Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mental U-Turn


Because this divorce was not my idea, (not to mention that it was quite a surprise) it took me some time to absorb the magnitude of the change of direction my life would be taking.

However, even once I understood what would be happening, I dragged my feet. I delayed in getting a lawyer. I hesitated with paperwork. I put off meetings.

Each request from HOB’s very ambitious and determined lawyer felt like an assault, and I reacted by crawling further into my shell, hiding from the storm of nightmarish activity. I bemoaned my circumstances. How did I get here? Why did this happen? What am I going to do now?

In short, I felt like a victim and I behaved like one.

And like all things that we avoid out of fear, the issues and problems grew inside my head and the worst case scenarios took over, threatening my nearly non-existent stability. When the phone rang, I got a knot in my stomach. I winced when I opened my e-mail, fearing another missive about the divorce. When I got the mail, I held my breath, praying there would not be more information about the split.

Then, one day a few weeks ago, I got sick of myself.

I don’t even know what made me change course, but I decided to take a mental U-turn right then and there. I decided from that moment on, I would not be a victim any longer. Instead, I would be an active participant in this whole thing. It’s clear it’s going to happen, so why not?

My mama didn’t raise me to be a victim.

The next day I got a request for my W-2 from HOB’s lawyer. Before, I would have been tearful, hesitant, resentful, and slow. Instead, I immediately made a copy and got it to my lawyer, smiling at the receptionist and wishing her a happy day.

As part of my mental U-turn, I thought it would be good to be able to say with vim and vigor, “I want this divorce.” Alone and in the isolation of my car, I forced myself to say it aloud one day. But honestly? It stuck in my throat. It was hard to say. This worried me at first, but then I realized that no one really wants to be divorced. I do wish my marriage would have lasted, but it didn’t. So, while I can’t shout that particular sentiment from the rooftops, I can gleefully and confidently say, “I want to get through this, so I can get on with the new, exciting life I know awaits me.”

These days, I still hesitate at the mailbox, phone, and before I open my e-mail, but now I use that time to take a deep breath and say to myself, “Whatever it is, I can handle it.” Though I know difficult issues are ahead, I've got enough of my mojo back to believe I can deal with what needs to be dealt with. (Sometimes I may not be too graceful about how I handle things, but that's OK too. I'm going for progress, not perfection.)

In short, it’s time to stand up and reclaim some of my power.

I am a smart, capable woman. I have friends who believe in me. I have sons who love me and are proud of me. I have a family who encircles me in love and supports me without end. Does that sound like a victim?

I don’t think so.

I think that sounds like a woman who has all the tools she needs to finish up one part of her life and who has a terrific foundation on which to build an even better one.

Thanks, Betty People for all your support and love!


63 comments:

Catherine said...

It sounds like you are getting stronger and stronger Betty! Good for you! Love it!

Wishing you a wonderful beautiful fantastic week!
xo Catherine

Mamma has spoken said...

I'm am so happy to read this this morning. It's great to see that you are moving on AND it turns out my son is going through the same thing and it helps me to understand what he is going through.

BECKY said...

You tell 'em, Betty! Can you say, "I am woman! Hear me roar!"
:D

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

AMEN! ☺

Lin said...

WOW, Betty! Most take years to get to this point--some, never. I think you have made a wise move (again). It's not about saying "I want" as much as "I accept. Let's move on." This is the way to save Betty.

I love you, Betty. You are some gal!

Tabor said...

You have clarity in perspective and that will help you build then next half of your great life. You cannot carry so much self-guilt when there are so many perfect new days waiting for you to enjoy them.

Shelly said...

Bravo! Bravo! We can't be vicitims without our permission. Hooray for you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betty - so pleased things are working out and through .. good luck and all will be well - cheers Hilary

Old Kitty said...

Thank YOU BB for being a strong and amazing and inspirational woman! Yay!! Take care
x

Teresa Evangeline said...

Yes!!! I am so happy for you and love your ability to see this as preparation for the road ahead, a new and exciting turn into something even better.

You are inspiring.

citymouse said...

I have been a bit AWOL from a lot of my favorite blogs the past couple of months but believe it or not I still think of you from time to time. I am so happy for your change of heart (or should I say mind??). I have no doubt that taking control of your thoughts will continue to bring you all kinds of wonderfulness. Bravo!

