Friday, February 27, 2009


Today I had lunch with my Dad. I haven't been one-on-one with him in awhile. It is really, really tough to see him going through this. I know he is trying to be in good spirits, but the worry is written all over his face. He seems depressed, which if you know my Dad, is rare...he's the most easy-going person I have ever known. I hate the waiting and can't wait to have him out of surgery and recovering. He is just too young to be going through this.

Let me just preface my next paragraph by saying I have raging PMS right now, which for me either means I'm downright bitchy to an emotional wreck.

Earlier this week the guy that I met on VDay had texted me. Before when we had first met them, he and his friends had talked about being in a band...which I thought was the coolest thing ever. LOVE musicians. After he texted I mentioned coming to see them play sometime, and he said that we should come and see them this Saturday. I asked for details and he never texted back, then I called yesterday and left a message and never heard back.

Our theory? They lied about being in the band like a bunch of stupid boys would do and now don't know what to do.


So, Boy #1 (formerly known as Hottie) has been written off completely.

It was gloomy outside today, I have PMS, so take this with a grain of really got me down. My first run out of the gate and this is what happened. I am telling myself that it's for the best because I only have room in my life for authentic, honest people, guys and girls...and I believe it, but it will be easier to swallow when the hormones stop raging.

It doesn't help that I had dinner with a single friend Wednesday night who went on and on about how tough it is out there, and that all single men are freaks. The night before that, a Sex and the City episode where Carrie was prompted to ask the question "Are all single men freaks?" Ugh, who needs it.

I'm forgetting about it and tomorrow night instead of seeing his Pretend Band play, I will find something else awesome to do.

I just wanted to be sure and write about the experience so the next time I'm tempted to give out my number, I won't :)

PS--Trying to get a feel for who is reading...can you take a sec and answer the poll above? (click here if you're on a blog reader to come to the page)

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Well, I am happy to report that after 2 years of seeing my therapist every week, first for marriage counseling and eventually on my own to recover from the separation, she let me know tonight that I am doing so well that she wants to try seeing me every other week, and then eventually just as needed!

I also weaned myself off of my anti-depressants last week and can report no change in my excellent mood.

So things are going really well. Better than I could have imagined. She thinks it is a shift in thinking, and that I have been making this happen. I like that, and I'll take it.

So now what do I write about?????

Well, plenty I guess. I still have to file for divorce. Dad's surgery is in less than 2 weeks. I have alot I want to do with my life, more "dating myself". I also would like to get out there and casually date a little. I have three kids still going through this process (although they are still doing remarkably well, too.) With only a few exceptions, I see nothing but great things ahead for me and can't wait to make them happen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Process to Remarkable

"You're doing remarkably well!"

I'm hearing that alot lately.

My friends are amazed and awed at my incredibly quick turnaround. It actually amazes me to look back at my old posts and see how far I've come so fast. I was wondering today how it could have happened, questioning whether this happiness will actually last and if it is sincere or just a temporary reprieve...

The thing is, the most painful part is over. The actual unwinding of lives was the worst and the most painful. The realization that it was OVER was so, so hard. Something I've learned in therapy is not to bottle up feelings anymore (I was a professional bottler-upper). When something comes up, write about it, cry about it, feel every gut wrenching twinge of angst and pain with every part of your being, or else it never goes away.

For example, 11 years ago I lost a baby mid-pregnancy (6 months along). Being as young as I was (21) with no resources or support, I did the best I could to grieve. I was young and vulnerable to the pressures of society to "move on". I shoved all that grieving away and every year it would eat me alive. Last year, talking to my therapist about the situation, she had me re-live it for her. I cried and moaned and felt sick for a week. But I got it out, after TEN YEARS. It festered and boiled under the surface all that time, but now I can deal.

So through that experience I have learned that it is important to feel everything. I've been putting that into practice for two years of therapy now and feel like it really helped my process along.

Another factor is that my husband is making this easy for me. I look at him now and feel sad, but only for him. He is in a bad place. He is conflicted, confused, and miserable. I have just enough space to have some perspective and to see him as he really is. And I'm seeing myself in a new light too, and I do NOT want to be in the midst of that mess. This life is so much better. My house is totally free of tension and unsaid things. It is now full of love, nurturing, confidence, and laughter. It's amazing how many ways the negativity manifested itself. In the way we ate, the way we slept, the way we lived our everyday life. In 1.5 months, 20 lbs has fallen off of me. I have gained more friends than I have ever had in my life. My kids laugh more, get better grades at school. It has snowballed into this wonderful thing that I am not willing to let go of, EVER.

