I have seen some nasty divorces in my time. Straight up slanging matches and court appearances and horrible arguments over kids and custody and who gets the damn dog. I guess that was a good lesson for me, because I certainly learnt how not to behave.
The separation from my ex was clean. None of that poisonous shit that damages people in the long-term. I know it was hard on my kids, but it would have been a whole lot worse of their father and I had been on a mission to destroy each other. I am really proud of the fact that I haven’t slagged him off, not to them or to anyone else. And I am 100% certain that they have coped better than they would have if they had seen us hating on each other.
And it would have been really easy to hate him. Being cheated on and then cast aside for the shiny new toy was fkn hurtful.
But I had another little life lesson today, that hit me like a tonne of bricks from out of nowhere. I am disposable. Not just to him, but to an entire extended family that I adored. I have always valued family, as screwed up and dysfunctional as mine are, it has always been important to me. And I worked hard to create an amazing little family of my own, including brothers and sisters in law who I love as much as the rest of them. Those people were a bigger feature in my life than my blood relatives most of the time and my experience of family was so much richer for having had them in it.
When we first separated I talked to the extended family and made sure that they knew how important they were to me and that I didn’t want to lose them just because I was no longer with their brother. You would think that having people in your life for 10+ years would give it some concrete stability. But that wasn’t the case here.
Overall, it really just makes me sad. My kids are missing out on having their aunt, uncle and cousin in their lives and I am missing out on my gorgeous niece. And there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it. When we separated and his new girlfriend came on the scene, I kept all the nasty details to myself. I didn’t want anyone to think less of him and maybe I didn’t want anyone to think less of me. Somehow I was ashamed of being cheated on, like his actions were indicative of my worth. I am a little ashamed now that I let that define me.
I am doing a lot better these days, though still regularly falling into the habit of letting the old shit creep in. I am still a little broken and beaten down, but I think I am making progress. Just reminding myself everyday that as long as I keep moving forward I’ll be okay.