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Ep #152: Grief and Divorce | Becoming You Again Podcast



Grief has been on my mind lately as I struggle with my own personal grieving as my father is coming closer to his end of life. My experience reminded me that no matter the reason for our grief, it is essentially the same feeling that each one of us feel.


Grief is often a misunderstood emotion with many societal preconceived notions of what grief should look like. I'm breaking down the myths of grief and offering you some examples of why you may be holding on to grief. I'll also show you the power you will create in your own healing process when you open up to your grief and clear the emotional grief clouds that may be holding you back.


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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if it was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself - your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it shows up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.


Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to schedule a consult to find out more about working 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.


Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to Becoming you Again and I am your host, Karin Nelson, and this is episode number 152. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Hello, my lovely ladies, I am so glad that you're here. We are back doing another podcast. This week I'm going to be talking with you about grief because I think it's so very important, especially for women going through a divorce, to allow and open up to your grief, but also because it's something that's been very much on my own heart and in my own mind and I'm feeling it so much in my body lately just because of my own life. Obviously, I'm seven-ish, it might even be more than seven. I've literally forgot how many years it is since my divorce, which maybe is a great thing for you. Maybe you'll be like great someday. I'll get to that point where I don't have to count the days any longer. I'm not grieving my divorce any longer. Every once in a while I do feel some grief over certain things around my divorce, but for the most part it's very much a thing of the past for me, and that's okay. You may get to that point, you may not. Whatever is happening for you, it's not wrong. This is just how I'm doing it. But I am going through some other things in my life where I'm feeling a lot of grief. My father is. His health is not good and it hasn't been good for many years, but it really seems to be deteriorating over the last little bit and in some ways, very quickly, and there's been so much sadness and grief and feelings over this loss that I know is coming, that I know is inevitable, and yet I've been trying to resist it. I don't want to feel it, and so I just want you to know like, even though my reason for the grief might be different than yours, it is the same. The feeling is the same. They're not wanting to allow it, the cloud that comes over when you feel it, and wanting to just push it down and pretend like it's not there. I understand, and even though I'm a coach, I teach women how to feel their emotions and I talk to them about allowing them. I am not perfect. I don't do it right every time. I still struggle with it in many, many ways, and when I do allow the grief or the anger or the sadness or whatever, whatever heavy negative emotion that I might be feeling, I feel exhausted, I feel tired, I feel like I have to replenish myself in some way, and so I just want you to know that, even though I am seven-ish years out from my divorce, I haven't forgot what it feels like to feel emotions, to be human, to actually be feeling things that hurt and actually be sad, and actually have to find ways to make space for those emotions to be present and to allow them to be inside of me so that I can work through them and release them. So today, because I've been feeling so much grief in my life over my father and the things that he's struggling with and my knowledge of how humanity works, how life works, that death is a part of it. It's very much on my mind, and so I really wanted to just talk a little bit more about grief and give you permission to open up to your grief, if that's what you're feeling, to open up to allowing it. Some things that I've talked about before on the podcast and some of my previous grief podcasts is that grief is often of like kind of judged or misunderstood emotion. Right, so many of us think that grief has to go through a certain amount of stages before we get to the end, before we don't have to feel it any longer, before we have moved through it enough that we can move on with our life. Or you might have learned that there's like a hierarchy to grief and what you're feeling isn't as bad as something else that might be happening in the world. And, yes, that may be true, but that doesn't diminish what you're feeling and what you're going through. And to tell yourself that you shouldn't be grieving, you should get over it, it shouldn't hurt who cares? It just diminishes you as a human and your human experience. Right, you may have heard that there's like a timeline that makes sense, and I've talked about all these things in my previous podcast, but I want to touch on them again. First of all, in case you haven't listened to any of those previous episodes, in case you're starting right now with this episode, right here, I want you to understand that there are many myths about grief. But also, I think if you have listened to those previous podcasts or if you've gotten coaching from me in some way, I think it's a good reminder about grief that there are these myths. And the more we can let go of what society tells us about how to feel, what we should be feeling, what it means for us, the more we get to decide for ourselves what it looks like, what it feels like, how we move through it, and that whatever our process is for grief, it's okay. Whatever it feels like it looks like for you, it's okay. You're not doing it wrong. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. But you may have heard that there's like a timeline, especially when it comes to relationships. Right, well, there's a timeline to grief. It's going to take you half the time of whatever length you were in that relationship to fully get over it. I mean that's just bullshit. Let's be real, right. It's like some arbitrary number is not going to. You know you don't mark off a date on your calendar two years in the future and go okay, that's the day where I will fully be over my grief, my divorce. I can move on. I don't have to feel sad anymore Like it's silly when we break it down and think about it in that way, right, but the reality is that none of those things that I just talked about are true. None of those myths are true. Grief has no specific stages. It isn't linear. It doesn't go in some specific thing where you hit this and then you feel that, and then you do this, and then great, we're all good. There is no hierarchy on what you are allowed to feel or not feel, on what you are allowed to grieve or not grieve, and again, there is no arbitrary amount of time that it's going to take. It's different for everyone in every circumstance. There is no arbitrary amount of time that it's going to take you to grieve. It truly is different for everyone. The truth about grief is that anytime your perception of reality doesn't match what actually is going on, what your reality actually is, you have permission to grieve. I'm giving you full permission to grieve. Whatever it is in your life right now where your perception is not meeting your reality, and this is the really interesting thing when it comes to grief and it can be other emotions as well, but I think with