One of the hardest parts of divorce is separating one family into two households. What’s difficult is digesting the fact that you’re not going to be able to see your children all the time. I don’t think couples can ever really imagine what that is like until it becomes their reality.
I was the mom that ran the show. I handled the day to day caretaking while dad was running a family business full-time. But during my separation that all ended abruptly. Instantly, I was mom only 50% of the time. I never really processed what that was going to be like— having to let go of the mom I used to be.
I’ll never forget the painful transitionary period, from the date of separation to the time my eyes finally filled with life again. I call this time divorce purgatory. It’s a place of limbo. So much confusion was swirling around inside of me. My body had no idea which way was up and which way was down. It felt as if I was waiting, wondering, trying to figure out who I was without the label of being someone’s wife. The awkward feeling of trying to define who I am without him, and letting go of being the kind of mom I once was accustomed to being.
During this transitional phase of divorce purgatory, I could honestly say it was not my finest moment in time. How could it have been? It was a time of great suffering, mourning the death of a family unit that was my everything. In the eyes of those closest to us, we were the picture of perfection. Because I was the one that wanted out of the marriage, I was left with having to defend and prove myself worthy, as a woman and as a mother.
When you are unsupported by those around you, something inside you awakens. A moment of clarity washed over me in a fleeting instant. At the time I didn’t realize that it was an opportunity to grow into the powerful woman I was created to be. I wasn’t ready to see that just yet. At that moment what I felt at the depths of my soul was an aloneness in a world that didn’t feel safe anymore. How could I feel safe when those closest to me whispered… “Nobody knows you anymore, Marisa?”
How could they know who I was? I didn’t even know who I was. I was raised to believe I needed to be what everyone else needed me to be. I was told that my husband and children come first, which meant my needs had to be last on the list. I was never allowed to discover who that was because I was conditioned to believe the world was only safe when I met the expectations of those around me. So, I shrunk myself and silenced my spirit in order to be the good girl.
I severed generational chains, broke the mould, and left the “good girl” behind.
But those whispers were haunting. They are words that to this day I have never forgotten, “Nobody knows who you are anymore, Marisa.” I owed it to myself and my children to find out. I was done believing that I had to “sacrifice” who I was in order to be the perfect mother. It occurred to me that this is what generations of women had to do in my family, sacrifice and go without in order to keep their family together.
This was not the legacy that I want to leave my children, that they had to go without—without their own passions, without their own voice, without their own dreams and desires, in order to be loved and accepted. I knew that breaking generational chains were going to require courage, strength and trust. It was not going to be easy, to do what many women before me didn’t have the courage to do, but this is the kind of mother I wanted to be. The kind of mom that stands in her truth, without fear of being judged or criticized.
Growth can be scary, and it’s uncomfortable, which is why most people choose to stay silent. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was drowning in my own silence, fearful that there would be nothing left of me to give my children. My children now have a mother who has let go of the mom she used to be in order to become a mom who stands in her truth. There’s nothing more powerful than that.
Whether you are contemplating divorce or you are wanting help to heal through your divorce, I would love to be there for you. My own divorce was messy and there were days I didn’t think I would ever be able to get through it, but I did, and so can you.
Click on the link to get a complimentary 45-min session with me! I would love to know your story https://mailchi.mp/34385f68f47f/wk73dswc3s