Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

People ask me why I write about divorce.

Their reactions always vary.

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-They either thank me
-Are shocked I am willing to put it all out there
-Tell me that they admire that I do
-Or admit that though they may not be my demographic and are married, they still enjoy reading this column.

I understand these responses. The first by the divorcing people who need respite. The second by the people who can’t understand why anyone would share private information. The third by those who are grateful I am willing to share and admit life is imperfect. The fourth by otherwise married or happily married people who grasp that some of us overcome relationship challenges, some, fortunately, get it right and others do not.

I write because divorce is an emotional thunderstorm.

I believe that divorcing individuals need someone to hold their hand and cry with them. They need someone to ease their frustration and loneliness, quiet their worries and provide hope. A person who is on the path ahead of them looking back to make sure they are okay and a person behind them, nudging them forward.

I did not want to be a divorce beacon.

I wanted to write about happier things. I am or should I say was…a pollyanna, cup is half-full, sugar and spice and everything nice kinda girl. Or as my friend likes to say, ‘all about rainbows and unicorns.’

I simply found myself lost, soaking wet, and shivering while watching others pass me by unnoticed. They could not see nor understand the storm raging around me. They escaped it by navigating life in happy relationships.

I had never felt so unloved and unprotected in my life.

I come from a big complicated Irish, Catholic family with an abundance of love and protection. I had not known a family that would sacrifice another like divorce does. Sure, my dad left when I was little; however, love is what saves us and those of us left were loyaly, fiercely and overtly devoted to one another. My large family’s sense of faith, values, and love absorbed the loss of my father and shaped us. It did not define us. We also understood my father had an illness and if not for that, he would be with us.

Maybe I should be more succinct. My father left, but he never made me feel unloved.

My husband made me feel unloved.

We derive our strengths from two primary sources in life. God and our family. God is our invisible strength. Our family is the strength that we can touch.

The loss of my marriage made me feel weak. Certainly, I had experienced weakness in my life, only never to this degree. It also made me feel lonely. The kind of utter loneliness that as an otherwise overly loved person I had never known.

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I write about divorce for 3 Reasons:

1. Contemporize the divorce conversation – I want to let go of archaic stereotypes and embarrassment. I want to drag the icebergs out of the Mesozoic era and thaw them off. After all, there is a divorce once every 13 seconds in this country. I want to eradicate the senseless shame that accompanies divorce. The age old judgements and misnomers. I want to educate people about divorce because most criticism stems from a lack of understanding.

2. Divorce is extremely misunderstood – I want to raise awareness to divorce. To the brutality of it. To the empathy and forgiveness of it. I want to elevate the conversation about our children, divorce games, old views, and legal issues. I want to change the process. I do not want our children to have to experience three plus year divorces. I want to raise consciousness to adults behaving badly in divorce and emotional issues which cause far more damage than the financial issues.

3. Provide a support system – I want to provide support systems for people experiencing divorce. I want to be the emotional hand that they can grab as they work through the angst and heartache of losing not only one they love but the hopes and dreams they built their life and families around. I want to be a crusader in helping to champion other divorce resources for people that allow for a sense of community, financial, legal, counseling help and more.

I write about divorce because it is an emotional thunderstorm.

I write about divorce because when I was lost, soaking wet and shivering many passed me by unnoticed.

I will not pass by an emotionally drenched person because I do not understand their suffering.

Instead, I will raise awareness to it.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)
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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
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