One Year On

The date of separation in my case was not emotionally the hardest time for me. A month later the emotions of it all caught up to me.  I think I was still too caught up in too many emotional things that I couldn't focus on the reality of the feelings I was having.

Right at the time of separation I was sitting at my dying childhood best friend's bedside at hospice at least one day a week, after driving 4-5 hours to be with him in his final weeks.  He died two days after the separation.

I was in physical therapy for a major foot injury for which my treatment options were 1) amputation and 2) total bed rest for 2 months plus and that was still not a guarantee I wouldn't lose the foot.

I had to attend the funeral of my friend with my estranged husband and the woman he carried on an affair with.  He had this affair while I was distracted sitting at my friend's bedside and did it pretty openly, with others finding out about it right when I did.  I was humiliated and lived through more than a month of deciding not to create drama with him or her while the focus was on my friend's passing.  He & I lived together that month, but he slept primarily on the couch. She was present at the funeral.  Yep, the three of us were there together.  And I felt I had to play nice, out of respect.   After the funeral the gloves came off.

I had to explain to my reproductive endocrinologist that we would not be starting infertility treatments as originally planned that month to overcome my XH's lack of sexual interest to start a family because we were splitting up.  That was one of the hardest conversations I've ever had because I genuinely felt my chances of having children were slipping between my fingers.

This year the only thing that happened in June was that my house had a natural gas explosion.  I can totally deal with that.  In fact, today I am starting to pack up my hotel to move home.  Construction continues but it is livable for the time being.

I have been telling people all year that I have been changing so much that I barely recognize myself anymore.  That I have become a totally new person.  I am wrong about that.  Thinking about it today I realize I am not a different person today than I was a year ago or even two years ago.  At my core I am still me and I always was me.  I just filtered through all the extraneous junk around me to become a more pure version of myself.  I have become a more empowered, more capable and more confident version of me.  My instincts that make me good at my job, my huge giving heart that makes me a wonderful friend and partner are just more pure and distinct, my BS-meter that was broken is now in-tune and ready for action.

On the last night of June last year one of my oldest childhood friends who is also divorced took me out to celebrate the Happy Half Year with some friends.  We were celebrating survival and a turning point for things to improve.  She has been a fantastic supporter but we've lost touch in recent months due to natural geography (she moved).  I will always be grateful to her for bolstering me during that time when I really needed it.

By the July 4th holiday though I was fully in roller coaster mode with thoughts in my head I would not act on but that I could not control either.  I was enjoying time with friends and family and yet -- my brain could not control or banish the overwhelming thoughts that I should just give up.  Obviously I did not give up.  But it was not easy.

I have lost friendships during this time.  Some were temporary, others were permanent.  Some married friends didn't know how to have me around as a friend anymore.  Getting a divorce made them perhaps have to question things in their marriages.  Single people who wanted to be married told me I was giving up too easily and did I not understand what a blessing marriage is...  Those married people who were secure in their relationships and pretty happy said things like "We know lots of cute guys" just days after the separation was announced.  It was like no one knew what to say or do with me anymore now that I was in this unknown category to them.  I was not 'single', 'married' or 'divorced'.  I was in transition.  And I was emotionally distraught and needed friends to be there for the first REAL time in my life.

Those who really supported me were divorced already.  Find others who are divorced or going through divorce when you are getting a divorce.  I highly recommend this.  Others may mean well but they just do not get it.

Those of you on the fence or about to make a move... I will tell you this: It gets better.  Tons better.  You will trudge through some sh!t to get there but you will get there.  The only way out is through.

I am now in the fledgling stages of a relationship that holds a lot of potential with a man who is my equal.  We don't hold back, there's no deception and no hiding.  It's so comforting and at-home feeling.  So safe and easy.  Relationships are hard, but they should not be as difficult as the marriage I lived and most of us have lived.  If it is love it should feel like love.  All of these gems are absolutely true - ILIASM gold.

In my first story under this username I stated that my goal was not to make any major decisions about my future until my birthday.  That way I gave myself a year to settle and heal from all the chaos.  My birthday is fast approaching and I am strong and secure that the choices I make I can manage and keep myself from bad people and bad situations effectively.

My foot doesn't hurt me except for briefly after a walk of 5 miles or more now.  I have 90% functioning back in it and lost none of it.  I required no surgery to repair it either.  My orthopedic surgeon was beyond happy at my last visit to him.  It has healed much better than we expected.  I often forget that it was ever injured, which is hard to imagine when for a while it consumed a great deal of my thinking about basic logistics such as getting to the restroom, parking, working and basic mobility.

