It’s been eight months today. Eight months since, as most people reached out for the Alka Seltzer, and exchanged cheery Happy New Year wishes, my husband announced he was leaving.
I have undeniably come a long way since the darkness of the early days , but I cannot say I feel happy. Bad days still come and go, and the pain keeps flaring up, razor-sharp and destructive, triggered by tiny memories and big milestones, steamrolling my carefully crafted defenses as if they were mole hills.
So I’ve decided to gear up the fight against misery, and after careful consultation with my army chief of staff (also known as my son’s guinea pig), the current strategy is a two-pronged attack to encircle the enemy (quick, someone sound the bugle!).
One battalion is headed by the counsellor I have been seeing for the last seven months, and involves a Hum-so-tell-me-about-your-childhood kind of approach. This made me realise that feeling unworthy and terrified of abandonment was not something actually related to T (what a shame, I cannot blame it all on him…), but something dating back to the days when I refused to go down the slide by myself at the park aged two, and people generally thought flarey jeans and sheepskin gilets were the height of fashion.
And so here I am, bulldozing away, trying to excavate what made me the way I am. Right, so that’s one end of the battle, understanding how I work and why I feel the way I do. I guess the problem is that in the same way understanding the thermodynamics of a heat engine does not tell you how to keep yourself warm, beginning to understand what made me who I am doesn’t tell me how to feel better.
So inspired by fellow blogger Caroline’s journey, I started talking to a life coach, which involves a Jump-around-the-room-how-do-you-feel kind of approach, and does not really care if your brother traumatised you aged 7 by stealing the sweeties you’d preciously kept in your secret stash (all true, the rascal!), it just tries to break negative thought and behaviour patterns so that mechanically, you may start to feel better.
To be honest, the first time I jumped around (no really, I did), all I felt was faintly ridiculous and out of breath, but then again, that made me smile, the children loved it, and it was definitely better than feeling myself slide down the soapy slope down to misery.
So come on, what about you all divorce survivors, what did your back-to-life campaigns involve, what worked, what didn’t and why?
Yep, it’s got to be done, today’s song is the mythical Jump around by The House of Pain, c’mon everyone, get jumping…