JANUARY 29, 2009 9:59AM

Divorceland: I'm an Emotional Yo-Yo.

Rate: 19 Flag

So, I'm an emotional yo-yo.

One of my online friends who's privvy to the situation is getting frustrated with me, I think, and I totally get why.  I am a mass of contradictions at this point, and I'm having a hard time reconciling them.

It seems I'm experiencing all those "grief stages" at once these days.  I'm angry and sad and depressed and accepting, all in one package.  At any given point I can react in a multitude of ways.  I can say things about my wife and/or her gf that are angry, but if you agree with me, I might be shocked, gladdened, or upset.  It's not predictable at all.

This is one of the worst things about separating.  It's not, as I imagined, the actual preparation for separation, although that's pretty awful.  It's also not giving up my life as it is; if it really was all that good, I wouldn't be needing to change it.

What's worst right now is not being stable in my emotional state, because I'm not able to respond in a consistent manner to friends.  When I'm in a time of major transition, all aspects of my personality are jockeying for position.  I'm totally random, and not in the fun way I take such pride in each day. 

It isn't fair....and I HATE being unfair.  Especially to people who are trying to help in my "hour" (year? ugh) of need.  Friends deserve better.

This also doesn't bode well for my real-life friendships.  No one knows about the situation in my "real life" as yet; will I be able to maintain my friendships and not milk them dry?  Or worse, will I become a draining person who just talks about how sad his life is and what a bitch his ex is? 

I don't WANT that in my life.

I guess the struggle here is not just in the divorcing; it's in re-establishing who I am as a person and choosing who I want to be each day.  It's in making better choices, taking the high road when I can and being in the darker emotions when it's time to wallow in them.  Oh, and to eventually lose at least TEN pounds so women don't reject me outright when I take off my shirt....

So much ground to cover.

So, to my OS and online friends, I apologize in advance, please bear with me.  There's a virtual sign on me that says "Construction in progress:  Rough Road Ahead". 

When the road smoothes....so will I.


Thanks for listening.


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divorce, yo-yo, (not ma), random

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Your friends, online or not, should understand your plight. They may worry at times about you, but I bet they understand why you can be all over the map. You may need to remind them occasionally what you need from them. It's ok to be direct and ask. Most people prefer that.
Take care.
Schweetie, allow me to say, "Duh." Of course you're a mass of contradiction. It's what happens.

I'm a little bummed for you that your friend is getting frustrated. A friend's job right now is to give you an ear, not to decide if you're moving at the speed they dictate as correct. Some things take longer to understand. Again, "Duh." As you discuss your situation, you learn more about it. Not that this is something you don't already know.

You will bitch, you will moan, but dark, you're not standing still- we've all read your progress. I mean, in the big picture, this happened about 5 minutes ago, you know? It would make a lot less sense if you had it all figured out. Then, I think, a lot of us would have stopped reading and caring.

The only thing that would frustrate me would be that you continue to beat yourself up. It takes as long as it takes and it goes the way it goes. You are clearly trying to understand it and work through it, so just chill and let yourself ride the rollercoaster, k?

And seriously, 10 lbs? Now, THAT I shall give you grief about. Though it's endearing how you think women give a shit about that kinda stuff. *ruffle ruffle* You goofball.

See ya later...
It absolutely makes sense that you would diss your wife and then get angry with someone for agreeing with you. After all, she's been someone you were supposed to defend for a long time, right?

I've never been through a divorce, so I can only guess what it's like based on what I've heard and read from others. So I'll apologize in advance too... if I ever say anything that makes you feel worse instead of better, it's probably because I'm an idiot. Let's be gentle to one another.
Morning DS. This likely won't be much help but this does sound very normal to me. I went through a period very much like this when my emotions would go in 4 directions at once. I'd be stressed one-minute and happy the next, apparently good days would end with me sitting on the floor of the house hugging a dog for dear life. Eventually it starts to smooth out. Eventually you start identifying yourself as an independent person and not as part of a pair.

