Divorce: The gift that goes on giving

Funny. I just went to “save” this document, & the words “divorce sucks” came into my mind…

I myself have been divorced for 11 years now (the marriage broke up 15 years ago). It’s not the thing I focus on so much these days in my thoughts, although I have to admit, for the first 3+ years of my new life as a single woman & half-time Mom (after 20 years of marriage & 14 of full-time motherhood), it was almost all I thought about. Thank goodness for time…& healing!!

And I’m not gonna lie to you. Years ago I drafted an essay called ‘Divorce: the fun never quits!’ – because when you have children & wind up divorced, it is sadly all too true that the far-reaching impacts of a divorce will never be entirely absent from your life. Divorce, you might say, the gift that keeps on giving…

Well. I don’t have all that much to say about it now. When I was going through it, I was often miserable – lonely, embarrassed & ashamed. It was distinctly un-fun, & absolutely without question, the most gutwrenching time, & experience, of my life.(1)

Fortunately, as mentioned above, time & healing do come. As Eckhart Tolle so wisely reminds us (it is such a useful phrase), “This too will pass.”

(I should also add that it was a number of so-called “simple” things that helped me get through. Walking, music, time with friends, the love of my daughters – &, eventually, once I came up for air – useful work/volunteer work. My friendships definitely grew both in number & in depth, & without those, I’d have just plain … faded away! Plato said “Your wealth is where your friends are,” & that’s the period of my life when I really “got” that, right down to my very bones…).

My main aim for this post is simply to pass along a recommendation for a book about divorce that I just read & can’t praise highly enough!

The book is called Falling Apart in One Piece – One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce, by Stacy Morrison.

I can’t say enough about this book! It’s well-written, searingly honest, & soooooo potentially helpful to anyone who is currently going down the dark road of divorce. I am truly inspired by how brutally honest Ms. Morrison is (about her own faults & failings, as well as those of her ex) & by how she & her (now ex) husband have managed to put aside their own neuroses, pain & unhappiness enough that they are doing an admirable job of co-parenting their son. I’ve always thought this to be the true test of a person’s mettle during a divorce: how classy & generous can you be – can you keep striving to be – for the sake of your children, the innocent & un-witting civilian "casualties" of your own personal little (not so little, of course) war?

Ahhhhhhhh.

So many of us going through this. So much pain, so much loss…

Heartbreaking, to say the very, very least…

I do strongly recommend that any & every reader get thee to a bookstore or library & buy or borrow this book, then share it around. I’d also hazard a guess that one does not have to have gone through a marriage break-up to be helped & inspired by this book.

Nietzsche said, “Sin is that which separates.”

Alienation & loneliness are pretty big players here on Planet Earth, hmmm? Books that make us feel less alone – that help us see how very, very not-alone we really are when we’re down in one of those Very Deep Pits(2) any & all of us can fall into… well…I can’t recommend such books highly enough!!

Janet

P.S. Several years ago I read a couple of novels by Tony Parsons. One of them was called Man and Boy. I recall feeling at the time that these books of his could be a great comfort to anyone going through a divorce…

‘Quote of the day’ w. this post: “It’s one of the secrets of the world. We all have the key to one another’s locks. But until we start to talk, we don’t know it.” – Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW’s ‘Bookworm’ radio show


(1) Also, of course, a marvellous “growth opportunity”…

(2) The “Very Deep Pit” is a phrase borrowed from Winnie-the-Pooh. Winnie-the-Pooh & Piglet…well – read the book! It’s in Chapter V, ‘In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump.’ It was during the immediately-post-marriage-break-up phase of my life that I began borrowing the Very Deep Pit phrase. I used to joke that I was living in a Very Deep Pit – VDP for short. I still get a big kick out of the phrase…