Welcome to week one of Women Speak. Today's topic was suggested by one of my readers, and I am so glad that she did.
Suddenly single. Those two words mean a lot to so many of us. Divorced? Widowed? Dumped? Whatever the reason, it is generally painful when it happens, and it is a pain that may take anywhere from a short time to a very long time to go away. There is no magic recovery formula.
I didn't have many choices, but my husband was seriously mentally ill, and I knew it was no longer safe to live with him. So for a year and a half my daughters and I lived with my mom. It wasn't easy. I was traumatized, insecure, alone, and my mother and I didn't get along very well. There were many things I had to face and I had to face those things alone. None of it was easy. No one told me how I was supposed to be suddenly alone.
Seven very long years later I found myself back in college and then grad school, but in all honesty I have struggled for many of the ensuing 25 years. I did things primarily on my own. I didn't ask for help when I needed it. It was difficult. I often cried. The most important thing I learned during those years is that I don't need a man to make me happy, to complete me. I am okay all on my own.
So my advice from a personal perspective and as a trained counselor is if you are struggling don't be ashamed to ask for help. You are not alone. Most of us will go through this at some point.
I will be happy to talk more about divorce and widowhood in the future, but right now I want to hear from you. This is your forum and I hope you will share with us.
The only rule for this forum is kindness. I hope that you will feel free to share and to offer advice. The one thing I have learned from you, sweet friends, is that you are all wise, caring, and wonderful women.