Divorce is a kick in the lady parts. But this cloud has a BIG silver lining.

Divorce sucks. Cotton Candy Milkshakes dont.

hello.

I remember a few years ago that this blog was a real lifeline for me. The friends, the community – and the writing itself.

It’s nice to think of that, and be here for a moment. I’m working from home. The sun is shining in through the living room window. And my house is pretty. Despite the little spots that show signs of life (active 5 year old, tired mum).

In less than a month it’ll be two years since I lived with my ex, and the anniversary coming up resonates so deeply with me, as a sort of “birthday” of my new life, and a reclaiming of my purpose, heart, and soul.

I must say, I feel like I’ve harped on the past a lot, inside my own head and with friends and family. And a two year court battle has me feeling like I was hit by a train… so I hope that now I can move away from the victim mentality, the needing validation and proof, the dwelling on the abuses… yes, it was horrible. But I have moved on. And I must stop licking that old wound.

I’m writing today because – although I am leaving him behind – I live the reality of being a single mum, and that comes with it’s challenges. I have shame. It’s not easy showing up to school events  – J at one end of the gymnasium, me at the other.

But I’m ready to laugh about it. So I am thinking to change the name of this blog to

*THE SILLY DIVORCEE*

And keep writing, but some of the ridiculously horrible *and* hilarious things that are the realities of my life.

Things like…….

  • the time I dreamed of my ex husband’s penis ?!?!
  • The things I used to think were love that I know now were next level psycho !?!
  • The moment when you see that your ex was actually JUST LIKE his mom?!?
  • The “man’s” jobs that I do now that are both gross and wonderfully empowering!
  • My COMPLETE mother’s day meltdown….. with my awesome boyfriend?!?!

So I have no idea if anyone will check this post out, but if you do, I’m looking for ANY encouragement to make this switch and start writing again about my new… flawed…hilarious…..wonderful ….. Life : )

Should I do it?

 

Life, Part 2 – After the marriage

Hello, old friends. Long time! I’ve missed you… while I’ve been busy finding me ; )

As I write this, I’m sitting in the most beautiful room that ever was, feeling the most peaceful I have ever felt, because it is mine – As Virginia Woolf famously called it, ‘A Room of One’s Own,’ – I have my own place, with my daughter. We’ve settled it, and it is absolutely amazing….

J and I separated 8 months ago. It’s strange to think there was a time when I couldn’t imagine life without him, when now all I remember is the abuse.

In June it will be official – and I am so very ok with June coming.

Sometimes I think I’ve found a nice memory – like the special tea he used to make me when I was sick, or the amazing vacations we took to Cuba, Paris, Mexico. But no sooner have I thought about the nice thing and the bad part comes rushing in with it. The way he yelled at me for not appreciating the tea, or the way he treated me during his fits on every one of those vacations….. Horribly. Even on the Honeymoon and ‘babymoon.’

I’ve thought about the many women (and men) who suffer verbal abuse for years and years with no escape and no name for it. I want to do something about it, but not sure what I could do. It’s such a slippery little topic. So hard to define. And the attitudes you face: Did he hit you though? No… So it’s not ‘actual’ abuse then….

Ok.

Patricia Evans’ definition set me free last summer, while I was recovering: Verbal abuse is a lie told to you about you.

Yep. You are not any of those horrible names/descriptors. And how liberating to be free of those lies.

Back then, and for many months before that, I was blogging pretty regularly. I was going through a huge change from not drinking alcohol and kind of rediscovering myself.  But for the past 8 months – barely a word huh?! I hope you are all doing well on your amazing journeys.

I’m quite happy to report that I am dating an old friend turned new flame… somebody who always liked me and I always liked but we were never single at the same time. It’s a total breath of fresh air… and while I am not moving fast I am enjoying it so incredibly much. This delicious new love.

I know that many of the bloggers I read are quite religious. I am not, but am spiritual… and I just have to say… I am so positively sure that God has been watching over me, and I am so grateful for the guiding light that has led me through all this insanity, into the beauty of a healthy new life.

XOX

 

Reunion, tomorrow.

This week my husband and I texted (by Skype) –  the first interaction we’ve had since his arrest, almost exactly 90 days ago.

It was good to talk to him, just for the familiarity. It was weird to recall how much of his cruel words I look past. For some reason, his abuse has always felt like love to me. Some strange part of me hears his hate and thinks ‘well, look how much he cares’ — I guess because it is negative, but it is still focused attention. (Cue the story of neglected childhood)

We basically have been talking on and off now for a few days. Mostly bad stuff. Mostly him blaming me for the arrest and saying it was planned and that I lied and yada yada.

