Having been gone so long, where do I start? Should I start with our failed efforts to find yet another therapist to save our marriage? Should I talk about my dear friend who passed away days before another horrible fight with my husband, a combination that left me in an incredibly calm and focused state of mind, seeing clearly for the first time what I needed to do to change my life? Should I talk about how hard it was to tell our kids we were getting a divorce, and that Daddy would be moving out? Maybe I should talk about how great it was to come home for the very first time to a house that no longer had him living in it. I could also tell you how hard it was to do a 45+ minute commute through traffic every day to get two hungry and tired kids home, but that part no longer applies and I’d rather tell you about my beautiful new house that has two fireplaces, a family room, and a location that cuts my commute down to 10 minutes, 15 in traffic. Also, it has forced air and heat. And recessed lights and a playroom attached to the garage with a yard large enough to accommodate a trampoline that will be arriving on December 25th. Have I mentioned how much I love it?
I would like to tell you about how stressful going through a divorce can be with someone who is incredibly anxious about work and money, and who also decided that it would be a good idea to go off his anti-anxiety meds around the same time we decided to get a divorce. I save all of his emails – good, nasty, friendly, or neutral – and hope I only need them to look back on to remind me of how crazy it felt being married to him.
My day-to-day is spent dealing with details. We are selling our house, but will probably not be able to make any more mortgage payments so I am bracing myself for a plummeting credit score. I try not to think about the fact that I owned my own home as a single 30 year old, and that all real estate we have today is because of that tiny little house. Instead, I feel lucky that I found this new house when I did, so I don’t need to worry about bad credit impacting my ability to find a place to live. My lease is for 14 months, after which I plan to renew for at least another year if they’ll have me. My credit score will rebound, and I have no desire to own anything for a long time. I am in charge of paying for the staging of the house we are selling, paying for the handyman to do all the repair work, figuring out how in the world we will come up with the security deposit my ex spent like water over a year ago…he has no money, and no prospects at this time. I know it sounds crazy, but he’s not a freeloader. He is incredibly careless, irresponsible, and often times delusional. I am keeping track of what he owes me, and I hope to get my money back. I'm pretty sure I'll get most of it back, but I'm also pretty sure I won't get all of it. I feel so lucky my parents can help with these expenses so that I can sleep at night. I also know that this is slowly unraveling and sorting itself out, and we are much closer today to figuring it all out than we were 3 months ago. And 3 months from now we’ll be even closer to sorting it out than we are now. So I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and trying to deal with whatever is directly in front of me and not worry about what is coming next.
A good friend asked me the other day, “Is there ANYTHING about him you miss?” I think I can honestly say no. There isn’t. I miss a lot of things on behalf of my kids though. I miss them having a dad who lives at home with them, who they can see whenever they want and ignore the rest of the time. I miss the fact that my son never used to have to think about what toys he wants to play with and where, and am sad that he now has to try to remember everything, or deal with the fact that we have forgotten something. But I don’t miss my ex at all. The tension in my home is gone. The stress of having to live around the space his moods took up is gone. I don’t think I ever had a real partner, so I don’t miss that. I never felt like I had much to say to him, I never felt like we had anything fun that we enjoyed doing together, so I don’t miss that. I don’t miss my marriage because I really don’t think I had one in the first place. And while I think the kids miss having him at home with us, I know for a fact that our house is happier and more peaceful than it’s been in their lifetime(s) and I see that fact in little things they do or say every day. We are all freer, lighter, and more relaxed.
The details of my life right now are so much more complicated, and require so much energy and effort….and yet I am enjoying my life so much more than I have in many years. Physically it’s harder, but emotionally, it’s like riding on a cloud.