Tuesday, 07 August 2012
My Traumatic Experience
By Johna Ferguson
I think for women, unasked for divorce is perhaps the most traumatic experience they must face. One day your husband is there and then next day gone, but not permanently for you might often run into him on an outing.
Death is terrible but at least he’s never going to be around. Perhaps he fell in love with someone else or is looking for someone else to fall in love with.
Whatever, he has suddenly left you and you feel like you have fallen into some dark bottomless pit. You have no idea which way to turn. If your children are young, you must comfort them and if they are older, you must try to confront them as you never know just who they will side with, you or their father.
Where will you live, what will you use for money, how can you manage the day-to-day things that seemed so ordinary before that now loom like a brick wall. So many decisions to make and in your state of mind they all seem too unbearable to deal with. You never wanted a divorce, in fact it wasn’t even a possibility in your mind, yet it has happened.
To make matters worse, perhaps like me you can’t think of one divorced couple. Who can you turn to for advice or help? I couldn’t turn to my mother, just recently widowed and also in rather fragile health.
Luckily I remembered a past neighbor, a woman about seven years older than I who was divorced years before. Her husband left her one day for another woman so she knew the difficult walk I was taking. I called her and we met for lunch; I listened and followed her advice, right or wrong.
She told me to keep an open mind so our children wouldn’t have to take sides. Go along with any reasonable division of your belongings that can be worked out. If he refuses, then hire a lawyer and “take him to the cleaners” but be aware of the consequences: your children may then side with their father.
We were able to find a solution. I got the house and everything in it and he got the business. I got some alimony in exchange for getting half share of his retirement funds. He paid for a lawyer to draw it all up and once I signed the court document, it was a signed and sealed deal.
Well, all except for my emotions. That was something I had to learn to deal with. I’m afraid I didn’t do a very good job. I finally felt I had to move out of the city where our paths often crossed. Luckily I had options and chose to move to China. I applied for a job, through a Chinese friend, and there I remained for 27 years, even eventually marrying a Chinese man.
But now we are back in the states. My former husband’s nephew is running for a big state office yet I am never asked to attend any of the affairs. I wasn’t invited to any of my former nieces’ or nephews’ weddings.
I live only blocks from my former sister-in-law, who once was a close sorority sister, and also live in walking distance to my former husband’s condo, but I am banned from all previous family connections. His siblings all ignore me; only his artist brother wrote me.
Seems like the hurt I thought was gone has surfaced again. Perhaps I brought that all on again by moving back into my familiar neighborhood. But yet when my former husband was having health problems last week and my sons were all out of town, one son called me to have my present husband, a doctor, walk down and check on his father. Good thing my ex and present are friendly in an off-handed way.
Now to get bad feelings out of my mind, I have turned to writing, writing about fun or unusual things. It’s amazing what writing can do for one’s body and soul. If you have a problem, try turning to writing and then submitting to Ronni’s wonderful blog. An entire new world may open up for you.
[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]