I have a wonderful friend. For the sake of this post, I'm going to call her Angela.
Angela and I have children who are almost the same age...within two or so years. She and I were merely acquaintances until maybe 6 or seven years ago. She was married, also has 3 children....lived in the same neighborhood as I did. You know...she was someone that I saw around the neighborhood, and would wave to casually...nothing major.
One day about a year or two after my divorce, I bumped into Angela at our local grocery store. We said our cordial hellos, and made some kind of small talk. Then something quite unexpected happened. Angela turned to me, and she said, "So, Steve and I are getting a divorce." (Steve isn't her husband's real name either). I was stunned. I mean, I know that things are rarely what they seem, but she and Steve seemed so solid. Three great kids, nice house...she had her own business at the time...who knew?
After a brief silence, I said, "You're kidding....I'm so sorry...are you okay?" She said that it had been a long time coming...that she had been unhappy for some time. 'Steve' had issues with drinking, so it wasn't actually a surprise. I was surprised at how candid she was.
We went our separate ways, but gradually stayed in touch on a more regular basis in various ways.
Since that day, we gradually became great friends. It was like our respective divorces created some kind of bond...a sisterhood type feeling.
During her separation, we went for dinners and coffee, hung out merely in order to support each other. Because I was ahead of her in this process, we talked alot about what she could expect, she told me about her feelings of insecurity and inadequacy (as most of us do at this time). I told her that no matter what else happened, just like my experience, this was not about her. Their issue was something that Steve and only Steve could take ownership for, and all she could do was take care of herself, and that in taking care of herself, her children would do wonderfully. She's a great mom (also a Mombot), who was running her own business and a household for 3 children at the same time. She's also an irreplaceable friend.
Angela is now (7 years past her divorce) a completely different person. A bright and vibrant woman who's tendency is to look for the bright side in just about everything. We still do coffee and the occasional dinner and movie as often as we can, I'm so proud of how she's come past the misery and uncertainty of 7 years ago.
My point with this little story is that I believe like I know my own name, that we as women have a duty to support each other. Period. I'm not a feminist, I just believe that if it wasn't for the ear, and support of some of the women that leaned on, and call my friends today, I might be a much different person. The same goes for all of us. We all need support, especially during the complex and uncertain time surrounding a divorce.
Take care of each other.
Caramel Apple Martinis for Everyone! =)
*What I'm listening to now; What Goes Around - Justin Timberlake