A retrospective, because now, with healing, it can be said.
Things get said like, no one ever thought death would be a well-visited patient on a maternity ward. (Jodi Picoult, Small Great Things) And there you are with a truth you always knew but never said. Babies die, mom’s die, the greatest hopes die and that is really unsettling, very depressing, but the truth.
More true things get said. No one ever tells you that divorce is like a death and how long that wound of breaking a sacred or not so sacred bond takes to heal, whether you asked for it or not, wanted it or not. Whether you ever thought of it as sacred. And, either side you land on, there you are with loss and grief and can’t see where you will land or what dark corners you will have to turn before you start to see a speck of light. And you know you will, but you never know when. Everyone around you roots for you, hopes for you and you lean on their belief in you. You will get through it.
People tell you this is a gift, a blessing, and one day you might even thank him. And you wonder when that will ring true. When does it feel good? When does it feel like the freedom you wanted, you hoped for?
Will it really take half the length of the entire marriage to get over the wound, get over the divorce? Feel free? That’s what you were told and you heard it with your ears covered so you could think that you really hadn’t heard it and told yourself that won’t be me, ever, it won’t take that long, it can’t.
It can’t take that long as there is no place to go to feel better, no hospital ward to hold that wound, that death, or that healing. There are bandages, but that is all they are, bandages, and the wound is slow to heal under them.
Most of us walk around thinking oh she’s divorced, never note the pain of that experience, and push the thought away like a dirty penny. Never really see her. But do judge her, Judge her righteoulsy because we can.
We are not divorced, We are able to make the relationship we have, stick, For better or for worse. We have gotten comfortable with what we know, with what is familiar.
And then our life changes and we are the ones getting the divorce. And the judging we had kept quietly to ourselves, flies from us, Like a boomerang spun out into the sky, with unbalanced aerodynamic force, It winds its way back to hit the very place it was thrown from, Hitting us smack in our righteousness.
Then the boomerang is sent back to the blues again, Flies out into the sky and we have great hopes that it returns with new information gathered from the vast blue. We hope for information wiser than our righteousness.
We hope for new ways to be with the painful feelings of loss, sadness, grief, And all the other feelings of envy, jealousy, fear, and hatred , That pop out as if they are thorns festering under our skin, Just waiting for the provocation to find its way out.
All the feelings that were, at once kept well under wraps and projected onto others, Are hidden in the garden behind the house, Under the geraniums that everyone pretends to like.
In fact with close examination, those geraniums, really, are not all that attractive: A pretty bud, with spindly stems, But a very good cover that says eerything is as okay as it was in the ’50’s
How do you explain the wounds, how does healing really work?
Just the facts mam, that is what the attorneys want. They won’t delve into the deep, the sadness, loss, fear, And the tear of pain with each of the children’s experiences, With the mother’s agonizing ache over her children’s pain.
Some say, to do a burial for the divorce. There is a ritual to marry, there must be a ritual for the end of the marriage.
And when a burial is tried there is great hope, As the aches inside ask for the miracle of all the pain being over.
As with any death, the pain remains and heals, taking its own time, whatever time is necessary. There is no rushing it, no pushing it to fit our timing. It is not a time of convenience.
All the pointing fingers at her and her and her, Carry fingers pointing back to the pointer. And that is where the healing is called for,
Where the healing must start.
But we say I don’t want to and I won’t. We just want to keep our eye on the target of the finger-pointing at another.
The hurt is still too deep to look at the fingers pointing at the pointer, pointing at us.
And each time we turn away from seeing the fingers pointing back at us, We ache just a bit more because we know, we know that is the work, The work of unfolding the frozen bent fingers pointing back. The work of looking at the object of the point.
Therein lies the freedom, our freedom.
The bumps and hurdles come when we waver, And want to keep the fingers pointing out, Wanting to sacrifice our freedom to keep another caged. It all sounds so bad, so dreadful, so very unkind.
But divorce brings that out in us.
It is great work to keep the focus on us, On ourselves, on our pain. It is great work to be so self focused that we will take our freedom, Even if it frees the other. We unbind, unhook from resentments and attachments, And let fly our freedom because now know we are the focus, we are the point.