Category Archives: Divorce

It’s over.

So, I got divorced yesterday. Wearing pajamas and sitting at my kitchen table. Just like that my marriage was over.

I slept until around 2pm, and when I got up I checked the mail. There it was…

“Final dissolution of marriage”

Surprisingly, I didn’t cry, I wasn’t even upset. I was simply sad, and relieved at the same time. Part of me wonders what my ex will do as he reads his letter…I have a feeling he will not be quite so calm…

After 14 months of separation, 11 months of divorce proceedings, it is finally over.

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My heart hurts…

My heart hurts tonight…don’t worry, my metaphorical one this time.

A friend was telling me today about his struggles with his young adult daughter, who has obviously become associated with “the wrong crowd” and has been making some really poor choices, almost definitely involving drugs.

All I could do was look at him and say “I know”. I could see the pain in his eyes, literally feel the hurt permeating the air around him, and I just wanted to cry for him…because I DO know. I know that hurt. I know it so well.

That hurt, the one that says…

“I just want to help you.

I’m trying.

I’m giving, and giving…and giving,

I’m loving.

All I get in return is lies, sneaking around, insults and threats.

What more do you want from me?

What am I doing wrong?”

As much as I wish I could, I know from experience that there is nothing I can really DO to help him. So I just listened, because I know how much I needed someone to listen when that was me. Then I told him the things that, while seemingly cliche and obvious, are what I know are the answers to the questions going through his head…

“You can’t fix this”

“This is NOT your fault”

“You didn’t do anything wrong”

So my heart aches tonight, because this time last year I was feeling every single one of those things about my husband…and I know how much it sucked, I can’t even begin to imagine how much harder it would be to have it be your child.

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“I love you present tense” – The Fault in Our Stars

“I’m thinking ‘bout the way people fall in love in mysterious ways, maybe just the touch of a hand, me I fall in love with you every single day, and I just wanna tell you I am…” – Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran

I am currently obsessed with this song, which is surprising given it’s romantic nature, something I haven’t been able to tolerate much of since my separation from my husband.

Like the song says, I have been thinking a lot lately (surprise surprise) about love, and feelings in general; why we have them, what dictates who we have them for, and how society views our feelings.

Chances are most of us have had one of those moments, you know the ones, where someone makes your heart flutter and your head feel faint. Most of us have had someone we just couldn’t stop thinking about, that we wanted to talk to all the time and spend every waking second with. Some people term it “puppy love”, although I’m not entirely sure what that means.

What is it that decides who we fall in “puppy love” with? Of course there are the usual stories, the cute guy from your English class, or that really sweet guy you met on that online dating site…but what about the stories that break the mold? The married man you can’t stop thinking about, or maybe you’re happily married and can’t stop thinking about someone other than your spouse; that person you can’t explain why you feel differently about than the rest of your friends, even though you have never considered yourself gay before; the infamous unrequited love story; or an abuser who only hurts you. What is it that sends our hearts into these painful situations? We usually know so well that we should not fall for these people, but it doesn’t matter.

Why?

According to society as whole, these scenarios are ones where we should not have feelings…yet it happens anyway. It’s out of our control. We can tell the feelings to go away, although I don’t know about you but personally that doesn’t usually do much good.

Married people are “off limits”, we use derogatory terms for people who fall for married people such as “the other woman” or “mistress”; and vice versa, married people are supposed to be faithful, and those who admit to having feelings for someone other than their spouse are termed “cheaters”, “scum bags” and any number of other names people (usually women) have made up. People who admit to having feelings for their heterosexual friends are often made fun of, and it’s not uncommon for the friendship to fall apart because of it. We all know the tragedy of the unrequited love story, at least these people are not usually made fun of, instead they are pitied…which I’m not sure is any better. People who stay in abusive relationships are often blamed, said to be at fault for the abuse since they choose to stay in the relationship.

We all know this stuff, I’m not telling you anything new or shocking…so why do we continue to find ourselves in these situations? I have personally found myself in every scenario I mentioned above, not because I was oblivious to the impossibility and almost certain heartbreak of the situations, but because my heart didn’t care.

Why is that? Why don’t our hearts care that situations like these will almost certainly break us? Even better question, why do we as a society look at people who find themselves in these situations in such a negative light? We know we’ve pretty much all been there at least once…yet still the stigmas exist.

