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Enjoy diverse perspectives from West Michigan women.

Someone very near and dear to me recently told me that we are all damaged goods. My first reaction was sheer disbelief, and I wanted to challenge that theory. However, the more we discussed this topic, the more I realized he was right. Think about it: All of us have a past and have dealt with hurtful experiences. Most of us over the age of twenty-one have had our fair share of positive and negative things that have either knocked us down emotionally or lifted us up. These experiences have shaped our personal view of ourselves, others, and the world.

Everyone goes through tough times. Life can be a rollercoaster of emotions, and managing it can be a lot like walking through a hillside filled with land mines. On top of the daily challenges life presents, throw in a traumatic divorce. I don’t think anyone can prepare themselves for the crazy, out-of-control, bipolar-like emotions of managing through a divorce. I thought I was the exception.

I am not pregnant and do not have any children. But as of recently, it is a topic that I think about almost everyday. I feel like everywhere I go a woman is pregnant, or I’m hearing of a close friend trying to get pregnant, or there are kids running around. I am often asked if my husband and I have children, and I always answer with a “not yet, maybe one day” answer. The majority of my close friends have all had at least one child so far, and for the most part have all had them in their late twenties. As I have seen my close friends go though the duties of parenthood, I often think if I would like to do the same. Some days I think I’m ready; other days I look at parents around me and wonder how they do it! 

I was twenty-one years old when I met my ex-husband. He proposed to me after dating for three months, and we tied the knot a year later. I conformed to what many young Midwestern women did, by graduating college and running to the altar. 

My little boy was only four and a half years old when his father and I separated. It was important to both of us to show civility and cooperation in front of our son, despite the emotional turmoil of the separation. For the first month or two, we moved him back and forth between us, trying to each get enough time with him and also show that we could be respectful of each other’s time with him. Looking back, we had no idea what we were doing. 

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