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

Eye of the Hurricane

The hurricane has been super sick lately. I am talking a fever that rapidly climbed from 101 degrees (fahrenheit, for my non-US readers) to 105.4 degrees at its highest, and stayed mostly in the 103-105 degree range. Crazy, crazy high temps for a little tot. Way too close for comfort to the 107.6 degrees when brain damage can occur. Five trips to the doctors office, at least a dozen necessary doses of fever reducing medication, and one entire day spent at the ER later… he has/had not only an ear infection, but strep throat, which is apparently super rare in toddlers. I had the most difficult time finding a doctor or nurse that would take me seriously. I cannot tell you how many times I was told “toddlers do not get strep, this is probably just a virus.” The thing is, everyone who has access to the internet knows viruses rarely cause high fevers, and are even more rare to stick around as long as the hurricane had symptoms, which was for over twelve days, in case you were wondering. Still not sure how he caught it, because everyone, anyone who had or has had any contact with him, has not come down with strep themselves. Most importantly now, special shout out to my mom for coming down and spending the second half of this past week with us so that I could return to work.

And so now, the national exam is just a hop, skip and a jump away. Scary. I am not ready and yet so ready to have it over with at the same time. All of this studying and stressing is so reminiscent of college, around times when a big exam was coming up and I just missed having down time that was all my own…the time that does not already belong to one obligation or another. But I am way committed to finishing this, this year. Can’t stop. I did consider rescheduling due to lack of proper study time, what with work and the hurricane being ill, but decided against that idea. Plus, I did pass the practice exam I took yesterday, so here’s hoping for these final weeks of studying landing me a good score.

In the past month there have been a couple awkward, boundary-pushing text conversations between the ex-husband and me. My daily Divorce Care emails are just about done, having covered all five areas of grief, and are now heavily focusing on reconciliation, not that he could possibly know that, not that we are ever going to be candidates for the remarriage part of reconciling. I definitely feel comfortable saying that I hope some day we have a friendly relationship.. but at the same time know that may never be possible, because he may never do his part of the work to get there, and that does make me a little sad. Dream ideal would be me and my husband sitting with him and his wife with our families watching the hurricane’s high school or college graduation. That might be a little bit of a stretch but it is at least fifteen years away. A lot has happened in five years, considering I was still in college and not even engaged to be married five years ago at this time. Just imagine what might go down in the next fifteen…

I think that about wraps up the past forty-ish days since I was last able to squeeze in some writing time. Special hello to the random rush of new readers here, as well to the one or two potential regulars I seem to have from Brazil. I hope this blog is as nice an escape from your daily routine as it has become mine.

As always,

Michelle

ps. Next time you make pepperoni pizza from the freezer section add sliced avocado and sour cream after it’s cooled for a minute or two. Thank me later. Unless you’re on a diet, in which case you did not hear this from me.

A Long Weekend

It is difficult coming to terms with the fact that I was openly lied to for years, and didn’t catch on. “Used and abused,” as bluntly phrased by my dad. A fact made even more difficult because I pride myself in being honest. I could blame myself for being too trusting, too open but even now, I don’t see those as faults. I was presented with this person, and only realized when I was being discarded, that it was a facade. I apologize in advance if you thought me going public with the divorce would mean the end of all divorce-type talk. I wish it were, and eventually I will run out of things to say, but I could write a whole chapter about this weekend in the chronicles of this divorce.

My ex-huband booked the flight weeks ago, letting me know his intentions to visit the weekend our divorce was final via a copy of his flight itinerary. Classy, right? I would have suggested just about any other weekend besides this past one…

I was nervous to see him, unsure how I would feel. And I felt nothing. I always, always used to smile when I saw him, and I didn’t. No happy or upset butterflies. Just the perfect amount of nothingness. We had lunch, Elliott and the ex bonded over Elliott’s favorite movie, Brave, and we concluded the day with some playtime at the park. It went better than I expected. Welcome to the land of co-parenting, population three.

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I could write a separate post for this, but I would rather not spend too much more time thinking about it. I’m not even going to bother making it a pretty story, or blending it into what I’ve said above, so I hope you can follow along.

I joined OKcupid a few weeks ago. Middle, younger sister said I needed to practice talking to guys after being off the market so long. I haven’t met anyone worth writing about. A lot of creepers, a mutual penpal type or two that I can write in the random empty moments in my day. It’s been interesting, to say the least. The ex must have recently joined, and searched me out, because I got a notification in my email that he was checking out my profile. Odd, I thought, so I took a look at his profile. We showed as a 27% match, and the answers to at least half the “get to know me” questions he had answered were appalling to me. To say why exactly, might border on slander, but it definitely showed he wasn’t kidding when he drunkenly said I never knew him. So I asked him in a message on the site, why lie about everything? 