You know when you're having issues and your friends will know that too. The fact that you don't want to be unfair and that you know your friends deserve better will help you minimize any fallout. We all have our moments from time to time and the true friends weather those and meet you on the other side!
indeed: a long, winding, and bumpy road...
keep walking
keep posting
Thanks, wakingupslowly. I hope they do understand, because I honestly feel like I'm hurting enough people right now...

Asking? Wow, what a concept.

Thanks again.
Ah Ms. Bees....you see, the thing is that I read between the lines, you see. My friend is being as good to me as one can, I think....but I can see the frustration.

I guess this is normal. I HATE normal.

A rollercoaster is an apt metaphor...because my stomach is sick and I feel kind of terrified...but it's exhilarating as well.

No, I need to lose 15 or 20...but the 10 would be a good start!

Hi Allie -

Yes, so true...I spent 15 years defending her habits and flaws...it's ingrained at this point. Still, I don't like being inconsistent.

You are certainly NOT an idiot...no worries.

Thanks for commenting....

DS, I feel your pain. Never been in a similiar situation, so I can only imagine it. But your posts make me feel it. The range of emotions, all battling at once, sound exhausting.

In light of that emotional exhaustion ... I don't know if I've seen this addressed in your posts or comments, so forgive me if I'm redundant ... are you taking care of yourself physically? I'm not talking about the weight you want to lose. I'm asking about whether you're eating right, exercising, doing something in the way of stress management, etc. I hope you are, because as the old quote says, when the mind suffers, the body cries out. And your mind is certainly suffering.
Hey Rapier -

Maybe that's what it is...just blips in the psyche. Perhaps I need to rely more on my friends, not less.


Brian - I'm walking, posting...and hanging in.

Thank you both for your comments :)
There's really not much to say that others have already said, but here goes. This is totally typical for this situation! Please don't give yourself a hard time about it, allow yourself to feel what you feel. It will pass, it takes time. How much time? That varies and you just can't rush it. Sorry. But the good news is that it absolutely will pass and eventually you will discover that you are entirely yourself again. and you may even discover that you are a new, improved, stronger, wiser you. And I'm sure the 10 or 20 pounds won't matter to the right person, women are less picky about appearance of their dates than men.
Hi Dogmom -

Thanks. I'm taking as good care of myself as possible under the circumstances, eating relatively decently, sleeping as much as I can with three jobs and a four month old in the house...

Definitely room for improvement though...

Yes, it is exhausting...but it won't always be.

Thanks for the comment,
So, you're a yo-you right now. At least your not a puppet! Pull your own strings, ds!
Seriously, I think I know how you feel. Stop judging yourself. Human beings are layered and complex and do not go through stages neatly and definitively. We are messy and our lives are messy. You don't have to like where you are right now but you can be-friend the sense of unease that you feel. Be kind to yourself. Be as kind to yourself as you are to your children.
Peace to you today, ds.
There's nothing unusual about where you are right now emotionally.

I was a bloody fucking emotional mess for years after my separation and divorce, and still am sometimes. You've been dealing with a life-shattering change of events for just a few weeks. Cut yourself some slack!

And I'd seek out the company and support of people with more patience. The last thing you need in your life is tsk-tsking from people telling you how you should be acting and feeling right now.

(Yeah, that includes me too. :-S)
Many have gone before, others will follow. Thanks for articulating human-ness in all of its contradictions.
You need to rant right now. Your friends should understand. I know that when I was separated and then divorced, I talked WAY TOO MUCH about it, but it worked. I got through the grief and started a new life. A new peaceful strong life. Hang in there and get your rage and grief out the best way you know how.
Hi Singpretty -

I guess I'm just impatient. I don't like this process and don't feel like going through it, perhaps. However, that being said, I already feel some improvements coming on...

And thank GOODness women are less picky....

Dharmabummer, thank you.

Perhaps the hardest thing for me is to be kind to myself. I'm not sure why. That's something I need to work on.
Hey VR -

You mean I'm not supposed to be healed yet and out dating? C'mon...

It's tough. Part of me just wants to bury this whole piece of dog poop in the sand and have it go away. On the other hand, better it gets scooped up and put in proper trash receptacle.

Maybe that's not the best metaphor.

Still, yes, I need to cut myself some slack. And maybe give myself a break now and again.

