When was the first moment in the aftermath when you thought about the past without a huge jolt of emotion? The first time the ex-marriage was a part of your history instead of a trauma?
I have been waiting for a while to figure out how best to answer this, because well it is not easy to answer. Not at all really. In fact, it is pretty fucking complicated if you ask me.
I can tell you that the first moment in the aftermath of my divorce that I thought about the past as nothing more than the past, without a huge jolt of emotion, was the day I sold my wedding ring. I think that is because of the fact that the moment was so surreal. Maybe like it almost wasn't happening? But it also brought some sense of closure and finality to the relationship, not just the ordeal of the divorce itself.
Now, I say that this is a complicated question to answer because the first moment that I looked back without a huge jolt of emotion did not signal some gigantic turning point where I no longer looked back on the end of my relationship without a jolt of emotion. Anyone who thinks they can out-wit, out-think, out-reason, emotion is well, delusional. Emotions are what they are, and they can, and will, completely fuck with you when you least expect it.
So, I do not measure any amount of progress in the emotional healing aspect of a post-divorce existence. There are good days. There are bad days. There are weird days. And then there are days that are just days. I think the larger goal is just to have more good days than bad days. And I would say that is the larger goal because most people, regardless of whether or not they are in a relationship want to have more good days than bad days. So, the goal in a way, is just to be, and feel, normal.
Now, there are speed bumps along the way that come up at times. For instance, while driving back from Key West, I took US-1, through Miami. At some point I was on the phone with my dad and took a right turn, which put me on US-1A. And wouldn't you know it?
The hotel I stayed at the weekend I got married was in my rear view mirror. I was in the town I got married in. I then couldn't get off 1A until I passed the beach where I said my vows. And you know what?
It wasn't "sad." It was just "eh, oh well, shit happens."
But then there are moments like today when I log onto Facebook and see someone say that today is their fifth anniversary (and if this person reads this, just know that I am happy for you). And it could have been mine too. So some reminders are nothing, and some sting, just a bit, if only for a few seconds.
But all in all, more good days than bad.
I think the hardest part is when you are stuck in some sort of limbo where you have trouble creating new memories to replace the old ones. Emotional purgatory can suck a dick.