STIGMA OF STIGMA

I hate to say this, but I’m stuck in the fraternity of stigma. STIGMA OF STIGMA.

The non-collegiate organization of life where Alpha and Omega is where I ended up: Stuck in the middle between the Beginning and the End.

It’s like being a piece of bologna stuck between two halves of country bread. Sort of there, sort of occupying something, sort of serving a purpose, sort of being ignored, sort of living on a pantry shelf waiting for a bologna lover to take notice of me.

I hate to say this, being divorced in the faternity of STIGMA OF STIGMA, you live alone. There’s no booze, no romanticized John Belushi, just the Blues Brothers of me, myself and I.

Being divorced is stigmatizing. Nearly a decade ago, I never struggled to fill in the martial status block of any form: Single. Married. Divorced. Separated.

Being divorced I struggled to fill in the block: Single or Divorced.

The toga party in my head played brain games. Slurred, “Isn’t that the same?”

A toga party is a Greco-Roman-themed costume party where attendees wear a toga with sandals. The costumes, party games, and other entertainment often adhere to the Roman or Greek theme. Wikipedia

“Divorce sounds so Omega”.

“Single sounds so Alpha”

Why don’t the Fed revise the blocks: Very happy. Somewhat Happy. Not too happy. Confused.

That would make things simpler.

Some casual friends who are very strict religious people adhere to the rigors of their religious doctrine. They live in the realm of blocks: You are single. You get married. You do not divorce. If you divorce, it’s bad news. If you divorce, you are an outcast and a resultant stigma will never let you forget that.

It doesn’t matter if you called it, or your spouse called it. It makes the flock nervous. So mostly, you’re labelled. You’re stigmatized. Frankly, that’s just the beginning of being stigmatized by the old world itself.

People are funny. What’s the first thing most people think when they hear that someone is divorced?

Yep. The chorus sings: “Ohhhhh?” “Ahhhhhhh?” “Hmmmmmmm?”

By contrast, you’ll never hear anyone say: “You’re divorced? That’s soooo beautiful! That’s soooo wonderful! It just brings back warm and fuzzy memories of my divorced day!”

People are funny. What’s the second thing most people think about when they hear that someone is divorced?

Yep. The chorus sings again: “Ohhhhh?” “Ahhhhhhh?” “Hmmmmmmm?”

Behind the polite smile you hear their thoughts. They’re thinking, I wonder why? I wonder who called it? It must have been this. It must have been that. Oh my! Was it criminal? Was it weird? Did he? Did she?

Or maybe, they were as weathered fallen leaves drifting down the flowing river, caught between ebbing white water, drifting apart, until they were too far.

Run from the divorced! Hide the children! Hide your spouse! Just hide!

I looked at the form. The Stigma blocks: Single. Married. Divorced. Separated.

What do I put down?

The lady next to me looks so peaceful, understanding, nurturing. Someone maybe I could share a warm cup of coffee over some rainfall on a dark and stormy night…

I mean, what do I say to this total stranger: “Hi, excuse me. But could you help me fill in these stigma blocks?

No. that doesn’t sound too good.

What about an honest approach: “Hi, excuse me. I’m divorced. Are you single, married, divorced or separated?!”

“How about a cup of rainfall over some coffee on a not so dark and…maybe, not so stormy night…or uhhh afternoon…or maybe on a bright sunny day in the courtyard with tons of people protecting you?

I know. RUN! HIDE!

The faternity of STIGMA OF STIGMA is no toga party. You won’t find John Bulusi’s Blues Brothers here.

For those who are divorced or about to be or need to be, and learning and struggling with it or through it, prevail. There is an end. More importantly, there is a beginning.

Be true to your inner self. Time is on your side. Allow yourself lots of time. Seek support, understanding, kindness and love.

Further reading:

Alpha (Α) and omega (Ω) are the first and last letters, respectively, of the classical (Ionic) Greek alphabet. Thus, twice when the phrase “I am the alpha and the omega” appears it is further clarified with the additional phrase, “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 21:6, 22:13). The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet were used because the book of Revelation is in the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek. Source: Wikipedia.

Further reading:

In Rabbinic literature, the word emet (אמת meaning “truth”), one of the names of God in Judaism, has been interpreted as consisting of the first, middle, and final letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

The Qur’an gives al’Awwal (الأول), meaning “The First” and al’Akhir (الآخر), meaning “The Last” as two of the names of God57:3.

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