Some say that these people are just desperate for love; that they’re lonely and sad. Others look to old adages like “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” and “we always want what we can’t have” to explain away situations like these. While I agree that sometimes these are accurate, I assert that this is not always the case. There have been times where they were definitely not true for me, personally.

So I’ll ask again, why?

A quick Google search for “what decides who we are attracted to?” yields 48,200,000 hits on topics ranging from “Your brain on speed dating” to articles listing “5 Insignificant things that determine who you have sex with”. Apparently I am not the only one wondering about this topic. The list of insignificant things includes things like the tilt of your head, the length of your ring finger and the number of scars on your face as factors in who we are attracted to. (…if you say so…) While the article “Your brain on speed dating” utilizes fMRI imaging techniques to look at what areas of the brain are most active when a person is viewing a potential date. Based on this information they claim that there is a section of our brain that forms a, rather shallow, first impression of the person followed by a second area that evaluates the persons compatibility with ourselves. Alright…that’s an interesting tidbit of information, but neither of those really answers my question.

So here are my thoughts on the matter…

We all need to love and be loved; it has been scientifically proven that without love we will die (for real, not being dramatic).

I think something in our soul recognizes something in someone else’s soul that draws us to that person…sometimes it’s temporary, sometimes it’s lifelong. Either way, it’s beautiful and wonderful, even if it ends up hurting, because our soul needed to encounter that person’s soul. I think often(but not always) there is something for us to learn from these situations, and our souls generally tend to keep us there until we’ve learned it; or sometimes there is something we are supposed to teach the other person. Although other times there is no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens. It’s like our souls have magnets, and sometimes we encounter someone who’s soul has an opposite magnet and we are automatically drawn together by that magnetic force. Sometimes our magnets stick together for a long time, and other times they simply touch and bounce off of each other again. Sometimes they never touch at all, but simply come close to each other and then move away.   

If you look at it as I do, there are no mistakes when it comes to love as long as you follow your soul’s pull. Maybe this is a cop out, maybe it’s me justifying the “mistakes” I’ve made (and if you look at them as mistakes, there are a lot of them); maybe it’s me trying to soothe the heartbreak of my recent divorce by telling myself that I did not make a mistake in marrying him in the first place…but I don’t think so.

I’ve loved hard and deeply, I’ve trusted my soul (for the most part), I’ve been true to myself and honest even when it hurt…and I’ve hurt a lot; I’ve shattered into a million pieces, and then put myself back together. In the end, though, I’ve followed my soul…I haven’t let society’s opinions of who I should and shouldn’t love stop me from loving anyway. I’m proud of that.

Love is incredible, it’s magical and wonderful and mysterious; it’s hard and scary and painful too. It doesn’t make sense, at all, and that’s part of the beauty of it.

I have come to the realization that, as painful as it is, our hearts feel what they feel and there isn’t really a whole lot we can do about it. I started this post wishing that I could know why my heart betrays me like this, but I’m ending it with the sense that understanding that would take away the magic that is love…and goodness knows I do not want that.

Articles referenced in this post:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/04/13/o.laws.of.sex.attraction/index.html?_s=PM:LIVING

http://www.cracked.com/article_19663_5-insignificant-things-that-determine-who-you-have-sex-with.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2229190/Study-reveals-parts-decide-romantically-attracted-to.html

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The end of the end (Warning: Language…sorry)

Well, I have a hearing set for my divorce. It’s a month from now, and apparently I’m already freaking out just a teensy bit…

In a way I kind of can’t wait for it to be over; mostly just so people can stop saying crap like “oh I bet you’re excited!”, or “are you looking forward to it?”.

No, I’m not fucking excited. No, I’m not looking forward to it.

It’s the official, for-real, no-going-back-now, this-is-a-big-fucking-deal, end of my marriage.

Why the hell would I be excited for that?!

It’s not an exciting thing. It’s not a thing one looks forward to. It’s a thing that hurts like hell. It’s a very very sad thing.

It’s a necessary thing.

It means going back to my maiden name, a person that doesn’t even feel like me anymore. It means a whole new signature, new credit cards, and explaining to everyone and their mother why my name is suddenly different (doctor’s offices are the WORST about this).

Although on the plus side it also means no more thinking of him every time I have to spell his name out for someone, no more explaining to people why I have a Hispanic last name when I am most definitely not Hispanic, no more hearing “oh congratulations!” when I tell someone I haven’t seen in a while that I got married, and best of all, no more explaining to people why they don’t need to be congratulating me after all.

