On Trust, Acceptance and Love, Actually

Like many other women, Love, Actually is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s what I consider my ‘stop everything’ movie. Meaning when it’s on, I stop and watch it. But for the past two years, I’ve grown to hate the story of Harry and Karen (Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson); Almost to the point of fast forwarding through the Joni Mitchell CD scene.

Watching Emma Thompson’s performance of a wife questioning her marriage, her family and her life is just so… heavy. Especially if you’ve been there. And her simple line of telling her husband “You've made the life I lead foolish as well” sums up emotional baggage felt during a divorce just perfectly.

When a divorced woman tells you that she has trust issues, it doesn't have anything to do with cheating. It means that she’s having a hard time being able to trust anything. When the life that you had for many years is torn from you in a separation (regardless of why), and the person that swore in front of family and god, to be there for you and be your partner for life is just… gone — how can you?

When it seems like everything you worked hard to build was for naught, or every decision you painstakingly made was wrong, you can’t even trust yourself anymore much less anyone else.

Simply put — you feel that divorce made a fool out of your life.

Divorce makes you not trust in anything.

Divorce makes the man that was once your husband a stranger. It makes emotions and reality blur so badly that you can’t even begin to see what’s real or false. It makes you question absolutely everything that you thought was real and true in your life. It makes you regret. It makes you want to go back in time and make different decisions. And it makes you feel horrible because you know that if you would have made those different decisions you wouldn’t be where you are today. Maybe you wouldn’t have your kids, or live where you live. You wouldn’t have met your friends or had some of the experiences you had. And then you feel even worse having those thoughts, as if your own mind is making a fool out of your life.

Divorce makes you question everything.

When you can’t trust, you can’t think straight. There are two-sides to every coin, but with the inability to trust, you see five sides and five offshoots to those sides. You see your life like a chose your own adventure book, but you don’t know which way to go. You went the wrong way the last time — what’s going to stop you from doing it again?

When you trust, your mind and heart are open to new experiences. When you can’t trust, all you see ahead of you are roadblocks and lies. It’s a constant internal struggle of whys. It’s the fear of building something and having it knocked down again — the fear of being made a fool once again.

Acceptance

So here you are.

How do you take the fear and smash it like an ant? You accept it. Accept that this IS your life. It’s not foolish because it’s yours. What happened, happened because… well, it did. You can’t change it — and while parts of it I’m sure you would love to be different, the trajectory it’s taken is yours.

Own it.

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