My next goal is to work on my "list of me". I was reading through it last night and was so surprised at how many I have worked on without even trying to. I've been dancing, I've downloaded a ton of new music and listen to it at all times, I've been going to yoga and love it so much that I go twice a week now, I've had my hair done, I'm loving my job again, I'm going to 2 concerts in the next 4 months, I've tried tons of new restaurants, I saw almost every movie nominated for the Oscars this year, I've had massages just about every other week, I've noticed myself looking strangers in the face again and smiling, I've read several books, bought myself tons of new pj's, bought myself a new bedding set that is all mine, and I've been rollerskating with my kids.

Something I was thinking about was finding a way to sing again...either looking around for some kind of part time thing (singing in a band would be my dream) or with my church choir. If not, maybe just forcing my friends to karaoke every once in a while. I have also been looking at a place close by that gives belly dancing lessons. Why not???

As far as my job, I think that the reason I am coming to enjoy it again is because of all of the above. It is just a piece of my life now, it isn't my entire I don't resent it anymore (well, a little, but that is fading). I feel like I'm getting plenty of time to myself, plenty of time with my kids, and then instead of procrastinating my work I'm sitting down to it with no problem. I am also coming to the perspective of complete and total gratefulness. I took December, January and half of February off...with almost no many people get to do that? I am here for my kids, I can meet friends on Wednesday mornings for coffee, I can work or not work depending on how much I'm making. Ya, it's hard work, but I have it made.

In actuality, it has been 2.5 very long years of pain and suffering. The turnaround does seem fast but only because it seemingly got worse before it got better.

Whatever, I'll take it!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Miss Independent

I love this song (not necessarily the video, so just close your eyes and listen) me it really sums up the kind of woman I am becoming...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Missing Ingredient

I feel amazing! I never thought I would have the ability to feel so happy during this process! I am not kidding myself into believing that there are not more hard times to come (filing and finalizing the divorce, future partners, etc.) but I honestly feel I have come through the worst and am on the other side! And I am also learning to celebrate these happy moments...being unhappy for so many years has given me SUCH an appreciation for the wholeness and fulfillment I feel right now. It puts the depths of despair into perspective: would I appreciate my happiness as much if I had not been through the valleys?

This weekend I made several babysteps towards building myself my own life. I bought myself new, smaller clothes after celebrating a momentous weigh-in: I'm the thinnest I've been in 5 years, and I'm HEALTHY. I splurged this weekend on a gorgeous new bedding set that is ALL colors, my fabric, my choice. No old memories associated with it, just new ones of independence and freedom. This evening while I watch the Oscars I am packing all of my husbands crap into trash bags for him to finally take with him.

Last night my husband tried to reel me in for a dramatic conversation or a guilt trip of some sort and I didn't even flinch. I dismissed it and didn't beat myself up over what he had said or even give it a second thought. (it must be driving him nuts to see me so confident, happy, and thriving on my own)

I LOVE MY LIFE. The missing ingredient is no longer missing! I am so happy and I love my kids, my house, my job, and most importantly, MYSELF!!!!! And THAT was the missing ingredient!

This poem was in my divorce recovery workbook, and I think it perfectly describes the place I am at right now:

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
Nor does company mean security
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open.
With the grace of a woman/man, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads on today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight
After a while you even learn that sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn you really can endure...
That you really are strong...
That you really do have worth.
And you learn and you learn.
With every goodbye, you learn.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I am healing!

Oh what a couple of days this has been. But I have good news...


It dawned on me last night, as I prepared to go to sleep...

When we first separated, by far the worst time of day was at night when the lights went off and I was ALONE. At first, I kept the tv on all night and took meds to sleep. After awhile I would fall asleep with only the tv on but it stayed on all night. Eventually I stayed up way too late watching and would only turn it off to sleep when I couldn't keep my lids open. More recently I started turning it off early and falling asleep to classical music. Last night, I noticed that there was no empty feeling, no "someone is missing and I am desperately alone" feeling, anywhere in sight. So I turned off my light, layed down with no tv or music, and went right to sleep. I slept better last night than I have in months. And I woke up with "I am healing!" running through my brain. What a great feeling!!!!

Here I am with a whole new perspective on being alone. I not only like it...I friggin' LOVE it. The recent disruptive behavior by my husband has made all of my doubts go away as to whether I was making the right decision. He is making that really easy by acting like an asshole.

