A few years ago the Off Parent began a anonymous blogging journey into divorce and single parenting. It wasn’t always pretty, but it did redeem his soul.
When the Off Parent began blogging a few years ago, he knew the honest expression of his emotional journey through divorce and single parenting would lead to some challenging moments for him and his readers. On his about page, the off parent explains the blog this way:
Learning to be a single dad. Trying to be a better man.
The Off Parent is an honest self-discovering, self-revealing process for me. I am going through the toughest thing I’ve ever experienced and I’m not happy about it. My goal is not to be bitter or hurtful. If I can provide some ideas that will help others with their pain, or perhaps point them in the direction of recovery, that is great, but that is not my goal.
Let me be clear about this: This is not a self-help blog. I am not a daddy blogger.
I am not trying to create the historic record of my divorce. I am howling. I am singing a self-discovery song. It’s a grand tradition. My favorite forefathers are Walt Witman, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, and Lawrence Durrell. While I am telling things as they come, please be aware (as I try to be) that these are MY perspectives and are in no way meant to represent an authoritative documentation of my divorce, nor an accurate picture of my ex-y’s actual thoughts or feelings. This is all about me and my feelings.
In this first post for the Good Men Project we’re dipping into the middle of his blog’s timeline for a post titled Thanks for the Jetpack, Where’s the Fuel? Its simple advice for anyone who’s about to make that harrowing jump into divorce. It’s about the moment when the door of the plane swings wide open.
Next, we’re going go back to the beginning and re-running the OffParent’s honest stories of pain and redemption in chronological order. We hope you will join us for the journey. Look for the Off Parent every week.
Mark Greene- Editor
Thanks for the Jetpack, Where’s the Fuel?
WARNING: In 5 minutes you are going out the door of this plane-in-flight whether you want to or not. Here’s your divorce supply list:
- 1 Used Jetpack (no instructions)
- Craigslist (for rent) pages
- Half-priced books “divorce” section
- Coffee shops and restaurants for internet access (ah, the web)
- An appointment with a divorce counselor
- An appointment with a divorce finance counselor
- An appointment with a lawyer
- What you can pack in a few bags
At least now you know what’s going on. Don’t panic. You can make it through this. The first step, taken willingly or with a push, is the hardest. And after awhile even free fall won’t be so terrifying.
The first problem is, you have a jet pack and not a parachute. Here are some ideas about how to get yours started and even potential sources for fuel.
- Journal about what’s happening – you don’t have to start a blog, just begin putting down the words, in writing, not in your head
- Get some exercise – even a walk is better than no walk. The internet and research will still be there when you get back. I know you don’t want to.
- Remember the wider world of life – take a trip into nature, swimming, find ways to help others
- Find a tribe or two to hang with – you’re not alone in this loss and disorientation, find a group to chat with, a recovery group to heal your issues, go be with friends even if you don’t really want to be seen in your current state (they won’t mind)
- Discover computer games again (you may find gaming as a way to reconnect or stay connected with your kids. Caveat: don’t over do it with escaping in to computer games, make sure you’re getting your work and other healthy things done too.)
- Uncover the world of the opposite sex again – i’m not advocating porn or strip clubs or erotica, but I am saying it could help lessen some of the shock (caveat: from Folding My Desire, “I slept and stayed up late cuddling with the internet. Computers and videos make terrible lovers.”
- Sleep well (if you are having a hard time sleeping get some help, drink less caffeine, in sleep so much of our brain repairs from the stress of the day. And you are in major stress.)
- Eat as well as you can (Opt for the salad over the burger when it’s feasable. Sure, comfort foods are okay, just watch the intake so the waist doesn’t balloon up)
I know that’s not much to hang on to as you are edged towards the abyss. But you have to trust that it’s enough. You’re gonna make it back to Earth.
Take a deep breath and count to ten.
The Off Parent
We welcome your comments and ideas. See the rest of The Off Parent on GMP
Please visit The Off Parent site for more of this man’s three-year rant and recovery from divorce.
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