Divorce Chronicles :: Two Years Later

Dustin and I had an amazing time yesterday. We have been talking about going to Six Flags Magic Mountain for over a year now and finally made the trip. Splurged on Flash Passes for the first time ever and got to ride every coaster we wanted, most two or three times. There were a couple good coasters I have never had a chance to ride before, and it has been years, but Goliath, at night, was still my favorite. Nothing beats that first drop. Nothing beats the anticipation and thrill, the energy in the air, that deep breath and long scream, and those moments that steal your breath away. It was perfect. Exactly what I needed and more. 

And then this afternoon, during a quiet moment of the Hurricane’s nap, Facebook kindly reminded me that I have been divorced for exactly two years. So fitting, really, given the mild emotional breakdown I had in the car this morning on the way home… We are flying down the interstate and start talking about our wedding, just 40 days and 40 nights away. So soon, but so far away given that I feel like I have known this man forever – and often have to remind myself that we just truly met a year and a half ago. I commented honestly, that I am mostly pretty sure I am ready to get remarried when a wave of shame and anger and regret washed over me. Those deep in the pit of your stomach ugly, ugly feelings. And my concern for still being able to feel that way, even two years later caused me to burst into tears.

I am certain it is not that I am not ready to marry him. It’s the wasted time, years and years and almost a decade of wasted time, the cracks in my heart, the betrayal of trust that were all for nothing. Because besides the Hurricane, and being free and having a hell of a lot more confidence in who I am and why I’m here on this earth, no good comes from what I went through. But that’s everything at the same time, isn’t it?

It is everything. So I cried for my divorce and for me, and for the messy and beautiful family my son will have. For everything I never really wanted, wasn’t expecting, didn’t sign up for. Dustin reached over and grabbed my hand, calmly told me that it may never fully go away and that it’s okay if it never does and we sat in silence for a couple miles. He is my zen and I am so thankful. I still have a big heart, and it just so happens to be a big day in the short history of my divorced life. The highlight of which was picking up the Hurricane and him running at us yelling, “Mommy! Daddy!” before throwing himself into my arms. The gentle reminder that I am immeasurably blessed among this chaos.

Love and light,

Michelle

Looking Glass

[[The thing about droughts is, the grass isn’t greener anywhere.]]

I’m up too late again. I can feel a headache settling in for the night. Or maybe just the tension of too many thoughts demanding to be recognized before the day is done. My brain feels frantic and my body is too tired to work out that energy any way other than to half sit, half lie here and write. 

So… Tomorrow marks one month at my new job. I made cookies. Oatmeal chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip. Half celebrating myself and half because the chocolate chips needed to be used up before the whole bag found its way into late night snack territory. If the idea of baking for myself sounds pretentious or sad, I don’t care. They are for everyone there anyway. And because busying myself with baking and organizing and working out are things I do when I am feeling stressed out and going through things. 

And I am going through them. 

I want to say “it’s funny how…blah blah blah” but it isn’t really funny or ironic at all. It is hard and painful and unfortunate that anything about who I was once upon a lifetime ago affects me today, but I am who I am and so it does. Evocation is not a tendency for the faint of heart. That’s a word, right, evocation, evoke? I’m too tired to look it up but it sounds about right. And I’m not the type of person who can just let the past…be. There’s that whole quote about those forgetting history being destined to relive it. Probably butchering that, but you get my point, I hope. 

I have always, mostly been brutally honest so it’s just been hard. Second engagement brings up a trunkload of doubts and insecurities. My first marriage failed and it is a big deal to me – so much so that I even hate that phrase “first marriage” like I ever went in with the explicit goal of getting out. So yes, Marriage is a big deal to me. I was an awful first wife in so many ways and can only hope to have learned enough to not let that history ever repeat itself. 

