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 

The Mommy Trenches

Babies. The boyfriend and I have discussed babies a lot lately. Let me just clarify, I am not pregnant. And thank God for that. Still, as good a time as any to hash out if/when we are married, how many kid(s) we would like to have. It is one of those things you ought to have figured out before you say “I do,” otherwise there might be trouble later. So I guess you could say we have been talking about marriage too, but that is beside the point today.

The boyfriend has been very clear that he would like at least one more chitlen, maybe two. At the minimum.

And I am leaning much more towards one to two kids. I always said two, two years apart…but that was before I met the hurricane, before I found myself divorced, starting my adult life all over again. So really now, really just one kid, like one and done, as in, I am already so done having babies, I think.. And that answer leaves a lot to be desired in the boyfriend’s opinion.

I do not know what to say to him. The further I get from those early days in the trenches, the more clear they become. So, honey, hindsight is twenty/twenty and I am not sure I could willingly go back there. I cannot even read my posts from around that time, not that I probably wrote a whole lot. I know I wrote those monthly baby updates… but did I mention that one week I got four – literally four, one hour “blocks” of sleep – in an entire week? And he was up at least three times a night 99% of the first year, despite every imaginable trick to get him to sleep better. We tried everything, read.every.book. He always had to be held, and he was always so discontent, and he always cried. Then I cried with the worry and guilt that if SIDS took him one night, he would die having never been happy. So deep in the trenches.

Looking back I am almost certain I was depressed. This all screams depression with a bit of post-traumatic stress. Depressed because my then-husband deployed when I was pregnant and did not return until our child was five months old. Depressed because I did not have my village. Depressed because my dreams of motherhood were crushed by a baby who spent a majority of the first year of life crying. And I am not talking the “nyah-nyah” nasally, baby cry (and I know you know what that sounds like), but a full out scream from day one. I have videos to prove it. It was not colic. At least that would have been predictable, at least that would have ended.

I probably sound horrible. I am not looking forward to proofing this post because I know this is definitely not what moms are supposed to say about motherhood, about their children. But my experience with new motherhood was hard. What to Expect When You’re Expecting (and the first year edition) let me down. I know, and am grateful, that my experience is not typical. That alone gives me hope that if I did decide to dive into the trenches for a second baby that I would earn my escape much faster than sometime around the second birthday. I feel I am just now finding a new normal, just now navigating my life with some sort of grace. Diving back in, any time soon, would be the very definition of insanity.

But then… then I think about who I want around my dinner table in ten years. And even after writing my heart out on this screen, after thinking and talking about this for weeks, I see more than just the hurricane and the hopefully then-husband sitting with me. I see at least one more tiny human… at least one more. So who knows. I am really not sold on the idea, but do not count me out just yet. There could be another year of adorable monthly baby photoshoots to look forward to, some day.

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Calling Dibs

My husband left 239 days, and a little over two hours ago.. Two-thirds of an entire year, gone. I wish I could say that time passed in the blink of an eye, but it didn’t. They all said time would crawl by until I had the baby, and then it would go lighting fast, but that wasn’t the case either. I felt every moment of the missing.

It is difficult for most non-military families to truly understand how being separated that long feels.. I’m not saying that working opposite shifts isn’t hard, or that a week away for training should be easy. But it isn’t the same. At first, you count the days that pass. Missing hugs and goodnight kisses. Then weeks begin to slip away, and daily events are glazed over in the short emails you exchange. It’s long enough for new routines to be established. Seasons come and go. I bought a house last year. Traded in our car and had a baby… all without him. I’m not saying I’m the only one who has had to do those things alone, but I am saying that it isn’t ideal. When your partner in crime suddenly isn’t anymore, and you’re left to keep up the household, keep everything together.

It’s almost over. The countdown to our airport homecoming is almost up. Time is running out to pick out homecoming outfits, to get the house clean and organized, and things put back to how they were when he left so that it feels like home again.

I can’t wait for a new routine to slowly emerge. For a single night away during one his duty days to feel like forever again. For our son to have not only me, but his daddy to play with, to smile and talk to. I can’t wait to sneak a million pictures of the two of them together, of us all together, finally a whole family.

Since it will no longer be “ship’s movement,” I wish I could post the exact countdown, but this is linked to my Facebook and there are a couple people who don’t need to know right now. We are being selfish, and we called dibs on those first few moments home the day he left. Just know that it is very, very soon. Only a few more wake-ups without him.

