A Bittersweet Weekend

It’s been a busy and bittersweet weekend.

Friday I traveled back to my home state to visit my kids for Homecoming. I also said, “See you later” to My Girl, and I have no idea when later will be.

She wants me to write about this however I need to, and gave me the OK to give details.

She suffers from depression, and possibly PTSD, and also has anemia, and is going through menopause. Quite a lot to deal with at once! Her mother and grandmother both were severely depressed, and her mom tried to kill herself a few times.

My Girl has had a difficult time the last few months, and didn’t fully express herself to me. Then, a friend from her old life died suddenly at 47 from a suspected aneurysm, and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. My Girl spiraled quickly into darkness, and couldn’t get out. Her therapist had told her that loss brings loss…. And every loss brings the memories of her best friend’s suicide and her survivor’s guilt flooding back. This time, she couldn’t cope and Googled ways to kill herself that wouldn’t be too painful.

Then she decided she needed help, that she really didn’t want to kill herself.  Thank God for that! She told her therapist and they made arrangements to get My Girl into a residential treatment facility.

My Girl told me we needed to talk, but that it was a good thing and it would bring us closer, she wasn’t breaking up with me. Unfortunately she is not good with serious conversations, and either blurts it out or puts it off as long as possible hoping for the best time to tell me.  This time she waited, because I was happy and she didn’t want to ruin it. I had finally gotten to go on a business trip to my new firm’s corporate office, and my visit with my children was coming up.

Finally she told me, and it certainly was not what I expected! It was difficult and I had so many conflicting emotions, and felt selfish too. I didn’t want her to go across the country. I didn’t know it was so bad. I was the last to know because she made as many arrangements as she could so I wouldn’t have to worry about as much. I was worried about her.

I cried a lot that weekend. Then I realized that I would rather she go and get the help she needs than to have to live with knowing she asked for help and I didn’t listen and she couldn’t live in pain anymore. I am lost when we are apart, but at least right now our separation is temporary. I can’t bear a permanent separation.

Later I told her she had a “Get busy living or get busy dying” (The Shawshank Redemption) moment. Seek help or don’t. Find ways to express this pain and learn tools to cope, or don’t. She wants to live, and be the best person she can be, for both of us. I am thankful for that.

Treatment is extensive, and is a minimum of 2 weeks. She expects to be there about a month.

So Friday, she brought me coffee on the way to work, and that was the last time I will see her for awhile. Saturday she left for the treatment center, and checked in yesterday. She was finally able to call around 7:30 last night. They are allowed one call to tell family that they are safe, and then all contact with the outside world is cut off for a period of time. She can receive letters though, so that is good. Even though I knew she was going to be out of touch, I still kept checking my phone for her texts. We text a lot, and always say goodnight. I miss that already.

So I have a few more days here, and then I go back to my new home. Although it’s not home without My Girl. I will be taking care of her cats, so that will help me. And I guess I can work on my apartment, though I had decided to start looking for a house and so I may unpack only to have to pack it all up in a few months when my lease expires. But such is life I guess, things may change at any time and you have to just adjust the best you can even if it’s not convenient or easy.

But one good thing was that ex and I talked, and although he still guilt tripped me, he has become slightly less angry and is willing to let me have the kids for a week over Christmas and six weeks in the summer. Before,  Christmas was not an option and summer was about 3-4 weeks. Still, progress. We also agreed on a child support payment which is significantly less than the state would determine.

I see my therapist today, and I am so happy for that! The hour will go quickly though. While I want my time with my children to go slowly, I want all my other hours to fly by so that My Girl will be home.

It’s going to be a tough road for a bit, though certainly my road is paved and easier to travel compared to hers. I hope I can help her from afar.

 

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And Just When I Thought Things Were Settling…

I got hit with another curve ball.

Not from ex, he is still being the same controlling grouch he has been. Not with kids, they are fine and are happy they will see me this coming weekend.

It’s My Girl. I shouldn’t be surprised, we haven’t had an easy path by any means. No, we haven’t broken up and aren’t going to!

To protect her privacy, I am only going to say she made a really hard decision that will take her on a path she must travel alone for a little while.

It was a difficult weekend as I struggled with this decision. It hurt me that she is hurting so much and I couldn’t see it, that I couldn’t help her. But finally after many tears I came to a better understanding. I need her in my life, and I don’t want to have to live with any “if only she had gotten help….” thoughts.

Please if you pray, send one up for her, to be strong, to trust, and to heal.

