The Stages of Being Alone

When you first get divorced you go through the stages of grief. You are mourning a loss, even if you initiated that divorce or were in an abusive relationship, it’s still a loss. Under the pain of the divorce lies all your hopes and dreams, that is what you are mourning, what could have been.

One of the first things you have to come to terms with when you divorce is being alone. When your children are with you it may seem that you never have a moment to yourself, but this is a different type of loneliness.

Initially you may want to keep yourself and the kids away from the house. You don’t want to face being their alone, staring at the empty place at the dinner table or the empty chair in the family room, so you keep busy. You may keep the kids so busy that you get them home in time for baths and bed. Less time to think that way. You are alone, and you hate it.

After a while you come to see your home as a haven again. It takes you away from all the couples and families in the world and it’s a warm cocoon for you and your kids. You are alone and adjusting to it away from the prying eyes of your community.

Then after a while you start to get resentful. Many single men and women resent the fact that they have to do everything. The laundry that was always done for him or the yard work that was always done for her are suddenly their jobs and they don’t like it one bit. At this time you can be alone and bitter.

Finally, one day, after what seems like an eternity, you realize that you are ok. For the first time in a long time, you feel good. Maybe you are not ready to do cartwheels but you are no longer sad, resentful or bitter. You are alone and you’re growing.

It takes a while to go through the stages of being alone. Give yourself all the time you need but pay attention and make sure you don’t start to wallow in one stage. When you are feeling safe at home, don’t let yourself become a recluse, this negatively affects your children. And bitterness is not good for anyone.

Know that what you feel is normal, and that this too shall pass. One day, it will all be good again.

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