However you dealt with D-Days, short of suicide or murder, I don’t fault anyone for their reaction in the early days. Emotionally vomiting all over a stranger may be mortifying in retrospect, but I think it’s preferable to secrecy and isolation.
Are these our choices, Tracy? Oversharing in the Walmart or taking a vow of silence?
No. Ideally, disclosure is a balancing act. I’m all for speaking your truth. This is how we change the narrative. However, if you’re in active litigation and/or have minor children, focus on your settlement first. Lock down your social media. These motherfuckers are looking for an equalizer (aka, What I Did Wasn’t So Bad, It’s Your Reaction To It.) Don’t give them one. Be strategic.
*I’m not a lawyer, this is not legal advice*…. Mr. CL tells his clients in court — whatever the other side tries to paint you as? DON’T BE THAT THING. “If they cast you as a crazy nut job, you cannot present as a crazy nut job.” Angry? You’re chill. Emotional? You’re sane and sober. Yes, even if they’re baiting you and gaslighting you and insulting your parenting. “The coolest head wins.”
Is that cosmically unfair and completely unnatural? Yes.
Or, as my divorce lawyer once told me about custody trials. “It’s a horse and pony show. Be the prettiest pony.”
The other side is only too happy to paint you as a loon. (Read my discourse on not sending manifestos.)
But, but… I WANT TO TELL! I WANT TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE!
Absolutely. Hey, I’m the woman with the blog. I tell. I don’t carry any shame about being chumped. It’s a shitacular thing that happened to me years ago and I wasn’t the asshole that should feel ashamed.
But when it was new and raw and I was deranged with grief, thank God for fellow anonymous chumps online who got it. I think peer support is essential (and it’s the main reason this site exists, because when I went through it, all those forums were predicated on reconciliation).
To answer my own Friday Challenge — I told immediately. I told shrinks, his family, my family, my friends. I regret the pick me dance and not being decisive sooner. I regret a few manifestos. But, hey, the trial-tested What Not To Do gave you Chump Lady.