Wishin’ and Hopin’ and Cheatin’ and Healin’

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One year ago I walked out on my husband. I often forget this part of my story. Although I was the one to walk out first, he was the one who asked for the divorce. My relationship was a broken record of “Andrea’s fault” so, even then, I thought walking out was a sign of weakness, not a moment of clarity or strength. After I found the infamous text from the infamous mistress, I realized my relationship was over and I had been lied to and betrayed. Our relationship was long since broken, but the tipping point of infidelity started my entire world on fire.

It’s been an entire year and I couldn’t be happier. Finally I’m the person I have always wanted to be. I’m assertive. I have power and control of my life. I, for the first time in 26 years, feel pretty. My divorce was the best-worst thing that ever happened to me. Without the shit-show I wouldn’t have grown into the bad-ass lady I am right now. With that said, I still struggle.

I am a person who looks to others’ stories to find answers, meaning, or the slightest moment of solace. I suppose that’s why I chose to blog about my experiences. Recently I have been trying to find articles about healing from cheating. The only thing I really find is how to make a relationship work after infidelity. Mine didn’t work (thank goodness), but the toil is still real.

Cheating is the suckiest thing you can do to another person. It’s a betrayal beyond belief and it really really hurts. Cheating isn’t about any emotional or physical interactions…it’s about secrets, deceit, deception, and the cowardice to not deal with the problems at hand. After you get past the fact your safe person destroyed the constructs of your monogamous relationship, you are left with an aftermath of duplicity. You and your ex’s friend circle is in shambles. No one wants to get in the middle of anything, and those who do are wrought with turmoil no matter how hard they try to help both parties. As time goes by, the memory of the bellicose ninety-day-divorce-waiting-period fades and everyone moves on with their lives. It’s not the same. The couple can’t be at parties together anymore. The friend group has to figure out who they are going to invite when. And eventually, the mistress becomes apart of the group and you see that smiling photo of her, where you once stood, on Facebook. And you cry, all the way home from the Apple store.

This is my reality and I’m still figuring out how to reconcile the thoughts and feelings surrounding the fear of replacement and my inability to trust, something I’ve never had before. I’m learning that there isn’t much to do with these issues except see the facts and sit with the emotional scars that are healing more and more everyday. I was not replaced because I do not want to be that body with his arm around. I know she isn’t better than me. I often want to explain this with “well I never went after a married man” but that’s a simple thought. I have worth that is absent of any comparison to another. And I do trust people when they earn it, and it is possible to earn it.

After writing this, I still don’t have the answer to this struggle. How do you let go of betrayal? How do you trust again? How do you stop laughing at mistress jokes (okay, this one will never happen…for purely clinical healing reasons of course…)? All I know is, as cliche as it sounds, time really does heal, which sucks because it takes a lot of time. Though, each day gets a little easier. Each day I am able to laugh a little more. And each day, the aftermath smoke from the fire settles and the air gets a little easier to breath. 

Single Girl Travels!

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:

In a whirlwind of an afternoon of frustration at work, I decided to take an entire weekend off (unheard of in a job where you only work nights and weekends) and go on a mini-road trip by myself.  I am a planner by nature, but in this case I was so over everything that was going on that I did the absolute least amount of planning I possibly could (a.k.a. I booked a hotel) and then didn’t think about it again.  It turned out to be exactly what I needed!

I took off on a five and a half hour road trip at dinnertime on Friday, bound for Chicago.  My family had been several times when I was a kid because my mom grew up just north of the city, but I had never been back as an adult.  In fact, I have a vivid memory of the last time I was there, because the fifth Harry Potter book came out the day after we arrived, and I made my mom find a Border’s (RIP) so we could wait in line at midnight to buy it.  Then I missed the rest of the trip and the whole drive home, because I immediately read it three times in a row.

Anyway, Chicago!

I love road trips, and this one was perfection.  There were hardly any other cars on the road until I hit the Chicago city limits.  It was clear skies and in the upper 50’s, which felt like summer compared to the temperatures in the teens and the wind chills below zero that have plagued us for the last few months.  To top that off, I was driving into the sunset for more than a half an hour, and it was glorious!

