Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce: Freedom Costs a Lot


Everything you thought you had has gone up in flames.

This was actually going to be a post about the rapidly approaching likelihood of insolvency. Insolvency is also known as going bankrupt or ‘going bust.’ But as I stood in the kitchen thinking of how I’d gotten to this stage, I remembered what started the whole shooting match.

It was while having this internal dialogue with myself that I remembered that, despite my current predicament, credit cards have always been good to me. I’ve worked hard all my adult life to get a good credit rating. Credit has allowed me to do and own many things.

My first house, cars, furniture, and when money got very tight, eat. I’ve used them to pay bills so my family didn’t freeze to death in the winter or starve in the summer. I felt like these ‘magical’ cards had saved me more than once from my family getting thrown out into the streets.

I was satisfied that I ran the cards. They did not run me.

Then the late summer of 2010. Things had been ‘over’ for a very long time. I won’t go into the reasons or who might or might not be to blame. The bottom line was simple. We were through.

After one night of staying in the house my ex-wife and I shared together, she stayed God knows where and my daughter stayed with a friend, I packed a couple of bags and left.

Do you have any room? I’ve run away from home.

I went to the closest hotel near my old home. I went into the reception area and asked if they had any vacancies. The lady looked doubtful and  began to check her computer. They did have one room left and unfortunately it would only be for one night.

She smiled at me and asked, “Is your visit for business or pleasure?”

“Neither,” I replied. “I’ve just run away from home and I have no place to stay.”

The reception lady smiled again and said, “Let me see if I can get you some rooms for tomorrow on, then.”

Despite her best efforts, the town I lived in and it’s surrounding area did not have one spare room open. Not in that particular branch anyway. I went into my room and took advantage of the internet service and immediately started my search for a place to live.

What followed was a whirlwind of a week that involved work, looking for and finding hotels that had vacancies and moving from one hotel to the next. My daughter joined me and we shared rooms for just over two weeks. We stayed in some very nice places and some not so nice places. Regardless of the nice factor of the hotel rooms, they all had one thing in common. They were expensive.

I never learned why the hotels in my area were so full those two weeks in September of 2010. There really is nothing of consequence for folks to flock here to see. I’m still baffled by the whole thing.

I took the credit cards with me as my soon-to-be-ex-wife had money at her disposal, I did not. I told her that I would take responsibility for the money already owed on the cards. My first big mistake. The money owed was soon joined by the costs of hotel rooms, food, petrol and replacing things I no longer had access to. On top of that, the internet that was so vital for my search of a more permanent place to stay was quite expensive.

Someone was definitely looking out for me and my daughter though. Because I found a flat to live in about the midway point of my fleeing my previous life. So after two weeks I had my first new home.

Please don’t watch the video all the way through, I only put it up because I couldn’t find a picture of my first new home.

While I was working, finding a flat, moving and trying to ‘carry on regardless’ I found myself going through the motions in a sort of fugue state. Above everything else, I had to be there for our daughter who was still attending university and needed to move again.

The items I needed all came out of the credit cards. Cash for my deposit and the first and last month’s rent. The eight new tyres that I needed to replace because the ‘flat fairy’ visited me often that first year. Paying for items I needed replaced because, apart from the electric items, my clothes, books, dvds, and some files, the only other thing I left with was the existing debt on the cards.

Credit cards also paid for my divorce, easily the least expensive thing I had to purchase that year.

I further added to my scarily increasing mountain of debt by going back to America for the first time in 21 years. My daughter and I both needed the break and there were family members that she had never met. Plus the last time that we were there she was all of nine months old and didn’t remember the family she had met.

Eating a childhood favourite, shaved ice aka ‘the snow cone.’ En-route to my parent’s farm.

The added allure of ‘going home‘ included seeing my son, who I had not seen since 1996 and this was the first chance he had to meet his sister.

Of course while we were there the cards took a further hammering. Motel rooms, Silver Dollar City, and Dallas helped to increase my debt.

Everything spent was worth it. For the first time ever, I had both of my ‘kid’s’ together and it was, sadly, very brief but so satisfying. We came back home and settled back into our new life.

The flat which was so comfy for one person, started getting claustrophobic for two. A mate at work mentioned a house that was for rent and we took it. More expense for the card as I had to use them to make another deposit.

But we now had a garden (that’s yard if you’re from the other side of the pond) and more importantly room!

Our new gardens first snow.

While all this was going on, my daughter and I continued our ‘normal’ life. Work and living. We both still are a little shell shocked by the divorce. We are also trying to come to grips with a few mental and personal issues.

We both suffer from trust issues. We’re both also trying to find out who we are again. It seems that in the shuffle we’ve lost a bit of ourselves.