I met with my therapist tonight and told her all about my new perspective, my amazing Valentine's Day...and how I "get it" now...the whole being single thing. Not just being single, but being WHOLE. I can carry this attitude into my next relationship with me. No one has to take care of me, no one has to spoil me, no one is responsible for me but ME. That is such a freeing feeling!!

We talked alot about the situation with my husband wanting to create this drama and she gave me a great perspective on that too. I am not giving it another thought, I'm not engaging in this codependency he is trying to force me into. I will not let his drama ruin my happiness. Because it has been a LONG time since I felt happy and at peace, and NO ONE is going to take that away from me.

And PS because I have a few friends who were waiting to hear about this--I asked her about the dating thing. She said it wasn't her call, but I asked for her opinion because I did not want to be detrimental to my process in any way. She thinks I need to get through this drama and my Dad's surgery, and that I need to work with her about seeing "red flags" in future men so I don't jump back into the same type of situation. I have to say I agree. But if cute guy calls me I'm gonna tell him to give me a couple of months :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009



He has decided to go ahead with his plan to talk to the family member. I am so furious about this.

My thoughts after a day of mulling it over? Is he trying to create drama with me because at least we are now conversing? Is this a sick way of keeping me in his world?

Or is he just that selfish? (probably both)

He at least decided to wait until after my dad's surgery. I hope he reconsiders after some time. He is only doing this for revenge and when it all blows up in his face he is going to regret it. Except that it won't just be his face it blows up in. The family member is going to be furious at me for opening my mouth. I am so mad at myself for confiding this in my husband right now...but he was my husband, I thought we were supposed to not keep secrets. Ha.


Here is what else is on my mind...

I was talking to my friends who were with me on Valentine's Day about the guy I met. I have found myself thinking about him alot. I try to force it out of my head and focus on other things, but he seems to slip back in there. It's like a shot of happiness or something. Ugh what IS that? It's annoying me. I am not supposed to be thinking about guys or dating or anything like that. I need time to recover, I haven't even started the divorce process yet. I totally see how people get trapped into new relationships so suddenly. My life has been such a thunderstorm, and having him around was like this amazing ray of sunshine...and damn it I want more sunshine!! I am trying to figure out the healthy way to handle this. Do I just wait until I forget about it, try to keep forcing it out of my mind? Is there something I need to be doing so that I don't fall into something new before I'm ready?

My marriage to my husband was dead and lonely years before it fell apart. I feel like I have been alone forever, not just months. Having a hand on my hand...wanting eyes looking directly into mine...sharing's like crack right now!! I want more crack!!!

Ms. Single Mama just had a very timely post over at her blog about this exact subject. I've been reading it and the comments over and over again, trying to soak it in. I look back at who I was just a year ago, just 6 months ago even...and can't believe how far I've come in so many ways. And so I know that a year from now I will look back on myself at this point and be amazed at my growth. I've never been really patient though. It's a weakness, especially when it comes to love.

It does me no good just to ignore it. I need to talk through this and figure out what is right for me. (God why can't it just be right for me to fall into a big sturdy man's arms and have all my pain taken away ;) )

Monday, February 16, 2009


This is going to be a really raw and thrown together post. I'm trying to keep myself honest here. It's different knowing that people are reading and commenting than if I were just writing this for me, and I want to be as honest about the process as possible so that I can learn from every situation and grow.

Tonight I had a 2 hour long conversation with my husband on the phone. He has been doing some soul searching, which is great for him and it actually sounds like he is experiencing some growth. But unfortunately, he has decided that something that happened in our family several years ago needs to be addressed in the family (his family). Basically, some inappropriate things were said to me by an extended member of his family, I handled it myself, told him about it later in a fit of anger, and he has held in his anger towards that person ever since. He feels like he has to have closure on the situation. Which means drudging up the past and dragging me into the middle of it. And knowing his family, will be like opening Pandora's Box.

I'm pissed that I'm being brought into drama when I already have enough to deal with as it is. It's also angering to me that he suddenly wants to stand up and fight for something...but losing me wasn't enough to stand up and fight for me.

He apologized to me several times tonight for "not being man enough" while we were married.

I'm not really sure how I'm feeling right now. I guess angry that he never cares enough to protect me from anything. That his feelings and his emotions come first. That he couldn't get his shit together in time for us to work.