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I faced a lot of fears on this trip, which surprised me.  I thought traveling alone was the only thing that would push me out of my comfort zone, but I was wrong!  I was in such a “screw it” mood that I didn’t plan or think about anything, even while I was there.  Not thinking means that you can’t overthink, which is one of my biggest enemies.

The first fear I faced was driving the Dan Ryan expressway through the outskirts of the city.  It’s basically eight lanes of terror and confusion!!  However, blasting “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift with your windows rolled down, singing at the top of your lungs will make driving into any major city pretty magical, no matter how nervous you are.
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The next day, I took the train into the city with the mindset that I would just see whatever I could before dark.  I had a list of places I wanted to see in my pocket, a starting place in mind, and that was it!  Here are some of the things I saw:

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I started at Millennium Park because I’ve never seen the Bean.  As luck would have it (ha), the park was closed because of the St. Patrick’s Day parade!  This was as close as I got; it was still neat to see, especially since I got a good skyline picture in it without a zillion tourists around it!

Next stop, Sears Tower!  I wanted to see the glass balconies on the Sky Deck, because they hadn’t been built the last time I was in the city.  I stood in line for a few minutes, Starbucks in hand, listening to the small families around me chattering and the excitement in everyone’s voices.  Something in that moment made me so overwhelmingly happy that I started to tear up.

I ended up buying a City Pass, which gave me fast passes to five of the major attractions in the city.  It was perfect, because the wait time to get on the elevator to the top was more than two hours, and I only ended up waiting 10 minutes!  I know standing in that line would have started the thinking process, and this way I was able to just do it.  The views from the top were gorgeous, as expected:

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Without thinking about it, I got in line to go out on the glass balcony.  It was a bit of a long wait, but I chatted with the ladies ahead of me in line, and the fact that they were more scared than I was made me feel even braver for doing it!  It was terrifying to go out there with only a piece of glass between you and a 103 story plummet to your death…

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I took that picture with my eyes closed.

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I was shaking for a good 10 minutes after I came back in, partly from delayed nerves and partly from sheer exhilaration.

Basking in the glow of my fear-conquering, I headed back toward the southern side of the parks, where all the museums are.  I grabbed a sandwich for lunch and sat on a bench outside the aquarium to eat.  What a lovely view!

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Next stop was Shedd Aquarium, which is the largest indoor aquarium in the world!  It was pretty fabulous, though I didn’t get to see the whole thing.  Somehow I didn’t use my City Pass correctly and I think I snuck in by accident…whoops!  It was fun and relaxing to walk around the first-floor exhibits.

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After the aquarium, I headed to the planetarium.  I was giddy at the fact that this was a thing I could do, because I am fascinated by space and astronomy, and I’ve never been to a planetarium before!  I loved learning more about the history of astronomy, and the things being done today to discover more about space.  There was a chalkboard wall for people to write messages, and I found one of my favorite quotes by Carl Sagan:

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(Also, it was Ultimate Pi Day, hooray! 3/14/15 @ 9:26:53 …it only happens once a century, folks!)

One of my favorite parts about the whole day was seeing a show in the planetarium.  It was so wonderful I cried more than once…I wish I could have gone to all the shows they had!

After the planetarium show, I headed to the Field Museum, which houses Sue the T. Rex.  I was really excited for this museum, because natural history museums are so fun and interesting!  Unfortunately, I got there too late and the museum was closed.  Bummer!  I contented myself with this outdoor dinosaur, and debated about where to go next.

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Navy Pier was the next thing on my list to see, and one of the only ones that was still feasible to do before the sun started to go down.  It was a little under two and a half miles up the lake from where I was, and such an enjoyable (if chilly) walk!

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I walked a lot during my day…I started to map it out to see what my total distance was, but I did so much “wandering” in between attractions that I actually have no idea where I was all day!  On my way to the Pier, I saw Trump Tower from down the river, which was pretty cool.