Laura Eno said...

Yay, Betty! Don't beat yourself up when you take slight detours off your new road to healing. Just remember your mantra and you'll be stronger than ever.

Ashley Ashbee said...

I don't think you sound like a victim either and I'm glad you're making us of the supportive relationships. So often you hear of people who are suffering but they don't know how to reach out.

You are so literary.

jenny_o said...

You amaze me, Betty. It does indeed sound like you have all the tools you need to wind up the divorce and move on to a rewarding future. I wish you joy and peace as you look ahead.

Jenn June said...

Go Betty! :)

This post was truly an inspiration to me. I've been going through some challenges that have caused me to want to crawl into a hole and hide too - but, that gets nothing done and only makes things harder. I've changed my inner voice from "Poor Me. Why is this happening?" to "This is a welcome change and I will be much happier at the end of this road."
I'm glad you've been able to turn your thinking around, as well, and choose the voice of strength.

You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. GIRL POWER!!!! ;)

Flartus said...

We knew this was coming one day. Doesn't make it any less wonderful to hear, though!

Instead of "I want this divorce," just think "I want this DONE." Or maybe, "Lemme get on with my *#$@! life!"

Or even "Get the &*$# outta my way, you *%#@!!" (Oh, wait, that's for the road, not divorces. Well, you can use it anyway.)

ellen abbott said...

All right! Making progress. Its good to take control of the things that affect your life. Now, add a good healthy dose of anger (not bad anger), just enough to empower you to fight, making sure you get everything you deserve from the dissolution instead of just agreeing to whatever he wants just to get it over with.

Laura said...

You are a strong woman, Betty, and I admire you. You are who I promised myself that I'd always be when I went through a divorce at the ripe old age of 21. I have weakened greatly over the last 30 years and vow to try harder to be the strong person that I thought I'd be.
Thank you, Betty!

Leah J. Utas said...

Terrific outlook, Betty. It'll get you through.

Ruby said...

You are very strong Betty and you will always have your reader's support with you. Cheers!

Slamdunk said...

Encouraging post Betty. Attitude can certainly make an enourmous difference no matter how painful the situation is.

CiCi said...

You are welcome, Betty. You do indeed have a vast support system. It is so good to hear your positive steps and the progress you are making. Accepting what we cannot change is so healthy. Hugs to you and I want you to know I am proud of you.

Brian said...

It is so wonderful to see the original Betty shining through!

Sush said...

I love when you said I'm going for progress not perfection...we ALL need to remember that. So glad you are feeling your MOJO!
Hugs~

Marg said...

Yup, it sure sounds like you are making great progress. That is wonderful. You are doing great. Keep up the good work. Take care.

Don said...

I believe in Betty! I'm sorry you have to go through all this mess. I'm a long way from you out here in Blogland but I have a feeling you'll be OK.

SUGAR MOON said...

Yea for Betty. You go girl! And I like that name Betty People, it made me laugh out loud.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

You've got this. You've really got this now. I am so happy that you realize that's what ahead will be oh so good.

Retired English Teacher said...

I love that last paragraph because it is true. I also like that you recognized what that mental U-turn really looked like for you.

I a proud to be a Betty Person. You go, girl!

Ami said...

Utterly amazing. SO much strength!!!

(((hugs))) to you!!

And cheering, too.
And tossing confetti.

Mary Ann said...

Good for you...:)

Linda said...

I'm not surprised this day has come, but it's wonderful that it has come so soon. There will be tough times, I'm sure; but you do have the tools to be an overcomer.

Kazzy said...

We don't see all of your private moments, but I think you have been incredible through this. You need time to mourn, but you seem to be coming out of that.

I heard a great quote this weekend... "To be happy we need to stop looking in the mirror and start looking out the window." You are getting there. Best wishes.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Whew! It's about time you showed up! But I knew you would. No more wasting time, okay? It's a limited resource. xoxo

EmptyNester said...

Good for you Betty! I'm so glad you found yourself again! You've got a new attitude-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWfZ5SZZ4xE

Madi and Mom said...