I am, however, very glad that my soon-to-be-ex has sworn angrily to not attend this hearing. I think it might break me to have him there; not for me, but because I couldn’t look at him without seeing how much this is killing him. I’ve seen it in his face every time we have to discuss the divorce, like a wounded puppy, and it breaks my heart and makes me cry every single time. I can see him, I can be friendly with him; just not that day, not there.

So, I lied, it might upset me a little bit too…I’m not really sure. As ok as I have been lately, and as much of a positive thing this divorce has turned out to be for me, it still sucks.

I loved him. I still love him. I hate that this happened to us. I miss him. I miss being us.

I don’t really know how I feel, but I can tell you that it is not excited. Sad, hurt, guilty, scared, anxious, and a teeny bit relieved maybe…but definitely not excited.

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Things that suck after divorce: part 1

I’m making this a part 1 because while I don’t have any more things for the list at the moment, I am certain I will find some sooner or later.

1. Bridal showers- I have one to go to tomorrow; and while I am very happy for my dear friend who is getting married, I can’t help but feel sad. I never got a bridal shower. I never got a real wedding. I never got the marriage I wanted either, for that matter.
2. Bridal shower shopping – I never got many gifts either, beyond a few bucks from family members who didn’t get the memo. I made a registry once, just for the fun of it, knowing I wouldn’t be needing it any time soon (That was depressing, and I was still married then). So as I shopped for a gift for my friend (yes, I majorly procrastinated, get over it) I found myself walking through the store noting things my ex would have liked, or things I liked that he would have hated.
3. Weddings – (self explanatory, right?). My friends is coming up, and while I promised her I would go…I’m secretly dreading it. I think may cry, and there will be a ton of other people (from my past) there that I do not want to talk to, let alone lose my shit in front of. 😦

I feel like I want to scream at her “don’t do it!” and “it won’t be like you think”. I’m so jaded, and I hate that.

I’m just sad.

Just when I think I’m getting better, something hits me and I am so overwhelmingly sad again.

Confession: sometimes late at night I put my wedding rings on and wear them for a little while.

I miss my husband (or at least who he was before the slide into darkness happened). I miss being married. I miss the weight of the rings on my finger. I miss coming home and him being there. I miss hanging out with him. I miss using the word “husband” when talking about him…I hate this term “ex”.

I saw him a couple of weeks ago; I offered to help him out with something. So we were sitting and waiting, and I mentioned my pacemaker surgery. He started off being mean with a below the belt comment about my “new boyfriend” holding my hand during surgery, to which I replied “I don’t have a new boyfriend, I don’t need one”. Then he teased me, just like he used to, about me just needing my mommy to take care of me. I said “oh I definitely need my mommy”, and he laughed and told me I’m adorable. Just like he used to.

I miss that.

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Recent observations about relationships, both mine and others

I have spent the last few months of painful singleness observing the relationships of those around me (I have always loved watching people, but I find myself especially focusing on relationships lately). I have learned several things, some of which make getting divorced at age 25 easier for me, and some make it harder…and some do both.

One of these things is how much my ex husband was totally not the kind of man I want, the kind of man I’ve always wanted…and I don’t know why I thought that was ok. I guess because I loved him.

Last week I was at a Lyme disease support group with one of my closest friends (who also has Lyme) and her husband. As I sat there I watched him rub her back, touch her hand, and sit closer to her; during the discussion several times he chimed in with his experiences with her illness, a joke or two, and even asked a few questions. All I could think about was how my ex husband would never have done any of those things. IF I managed to drag him to the meeting at all (and that’s a big “if”!) he would have sat in the corner, playing games on his phone, without saying a word to anyone. Then he would have begged to leave until I gave in and left early even though I really wanted to stay.

I want that. I want the kind of guy who cares enough about me and my health to go to appointments with me, to go to support groups, to ask questions; the kind of guy who is emotionally present enough to be able to express how he feels about me being sick. I want those sweet little touches, the hand on my back, the hand that always finds mine.

In a way this makes getting divorced easier, because now I have the opportunity to find that kind of guy; and in a way it makes it harder because it forces me to realize exactly how unhappy I was and how much I was missing out on in my marriage.