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I finally made it, and then realized I didn’t know what I was going to do there!  I decided to wander around to see what there was to see, and ended up at the Ferris wheel.  Being that I’m scared of heights, these things scare the bejeezus out of me.  I haven’t been on one since I was probably seven or eight years old because they make me cry.  Following the theme of the day, I somehow found myself buying a ticket and hopping on before I had given it a second thought.  I immediately regretted this decision when I was halfway up the first side…I spent the whole ride listening to the Frank Sinatra piping through the speaker in the car, hanging onto the side, and swearing like a sailor on leave.

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It was not enjoyable in the least…I hated every second of it, and it cemented the idea in my head that Ferris wheels are the worst contraption known to man.  But I am happy that I can say I did it!  Riding the Ferris wheel didn’t bring the exhilaration with it that the Sky Deck at the tower did, but I’m happy to report I at least didn’t die, and I faced another fear in the process!

The sun was starting to go down at this point, which meant it was time to start the long walk back to my train.  I only got “lost” once, and I was pretty proud when I ended up back in an area of the city that I recognized from walking around earlier in the day!  I saw a few things up close and personal that I’d only seen from afar earlier:

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The Chicago Theatre

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Trump Tower

The end of the day was just as perfect as the beginning.  I rode the train to the hotel, grabbed a beer and a burger from the Bar Louie at my hotel, and fell asleep reading a book in bed.  Perfection!

My last hurrah before leaving town was a meet-up with a fellow Trash the Dress online support group member, Alyssa.  We’ve known each other in the group and been Facebook friends for a little while, but it was so lovely to meet in person and have breakfast with her and her daughter!  We had some pancakes, some laughs, and an overall great time.  That made me want to come back to Chicago just as much as all my sightseeing and fear-facing from the day before!

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I learned a lot of things on this trip.  It’s the first time I’ve ever traveled completely alone, and it was amazing!

I learned that the best thing about traveling alone is that you can do what you want, when you want, and you don’t have to worry about what anyone else wants to do.  No more of this: “What do you want to do?” ‘I don’t care, what do you want to do?’

I learned that you can’t ever get lost if you aren’t going anywhere in particular.  If you have the chance, visit a new city and just wander.

 

I learned that living life is so much more fun if you aren’t trapped behind your smartphone/camera screen.  I snapped a few pictures and I checked my map a few times, but otherwise my phone was out of sight and out of mind the whole day.  I saw the scenery, I noticed the details, I did some people-watching, and I loved every minute of it!

 

Lastly, I learned that a rain coat is always appropriate travel attire…especially if your rain coat is green and it happens to be St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  You’ll fit right in!

Now…go have an adventure!

A Tale of Divorce, Depression, and Discovery

It’s really late and I still can’t sleep. My doctor would tell me to put down the coffee and stay away from the laptop screen, but the silence of sleeping scares me and my bed is big and empty. I scroll through pages and pages…young and divorced, divorce in your 20s, I do. I did. I’m done!…and on and on. There are two types of articles I stumble upon: 1) I’m an old blogger who writes about the downfall of the sanctity of marriage and how the internet and instant gratification is ruining America’s youth and 2) Badass chicks who found themselves, learned who they really are, and got sassy tattoos and epic vacations when their husbands peaced out. But there’s no articles about me, a 26 year old girl struggling with depression as long as she could remember whose husband left the marriage after two years telling her he never really loved her, and was having a relationship with a woman 20 years his senior. Where’s that damn article?

My ex and I met when I was 18, he 17. We actually met in study hall and went to prom together. After meeting him, for the first time, I felt love and worth. See, my entire life I’ve felt like nothing. I’m not sure when it started or where it came from. Nobody abused me. Nobody touched me. I suppose a combo of genetics, personality traits, and never feeling good or loved enough lead to a long history of mental health challenges.

When our relationship went full steam ahead, a whirlwind of co-dependency, jealousy, and control came forth. I needed him to silence all the self-abuse my mind hammered into me daily. You’re ugly. You’re fat. You’re stupid. You aren’t worth a damn thing. No one will ever love you. Oh wait! He does. Maybe you are okay. But neither of us recognized either of those issues because we were kids going on 40, moving into our apartment together after high school graduation and starting a joint checking account. We justified the insanity by saying how mature and ready we were for adult life. We didn’t need to make friends in college. No, no, we had each other and that’s all we needed.

