My #1 fear.

So, yesterday I put out a social media post telling everyone the top three fears I had when I decided to divorce Husband #1 and Husband #2. What I thought was super interesting was that they were the same fears, both times, in the same hierarchical order:

  1. What are people gonna think of me? (WTF?! Why did I care?)
  2. How am I gonna do this financially? (This is a legitimate question.)
  3. What if I never find another partner? (WTF? Don’t be dumb, Rachel.)


This blew my mind for a minute because the two men are VASTLY different. And I will maintain, until the day I die, that #2 is for sure a red thread of mine. But I’m getting off track – after awhile it clicked. It actually smacked me in the face as I’m sitting here typing this –

I am the common denominator.

These thoughts are me, and they have nothing to do with #1 or #2.

So, I began to dissect my first fear –

What are people gonna think of me?

I remember walking in my mom & dad’s house, standing in the kitchen and lighting a cigarette after years of being a quitter, and my dad said –

“Uh-oh. This must be big. Better gimme one too.”

He’d also been quit for years. This shit was serious. My palms were sweaty, my hands were shaking, my mom was smiling at me nervously, my heart was pounding out of my chest – dry mouth. I swallowed anyway.

I’m gonna disappoint them. I don’t wanna disappoint them. But I can’t do this anymore. I never should have done it in the first place. How’d I get here?

“I’m divorcing him. He’s a good guy, he’s just not my guy. And I can’t anymore.”

And all the energy and emotion that surged through me in that moment – so contradictory.

You sound like such a dick – he’s a good guy, so why divorce him? God, that felt so fucking good to get off my chest. Dad’s staring at me stunned – what the fuck is he thinking? Linny’s looking down like she always does. Thank you for the hug, Mom. Tears. You dated longer than this marriage lasted – loser. I’ve been so lost and feeling small. I’m gonna become myself again. So many people out there are gonna think you’re a real asshole. Andonandonandonandon.

And it washed over me like the water does when you stand strong in the ocean, back to the waves, and one hits you, hard, and you topple, but you don’t fall.

Yeah, it felt exactly like that.

And it dissipated after a while. And it came back again that night. And the next day. And for many days.

So I lived through the pits in my stomach, the sweaty palms – did a lot of deep breathing. Lived through the fear of his mom calling to ream me out, which never happened. Lived through the loss of other relationships.

Collateral damage.

Came out as me again. Realized I was trying to be something I wasn’t, because I was carrying a lot of shame about who I am – which is a loud, cussing, sex-loving, fun-having, big ass ball of bright beautiful energy who just doesn’t fit the status quo. But my heart is real.




I had to dig for the info – I’m embarrassed to admit I couldn’t remember the dates. So now it’s out here for the permanent record: #1 – Married October 11, 2008; Divorced November 30, 2011.

One Response

  1. Rach, you are very brave to have done this twice (lol). But seriously, if it isn’t working you need to make a change. You should not have to live a life of unhappiness. I think about you all the time. I love the YouTube videos. Never apologize for being you. Love you

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