Understanding Your Divorce – Use a Journal

Healing JournalDivorce emotions are hard enough one time, so you want to do everything you can not to repeat the same mistakes. Even if it looks like your ex is the one who made mistakes, it did take two to tango.

If you journal about the divorce, you will discover your role and not make the same mistake twice.

If there every was a time in your life when emotions run rampant, it’s when you’re going through a divorce. Wouldn’t you agree? There you are – you think your life is totally working when the rug gets pulled out from under your feet.

You might feel shocked, dismayed or terrified. Your thought turns to “yes, but, what if” types of scenes in your mentality, and you get even more frightened than before.

And then there’s anger, or maybe you’ve even escalated into rage. Those emotions can make you blind. Not physically blind, but you would be blinded to anything that appears reasonable.

So what can you do to get a grip on these raging emotions? Time to process the ideas helps a lot and so does some distance from the event and person involved. One of the most useful things I’ve discovered to make myself rational again is to journal.

What’s journaling – for those of you who might be new to the idea?

I found many different definitions out on Google. This is the one I like the best:

Writing to create a record of thoughts and feelings that a writer can return to.

This might seem a bit far fetched to you especially if you are in the middle of some traumatic event right now.

I can make some promises to you: Just write down what is happening. Don’t try to filter anything out. Let is sit there for a while, then add the next traumas. Let them sit there for a while too.

When you go back and re-read what you wrote, your emotions will have dwindled.

You will begin to see patterns. You will begin to look at things more objectively. Objectivity will allow your ability to reason to work, and those horrible feelings you were once feeling will drop away somewhat to permit you to see other options.

Patterns will begin to emerge and you’ll see them clearly. You’ll see how one thing triggers another.

When you sit down and write in your journal about the challenges you are going through with your ex, you will begin to see his method of operating as well as your own.

You’ll be able to eventually move from reacting to his shenanigans to simply observing him and thinking “There he goes again with the blame game or with the I’m innocent game.” And you’ll move from subjectivity to objectivity just through your journaling.

It’s an inexpensive, but powerful technique.

An additional benefit will be in learning what your own M. O.

You might observe yourself whining repeatedly, or blaming, or freezing emotionally in shock, or whatever it is you are currently doing to protect yourself from feeling bad when you interface with your ex.

Well, that can help you too if you notice what you are doing and work to make those corrections.

Make your experience with writing in your Journal the best.

Find a notebook that lays flat. Make sure you have a pen that you love to write with. My assistant uses one with purple ink!

Choose someplace quiet to journal so you’re thoughts can flow without interruption. You single parents – after the kids go to bed is a great time.

This isn’t about spelling or grammar perfection so don’t obsess over that. Just get the words down. It’s possible that you might like to sketch out the story in pictures?

Whichever method or style you choose, please choose one and then do it. The emotions stirred up by divorce are such a challenge, but journaling is the cheapest therapy available.

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About the Author: Len Stauffenger

In his book “Getting Over It: Wisdom for Divorced Parents,” Len Stauffenger shares his simple wisdom gleaned from his divorce with his daughters and with you. Len is a Success Coach and an Attorney. You can purchase Len’s book and it’s accompanying workbook at http://www.wisdomfordivorcedparents.com

 

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