This is the first blog I’ve written on divorce.

It will probably be short because I can’t get through that much written pain quite yet. I’d say the fact that I can even write the first word means I’m healing.

For those that don’t know me, I’m a driven, strong woman who doesn’t spend time in victim or misery.

That’s why it took me a year to write this first blog about my divorce.

I’m looking for a place to write, authentically.

The goal is to share real life pain, failure, success, life situations, parenting, life as an entrepreneur and so forth.

Maybe the goal is just to spill my own thoughts on to paper even if nobody reads it. Therapy, if you will.

Divorce is like a death. Regardless of the marital circumstances, most will grieve.

In the midst of grief, there is little internal space to do anything but feel overwhelmed by the new terrain and trajectory of your life. We not only mourn the loss of the person, but the sense we carried with us of what our future life would look like with them in it. Grief is wading uphill through a cold, viscous liquid. The pain is bone-deep. It is lasting and ugly but it isn’t necessarily hopeless, and as time passes small moments of distraction will feel like patches of dry land you can rest on. — Daily Stoic

I was married at 21 years old. For the second time. That statement alone is hard to admit. A straight A student until high school, boys were my kryptonite.

At 16, due to a turbulent home life, I left and moved in with a boy who was incredibly abusive.

At 17, I met my first husband who “rescued” me from the boyfriend. This lasted 4 years. At 21, I had my first child. Also at 21, my husband came home and said he no longer wanted to be married. I was devasted. I didn’t want to live. Yet, that blue eyed baby looking up at me needed me. So I did.

At 22, I met my 2nd husband. I was living back at home and miserable. He “rescued me”. Sense the pattern?

That marriage lasted 25 years and resulted in the birth of my other daughter. This time, I left.

Yet, I’m still grieving.

I’ll lay it out there. It’s less about the person, and more about what being married offers as a general rule.

I miss having a life partner. I missing sharing good days and bad days, losses and wins, even if he only pretended to be interested.

I miss waking up to someone else in the house.

I miss having a +1.

I miss stories of history only we could share.

I miss co-parenting.

I miss talks of the future. (Sometimes it feels like there isn’t one left anymore).

I miss being “a family”.

I miss having a travel buddy.

I miss “ghost shows” (you know, chilling out and watching favorite shows together)

I miss holidays as a family, vacations as a family.

Alright, so by now you might be asking, “So why did you leave?”

It was over. We had changed. The pain was too much to bear. The arguments were explosive. It was a bad environment for our child that still lived at home.

We no longer wanted the same things.

And, this is the first time I’ve shared this, I didn’t feel protected.

I won’t go into details, but for me, that’s a deal breaker.

The one thing a partner should do for the other, is protect them. Keep them safe. Never throw them under the bus or put them in harms way.

While there were many issues at that time, that was the decision maker for me. I had to go. I tried for years to make it work. I bent in every direction I could. At the end, I had to come to terms with the fact that there was nothing else I could do. My choice was, be miserable, or leave.

Even with all that said, Divorce is hard.

I’m living a much better life now. I’m free. I make my own choices. I love my space where I live. Work is amazing. Business is booming. I’m closer than ever to my family.

That doesn’t take away the pain.

For me, I think the hardest thing to grasp is the “what should have been”. I’m a visionary, a big dreamer. And together, we had a vision of the things we would do “someday” when our kids were grown.

Someday is here. And now the dream can’t be realized.

That’s tough.

Can I still have that future of travel, and freedom, and companionship?

Oh yes, I’m sure I can.

Yet for now, while the hole is still gaping, It’s hard to imagine.

I don’t grieve for “what was”. I grieve for “what should have been”.

It’s been one year since I made the decision to move out. The divorce was brutal. He fought hard. I fought hard. That part is over.

Now, I have to figure out how to “live”.

At 46, I’m starting over. More to come on this journey.