For months I went around in secret not wanting anyone to know that I even filed for divorce. It was my deep dark secret that I was keeping, the scarlet letter that no one could see. I was so concerned about the thoughts and opinions of what our families, peers would think. On top of that I was riddled with my own personal guilt about the failure of my marriage because it was me, It was me who filed for divorce and not him. There was no playing victim, ‘see how he up and left me ish’. No, I didn’t cheat and yes, I tried to make it work but I had finally had enough of the mess and I wanted out! So, I searched for a lawyer online for weeks and months beating myself up over statistics of divorce and the reasons I should or could leave, I mean I had to be sure. I look back to that day I walked into that office and think why did I dress up put on makeup and do my hair for a meeting in which the facilitator would help end my marriage? I sat there stoic while she asked me why I was doing this and at the end of my meeting she said, you seem to have really thought this out so I guess I’ll stop now. In my head I walked outta there like I was in a commercial hair blowing in the wind smiling feeling free…
During this time I only told my sister and BFF who kept my secret for about 6 months or so before I even told my mom. Her response when I finally did tell her was, “are you okay? If you sure you want to do this then okay”. I mean I thought she’d be upset, sad or try to tell me I made the wrong decision but nope she had my back and I couldn’t have been more relieved. (You know sometimes old school West Indian parents will pressure about these types of life choices). I found that the more people who I told out had nothing to say either way and I was feeling lighter and lighter. It was as if I’d told them I choose to eat pizza without pepperoni- you like it I love it! Also, knowing that the ones who really knew me and knew the internal struggle I was going through were happy that I was closing that chapter and moving to happiness. The bolder I mean burden had been lifted.
Truth is, the real shame came when I started to eat my self up about the effect the divorce would have on my kids. A choice I made to get free would destroy their innocence and be like Hiroshima. How do we tell them? How will they react in the moment and after? I replayed and rehearsed it in my head every day for months. We both decided that after a while we’d tell them together and needless to say their reaction was surprising. These little people whom I birthed ask the most jarring yet intelligent questions that neither of us were ready for. I think we did pretty good about keeping it short and sweet with out too much details. Kids are resilient and they can handle things better than we think and they understand far more than we think they do. Yes, there were tears and even more questions over time and there may be even more as they grow and develop but 1 thing remains: they are the most beautiful and most magical by-product of the love that once was and will remained loved. For me they are in my top 2 persons dead or alive for some of y’all real hip hop fans that’s probably Biggie or Tupac, LOL!
What’s a shame is that I’ve looked at people who go through divorce and hate each other’s presence, sight or smell of the other person. Okay, maybe you do a little but you don’t have to act like though. It’s almost as they’d never loved each other once. Nah not me. I have love for my ex and respect him, for who he is now: a father to my daughter and son. Nah, my baby daddy ( who came up with this phrase ‘baby daddy’?) ain’t too bad, we cool- still figuring out this coparenting thing. Most importantly though is that the twins see how cool we are.
It’s a dang shame that I was so scared the whole time to just live. Live without fear and just stand in the grace that God has given me in this situation. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV
Lesson: don’t let the thoughts and opinions of what people might think hold you back from the freedom, dreams, desires and the love you you deserve. “Free yourself from mental slavery…” -Bob Marley
Love ya self even in this!