It also makes me glad that I am not going to have to deal with the complexity of a relationship for awhile. The whole figuring out what's best for the individuals AND the couple blah blah blah blah blah. I'm over it! I'm in it for me and my kids now.

On the other hand I had this overwhelming feeling of sadness. Talking to my husband on the phone...hearing his voice...having a real conversation and not just polite was hard.

Ugh I'm exhausted. Didn't sleep at all last night. Stared at the ceiling from to 3-7am. Here's hoping to better luck tonight.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My first VDay as a single


It was a GREAT day. Friday night my kids and I had our own little dinner together, I gave them Valentines from me, and then we snuggled up together in the living room and watched a movie/ate cupcakes. Saturday morning they left with their Dad to go to an out of town family get together.

My best friend came over and we went to a movie theater that is also a restaurant. We saw Confessions of a Shopaholic while sipping cosmos.

Afterwards we headed back to my house to meet up with two more girlfriends, and we headed over to get foot and back massages at my favorite reflexology place. We brought champagne and chocolates, and relaxed and indulged...heaven.

We then headed back over to my house and got ready for dinner as if we were going to the prom. We got dressed up, took pictures, and showed up for our reservation fashionably late :)

Dinner was amazing. We had a five course meal complete with champagne, and it was exquisite from start to finish. We laughed and scoped out the restaurant (which becomes a lounge/club at 10:30), and I marveled at how differently my Valentine's was turning out to be than I ever would have expected.

After dinner we headed downstairs to the lounge to mingle. A couple of drinks later and we were out on the dancefloor, cutting loose and having a great time. The music was loud and super fun, the atmosphere was entertaining...lots of couples there but we kept our eyes ahead on each other, or made gagging faces behind the couples' backs. Very mature, I know!

Before we went out I made a plan with myself. I knew that there was the potential to meet men that night, and I needed a plan for what would happen if I did. I decided that a little attention and innocent dancing and talking would be ok, nothing more. Even though my husband did not respect our marriage even when we were together, I wanted to be able to say I was always respectful of it, even though it is now only technically not over. It's what I could live with and still feel like a good person.

I actually met a guy, we danced together a little bit and then went outside and talked/laughed for most of the evening. It was exactly what I wanted--just a little attention, nothing over the top or heavy. He was 6 years younger than me, adorable, and so incredibly respectful. After the club closed we hung out with a big group of people. I did tell him my situation, showed him pictures of my kids, and let him know where I was at. At the end of the night, he did get my number. I'm not sure if he'll call me and I'm almost hoping he doesn't, because I'll have to tell him we can only be friends...and then I'll have to actually DO that :)

It was just really nice to have the attention and a little bit of human touch without any drama or heaviness. I think it's what I needed right now.

Today I woke up with a smile on my face for the first time in a really long time. I am loving this freedom, the new love affair that I am having with myself. I am treating myself the way that I have deserved to be treated all along, and I want it to be like this forever. Til death do us part, myself and I :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

He's Definetly Just Not That Into Me.

Last night my friends and I hit the theater to see the movie He's Just Not That Into You. I love everyone in it and thought it might be a fun escape. (warning, if you haven't seen the movie and don't want a spoiler, don't read any further)

The movie was great in and of itself, but one of the storylines took an all too close-to-home turn.

Let's just say I could have written the lines myself, because they have come out of my mouth between my husband and I. (and everyone wonders why I'd rather see movies about nuns and priests or Nazi prison guards right now)

I sat there thinking "It's just a movie! Just acting! Not really happening!! Just a movie!!" like someone would who was watching a horror film or something. But the further they got into the story, the more I had to sit on my hands to keep from throwing my large $8 Diet Soda at the screen and screaming obscenities. I was bubbling up with explosive anger as my current life played out on the screen for me to relive once again.

The couple in the movie is married, and at the end, the wife becomes infuriated and tells her husband in a one-lined note "I want a divorce".

So aside from the storyline that was too close to home, I found myself really irritated with how neat and pretty the divorce played out. She just got mad at him, threw his stuff out, and boom she knew she wanted to file for divorce, no doubts, no regrets, just a new home and a new life. And here I am, going through a two year process of this, and STILL have doubts about filing. Literally having to force myself through it.

Why couldn't it have been that simple? Why couldn't I have just said "You know what? I'm done!" And saved myself two years of heartache and strife.

