Archive | October, 2012

Beyond Blessed

28 Oct

Today I just want to count my blessings. Throughout this ordeal, my loved ones have shown me just how much they love me.

Last Wednesday was tough. It was overdue, though. Monday and Tuesday evenings – my first on my own – had gone entirely too well. Wednesday night all I could think of were the times I was not very nice to my husband. My sister let me cry to her on the phone. We got off the phone, and she texted me a few minutes later. She and her husband wanted to drive to see me this weekend!! My sister lives 5 hours away. I had no words to express the appreciation I felt. A 10-hour drive to see me for just a day. How lucky am I?

My car has been acting up for about a week. On Thursday evening, one of my friends/coworkers spent several hours looking into what was up. He drove it around, changed the tires around, drove around some more, put off his dinner. His lovely wife sat with me and comforted me and let me hold their beautiful baby. Later on today, I’m going to their house to watch one of my favorite shows. So lucky.

The weekend with my sister and my brother-in-law was fantastic. They helped me babysit my friend’s baby, who was simply adorable and helped keep my mind off of things.

I am so lucky. I need to keep reminding myself of all of my blessings. I told a friend of mine that I feel overwhelmed by the support. She said, maybe not overwhelmed; maybe enveloped. I like enveloped better.

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Bringing Yourself to the Present

24 Oct

I went to another support group today. It was also helpful and left me with hope for what’s to come. I don’t know what I’d do without support. I’m sure there was a time when people had to deal with divorce without professional help and without hearing others’ stories. I don’t know how those folks made it. There are so many things I have to be grateful for.

I had a bit of a hard time today at work, and my friend gave me a helpful tip: If I find myself panicking about something about which I have no control (like his response to the divorce petition), focus on something directly in front of you and describe it. Bring yourself back to the present. I tried to focus on the building across the street from my office, but all I could think of was going in there to buy nail polish with him. I will continue to try that though.

Today’s 3 good things:

1. My friend BP. She came by to check on my pup and let him out. She also took the boxes of pictures of my husband to her house so I don’t have to have them here. My part: Cultivating this friendship. I’ve been friends with BP since the very first day we started work at our company 12 years ago. I love that girl.

2. Support groups. Wow. Strangers sharing their pain for the benefit of other strangers. It’s a beautiful thing. I shared my methods of coping, these 3 good things and my part in them. My part: Being open and realizing I need help to get through this.

3. Being productive at work! My awesome coworker AG brought an issue to my attention, and I spent some time working on figuring out the problem. I continued my momentum, and it felt great to focus 100% on work and not 80% on work, 20% on the divorce. My part: Focus? Maybe it really will get easier?

Tomorrow’s goals:

1. I’m carrying over today’s goal to tomorrow. I got home pretty late, so I didn’t get a lot of time to start the reorg.

2. Have a little perspective. Right now I feel like I’m dying and that my life is over. And yes, the most giant and important part of my life is over. But listening to other peoples’ stories makes me realize that other people have lost more than I have.

Utter Fail

23 Oct

Friday was a tremendous fail. My vision of handing the bag over and walking away did not happen. I’ve relived the meeting over and over and talked it out with friends, so I’m not going to go into it here. Suffice to say that it was painful to see him.

On Sunday it hit me: We are really getting a divorce. He really isn’t coming back. This is really over. I was in the middle of watching Pitch Perfect, and I wanted to run out of the theater. I calmed down, but the emptiness and sadness were overwhelming. I’m losing my husband, my home.

Today I went to a divorce support group. The people there are in different stages of the divorce process and different places in their healing; they have different problems that come with divorce and different reasons for ending their marriages. My heart hurt listening to the stories, but at the same time it was comforting to be around people who are facing or have faced the same pain I’m facing. I felt hopeful, seeing people who are further along and who tell me that they were in the same place I am and how much better they’re doing now. I was also reminded how lucky I am that I’m not fighting for custody of children.

