(This photo was taken a week before my divorce was final)
I was crying so hard that the hair above my ears was soon soaked as I lay on the table. In what felt like a desperate act, the month before my divorce was final, I went to see an intuitive, Sue, to help me on the path toward healing. Truthfully, I think I just wanted someone to tell me that finalizing my divorce was the right thing to do. I thought she would look inside my soul and read the crystal ball and tell me that I was making the right decision for my daughters and me. I hoped with all my heart that in doing so, some of the weight from the burden of that decision could come off my shoulders.
I lay down and she placed her hand in the air above my heart. Immediately my grief rushed forward and the gut-wrenching sobs flowed out of me. My mom sat in the room supporting me and when I looked over, her eyes were also filled with tears. Sue stood over me and said simply that I was not a bad mother.
You see the most prominent thought I had been carrying with me every day through my struggling marriage was that a divorce would harm my children. That only bad moms harm their children. Therefore I was a bad mom for needing a divorce. I did not know how deeply this damaging thought was embedded in my heart until that moment with Sue when I started to feel the release. Being a bad mom was my darkest fear, my most shameful secret, and the worry that led to many wake filled nights.
Never mind that I had been a divorce lawyer for a decade by this time and had seen mothers and their children thrive after divorce, year after year. I was somehow convinced I would be the exception. Sue asked me to forgive myself for the divorce. Sue made me look at the truth around my relationship with my daughters: that the fierce love I held for them was strongly reciprocated; that since the separation our time together was filled with happiness and calm; and, that we felt safe, secure, and stable despite our changing family. Someone had finally given me permission to be a divorced mom and a good mom.
In the years since my divorce, I have experienced the truth I had observed over the years when watching my clients. I see that my own happiness, authenticity, and wholeness have a direct positive influence on my girls. I see that our home is filled with love, normal parent/child challenges, and an undeniable enthusiasm for life. And most importantly, I own that I am not a bad mom.