At work yesterday, I ran into a friend’s mom. I had known the friend since kindergarten and so in turn she has watched me grow up. I was genuinely excited to see her! She asked how my family was doing and I’m not really one to lie, so I told her that my parents were splitting up. She froze, gasped and covered her mouth all at once. It took her a few seconds to say anything, and then even after that she was speechless. She told me was sorry, and was literally the most authentic and genuine “I’m sorry” that I’ve heard in 9 months since this all happened. I think about my parent’s splitting up 90% of the time I’m awake. The other 10% I’m desperately trying to get work done on my thesis and drowning out any thoughts while watching Youtube or TV. Her reaction really shook me up because by now I am so used to the thought of it, well, not used it, but the shock factor is gone. I tell myself: “Marlie, your parents are getting a divorce,” and no sudden reaction. My friend’s reaction was like a friend reacting to a bad injury you have, you’ve lived with it for months. you’re used to it. But when they see it, and react in shock and awe, it makes you think: “maybe this really is bad.”
i’m so terribly hard on myself too. I don’t allow myself to grieve, I run from it really. I’m afraid to feel anything because I’m afraid it’ll hurt too much. It’s like after you skinned your knee, when you have to take off the band-aid, you know you got some of the sticky part on the wound and you’d rather just keep the band-aid on forever. But the wound needs air to heal. And sometimes healing hurts. A lot. It hurts everytime you bend your knee, it hurts when you accidentally bump into something, it just when you wash the dirt out. It just hurts. And there’s no quick fix. It just has to hurt. I grew up with friends who had divorced parents, I’ve heard plenty of testimonies of people who said their parents got a divorce and it wrecked their lives. I didn’t know it was this hard. It hurts on so many levels all the time. Some days I’m fine, some days I’m not. Shoot, some hours I’m fine and some hours I’m not. And that’s okay.
If you’re in this boat with me, this valley, this dark time, I want you to know I’m here too. The internet can be so deceiving. Facebook, instagram, blogs, twitter, youtube. They are all edited, selective portions of a person’s life. It is SO easy to look okay on social media. I’m tired of that. I started Real talk for that reason. And real talk means you are honest with your struggles: whether you struggle with reading the Bible every day or believing that tomorrow can be better. You might be going through something completely different, but loss is loss and pain is pain. I don’t have answers, and I don’t want to give you all those cliche’s like “just be strong!” or “Cry out to Jesus.” But, I would like to remind you (and myself) that you are loved, and that you are not a burden. Be patient with yourself. And take it one day at a time, and if that’s too much. Take it one hour at a time, or even just one minute at a time.