Another thing I have learned is that there is real beauty in being one’s own person, in having one’s choices affect no one else but you. For this reason getting divorced when I did may turn out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have spent the last 5 years worrying about what HE needed or wanted, how it would affect HIM if I enrolled in such and such grad school or whether HE wanted to move to X city where such and such grad school was located, how we would manage to pay for HIS legal bills rather than my tuition…right down to what HE wanted for dinner and what color bedspread HE would like on the bed. Now, for the first time in my adult life (and really my entire life) I can do what I want, go where I want, eat whatever I want for dinner, and buy whichever damn bedspread I like best, without even stopping to think about what anyone else wants. That’s pretty awesome.

This makes the divorce easier (for obvious reasons), but it also scares me…I don’t want to get too good at being alone.

I want a man who loves kids, period. Today while I was working I was observing this guy (the cousin of the kids I nanny); he is 25, really really cute, and was at the beach with his family and a friend (with coolers full of beer and plenty of adults to talk to)…yet he spent all afternoon playing with a 9 year old little girl because she idolizes him. They played ball, swam in the ocean, chased each other around the beach, for hours. Not once did he complain, or try to ditch her to hang out with his friend…he just played, and honestly enjoyed himself. I want that.

This makes divorce a little easier because I know my ex (I keep having to backspace because I forget the “ex” part :[ ) husband and that is so not him. He doesn’t like kids, he thinks they’re annoying…and only agreed to have them because he knew it was a deal breaker for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had plenty of time to think about these things today; I had to work, and since my bosses are on vacation at the beach, that meant a beach day for me too (rough, I know). The problem was that their entire extended family, as well as a lot of their friends, were at the beach too…this meant I spent the day surrounded by quite a few women my age. This sucks because all of these women are a) absolutely gorgeous (this entire freaking family is gorgeous, men included!) b) they are all sporting nice sized diamonds from their handsome, attentive husbands who all have good jobs and c) they all have babies. Meanwhile, I’m 25, almost divorced, lonely as #$%@, self conscious about my illness ravaged body, desperately anxious to be a mom, and sitting in the corner virtually invisible earning my measly pay check which will barely cover my bills. Suck.

That sounds like a pretty silly thing to be worried about, I know, but it really does upset me. It’s hard to watch other people have exactly what you want while you’re unhappy. It actually makes me kind of angry…why couldn’t my ex husband just be a decent freaking husband? Why couldn’t he be there for me and love me like I needed him to? Why did he let the addiction take over his (and my) life like he did? * I do know the answers to all of these questions, but situations like today make me feel like those answers just aren’t acceptable, like it’s not fair.

Note: The antibiotics induced depression is most definitely back, so…sorry, you’ll just have to deal with my dismal moping for a while. :[

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Akhilandeshvari- no my cat did not just walk across my keyboard

So I’ve had kind of a negative attitude lately (ok, a really negative attitude)…especially this week since it’s been kind of a rough one; well today I read this post on Elephant Journal, and I decided that I am going to try to change that.

 

Akhilandeshvari:

“Ishvari” in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In other words, The Always Broken Goddess. Sanskrit is a tricky and amazing language, and I love that the double negative here means that she is broken right down to her name.

But this isn’t the kind of broken that indicates weakness and terror.

It’s the kind of broken that tears apart all the stuff that gets us stuck in toxic routines, repeating the same relationships and habits over and over, rather than diving into the scary process of trying something new and unfathomable.

Akhilanda derives her power from being broken: in flux, pulling herself apart, living in different, constant selves at the same time, from never becoming a whole that has limitations.

 

This goddess has another interesting attribute, which is, of course, her ride: a crocodile.

Crocodiles are interesting in two ways: Firstly, Stoneberg explains that the crocodile represents our reptilian brain, which is where we feel fear. Secondly, the predatory power of a crocodile is not located in their huge jaws, but rather that they pluck their prey from the banks of the river, take it into the water, and spin it until it is disoriented. They whirl that prey like a dervish seeking God, they use the power of spin rather than brute force to feed themselves.

By riding on this spinning, predatory, fearsome creature, Akhilanda refuses to reject her fear, nor does she let it control her. She rides on it. She gets on this animal that lives inside the river, inside the flow. She takes her fear down to the river and uses its power to navigate the waves, and spins in the never not broken water. Akhilanda shows us that this is beautiful.

 

 

I love this so much. Somehow it was exactly what I needed to read today.