My Grown-up Decision

I just made a call to a lender to get things rolling to pre-qualify to buy a house! Gulp! It hit me as soon as I hung up that this is really serious, that I am making plans for my life, my way. I am making grown-up decisions.

I realized that my apartment isn’t big enough for My Girl and I, my kids, our fur children, and all the stuff we have collected! Plus she has been having a hard time with her health so stairs are becoming a problem. It’s not life threatening thankfully!

I was torn about renting or buying a house before I moved, and ultimately decided that it would be too much to look for a house from another state. Plus with not knowing how long I would be unemployed, I didn’t think I would be approved for anything decent anyway.

But the other day, it just hit me that I should start looking for a one-story house, maybe a slight fixer upper, so that My Girl and I can live together and I can help her better, and help her get better. It was so strong, like when I thought I need to move to her state. It felt right.

I have never owned my own house, fully responsible. It’s an odd decision to make at this point in my life….but I also don’t think I want to rent forever and have no equity. It isn’t my first grown-up decision, but it still makes me feel excited and in awe that I can (hopefully) do this.

Today would have been my 18th wedding anniversary, so it’s fitting that I made the call today. It already seems so long ago that I was happy with him, but the pain of loss has not subsided. But I believe I am being guided by my angels and the Universe, so I trust that it is the right time to do this. If not now, when?

Life does go on.

 

 

And So, It’s Over

Late August I received an email from the lawyer that the paperwork was finalized. Today I received the settlement check.

And after nearly a year, I am divorced and off the mortgage. Out of his life, well as much as I can be with kids together. For as much aggravation as his lawyer caused, I didn’t expect the end to be so quiet, so anticlimactic, I guess.

I haven’t heard from him, except for a few very terse responses to my telling him I found a seamstress for our daughter’s homecoming dress and I made her hair appointment. That seems strange to me, that he has been so angry and passive aggressive the whole way, and now he is quiet. Is he happy? Relieved? Sad? Taking any responsibility? I don’t know. I guess it doesn’t really matter.

I don’t know how I feel. I’ve spent 20 years with him and have two amazing children I love so much. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that that chapter is closed. That he isn’t my forever. That now I will miss things my kids do. That I chose this path.

I know it’s just fresh. I know it will pass eventually. I hope the pain doesn’t take as long to fade as my divorce took to be final.

 

 

Hello From New Life!

So it’s been almost 2 months since I left my hometown and headed with “the boys” and my packed-to-the-roof van. Getting to that point was an adventure, thank God J let me keep some stuff in her garage! Next time everything but the daily essentials will get put on the moving truck! Ugh.

Anyway. My Girl and I survived the trip and still want to spend time together! If we can get through our respective divorces and a road trip, we can get through anything! 😝

Yes, I am feeling silly. Quite a lot has happened. Things are looking up.

1. Almost Ex finally got the divorce settlement papers signed! He pestered me to do mine and return them ASAP but no surprise there. My common response was don’t be mad at me, my lawyer kept my stuff moving!

2. Since I started this post a few weeks ago, his lawyer actually lost my signed divorce papers. I’m not kidding! My lawyer resent them to be signed again and said she would file them herself to make sure they were handled properly! It is almost 6 months past the 90 day waiting period. His lawyer is the worst!

3. My kids have called or texted me regularly, and I sent them “great job for the school year” gift cards and just for fun cards and spending money. They both sound fine and happy to talk to me. That is a huge relief.

4. I applied to five jobs and immediately had three phone interviews, and then had an in person interview a few days later. AND…they hired me and may not have talked to anyone else and I started within a few days of the offer!!!! It is a contract position in my field, so we can both decide if we want to continue the relationship after six months no strings or penalties. I never had that before but am looking at it as well it’s a definite income for the rest of the year so my credit cards can get a break! It’s wonderful having a steady income again!!! I haven’t told Almost Ex yet, though I did tell my daughter. He hasn’t bitched at me for not telling him so I am not sure he knows. He already informed me he was filing for support, which the support itself is not a problem, it’s the way he announced it.

5. I casually mentioned I moved on Facebook, and I didn’t receive many comments, and no negative comments about my kids. I know this shouldn’t surprise me, but I was worried I would hear at least one I’m being selfish or abandoning my kids. The people that matter know the reasons why things are the way they are, and I think I am finally getting to a point where I don’t care what people think. Lady Gaga’s Until It Happens to You has helped me get there.