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It Comes with a Price

Nothing seems to be coming easy to me lately, and it’s all a frustrating and pointless struggle to stay emotionally afloat during this deployment. There’s this song that goes, “am I supposed to be happy, when all I ever wanted, it comes with a price?” May be a bit of an immature point to conclude, but it fits. I feel like every good thing in my life is shrouded under some little black cloud of darkness. It leads me to feeling blessed but very, very unlucky.

It’s been two months to the day that they left, almost nine calendar weeks. It feels like months longer than that. And it will be months longer until they get to come home again. I don’t know why this deployment feels so different than previous underways or separations that we’ve had, and we’ve had more than our fair share. Before we got engaged we spent eight months apart. After we got engaged, we spent the six months before our wedding apart. After we were married, we spent six weeks apart while I finished up my college degree. We were together roughly three months this year, of which only two were mostly consecutive in terms of weeks spent at home. And we fought all the time.

This year has been rough on our marriage, but it’s been worse on our friendship. And now that he’s gone and getting into the “swing” of life away, I just feel like *our life* has been put on pause from his end… but I’m still here living it alone. I’m still having our baby in a few weeks. I’m still keeping up with our house and our bills and pretending that the bed doesn’t feel so empty when I go to sleep at night.

It’s so hard having to remind myself that this isn’t a permanent situation, that I’m doing this alone but I am not exactly a single mother, that I do still have a husband, somewhere, on the other side of the world. When emails are few and far in between and even those that get through don’t say what I need to hear.. When my midwife rambles on about how new dads get involved at the hospital and I have to stop her because he won’t be there. When I have to wonder how old our son will be when he meets his daddy for the first time. When I let myself think how epically unfair this whole situation is, and how no one who hasn’t been exactly where I am right now could possibly know.

I don’t know how to find resolution. I’ve tried prayer. I’ve tried distracting myself with crafts, friends, plain ignorance but none of those things last very long.

Over Thought

I’m in a talking mood today, and unfortunately for you, I currently live alone and my baby boy is asleep, so I figure writing would be a fine substitution…. Some nights I don’t sleep well because there are too many thoughts swirling around in my mind. It’s almost as if the processing that’s supposed to be done by your subconscious when you sleep, begins too soon, and I am well aware of it’s work. Last night was one of those nights. I can’t remember exactly what my mind chatter was all about. It was too much like standing in one spot on the platform of a busy train station. Too  many thoughts coming and going; hitching rides together and disappearing before I had a chance to grasp what they were all about. I was just aware of the constant motion, the disorderly organization of it all.

I think I over think things. I have always been this way though, for as long as I can remember, and as far as I know, it’s not intentional. I wrote a post a while ago about being stuck in the past, or looking back too often… I believe that is because I spend too much time in my head. I’m not the cerebral type at all. Don’t confuse me with someone who doesn’t have or choose to respond to their feelings. I think this blog alone paints a pretty accurate picture of that.

I just like to mull things over. To take a thought or idea and write it down on binder paper, old school style. To tear it apart into it’s smallest components and wonder why it is the way it is. I wonder why people are the way they are – and it must be the things they think but don’t dare say, much of who I am is what is written on these pages… the thoughts I could never just say aloud. I could sit here and wonder how I got here for hours. Especially because this isn’t where I thought I would be a year ago.. no where near who I thought I would be at the beginning of college.

It makes me wonder how much God is involved on a daily basis. I was saved when I was thirteen, but spent much of my teen years off doing my own thing. Now that I am back to praying daily, what affect does He have exactly? What would my life be like if I couldn’t believe, if there weren’t that calling in my heart? Why did I need to believe when the rest of my family doesn’t?

Why me.. I spend my free time meditating and reflecting and I think it makes me a better person, but that’s not to say someone who never takes a second to analyze their life is wrong. I wonder what it would be like to live that way for a week. I wonder if I would be any different.

I have friends that think my life is over because I’m this old, married and with a baby on the way. What they don’t know, is that I want to tell them that they are too afraid to start living. The social, party scene was never my thing.  It’s like a rut I see them get caught in. Work or school all week, Friday hits (TGIF by the way) and it’s once again time to pre-game for a weekend spent drinking and hanging out with other people who are stuck in the same way you are. People who are on the same “train” as you.

I feel like in many ways the decision to get married wasn’t mine to make. It was the path I inherently knew was mine to take. And I do take ownership for standing there, repeating vows that I didn’t remember but a second later. I was in the moment but out of it. It was life changing. It was one of those decisions that forces you to move away from who you were. Having a baby will be the same. It’s no wonder my friends think I’ve reached the end of all the good times in my life.. they can’t see the grass is still green on the other side from where they are standing. They can’t possibly know.

