Take Some of that Alimony and Buy A Clue

Many years ago I heard the term ‘turtle on a fence post’. It was during a speech at a conference I attended with my now ex-husband. I don’t remember now the context for which it was intended but I’ve remembered that quote.

It takes on a different meaning when used now
for me and maybe you.

Moving forward has never been my strong suit.

Dating after a divorce can be interesting and I’ve shared some funny instances but what
happens when a relationship develops from one of these dates?

And then ends….

It doesn’t matter what the reason was.

It doesn’t matter who the person was.

It doesn’t matter if the L word was uttered.

It doesn’t matter who ended it.

It sucks.

Everyone who has been through a divorce or lived through the end of a long term relationship has issues that they bring to the next one.

I used to have a keychain that said, “Cancel my subscription I don’t
need your issues”.

I tend to hold on to a person whether they’re right for me
or not. If I’m not right for them I’ll turn myself 6 ways to Sunday to try to

How dumb is that?

If they’re happy with someone else I’m truly happy for them but I take the whole thing as a personal failure.

I hold onto pictures, jewelry and memorabilia way past the expiation date. Lol.
I’ve had more than one relationship end since my December divorce almost 7 years ago now.

Merry Christmas….I checked my mail late that afternoon only to find the final decree
in the mailbox. I still remember how that felt. One of the saddest days of my life.

I, like you, have had a relationship end for different reasons. Sometimes it’s because I had my hand on reverse fearing it would work or because we were just too different and wanted different things but trying to make something work out that just wasn’t meant to
be. Regardless, it still hurts.

This is where the turtle comes in.

Think about it.

A turtle can’t get on top of a fence post by itself. It has to be
placed there and it won’t be able to get down by itself unless someone helps it down or it falls. When a relationship ends you might feel like that turtle. Balanced on a precipice wondering how in the hell you got there, whether someone will help you or if the fall will kill you.

Turtles have shells and so do some people. I have a two-story one. 🙂


Protection from further hurt, from life in general or to hide in. Ever notice how slow a turtle crawls? I have watched one before and I just wanted to scream….

“OMG, would you hurry up already!?”

Maybe the reason people can be like turtles is because they’re
being cautious or maybe they have so much baggage and memories from the past
stored up that they can barely move.

If this sounds like you it may be time to clean house. Unburden yourself from the past and why something didn’t work out.

I’ve made scrapbooks for years. Sometimes for fun. Sometimes for healing.
I was given my first camera for Christmas when I was 6 and I have taken pictures
ever since. The last time I moved the guy loading the truck said, “holy cow, you haven’t missed a Kodak moment in years have you?”

Probably not.

I don’t know why I have so many pictures or why I’m compelled to take so many but I have a theory.

As years have clicked by I’ve taken hundreds of them. Printed some. Stored some. Shredded some. I’ve actually known several people and dated a couple who had very few or literally no pictures to speak of. They’re probably better off. They aren’t surrounded by and constantly reminded of the past.

I do it to myself and maybe you do too.


I know why I do.

If I can look back at pictures, wear a piece of jewelry or see cards or letters from someone who was once so important to me a piece of that person lives on in my heart and then they haven’t really left me completely. Whether I pushed them away or not.

Memories and keepsakes are great but if they bring more sadness than warm fuzzies to your life it might be time to reevaluate keeping them.

I won’t end this by saying it gets easier because it may not - unless YOU have the strength and fortitude to let go….

melinda truitt

Author of 5 children's books. Blogger of the Cotton Ball Syndrome on Tumblr. Divorced since 2008 after almost 24 years. Making sense of my new life through tears, determination and humor.

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