The emotions that come with a divorce can feel like twisted up wreckage. One minute, you feel thankful for the new start. The next minute, you’re upset about losing the person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with. This is normal, and knowing ahead of time how you might cope with things can help you as you navigate this new life.
Healing from a divorce isn’t going to be the same for everyone. Each person will have their own emotions, triggers and life impacts. Paying attention to how you’re feeling can clue you into the specifics of your emotional state.
Types of trauma you might face
There are three types of trauma that a divorce can cause. Sometimes, you’ll deal with a hybrid of more than one of these. Understanding the basics of each might help you to recognize what you’re experiencing.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: You can develop this if you’re subjected to abusive behaviors during the marriage or divorce. You may have anxiety or flashbacks for a long time to come.
- Complex trauma: This usually involves long-term problems, such as being involved in an emotionally abusive marriage. Trying to heal from this emotional damage can be complicated.
- Acute trauma: This is typically a minor form of trauma that only has to do with a single event, the divorce. You may have nightmares about the sudden change, but they should abate over time.
Overcoming the trauma
Trying to overcome the trauma of a bad marriage can take time and effort. You may find that talking about it helps, but make sure that you’re talking to a trusted person instead of someone who may go back and tell your ex what you’re saying.
Some individuals may need counseling to help them overcome the mental impacts of the divorce. If you find that you’re sad more often than not or that you can’t come out of the down period, you might be suffering from depression. Getting help for this can benefit you greatly.
The legal process of ending the marriage must be handled carefully. You need to think about the practical matters of things like property division and child custody instead of letting your emotions rule you. Your goal should be to start your new life off with the best settlement terms possible. Your attorney can help you to work toward this goal by explaining your options and working to protect your rights.