I was a part of an online unschooling group years ago. One of the moms asked about how to homeschool as a single parent. Her husband had just filed for divorce.
I offered a few thoughts. The moderator told me not to urge people to get divorced. The original poster responded that it was out of her hands; her husband had already filed and left. I countered that I was merely offering support based on her experience and mine. I received a private message telling me not to comment ever on divorce and to only promote marriage. This was not a religious community. I’ve since learned the stigma of divorce in the homeschool world.
In 2009 (seen in the photo above), I began to live as a single mother. The isolation in homeschooling and religious communities was staggering. For the first time, I felt like a member of a misunderstood class and as though I ought to hide or pretend. It’s taken a decade to become more and more comfortable with the truth of my family in this public space.
The post I shared a couple of days ago about abuse matters. I support the concept of longterm marriage especially when kids are involved. That said, abuse is bad for children. Period. It is more important to prioritize the welfare of individuals in a family than to protect the institution of marriage. It is not our job to make marriage look good. It’s our job to create homes with peace, well-being, and health.
So if you ever wonder if anyone in homeschooling gets it: I do. And those of us who’ve walked your steps are here for you. Totally. No shame.
It took about 3 years for me to remember what happiness felt like. I could see it in others, but I could not feel it as a sensation. The loss of the fantasy, the ideal, the badge of health and family success is crushing. People asked often about my marriage, offering thoughts and prayers. I needed them to ask about *me*—to put my welfare first, to believe me.
Do that for your friends.
My favorite show of solidarity came from one of my married friends. She accompanied me to the courthouse when I had to face the judge for my divorce. I cannot think of a deeper commitment of friendship. Fearless. Loyal.
If you’re in my space suffering, I see you. Keep going.
This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one.