I suppose I should make more time to get through this maze of emotions and just be done with it, but time is a rare commodity. I’m happy, so happy but I am also scared. Dustin is such a good man. And we do really make a good team. There’s just the tiny voice all but drown out by the chaos saying it will all, most likely be alright. No promises, but also no regrets. 
Love and light,

Michelle

Love is a Verb

I am up too late, painting my nails, listening to a slow song and the rare sound of my wind chimes blowing in the warm summer breeze.

It was so difficult to be an adult today. To take care of a crabby two and a half year old who talked back or fought everything, every chance he got.. To clean the apartment, clean out my car, get laundry and dishes and all that getting ready for the week ahead done. We all woke up on the wrong side of the weekend. We all napped while hurricane napped. And I get to paint my nails now because the whole house is asleep besides me. 

I got a new job. A promotion. It is amazing to the extent of renewing my love for veterinary medicine. I don’t have time to write much anymore – not that I ever seem to have a whole lot – in part because my schedule is different but also because I am trying to catch up my tech skills. 

And since I last wrote, I finally made it to the beach. It had been too long..

 
    

Are you ready? Next great adventure in queue. That photo of me pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter. Happy. So happy and so myself. Choosing marriage again is not something I take lightly, but also not something I can adequately address tonight with the overall mood of today being what it was… 

I did, however, share a quote on Instagram earlier that I know you will agree fits perfectly if you have any knowledge of me/my story. 

[I find it important to add that you also never ever have to feel guilty for making the incredibly difficult choice to leave. Although do be prepared for when those feels try to sneak attack you.]

So we are diving in! I am confident in my choice. Venue at our favorite CA beach and an amazing photographer booked for this October. Dress shopping next weekend. Dozens of little details to work out in the chaos of parenthood and a new job. Nothing is static for long around me, and it is this weird kind of bliss. Like being up late alone, listening to the sound of my wind chimes that have been with me from the very beginning.

Love, love as the verb and sweet dreams,

Michelle 

Check. [Soul]mate.

Hello again, to anyone who thought my long leave of absensce meant the death of this little blog. I have been honestly busy this time. Moved two cities over, hit my one year mark at work just in time for the clinic to move to a bigger, better location and am adjusting to life just me and Elliott, although with lots of parenting help from the boyfriend. It has been hard but exhilarating.

So much activity but not much to say about it all. Very little I felt the need to write out loud until the past couple of days. Settling down, for a chronic over thinker like myself, was so much easier when I was sure I was meant to be with someone. I had that feeling with the ex, and even though that relationship blew up in my face in a most spectacular way, there was no denying the magnetism we had for each other. I am not sure I feel that way about the boyfriend, and I do not yet fully know how that makes me feel. With the ex it was all miscommunication and empty love tanks, but with the boyfriend I never think about a love tank, because it is honestly a non-issue. There are none of the dramatic highs and lows. We are steady and stable and it is (sometimes/definitely) weird to me. It is not at all what I am accustomed to experiencing in a relationship. He would marry me tomorrow, would have married me last week, if I let him. But there is just this feeling that I am not ready and I do not know why.

Having gone through a divorce, I would almost rather live with him first…test the waters, see what our relationship will really look like 24/7/365. But that won’t work for him; marriage first he says. And that is a huge commitment. That is quite literally signing my heart and love away to someone else, promising to be there, promising to stay no matter what. Marrying him would mean making myself vulnerable to being left in the most soul crushing way again. To be a little too honest, my scars from ending up on the wrong side of someone’s keep or toss list are still too raw, even more than a year later. I hate it. I hate myself for not entirely being able to leave those experiences buried in the past. I hate that while talking to my littlest sister last night tears formed in my eyes when I admitted another divorce will kill me, or at the very least kill my spirit. I still don’t quite understand how I survived the last one..

It’s all up in the air, and it all doesn’t really matter at the same time. Just that little tug on my heartstrings and the grieving of the idea of soulmates. Adult life is so limitless and immeasurable and hard and wonderful. I hope Elliott listens – but being my son, sincerely doubt he will – when I remind him to not hurry growing up.

