I am an oversharer. There is no other way to say it. If I have your attention, I will tell you my life story in less than four minutes. I am known for sharing too much information, for giving the kinds of details that make others uncomfortable. And now here I am, invited by HuffPost Divorce to share stories about the adventures of my divorce.
Being an oversharer and invited to share your story with the world is a dangerous thing! I am going to be working on holding back, on showing some self-restraint. And I'll probably be taking my Dad's advice that he gave me this morning when he heard that I was going to start writing for HuffPost Divorce: "Make sure to push them through to me first, like in the good ol' days of high school."
To help myself, I've created some general guidelines of things I will not share with you all.
1. I will not share the details of "the fight," the one that ended it all.
It was an explosive fight. I yelled, I screamed, I woke up the baby. Then I took the girls to the doctor for the baby's two-year well visit before dropping the girls off with my parents. I went to the first lawyer who could see me that day, I packed all of his things in trash bags, I made him tell the girls why he wouldn't be coming home anymore. It was the most painful day of my life, but the details of it no longer matter.
2. I will not share the details of the fights we still have.
The fights are no longer explosive, but they still happen. We are "co-parenting" our girls, a term that sounds so much more civil than simply being single parents. He comes to my house every morning to get the girls ready for their day while I head to work early. We see each other more than either of us would like, and the hurt and anger manage to work their way to the surface. But they are our fights, and they are getting us to the end goal of raising our girls in the way that is best for them.
3. I will not share the details of my dates.
I am moving forward, and this means I have started dating. This is a terrifying, yet exciting, time for me. But how am I ever going to keep a guy if I'm posting the details of our dates all over the internet?
That said, there are many topics I can't wait to share and discuss with you!
1. I will share the lessons I have learned.
It took me a long time to get to the point where I could take some fault for my divorce, but I have finally arrived at that point (with the help of an amazing therapist). I was young when I got married, and I just wanted to get married and start my family. There's so much more to it than that, and I've learned a lot about myself and who I want to be as a mother, as a friend, and, hopefully again, as a wife.
2. I will share stories of my children.
My girls have been amazing through this whole process. Nothing about divorce is easy for kids, but they have been my rocks. They are the reason I was able to get out of bed every morning when I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, could hardly breathe. They are the reason I kept moving forward.
3. I will share stories about the importance of having a support system.
The day after my husband left, I sent my high school best friend a Facebook message. We hadn't hung out since college, hadn't seen each other in years. "Mackenzie, my husband moved out yesterday, and I don't know what to do. I need you." An hour later, we were on the phone, and we talked for five hours. When I couldn't stand the thought of climbing into my empty bed at night, couldn't shut off my brain for long enough to sleep, she was on the other end of the phone. She let me cry for those first three weeks, listening and supporting me from across the country. After those first three weeks, though, she reminded me of who I was, of who I had always been, and she encouraged me to dig deep and find that woman again.
And my family -- my parents kept my girls during lawyer appointments and provided my girls the stability they needed; my sister, busy with her own newborn twins, sat with me, let me sit and snuggle her precious babies, and entertained my girls when I just couldn't muster the energy to do anything; my aunts and cousins sent me random messages just to let me know they were thinking of me. I never would have survived those first few weeks without my support system.
I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences with you! And remember: When life kicks you, let it kick you forward.