01 March 2017

Divorce is real, divorce is hard.

Disclaimer: Jay and I are doing great and are happy as ever, this isn't about us.
Also disclaimer: this all started in the fall, and home parts of the process long long before that, but sometimes it takes a while to have the words. 

Some of you know and some of you don't, but eventually you all will put together the pieces. You will see my parents in town without their wedding rings, you won't see vacation photos with everyone present. For purposes of being genuine and transparent, which it is my hope to be [and also not having to explain as I run into you over the coming months and years if/when you ask how my family is doing-that can be tough]; My parents are getting divorced. And obviously that meant it was a hard year[s] for our family. We are all still processing, but here are some things I've mulled over. 

Divorce is a loss. It's a loss of something you loved, something that made you feel whole and safe. And though in some ways you may see it coming, nothing prepares you for loss. So you grieve. You get angry, there's something inside of you that denies that it's real, there's intense sadness, etc. Someday there will be acceptance I'm sure, but today it's still something I wish weren't real. 

You never understand what it feels like until you go through it, and I wish I would have understood better through elementary and high school. I think about all the kids who were going through this and I had no idea what they were feeling or how to help. 

As well as wishing I had understood others better, this experience helped me understand the need for unconditional kindness. There have been so many points through this whole process where there were painful things going on in my family, but they often weren't mine to talk about just yet, or I just wasn't ready, or didn't feel up to talking about it. I may not have acted as upbeat as normal, or I may have not shown up to something, or cancelled last minute, or had a really hard day where I may not have been as Christlike and kind as I would have liked. For those of you who were kind and understanding, I am more grateful than you know. For those of you who were my friends when I was absent or emotionally spent and were patient with me, I can not express how much that made me feel like I was still okay. And to Jay who did all of this every day- you are my hero.

I'll also never forget how many people commented how lucky I was or how "perfect" our family was when I posted pictures for fathers day or mothers day or anytime in between. And there's an interesting balance there. I think it is my responsibility not to be misleading, and if you pay attention, I really tried not to be. I strive to put things out in the world that are authentic and true; saying I love my family is true, saying my family has no flaws is an assumption. And therein lies something important. It's really easy to feel like everyone else has a perfect life and you don't, but it isn't true. It makes you miserable to think that way, and them miserable to have people thinking they're perfect when they are not. I've been on both sides of that spectrum. I've made myself miserable thinking everyone had it easier/better than me, but I've also experienced anguish when people treated me as if I had a perfect life when I didn't. Giving everybody the benefit of the doubt is just a happier way to live, I promise. 

The thing is everybody has trials. Everybody has hardships. Nobody is immune to life and its myriad of tumultuous waves and winds and roadblocks. Some are easily seen, others are held close, and there's no right or wrong about it. Some pain is not ours to discuss openly, some we don't want to discuss openly, and some just takes time. Regardless of what somebody else pain looks like, you're probably safe to assume it's there. Or that it has been there. Or it will be there.  No two trials are the same, or are handled the same, or happen to the same person. But the underlying truth is that everyone deserves kindness and it doesn't matter how they're dealing with it or what it looks like you're just always safer to be a little kinder and a little less critical and extend a helping hand, a nice note, or an extra smile more often than not.

A really wise friend told me, "Divorce doesn't ruin your family, just changes it" and we are all just beginning to understand that to be true.


(*Zane was on his mission when this was taken, but it's the last one I have)

6 comments:

  1. Such beautiful thoughts, so we'll written. I love your family no matter what changes may take place :) I feel so lucky to have met and gotten to know each one of you. Everytime I see your sweet mom at church my heart hurts for her. I don't know any details, but I pray for both your parents; that healing can be found and a sense of peace can be felt. I wish I could magically fix your pain and sorrow. You are such a talented, amazing gal, whose smile lights up an entire stadium!!!! May each of you be able to take this new family dimension and turn it into something beautiful. When a beautiful rock is broken open, it is then that one can have the chance to see the amazing ribbons of color or sparkling minerals that now have their moment in the light. Sincerely, Sarah Eagar (Rosey Mitchell's sister)

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    1. I would knew Sarah Eagar and that sweet spirit anywhere. Thanks so much for your kind words. The world needs more people just like you.

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  2. Taylor. I'm so sorry about these changes in your family. I can't imagine the pain you're going through but can relate to having family trials that are held really close. It's like Its not your story to tell yet but it's effecting you deeply. My heart hurts for your pain and grief and I know I'm not in a similar situation but I know the pain of trials nobody knows about and feeling completely not yourself. And honestly it's the savior and good people (husband's especially) that get you through. I always think of the quote to not be bitter about hard situations or trials but better from them. It's hard to believe anything can be better from a horrible situation but it's something I've been praying to do with myself and family. You're right no one is perfect and no family is perfect. We just all need to help each other along the way right? Love you sweet friend! You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Things will all work out. ❤❤❤

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    1. I loved reading this sweet comment, and just think the world of you! But seriously. So much love and SO excited to see baby Smith via social media <3

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  3. Well written. You and your family are so loved, thank you for sharing so we can be more kind and understanding to others.

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  4. I loved reading your thoughts as much as I hurt hearing them. I have had the luxury of experiencing only the good from each member of your family. Your family has been so good to ours. So glad you're also a significant part of ours.

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