Archives for posts with tag: changes

One year ago today, I drove away from my home for the final time with the last of my possessions loaded in the boot of my car.

“I’m off now” were my parting words to my ex; with those simple words, 32 years of marriage ended.

As I drove away, Al Green was playing on my CD, just like the theme song to a movie:

Don’t look so sad, I know it’s over
But life goes on and this old world will keep on turning

In the movies, the heroine would be driving off to new and better times, but life isn’t like the movies…

Or is it?

Since then, I’ve successfully bought, moved into, and done up my own home; I’ve expanded my business and increased my savings; I’ve had some lovely holidays; I’ve spent time with my daughters, my sister and my friends; and I’ve been having a wonderful time with a new partner.

Each time I return home, it’s not with a sense of overwhelming dread and crippling stress, but with feelings of contentment and pleasure.

Oh, how I am happy ‘for the good times’.

And for dancing with another.

I tried to have (yet another) discussion about how we move forward.  But he doesn’t want to talk. And I’m starting to realise that all my attempts to repair our relationship were doomed because he can’t or won’t face up to the issues and discuss them. He avoids them, closes down.  It’s like talking to a rock.

There was a classic from him today:

“I know I don’t want a physical relationship or to socialise with you but I haven’t treated you badly.”

And he honestly believes that this is acceptable and I should be satisfied with..what exactly?  Just his presence in the room as he stares at the TV screen.  I find it incredibly difficult to understand how anyone could expect to treat someone like this and then be surprised when they protest.

Each interaction with him makes me realise how futile this has been. And each interaction makes my next step a little bit easier.

I’ve instructed my solicitor.

And although it’s scary because the future has become so uncertain and the life I thought I was going to lead has evaporated into the ether, it’s perhaps not quite as frightening as continuing as I am.

Making such a decision has not been easy, and it’s not something I’ve taken lightly.  I read an article saying that making decisions can be incredibly difficult because whilst we are delaying, all options remain open and possible.  But once a decision is made, certain avenues are closed off.

Now I have made my decision and must focus on the future.

And it’s hard.

But I can do it.

I keep feeling stuck.

Why?

This is a question I have so much trouble answering.

Is it because I can’t believe that I’m in this situation?  I think so.  I know my situation is intolerable; I know it has to change because there is no turning back the clock; I want it to change.  Every day, the image of my future become more vivid. I can see it; I can feel it.

I want to open the door to my own home, walk into this sanctuary, live my life and be me.  My eldest daughter wants to have friends round for dinner, for parties, to chill. My youngest daughter wants a kitten! I want to have friends round for dinner, for parties, to chill, and I want a kitten too.  Well, it’s not about a kitten; the kitten is just symbolic of the fact that we can’t do or have anything that doesn’t meet with his approval.  I want to close my door and have a sense of relaxation come over me, in place of the stress and tension that overwhelms me at the moment.

I have to believe the reality of my current situation and dispose of my belief that it is possible to remedy all problems, including a failing relationship. Because the truth is  that it takes two to repair a relationship and no matter how determined one person is, they just cannot do it on their own.

And, in any case, for me it’s now too late to repair it.

So why am I stuck?

I know what my next step is: I have to put the options to him that either he buys me out of the house or we sell it and I get my half.  But I know this is going to be met with resistance and who knows what else.  I fear what I might unleash.

This is real, this is happening to me.

But it still takes time to believe.

It’s taking me a long time to get from A to B. I know where B is but I don’t know how I’m going to get there – it all seems a bit overwhelming. However, I’m not putting any pressure on myself, figuring that I need to wait until I feel the time is right to take each step; then allowing myself to get my head around it before I take the next one.

Last week I told him I wanted a divorce. It was the first time I’d said the D word. As usual, my words didn’t make any impact, other than the usual torrent of anger and blame. After two hours of verbal abuse, I walked out because I couldn’t take it any longer. I’m fed up with being forced out of my home to escape the misery. This should be a place of sanctuary. Then he went on holiday for a few days and I could relax, we could relax: my elder daughter came back home, the living room was ours again, I didn’t have to worry about doing one of the seemingly endless things that upset him, it was a different place.  And I began to like my home again.

But…

My daughters and I need to live like this all the time so while he was away I got the house valued.  I need to start working out my finances. I told my elder daughter I was getting it valued and she was all for the idea: she said we’d manage in a one bedroom flat if we had to. Except that wouldn’t be fair on any of us, and I don’t want my actions to have a negative impact on my children. The good news is that the house is worth more than I anticipated and I think I’ll be able to afford a two bedroom flat.

Her response when I told her was “you need to sell it so we can move out and live happily”.

Today I feel that I’ve taken a positive step on the path from A to B, and I know that, when the time is right, I’ll be able to take the next step.

And I don’t think it will be long.

I’ve not been posting much recently. Why?

Because I’ve been doing a lot of learning and thinking and implementing. The counselling is really helping. Every week I have another lightbulb moment.

Also I’m not being emotionally abused.

I started to doubt that I ever was, that it was all a figment of my imagination.

Then I realised that I’m not being abused because I’m not allowing myself to be abused.  I seem to have adjusted my thinking, altered my responses and constructed a force field around me, which any attempted attacks cannot penetrate.

And it’s been very effective.

I’m feeling strong. I’m feeling equal.

The eggshells are broken.

And I don’t care.

 

 

I’ve been pondering on whether husband actually likes me (I gave up on love ages ago).  When I asked him this recently, he replied: “Of course, I like you.  I’d tell you if I didn’t.”  So I don’t see any signs of him liking me and feel like I’m waiting for him to pluck up the courage to tell me that he doesn’t.  It’s all a bit strange really.

I asked daughter her opinion.  She said: “I don’t know.  I never see the two of you together.”

What a sorry state of affairs. [sigh]

A couple of months ago, I was on the receiving end of those accusatory words: “You’ve changed.”  To me, this carries the subtext: I liked the person you were but I don’t like the person you are.  It’s also a stupid thing to say.  Changed since when?  Since you met me, since I became a mother, changed career, lost my parents?  People are constantly changing.  It would be a bit strange if we all continued to act like our 10 year old selves despite the various momentous happenings in our lives.

However, I have changed recently because I’ve become exasperated with the state of our marriage and the effort I’ve put into it without any response.  My feelings have switched off.  So it’s a fair accusation as well because I can see inside myself and know just how much I have changed of late, much more than those around me can ever know.

It’s uncomfortable being around someone you feel doesn’t like you.  You monitor your words and actions, carefully observing the response, analysing what it might mean.  You often choose to say nothing because it just seems so much easier.  All of this is an absolute disaster for a relationship and I can see I’m locked in a pattern of behaviour that is detrimentally contributing to the situation.  At the moment though, I just don’t know how else to proceed.

But it’s the weekend – and tonight I’m going dancing… [smile]

Every so often I read back through my locked journal, which I started on March 13.

I’ve read many times that journaling is form of therapy: a place for recording your thoughts, which releases them and helps understanding and healing.  It is interesting to reread the unfolding story of your life, particularly when you are going through turbulent times.  Here is the end of my first entry:

That’s why I’m writing this down: not only so I can get my thoughts straight and out of me (I can’t keep bottling them inside, I feel like I’m going to burst) but also so that I can look back and see how the events proceeded so that at some point in the future when my life has crumbled around my feet, I can understand why things happened the way they did.

So often, we arrive at a point and wonder how we got there.  We forget not only the sequence of events but also some events themselves, and everything becomes a muddle.  When I reach that place in the future where my life irrevocably changes, morphing into one which I never thought I’d be living, at least I will understand the how and the why.

I hope.