I'm Grateful for My Divorce

My divorce was THE biggest blessing for my life.

Did she really just say that? Yes, yes I did. I one hundred percent believe it to. Before you go ranting about it, hear me out.

The D word is seen as such a negative thing in society and by those of faith as well. As kids we grow up with this vision of what marriage is and will be for us. Some of that comes from our own parents, some of it from our faith, and a lot from society in general. How many little girls dream up their picture perfect wedding and happily ever after? Disney kinda fucked us up from the very beginning. How many relationships are truly what you see in all those kids movies?

Because of the expectations that have been put on marriage, divorce has been seen as this horrible thing that should never happen. Firstly, never say never. Secondly, we are human beings who by our very own nature we change and evolve. The person you are now, is not the same person you will be in 5 years or even a year. Yet, you are supposed to be with this one person, only, for the rest of your life? In a perfect world, sure. This world is far from perfect.

Now, I’m not saying I’m all for divorce. However, I do believe that it should be more openly accepted. There are legit reasons people, I believe, should get divorced. My situation was one of them.

For those that don’t know, I married young. We were only 19. That in itself, not a recipe for disaster or divorce. The years that followed though, yes. When many think of abusive relationships, you think of physical. You think of the bruising, the ‘unexplained’ broken bones, etc. What people don’t think of is the emotional, mental, and financial abuse that goes on right in front of your faces. Because I was much like you, I didn’t recognize the early signs of non-physical abuse.

This abuse went on for a few years before I finally acknowledged that it was happening and then even a bit longer before I made the decision that I needed to do something. It took even longer for me to take the action and follow through. Even though he had never laid a hand on me, the fear of the repercussions of me even mentioning wanting to leave were debilitating. Leaving that sort of situation goes beyond just knowing what you need to do.

Once I finally made the decision and things were final, that left me in THE scariest situation of my life. Here I was a young, newly single mother of two young girls, living on my own for the first time in my life. It was no longer just about me. It was about trying to provide for them, when before I’d not done any of the finances and always had a second income.

Now, it was just me.

The years after that were long, but also a huge blur at times. I borrowed money from friends, family, and sought community assistance on a regular basis just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.

These were the hardest years of my life, but I have made it through. Prior to and during my marriage I had no self-worth, very little self-esteem, super shy and timid, with major anxiety, panic attacks, and zero confidence in who I was.

That girl is gone. That girl left when she was put through that terrifying struggle. In place of that girl, is a strong, confident woman who is full of self-love, self-confidence, and self-worth! Beyond just that, those two little girls are now in college doing what they desire.

If it were not for my divorce, I would not have experienced those struggles to build me up into the strong and empowered woman I am today.

You have two choices with the struggles you have faced. You can wallow in the rubble that is left or you can use that rubble to build yourself better and stronger. The choice is up to you.

I chose stronger!

~Alicia Johnson~

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