I know I have been remiss about posting, and I apologize. This single mom stuff is for the birds at times. But, I want to reflect on the past, update the present, and look forward to the future as this year is coming to a close. Grab some coffee…this may take a while.
The divorce is almost final. This has been the longest divorce on record where there is nothing to split but debt. It’s been insane and exhausting. He wants the divorce, with every cell of his being, but he wants to leave without supporting us. He has decided that walking away from me includes walking away from ALL responsibility. He decided that he didn’t like the fact that you can’t just do that, so when he was ordered to pay me, he quit his job.
Quit. His. Job.
I realized at that point that I was on my own. I have to assume this seemingly never-ending cycle of sadness with a side of self-doubt will eventually come to an end. Especially since I can look at what I’ve accomplished in the past three months and basically tell him to go jump in the lake. I went out and found a great new job. (I had many friends and family members who reached out to help me with this endeavor…if I forgot to thank you, thank you!) and I am supporting my kids by myself. Not that we aren’t counting every penny, not that I still won’t lose everything we worked for in our marriage…the house will be foreclosed. BUT, I will be able to stay here long enough to have my daughter graduate with her friends. I will be here long enough to let my son finish out the school year. I will be able to pick a place to move that fits my current life. I will be okay. The daily reminders won’t be so front and center. I won’t catch glimpses of him and our past out of the corner of my eye everyday. I won’t wake up in our bed, in our room, in our home. I will wake up in my bed, in my room, in my home.
And, as painful and sad that it is that I’m losing everything, I have gained much as well. I have a renewed sense of self-confidence. Look what I can do! I don’t NEED him. You don’t love me? You don’t want me? You won’t pay what you owe? That speaks to you and your personality buddy, not me or mine! And that, right there is the answer to these questions: How can he just walk away? How can he do this to me? Because HE is broken.
Part of that confidence has come from leaning on my family and friends. I have met people (both online and in real life) that I never would have met had this not occurred. I have done things I never thought I could/would do. I have forged a new path. I have a job that I’m kicking ass at, I am making Christmas happen for my kids, I rediscovered my creativity, and I know now that I am the strong one and I always have been. I have been able to cut through the bullshit he piled on my plate on the way out the door and decipher what was really happening. I have picked out the times where he was truly being honest, like the times before I knew about her when he told me there was nothing wrong with me but something very wrong with him, and shone the light on those statements. Now that I am able to look back and see the whole picture, those bits of honesty are easier to pick out.
Through this process, I have created hard boundaries that I am sticking to. I used to put up with so much from people because I thought it was necessary to keep the peace. But the hypocrisy of my so-called family (in-laws) to whom I have been sister and daughter to for the past 20 years has taught me that it is okay to stick to my guns. The fact that they all dropped me, no questions asked, and won’t even reach out to help my children is probably one of the biggest eye-openers of this whole situation. You’ll buy a goat for a village in Africa, but you won’t see if your own grandchildren or nieces and nephew need food? Because they did need food. I realized that the head-in-the-sand mentality is something I don’t need, or want in my life. This is a family so deep in denial that I actually received a Christmas card from his Aunt in Florida, addressed to all of us (including him), telling us how much she loves us and keeps us in her prayers. No one told her? No one? Really? Who lives life like that?
I look at the people I have in my life now and realize that I get to keep them there because I WANT to keep them there. I get to choose. It’s very liberating.
I still struggle, daily, with the fact that I am getting a divorce. I don’t believe in divorce. It’s not an option. I made a promise. I made a commitment. What was so horrible with our life that it has to come to this? Why? Why? Always why. But, I am finally able to realize that the answer to all of those whys is the same…it’s him. I am not blameless for the bumps in the road of our relationship. I take full responsibility for my portion of my marriage. But I will not take responsibility for this divorce. That is on him. He left. He cheated. He gave up and refused to work at our relationship. He is why. I just have to work on the forgiving part. Not for his sake, but for mine.
So, I have been doing all of this work now. I have been healing, and growing stronger, and truly working on myself now. I am getting better, everyday. So many of you said it would happen and I didn’t believe you. But you were right. Which makes me think you are right about the rest of it. He is unemployed, living with his parents, dating a woman who was willing to break up a marriage…his life isn’t real right now.
But it will be.
She’s going to go away at some point (or not, and I really don’t care because they deserve each other). He can’t be unemployed or live with his parents forever.
And one day he’s going to wake up and realize what he did.
And he will regret.
But, by then, I’ll be the one who is gone.
You guys have been right about everything else, surely you’re right about this too.