Hey friends! Jessica here. I want to introduce you to Sara from Village and Vineyard. She was brave enough to share her divorce story with us, and I am so thankful to her for doing so. If you want to share your story, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Sitting in history 101 my Freshman year of college, I couldn’t shake this feeling when he turned to me to ask a question. It was game over after that. We spent most of our moments together and ended up being pregnant with our first child in early 2008. I was over the moon and so thrilled, my parents not so much. Looking back I knew they saw the red flags. Looking back now, I see them loud and clear.
Two kids and a divorce later here I am. I am happily married to the man of my dreams and we welcomed our first child together 3 months ago. Let me tell you, it took every ounce of strength I had to get here.
When I decided to leave my now ex-husband, it was the hardest and easiest decision I made in my life. Despite the cheating, gambling and drinking, I stayed for our children. Now I realize, staying only hurt our children. They never got the best version of me. They got the mom who was always sad, crying, and had very little patience. I threw everything I had into trying to be this perfect woman to make my then husband want to choose me and choose me every single day. It was silly. I now know this.
One particular night, he did it. He pushed me so far over the edge. I’m not ready to give details as I’m still learning to cope with what happened to this day. After that night, I packed my two boys up and we left. We left with one suitcase of clothes. I moved us out and to a friends house.
I can’t begin to tell you the depths of darkness I reached. I didn’t even know places like that even existed. I was lost, hurt, lonely, and anger. I think those are some of the most deadly combinations of emotions. I was at the lowest of lows when I randomly found this book one day cleaning out at my mother’s. It was this moment I decided enough was enough. I dove into this book and my life forever changed. It light a fire in me I didn’t even know I had.
From that moment, I swore off men for a year and decided it was time for me to learn to love ME. It was time for me to learn how to be happy and how to be happy on my own.
Moving forward, I made a promise to myself. I would set three small goals on the 1st of every month. I was set to accomplish those goals by the last day of the month. I remember my first three goals so vividly: Read a book, buy a little black dress, and spend more time with friends.
This is where my life kind of got off course (Yes, already. Insert eye rolls). I spent my month checking off each goal. I found this little black dress on sale. It was completely out of my comfort zone. Something I would not have ever worn in the past because I hated my body so much but I was on a journey of self love and so I bought it. I bought it with no intentions of wearing it but just to hang in my closet and to say I accomplished one of my goals.
Here’s where life gets funny. I saw a post on social media from a girl I knew. She was more of a friend of a friend. She was selling a $50 ticket to her Mardi Gras Ball (southern tradition) and wanted to know if anyone would be interested. I impulsively jumped on the post and dropped an “I’m interested” emoji. Surely she had sold it by then. Everyone loves going to these balls so it would sell quickly.
Nope. It was mine for the taking. I struggled to spend the $50 on myself. I thought, “what about hair and makeup?! I suck at those and I have NOTHING to wear.” Plus, I suffer from social anxiety and I would be opening myself up for a miserable night as I knew literally NO ONE going.
Little black dress. I just bought that little black dress weeks prior! After hours of self pep talk and encouragement from my family, I decided to go. I would get all dolled up, attend this ball alone, sit with people I’ve never met. I guess I’ve been more miserable in my life so what harm could it do?!
Then he walked in. Oh boy, was he handsome! And his date was GORGEOUS!! Oh crap, they are sitting at my table. Oh crap, oh crap. They know my friend of a friend too. They walked over to the table and the gorgeous woman introduced her FRIEND. She said friend. Friend…as in not boyfriend. Initially, I thought he was gay because he was very well dressed, sat down putting a chair between us, and positioned his body away from me. Of course he’s gay. No straight, single man in his right mind would turn away from this dress! It was a killer dress.
Turns out he’s not gay, y’all. He’s now my husband!!
If you get anything out of my journey, let it be that it’s okay to mourn the loss of your marriage. It was supposed to be your happily ever after. DO NOT. I repeat DO NOT, get lost in darkness. Use your support system. Find tiny ways to love yourself and rediscover who you are as a woman. That terrible season in life is just that. A season. And all seasons change.