Our marriage proposal wasn’t even that. I told him I wanted to get married so we went to the jewelry store that afternoon to purchase a ring. Now, the non-traditionalist in me said fuck norms and I can pick out my own ring, but that had nothing to do with it. After 5 years of dating, I needed marriage to bandage all the self-hate.  We got married. It was everything I wanted. On the outside it looked perfect. But behind closed doors no one knew that I wrote my and his vows. He refused to write them. He never told me I was beautiful on our wedding day. On our wedding night we didn’t have sex. I came up with so many excuses…he was nervous, he’s shy, he doesn’t know how to express his emotions, it was a long day…but they were just that, excuses.

We went on and continued as a married couple. We moved 3 hours away from home to start our big kids jobs. Our first year in the new city was great. We explored and experienced a diverse and liberal culture we only dreamed of. But once the exploring stopped, we looked at each other and no longer saw a married couple, but roommates. I asked for marriage counseling to help get that spark back. He refused and said nothing was wrong. He said he was just stressed with work.

And then everything stopped. No longer did I hear I love you. Affection was obsolete. Negative and hurtful comments were made about my weight, appearance, and above all things, my running routine and schedule. No matter what I did, I could never be good enough.

It started again. He was slowly tearing away the bandaid he once put on my self-hatred. Blood began to ooze out, so I put on more gauze, more excuses for the shitty behavior. One night, when I came home from work, his phone lit up with the words Love You! on the screen. I confronted him. He ripped the bandaid off, no warning, no soothing gel, no comforting phrases. A relationship was happening with this woman and he said he didn’t love me and never really did. After a few weeks of separation, accusals, fighting, screaming, begging, pleading, he asked for a divorce. The blood came.

My wound was gaping and each day he was gone salt was thrown into it. I couldn’t sleep for days. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t laugh, or even crack a smile. I couldn’t focus on anything but the pain. My mind wouldn’t stop. Why wasn’t I good enough? Why is a woman, 43 fucking years old, better/sexier/prettier/smarter than me? I mean he’s in his early 20s and she’s married with kids! I’m worthless. I’m stupid. I have nothing left. My life is over. I’m nothing without him. I don’t want to go on without him…  

An unexpected, dear friend came to my side. He ended up moving in with me for a few weeks, living out of a backpack and laundry basket. We binge watched American Horror Story and cooked fancy dinners. He taught me to crochet and I made way too many scarfs. More importantly he was there to hold gauze over the wound until I saw the doctor. He never taped the gauze down, but held it until I could stand on my own feet and get the help I needed.  And in all actuality, I did see a doctor. I started receiving intensive treatment for my depression.

Eventually my hopeless thoughts stopped. I started eating. I slept. I learned that my pain was two fold: a grieving cycle over the end of a long term relationship and my self-hatred. During times of high distress I wasn’t able to distinguish the two. I would often think, my relationship ended because there was something wrong with me. But that isn’t true. My relationship ended. It just ended. It ended because it was a co-dependent abusive hot hot mess (and let’s be real…it wasn’t hot). It ended because he chose to start a relationship with another person before he ended the one with me. And more important than all that bullshit, I have so much worth and beauty that is completely separate from that relationship.

So what did I learn from my divorce? I suppose that’s how you are supposed to end these things. I learned that my worth isn’t defined by another person, but by what I believe and do. My beauty isn’t defined by a number or silhouette, but by my kindness, womanhood, smile, and eyes. If you look deeply in my eyes you’ll see flecks of gold embed in the brown. You’ll also see a story of a girl who is so very privileged, yet handed struggle after struggle to only learn she can and will overcome anything.  Although I can’t find a 20-something divorcee article that I can fully relate to, and have yet to get my freedom tattoo and vacation, I’m on my way. Maybe in a few months I’ll be a badass chick who found herself, but until then, I’m me, and I’m pretty fucking great.