And so there you have it. A peak into what my mind is like the morning after a night of little rest. Tonight I hope to fall asleep and just sleep, but with a baby boy bouncing around all night, it’s highly unlikely that will happen. I almost don’t want to post this publicly.. because who really wants to read this? But it is my blog for saying the things I can’t say out loud; for writing the things I don’t think anyone would care to read. Let’s be honest, most days my page gets two hits, and one is probably me, signing in. I’m ok with that.

We Are Never Ever Ever

I’ve had a song stuck in my head since I first heard it on the radio early last week.. Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

The funny thing is that it has 0% to do with my life!! I haven’t broken up with someone in years and even then, I was never the type to go back to someone. Once and done. I guess I should feel sad because I am now long past that phase of my life… That is, if I hadn’t hated the high school, college age of dating and wondering where I would end up in this world, who I would marry. It’s almost like a comfort of sorts to remind myself that I’m never, ever going back to that. Marriage, especially to my high school best friend who was there all along just waiting for me to find him and vice versa, definitely has it’s inherent benefits.

If you haven’t given it a listen, check it out in the iTunes store. I tried to find it for free on Youtube but there’s no official video up, just a few pretty good covers by random people. If nothing else, it’s extremely catchy and unlike all her other songs, it’s not a love song. Haha.

Too Much

I have too much to say; too much on my mind. It’s just about nine right now, and I have to be at  the Seattle-Tacoma airport at 11:30ish tonight to pick up my mom. I had mentioned before that she is staying with me for ten days to help me move and get settled into the house and those ten days start tonight, technically.

I still need the sheets to finish drying and make up the bed and put the dishes away that are drying on the dish rack. It’s funny, growing up my mom would always freak out when my grandma was coming to visit and I never understood why everything had to be super clean and organized. Obviously my grandma raised my mom, so she must have known my mom wasn’t that organized… but knowing that my mom was coming, I made sure both the house and apartment looked the best they could! It was like a compulsion.. And it was no easy task to accomplish because I’m basically living in two places.

Today was a hard day otherwise.. Logan is in Hawaii for the weekend and should be back in Washington very early in March. I foolishly expected him to text or call more than he seemed to want to and today just didn’t go how I expected. Sighs.. being a Navy wife is definitely taking some getting used to… and realizing that my husband WILL act different around different people and realizing that I don’t always like my husband. I think that’s the thing about marriage even more so than dating; not liking your significant other is not reason to run away. You have to work it out. And when the person you’re married to runs away, it hurts, because you’re left there alone, holding your relationship together.

Blah, blah, I don’t know. I’ve got my cup of coffee and Kitchen Nightmares on Hulu.com to keep me company for the next hour until I have to leave.

 

Telling my MIL

I haven’t always been on the best terms with my mother in law. To keep a long story short, I was not exactly the girl she thought her son would want to marry. That is all water under the bridge now, so they say.

My husband and I had been keeping our hopes to have a baby mostly to ourselves. When we first started trying last June I told my best friend, and he told a few work buddies. When my mom asked a few months later, I told her and she told my sisters. I still don’t know if my Dad knows, and we haven’t talked about it. The decision to keep it to ourselves was a simple one. I was pretty sure we would be trying for a while and I didn’t want everyone to keep asking if we had any news. Looking back now, I am happy with that decision.. It’s been eight months now and the only thing I have to show for it is, well, nothing. I am having some blood work done to check my hormone levels but that’s fairly routine for a preconception health checkup. I feel like it has been long enough now that I can be more open about this journey. Maybe hearing my story will help others out there that are in their 20 somethings and having trouble conceiving. I wish it was as easy as a drunken night, but it hasn’t been for us..

Anyway, along the same line of keeping this to ourselves, I have this policy that if I’m asked something point blank, I won’t lie. I don’t go out of my way to share everything with everyone, but if asked, I feel like it’s important to be honest, so when my mother in law brought up kids and if we knew when we wanted to start trying, I told her we already had been trying. She was surprised, but oddly supportive. It was definitely NOT the reaction I expected from her considering just a year ago she was completely against our relationship. I think she is trying to repair the damage that was done to our relationship (mine and hers) before I married her son, and I appreciate that. I don’t like the probable fact that she may tell my brother and sister in law, but that’s something I knew in the back of my mind when I told her.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I wanted this blog to be an open forum for me to share anything I wanted.. A safe place to get things off my chest and I’m going to start doing a little more of that. Previously, I have felt a little embarrassed posting about baby stuff, but I don’t know why. It is my life. Having a baby is a decision that I have tried to push away for a while now, and it keeps coming back up in my heart, so here we are. This month is obviously a break month because DH is gone and I think it’s just what we needed. I will keep anyone who is interested updated if anything changes..