Sad but true...the only way out is through.
Thanks, Deborah...I hope few follow.

Columbiapat, thank you...I'm working on it :)

Thank you both for commenting.
Well put, VR. Batten down the hatches!
Tell your real-life friends. Let them in, allow them to support you right now. You can't do this alone. People aren't built to go through life all alone. Ask for help. You'll find out who truly loves you. Reach out whenever you can and you'll be surprised at who is there for you.

I had to let all my real-life friends in when I was facing the most serious depressive episode in five years recently. I've lost some people - they couldn't deal with it, but I've also found amazing friends who's strength and determination to help me stuns me daily.

It'll be ok. I like reading about what you're going through because I think you are doing your humanity a great service. Thank you.
Hi stephalupagous -

Most of our real-life friends are "couple friends"; that's part of the problem. By telling them, I'll be asking them to choose sides, and I don't want to do that yet.

I hope that your depression has lifted...and I'm glad you've got good friends.

It WILL be ok in the end.

Thank you for the compliment, and the comment.


Hey Karin?

Enough about me, let's talk about you some more :)

An avalanche is a great metaphor for it. I feel like I'm completely overtaken by the events at hand, and it brings out the randomness in me.

You've got a good point about the friends & family thing...I guess I'll see when the truth comes out, bit by bit...

Thanks for stopping in...

DS, I think is a natural (as opposedto normal) part of the process. I think you have exceptional coping skills.

I wish I had the support for me that I see for you when I went through what you are going through. I'm not jealous or anything. I withdrew and couldn't interact with anyone for quite a while. Toughing it out on your own I've found in retrospect is not advisable.

This will all slow down and level out. There is no timetable or formula, as individuals all get through this differently in their own way and their own time.

If you know someone who took five years to get through it, don't expect your journey to take the same amount of time. It's different for everyone.
Dear dark, Your online and off line friends will both understand if they have been through it or any other major life change. I am still going through it. I think some people take longer than others...maybe you'll be fast? But don't expect so much of yourself for a while. Maybe even two years. Some wise person said that to me when I was in the process, and recommended a book called, "Crazy Time." I still haven't read it, but really get the title. Breathe. Take care of yourself. Breathe.

What does your therapist think about your emotional roller-coaster? Could it be that Rx may be in order?

Judging from the rest of us here, including myself, all the conflicting emotions you're now going through are pretty normal, given the circumstances.

I know I went on Prozac for awhile, and it really made a difference. It wasn't that I felt better about everything; the meds just took the edge off things so I could still get things done while I waited for the 60-day waiting period to pass before moving out (I don't advocate ANYbody doing that; once it's Over, SOMEbody has gotta move outta Dodge).

My own therapist told me that it takes 2-5 yrs to recover from divorce. I think it took me the full 5, but recovery did in fact happen at last.

Something to think about:

Q: Why is divorce so expensive?
A: It's worth it.
Hi OESheepdog -

I'm sorry you didn't have the support you needed. That being said, I consider myself EXTREMELY lucky to have friends here at OS and online that will listen to me.

I can't wait until it evens out...hopefully sooner than later.

Hi Carol -

I guess it'll progress as it needs to. Breathing. Right :)

Thanks much,
Hi Elsma03 -

My therapist thinks I'm just fine, actually...normal progression, not interfering with daily functioning, no meds needed.

What I type here is my internal processing...if you ran into me on the street, you most likely wouldn't know I was going through all this, unless you really took the time to notice my eyes.

I do appreciate the concern...and yes, it'll be worth it.

Thanks much,
Another divorce joke:

A husband and wife are talking about Christmas:

H: Honey, what do you want for Christmas?
W: Well, I want a divorce.
H: Well, I didn't want to spend that much.
lol elsma -- NICE. I'm soooo glad we're going to do the online separation thing...$399 for the whole shootin' match.
darkside, you've been dealing with this for, what, about a month, right? Separation and divorce and about rending lives apart and doing something new with them. They're about upheaval. Think about a volcano -- lots of molten rock and heat and explosions. Pretty violent stuff and people do get hurt. But something new gets built at the same time.