Today’s 3 good things:

1. My mom. Seriously. My mom was here for me this entire week, cleaning my house, holding me, cooking for me. Just her presence is comforting. I know she’s hurting, too. She opened her home and her heart to my husband. She’s losing a son, as well. She was so strong for me. Having her here was invaluable.

2. My aunt. Again, my aunt left her grandchildren and her kids to come and stay with me. She listened and opened her heart to me. She wrote me a beautiful letter where she reminded me of everything I have. She’s right. I’m very lucky, even though I’m going through a divorce.

3. My dog. I left him alone for more than 10 hours, and he didn’t have an accident. I felt like a terrible momma, but he was a champ. We’re going to make it, my dog and me. We really are.

Bonus good thing: My coworker. He wrote me a very nice email letting me know he was thinking of me. I can’t stop thinking of how lucky I am to have people in my corner, rooting for me to heal and come out of this stronger.

Tomorrow’s goals:

1. Start reorganizing my craft room. Yes. I’m a huge papercrafting dork. I love it. I don’t anticipate doing much scrapbooking in the next few months. After all, he and I and our travels were the main subjects of my scrapbooking. So I want to get my room in order so that I can concentrate on making cards and making other pretties. I’m not going to lose my hobby in this ordeal.

I’m going to keep it at that one. I’ve been feeling a bit like a failure for not meeting all of my goals lately. Baby steps, right?

Moments of Peace

19 Oct

Today was the first day since the ordeal that the alarm woke me up. I was still sleepy, so I let myself sleep in. Sleep has been in short supply lately, so I was grateful. During work, I felt long stretches of peace. I’m not delusional enough to think that everyday from here on out is going to feel better and better than today. I know that I’ll take steps forward and steps back. Yesterday I told my therapist that I desperately want to see him soon because I don’t want to wait several weeks and then have to start back at square one once I do see him. She told me that I’ve already started healing and that I won’t be back at square one. I certainly hope so, because I am going to see him tomorrow. It will be brief, it will be at my office, and I have the option of bringing a friend along if I can’t see him alone. I don’t know what I’m expecting. In the escapist romantic comedy in my head, he rushes to me and apologizes and tells me that he regrets everything he’s done and that he wants us to work hard at giving it another go. The reality is that I can already see his face completely void of any emotion, his voice cold as he takes the bag I’m going to hand to him. On the night he asked for the divorce, he told me he wanted me to still be a part of his life, a part of his niece’s and nephew’s lives. But that was before he told me the complete truth for why he wanted the divorce. He was still lying to me at that point. I have to stop putting ideas in my head that there is going to be anything except the man who has been looking me straight in the eye and lying to me for the past 6 months.

Today’s 3 good things:

1. No crying. I went the entire day without breaking down. Yeah, my voice wavered when I talked about him, but I didn’t break down. My part: I’m not sure. Maybe today is just an oddball day.

2. One Direction. Seriously, have you heard that song, What Makes You Beautiful? I’ve heard of this One Direction business before, but I hadn’t paid attention to them (obviously, I’m not their target demographic). But that song is peppy and catchy, and it puts me in a good mood. I bought it and listened to it over and over today. Am I ashamed to use this cheestastic song to keep me upbeat? Not at all. My part: I don’t know. Not taking myself so seriously that I have to listen to grown-up music all the time?

3. Played games with my mom and aunt. I don’t feel like I’ve been interacting with my mom and aunt while they’ve been here, so tonight we played some card games. It was fun! My part: I let myself have fun!

Tomorrow’s goals:

1. Be strong when I see him. Just say hello, ask how he’s doing, and hand him the bag.

2. Get to work early. Have a super productive workday.

I think I’m going to leave it at 2 goals for tomorrow. Seeing him is huge.

I’m finally catching up on TV from last week. Modern Family was one of our shows. The show was hilarious, but it was bittersweet to watch without him. On the second episode, the Dunphys mentioned a couple who didn’t have children and were always traveling. That used to be us. The childless couple who traveled and had no worries. Not so much it turns out.

