In my mid twenties I was having dinner with a friend I’d known for a few years and had a fairly close relationship. I decided to open up to her about some mental illness in my family and how it related to my childhood. I prefaced it with, “I hope you don’t think differently of me,” and I followed it up with, “and please don’t tell anyone.”
She lowered her chin, gave me a somewhat condescending look, and said, “Please don’t think you’re anything special, everyone has their skeletons.” (Did I mention that this particular friend may lack certain social graces? I do love her dearly, and I promise she will get her own post very soon, and by the end you will understand!) I had been holding on so tightly to all my family secrets and expended so much energy trying to appear normal all of these years. Could she possibly be right? Maybe others WOULD understand if I began to open up. It was a scary thought, and though I still struggle at times with letting that guard down and being true to the real me, Diane’s words ring loudly and continue to help guide me in the direction I know I need to go.
When we are in the middle of our bleakest hours, it is often close to impossible to find the energy or drive to look outward for help or find others in similar situations. I had never felt more hopeless and helpless than during those few years surrounding my divorce. Divorce is so commonplace now that we may feel we should just get through it, over it and on with it without complaining too much or crying too much or screaming too much. I wasn’t prepared for most of what lay ahead. Things I thought would be hardest weren’t, and things I never thought would become issues, grew into monsters. What I didn’t have at the time was anyone to ask for advice, help, direction. Living in a community that is made up of predominantly nuclear families with stay at home moms, I didn’t have many friends with whom to commiserate either. Thankfully I was able to connect with a few divorced or divorcing women in the area, though all but one (and you will certainly hear about her later!) had situations far from my own.
Zoelogically Thinking is a place to share my experiences and advice about divorce, raising children after divorce, dating after divorce, and a host of other topics that may help others going through something similar find a little understanding, support, compassion, and guidance. I believe there is a very bright silver lining to the dark cloud of divorce. I even believe that that cloud will eventually give way to absolutely gorgeous sunshine and that women really can find themselves in a far better place than before. Providing a step along that path is my goal with this space.
Zoelogically Thinking is also meant to refer to an overall hope to find a commonality or connection in the way we think. We are animals, not robots or computers whose outcomes and reactions are expected or predetermined. We are dynamic, able to change and adapt, yet we also have driving needs that can’t just be ignored. One of these needs is connection. Sometimes our actions and reactions that seem to make the least sense at the time and leave us feeling embarrassed, different, or ashamed, can actually connect us with another human being should we be brave enough to open up. Those weirdnesses can become the very things that help us connect and feel just a little less alone. And what connection provides is hope, and it’s THIS that is more important than money and really the driving force of the human race, in my very humble zoelogical opinion.
I am here to openly share, not judge. I know that I can be strongly opinionated and that may come across as harsh sometimes, but these are just my opinions and I do value different points of view! I will do my best to be respectful, and I hope you do too. I will never use any real names unless I’ve gotten permission, and I will never divulge information with the intent of hurting anyone! Please engage and share. No one should have to go through any part of life alone. Let’s get the word out!