These emotional stages are not delineated like the layers in one of those sand paintings in a bottle. It's more like you've taken that carefully crafted bottle full of layers and shaken it up. Now you have every color and every feeling happening at random times and sometimes right next to an emotion that you thought it impossible to pair with whatever is going on.

Most people who you would refer to as friends have an understanding that people are vulnerable to many emotions whilst going through a life change like this. Your real friends will still be there afterward. I've been through divorce and I can attest that there can be life and love on the other side.
Hi Coyote -

Yes, about a month. I like the idea of a volcano...also very apt. Funny how natural disasters seem to flow from this...

It's SO random...I hate it!

*smiles* Thank you for continuing to provide me hope.

Thanks for commenting,

Your friend here on OS will get over it.

I am more concerned that you said that no one in your "real life" knows about your situation yet!! Dude! When the walls come tumblin' down around you, that is when you should be able to turn to your friends. These were the people that kept me sane. True friends will allow you to waffle all over the place if that is what you need to do... but they will be with you.

Tell them. Let them help you get through this. I am quite sure they would turn to you if they were in need.. and you would rise to the occasion. Wouldn't you?
I don't think your behavior is unfair at all. I think it's a perfectly normal reaction to an incredibly difficult period in your life. Of course, you're going to respond differently at different moments. Of course, your feelings are going to change constantly. Of course, you'll go through the grieving stages out of order and in repetition. That's all perfectly okay. And I don't find it particularly annoying. I mean, I also don't know you. But I think you're writing in a very lucid and honest way, and I appreciate that exploration of your feelings and how they change. There is no need to apologize.
Everyone goes through hard times and friends online and real life they understand that. They have probably and more than likely been there or some other hard time in the their lives. Friends help friends by listening, caring, being there, no matter what.
Yes grieving is hard and there is no sound advice anyone can really tell anyone who is grieving. The only anyone can do is be there and listen. The emotions are like a roller coaster and you can control that as hard you can't, but that to will pass.
Just remember don't be hard on yourself, it not all your fault and life does go on.
We are all here to for each other as support of just chatting, having fun.
You are alone and you friends that do understand and who are there for you.
So hang in there. "This to will pass".
Hey ds,

Roller coasters are to be expected. Just put your arms up and go whee!!!!! I want to recommend an author to you. Martha Beck. I'm not sure that she has a book specifically for this agenda, but I wouldn't be surprised. She is a life coach, but don't hold it against her. She is funny, and practical. I also know she has been divorced. She has a website, of course. She's very good at describing what one would be going through, the stages, and how to assist oneself through the stage. Also, whether you should be making decisions or not in a particular stage. It's better if you just look at her books!
But really, ds, emotions are not "fair". When I look back on the last 2 years with Jeff, I had no business saying some of the things I said, but I said it out of hope, or because I didn't want to hurt him, or because I really thought in the moment it was the best thing, but that was because guilt was in the background. When we are divorcing, our tongue should be temporarily deactivated.
Harp - you raise a good point. I will be telling a close friend relatively soon...but as most of our friends are "couple friends", I've been reticent to discuss it with them as yet.

Jaceymack - Thank you, I'm trying to stay lucid, even when I don't feel like it. It may be normal to be like this, given the situation...but it sure is not comfortable...

fireeyes - Thank you for your comforting thoughts. I can't wait until it DOES pass...
Hi Ann -

"wheee" might come when I finally get my own apartment and the trauma is all over...but I get the drift.

I personally agree about the tongue deactivation thing...my wife has stuck her foot in hers quite a bit...I'd say it's about a 10:1 ratio thus far...but oh well.

Thanks for commenting,
What you just wrote, tell this to your friends. Say, "I realize I'm one note in worry right now. I realize my emotions and reactions are all over the place. I realize you might get irritable about that. What I need you to do is listen. That's it. And know that I am grateful for your friendship and your presence. And that I owe you. Thank you."

That should pretty much cover it. Then, take the most deserving out to dinner later, when it's all better.
odette - thanks. I'll follow that advice once I'm ready to disclose to the 'couple friends'...which I think needs to be sooner than later.

Thanks for the suggestion.