The onset of divorce has no voice: it is silent, cold, and disconnected.  It feels a certain way.  I had no language at first to articulate why I wanted a divorce. I only knew that if I wanted to feel “normal” again, I needed to get out of my marriage. 

When the numbness wore off, and I stopped running from my thoughts, its voice made itself known. 

It wanted to know why I abandoned myself, repeatedly, in order to be this version of myself that I believed I needed to be.  

“Who are you, Marisa? Do you even remember?” Its questions were heavy as if I didn’t already feel bad enough about wanting out; now it’s asking who I am? “I don’t know who I am. All I know is I want to stop feeling lifeless.”   

The voice kept getting louder, “Why are you betraying yourself? Before you became a wife and a mother, you were a person.  Who is she? What does she need right now? Are you done worrying about how others will receive your truth?” 

I had been a master of avoidance, to the point of believing my own betrayal. I was so good that not only was I able to fool others, but I was even better at fooling myself.  

“My needs? I’m fine. We are going to be fine.  I have it all figured out. What’s the problem?” 

“The problem is you’ve been wearing a mask for so long that you can’t even recognize yourself anymore.  If you don’t stop pretending and let go, you will disappear.” 

I thought, “Let go? What does that mean? I did let go. I asked for a divorce.” 

Why did it feel like it still wasn’t enough? How can I articulate what I feel if I don’t even know? The people around me couldn’t help because I didn’t have words to describe my feelings.  It felt easier to say I was feeling this way because of him–He did this to me, he’s responsible for making me feel this way, everything would be great if he stopped trying to manipulate and control everything.  

The voice of divorce wasn’t going to let me get away with deflecting. “Maybe if I blame him, I won’t have to look at the real source of my pain.” It started to become a love-hate relationship I had with its voice.  

The voice became a mirror in which I couldn’t escape. “Do you want to continue feeling powerless? When are you going to remember how powerful you are?”  

Yes, I wanted to feel powerful. I didn’t want to continually react to every trigger that rendered me voiceless, again, as if I was still in a marriage that no longer served me.  I thought divorce would be the end of it.

“If divorce is enough, you wouldn’t need to search for validation, you wouldn’t need to demand respect, and you wouldn’t need to keep score. You would stop living in the land of comparison.”   

Did divorce create these needs?  Or were they there beneath the surface of the volcano I had been suppressing all these years? I couldn’t continue living this way, and even if I wanted to, this voice wasn’t going away.  It was the voice of truth, and it was painful.

The voice continued, “Don’t believe the lies you’ve been feeding yourself.  You aren’t unworthy, broken, or in need of anything outside yourself to make you feel whole. You don’t have to pretend that everything is ok, to put on a smile because it makes others feel comfortable.  You don’t have to tiptoe or walk on eggshells to avoid discomfort.  You don’t have to hide or pretend anymore. You don’t have to live life according to some master plan or checklist that you believe will lead to happiness.  All you have to do is be still.”

“What if the answer isn’t to avoid but to get curious?” I thought.  This voice was there to show me, to challenge me to look deeper into the core of my being.  If I continued to let divorce be my way to avoid, I would never get to the core of my truth.  Maybe this voice was my saving grace.

“What do you want me to see? What do I need to know?” These questions opened the door for a very different energy, from being a victim to becoming someone that seeks her truth.  If I continue to blame and seek approval from others, I will never stand in my power to create a meaningful life after divorce.  

I wasn’t going to let divorce determine my destiny.  I am much more than my divorce story.  

“Show me what still needs healing.” What I saw cut much deeper than divorce.  A wounded child can let divorce swallow her whole if she lets it.  The unconscious wounds left untreated will manifest itself in every area of your life.  

“Marisa, you are so much more than your eyes will ever see.  Do not drink the untreated wounds of others.  It is not your job to teach them. Your only job is to heal your own wounds and to love them and yourself unconditionally.” 

Every day this has become my journey, my challenge, to remind myself to live in my truth. Divorce is only part of that journey; it was the gateway to my remembrance.  It got my attention, and it made its voice loud and clear.  I am grateful that it has become a significant teacher

 

Click HERE for an exclusive interview with my attorney who guided me through my divorce. It will go over tips that I wish I had known about while going through a divorce.

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