Wedding Rings and Honeymoons

18 Oct

Each morning is a punch to the gut. When I wake up, I remember what’s happening all over again. It takes some time to get past that and tell myself to get up, that today will be another day under my belt and that when enough days pass, I won’t wake up to the sinking realization that my marriage is over.

I had emailed back and forth with his sister, who is going through her own divorce. Her anger and hurt for me when I asked her if he had told her what he had done made me feel devastated. I can’t explain why. Maybe it was the pain in her words. As I was adjusting to that hurt, I walked over to put some chapstick on his nightstand and I saw it – his wedding ring. He had left it  on his nightstand. I choked a little bit and then then I lost it. I texted a friend who called me right away and let me cry for 20 minutes. She made me put his ring somewhere I couldn’t see it.

Numbness was taking over when I remembered that I needed to bring a notebook for my therapist appointment. I grabbed a notebook from my closet, one that looked empty until I flipped to the first couple of pages. It was my trip overview of our honeymoon. I couldn’t rip the pages out fast enough. I almost tore the entire notebook. I wanted to stay home from work, but staying home from work was only going to make me sit in that house with his presence all around me.

I’m not quite sure how I made it through the work day until my therapy appointment. It felt so good to sit in there with a familiar, professional face. I told her the entire story and sobbed. I felt much calmer after the session, and I get to see her again in a week.

Today’s 3 good things:

1. My therapist said I was miles ahead of where people usually are. I had brought in a list of things that have been on my mind to our session, and she said I should continue to make lists. I mentioned this blog, and she was very impressed and that’s when she said I was miles ahead. My part: Forcing myself to write about this crap every night, even when I don’t want to. Throughout the day, I keep my eye out for “good things” so I can add them here. It forces me to find the good in the muddled day.

2. My mom made one of my favorite dishes! It’s only been the past 2 days that I’ve regained an appetite and felt actual hunger. My part: Being lucky and having an awesome mom.

3. I threw out mementos. Yes, I lost it when I opened the box and saw all of the ticket stubs, playbills, restaurant coasters, tourist brochures, postcards, and all of the stuff in that box that represented our 12-year relationship. We had some good times. How can he throw away all of those good times? He must really, really hate me to give up everything we’ve built. My mom held me while I cried, which was so comforting. My part: After my good cry, I bucked up, separated the mementos I wanted to keep and walked the rest of them to the outside trash can. You know it’s serious when stuff goes directly in the outside trash can.

Goals for tomorrow:

1. Write notes to myself to put around the house. I started reading a book, How to Survive the Loss of a Love, and it tells me to keep repeating to myself “I am alive. I will survive.” Yeah, it’s cheesy as hell and that disco song plays in my head when I repeat it, but I think there’s gotta be something to seeing, hearing, and repeating positive stuff like that. Another one I plan to use is “You can do anything.”

2. Seriously start continue the paperwork. I made a step today by making a copy of the legal paperwork so that I have a backup in case I mess up. Scratch that. I’m going to at least write the address of the house on it right this second. OK, so tomorrow I will continue working on that.

3. Pick up the crap that is strewn about the house. My mom and aunt cleaned the house so it’s sparkling. I need to pick up all the junk that’s just laying around.

Wandering the Bookstore

17 Oct

Last Tuesday night was the day I knew it was definitely over. I had spent nearly 2 days trying to convince him to give us another chance. Tuesday morning he said that I was right – we had lots of history, we could make it work. Then Tuesday night came his just kidding, it’s not going to work out and by the way, I need to tell you something unbelievably important.

Tonight my mom, aunt, and I went to the bookstore as part of my goal #3 for the day. The bookstore was one we’d been to countless times before. It felt so empty being there, knowing I wouldn’t come home to show him my books. To make things worse, I looked for books that he had purchased for me on his account for the Kindle for our last trip. I wanted to finish reading the books, and I knew I wouldn’t get to do that on the Kindle. I didn’t find any of them, and all I kept thinking was, seriously, universe? I can’t even get some freaking books?  But I did find Tina Fey’s Bossypants in paperback. So, I felt a little bit less crappy.

