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What Happened to My Support System?

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Categories: Divorce, Self Care

The Big Support That You Felt at the Start of Your Divorce Will Inevitably Dwindle.

At the time of your divorce, you may have been surrounded by a wonderful support system chock full of friends and family.  During this trying time of your life, the people close to you may have made offers to help with your grocery shopping, household chores, and carpool.  Some of your friend’s husbands or children may even have offered to help you out with your lawn duties.  It’s a wonderful feeling to be cocooned by those who love and care about you.  Even if you don’t take people up on their generous offers, you know that they are there for you, should you need them and that they have your back.  Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, every little bit of kindness sent your way was greatly appreciated.

However, just as quickly as your support system arrived on the scene in full bloom, it may appear as though they left equally as fast.  You may have found yourself asking the question, “Where is everyone.”   As you begin to settle into post-marriage life, the reality of life takes on a different complexion once the fanfare of support diminishes.  Your first thought may be that your support people no longer love you or, if they do, they don’t love you as much as you thought they did.  You may wonder if they are tired of hearing about your situation and you scan the conversations with them, over in your mind, wondering if you offended them.  It is no surprise that you feel abandoned as the plethora of people, who engulfed you with love, lessen in numbers.  You need not wonder if and what you could have done wrong.

None of This Has Anything to Do with You.

When there is a crisis, people are wonderful at jumping in, en-masse, to help.  A school shooting takes on television news coverage 24/7 for days, only to find a week later that it is barely mentioned, if at all.  Horrific mudslides, fires, hurricanes and other natural tragedies also dominate the news feed along with photos that etch the horrors into our minds.  Within days of any major event, the subject wanes from the forefront of our discussion.

In 2010, Haiti was hit with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake which decimated the country whose antiquated and inadequate infrastructure that set the stage for the devastation to be of gargantuan proportion.  Most of the country was reduced to rubble.  Children were orphaned by the hundreds as they meandered the streets completely alone and traumatized.  The horrifying pictures were etched in our minds as every news organization made its way to the country to report the disaster.  Additionally, country after country stepped up to the plate and brought aid to those who were suffering.  It was as though they scrambled to see which country to get to Haiti first.  This disaster was so horrific that the story made its way all over the globe.  A week later, it was barely mentioned on the news.

The Attention May Be Gone, But the Need for Help Is Still There.

Organizations were still providing aid but, the reporting of the events in Haiti began to drop off in precipitous numbers.  Haiti was no longer the primary news story.  There were other news stories to report.  The general population had had their fill of the Haiti story.  Now that it was no longer in the news, did that mean that the people of Haiti stopped suffering?  Does anyone really know the numbers of Haitians who, over a decade later still don’t have safe housing?  Did the cholera epidemic that swept through the county six months after the earthquake, due to inadequate clean drinking water, make front page news?  No, it didn’t.  Did the lack of the public’s immediate interest mean that the people of Haiti were suffering any less?  No, it does not.  In fact, the people were suffering more as trauma and disease nestled into their lives.

Your Support System Is No Different Than Any Other Support System.

Immediate rescue is something that we humans are great at but. our attention spans are short.  Our energy reserves become depleted.  We want the quick fix.  Your friends and family want to help as best as they can.  At the same time, divorce is a process and can take months or even a few years before it is finalized.  It’s not possible for your support system to be with you every day nor should they be.  They still love you and are not too far away.

You Know You Can Call on Them When You Need Them and That Is All That Matters.

The Divorce Recovery Ladder Guide includes sections on building a support system and self-care.

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