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Fair Ain’t What You Really Need

Living in the same town where I met my ex-husband is not always easy. The smallest, every day things are often triggers for memories that I would rather forget than re-live. The cat that followed me on a walk the other night reminded me of a cold winter night we walked hand in hand around a different part of town, with a different cat following us. I try not to dwell on these reminders of a life that was not only a lie, but now also feels like a lifetime ago.

It was the annual, home town Christmas Parade last night.. Skipped the actual parade, but my family did make an appearance at the parade after party of a family friend. The same house, same time of year, many years ago that the ex and I had first started dating. Our first public appearance together, my favorite selfie ever taken of us, (one of the only pictures I saved on a hard drive of that time for my son’s future curiosity) was taken at that house, at a similar party.. And last night I sat at that same window bench with a lovely, Godly woman who knew more about me than I of her, and discussed where I’m going from here. My life had literally come full circle, five years later.

It was the most real conversation I have had about what it means to be divorced moving forward. How it has changed me, how it has caused me to grow up, to see life and love differently. A breathe of fresh air talking with an air of hope instead of pity. It knocked some sense back into me. I get lost in my head, in my thoughts… caught up in memories I wish I could forget when instead I need to let it all wash away. I can guarantee you my ex-husband hasn’t put anything at all near this amount of thought into what happened. Because none of this happened to him.

I can remember praying about my purpose in life while in college. To love and be loved and be revolutionary in my own right.

I’m still working on that last part.

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Shattered Glass

I’ve had a nagging question following me around like a little black raincloud for a few days now.

What makes two people want to really, fully commit to each other?

And if you have caught up with all my recently published, previously private posts, it should be painfully obvious why. I will be divorced this month. There’s a good chance in the history of this blog that I will already be divorced when you read this.  I thought I had that commitment, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. So what should I have been looking for? What were the signs that we weren’t right for each other? It took going on a non-date and a messy, over-tired, emotional break through to realize that I was asking the wrong questions. It’s not about what would make two people commit to each other, but who would ever want to commit to me?

*glass shattering*  (Oh yes, forgive me for how cheesy that is.)

And that question, wondering who will ever want me, is something I will have to live with until non-dates turn into real ones and I meet all of my personal requirements for being happy with my life as it is now. A job I like, a place of our own..etcetera. I feel I owe an apology to the person at the wrong end of this realization, and a gigantic virtual hug to all my mom friends who have listened to me vent and rant the past two and a half months.

To quote a dead guy – which is far worse than being divorced if you ask me – if you’re going through hell, keep going. Day to day doesn’t always feel like much, but it will all add up to a new life eventually.

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Shame on Me

I’m in one of those moods tonight. Regretful. Disappointed in myself.

I had previously thought I was smarter than this, so much smarter than situations like this. Surely, smarter than getting myself into a a loveless marriage.

I’m trying so hard to move on, but it seems the more I try letting go the emotions that overwhelm me, the more stuff I find needing to be sorted through. It feels like I’m sifting through almost a decade of memories, deciding which to keep, which to toss and questioning the validity of all of them. I drive past the corner we used to meet up on, for walks around this small town, and wonder if he was ever real with me. No, I don’t think so, not really. My grandmother always said, “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, shame on me for giving him a second chance all these years ago now, but thank God (literally) for getting my son and I out when He did.

Half of the battle has already been fought, but we are in this odd, grey zone where we are still, technically married. I haven’t worn my wedding set in over three weeks now, but I still check for it at least twice a day. The indentation of where it was is all but gone. I hope when this is all said and done, and a judge slams his or her gavel down, finalizing our divorce, the hurt feelings will fade. I hope I feel as free as I’m thinking I will feel. I hope another ton of bricks is lifted off my shoulders, just as the first ton was when we signed the temporary divorce decree and parenting plan.

As more time in this limbo passes, I realize I should have spent a lot more time listening, a lot more time actually seeing what was happening right in front of me. The signs of this and so much more were right there.

..

.

I mean, right there. Tonight, that’s the hardest part.