I don’t know if we’ll ever find all of what we’ve lost or misplaced. But apart from the ups and downs of everyday life, we are still looking.

You can rebuild your life after having 25 years of your life suddenly changed forever and gone in the blink of an eye.

I will say the the journey of self discovery is not over yet. For me or my daughter. The journey so far has been painful, sad, unfocused and sometimes fun.

I stayed in a situation that was miserable for all concerned for far too long. Mainly because of money. I didn’t think it was financially affordable to leave a bad relationship. I now know that you can do it. It has for me been costly, too costly for right now. But I’ll hang in there and get hold of the right people to help me out of the mess I’ve inadvertently gotten myself into.

It seems I was right about it not being financially possible. I did find out though that it’s not about the money or the debt you find yourself trying to manage. It’s not even about the money mess that you wind up in. It’s about escaping and finding your freedom and you. And of course about straightening up the debt.

So, until I  get out of this mess, I’ll continue rebuilding. And along the way I’ll find out new and forgotten things about myself. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some discovering to do.

To infinity and beyond!

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

15 thoughts on “Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce: Freedom Costs a Lot”

    1. It certainly is. I can testify to that. This was my second divorce and this marriage lasted a whole lot longer than my first one. Both were painful and both left me in financial difficulties. The only thing that is the same after the dust has settled is that sense of disarray, confusion and loss. At the end of my first marriage I was a lot younger and it hit me harder. I took a long time to get over it. But that was at the end of just four years. The second marriage, which went on for a lot longer than it should have was for 25 years and I’ve not been hit so hard, not in the same way. But, rebuilding can be fun, if you look out for it. Not a lot and not too often, but, the very fact that you are free to be you for the first time in years helps. Thanks for commenting! Cheers! 😀

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    2. It does seem like there isn’t any hope in sight when going through a divorce. I have to say though, by reading other people’s stories and experiences, I find hope. I just recently read a great book titled, “Living Happier After: 20 Women Talk About Life After Divorce” by Wilma Jones that I found to be extremely helpful. The stories in the book depict each of their experiences and points of view. Sometimes just knowing you are not the only one is helpful!

      http://www.livinghappierafter.com/

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      1. Thanks for leaving the link. I have learned, after my second visit to divorce land after many years that it never gets easier. But the biggest difference is that I am worlds happier.. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share! Cheers!

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  1. I have a Phoenix tattooed on my left calf to remind me I can rise from my ashes. I’ve done it a couple of time, but from the last debacle we’ll won’t be “back” … not like we were. Garry lost his job after 31 years, I got sick and we had no money but lots of debt. The economy collapsed. I was too sick to work, We refinanced until the mortgage exceeded the value of the house.

    I got cancer. We cut a deal with the bank. Our credit went kaput but we kept the house. Hopefully, we’ll be able to hang on. Taxes and the cost of living rise but our pensions do not. Not exactly what we had in mind, but it is what it is. We know people worse off than us, most of whom, were once “somebody.” Life can be very unfair. We are senior citizens, so there won’t be a better job, a year-end bonus, or a promotion.

    People tell me how lucky I am to be alive. I wish they would shut up. These are the same people who believe your problems can be solved by a bright smile, a positive attitude, and faith in whatever deity they are promoting. Having something to do that you love plus a few really good friends helps. The smile is so people won’t run when they see you coming.

    We’ve taken in my son and his family … we battle for survival together. Living in the midst of beauty, wondering how we got here and how we’ll keep going. I’m NOT miserable, at least, mostly not. Writing is an effective anesthetic. One finds ones own bright spots. Just keep on keeping on. Whatever is wrong with life, the alternative seems pretty drab.

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    1. I agree that the alternative does seem pretty drab indeed. It sounds like you’ve lived the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” I may have that wrong, bit I don’t think so.
      It would be nice to be one of those people who never seem to have any problems. But that would be dull, mundane and too easy. If we never have challenges or ‘hills’ to climb, we’d be very boring and vapid creatures who take up space but don’t contribute anything.
      I agree whole heatedly that we have to keep going on. There are bright spots out there it we can teach ourselves to notice them. And honestly, if we didn’t have a challenging life, where would we find the fire to help us create. Whether it is creating music, a character or a story it is adversity that we require. I think though that maybe just a little less adversity would be nice. Thank you for sharing your story and life. It’s nice to see that neither of you have given up or let it get you too far down.
      Peace out! 🙂

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      1. It seems, lately, that all of us live in interesting times. Yup, Definitely. These are interesting times. I could do with a bit of dullness.

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    1. Thanks. This is my second and last one. At least this one lasted longer than my first. 25 years vs 4. So I must have learned something…Or, come to think of it, not. But you are right. I’m discovering that even though both events were years apart. The pain is still the same. 🙂

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