Salam! So happy to see you tune into my deepest inner thoughts. I can’t say I’m entirely sure about the direction of today’s piece but I’m just going to spew what comes to mind.
I was talking to my best friend the other day and she said something that stuck to me. She said “divorce suits you.” I didn’t know how to take it. I don’t want to be the kind of girl that divorce looks good on. But as we got to talking – I got the clarity I needed.
Within my network, or I guess online, I’m kind of like the poster child for divorce. Not that I want to be…it just sort of ended up that way. My audience has seen my evolution. For those who have followed me for some time – you saw me as a married girl, going to Raptors games, taking vacations with my husband, getting pregnant, my baby being born and so forth. You also.. saw my break up. It was no secret.
Then came ‘the level up.’
You saw me get in shape. You see me happy. You see me managing a home, my child, my responsibilities, making my own money and the growth of my spiritual journey.
As my bestie explained – because of that, people turn to me for guidance. Advice on how to manage the emotions, the transition, legalities, healing and everything that comes post split.
I’ve painted this picture online that “I’m thriving” and content. You’ve basically seen the results of the work I did… behind closed doors. Online, it looks like I’m saying…”if you get divorced, you can be happy like me.”
I wanted to take this post to briefly overview the actual reality of divorce.
I’ll start off by saying – I am 100% a spoiled brat. I come from a family of 3 brothers. Being the only daughter, my parents catered to me. Not with the intention to spoil me – but just being parents who want to give their children the best they can offer. I got married young, took advantage of my right as a wife and enjoyed the fruits of my husband’s labour. He never said no to whatever I wanted to buy/eat/do, and from there I further deterred lol. I’ll be honest – I worked, but I never had to contribute to the household.
Come the divorce. I had to grow up overnight. I remember how bitter I was over girls getting divorced who had their parents’ homes to go to, since I didn’t have that option.
Raaya was only 14 months and with the guilt of it all, I refused to enroll her into an institution just because my marriage failed. I was determined to continue being the kind of available mother I was for the first year of her life. Honestly – I was scared. The fear of the unknown future mortified me.
Bills. Finances. Property Insurance. Utilities. It all slaps you in the face so fast. Paying them on your own is one thing. Figuring out what is what, when it’s due, and who it goes to is a massive shock to your system. I never knew how tolling it would be to live in an expensive city and manage an entire house. Lawn work, furnace replacements, renovations, repairs – all of that costs so much damn moola – I struggle to breathe sometimes.
Initially though – that is the easier part in the grand scheme of things. Praise the Lord for savings. Always have savings.
The hard part was the emotional transition. Rerouting your entire existence. The loss of your partner ultimately leads to so many emotions that you have to maneuver through. We aren’t usually equipped with the tools we need to comb through them. We distract ourselves. We disassociate. We get therapy. We eat/don’t eat. We cope however we can. It comes in stages. It’s painful. You feel isolated, consumed by the fact you’re struggling to adjust. Trust me – you will adjust.
If you’re fortunate enough to have children. You’ll need to re-establish a new chapter of your relationship with your ex partner to effectively co-parent. THIS IS ANNOYING. They are annoying. So are you though. The fighting is draining. You really have to put your ego aside to think of what is best for your child. You have to check your resentment, and suppress however sour you may be. The end goal is to have a healthy relationship and minimize the damage we subject our children to. You give up time with your baby/babies when they are with the other parent and this can bring a new onslaught of anxieties. Guilt, worry, sadness and just missing them. Take the break. I promise you will return as a refreshed, and better parent.
I know we love to throw around the term “healing” and our generation is so obsessed with the concept but if you proactively take adequate measures – it will come naturally. Being fixated on getting to that end goal of being healed and moving forward will drive you insane. The beauty, is in the journey. Spending time with myself is the best gift I gave myself as an adult. It is impossible to truly know yourself on the deepest level – until you are alone. It is also impossible to know the value in knowing yourself on that level till you are alone. You give yourself a real opportunity to gain the self-esteem you need because all of a sudden, here you are, surviving sleepless nights while making ends meet, taking care of your child without help, changing light bulbs, getting in shape, and everything else you’ve never done as a one man show. You no longer seek validation, or require reassurance to lead your life the way you feel just.
The above sounds glorified but Lord knows how many years it’s taken me. I’ve cried youtubing videos on how to caulk tiles, or STRUGGLED waking up extra early to get a gym session in because that was the only time I could go between being a mother, chef, maid, the only source of income, while trying to feel normal, fight my loneliness and better my mental state of mind and spirit. It’s exhausting.
But there is reward in that.
All in all, this circles back to my besties initial comment. “Divorce Suits You.” In my stories, I broadcast my socializing, free weekends, the girls trips and so on. But that is not the product of my divorce, but actually the outcome of my hard work.
Actually – I can’t even take full credit. I am the end result of God’s mercy. He chose to restore my finances, my energy and opened doors to give me ease. Alhumdullilah.
This was a very preliminary look into my divorce. I wanted to keep it light. I’ll explore other aspects in future posts.
The demise of a relationship is never easy. I am not here to encourage you to end your marriage. I love seeing budding relationships where people ride it out and make it work. It’s rare. But if you have made the decision and you’re taking the step, then brace yourself and surround yourself with the support you need to persist.
May Allah make it easy.