My Experience with Aging and Divorce
You still have the body that doesn’t move as fast, the digestion that likes to keep you guessing what food you can tolerate today, and the mind that isn’t quite as sharp as before. But couple these things with divorce, bankruptcy, or death, and aging can be debilitating.
I know this personally all too well. At the age of 57 and after 32 years of marriage, I’ve found myself working again full-time and living in a 380 ft. studio apartment that houses me and all my worldly possessions. To the shock of my friends and family, I moved out on my own and then filed for divorce. It doesn’t matter the reasons; the “who-did-what” or “he said she said”.
The reason I’m writing this is because I know I’m not the only woman who is going through this major life over-haul. I’ve been in counselling, I’ve read books on how to survive divorce and talked to loving friends and family who have lent a sympathetic ear. At the end of the day, it’s just me and up to me, to get through this.
Writing about it helps tremendously. It get these feeling out in the open instead of suspiciously hovering about in my mind. However ridiculous some of my thoughts and feelings are, I still own them, then I write them. I think if I feel this way, someone else out there might feel the same. It’s good to share with each other.
I know the obvious things to do, like eat well, exercise, keep a social life, meditate, and get plenty of rest. These are blanket must do’s. The difficult part is HOW to do them. It’s the mind and body connection that is the hardest. When the body is willing to give it a go, the mind isn’t and visa- versa.
When you are married and have a family, you are a unit. Whether or not the unit is happy, healthy, etc. doesn’t matter. You perceive yourself and the world perceives you as a unit. You’re not some single individual dangling out there in no man’s land. Regardless of your circumstances, that is a safe feeling. You know what’s expected of you and you have a routine, a LIFE.
When you separate or divorce, you are no longer part of the unit. I felt this grudgingly when my daughter and son told me they were taking their father on a holiday to Florida for his 60th birthday. I wasn’t jealous per say. I had no desire to go on a holiday with my ex and I wasn’t particularly fond of the area they chose. But it was the fact that they were together all in one place to enjoy themselves. The only person out of the picture was me. I was not part of the unit any longer. My children, even though they have families of their own now, feel the same. The unit was been broken up.
Even though I have been on my own for over a year, every day is a new experience for me. Some days are good and some are not so good. Some days I feel very introverted and don’t care for company. I only want the company of a good book and a long sleep to rest my mind. Other days, I welcome the comfort of friends and family and familiarity. Sometimes I feel very vulnerable, alone in a cold world reminding myself that I’m responsible for me, financially, emotionally, and many more ways.
I believe that everything we experience in life, positive or negative, is for a reason. The steps that led me to this place in my life, some intentional and some not, are steps leading me to a better person and understanding of who I am and can be. Sometimes life throws you curve ball. Sometimes things happen you can’t deny. I’m learning to trust my heart, my instincts, and understand that before I was a daughter, a wife, a mother, or a friend, I was me. A little late in the life plan, but getting to know the real person of me is a wonderful feeling!