Rachel’s Post-Divorce Journey to Self-Love

Guest post from Trash the Dress private online divorce support group member, Rachel!

“I need to lose 20 pounds…”

“I need to get rid of my arm jiggle…”

“I need to tone my legs…”

“…then I will be happy with how I look.”

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How often do we say these things to ourselves?  How often do we set these goals?  I do it to myself all the time — every time I look in the mirror, I’ve got one more item to add to my list of “Things I Must Do Before I Will Love How I Look.”

Do you know what the biggest problem with this is?  I’m never happy.  Every time I check off one item on that list, I add five more.  I’m on a journey, but I never get to my “destination.”  That’s the problem with loving “future me”: it starts a destructive cycle.  Once I get to “future me,” she’s already trying to love “future her” and “future her” is already loving “future future her” and so on and so forth.  The truth is my happiness will always be out of reach if I keep living in this mindset.

It is good to have fitness goals.  It is good to eat healthier, to work out, to make myself stronger.  It is not good to base my self-love on a future version of me.

Even more importantly, I need to learn to base my self-love on things other than my appearance.  The person I am is more than just what I look like.  I want to take care of my body because it’s the only one I have and I want it to last me a long time.  But my physical appearance is such a small part of who I am.  There are so many more important things that are worth my time and effort!

Who am I?  Am I interesting?  Boring?  Engaging?  Knowledgeable?  Compassionate?  Rude?  Funny?  Mean?  Insecure?  Confident?

Focusing too much of my energy on making my outward appearance more appealing to society’s ideals only serves to frustrate me when I fail and to distract me from becoming a better person.  When someone thinks of me, what are the things I hope they think about?  I hope that I am kind. I hope that I am loving.  I hope that I am empathetic, humble, and helpful.  I hope that I am a good listener and a good friend.   I hope that I am generous with my time and my resources.  I hope that I am a servant.

Those are things I can work on.  I can focus on being kind.  I can practice using my “listening ears” and my “listening heart.”  I can find ways to serve others.

It is infinitely more important for me to be those things than it is for me to be at my ideal weight.

I’m on a journey to start loving myself where I am right now.  I am learning to love what I look like.  I am learning to love the person I am on the inside.  There will always be parts of myself I want to change or work on — that’s okay, and that’s good.  If I didn’t have those things, I would never learn and I would never grow.  But I am on a journey to love myself even though I’m not perfect.

Break Away 5K: “We run so she doesn’t have to!”

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Trash the Dress private online divorce support group  member Heather is the amazing force behind the race to end domestic violence. Here, she shares the inspiration behind her Break Away 5K. This year’s event takes place on March 8th. Details below!

Almost three years ago, I was a victim of domestic violence that turned life as I knew it upside-down.  I was still newly married with a 10-month old son and I couldn’t believe that my “perfect” life was ending.  I had worked so hard to get that life that I had blinders on to a lot of things.  A life threatening incident in March opened my eyes.  I thought my life was falling apart and I didn’t know what to do.  I went from “happy family” to restraining orders, assault cases, custody battles, and divorce hearings.  Through the support of many people, especially Heartly House Inc. in Frederick, I made it through that time in my life.  In order to give back to the organization that helped me, I  founded Break Away 5K, a race to end domestic violence.
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Previous event photo. Look at that turnout! Go, Heather!

For over 30 years, Heartly House has been helping Frederick County residents who have been impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. Their counseling services, 24-hour hotline, and legal assistance are just a few of the services that Heartly House provided me and other victims of domestic violence.

All revenues that are generated through this event will go directly to Heartly House.  The objectives for the race are to raise awareness about domestic violence in the DC metro area, to help educate the community about domestic violence and ways to break the cycle, and to raise money for Heartly House so they can continue to help the community.

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There’s our girl!
The race will be held on Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. in Baker Park, Frederick, MD. Thank you for your support for this important cause!
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Do You Really Know What Domestic Violence Is? One Twenty-Something Divorcee Speaks Out

Domestic Violence Month

What would you answer be if I turned to you and asked: What is domestic violence and abuse?