I know life isn't the movies. I know that isn't reality, and maybe some people have that experience but this is my reality. This is messy and ugly and not at all what I expected. But I never expected to be here anyway. I meant it when I said til death do us part. I did everything I could, all of these years, to live up to that promise. But when only one of you means it...what can I do. I must walk away with what is left of my dignity.

When expressing my doubts to my friend last night, she said "Can you see yourself working this out, 5 or 10 years from now, married to him and doing ok?" and I immediately knew the answer was no. As a matter of fact, I know that because two years ago I asked myself the same question, and wasn't sure of the answer, and now I am right back where I started, with the same man with the same problems. Insanity=trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I'm still having major issues with anxiety. Even during a massage last night I was ultra-tense. It seems to only be getting worse. I talked to my therapist about this tonight and she mentioned that my anti-depressants may actually be making my anxiety worse, certain classes of drugs can. I'm going to call my dr and see what he thinks. I can't live like this anymore, my headaches from my clenched jaw are getting worse and worse. I'm not sleeping well, and my body aches all the time. I do realize that I am under a ridiculous amount of stress but this just seems extreme...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And we're UP

What a difference a week can make.

Last Tuesday I was crying my eyes out almost the entire day, sure I was making a huge mistake...

Today I am feeling like being a single mom may be the best thing EVER.

I don't know if it's because I started making these awesome Valentine's Day plans with my girlfriends that changed my perspective, or if this is just the norm of the emotional roller coaster of divorce. One week you can't stop crying, the next you feel great. That's pretty much been the pattern for a few months now.

I just feel so free all of a sudden. I feel free to make whatever I want for dinner. To do the dishes and not worry about whether someone else in the house is doing their part or not. To make decisions about vacations and money without compromising. To only be responsible for my own laundry (and the kids, of course). To go to whatever church I want, take whatever class I want, read whatever book I want, and get NO OPINIONS on it. To not have the hassle of "putting out" enough or the responsibility of keeping someone happy.

I honestly could run through a field of daisies and leap through the air.

I'm gonna drive my friends nuts, I know I am. Friends who are reading, I apologize in advance. I was reading in my divorce literature that this is how the process goes. One minute I'll be crushed and the next I'll be great. Hopefully it becomes a little less crushed and a little bit greater with every passing week.

In my book today it said that right now, people are watching me, and talking about me behind my back. Whether it be like a rubbernecker watching a car accident, or wondering "What if it were me?" or judging me for the decisions I make, or with genuine concern for my situation. I have to tell you, that line "people are watching you" made my heart stop beating for a minute. I can't imagine saying anything more frightening to me. I hate the thought of being judged or criticized, it terrifies me. Her point in the book was to think carefully through decisions, be mature, and set a good example for those who may go through this later. That rang true for me, especially when I think about this blog and all the nameless people out there reading. I really like the accountability that brings to the table, though. But I can say that I am not perfect and this process is ridiculously hard. The constant ups and downs and mood swings and mixed feelings is sometimes really hard to process, and writing it down here helps me so much.

Excuse me while I go find my field of daisies :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Anti-Valentine

You know you've been down for a while when your best friend calls you and doesn't recognize your voice because you actually sound chipper.

I spent most of today working, doing the part of my job that I hate the most. And ya know, it wasn't so bad. It kind of felt good to contribute, and it felt responsible to my clients who have been truly patient with me. It took me a good while to get started but once I did, it really was ok.
I also spent a lot of today researching my big Girls Night Out Saturday evening with a couple of girlfriends. Trying to find somewhere that won't be overloaded with couples (think pink and red balloons/streamers everywhere a la Sex and the City movie) but will be a fun place to kick back and forget our troubles. All three of us have pretty intense stories and just need to take a huge load off and forget what night it is.

After googling it several times, I found lots of articles on "The Anti-Valentine's Day". Got lots of good ideas other than the night out, since I will be alone the entire day day, movies, chocolates bought for myself (good ones, not ones from the grocery store)

I think I'm going to give myself the Valentine's Day I always wanted, but never got. No disappointment in that, is there?

So, the perfect Valentine's Day for me would have been...

-flowers sent
-chocolates brought
-yummy dinner
-massage and pampering

I can do every single one of those things without a husband.

(The usual Valentine's Day? Dinner with the kids at a taco place, a half-hearted card, and whatever was leftover of flowers at the local grocery, if I was lucky.)

Seriously, I think I'm more excited about it than I have ever been about Valentine's Day before. This could be really good.

