Find Your Tribe and Love Them Hard.


Manage episode 182861034 series 1412762
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In Episode 6 Tracey talks about how friendships can change after a divorce or big breakup and why it is important to find your own tribe.

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Show Notes:

When Gary informed me that he had decided to end our marriage it was November. I had already caught him in the bathroom with Carol but I still didn’t believe that we were actually headed for an imminent divorce. I was pushing for counseling, or at the very least, for him to see a doctor (I think I already mentioned that I thought he was acting like a crazy person). So by the time we were planning the actual separation it was in the midst of the holiday season.

Like any good suburban Mom I was preparing for the annual Christmas cookie exchange with my neighbors. It was at this event that I announced that they would all soon be seeing a moving truck in our driveway. This angered Gary, that I would make our private business public to all the ladies in the neighborhood. And I have to admit, that was one of the most confusing things to me to date…that he wanted me to disappear and I wasn’t allowed to talk about it.

But that’s what this episode is about. I HAD to talk about it. So in the midst of playing some game for Christmas ornaments or something I announce that I am moving out with the kids, that my marriage is over, and that I hope we will all stay friends. Those beautiful ladies tried to be supportive. They asked the right questions, made the right sympathetic noises, and encouraged and supported me. They wanted to know why I wasn’t more angry. They wanted to know if he was cheating, to give their own opinions on that subject, and to tell me what they thought about her—it wasn’t good. But what I was going through and what I was about to go through scared them. No one lives in a glass house. They believed that we were happy. So if this could happen to us, then it could happen to any of them. No one likes to witness their own mortality. While they hugged me and said nice things, I could feel each of them slip away ever so slightly.

We hung out again, with their husbands this time, on New Years Eve. The kids and I had moved out the day before. Gary had said he would not be home, so we could come over and shower before the party if we wanted, he was going to a party at a coworkers house. The charge on his debit card for Bennihana said that was a lie, but whatever…the only reason that even registered on my radar is because he had been “unable” to give me money for Christmas gifts for the kids.

The New Year’s Eve party was fun. My friends were enthusiastic about my decision to go back to school, were making recommendations on I should choose for my next career. They all gave big hugs and even the boys promised to be there if I needed anything. As I loaded my kids in the car in the snow, and drove down the back roads to the poopy brown house, there was only one thing I needed. I needed this not to be my life.

Over the weeks that followed, I felt more alone than I could have ever imagined. My friends called to check in and I really appreciated it. But I didn’t have anything to say. There was nothing new. I was still terribly hurt and sad and just starting to get angry and let’s face it, over time, no one wants to hear the same sad story over and over again. And remember, my story scared them. Maybe I pushed them away, maybe they got tired of listening to me cry…eventually they stopped calling as much, and some of them stopped calling at all.

I had one friend who thrived on the drama in my life and stayed by my side. Eventually that would prove to be a problem, but during that first year, she was the fuel that kept me moving. She managed a charitable organization and gave me a part time job. And it was there that I met Lisa. Back in those days when I met someone for the first time, part of my introduction was that my husband and cheated on me with the daycare provider. It was just something I had to say. That I needed people to understand about me, right from the get go.

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