I am well aware that he is paranoid, and that something goes very wrong in his head that makes his thoughts extremely different from reality. What disease is that? I don’t know. He fits no description. Maybe it’s something to do with his multiple head injuries. I have no idea.

And there comes that old feeling – that I’m the only one who will take take care of him, and I’m the only one who was born to love him. So there, I’m crazy too. hah!

I do feel really different talking to him – like nothing really rattles me anymore. So call me a liar, call me whatever you want – I don’t care. (I told him, actually, that I did not appreciate it, but I didn’t react to it, I just told him…. .)

It’s so weird that after all this, he is still just this steaming pile of…. blame.

So we will sell the house and we will move on, but in his head… it’s like there is no reality creeping in. He will continue to think I am his to abuse.

I married a crazy person. I knew I was doing it. I did it knowingly.

I read a strange thing the other day in the book “the verbally abusive relationship” — that people with a ‘compassionate witness’ to their suffering tend to become artists and empaths… and those who did not have that, become abusers.

He abuses, I feel sorry for him.

Fack. I don’t like that part of me that’s just like “come home, you fucking abusive idiot” and let’s ignore your craziness some more.

And tomorrow we meet at Starbucks to ‘exchange’ our daughter. So gross. I hate all of it. it’s gonna be super weird! At least I’m totally skinny! LOL. (((((The girls understand))))

 

Thriving through separation and divorce. WTF?

75 DAYS SINCE… You know.

*I am kind of shocked at how well I’m doing and how good I’m feeling and I have a suspicion that separation and divorce is not this pleasant for people who have not been living with abuse. So take this with a grain of salt, anyone reading who has lost their best friend through a broken marriage. I did not really lost my best friend…. but I did lose my worst enemy. 

Right now I’m eating a juicy giant yellow heirloom tomato and enjoying every bite. More than I’ve enjoyed food in years.

Today I built a bird house with my daughter. 

Last week I baked my first pie (it was pretty darn good!) 

Also had a huge milestone at work with an eight month long project coming to fruition, and achieving buy-in from all the very-high-ups.

To top it all off, I’m running and losing a lot of weight. I run minimum twice a week, religiously, for at least 30 minutes, and I’ve entered into a race for charity next Saturday!!

I could tell you about the hard times, the relapses in emotion, the morning anxiety (it’s much better now) — but all that is par for the courses. What’s remarkable is how freakin’ good I”m feeling.

I hope all you fellow bloggers are feeling good too. Even though I’m not writing much these days, I am still so grateful for your support and encouragement through this process. I don’t think I would have been this brave without you. HUGS to you and our virtual friendships!

Here is a list of things that have helped me not just survive but Thrive during this time:

  1. I MOW THE LAWN WITH A SELF-HELP BOOK ON THE iPOD First of all, who knew that a lady could mow a lawn? As you may recall from my former state of dependency, I wasn’t always so self-reliant. But nowadays, every Sunday I take the ol’ mower out of the garage and let ‘er rip. I put my headphones in and let sun beat down on me while I trod along, mow, mow, mow. And since we have a pretty big backyard, by the end of this process I feel nicely tired out, refreshed mentally because of what I’ve been listening to, and generally much better than however I did before. Highly recommend!
  2. I RUN, AND ADD ONE NEW SONG TO MY RUN PLAYLIST EVERY TIME The drastic changes in me from June until now have meant that my playlist is everything from Rage against the Machine to Olivia Newton John to Sia! With some Led Zep mixed in there. And some weird 80’s anthems in there too. HA! But this playlist has come to be a living songbook for my process of grieving, growing, and giving life my all again. I look forward to every run.
  3. I’M LEARNING HOW TO STAY IN THE MOMENT I read (actually listened to) a great book called 10% Happier (a funny skeptical take on meditation and self help) and have also been listening to Pema Chodron’s talk called Getting Unstuck and both of these books have helped me gently resist my own temptation to think about the terror and catastrophe side of what I have been through and could go through. It’s not naive, it’s just practical – to focus on today. Not the terrifying future. Not the unchangeable past. I guess it’s a part of surrender, and a part of trusting. Let Go and Let God. It feels so much better.
  4. I”M MAKING ACQUAINTANCES If I had been through this a few years ago, or any other time in my life, I would have been crying on shoulders, and drowning my sorrows on my next victim, I guarantee it. I have been a serial monogamist. Even in school when I wasn’t with a guy, my best girl friend and I were completely and monogamously joined at the hip. I have never been one to stand on my own two feet – until now. This fall, I am looking forward to making casual friends with the moms at my daughters dance classes or the people who I run alongside in my race. I want to make new friends the old fashion way. Instead of having one person in my life who I am completely ‘one’ with – I want to be one with ME!!! And have lots of people around who know and like me for me. Sounds pretty normal, probably, but it’s new for me.
  5. I’M TRYING NEW THINGS, AND SO EXCITED ABOUT IT! Where have I been all my life, seriously? This marriage, and life on the other side of it has been the biggest wake up call. I want to ski and swim and play guitar and sail and bake more pies and take road trips and learn to salsa and do 10,000 other things that I couldn’t have cared less about before. Because I was an addict. A trapped, programmed, miserable human, looking for happiness in wine glasses, packs of cigarettes and handsome blue eyes. Fuck that. Know what? Life is so many million times better after smoking, drinking and boys. And I am so grateful that I am young enough to still build a wonderful life. Yes ME.