It's all about perspective.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Best Revenge

I seem to be emerging somewhat from my funk. THANK GOD.

No slaps to the face this week or huge lifechanging news, other than the news that they will operate on my father's tumor. I had wondered if that would change things for me, and I think it certainly helped.

I've got to find a way to enjoy my life again. Like I said in my last post, I can't keep just "surviving". I feel like I've spent my whole life doing just that, and I want more.

For one thing, I am seriously going to jump back into work this week. I hate to, but it's a part of me, and besides that I am running out of money :)

I'm going to look at changing some things up in my business that will make me happier. I have a few ideas. It's a nice perk to being your own boss.

I'm going to continue exercising this week. Since I am going back to work it will be easier for me to envision when I can fit it in. I've got to think of it as a natural solution for getting rid of my anxiety. My body is so stressed and tense that when I lay down, I'm half off the bed. I am getting near-migraines from grinding my teeth. Working out is going to help take care of that extra energy, I hope.

I'm going out with my girlfriends this week and I am really looking forward to that. The more giggling and laughter I can fit into my week, the better off I am.

I am going to finish packing up my husband's things this week and get his presence completely out of this house.

I'm going to find a way to treat myself this week. (pedicure? massage?)

This weekend I took myself out to eat (I stopped calling it eating alone), read a book at the restaurant for 4 hours straight, rented movies I have wanted to see, and then slept til noon.

Something we talked about tonight at our Divorce Recovery Group was intention. You cannot just glide through a divorce or through grief. You have to have intention to get through it, you have to make an effort. I don't want to walk through my life like a zombie, just dodging hits as they come. The best revenge is a life well lived, and if it kills me, I'm going to figure out how to do that.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I've had a little more time now to look back and reflect on the past few weeks of my life. This has been a whirlwind, to say the least.

I am able now to forgive myself for feeling so rotten. When I look at what life has thrown at me over the past few months....hell...over the past few weeks...I can say geez, no wonder you haven't been able to get out of bed.

I do feel a little relief now knowing there is some hope for my Dad. And the perspective has been good for me.

My parents divorced after 30 years of marriage just 3 1/2 years ago. They both remarried within a year. Both new spouses are nice, but it has always been hard for me to accept that my parents were no longer together, when that was all I had known since the day I was born.

Since my Dad's illness I have watched his new wife fall apart in the shadows, and then put on a brave face for my Dad. She is the first face he searched for after coming out of his invasive tests, and it was her hand he reached for for reassurance while we talked to his neurosurgeon. She constantly reassures him that he will get through this because he is a fighter. I honestly don't know that he WOULD get through this without her.

Watching them and thinking about the two of them and how they have gotten through this has given me a new perspective on love. Granted they haven't been married long, but I truly believe that they are meant for each other, and I'm witnessing first hand why that is.

I deserve that kind of love. I've never had it. God knows I have been through my tough times, and I have always gotten through these types of things on my own. Sometimes the loneliness of dealing with any trauma was worse, simply because he was there, but he wasn't.

Yes, sometimes, it's nice to have a body to put their arms around you, or to have an arm to snuggle up next to in the middle of the night when the nightmares come. That physical touch has certainly been missed during this ordeal with my dad.

And all these years I have told myself that I am independent and don't need to depend on a man for support or reassurance. But when that person makes a bad situation worse by distancing themselves? It's worse than being alone.

At least now dealing with my Dad, I know that I am going home to an empty house and no emotional support. At least I don't have the illusion that someone can help to comfort me, just to be disappointed when they fail.

I made it through on my own, with the support of my friends and my family, I made it through this diagnosis and I will make it through his surgery.

I've done what it takes not to lose my mind, even when I thought there was no possible way I wouldn't lose my mind. I'm feeling positive again. I think I can make it through this, and I think there is happiness ahead for me.

Because there has to be. This life of just surviving everyday can't go on.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Answer

So the answer to my last blog post: Can I Do This Now? is no.

I have been thinking and thinking about it. Today we got word that my Dad is going to be able to have surgery, and it's a very serious operation, and we now have a timeline of about a month. So WILL I file? Yes. NOW? No.

I have just got to get through this first. Meeting with the financial advisor just showed me exactly how tough and emotional this is going to be. I can put off filing for one more month, I can't put off dealing with Dad's surgery...

This also gives me time to mentally prepare myself for what I'll be doing. It gives me time to accept that it's over and grieve what might have been and what will never be.

