“D” for Divorce – Scarlet Letter No More!

  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
  • If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
  • It’s never too late.
  • Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.
  • Never give in and never give up.

Just a few uplifting quotes that totally did NOT help me when I was going through a divorce. Yes, that’s right…I’m a DIVORCEE. Did you just frown when reading that? Smirked? Felt bad for me? Well…don’t!

There was a time when I wanted you to feel bad for me, to show me some empathy, to side with me and not with him. I wanted the world to understand how I tried so diligently to keep us together but failed. How I wasn’t the one at fault. That I was wronged, and I was forced to become a victim. I wanted everyone to “see” within my four walls as well as into the confines of my mind and heart to understand ME, even if just for a moment. In hopes you would nod after listening to my vent session and say, “Ah! I totally understand, I would leave too”.

I was confident that getting a divorce was the best decision. Nothing and no one could make me sway or doubt myself. But there was a progression of sorts, an unfolding of events I first needed to go through to get to this point.

This wasn’t a spontaneous idea or a notion that maybe being single was better suited to my nature. There were conversations I fought to have, I analyzed everything, I questioned all sides, I put myself last and thought about the effects this would have on others, I allowed everyone who had an opinion to tell me what they thought was best. But eventually I had to take a look deeper inside the one person that kept quiet for so many years, that stayed on the sidelines as everyone else played the game of life and she was a mere spectator. And when she got the chance to play, she did so only by following the game plans created by others. I finally tapped her on the shoulder, handed her a megaphone and gave her a voice. She spoke, deliberated, exposed  all things and cried. I listened….and to this day, I stand by my decision.

What transpired after that though was truly unexpected. I was branded, a SCARLET LETTER of sorts, a big tainted “D” for divorce. Those that scorned validated their disdain on the basis of their own opinions.

  • “God hates a divorce” (So much for receiving understanding from a god of “love”)
  • “You broke up a marriage” (No, HE did that when he did what he did)
  • “I’m sure it could have been worked out” (Tried that)
  • “You didn’t trust that god would help you fix things” (I trusted that a loving god would have intervened BEFORE he did what he did)
  • “Your son is now from a divided household” (This one tears my heart to this day)

I dealt with this for years. And this came from people in my life that I trusted. People that I thought would understand me and support me. Most people showed no interest for the WHY of my divorce. They never asked. They were so blinded by this big ugly red “D”. I stopped becoming a person. I became a statistic. They looked at me and saw a DIVORCEE, a SINGLE MOM, a woman with NO HUSBAND, a FAILED MARRIAGE.

Don’t be mistaken though, I celebrated; and my bestie was there to celebrate with me when that piece of paper was finally stamped, sealed and delivered. It was now official. As time passed I learned that if I could get through years in a misguided marriage, then I could most certainly deal with the snub looks and whispers behind my back. If my divorce made people uncomfortable then I made sure to make it easier for all of us…no need to have you in my life. If I learned to move away from a bad marriage, then I learned to move away from bad friendships. My divorce was not about to become a nasty four letter word for myself nor for my son.

Here’s the upbeat part of the story… Along with time came clarity. It became clear that being divorced was not an impediment to feeling accomplished or complete. Along with clarity came freedom. Freedom from the past, the mistakes and the anger. And with that freedom came comfort. Comfort to be myself. Comfort with this new me. Deliverance from any guilt. And this new me was good. Correction…this new me was GREAT. Divorce was no longer a burden nor did it equate failure. Divorce was my teacher and my wings. Because of it, I was now able to fly. And I haven’t stopped flying since, and my son has been flying right by my side.

And that scarlet letter? Scarlet being synonymous with Jezebel, like her I have thrown it out the window and allowed the stray dogs to absorb every bit of it. It becomes someone else’s meal. One that I will never partake it.

Let us keep in mind Jim Morrison’s words…”Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors”.

— The Pretty Platform



14 thoughts

  1. I was married for 25 when the father of my children decided to walk out of our lives. It was hard for me since he was my first love. When I married I was 18 and a Virgin! When I divorced him I was not sad at all in fact, I was so happy that my younger daughter decided to take me out and celebrate

    1. First, I want to congratulate you for raising a daughter that could understand the wonderful woman that you are and value that by celebrating YOU despite the circumstances with her other parent. Secondly, I understand how difficult it is knowing that you dedicated that much time to someone to only have them underappreciated all that you did and sacrificed. Wishing you continued success and love with your kids because each day we smile proves us stronger than the day before.

    1. Let me tell you that your blog is pure, pure unadulterated GENIUS!!! I’m only up to reading your 4th fish, but I can’t stop laughing still at the power tools. Tell that woman to go buy her own.

  2. No one but you know what you went through. So no one but yourself have the right to judge and forgive you. I’m glad you found the courage to move on and not blame yourself for what happened.

  3. I always feel like you’re talking to me. You talking to me, you talking to me? (De Niro’s voice) lol
    Divorce hurts the first time and almost damaging the 2nd time. Yes, MY 2nd time cohabitating with someone was an epic failure. So, how does double DD’s sound or feel? Well, I certainly didn’t need anyone’s help in making me feel worse and make me question my decisions. I said no more and walked away from a toxic relationship. What else is there to explain? Everyone has an opinion, that’s for sure. Some people will make you feel like you are supposed to be a martyr of some sort. That’s so confusing and OLD school to say the least. Nah, I don’t think so. Actually, 11 years is QUITE a long time of sacrificing yourself simply for showing face and saying I can do this…SEE? Showing face? I wish I can switch with people and have them experience the nightmare and have them TRY and TRY and TRY again until they want to SCREAM their heads off! And oh yeah, there must be something wrong with me? I’ve heard that one too! Yep, there sure was. It’s called being NAIVE and having my head up in the clouds instead of being grounded and seeing things for what they really are. If anything good came out of MY poor judgement/experience is that my children will choose wisely because their dear mother can now (FINALLY) see a mile away.

    1. Nancy…I’m always happy I could help somehow. You are a strong woman by far and a true encouragement to us all. You are right…two divorces can be damaging. But you have built yourself back up. Bravo.

    1. I believe the stigma is not only in Western civilizations. But I do agree with you that it’s an inherent need to judge this so called shortcoming. Folks do this not just with Divorce though. I think it’s anything out of the norm. Single parent hood. Shotgun marriages. Age gaps in relationships. Divorce has been condemned on a “godly” platform as well, so many people are conditioned from an early age to believe that divorce is a negative thing instead of seeing it as individuals trying to progress past a negative union. Failure is always the first thought on any of the situations previously stated.

  4. Divorce is such a difficult thing — my mother is a divorcee as well and I know she’s experienced a lot of the same things. I’m glad you were able to rise above all of that negativity! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Natalie, Thank you for being the kind of daughter that can acknowledge the difficulties a parent undergoes throughout that process. I hope she too has been able to put most of that pain behind her. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and time. 😘

Share Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.