Virtual Therapy: Thoughts on Divorce

I was having a particularly bad night the other day, and often on nights like this, before bed, I grab my phone and type out as many thoughts as I can onto the ‘notes’ app so I might have some chance of falling asleep. I have now transformed many of these little exercise into ‘Virtual Therapy’ pieces on my blog, where I basically rant to you, the reader, about a topic for as long as I see fit or as long as I have words for.

I would like to point out that these thoughts came from a bad night and that I’m sharing them now because I think it’s important for the bad to be shared just as the good is: all in hope of helping someone else. In hope that someone reads this and thinks, “I guess I’m not the only one.”

So, these are my thoughts on divorce, in all their honesty:

I will never forget the first time I saw my dad cry. The way his breath hitched in his chest just before he pulled out of our hug to turn away and wipe his eyes. That is the moment that will always stick with me. That is why, four years later, I haven’t been able to forget.

If I’m the rule, rather than the exception, then I can say I have a pretty good idea of how a child of divorce thinks. How a child of divorce acts. Now I have no idea if I actually am the rule, or the exception, so just go with me on this one.

Children of divorce are different than everyone else: more guarded, full of trust issues. No matter what you’re given in the years that follow, no matter how good your own relationships may be, love still feels dangerous. Caring for someone still comes with a warning label: Caution. Potential damage and destruction ahead. 

And I feel like I’m damaged. I feel like I over analyze and think too much. Hell, I know I do. I worry that I’m going to turn out the same and that one day, without knowing it, I’ll have a relationship shattered in my hands like pieces of glass, destruction that I caused, cutting into my skin so deep that the pain feels cold when it should be burning. I’m scared that happiness will feel like a foreign concept, a myth told to children, debunked by years and knowledge and reality. 

I don’t want to think this way or feel this way because everyone else is moving on. Everyone else is finding a way to cope, but I’m still here, still the same, covered in invisible scars that open with every decision I make. People don’t ask me about it anymore and I’m don’t really talk about it. It’s like I’m not allowed to almost. The statute of limitations is gone, too much time has passed. I’m suppose to be new and shiny. I’m suppose to be stronger, because no matter how close it came, it didn’t kill me. 

If people call me the ‘happy girl’ then most days they are right. But there are other days, still, hard days where I work to keep it all together. Always have a song in your head to keep the bad thoughts out. Laugh long enough, loud enough, so they figure everything’s alright. Well, tonight I’ve got no melody and I’m tired of the laugh track I’ve recorded for my life. I’m sorry if you were expecting different. 

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6 Comments

  1. Barbara Eyster wrote:

    Caitlin, my heart breaks for you, over and over again. The silver lining, you are a beautiful, caring, and wonderful person. Never let someone break your trust twice, but always, always believe in love and trust your heart. Things go bad sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that everything will always be broken, shattered and lost. Always believe in love. Some people love for a while, others for a lifetime. There is no way to know ahead of time, but when it feels good, it probably is good. But always believe in love. 💕

    Posted 4.17.16 Reply
  2. Debbie Oliveira wrote:

    Thank you for sharing – your honesty will help many others struggling like you. But it also saddens me to hear you talk about the pain and sorrow. You are a sweet girl, that any young man would be so VERY lucky to have a relationship with you. I don’t know the reason for the large number of divorces, but as long as you with someone whom also is committed to the relationship as you, you wont need to worry.

    Posted 4.17.16 Reply
  3. Zach Wyatt wrote:

    I really admire your vulnerability, it shows a lot of strength and beauty. Although I am not a child of divorce, I found myself connecting to your story in similar ways. Thank you for posting this. You’re an amazing writer, Caitlin. Keep on posting!

    Posted 5.3.16 Reply
    • Thanks so much Zach! That’s really wonderful to hear:)

      Posted 5.3.16 Reply

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