When I was a little girl, I had a plan. After I graduated from high school, I would go to college and get a degree. Then I would travel the world for 3 years, after which point I would get married and have 4 children. Three boys, and a little girl who would be protected by her three older brothers.
Of course as I quickly learned, life doesn’t always turn out as we’ve planned. For one thing, I dropped out of college after two years. Then I got married at 21 and had my first child at 22. I hadn’t traveled the world. I did have four kids but they were out of order-my daughter came 3rd in line, not 4th. I did not expect to have three children who were on the autism spectrum.
I doubt if anyone ever puts divorce in their life plans. I know I certainly didn’t; which is why getting divorced at the age of 38 threw me for a loop, big time. What do you do when you’re no longer someone’s wife, you no longer see your kids all the time, you have nowhere to live, you’re underemployed, and you’re broke?
I remember the first three months after my divorce. I laid in bed a lot, depressed. I would have random periods of all out crying. I knew I couldn’t live with my parents forever but I had nowhere to go. I felt hopeless. I have never truly been suicidal, but if ever there was a time that I was suicidal, that would have been the time.
I remember my breaking point. I couldn’t stop crying and didn’t know why. All I knew is that I wanted it to stop. So I drove to the hospital, thinking that maybe if someone locked me up it would all go away, and I could get out.
When I got to the hospital, I sat in the parking lot. At that very moment it started rain; not a drizzle or a light rain, but an all out down pour. All I knew is that I didn’t want to get out. In that moment, I stopped crying. I started my car up and turned around to go back home.
So my life didn’t turn out as I had planned. Although I would not wish the pain of divorce on anyone, some of the greatest things in my life have happened since I got divorced. It’s true that I’m still broke and I’m still underemployed but I have a place to live. I’ve developed new hobbies and redeveloped old hobbies, to occupy my time when the kids are with their dad. I re-enrolled in classes and am close to getting my college degree. I still need to travel the world and will, when I have the means. But most importantly; I am happy, and I have hope.
Maybe my life turned out the way it was supposed to, after all.