One Year OnThe 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.