6. I told a very dear friend that I was getting divorced and moving, and his response was so kind and supportive, and he told me I have always surprised him in good ways but never upset or disappointed him and he loves me still (in a fatherly way) and those words were so perfect and much needed when he said them!

7. My Girl and I have settled into our New Normal, and it seems as if I have always been here with her. We are not living together yet, because I wanted to introduce her to my children slowly, though their father prevented them from being here at all this summer. I’m going to visit them for a few days at the end of the month and I can’t wait! I’m hopeful that next summer they will be here with me. And also secretly hoping that they will want to live with me most of the time….but that’s a long way away at this point so better to stay in today and know I have plans in place to see them soon.

8. My Girl’s best male friends have invited us to go to the beach (My Girl’s hometown!) in August and I can’t wait! It has been a long time since I spent a whole week at the beach and I so need it! I’ve never been to this beach either. Pray no major deadlines come up at work that I can’t finish early and have to stay here! And pray that I can work a little extra the week before to make up a little of the time off too! As a contract worker I don’t get holiday pay or paid time off.  That sucks a bit but at least my credit cards will be paid on enough that I can use them if needed.

Sorry I was quiet so long. I was thrown into the deep end at work the second I walked in the door and was just too tired to write in the evenings, and weekends have been busy with unpacking and errands and dating My Girl too! Thanks for hanging around waiting. I’m glad I have you all to “talk” to!

Feeling Normal Again

A week ago I vacated my apartment and moved with my cats into my friend J’s basement.  I am staying with her during the week and staying with kid(s) at my old house on the weekends until next Tuesday.  6 days until new life begins! How crazy is that, when there were days I thought I would never get thru the darkness, never have a chance at happiness. And now, it is all less than a week away.

But anyway. It has been wonderful to stay with J and her boyfriend and her crazy pug. I realized it has been the beginning of my transition to my New Life. I don’t live in my apartment and don’t share custody of my kids, but it was not a sudden break from them. I feel like living with her I have come to be at peace with all this suddenly. It didn’t hurt that J’s boyfriend has been cooking incredible meals! 🙂

It has also been nice to have adult conversations and drink wine at the fire pit. We have had a variety of conversations, and he and I didn’t always agree, but it never got heated like I am used to. How refreshing and normal. They are so happy together and I am thrilled for J.

I also felt like baking a dessert today, which I haven’t done in forever. I made these Smore’s cups. I wanted something easy but also J had limited ingredients lol. They turned out good but messy!

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Then when I was looking for a container to put them in, an avalanche of lids and containers spilled out of the cabinet. Why I felt like doing it I don’t know. Lord knows I will have plenty to organize next week! I didn’t throw anything away, just nested container sets and put stray lids in a basket, but it felt good. I did it as a thank you, mostly, but it was also a little soothing for me creating order from chaos and helping J with something she didn’t have time to do.

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Random things, but signs that I am starting to adjust to the end of my Old Life. I’m ready to feel normal again.

On the Road to a New Normal

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Me and “the boys” huddled in the empty corner

In a few hours, most of my belongings will be making their way to their new home. I will be flying out at crack ass for unloading, then spending the weekend with My Girl…. If she still wants me after I become Ms. Cranky Exhausted Grouchypants from the too early flight and the stress of moving! 😜 I will be driving to stay, with “the boys,” at the end of the month.

It’s been an interesting day. Lots of emotions. Saw my therapist and she was so excited and supportive, and we made a treatment plan which allows me to be seen as far as four months out. She feels I have made great progress, but we haven’t even touched on the reason I was referred to her, my “sperm donor.” She can’t do phone calls or Skype, and since I will be coming back to see my kids, it should work out. She reminded me to stay in today, and realize many mistakes are still to be made, but many more successes too.

Then I had to deal with Probably Never Ex and he was such a pain in my butt! He was hovering over the movers making sure they didn’t wander through the house stealing things. Obnoxiously and loudly saying, “No, that doesn’t go.” after I had just told them what WAS going. I guess because I don’t have a clue as to what is mine or not.

I decided to stay in my apartment tonight because I have to leave around 3:30 a.m. and didn’t want to disturb J or her kids. I asked the movers to leave the chaise cushion to sleep on. Being here with just a few things reminds me of my first nights here after I left, only now the sadness isn’t the strongest emotion.

It truly is amazing how much things change in a short time. Now I am just a few weeks away from changing my life road and heading to a new normal.

We’ll see what happens….good or bad, but no regrets.