After my second divorce, yes second! They were both my decision and yet I was grieving. I was constantly angry, angry about everything. I never really passed the denial stage as one does in the process of Grief.
Grief as Elizabeth Kubler-Ross says Grief has five stages/states:
I tended to dip in and out of anger and depression for over a period of a year. I wasn’t sure why I was angry, it felt like it was everyone else's fault for making me feel this way. Saying the wrong thing to me, putting me under pressure and not understanding me. I realise now that often it was my own perception or extra sensitivity - which was not my fault going through what I was.
I look back now, all I wanted was emotional support, affection, no advice, no pep talks about how I should just think 'positive'. As though I didn't want to be positive! I had wished there was a ‘positive’ switch to turn on. Just wanted to feel supported at that point, and for someone to say - I am here for you - call me even when I didn't want to speak to anyone. Not distance themselves from me even if I seemed distant.
I realise this was difficult for everyone including friends and family. As a norm we never teach or even try to learn how to handle someone that has gone through trauma. I realise now they meant well but it just wasn't what I needed, or what anyone during this period needs.
This kept me even further away from everyone - they didn't know how to connect to me I realise now. It left me even more lonely than I already was. As for the secondary social connections, they never even asked me how I felt, or how I was coping - silence on the topic seemed their way in helping me. As though them asking would be difficult for me - probably was difficult for them. Or maybe they just were just not bothered. I won't really know.
Once the anger phase started to diminish - I faced depression for over two years. The depression got worse - I reached the verge of suicidal thoughts on a daily basis. I felt no desire to even get out of bed let alone do anything else. I felt lifeless, just doing the motions of life, going to work, eating and sleeping. At the time I did not realise that this was still my grieving process, in fact I only realised this much later when reading a book. Which is a year after I recovered from depression.
On reflection, I was angry as a child too, which I never understood until now. My anger was more frustration at my inability to express myself in words. I could speak, yet felt mute. This was made worse as it led to me feeling misunderstood. I was not ae to process my feelings and emotions and then to convert them into words. When someone asked a question my answer would always be 'I don't know'. I did know, I just didn't how to express it. And even when I did know how to, I was afraid of being judged or afraid to upset someone.
I recall at the age of just 12, telling a friend of mine, I just want to be with someone who loves me, who hugs me and tells me I am loved. I think now, why did I feel that desire at such a young age to be loved? - I have no answer. It may be something to do with my early childhood - but I will never know the answer. Ironically I still felt the same desire to be loved in that way. Maybe everyone does? Two divorces later, aged 40 - I am still looking for that man who will love me for who I am and support me to grow. My desire to be loved, made me compromise on the people I was with, I just wanted love in whatever shape or form, even if it was from a toxic relationship. Not understanding that it wasn’t love.
Somehow I crossed the stages of grief and reached acceptance - I must have - as I am no longer depressed. I look forward to the little things in life, like my love for good food, movies, books, travel and so much more. My passion for coaching im particular makes me feel energised, it is after a very very long time that I feel passionate about something. And look forward to finding a fufilling relationship.
I just needed to love myself. And I finally do. It is essential to love ourselves. If we don’t love ourself who will?
Love you all, Mehreen x