“I lied to keep you in my life.”… [insert some other stuff about thinking it might have just been a “bad patch” here]

Probably a true answer, but bad enough to send me on a pity spiral about trusting a pathological liar. And so I text messaged my sister who got me on the site in the first place, and she brought me back down to Earth. Sisters are so good for that. If this divorce has taught me nothing else, and it has taught me a lot, it would be that I need good, honest people in my life… and that I could sit here and pity myself for the life I’ve been dealt, for the wool being pulled over my eyes, for being the unlucky “car” in a seriously messed up game of LIFE, or choose to move on.

I don’t get to write up a wild dating profile about the party life and all that entails, but it’s okay. I get to be someone better. Saturday night I held my baby boy as he fell asleep like I have most nights of his life. I kissed his head before laying him down in his crib and turned out the light on one more day moving forward.

I married a bad guy. I trusted him with my heart and he betrayed me…That doesn’t make me a bad person.

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Divorced.

Hi there, and welcome to the story of the end of my marriage.

I hesitated momentarily, months ago, when deciding whether or not this should be a public topic on my blog. It took a google search of  the question, “where do I go from here?” to make me realize that I needed to write about it, simply because no one else does. I have been advised to just say “it didn’t work out…the deployments…lack of communication” but I’ll save the sugar coated story for a later time. I’ve edited old posts with a new appreciation for where I am and hope to tell nothing more than the truth. Going through a divorce? Entrigued as to what I have to say about mine? Click through the links to previously private posts that I have written.

This story begins with this post written over a year ago. It was a venting post, about a fight we had had. The problems I talk about are ones we had all along. They were there when we lived in South Carolina and they were there the day we undid “I do.” Looking back at it now, it is a shockingly accurate foreshadow of what was to come, if only I had been able to see it then. A month later, things still weren’t looking up.

Then we got news that the December 2012 deployment was going to start in August. To add insult to that injury, they were told while already two weeks into a month long training stent in San Diego. Brutal news.

He came home from the month long underway two weeks later and we went to a few counseling sessions. At the time, I thought we left the sessions stronger, but looking back it was probably all lies on his end. The deployment began a short while later, I wrote about missing him all the time and a few months passed. November came, bringing with it a bad cold followed by a scary bout of bronchitis. Ended up in the ER and felt no sympathy from the sailor. Struck me as odd, but I brushed it off when he explained that its hard to show emotion when he can’t do anything about it being so far away. Spent a few weeks being avoided because I was so sick and contagious and fell into a bit of depression. Being eight months pregnant and alone is really lonely and sharing this post is hard, because reading it just now, I can still feel how sad I was when I wrote it. I didn’t want anyone to know I was struggling.

And then my mom came into town for the birth of her first grandchild and I felt even further away from the sailor than I had before. I wrote a post with the definition of the word “dissonance” as the original title, because it described our relationship perfectly. It wasn’t the last time I would write a post on that topic.

Our son was born, and my life changed in ways I never imagined possible. I stopped blogging for the most part, focused on surviving through months of little to no sleep. I emailed the sailor daily, sent pictures all the time, told him all about our son. It didn’t bring us closer together. And the dissonance creeped in once again.

That was the last post I wrote about our marriage before it was already over. The next post on the topic of our relationship was written after the divorce papers were signed. As part of the dividing of household assets, I got both of the laptops purchased as gifts during the marriage for us and found cookies on his web browser proving his porn problem had been back for a while. He had fessed up to that in a drunken phone call, but I had no tangible proof up until then.

We were in California  a week when it hit me that I was never going “home”  to that home again. And as we settled in, I began sorting through all my newly acquired “baggage”. I had so many questions I will never know the answers to, and I slowly worked on forgiving myself for getting so deep into a loveless marriage. It wasn’t easy. There were times I couldn’t get the memories of moments long gone out of my head. I met a mom friend who went through this same situation, ten years into her marriage and was thankful to have gotten out sooner than that.

Then I had an important breakthrough…that I didn’t regret getting married. Even so, the feeling of being a single, divorced, working mom weighed on me. By this point, I was doing okay for the most part. Looking for a job I would like, having play dates with the next door neighbor and her two little girls. There were days I would stumble across and old, happy photo of us and I would pause and wonder if it was a real moment, but for the most part was finding a new definition of happy.

I stalled out for a while, mostly accepting everything that had happened, until I met Texas. He sparked something in my heart I hadn’t felt for a long time, hope. I know it will sound stupid, but those who believe will understand that I know we crossed paths for a reason. A few non-date, hang outs later and here I am… A single, divorced mom.

Welcome to my beautifully random life.

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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.

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