If you had told me 11 ½ years ago that my marriage was going to end in divorce, I would have stubbornly told you that you can take a flying leap and that divorce would never happen to me. I would have been wrong. Divorce: separation, division, split, disunity, estrangement, alienation, schism, gulf, chasm. Those are just a few definitions. I don’t think the dictionary contains the right words for describing this act and I don’t think there’s any one description that fits. Every relationship is different and unique, so it only stands to reason that the dissolution of that relationship would be unique to those individuals. For me? Well, divorce means a lot of things. Divorce means shattering the heart of another human while yours simultaneously explodes in a million pieces. It means still having the greatest human love possible for this other person but knowing that it’s not going to work out. It means cracks in the hearts of those who are close to both of you. It means losing part of your mom status and knowing that any effort you put into forging a close family bond is going to be dismissed, forgotten, never spoken of again. Divorce means a lot of confusion, wondering what others think about you and if some people now refer to you as that bitch who left her husband. Family? For me those lines were often blurred anyway, wondering if I’d ever fit in or be accepted and now, family happens without you. Divorce for me means finding the balance of letting my two little humans see me fall apart and being strong for the children who now come from a broken home. It means worrying that they’ll like dad better or that even they will blame me for turning everything upside down. It means every emotion in the book; anger, loneliness, sadness, hope, confusion, grief and so many, many more. Divorce. Such an ugly word. Of all the words, it’s never one I wanted to describe me. You’re right, it’s fair to say that I chose this, I did. I want the world for him. I want him to find happiness and love himself. I want him to have the most amazing job that he is passionate about and a safe space to come home to at night. I want the kids to love him more and more every day and I want them to see the light and love and talent in him that I always saw. The grief…dear God, the grief and the guilt is almost consuming. We don’t love the same way. We never really did. We both made plenty of mistakes. I gave him my 20’s and he gave me his 30’s and now we’ve grown apart even further. Years go by and people change, trust is broken and sometimes faith and stability never come back. Stability. Like the home we built together, the flowers and tree and all the memories we put into making it a home and not just the piece of property we signed our names to. Divorce means I will never be the same again. It’s a lasting mark, a scar on this journey that I call life. But scars can be beautiful, right? I dare to hope that the strength I gain might make me a better person in the end. Right now, I’m not fully me. I’m broken, so broken. I’m healing too, I think. Most days I feel like a hurricane, wondering what emotion will flood me next and when the darkness will stop pouring over me. For now, there’s a tiny speck of light that’s piercing my vision. I don’t know yet exactly where that light leads and who or what will help me heal and bring in more light. For now, divorce feels like one foot in front of the other. It feels like loving my kids stronger and hugging them more. It feels like going to work, being a good human and doing my best to take care of me and mine. It feels like making sure relationships are a priority and that I never give up so much of myself that there’s nothing left. It feels like stumbling and wondering when I will find answers. It feelings like one foot in front of the other and hoping I gain strength and love and confidence along the way. It feels like finding me and exploring my place on this earth. It’s pain…so much pain. But… I wonder what will come next?