Kristen, Mom & DIY Design Fanatic
Our Women of Colibri Series tells the stories of women who have been impacted by divorce and highlights the different experiences and lessons they have learned during the process. While each divorce is different, we hope these stories help you throughout your journey and hope you will share your story with us.
How long were you married?
I was married 10 years. A little over 4 years of that, I was legally married but separated and waiting for my divorce to end. At one time, I Googled “the longest divorce in USA”, thankfully I did not come close.
Do you have children?
I have two beautiful children Hailey (11) and Tyler (7). Honestly, they are the biggest blessings in my life.
What was the hardest thing that you struggled with during your divorce?
I believe the hardest thing I struggled with was 1) the overwhelming grief or “grieving the loss” as many counselors put it, that I went through. It was unbearable at times. I am surprised I did not pass away from a broken heart. 2) the helplessness I felt becoming mostly a single parent. I had an infant when my ex-husband left the home and a 3.5 year old to take care of. I was a stay at home mother and was now very worried about how my bills would get paid.
What resources did you turn to to help you through your divorce?
My church was, for the most part, supportive of me. I actually brought awareness to the fact that Christians get divorced too, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. I got a counselor very quickly and joined support groups for ladies going through a divorce. My parents were very helpful, I had a large group of friends that would help as well. I can remember crying in the fetal position in my mud room on the floor and calling parents of kids my daughter’s class to make her lunch for the next day. Some days, I did not even have it in me to make a lunch.
What was the first positive thing you did for yourself after your divorce?
Because my divorce took so long (during the divorce procedures), I decided to GET A HOBBY! Turns out I was very good at working with wood and fabric and interior design. I would go to my garage shop in the evenings and build furniture and learned to remodel the rooms in my home. There is great courage in learning something you have never done. When the kids were home, I’d bring them in the shop and they were my assistants. I also learned that we all need a creative outlet and it is gratifying to physically see something that you made or made better. I made some extra money on the side and soon I had business and projects coming from everywhere!
What has become the silver lining in your divorce? What have you gained?
I would say the silver lining in my divorce is that I learned that no matter what goes on around me, I am still ok. There can be chaos spinning around me and I can still stay grounded. I have gained the ability to believe in myself again, and learned that I can make good decisions.
What advice would you give to any woman considering, going through, or just coming out of a divorce?
My advice to other women would be to make sure you take care of yourself especially if you have children. If you are not ok, you won’t have the energy and strength to take care of your children. Also, start doing things for yourself – have a creative outlet and surround yourself with safe people who are not going to make things more toxic. Divorce will really show you who you can count on in a jam and those who run away from being your friend. Also, find an attorney who will work for you and have them prove it. After all, they are getting paid a lot of money. One last thing on trusting – I learned that if what a person does, and what they say are two different things, they are not being truthful.