LA VIE EST BELLE. LIFE IS FOR THE LIVING. LOVE TO ALL.

We’re taught that it’s better to be what they want than what we are.

THIS WAS WRITTEN IN EARLY JUNE, BEFORE ALL THIS SH*T WENT DOWN. 

If you are tempted to surf that luxurious wave of self-forgetting, take my word and don’t try it. Don’t drink yourself into love. Don’t sacrifice your soul for love. Don’t give up on you because you like him better.

You will have the time of your life until you figure out what the price was – when you realize that you have been forgotten, and you are the only one who remembers you. But the memory is vague. And suddenly it dawns – it is not possible to live life while holding a pillow over the mouth of your soul.

A person of character, once. A kind soul. A student of life.

You remember something faint, that potential, that spark, your disproportionate zest for life that made no sense, considering the cards life had handed you.

At some point, you decided it was ok to settle for the life of a sea shell; empty, hardened, hollow — if it meant holding on to that man.

Because he comes to you. And those blue eyes. And the smell of him; You are repulsed and drawn in at the same time.

And he’s here isn’t he? He’s not in some other woman’s apartment. He’s here. He married ME. Put aside the degrading, the name-calling, the temper for a second….. YOU HAVE A SHINY, GOOD LOOKING, TALL AND HANDSOME HUSBAND!! DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THOSE ARE TO COME BY? 

**TROUBLING THOUGHTS. Bad logic.**

Where does the story actually begin?

It begins when you close your eyes and jump. Headlong, into your own life. Out of misery.

Soggy, disheartened.

Not swallowing anymore. There’s a shriek inside of you though and though it’s small, it’s loud for how small it is, because it’s desperate. Because it’s dying. And the fight against death is fierce in every creature.

You start when things are hard. You start when you are weakened. You start when all you want to do is crawl westward, toward some horizon that holds the promise of comfort. Family. Home. Things you never really had. 

Somebody, save me. I can’t do this. The familiar voice says. But the one inside is stronger. And it says…… YES, YOU CAN AND YOU WILL.

I believed he loved me because he said he did. I believed love was enough because he said it was. But he also said I was useless. You would think it was simple; doesn’t sound very complicated. A person who finds no use for you should obviously not be made your best friend and closest confidant. That does seem obvious, right? It’s not like I had to dig deep beyond the meaning of his words to get that. It was right there, from the time I was pregnant at least.

We’re told that holding on tight is a virtue. We’re told that long marriages are more valuable than whole human beings.

We’re taught that good men are hard to come by. . Without a man, you are a singleton, a reject, an eccentric, a weirdo, a broken human being. Nobody wants that. We all want to be accepted and loved.

LOVED, all caps.

You know what? Fuck what we’re told.

10 ways to make your narcissistic partner really mad

Found this list in my notes today.

#truestory.

10 ways to make J mad enough to curse me out and go drinking:

1. Ask if he’d like a tomato.
2. Make brunch plans
3. Suggest going to a patio instead of grocery shopping
4. As if you can watch something on tv later
5. If you’re stuck in traffic, suggest not going to the destination that’s far and hard to get to.
6. Ask him to let you know when he’s not stuck on the subway anymore.
7. Make cranberry sauce without giving advance notice
8. Offer him a breakfast sandwich more than once
9. Be skeptical about a startup opportunity
10. Ask if he felt bad watching SNL without me.

It wasn’t until I realized my flaws were ‘the flavor of the month’ that I woke up to the reality: I was not perfect, but I was not at fault.