With the snow and wind pounding down today in the Northeast, I thought I would repost an earlier blog of nearly two years ago. Wherever you are, I hope you are safe and warm. Blessings to you!!
If you were wondering where winter was, well wonder no more. It has arrived with a vengeance! The blizzard of 2016 walloped more than two feet of snow on at least 11 states, and my aching arms and legs can attest that my area of New Jersey was hit hard.
I am not very good at just sitting around and being stuck with no way out. I like having the freedom and ability to go out whenever I feel like it, and with all the snowfall that befell us, there was no way that was going to happen without a lot of muscle.
As I watched the snow plummet at amazing speeds yesterday, I was reminded of a time five years ago when we were hit with a Nor’easter that smacked 26 inches upon us, the same amount as yesterday’s total. But that is where the similarity begins and ends. Five years ago I was in the middle of an excruciating divorce and we lived in the same house. Being in the same house for more than an hour at a time with him caused high stress and anxiety, but being stranded with no way out for two days was as close to hell as one can get.
I remember my daughter and I had played cards and games, while he hovered around watching us. He wanted to make me as uncomfortable as he could, which was one of his favorite pastimes that he perfected. He had never been into playing board games, instead he opted for mind games.
I shudder just thinking about that time and the many other times I wished I could be transported elsewhere. Anywhere where he wasn’t. It’s sad really that I wasted so much time wishing to be somewhere else.
Fast forward to today, as I sip the wine that my boyfriend had brought over the previous weekend, I realized the parallels of the snowstorms and my prior marriage. The best analogy I can make of my 15-year marriage would be of a blizzard. As the snow begins to fall it looks nice, but then the winds pick up and there is the constant threat of losing power. The snow continues to fall gaining speed, and as you try to shovel your way out you realize it’s hopeless. No matter how fast you shovel you’re just running in place, since the snow is still falling. By daybreak the snow has stopped, and though you can see the end of the driveway, it is difficult to trudge through nearly three feet of packed snow with only the clothes on your back. You realize you are trapped and the only way out is to slowly and methodically dig yourself out of the mess created by the storm. Once you do, you can finally reach the road to freedom.
I am happy and relieved that although I was “trapped” inside during this blizzard, I felt more free and alive than ever before. Here's to your freedom as well! Cheers!
Changing your name after divorce is a personal choice. I know some women who had started the name changing process the day the divorce was sealed, rushing directly to federal offices to get the ball rolling. While other women, myself included, waited a bit longer. I didn’t wait because I felt an affinity to my exes name or to him, but I felt it was the right thing to do for my daughter. Her entire 12-year old world was changing, I felt it was the least I could do.
Some women never change their name until they remarry, if they remarry. Sharing the same name when you have children does make life easier. Of course it is an individual decision, but I think it is emancipating to lose the former name and be you for a while. It is quite freeing to own your own name, not the one you bartered for the band of gold, but the one you were born into. You know the name you had when you believed you could conquer the world, when you were younger and idealistic? Your name, after all, is a key part of your identity. I knew I would not keep my former husbands name because I was not the same person anymore. In fact, when we married I was one of those hyphenated names that most people hate, which actually turned out to be a good thing when opening new utility accounts and changing banks accounts, since my maiden name was already a part of my last name.
The process to change one’s name back to a former maiden name can seem daunting. To begin the process the Judgment of Divorce is required, which states on it the name the person is returning to, such as your maiden name. This is an important piece of the puzzle. Make sure your divorce decree states you can return to your maiden name, even if you think you won’t change it. If you have a change of heart, it will make life much easier.
The first place to start is at Social Security by obtaining a Social Security card with a new name. This is accomplished by first filling out an Application for a New Social Security Card. The application must be taken in person to the local Social Security office along with a certified copy of the Divorce Decree showing the ability to resume the former maiden name. In addition, a document is needed to prove your identity such as a current driver’s license or passport. These documents must be original, so going in person to the local Social Security office makes most sense. Social Security will not accept copies of the identification documents. Once the new Social Security card is issued, then your driver’s license, passport and all other accounts must be updated. The Social Security Administration notifies the IRS.
There are women who go through this process more than once with a divorce and then with a remarriage, like myself. The choice to take a new name, resume a former name, retain a family name or even to hyphenate a name are significant and important decisions that should be made with a great deal of consideration towards the future. There will be times when it will feel confusing as to what you should do. If it feels confusing or overwhelming, then do nothing. When the time feels right you will know.
After I changed my name, I made sure I updated it on all my daughter school forms, teams, and email groups. However, be prepared to be called by your former name by many, even friends. As hard as it may be at times, it is important to speak up if someone addresses you incorrectly. Too often we let our insecurities overwhelm us and keep silent, but it will only create more confusion for all involved, especially your child. So when the time is right, reclaim your name, then write it and say it proudly. If you’re good with the decision, your child will be too.
For more information you can click on the Divorce Source link on my resource page.
Wishing you a great day!
So this being my first post on this website, I thought it would be fitting for you to know a bit about me. I'm a tad over 50, divorced, and a writer for most of my life. I recently received my Master's in Communication and I truly believe that life does not stop after divorce, in fact I believe it only begins a new.
Throughout my life I have learned many lessons along the way, especially about DIVORCE. By divorce, I am not specifically talking about the legal preparation, though it is imperative to have qualified legal counsel, I am referring more to emotions (which can be a bit like riding on a roller-coaster). I will offer tips on everything from how to know it’s time to leave the marriage to dating again, and of course the ever present and presence of children.
Aside from learning many lessons throughout my marriage and then divorce, I realized that I was often wishing for something to change. For him to change, for me to change, for something to change. Yes, something had to change since our existence together was bad. Then one day as I was looking through the journal I had kept for years I realized I used the word "wish" quite often. Then I looked up the meaning.
Wishes, according to OxfordDictionaries.com, means to express a strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable; a want that something cannot or probably will not happen.
Interesting definition, isn’t it? I didn’t realize when I was wishing for things in my life to change, that it probably would not happen. In fact, I believed it would, because I truly wanted it to.
We all make wishes to ourselves and we also share those wishes with those we love. Some of course do come true. We get that job we wanted and wished for. We buy the car we always wanted or the house with the beautiful front porch. Or, we are honored with marrying the man or woman of our dreams. That one person we believe is perfect for us in every way.
Yes, those are what wishes are made of, and of course some pixie dust. Truth be told, not all wishes are what they seemed to be after they are granted. Sometimes the dream job can turn into just a job, and the beautiful house we bought with our life savings can have leaks every time the rain hits it from the west. And, well, the man or woman we married can turn into a person we don’t really know at all. Such is what happened to me. I married someone who didn't turn out to be the man I thought he was. Our 16 years of marriage were fraught with much anger and anxiety.
Throughout this blog, you will find out more about me and my past marriage. Writing here for me helps put the past in the past, but it also helps those who are just figuring out what to do and how to move forward. Please know that at anytime you can reach out to me and I will get back to.
Knowing the definition of wishes helps to understand that with a wish, there is hope. I think we all intrinsically want the wish to come true, but the more integral part of the wish, or intangible part, is the feeling that is attached to it. That feeling without a doubt is hope. I remember some of those days daydreaming (or wishing) what I would do when I was no longer married to the Ex. Those daydreams kept me going, knowing someday I would be free of his emotional abuse and manipulation. I am happy to say that was five years ago, and I have never been happier!
I have also not given up on love, for I have been fortunate enough to have found someone that is a great fit for me.
So hold onto your hope and your wishes for now, they will help see you through. Until next time…