Friday, April 11, 2014

keep chipping away

According to my login page, my last published entry was submitted on December 16th, 2013.  A lot has changed for me since then. Christmas came, Catelyn's fourth birthday came, the new year began, and somewhere in there I found out my marriage was over.

I have been struggling to know what to write.  I don't want to offend anyone, and yet I really want to keep writing about my life, and how I am doing since Catelyn died.

All I can write is what I know...

Emotional control has been extremely difficult for me since I found out about my impending divorce.  I have actually endured many of the same feelings of inadequacy that I did when Catelyn died.

There was one particular day when I felt like everything was going wrong at work, and my thoughts moved to 'I am such a failure that I can't even do simple tasks at my job.'  A coworker happened to walk by my desk at that moment and mention that lunch was ready in the kitchen.  His kindness during my internal ambush overwhelmed me, and tears began to pour down my face like a raging river.  I scurried away from my desk and took refuge in the ladies locker room.

As I slunk down in anguish, on a couch, berating myself over losing control of my emotions at work, I thought, I'll just call my husband.  Then I quickly remembered that was no longer an option.  My thoughts, once again, turned against me, proclaiming, 'you fail at everything: life, work, marriage, motherhood.'

After an excruciatingly painful mental knockdown drag out in the minutes that followed, I finally took a moment and realized my thoughts were only making things vastly worse.  So I started in with the 'Stuart Smalley' school of thought.  I looked up at the ceiling, perhaps for strength from above, and began saying things (out loud) such as:
'I am a good person.'
'Everyone makes mistakes.'
'My boss said it's not a big deal.'
'Many people get divorced.'
'I am not a failure.'

I began to smile as I remembered the old SNL skit where Michael Jordan was asked to look into the mirror and say "...because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me."  After a moment I went back to my desk, collected and renewed.

Catelyn's death has provided me an opportunity to learn some very important tools on how to overcome the mean thoughts I have toward myself.  I can only hope to keep chipping away at my cruel self-talk in the hard days of grief that lie ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Tracy, I am not shocked by your comment at all as many people say a divorce is like a death and even I (being the one who wanted my divorce) found it to be as well, after all it is the end of something special sacred and meant to be lifelong in a person's life.

    I remember having those same feelings of inadequacy, I remember thinking now I'm just another statistic, and of course when I was married I was a statistic (in the % of married folks) but there's so much more stigma in being in the "been divorced" side of the equation. I had many many MANY a panic attack, days where I felt I couldn't breathe, days where I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die...I think my biggest thing I had to deal with of all the warning signs I didn't see/explained away/ignored that should have kept me from marrying him in the first place and to me it was just so absolutely mortifying to realize I had to divorce after only just over a year after I professed "till death do us part", THAT reeeeaaallllllyyyyyy made me feel like such a failure. I'd wondered if people would be mad about wedding gifts they'd given us, I'd wondered if I should try to return any of them.....

    with all the pain, guilt, etc. that I went through, again being the one who initiated by divorce I cannot even image the realm of emotions, stages and feelings that you are going through with how yours happened. I am always here for you, and yes you ARE good enough, you ARE smart enough and gol (is that how you spell it?) dang it Tracy people LOVE you!!!!!! :)