I managed to accomplish my goals I set for today. It felt good to run my mile. I had signed us up for a 5K for the end of October. I’m trying to decide whether to go ahead and run it by myself.

Today’s 3 good things

1. My therapist can see me tomorrow. I’ve been working with her in a career counselor capacity for a few months and had an appointment to see her later in October. My part: When this whole thing happened, I decided to reach out and get help. I emailed my therapist to see if I could come in sooner instead of waiting until later. I am so thankful she can see me tomorrow. I feel like Bob Wiley in What About Bob? Baby steps to 4 o’clock, baby steps to 4 o’clock.

2. I did not contact him. This is only the second day that I haven’t contacted him. It is so difficult to completely cut someone out of your life after he’s been in it every single day since 2001. My part: Being strong.

3. I attended a meeting at work and contributed. Work has obviously been extremely difficult. Last week there was an internal conference that I tried to attend. The topics were super interesting, but I could not concentrate. I could barely breathe in the sessions. So this is kind of a step. My part: Forcing myself to focus on the meeting.

4. Bonus good thing: My sister-in-law contacted me. She’s also going through a divorce. I’ve been wanting to commiserate with her, but I knew I needed to let him tell his family on his own time.

Tomorrow’s goals:

1. Buy boxes for pictures. Since my mom is here, I’m going to ask her to put away all of our photos and mementos in a box. I don’t need to see that stuff.

2. Start research for a giant project at work. I have written an outline for an upcoming project. Now it’s time to do it.

3. Begin answering questions for the enormous stack of legal papers. It has to be done.

Was today better than yesterday? I can’t really say yes. I felt some true rage today. That was a nice change from utter depression.

Nursing a Broken Heart

16 Oct

My husband of 9.5 years asked for a divorce 8 days ago. This has been the most painful week I’ve ever experienced. I am broken, angry, hopeless, scared, restless … but above all, my heart hurts and I can’t shake the sinking/panicked feeling in the pit of my tummy.

One of the dozens of websites I’ve looked at in my desperate search for answers and for healing, I found some advice to write down 3 good things that happened each day and how I played a part in them. So, I’m going to try that.

1. My dog got a walk. He’s been pretty restless, too, so it was nice to get him outside for some air. My part: dragging myself out of bed, taking a shower, and taking him out for a little while.

2. Troubleshot an issue with my computer. I changed usernames/passwords or something on my computer and then was unable to log back in. I panicked and called a friend and then texted my soon-to-be-ex-husband. I managed to calm down and google the problem on my phone. Basically, I just needed to reboot. And that fixed it. My part: Calming down and googling. For years, I managed to troubleshoot my issues all on my own, so I need to get back to that place.

3. My friends and family continue to be supportive. My lovely mom and my lovely aunt have taken time out of their lives to come and stay with me this week. My friends have truly rallied around me, texting me, hugging me, sending me sweet words of encouragement, letting me stay at their houses, offering me their guest rooms, offering me help moving, offering to bring me a meal, just listening to my analysis of the breakdown of the marriage for the 1000th time at all hours of the day or night. The amount of love I’ve gotten is overwhelming and moving. My part: I’m not really sure. I am lucky to have friends and family like the ones that I have. Maybe they are here for me because I am a good person.

I’m going to write my goals for the next day, too. But it’s going to be OK if I don’t get to them all. I don’t need to beat myself up more than I’ve been beating myself up over the past days. The goals are just here to give me something to work on.

1. Run 1 mile.

2. Do something fun in the evening with my mom and aunt. Maybe watch a movie or go to a bookstore.

3. Finish fixing a bug at work.

I pray that each day gets easier as time goes on. Right now, that’s about all I can muster.