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Need advice from some over 50 divorced BS

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JerseyCowgirl posted 12/18/2013 07:42 AM

Hoping there are some like me who found themselves divorced, going through menopause and now trying to start over with basically job, no spousal support, no health ins, etc. How did you get started again and more important, how do you get back your self esteem

Chrysalis123 posted 12/18/2013 07:51 AM

I haven't gone through menopause yet, but otherwise qualify.

How did I do it? One step at a time.

My faith is very important to me, and that helps me cope. I love to read, so lots of self help books. Support various times I was in Alanon, online groups, and once I participated in a grief recovery group.

Have you tried reaching out for agencies that are set up to help people like us?

cantaccept posted 12/18/2013 08:23 AM

I am so interested in this topic!

Separating next week. I've been doing lots of work on me. Reading, IC but this is pretty scary.

I do have a job but not much of a support network in real life.

Self esteem sure is an issue. This sure does a number on you I think, no matter how old you are. I do get a feeling of time running out? Just trying to keep it in perspective.

I do realize that no matter what my life looks like going forward, it will be better than what it was.

My standards for what I deserve, for how I want to be treated by myself and others is so much higher than it ever was.

I am reading a book that is really helping me to get past or gain a different perspective. "Living and Loving After Betrayal", it really focuses on how to shift your thinking, heal yourself.

I will be watching this one closely.

cdagal posted 12/18/2013 09:17 AM

you climb out of the pit one inch at a time.
I am lucky enough to have a job that I love so took a lot of comfort from that - I'm good at it and well respected so that helps with the self esteem.
But I also found that my self esteem started to inch up once I realized that I was not the problem and even though I was tossed into the blender, I had taken the high road through the whole mess of S/D. When you can look yourself in the mirror and know that you're a good person, and you keep on reminding yourself of that every time you glance at your image, it eventually starts to sink in.
Hang in there! It does get better.

justjim posted 12/18/2013 11:55 AM

Watching this thread.

Never once even considered I would be here at this age.

I had this really stupid concept of the meaning of "forever".

Nature_Girl posted 12/18/2013 16:27 PM

I look at this as a second chance at life! Yes, I'm a woman of a certain age, but so what? I'm going to make the absolute best of this chance that I can.

I have been looking for work for over a year. Nothing. A handful of phone screens, I think 3 face-to-face interviews, and no job. Age discrimination is alive & well. What makes it worse is that I've been out of the workforce since the 90's. No one actually believes that I still have marketable job skills. But I keep trying. Keep applying for jobs. Keep telling everyone that I'm looking for work.

I do a little volunteering in my community. Not much, but it's something. It is an opportunity for me to be outward focused, not inward focused.

I have three young children. I do not kid myself that pretty much no man of my age is going to be interested in a relationship with me. I'm fine with that. After 20 years of abuse, I'm finally enough for me.

I've been in IC since DDay 2011. This has been key for rebuilding my self-esteem and my motivation to create a happy, healthy future for myself and my children.

I have forced myself to reach out to people in my community. I am working hard to make friends, to build my local tribe/village. It's not easy, but I'm doing it. I will never be isolated again.

Truth is, some of my motivation is determination not to let the evil SOB that is my ex to have the power to ruin my life. Yes, he stole what was left of my youth. Yes, he did unspeakable damage to my heart & soul. Yes, it's probably true that I won't be able to function sexually with a man again thanks to his abuse. But I will not let that ruin me. I am now free to live my life. I am free to be as happy as I can. I have paid dearly for the mistake of getting involved with ex. Those days of paying are over. I'm going to live well & become the person I was meant to be or die trying.

It helps that by nature I am a realistically optimistic person. I face my troubles and deal with them as best I can. I have survived incredibly hard trials in life already. I'm certainly not going to quit now!

inconnu posted 12/18/2013 19:32 PM

I was 45 when I separated. The divorce was final about a month after I turned 46. I'll be 50 on my next birthday. I had been a sahm for 20 years.

I went back to school and took classes to update my office skills. I talked to the financial aid people and qualified for grants that covered tuition and books.

The first job I got was with a small company. I wasn't considered full-time, so there were no benefits, but it was an office job, and I learned a lot. I knew going into it that it was just going to be a stepping stone job, because I needed some current work experience for my resume. The next job was full-time, with benefits, so I had insurance again. The pay wasn't great, but it was a bigger company, and again I needed the experience for my resume.

A couple of months ago, I got a better paying job with better benefits. I'm hoping to stay here for longer than the year or so I've stayed at the other 2 jobs, but that'll depend on things like raises and other bonuses. Otherwise, this will be yet another stepping stone job on my way to get to where I want to be.

Like Chrysalis said, it's really a matter of taking it one step at a time. When I was first faced with the fact that I'd be getting a divorce, I came up with a 5 year plan. I decided where I wanted to be in 5 years, and worked backwards from there figuring out what I'd need to do to get there. My goal was simple. I wanted to be financially independent and somewhat financially secure in 5 years.

So working backwards, being financially independent and secure meant I'd need a good job. Which meant I'd need to get some skills in order to qualify for a good job. Which meant I needed to go back to school to get those skills.

As far as self-esteem goes, let me tell you what taking a math class for the first time in almost 30 years and getting an A does for self-esteem. Actually, taking all the classes was great for my self-esteem. Because I took a lot of classes geared towards office skills, in a way, it let me size up the potential competition for office jobs in my area, and I saw firsthand that I wasn't lacking.

I won't sugarcoat it. It's been a lot of hard work. And I'm not where I want to be, yet. But life is good, despite the damn hot flashes.

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