My divorce was not pretty. No, pretty isn’t the right word. My divorce wasn’t even a mediocre looking-something-or-other. It was a tornado of emotional turmoil that I often struggle to put into words. It’s the same, way too common, story…husband has some sort of existential crisis, finds some new lady to fill that void, and leaves his wife. What made my divorce extra difficult was not the legal and financial aspect, but emotional. After my husband split, a huge gray cloud of depression fell over my head and followed me everywhere I went. No matter what I did, I couldn’t escape. Because of that, I chose to cut contact with my ex except for brief emails about paperwork. I did this for 8 months, and after 8 months we had to see each other for the first time at our court hearing. When I got our summons for court my body flooded with anxiety. My feet started tapping and my stomach twisted into knots as I stared at the date and floor number of the courthouse. How was I supposed to face him?
My two worries was that I was either going to break down, cry, and drive my car into a lake next or say something hurtful, sassy, but honestly hilarious (insert mistress joke here). My logic told me I didn’t want to do either, so I worked like crazy to make sure I didn’t. I rehearsed our interaction in my head and then decided to make my divorce week the most kick ass week I could.
I first took some time off from work and traveled home to see the family. I had a lot of time to be with my biggest support system and get spoiled by my mom. I then went back to my home aka sexy single girl apartment with sexy cats.
The day before the court date I went to a custom jewelry shop and had some of the diamonds taken out of my ring and made into a pendant. This was a very exciting process. I didn’t want a sketchy pawn-star to rip off my expensive band of diamonds, so I chose to create something that will always remind me of this hardship and how you can pull anything apart and make it into something beautiful and new.
Divorce day! The court process went smoothly. He said 3 words to me and I was bubbly and polite and even talked weather with the court officer. I didn’t cry or make any angry ex-wife comments. Pretty much, I kicked ass and took names. I then walked a few blocks and got my divorce tattoo.
The quote is from one of my favorite songs by my favorite band, “Bright Lights” by Placebo. It says “A Heart That Hurts, Is A Heart That Works.” That has resonated with me for a long time, but even more now. I often get stuck in why this divorce hurt so much, and why eight months later it still hurts. But really, it’s supposed to hurt, and if it didn’t hurt, that might be more worrisome.
The day after divorce day. I had a party…a straight up glitter stiletto, way too many shots, and delicious divorce cake party. It was phenomenal. I invited so many people, expecting 2 or 3 to show up. But so many people came out of the woodworks to support and party with me. Besides the congratulatory air of the party, the highlight was the cake. I stole a few aspects of other divorce cakes I found on the web and created this masterpiece. No only was it delicious, but just about every bartender and other tavern-goers came to take a picture of it.
For eight months I feared my divorce week. I imagined a week of emotional crisis, and to be honest, it might have been that kind of week if I didn’t plan such meaningful and fun events with the best group of people I’ve ever known. I suppose when life gives you lemons, get a tattoo and eat chocolate cake.
I have been going through a really tough period over the course of the last few months, and it got so bad that I finally did one of these:
Trash the Dress member Diana is a mom! She gave birth to this beauty, Scarlett Rose on March 3rd and happily reports,”She’s absolutely perfect!” Diana continued, “I love her more than I imagined was possible. She has the best daddy ever, and he will become my husband in June. Without my divorce I would have never met the greatest man I never knew existed, and would have never had the opportunity to meet my daughter. There is SOO much life after divorce, just one step/day at a time.”
Ladies, let this photo inspire you during your divorce process. Your new life is just beginning.
Trash the Dress member Tara recycled her old jewelry into wearable gems. The photos above details how she upgraded her high school class ring with her wedding band and then had her engagement ring made into a pendant.
Love this idea!
In my book, “Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s,” young divorcees speak out about why they got married and divorced and how they celebrated their new beginnings. In our new “Where Are They Now?” column of this website, catch up with twenty-something divorcees as they share details of their fabulous post-divorce lives years later.
How old were you when you divorced? 28
How old are you now? 29
Do you feel like you truly moved on from your divorce? If so, how long did it take you and what factors contributed?
I don’t think im 100 percent moved on. There are still a lot of triggers for me: cigarette smoke, the smell of liqour, and a couple other things, but I will definitely say I am in a much better place than I was when I was going through the divorce.
Is there anything you learned along the way that you wish you knew back then?
Listen to my gut. And as annoying as it was, to listen to people around me that had been divorced and knew deep down that I probably needed to get divorced.
Have you accomplished any particular goals since your divorce?
Yes, I quit my job at a facility I was unhappy with and moved back home to CA with my daughter.
How did you manage financial struggles (if any)?
Luckily, I had help from my parents that fully supported my divorce and at the time I was making decent money.
What were your biggest fears about divorce and how did you deal with them?
Being alone most definitely. I still have issue with it, but I’m learning day by day that it’s ok to go out and do things and be by myself while I do them. And going to therapy really helped
Did you divorce through a lawyer or did you DIY divorce (and if so, how?)
I luckily had a very very good and hardcore attorney. I hated that it had to be that way but my ex-husband made it very difficult for a while.
Are you living in your own place?
I used to, but leaving my career and going back to my home state I currently live with my parents.
Are you single or in a relationship?
Single! I am definitely not ready for that yet.
How did you conquer post-divorce dating fears?
I haven’t started dating yet. I’m too worried that they will all be alcoholic abusers and that makes me sad that I feel that way.
Advice for new divorcees?
Stay strong. There is a reason that this is happening. Whether you are the divorcee or the divorcer, it’s in the plan for your life. You just have to hold on! And, in my opinion find a good therapist or counselor.
How are you celebrating post-divorce life?
Being me! Doing the things I like, eating the foods I like, and being the best mom I can be now that neither one of us are trapped by sadness.
Anything else you would like to add?
Divorce is a hard and scary thing, but it happened to me for a reason. I look back on my life before I got divorced, and my marriage was good in the beginning. But, then I started making changes that I thought would help my family–going back to college was one– and then everything started falling apart. I’ll never know why because my ex-husband cannot give me an answer as to why he made certain choices. Please don’t mistake– I’m not totally innocent either– but the choices he made were way more detrimental than mine. Sometimes I wish I knew the answers, but then again, I think, maybe I dont need to know. sSometimes that’s the best you can hope for.