Divorce is a:
When the stressful life events are rated, studies find that the following provide the greatest negative personal impact:
- Death of a spouse or child.
- Divorce (a close second).
- Marital separation.
- Detention in jail or prison.
- Death of a close family member.
- A major injury or illness.
Divorce and separation create immense psychological trauma. Some who experience this trauma become angry and vindictive. Their goal is to punish the one who “caused” the breakup and to ignore any part that they might have played in the breakdown of the marriage. There can be a strong sense of personal betrayal, accompanied by a feeling of helplessness and difficulty functioning within the legal process, in particular.
It is important to acknowledge your trauma and to seek the help that you need to survive it. This often includes the assistance of a mental health professional, as well as experienced legal counsel. Trauma can lead you to make poor decisions and to act in uncharacteristic ways. You need guidance, but you may not be ready to accept it. Surviving the trauma is a process and may take a great deal of time. You need to give yourself that time.
Trauma and its effects can hinder your ability to trust. This includes trust of the professionals who are trying to help you. On many occasions, you may be your own worst enemy in this respect. You need to recognize this and work to overcome it.
To overcome this traumatic experience, it is important to:
- Take care of yourself. If you have children, their needs come first.
- Obtain and follow proper professional advice.
- Stay organized.
- Do not become overwhelmed by the situation or its demands.
- Develop a support system.
- Keep a journal.
- Stay focused and set deadlines.
- Protect yourself emotionally and maintain a healthy distance.
- Take a break from social media. Be kind to yourself.
- Go dancing! Or anything you used to enjoy doing and don’t do enough.