As emotional as the other day was, I think it was necessary. Kind of like the eulogy I mentioned, just saying goodbye. It's better for this all to come up now rather than years down the road.

My therapist joked to me tonight "You must have been a real asshole in your past life" when we were discussing all that has been going on. It's true, it's almost as if I've angered the heavens or something.

But I also know that hopefully one day I will be able to look back on this time in my life with fondness and a different perspective. I know I will be in a better place without my husband, so life is going to get better once it stops hurting so much. I am cautiously optimistic about my dad's surgery (will feel better once it is over and he is home with no giant brain tumor and no complications).

I'm trying to plan a girl's night out for V-Day. Not only is it my husband's night with my kids, but he is taking them out of town to visit family. I'll have a little Valentine Dinner with them on Friday night before they leave, maybe even let all three of them sleep in my bed that night... and then Saturday night my girls and I will get dolled up and hit the town. Here's a cute article someone sent me on why it's good to be single on Valentine's Day (I love it, it changed my perspective on it, especially the part about not having to listen to someone complain about Valentine's being a commercial holiday)

Saturday during the day I'll be shopping for a new bedspread. Baby steps.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Can I do this now?

Today was one of the toughest days I have had during this entire process.

I had the appointment with my mom's husband, who is a financial advisor, to go over getting my money secured before I filed for divorce. This involved things like moving my savings over to a college savings plan for the kids, etc.

He works out of an office that happens to be directly across the street from the church my husband and I attended for years, where we were married and had our son baptized.

Driving through my hometown (which is only 30 minutes from where I now live, but might as well be Egypt) was like driving through a time warp. I drove past my son's old pediatrician, then the store my husband worked at for the first 8 years of our marriage, the restaurants we used to meet him at for lunch, my old neighborhood, the nursing home my grandmother died at, the hospital I took my son to when he had an allergic reaction to shrimp, the cemetary my baby girl and my grandmother are buried at, and finally the church, which I coud see out the window just over my stepfather's shoulder the whole time we talked.

I couldn't help looking at the church that I haven't seen in so many years and remembering the hope I had, standing on the front steps with my Daddy, waiting to walk into the church, trying not to cry. I had so much hope and certainty for our future. I was absolutely 100% certain that this was the man I was supposed to be with, and that we would be together forever.

I stared out the window at the front steps, where we had stood together taking pictures, and I pictured us in my mind us at 21 and 22 years old, clinging onto each other for dear life. The photographer stood in the parking lot where my stepfather's office is now. That picture is in my closet, in an album.

I thought back to that girl I was then and wondered what she would think if she knew what I was doing today. Talking to a financial advisor about keeping that young, handsome groom from wiping out my savings account. Making plans to contact a lawyer. Discussing our financial strategy for keeping that man I had stood at the altar across the street with from my hard earned money.
On the drive home, driving past all the old haunts of my younger days, I couldn't help but question if I was making the right decision. I just can't imagine myself without him. I can't put the image from that church from 11 years ago together with what I was doing across the street today. I cried and cried the whole way, I mourned for our past life together when I thought we were happy, I mourned for that hopeful girl standing in her white dress, staring into the eyes of the man she loved and knew she would be with until she died.
I know that girl deserves better than what she got. And for her I will proceed with this divorce.
At the same time, I didn't realize how emotional and tumultuous this process would be. The whole separation of assets and lawyers, etc. etc. etc. It rips open wounds, it allows no room for BS, and it is not for the faint of heart. I just wonder if I should move on with this right now or wait for the situation with my Dad's brain tumor to come to a close.

I need to think about this. How much trauma can I put myself through at once?

Monday, February 2, 2009


Tonight I began my homework and reading for my divorce recovery class. Wow am I glad I am taking this class.

For starters, it talks about the difference between positive grieving and negative grieving. Positive grieving is when you remember the happy times in your marriage, can see the good in the past years, and acknowledge that your future is capable of more happiness. Negative grieving is when you forget all the good times and concentrate only on what brought the marriage to it's end, and think only negatively about the person you are divorcing.

I think it's probably normal to go through both types of grieving, but it's only when you are in positive grieving that you can move on. I think this is where I was starting to get to when I allowed my husband to hurt me again. This is because I haven't even really gotten out of the ACCEPTANCE of the fact that he and I are divorcing.

Most of the time I think I do accept it. The fact that when he acts like an ass to me that it takes me so off-guard is worrisome to me. Why don't I accept this by now? Because in my mind he is still the same person he used to be, some part of me is not accepting that this is who he is now and that THIS is reality.

