For many years, I had the American dream. The career, writing for TV and theater. The husband. The home. The daughter (awesome). The life—New York City—which to me is the greatest place in the world. Though there are many other places I love, New York is home.
My writing kept me sane. Whenever life got hard, I could write and find my way through it.
And then life got really hard and I found that writing wasn’t nearly enough to get me through it.
I began talking about it. And the more I spoke about it, the more I found I wasn’t alone. So many women and men are stressed out in their jobs and feeling lost. Or they suddenly are finding themselves the caregivers for both parents and children. They’ve lost confidence that the path they are on is the right path.
My life imploded. Everything fell away. The career (thank you lousy economy), the marriage, the home, even the daughter moved 3000 miles away. All that was left of my old life were me and my two dogs.
But it was—without a doubt—the best thing that ever happened to me.
The obstacles on the path, are the path.
I learned more about life in that period of 18 months of loss and grief than I probably had in all the previous years of my entire life. I learned that I wasn’t alone.
I found my own voice and I found that in sharing my story, others feel safe to share their stories.
I give keynotes, lead workshops, and do individual coaching to help others find their own voices through speaking and writing.
Awesome website Robin!
I’m so glad I stumbled across your website. I had read an article in the Huff. Post.
About surviving a divorce. I’m going to order your book. I probably need it.
I’m 45, my husband is 50. We’ve been married 20 years..with 2 kids. One,20..One 17. Girl & a Boy. I Live
In South Georgia, in the country..Lots of land and a beautiful house we built about
8 years ago. We both work. He has a good full time job. (it’s contract work) I’m working a contract
job, as well..same plant where my hubby works. (a pulp mill- kinda like P&G)
But, mine is not as stable as his. Even, though I’m working on another long term
job, at the same place. But, won’t know if I will get it, until the job I’m doing now is finished. Trying to keep this short, I found a little farm house, same town…10 minutes from each other. Its a rental. The past 2 weekends, I’ve / we’ve been painting a couple rooms.. Trying to update it a little. Just needs some TLC. My dad is near, he helps. And, so has my husband. I won’t move in, until I’ve finished with the updates, and I have gone thru, boxed up 20 years of my/our lives. ? ? Hopefully I will be ready by Feb. No rush, but..The quicker I can get out and get used to my new life , the better. We waited until the holidays were over with before we told the kids and my dad. My mom and his family doesn’t know (from us) yet.
We have just grew apart, ? I guess. We are not happy. And, it’s really sad we have ended up like this…Of all people. Who would have thought. It’s hard to explain everything… I have good days and bad. I’ve been thru all of the emotions…from, mad..to screaming…to pissed. To upset..to crying..to feeling numb. It’s so very hard to go to work, and live my daily routine. I’ve hid it very well. Up until recently. I finally had some one notice that I was not wearing my wedding rings..I brushed it off..We’ve slept in different rooms for about 3 months now. We don’t argue much, in the evenings..Just a time or two recently..When we start talking about certain things..But, it’s mostly me. I lose my cool. How can I not? I have family and friends nearby. I just haven’t opened up too much. Was trying to make sure we were going thru the separation. Plus , we are sort of private people. I don’t like drama. Or gossip. But, I’ve always been like that . We both are. He told me I could have everything I wanted in our house. He doesn’t want us to hate each other. And, he will help get me moved into the rental. Thats easier said than done. I’m sure you understand that. Just wanted to tell you that I’m going to order your book..When things fall apart. I hope it will give me that push, to make me believe..It will be ok. I’m usually the tough one. But, wow. This has really knocked me down. Thank you, for the ear. I just needed to vent. And, you are the chosen one. ? Pam
I’m so sorry that you are in so much pain about the end of your marriage but how could you not be? It is one of life’s most difficult challenges and there is no way out of the feelings, at least in my experience, but to feel them.
You can get the book When Things Fall Apart, but I didn’t write it. Pema Chodron, one of the greatest Buddhist writers, wrote that book and it’s wonderful. So is Crazy Time, by Abigail Trafford. I found that very helpful. I’m still working on my book, but I do hope to have it out soon.
“Go where it’s warm” – find the people you can trust and speak to them and spend time with them. I found a support group, so that my friends wouldn’t have to listen to me all the time. Whatever it takes to allow you to grieve the end of a twenty year marriage, which wont’ happen overnight. “The only way out is through” is what I learned. You can’t bypass the grief, you just have to feel it so that eventually you can move on. And I promise you, this will change.
I experienced it myself and I’ve watched all my friends experience it. A day at a time, that’s how you have to live right now. One foot in front of the other and somedays, you find you can’t move and you need to cry. Crying is important as you heal from this. Go where it’s warm, talk about it, write about it, cry, dance, get a plastic baseball bat and hit a pillow, don’t rush the divorce if you’re not ready. Be gentle with yourself most of all.
I just read your blog about learning your ex has cancer. How is he doing now? I have a 16yo son with a man I never married. Our relationship has been one huge rollar coaster. We are both married (to other people) now and have children from these relationships. Adding spouses and other children have been awesome in our seperate lives but a complete train wreck in our co-parenting lives. Weird how that happens! Anyhow, I found out yesterday that my son’s father has been diagnosed with lung cancer that has apparently spread to his liver. I have been trying to figure out what role I need to take and what I need to say to show my support. My head has been racing. So tonight I went to my good friend Google for some advice and found you. Everything you discussed made perfect sense. You have a gift and I am so thankful that you are sharing it with the world. I pray your ex is doing well, and your daughter still has her father. Tonight you gained another fan! Thank you! Erin