Equally important, my life also has gone much better than I would have expected a year ago.  My mind used to be consumed with so many thought about the divorce, life after divorce, learning new things and basic life changes.  I have still some things left to clean up and put back together but I am not worried about it.  The thing I have learned most clearly through all this is that worry gets me nowhere because I am fully capable of handling anything and everything that comes my way.  Beating myself up for not reaching my very high expectations of myself actually keeps me from healing and slows the process.  I had to learn to accept where I was and that where I was going was beyond my ability to predict or control.

I wish all of my friends here the same or better in your journeys.  I am so grateful to all of you who gave me inspiration, support, wisdom and energy when I needed it.  I count myself lucky to be part of this community.

Changewilldoyougood Changewilldoyougood
31-35, F
15 Responses Jul 1, 2012

Been there, done that. Caught her cheating, then promptly divorced after 4 years of marriage (3 1/2 of bliss). I fell into the trap of not trusting again and feeling like a victim. It's been over 3 years since the divorce and I'm just now getting over the victim part. I trust again, but not as quickly. <br />
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Warning: advice ahead! If you feel victimized, don't. It does you no good, but it does make you quick to lash out, quick to anger...etc. Be brave, and trust again. Easier said than done, I'm afraid.<br />
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You sound like a very strong person, so I'm sure you'll be "right as rain".

You spelled your name wrong.<br />
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The correct spelling is Youwilldochangegood. And you did, and will.

what an amazing story. It sounds like you overcame a lot of things to find yourself in a better place. I am debating divorce myself, but am waiting for the right time. I am encouraged by your story and look forward to the next chapter.

Have you watched The Shawshank Redemption? This final part of the journey through the gauntlet is like the scene where Tim Robbins broke into the sewer pipe and crawled his way to his freedom. We all have to do speaking of course...but at the other end, the rain washes you clean. Others there encourage you all the way through, but only you can keep crawling. Congratulations on making it out. One life to live, live it well.

That is a great movie. Thanks for the validation.

I admire your strength. :)

I still reckon a barrel party is WAY overdue for you MsC.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Working on that one. Now that I can go back home I think I will be able to enjoy myself quite a bit more. This week is a holiday here. I could find myself letting loose unexpectedly.

I can relate a lot. You have on so much on your plate. I couldn't imagine. When my husband left me I lost my mind, my will to do anything, got downto 82 lbs,& eventually diagnosed with depression. A year later I still ball my eyes out for him & no seems to understand at all. I forgot the Ava1230<br /><br />
Password so made a new one :)

I can relate a lot. You have on so much on your plate. I couldn't imagine. When my husband left me I lost my mind, my will to do anything, got downto 82 lbs,& eventually diagnosed with depression. A year later I still ball my eyes out for him & no seems to understand at all

You are a total class act!

I agree with enchantingjade, I am also very sorry for all you have had to deal with but I am impressed with how strong you have been and how well you dealt with everything.<br />
Congratulations and best wishes!

I am sorry for all that you had been thru... But I am same time happy and proud of u...wishing u all hapiness..u deserve the best my dear friend! Cheers@jade

I am sorry for all that you had been thru... But I am same time happy and proud of u...wishing u all hapiness..u deserve the best my dear friend! Cheers@jade

I totally get that your house exploding was easy to deal with compared to your separation. <br />
I'm with Enna, don't dismiss parenthood, if that's your dream. I can testify that life is full of surprises. <br />
Thanks for sharing this story with us.

Chai, you have no idea how happy I was to go to the grocery store tonight &amp; buy stuff to cook. Tonight I grilled portabella mushrooms marinated in balsamic vinegar and extra light olive oil with mozarella and fresh basil. I tell you all this because I've eaten the last 80 meals in restaurants and tonight I got to cook!!! Nothing could make me happier right now.

You've been forced to deal with more crap in the last few years than many people do in a lifetime and not only are you still standing, you have a positive and upbeat outlook in spite of it all. Truly impressive and inspiring, you have good reason to be very proud.

CWDYG, your story is one of the most inspirational EVER! You truly dealt with massive **** as you approached the end of your marriage, and without wishing to offend, you were married to a Grade A *******!! <br />
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I love the fact that you have realised you are not different, just a more highly functioning version of your original self. That is so valuable, because never again will you feel you "can not" do something - you will know that, hard as it might be, NOTHING is beyond you.<br />
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Giving up on your dream of parenthood must have been excruciatingly difficult. It takes huge courage to realise that, in order to grow (or survive) we must sometimes sacrifice things that we hold very dear. It is often an unwillingness to make such a sacrifice that holds others in long term holding patterns.<br />
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(Just an aside: your dreams of parenthood are definitely NOT gone forever! You may very well find the right person to share these with.)<br />
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Blue Spruce's story is my personal "gold standard" when it comes to courage, grace and personal growth. Your's will be right up there next to his!! Rated up!

Thank you Enna. It has been a year, that's for sure. :)