What we see and know:

She stands before the mirror, her eyes are red from the tears that won’t stop flowing, the blue surrounding her eyes are not the new shade from Cover Girl, they are the marks left by her husband’s fist when she said “no.” Her lips are the most beautiful crimson red but it’s not from that lipstick she wishes she had the money to buy, it’s from the blood that dried while she begged him to stop.

What you don’t see and what we do not acknowledge:

She stands before the mirror, applying her make-up, she needs to hurry, as he is waiting, yet she is shaking because there is no margin for forgiveness if she is not perfect for him. She sees the canvas of her face and prays that today he will find her good enough. She walks out of the bathroom to find him already irritated as she took two minutes too long. He lifts his eyes to scan her body, and mentions that maybe she should wear another dress, as it does not suite her. She turns to walk to her room, and opens her closet. She has few clothes, as she is not worth having her own money and he does not believe that she needs a third dress. However, those  she does own no longer fit her because she has lost too much weight trying to please him, as eating more than twice a day is a financial inconvenience for him, as it halts him from buying a second bottle of wine. He also promised her yesterday that maybe if she lost more weight and firmed up a bit, that then he would feel like being close to her. She thinks maybe tomorrow when she walks out with her lingerie on he will not grimace at her and maybe he will not bring up how exited her friend made him. Maybe tomorrow he will want to talk to her and just maybe tomorrow he will give her a compliment on how clever she is and not highlight how she is failing.

There is no physical scar on her body that you can see; the one the only scar that you could see is the metal bent on her engagement ring.  That was the first and last time he used his body to hurt her. They were fighting over her not washing the dishes and he slammed his head into the closet. Her hand was in the way, and the ring crushed around her finger. But that does not matter because she told her friends that really it was the glass door that slammed against her hand when she hung up the washing, and his best friend is a jeweller so all will be forgotten and perfect soon, once the pliers where able to cut the ring off her finger. They are just going to put it together because he thinks it’s important that they are reminded everyday of this moment.

They look so happy together. Everyone thinks it’s the perfect young marriage, they think she is shy so focus on what he says, when really she is terrified that she will say something wrong, and that she will regret once they get home because he will let loose and she will stand before him for two hours while he screams at her telling her every single way she is worth nothing.

Physically she is perfect, but emotionally she black and blue. He has cut her up and spat her out more times than she can remember. He controls the money so she cannot leave, and she no longer knows how to speak anymore, she no longer trusts anyone, because they will tell her she is too sensitive and men are hard like that. Even the doctor told her that her nervous breakdown was an overreaction “because you husband looks like a nice man” and doctors are always right.

He is domestically violent with his voice… but the media only tells you that physical violence is what we must help women with.

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I implore you to stand up for the woman with the black eye.

I implore you to hold the hand of the woman whose heart is black.

Look to your friends in relationships this month, and pause and consider that words are never the true actions of what truly happens behind closes doors.

We must become aware that abuse comes in multi-dimensional fascists, and when a tear escapes for no reason from a woman’s eyes in the middle of a dinner, we must not turn our backs for that might be her asking for help.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 

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Too many women divorced in their twenties have had to free themselves from domestic violence situations.  HelpGuide.org lists signs that you’re in an abusive relationship. Know that you’re not alone and there are support organizations, including Trash the Dress, which includes members that have been there and are now thriving.

 

How Art Saved My Post-Divorce Soul

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I had found theatre in high school.

When I say “found” – it sounds like a religious experience.

Which is right.

I met my ex-husband during my senior year of high school. Actually, the first time I saw him, he was acting in a play. And we first met after he’d come to see a show I was in. Theatre brought us together, you might say. We started dating the summer after I graduated.

I pursued theatre in college – and when I got into graduate school for acting, the choice was move across the country – away from my then boyfriend – or get married.

We chose the latter.

Despite how it all turned out in the end, I was grateful he was there during those three years in graduate school. Graduate school for acting is actually code for “get into lots of relationship drama with your classmates.” Which, thankfully, I was immune to.