Between my divorce and recent health discoveries and frustrations I feel so broken. I feel like over the past year that crocodile has dragged me into the river and spun me around over and over and over until I don’t know who I am or where I’m going anymore. I am so afraid; of where my life will go from here, if I will ever get well or rather just continue to get worse and worse until something kills me, if I will be alone forever, if I am too sick and stupid to accomplish anything with my life. Those are just the ones I can vocalize, I feel like there are so many more fears hiding under the surface that I don’t even understand enough to be able to describe them.

So today I have decided to be a goddess; I will get on my crocodile and ride my fears right to something beautiful. I will be never not broken, and it will be amazing.

Akhilanda is also sometimes described in our lineage like a spinning, multi-faceted prism. Imagine the Hope Diamond twirling in a bright, clear light. The light pouring through the beveled cuts of the diamond would create a whirling rainbow of color. The diamond is whole and complete and BECAUSE it’s fractured, it creates more diverse beauty. Its form is a spectrum of whirling color.

Image

With brokenness comes great potential not only for change, but for refining and smoothing and shaping.

 

So now is the time, this time of confusion and brokenness and fear and sadness, to get up on that fear, ride it down to the river, dip into the waves, and let yourself break. Become a prism.

All the places where you’ve shattered can now reflect light and colour where there was none. Now is the time to become something new, to choose a new whole.

 

Read the full article here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/why-being-broken-in-a-pile-on-your-bedroom-floor-is-a-good-idea-julie-jc-peters/

Pictures from the article, and google, respectively.

 

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YES.

This defines me divorce, right here in one sentence.

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April 19, 2014 · 9:43 pm

NOT a mistake

“One of the most helpful things I heard during my divorce was that the fact that divorce is the right choice now doesn’t mean that getting married was the wrong choice then.”

This statement has been one of the most important I have ever read during this whole divorce process, and I find I have to keep reminding OTHER people of it’s truthfulness. I think it is especially a problem since I have been married for such a short time.

So friends, always keep that in mind, whether it be in reference to me or anyone else you may know who is going through divorce. The divorce process itself is difficult enough and carries enough of a stigma about it that such simple statements as “just chalk it up to a bad decision and walk away” or “we all make mistakes” can be devastating (I have been told both of those and more recently).

I do not regret for a second being with my husband, or marrying him…and you shouldn’t regret it FOR me either.

 

Quote from this article:

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/06/how-to-get-divorced-like-a-grown-up/

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Today I am…

Today I am sad. 

Lately I have felt as though I have been getting looks from people because I talk about my soon-to-be-ex; almost as if I should avoid all mention of him as if he were He Who Shall Not Be Named. I feel like people are uncomfortable speaking about him around me, and don’t understand how I can casually bring his name up in conversation and not be upset. Maybe this is just a coping mechanism for me (some sort of denial maybe?), maybe the anger and the hatred it is buried so deep inside me that I don’t even notice it, but I don’t think so.

I think I am just truly and honestly not angry with him. I don’t hate him, and I don’t think I ever will. I don’t have a problem discussing him, or bringing his name up in casual conversation; it doesn’t make me upset for people to mention him to me. When it comes down to it, he was a major part of my life for almost 5 years. He was my best friend, my other half, my beginning and ending. We did everything together, shared everything, SO many of my memories now involve him. For FIVE FREAKING YEARS. Now I know to some of you that seems like a blink of an eye, but to a 24 year old that is a long time…longer than I have ever given to any other significant other. The fact of it is I care about him, I always have and I always will. I don’t hold against him what happened between us; he has his demons and he tried, I mean really tried, to control them for me. He has lived a kind of life that I will never be able to understand, even though I tried really hard too. When it comes down to it we are just different people, with different goals, priorities and attitudes about life. So I am not angry. 

I am just sad. To think about him makes me sad, to think about how we used to be together makes me sad, to think about how the future will be for both of us makes me sad. Yes, I find new holes in my life every day that he used to fill; and I am crying as I write this. Yes, I bring him up in conversations, sometimes a lot; and yes, sometimes it makes me sad to talk about him…but not all of the time. Sometimes it makes me smile to think of the things we have shared, to remember the laughs and the good times (because there were a lot of them). Sometimes I bring him up in conversation, without even stopping to consider if I “should” be talking about him or not, and I like that. He is a part of me, and he always will be. Even if it makes me sad, I will talk about him, and it is ok for every one else to talk about him too. He is not a bad person, and I am not angry. I would rather remember him and the good things, and sit with the sadness as it is a normal part of this process…than bury him and every memory away somewhere in order to avoid feeling a little sad. 

So this is me giving you permission world, talk about him…it is ok. 

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