Ashen memories and the post divorce trauma
I stopped going to work, barred myself from socialising and spent most of the time locked up in my room at home.
It was devastating and something I never believed would ever happen to me in my life. Yet, it occurred and left me in a paradigm of depression and frustration. Yes, I am someone who had to go through the painful moments of the divorce process. Since the process involved my 1.5-year-old child as well, it was all the more difficult an ordeal to handle. That was the time I lost all interest in life. I stopped going to work, barred myself from socialising and spent most of the time locked up in my room at home.
In Pakistan, divorce is a process that generally involves going to courts and pulling the elderly in the middle to solve the fiasco. However, it is strange that anyone can hurl any accusation at you and it will just become a part of the court proceeding, whether they prove it or not. I am no legal expert myself, but having attended five court hearings I realise that legally, in a divorce settlement, anyone can push you into a corner, shame you unprovoked at anytime and there is not much that can be done about it.
This write-up isn’t about my ordeal but I did give my own example of how things happen in such circumstances. Although it was a hard time to deal with and it still is; life doesn’t stop there. It moves on and so should everyone who has ever gone through this.
I went through it and there will be many others who have faced something similar or worse in their lives. This blog is just my own personal experience of dealing with the aftermath of a divorce.
Accepting the pain
Accept the pain. Accept the fact that this happened and can’t be reversed. Analyse what exactly went wrong. Of course, everyone wants to keep themselves as ‘pure’ as possible, but generally there are issues from both sides that lead to such a situation. Think over it and ponder over how your compromise could have resulted in a different scenario altogether.
A new start
In Pakistan, generally, a divorce is permanent and there are very few exceptions where different approaches are made for post-divorce reconciliation. There is no point in lurking in the same dark alleys of ashen memories. Just think about a new start and how you are going to manage it. What were your faults and shortcomings that you should overcome when looking to start a new relation. Once you understand that a divorce happens due to the shortcomings from both ends, you’ll be more comfortable in looking at the life ahead with some control over your own shortcomings.
In case you stopped seeing friends, it is time to connect with them again. But socialise without whining about how bad your marriage was or the likes. Just talk to people, explore new opportunities and try to leave your past behind. It is also a good idea to make new friends in the process.
Yes, I also used to get angry and frustrated when I came to know of the defamatory jingles being sung by my ex-relatives. But seriously, it doesn’t matter at all. In cases like these, you should simply ignore such stuff and smile at whoever brings it to your attention. A divorce is a very painful process and of course your ex and his or her relatives do not have anything good to say about you, just as you may not. If you stay quiet and normal today, it is possible that one day people will stop believing the ones maligning you or your character. Remember that your anger will cause someone to get happy. So why afford merriment to anyone at the cost of your own emotions?
Keep contact with your kids
Of course, if your divorce happened and you also had kids, it is essential that you maintain contact with them. Always meet them whenever you are allowed and do not badmouth your ex in front of your children. Just have a great time with them when you have the chance. Do not damage your feelings by falling back into the past or narrating the pain you endured to your children. But do let them know that you miss them.
These are some of the steps I took to get back to a normal life. I understand that these are very generic points and you already have the choice to make your own healing plan. Just remember that maybe he or she didn’t deserve you; there is a silver lining behind every dark cloud- and it's always there, so don’t lose hope.
This was your opportunity to reflect back on your mistakes, improve your life and look forward to having a happier relationship with a more compatible partner.