How I overcame being afraid to divorce young
"I think like in any marriage, especially when you've had divorced parents like myself; you want to try even harder to make it work" - Princess Diana
I cannot believe I am actually writing about this. Yes it is true. I was once upon a time married. I talked about this a little in an earlier blog post. I was 19 years young when we decided to get married. At the time, he was 21 years old and undocumented. Looking back now it kind of felt like more of a transaction. It was sort of like "well you're already living together so might as well get married so he can get his green card and be better able to support you". Its all kind of a blur now as far as the relationship goes. After being together for 10 years and married 7 out of those years, we decided that maybe it was the right time to have a baby together. I was following this "life path" that I thought was how it's suppose to be.
Many of us have a vision of what our life should look like. We form this idea of what success in life looks like from our parents, friends, movies, and social media for example. Finish high school, get a job, and/or go to college, get married, buy a house, have kids. I followed these steps in almost that exact order. Coming from a single parent hispanic household, this is what was instilled in me from an early age. Not only that but I was a girl so I had more to prove.
I was following this "life path" that I thought was how it's suppose to be.
There I was, 26 years old, getting ready to graduate from my masters program, and pregnant. It was then that I found out that he was cheating on me. He said he no longer wanted to be with me and didn't care about what he had done. He didn't feel bad about it. I remember hiding the fact that I was pregnant during my last semester at USC and the awkwardness of breaking the news to everyone. Long story short, if you have ever experienced anything similar then you know the heartbreak that I experienced at the time. I was completely caught off guard by the whole situation. I often fell asleep crying and by myself. As I felt the baby kicks in me, I was full of fear of the unknown and what the next few months would look like. I was left dumbfounded. I went to my monthly check ups by myself, had only my unborn baby to confide in.
Depression is a B****
Here I was, pregnant, fresh out of school, unable to work, and my mental health out of control. My depression at the time really had me thinking I was all alone in this world and just thinking the worse. That's what depression does. It puts all these irrational thoughts in your head and these get stuck on repeat. These cause stress and anxiety. It can also feel embarrassing to talk to someone about something like this. I felt like nobody would understand. I managed to get my first job as a therapist and would often isolate myself in my car to cry. Again, I felt like I had failed in life because my life wasn't following that vision of how life is suppose to be. Not only that, but if you come from a family of divorced parents, you feel a sense of guilt and failure. You were suppose to be better and break that cycle. This was not suppose to happen. You "have to" make it work.
I was afraid. I didn't even know who I was anymore. I had literally spent the last 10 years of my life with this person. We had sort of grown up together. I realize now that this tends to happen often in long relationships or marriages. We loose our sense of self and oftentimes become one in every sense. We don't practice our hobbies, we do everything together, we guilt each other if we go out without the other. We become enmeshed. This is important and we could write endless pages on this. Google it if you have the time.
I share this story because this was a turning point for me. I realized that I was living my life to make others happy. In the middle of all that I lost myself. This hardship in my life helped put everything into perspective. Hardships teach us lessons and reveal things that we don't necessarily see at times. I learned to just live life. There are no rules or manuals to how life should be. You create your own happiness and live life the way you want to. Its never too late but you don't want to be like me and wait 10 years to figure this out. Do some self discovery now. Read a book, understand yourself, follow your gut. Prioritize yourself. Don't be too busy caring for others without caring for yourself. When you begin to love yourself and know your worth, you won't accept anything less from anyone else.
Another thing, reach out. If you are ever going through something, talk to someone about it. Sometimes we need someone who is clear headed to talk to. When I felt at my loneliest, I opened up to talk about this with friends and it was a breath of fresh air. I didn't realize how many people I had in my corner. I wasn't alone like my depression was making me feel that I was. I had so many people who cared and I am still grateful to this day. I had friends take me out to dinner and just listen. Sometimes that's all we need is to just vent and let it out. Don't keep it all inside bottled up to yourself. You might even want to talk to a therapist. That's what they're there for. To help you figure things out and gain clarity on your thoughts.
Take it a day at time. Don't overwhelm yourself like I did. I began feeling like it was the end of the world. I began thinking too far ahead which made me feel like I was doomed and didn't know what I was going to do. Take it a day at a time. Don't put so much pressure on yourself to have it all figured out so quickly. Feel all the feelings. It's normal.
Im not following the rules anymore. Im creating my own path. I try everyday and take it a day at a time.
Let me know if you've ever had similar experiences or what you did or do to get yourself out of feel