Thursday, March 17, 2011


I have led a pretty privileged life. Middle-class white girl from the Connecticut suburbs, expensive private college, dental school. I never had too much reason to feel pain, aside from the occasional teenage heartbreak. Until my divorce.

I don't know why it has taken me so long to hit me so hard that we will never be a family again. But that simple, cold fact is, for some reason, causing me so much pain these days, far more than when we separated, far more than the days leading up to the official divorce. It hurts more than any number of physical injuries I've ever had, more than the appendectomy I had when I was 15, more than childbirth with a non-working epidural. I have never felt such pain in my life, and I never hope to again. It weighs on me, it suffocates me. It makes me feel like I'm being buried alive.

The problem, the reason it hurts more now, is this: We took time apart. We got divorced. We detached, to some degree. And now we spend time together again, like a family, every day since he's been back from Arizona. And it's normal, and it's fun, and Caroline is so happy, and it's...

Killing me.

What did I do? I tore our family apart. I burned it to the ground and walked away and refused to even glance over my shoulder. Was this entire journey for nothing? I feel like I can't think, like nothing I write is making any sense. What was the purpose of this incredibly painful year? To give us our freedom from a relationship that was poisonous for both of us? Or to serve as some kind of catharsis, so that our family could be reborn without all the anger and pain and conflict?

Why is this even an issue? I walked away without a second thought, back in September. Why am I grieving like this now? This afternoon he was here and I couldn't take it anymore, and I completely melted down. I swore I'd never cry in front of him again. Yet there I was, crying the ugly cry, sobbing as I sat on the floor and my child screamed with her arms locked around my neck because she doesn't understand why mommy is so sad.

I have never felt such pain. I don't know how to make it stop. I thought getting divorced would do it.

It hasn't.


Anonymous said...

Julia, I am so so sorry that you are feeling this way. I hope that you are able to take a deep breath and just believe that everything will be ok.

This is going to sound terrible, and I really don't mean it that way, but do you think your feelings have changed about your divorce now that Tyler is in another serious relationship? I don't want you to take that comment the wrong way at all, but its just an observation: from the outside, it seems like your posts have taken a pretty dramatic turn ever since you mentioned the woman he is seeing and who he introduced to his parents and to Caroline. I can only imagine how tough that must be, and perhaps that has really shaken you in a way that the separation and divorce didn't?

Julia said...

Oh absolutely, it is a part of it, and that it's so soon. I am not at all offended by the suggestion! It's definitely the trigger, though I have been having these feelings to an extent ever since the official divorce. Blech.

Kimberly said...

I haven't commented before but I've been following your journey for a while (promise I'm not a stalker!). I went through a divorce without the marriage when my son was born. Bad relationship, horrible break up, court hearings, visitation, yadda yadda. So I can somewhat relate to what you're going through.

I also second guessed my decision to leave him. I knew in my heart it was the right thing, but there came a point where I thought "what the heck did I do? Could there be a possibility for a family?"

My best advice is to just take some time. But let your feelings happen. It's a way of grieving and accepting whatever is going on. By letting your heart and your head feel that way it will lead you to where you should be, whether that be back with Tyler or to slowly accept it and move forward.

Hope I made sense! Remember - keep your head up, it will all be ok, it will just take time!

Anonymous said...

Hi Julia,
I have been following your blog for some time anonymously. I posted once telling you how impressed I am by your strength. I still am. But do you think you can use this amazing strength to revisit your whole marriage/divorce decision? Are you going to therapy and talking to anyone about it? What happened when you broke down in front of Tyler? Do you think you could talk to him about what he is feeling? Would he be open to at least discussing a potential reconciliation with a new life plan - one that includes putting you and Caroline first? Now that he is not moving to Denver and he has had his whole life torn apart and seen that family is not something he can put on the back burner, do you think he might be willing to change the rules in a new relationship with you?

I know another poster already gently mentioned that perhaps you are having these feelings because Tyler has someone new in his life. I agree to some extent, but I also think that in reading your blog, even before knowing about this girlfriend, you said several times how you made a decision and then moved forward very quickly. I remember in one of your post you talked about how you had to go to therapy together and you had a good communication where you broke down and Tyler said he wished you two had gone to therapy together before. Do you think he might still feel that way? And want to go to therapy together? Even if it doesn't end up in reconciliation, it might still give you some more comfort and a better sense of peace with everything.

Sorry if I intruded too much, but for some reason your story has always gotten under my skin - since you found out about being Caroline through till the divorce. You are so young and have had to go through so much - it's ok we all make decisions that we sometimes are unsure about, but it might be worth looking into and seeing if there is any room for change. I really truly wish you the best of luck. Please keep us posted. Please let us know if we can help in any way!

Julia said...

Thank you all so much.

I'll explain/talk about all this in a new post soon... it's too long to answer appropriately in a comment, but I just wanted to acknowledge the kind words since I don't have time to write the post just yet. Thank you. :)

Kylie Mc said...

one question. if he asked for the two of you to work things out and give things another try, would you?

almost every couple i know, who has divorced, second guessed their decision. some stick with the plan to divorce, others try to work things out only to find that it'll never be the same or what they thought could be, and then there are those few who actually do work things outs and stay together. i guess you will have to take the time to sort some things out, and see what works for you. best wishes (i truly mean that). :)