Hey BB
My assistant had to take my Grandmapeep to the dr. today we are soooooooo late. BUT I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW LOUD MY MOM SQUEALED WHEN SHE READ ABOUT YOUR MENTAL UTURN!!
WTG BB. YOU ARE WOMAN HEAR YOU ROAR. MOM'S FAVORITE POEM IS BY MR. FROST, THE ROAD NOT TAKEN. WELL BB MOM SAYS YOU ARE ABOUT TO TAKE THAT ROAD. SHE IS CONFIDENT YOU WILL FIND LOTS OF PEANUT BUTTER, CHOCOLATE AND SMILING FACES DOWN THAT ROAD.
HUGS AND PURRS
MOM AND MADI

Leanne said...

I am prouder than proud of you . . . And will continue to hold your hand (if only by way of comments here) in the days and weeks again!! You are my hero, Betty! Xo

Linda Myers said...

Good for you! I'd been moping over a few noticeable issues and yesterday I finally said, "Well, I can sit around and wait for all of this to clear up, or I can get out there and embrace my life."

I got out there today. Glad see you are too.

Bouncin Barb said...

Hearing this makes me so happy. I'm next in the near future!

Ann said...

I remember my own mental u turn, it's a great feeling isn't it. Now I can even look back and say that my ex husband leaving me was probably the best thing he ever did for me. It made me stronger.

Gigi said...

Oh Betty, I'm so happy to hear you say that. And that you posted it - I needed that little reminder in my own life. So, thank you.

And? Your comment today made me laugh out loud at work!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Dear Betty Person,
You are very easy to support and love.
With support and love,
xoRobyn

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

If I could still do them without getting hurt, I would turn a cartwheel for you. Hoorah!

Olga said...

Good for you!!!

faye said...

Powerful post.. I am glad your mojo is returning.. didn't we know it would ? You can't keep a Good Betty
down for long.. it may seem like that at times but you are heading in the right direction...

I'm proud to be a Betty people.!!!

Daisy said...

Betty, I am so happy for you that you are feeling strong and in control of how you are going to face the world again. It was in you all along to get through this. You just had to find it.

ShirleyC said...

I'm sorry you are having to go through this, but I guess sometimes we just have to take the bull by the horns and carry on.

The more positive you can be the better you will feel.

Lydia Kang said...

Go Betty!

Don't be so hard on yourself though. It takes time to mourn and be miserable and just take it all in. You were hurt so badly. You have to figure out how to recover, and recover you have. Or you've started, which is huge!

Shan said...

High five to you, BB!

The Green Streak said...

You go, girl! That's my Baby Sister!

Velvet Over Steel said...

So incredibly PROUD of you, Betty!! You are going to have an even better life ahead of you.
Thank you for sharing your strength and wisdom!

Love ya, Betty!
Hugs,
Coreen XO

Ms. A said...

Yes, and having it behind you will be so much better than having it looming on the forefront! I'm so proud of you for this!

Out on the prairie said...

Nice to be part of your support.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Awesome!

middle child said...

And you will be made stronger.

Zuzana said...

I love reading your posts as they speak volumes to me - I can so recognize all the emotions you describe, they resonate within. I went through terrible loss last year and I experienced the same stages in my healing and today I am in a such a great place. Thus I applaud you on your road to a better life and your determination to get there. I also want to reassure you that you will get there. The mental state of your mind is certainly the key - if you think positive, positive things will come your way.
Have a great rest of the week dear Betty,
xoxo

Liz said...

HOORAY! I'm so, so happy for you! What a fabulous turn it was!

This is so awesome it needs it's own hash
#BettysAwesomeLifeAwaits

Chicken said...

I support you.

Hilary said...

You make one hell of a fine role model for anyone who is going through tough times. You are awesome.

Anne Gallagher said...

YAY!!! Go Betty!!! It's a bright and interesting future that waits for you!

Eva Gallant said...

You go, girl!

Pat Tillett said...

AWESOME post Betty! You are nobody's victim...
You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Betty, you are wonderful, kind and loving, you were ambushed no likes that crap at all, after the shock a lot of people crawl into holes of all kinds..Bravo for being proactive or whatever the word for being present and nice and getting on with your life...crap happens but when it is an ambush plain and simple it is damn hard to get up and going again, you are going again and I wish for you so much love and happiness this episode in your life will only be a small memory of the happiness you will be experiencing..ciao-keep positive and moving forwar..happy valentines day of all people I hope you will have a most lovely day and have lots of loving memories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!