Separation can leave you feeling two extremes: one that weighs heavily upon you while experiencing the opposite emotion at the same time. Separation is a process highlighted with emotional challenges and growth concurrently occurring. On any given day, at any given time, you may experience this duality rumbling within you.
Strong and broken. Particularly at the outset of separation, people put on an appearance of coping and being stoic while inside they feel like they are falling apart. It takes courage and strength to accept the separation and changing relationship dynamics. Concurrently, the devastation of shattered dreams, visions and plans of a future that will no longer be needs rationalising. It takes time for these feelings to settle and you can’t just ‘get over it’. Healing takes time.
Loneliness and lightness. At night when the kids are in bed, it can get lonely. Who can you call? What could you do? Distracting yourself with chores certainly isn’t fun. Perhaps you feel that may of your friends are with their partners and this highlights that you are all on your own. However, despite the loneliness, there is a great lightness – a peace and release. You can now choose, without someone looking over your shoulder or telling you what to do and without expectation from others, how you use your time.
Chaos and tranquillity. There is so much to do and organise now that you are separated. On the upside, you will feel in greater control of your emotional state and feel a sense of peace with the change. It may be because you feel that it was the right thing to do and that separating was the appropriate outcome. Your friends may be stressed, but don’t feed into that. Remember why and what lead you to the outcome and your current situation.
Elation and depression. Often letting go of what was, can leave you feeling elated and on a natural high, especially if you feel in your heart that you tried everything you could. If you were feeling suppressed in the relationship, you may feel uplifted to break free from the shackles that once held you down. However, at the same time, you may be missing the companionship and adult conversation or the support of knowing there was someone else you could rely upon. Reflecting on what is lacking or missing, can leave you feeling deflated and down. Try to remember the positives and remain optimistic during this time. Everything will work out in the end.
Burden and freedom. The burden of financial responsibilities and emotional charges becomes magnified in separation. You may feel that your life is being scrutinised. There is pressure if something goes wrong because you may have to explain yourself to your ex-spouse. Meanwhile, you are free to choose, structure, designate activities within your own time. You have reclaimed control over your life and choices.
Pain and release. In equal measure, you may experience hurt and liberation. The pain of what was, the loss and grief of a marriage or family can me magnanimous. Similarly, the burdens, pressure, stress and anxiety experienced during the marriage dissipates or disappears. When you cut the cords that once tied you together and try to not allow previous behaviours and choices affect you anymore, then you are releasing yourself from the previous control. All that was, is no more.
Stress and enlightenment. Knowing what do to and what is the right decision can be a great burden to carry alone. Take a moment to reflect, don’t decide in haste and the most appropriate outcome will come to you. Clarity of mind and situation enables you to make your own decisions and live a life the way that you want to without guilt, regret or remorse. It is through the experiences of separation and divorce that you will learn and evolve into a better person. This process of enlightenment creates strong urges from within you powering you forward to do and create great things.
Over time, that feeling pulled in polar direction eases. Give yourself the time and space to work through these emotions. Don’t forget to be forgiving of your family or friends who may not fully understand or appreciate what you are experiencing - You can’t appreciate another person’s perspective until you have experienced it yourself.
If you feel that your feelings and emotions are overwhelming or your general sense of wellbeing is struggling, please seek further assistance from your medical professional. Starting with your local doctor (or general practitioner) is a great place to start.