But when the end came, you know what I did? I wrote. In a journal. Every day.

Then a friend approached me about a play she was working on.

Then I found this fantastic group of women and became a blogger.

Then I decided to move to New York to pursue theater.

Then a friend of mine said he was adapting a novel to a stage play.

Then I decided to adapt a novel to a stage play.

I moved to New York, found two fantastic companies to become a part of, have participated in six shows. My novel adaptation will have a reading soon, I’m performing Shakespeare and writing scenes for a monthly show in the city.

Art saved my post divorce soul.

It was there every step of the way, inspiring me, driving me, beckoning me. It never abandoned me, or made me feel less then and it didn’t prefer me over anyone else. It didn’t judge me or criticize, it accepted. I know it’ll always be there. A place that will listen, that I can run to.

So, in addition to being a woman, a blogger, and an actor – I am a divorcee with something to say.

And I have done more now, I have been more in charge of my artistic life post divorce than ever before.

So thanks, Ex. Thanks for gettin’ the heck out so I could be more awesome than I had ever intended to be.

If you’re in or near the city, feel free to keep tabs on what I’m up to. I always love to see a Trash the Dress gal. Keep up to date at www.lindsaybytof.com / www.facebook.com/lindsaybytofacts

And check out the latest project I’m a part of – a production of Romeo & Juliet!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1357978313/romeo-and-juliet-presented-by-the-poetics-theatre

 

Lots of Artistic Love,

Lindsay B.

Depressed over divorce in your 20s?

The following photos of puppies will help turn that frown upside down!

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How My Divorce Made Me a Woman

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

-A.A. Milne

Divorce is my phoenix. It’s that moment everyone asks for and only few receive, to burn into the ashes and rise once more stronger, braver and wiser towards life.

I have succeeded in changing my life completely. I have succeeded in pulling myself out of grime and filth and nursing myself back to beauty- the beauty every woman holds.

However, I have spent so much time thinking that I am healing from the scars of a divorce- the failed marriage every woman hates to admit. I have blamed my scars on a man; I have blamed everything relating to the relationship and the partner I chose. I for a moment thought I was changing my life to get away from the last three years I wasted. I thought that this new me was embracing the woman I would of become had I not chosen to get married.

Have you noticed in the last two paragraphs how I mention, I chose? I chose the marriage. I chose the man.I chose the kind of love I wanted. I chose to stay for three years.

I am not healing from the scars of a divorce and wasted marriage, but rather I am healing from the choices a broken woman made far before she ever met the one relating to her three year lesson.

Divorce and marriage was but the stepping stones in learning a very important lesson: I grew up. I became a woman and I took responsibility for who I was, chose who I wanted to be,  how I wanted to be treated and how I would be.

To state this sentence publicly has been something I have been milling over and wondering if it’s the best choice, as once again it holds me accountable for my actions on the Internet, where nothing is ever really removed. But I want to be accountable. I acknowledge that I am 100 percent responsible for the scars I have due to my three year lesson. I cannot blame my ex-husband, for I allowed it. I waited. I could of walked out way before I even got married, but I did not, because the worth I saw inside of myself was what he gave me in return.

I am responsibility for every nightmare, every flashback, every scar, every tear. I am responsible for I chose to accept it.

This is a very controversial statement I know, however, at one point I have to stop blaming and hating and I need to begin to move forward, and this is the only way I know. I cannot blame him for being who he is. I do not regret getting married either or the pain of the divorce. I do not regret it for the lessons I have gained has built me into someone I always dreamed of becoming when I was “grown up.”

Sitting here right now, typing this out, I feel proud of how far I have come and I am proud of who I have become. Where I am right now is opening the chapter for me to feel confident in the choices I make from her onwards.

So today, I received my divorce certificate and in celebration of this spectacularly hard lesson and the outcome of it, I would like to say that:I am the Phoenix
I now see the reason and the gift of being married and divorced:  my ex-husband is the flames that dissolved and brought forth a new life and a woman proud, strong and happy.

Always remember to see the beauty in the lesson and who you are due to it.