Monday, June 20, 2011

Is There Shame in Feeling Shame About Your Divorce?

I read the NY Times story by Pamela Paul yesterday about How Divorce Lost It's Groove. I wrote a response on my other blog/website, Femamom, because I really resonated with it.

I'm a strong, independent woman, and I'm so strong I don't even have to be explaining how strong and independent I am. But shit, divorce rocked me. And the idea of being divorced rocked me. In my Femamom peice I write about how it was like the Imperial March followed me everytime I had to explain and it took a while to really get past that feeling. What's the harm in admitting this, I ask? Well, according to another blogger, Ask Moxie, whose material I've always liked, being ashamed is shameful.

Moxie takes offense to the article on her blog (which she writes with her ex-husband LOD). She  thinks the article makes women sound like "sad rejected failures." Moxie doesn't like this take on it. But Moxie, there is an element -- a HUGE element-- of sadness and rejection when it comes to divorce. I wanted out of my marriage but hell, I'd still call it a rejection. I'd still call it (the marriage, not me) a failure. I'd still say that it made me feel like somehow I had failed - because of course, no one wants their marriage to crumble. You go into it thinking that you're going to be married forever - or at least hopeful of some semblance of longevity. I think Pamela Paul was interviewing people who are going through the mourning process. A surprising mourning process. That it's not all divorce parties and musical shindigs like Jack White is holding with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Moxie says more:

"Failure is a badge of honor. Failure means you took a chance. Failure means you’re no longer white-knuckling it through life."
And while I did finally come to that, the process is not an overnight one. You do experience shame first, and there's nothing wrong with admitting it. In fact, I think I'm more badass for doing so.

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