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!
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6 thoughts on “My Experience with Aging and Divorce”
It is indeed comforting to find such a candid and honest approach to this tough subject. Thank you. After 22 years of marriage I am beginning to think outside the box…and about me and my future. My youngest child is sixteen, however, so that any plans made before he graduates from high school are risky at best. Nevertheless, the thoughts are there. And I’m sure someone like you would understand…
I hope I helped you some way, Anna. Even though my children were older, it does not lessen the pain. Everyone’s situation is different and there are no easy answers. I encourage you to be open and talk to others about how you feel. I wish you all the well. Thank you for reading my article and your comment.
Your life is become almost a mirror image of mine ..it is uncanny .
One big difference is I have been on the cusp of writing for along time but not taken the plunge.
All the very best wishes fot the new life you have created and deserve……..for you .
Tecoma ,Victoria, Australia.
Thank you for your kind comment. I’m still adjusting to my new life, but would not change a thing. I try to think of life as a journey, learning as we go. Get on with your writing! Good luck to you.
You very accurately sum up what I have been grappling with and struggling to formulate things.
I’ve lost my unit and it is very scary and frightening, people ask am I ok & I say yes because in part I am but in reality I’m just surviving and existing, it’s hard sometimes to know whether I’m being strong or not but thank you for our article, it certainly has helped 😃
Dear Cindy, it’s great that you’re sharing your experiences! As we age, we become more accepting of things even when they’re going terribly wrong. Maybe we’re just creatures of habit or maybe it’s the “functional dependency” or maybe we’re unsure whether we’d get lonely after a divorce. Like you’ve mentioned…not being part of a unit especially during celebrations. Loved reading your last paragraph.