your blog. I'm glad you decided to write about it though, and I too am very proud of you for doing so. What an insightful/powerful blog post. I know your blog helps and inspires a lot of people, including myself. I just have say something... I can't fathom a man not feeling like the luckiest guy in the world to be with you and treating you like gold. You are such a catch! However, we live in a crazy world where even the best people get taken for granted... or worse. I really like the part where you said, "And general emotional intelligence is so far undertapped that people say the most inane things. Which is why I don't care to talk to people about it. Because I'm mostly like, oh your ideas about divorce are cute. LET ME MURDER A BUNNY ON MY WAY OUT!" Having not personally been through a divorce myself, I don't know this from firsthand experience, but I know it's true, which is so unfortunate. Especially with divorce being so prevalent, it would sure help for more people to understand it better so they could be less judgmental and more supportive, understanding, and loving. I appreciate this blog post because it has helped me understand this topic better. I also really like the part where you said, "it helps to have people say, 'wow, that is so horrible what you had to go through,' 'the way you shine is so apparent because of all that you've become'." That's precisely how I feel about you. You truly do "shine" and it's readily apparent to everyone that meets you and/or reads your blog. The positive energy you emit is quite dramatic. I have HUGE respect for the fact that you haven't allowed this experience to make you bitter. Instead you've used it to gain an incredible perspective about the human experience and come very close to God. You are the most non-judgmental person I've ever met--no exaggeration. You have so much compassion for others. You truly are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing, even when it's a difficult topic for you to talk about. Is that quote at the end from Brene Brown?

  6. I think looking at divorce as a "fresh start" rather than "the end" is a healthy thing to do. Indeed, many people get too consumed with the past, that they miss out on what the future holds. You may have been apprehensive sharing about your divorce, but this post can help people realize that there are more positive ways to look at things. Thanks for sharing!

    Sammy Jackson @ Ken Phillips Law