My friend Karen is the agent for Stacy Morrison, former editor of Redbook magazine. Stacy wrote a book about her journey through divorce titled, "Falling Apart In One Piece - one optimist's journey through the hell of divorce".
Your book is about going through a divorce. The tagline is, "One optimist's journey through the hell of divorce." If there is one thing that you could tell someone who is staring down the barrel of a divorce, what would it be?
It's so hard to choose just one thing! That's why I wrote 100,000 words about my divorce: because I had so very many things I wanted people to know about divorce, and about life, whether they are the ones going through divorce or not. But I won't dodge the question. The shortest answer is this: You will be fine, you can do this, you can let go and be whole again.
In the opening dedication you stated, "And for Chris, Because without you there would be no book, in more ways than one." This struck me as it seemed so civil and...quite loving. Do you two have an amicable relationship now?
I think loving is an accurate description of how I feel toward Chris. We do have an amicable relationship, but our relationship has continued to change since I finished writing the book. We are much more separate now than when I wrote the book; when I was writing the book I was really depending on Chris, and now I don't as much. That's part of the natural evolution of things. But I am and will always be very grateful that we let go slowly; there were times it was hideously painful and poignant, but it just seems to me to be a more natural way to end a 13-year relationship, as opposed to just butchering the hell out of it until there's blood everywhere.
I have author friends who have written biographies and have found that "going back inside" can be pretty hard on them emotionally. Did you find that writing Falling Apart In One Piece was therapeutic? Or emotionally draining? Or maybe a mixture of both?
I like to say that the two years I LIVED my divorce were cathartic and therapeutic, because they were! But going back and writing it all down was no walk in the park, especially because I wanted to be brutally honest, so I had to really consider all my thoughts and judgments and see if I had hidden motives behind them. I definitely got real intimate with parts of my personality I don't like when I was writing this book. And I cried. A lot. Like, really a terrifically whole lot. Two whole days straight once, with me just propping myself up at the keyboard and trying to make myself go. If I'd known I was going to encounter that, I don't think I would have been brave enough to write the book.
You got a son out of the ten-year marriage that you and Chris shared - your love for Zack shines through in your story. Are there things that you have taught him (or that he has taught you) through this experience that you would not have experienced otherwise?
This is a tough question to answer, because I'm still living it and Zack is still living it, and we will be for the rest of our lives. One of the first things I saw through Zack's eyes is how beautiful it was that he simply expected everyone in the world to love him, I think partly because of our split household and the story I told him, that there were all kinds of people who loved him who "aren't here right now." But I think I got lulled into a place where I thought Zack would never long for Chris and me to be married, because he hadn't known us as a couple, he didn't live it. But that was foolish of me. Zack very clearly would prefer for us to be together, and he insists on calling Chris my "husband" since Chris is his dad! (He doesn't seem to get that they are separate positions!) And I actually think that the fact that Chris and I are very friendly and close is even more confusing to Zack than maybe it would be if there were tension! So in a nutshell, life marches on and you become a complete creation of the circumstances you've lived, so my life today is one-hundred percent a creation of my divorce. That's something I tried to really show very carefully in the book: we focus on the end of things, but don't realize that the end is always tied to new beginnings. And I've lived so many beautiful and wonderful moments *because* of my divorce, not *despite* it.
I loved reading your story and how you turned something that could be so horrible into something that turned out so good. What is next for Stacy Morrison?
I love this question because the super, special, sparkly answer is I HAVE NO IDEA. I have no idea what's next. And before I went through my divorce, even uttering those words would have given me a panic attack. And now I think that I can't wait to see what surprises are around the corner. There's hard stuff, to be sure-both my parents are very ill at the moment and managing that is very sad and hard-but I just feel much more able to listen to my instincts now because of all I learned about myself and about life in my divorce. And so I'm letting those instincts lead me to my Next Place.
Thanks so much, Stacy!
If you would like to win a copy of Falling Apart In One Piece, simply leave a comment on this post. We will randomly select one winner.
General contest rules: To enter, you must be a U. S. or Canadian resident, and at least 18 years of age and you must leave a comment or question on today’s post. No purchase necessary. The winner(s) will be randomly selected and will get to choose three of the above titles. Employees, contractors, and the families of employees and contractors of Daily Grommet, Inc. are not eligible to enter. You are not eligible to win if you have received a prize or giveaway from Daily Grommet in the last six months. Void where prohibited. Contest will run from 8:00 am EST May 27th through 10:00 pm EST May 27th, 2010.