grief, I've found it's often a very prevalent one when it comes to divorce. But once you open yourself up to that grief and you kind of give yourself permission to grieve and recognize it for what it is and you allow the grief to flow through you and to be present in it, that opens you up to being able to feel other emotions, to being able to make clear decisions, to being able to trust yourself in a way that you maybe haven't been able to trust yourself before, to being able to move forward in ways that you haven't seen, you haven't allowed Paths become clear. It's almost like and I've used this visual before, but there's like a cloud of grief that we need to clear in order to get to that place where we can feel other emotions that we haven't been able to feel, like joy or happiness or even peace sometimes, where we can get back into our prefrontal cortex and make decisions, where we can get back into alignment with our brain, our body and our intuition and learn to trust ourselves and make choices that we know are right and best for us. And it's really hard to do that when our body, our brain and everything that connects us to ourselves is clouded by emotion. And so there may be some reasons that you might be holding on to grief, that you might not be allowing yourself to open up to it, or that you might not even recognize. Grief is the emotion that you're feeling, and I think this is very common in divorce. And so I just want to give you a few ideas of reasons why you might be hanging on to grief, and then you get to decide for yourself if that resonates, if that is truth for you, because hanging on to grief is very common in divorce. But, of course, each reason why we would be doing it is varied, because you are varied. You are a unique individual, just as I am a unique individual, and we have different experiences and reasons for everything. And so I'm just going to read through kind of these things that I've written down, these ideas that I've written down as to why you might be hanging on to grief, and, again, take some time, think about it, decide for yourself if that is one reason why you've been hanging on to grief and if it's something that you need to open up to and allow. A really common reason why a divorcing woman would be holding on to grief is there's a belief that if you grieve this thing this divorce, this future life without this partner then there's no possibility or potential for things to turn around, for things to be different, for the underlying hope that everything will go back to the way it was could actually change or happen. It's like you have this hope there that something is going to change, and if you grieve it, that hope is going to disappear. Another reason why you might be hanging on to grief is you might be hoping for or kind of expecting someone to change so that the divorce doesn't actually occur or doesn't have to occur. You might be thinking well, maybe they'll finally see me, maybe they'll fall back in love with me, maybe they'll finally understand who I truly am and they'll come around. You might be thinking but if I get divorced, then I'm no longer going to be taken care of or protected, and if I grieve that the divorce is actually happening, then I'm no longer going to be protected or taken care of. And that's a scary prospect. You might be holding on to grief because you're hoping that someone will finally and by someone I mean your potential ex, right, or your ex will finally take accountability for their actions, will finally say they're sorry for the way they've been showing up the last year, five years, 10 years, the whole entire time you've known them. It is common in situations like divorce to fantasize over the moment of redemption in some way, that moment where they come to you and say they're sorry, that moment where they come to you and say you were right, I needed to change. I see it now and I'm going to change, and then they actually put into play. Like we fantasize about those moments, we see them. It's not even just a fantasy that we think we want for our own life. We see it in movies played out over and over and over. So it makes total sense that you might be holding onto this idea that this thing is going to happen. But if you grieve, then the possibility that that might occur will go down the drain. We believe in this fantasy. We want these moments to happen. We want everything to be fixed. Often we want divorce to be off the table. But I truly believe and I know from my own experience, from coaching my clients and from everything that I have learned and put into practice and watched my clients put into practice that truly being honest with yourself about the probability of these moments coming to pass, the probability of someone changing, of things turning around, of someone finally seeing who you are, of someone saying they're sorry and wanting to be different, of finally deciding to be happy in the marriage and figuring out ways to take care of yourself instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you. The probability of those moments and truly being honest with yourself about the probability of those moments actually happening can provide real clarity around you, not being willing to wait around for someone or something to change so that you can finally feel better. It's truly okay for you to just open up to that grief of those moments of the hope of things changing, of going back to normal I'm going to put that in quotes, because what is normal, right, but like of things going back. When you open up to the grief and allow those clouds to clear, you're also opening yourself up to what's on the other side of that and you're also opening yourself up to the realization that you can begin to feel better, whatever that means to you could be feeling neutral more often than sad or angry or depressed or frustrated, but you get to open yourself up to feeling better now and you don't have to wait for the divorce to happen. You don't have to wait for someone else to change. You don't have to wait for the situation to change, even before you can start to create a better feeling for yourself in moments. But you're not going to get there. You're not going to be in a space where you can create those better feelings, those better moments for yourself until you allow the grief clouds to clear. It's okay for you to feel grief. It's okay if you're feeling it for whatever reason, even if it's grief over what your kids are going to be going through or grief over having to make this decision. Whatever the reason is, let's normalize right now that it's okay that you're feeling it. There's nothing wrong with you, and allowing the grief is so much better than shoving it down, pushing it down and pretending it's not there. It may not feel like it in the beginning, but the more you practice and the better you get at it, the more you realize allowing it and opening up to it is what truly opens you up to living an intensely beautiful human experience. All right, my friends, that's what I have for you today. I will talk to you next week. Hi, friend, I'm so glad you're here and thanks for listening. I wanted to let you know that if you're wanting more, a way to make deeper, more lasting change, then working one-on-one with me as your coach may be exactly what you need. Together, we'll take everything you're learning in the podcast and implement it in your life, with weekly coaching, real life practice and practical guidance. To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one, go to KarinNelsonCoaching dot com. That's www. Karin Nelson Coaching dot com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating. Wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married. Make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.

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