Not accepting it is not going to change it. He is who he is. He changed, and that SUCKS worse than anything can suck, but it's true. He is not who I want him to be, he is not who I thought he was, and he never will be.

It took me a good minute of mulling it over to type that last part.


Maybe once I accept this I can stop being so surprised and so open to hurt when he is insensitive or selfish. And then I can move onto the part where I am grateful for our past but accepting that it is over.

Tomorrow I meet with my financial advisor (who happens to be my mother's husband) and get my finances straightened out. Then I will contact my lawyer about proceeding. Maybe that will help with the acceptance part. Baby steps, right?

Some part of me deep inside believes I am making a mistake. That if I just communicated with him, if I just did this or that, that I'm not doing enough...then we wouldn't have to divorce. This is irrational. But it's in there, and I have to address it.

I think I was expecting the separation to play out like this:

-I kick him out, he realizes every mistake he's ever made and can't stand living without us. He hits his low point and this causes him to turn his life around.
-He works on himself thoroughly through counseling and group therapy while communicating all the changes to me
-He works endlessly to "make it right"...he tells me he wants me back and sends me flowers, "courts" me
-We date again and I realize he has indeed changed

Now that I've written it down, it's ridiculous, especially based on my husband's previous behavior. He's never acted like this in his life, why would he start now?

It reads out like a movie or a fairy tale, doesn't it.

Maybe some sort of ritual is in order. Some sort of putting things away, remembering the good, a eulogy for the marriage. Hmmm, that is an interesting thought. I'll get right on that.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Distraction is the name of the Game

I took the weekend off from writing to see if maybe just getting away from *thinking* so much and just total distraction would help at all.

It did.

I feel like the pressure cooker was about to explode and I just needed to let off a little steam.

Friday night, definetly a low point, but glad it happened...I have some direction now, I see what my future holds instead of a giant question mark...I may not like it, but at least now I can know where it is that I am going.

And it's funny, in the book I am reading, I read a page just yesterday about how the process of separation and divorce is like being in a big giant maze. If you stop, sit down and cry, you may have no idea that just around the corner is the exit you are looking for. So you just have to keep moving on and know that the end is out there somewhere.

I got some much needed sleep on Saturday afternoon, saw a movie, had dinner with my brother and sister-in-law Saturday night to regather after the week's events with our father, and then hopped on over to my best-friend-since-middle-school's house for a good old fashioned sleepover. Her divorce was finalized just last Thursday, and although she and her husband had been separated for a year and a half, the finality of it snuck up on her and she needed me, and I of course needed her!

So we drank some apple martinis, talked and talked and talked about our situations, watched a movie, and I slept in her spare room. I slept surprisingly well, and I had to ask myself if it was the appletinis, or the fact that I wasn't in the bed that I shared with my husband for 11 years... I really do need to consider buying a new bed.

And then today, she and I attended the first class of a 6 week Divorce Recovery group at my church. I wasn't really sure how I was going to feel about this class. My goal was to meet more people in my area going through what I am going through. Within minutes of beginning, I was so glad I came, and I shed my first tears about my Dad's brain tumor (I have been anxiously awaiting those). I met some great people, but I'll admit it was tough to be in the midst of so much many stories of so much cruelty...I almost felt lucky.

This is such a painful process. It is such a vulnerable place to be and somewhere none of us ever thought we'd end up.

I spent today with my Dad at my brother's, watching the Super Bowl. We didn't talk about tumors or hospitals or anything but funny commercials, Kurt Warner, and Bruce Springsteen hitting the camera with his crotch at halftime. It was nice. I really want to believe that laughter is healing, and the goal is to make Dad laugh as much as possible.

And tonight I came home and faced the man that I couldn't even look at after Friday night, with no problem. He was here with my kids when I got back from my brother's, and I could carry on a conversation with him, now knowing that I am moving forward with the divorce...his actions are meaningless to me from here out. At least, that is the goal.

I'll be getting in touch with a financial advisor this week to help me secure my money and the kids' college money, and then will begin the process with my lawyer. It's so scary. But everytime I start to have doubts, I just re-read my post from Friday night, and my doubts are diminished greatly.

So I made it through the weekend one hour at a time, and hopefully can get through this week in the same manner.

Which reminds me, your comments mean everything to me. I love hearing your stories, and when you leave comments I feel supported and thank you!