Loss of Identity and Finding Myself After Divorce

With divorce comes a shift in identity. From married to single, dropping the title of husband or wife, Mrs. to Ms., and more. These shifts are both internal and external. Your perception of how you fit into your various communities and how people perceive you fundamentally and sometimes seismically shift. I am Heather, one of the Founders of Split.fyi and I have a story to share about the loss of identity and finding myself after divorce. A story about my “Purple Dog”.

What Color is My Future?

The story begins at the end of my marriage. As I contemplated this ending and looked towards a future that was very different from what I planned for my family, my then-husband and I went on what would be our last date night. After a lackluster night out we came home to discover that our kids had experienced the opposite of us and excitedly dyed our dog Pixie purple, blue, and pink! The doggy hair dye is meant just for her tail and ears. Really only one color at a time is the recommended usage, but getting carried away in their typical sibling rivalry to be the one that gets to choose the color and do the coloring, Pixie got the full spectrum.

Shocked and Sad

I could tell that Pixie was a bit shocked and sad about her new coat of many colors and it certainly wasn’t the look I was going for when I thought about giving her a new fun fur fashion style. She could definitely tell that people were looking at her differently. I noticed that Pixie and I might be sharing similar feelings.

Losing My Identity

I was shocked and saddened like our suddenly changed Pixie. Staring down the end of my marriage, I faced a seismic shift for my kids and our family unit. On top of all that, I had a purple dog! I laughed and cried at the result of my kids’ artistic endeavors and picked a distraught Pixie up to comfort her. Then it hit me. Pixie was a reflection of me. I knew people were going to look at me differently and interact with me and my kids differently because our family dynamic had changed. My identity internally and externally was going to fundamentally shift.

While doing my best to prepare for this identity shift and impending negative reactions from others, I noticed something about Pixie a few days later which gave me pause. She started to realize that the different responses she was getting from people for now being purple weren’t all bad. She actually started prancing a bit more and enjoying her new playful color shade.

Finding Myself

Pixie became a source of humor and a needed reminder that even though my life was going to be different from that time forward, I can adapt like her and eventually put the spark back in my step. Over time many changes have occurred for me, my kids, and our purple dog. Pixie’s hair color grew out and now she wears a mohawk of varying colors. She has shown me that even with a drastic change in circumstances I can flourish. Pixie rocks her new multi-colored mohawk and is happy and healthy, just like me.

More Split.fyi Resources:

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Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

Split.fyi Resources
Split.fyi Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview

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