Hi Chump Lady,
I would like to know your take on the Stages of Grief. I know we have to work through all of them, but I feel like Chumps go through it in a different order? I think denial is a pretty quick one for us, and we are done bargaining as soon as we realize what our deal breakers are. How did you go through the stages of grief? I have been using my anger to stay strong, but I don’t feel like I’m already done with depression, because I have had glimpses of “meh”.
Any thoughts on this? I know you have said that going no contact reduces or eliminates denial and bargaining. No contact helps me not think about my ex-shithead, and focus on my own life, which has always been pretty awesome. I’m only a few months out of a 10 year dysfunctional relationship, but I have been no contact (other than a few texts and lots of financial emails) since the first 3 weeks. I have been tested with pathetic “I’m sorry” and “poor me” emails and all sorts of other mindfuckery, been angry for a while and gotten back to a “not my monkey, not my circus” mindset. I don’t know if I’m just doing wishful thinking, hoping that I fly through to the promised land of meh in a couple months like Dorothy clicking her heels?
Thanks so much- you guys are the best!
I don’t think the stages of grief are on a punch card system. Oh, did denial, done with that, now I need to get my anger slot punched.
I think grief is more like a big combo plate in the cafeteria from hell, where you get denial, anger, bargaining, and depression heaped on your tray and acceptance is dessert. If you’re good…. maybe you’ll get acceptance. You can’t spoil your appetite for shit sandwiches and get acceptance first. Acceptance is for LATER.
I think it’s pretty normal to flip through all the stages except acceptance (or what we call around here — “meh”). I think it’s pretty normal to work through all the stages, finally get to acceptance, and then go back to the cafeteria from hell for second helpings of anger and depression sometimes.
It’s just a process. And it takes time. And those tropes are about as comforting as a deflated soccer ball. I’m sorry.
Unless you are a very shallow person with very shallow feelings, you’re going to grieve. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger. You cared. A lot. It’s going to hurt like a motherfucker. So while you’re cycling through the grief, it might help to remind yourself that hey, you feel so shitty because you have a soul.
How did I go through the stages? Imperfectly. I wouldn’t be much of a chump if I told you, oh, I wised up the first day, threw him out, filed, and never looked back.
No, I did denial (spackle), I bargained (the humiliating dance of pick me, Amazon chumpdom), I did depression (chump paralysis, unicorn limbo). The most helpful stage was anger — so of course I encourage you all to be bitter! When I could sustain anger, I felt lucid. I could propel myself to action, get to a lawyer, protect myself, tell people. Of course, I couldn’t sustain anger all the time — and no one wants to live in anger forever, but it’s a very useful stage. Only after I felt righteously pissed, could I get over the hump to acceptance.
Anger got me out of there. And once I was out, I went no contact. And NC got me to acceptance, or meh.
It’s years later, and honestly, I don’t feel sad or angry about it much at all. It just feels like a huge waste of my time. Like, damn, I wish I could have that investment back and I wish I would’ve put my kibbles in a better stock portfolio. Later, I did make better investments, but I can’t get the compound interest back on the wasted time.
Thus, this blog. Don’t waste your time. Get to anger sooner, get away sooner, and work through the stages of grief while you’re going NC. Your head will clear faster. Meh is out there and there’s a dessert buffet! Don’t miss out.