Archives for posts with tag: hope

I find it hard to believe that a whole year has passed and I am still in the same situation, perhaps a bit further down the road but nowhere near as far as I thought I’d be.

I met a friend this week.  In 2015, she managed to get divorced, sell her house, get remarried and buy a house.  And me?  I’m still trying to get divorced, still trying to sell my house, still trying to buy a house.  This time last year, when I looked forward to this time this year, I thought I would be in a different place.  I never dreamt I would be in the same position.

Some things have changed, however.  This time last year, I felt fearful of what the future would hold, how I would feel when my house finally went on the market, whether I would have regrets.  Everything was scary and uncertain.

Everything is still uncertain, but I’m no longer fearful.  I feel positive that I will be able to deal with whatever course the next few months take.  I’m trying not to let my anxieties dominate; I’m not dwelling on the what ifs.  I’m trusting that somehow I will be able to deal with situations as they arise.

My STBX and I are still living under the same roof.  He’s still trying to control me – this week alone, he has complained about me putting things in the bin, saying I’m not adhering to his rules; he’s perpetuating  some kind of ongoing battle about who cooks for our younger daughter (I can’t even be bothered to explain this one); he’s got angry that some of my friends have not included his name on their Christmas cards; he’s accused me of monopolising the children (aged 19 and 22, and adults who can make up their own minds) over Christmas and the New Year.  Whereas in the past I would have got worked up over this, I’m now just tired of dealing with it and let it wash over me.  I see it for what it is: his attempts to get me back under his control.  That’s not going to happen though: I’m done with that.  We should be living separately, then it would be easier, but living together still, I think, leads him to see us as still being together, to see me as his wife (which technically I am, although not for much longer).

The house sale is proceeding so I think it is only a matter of weeks before we go out separate ways.  My purchase is not proceeding so I don’t know where I will go, but I’ll go somewhere.  It will all work out one way or another.

Mentally, I’ve made the break and I’m moving on.  I don’t think he is as far down that road as me.  But that’s a journey he has to make for himself – I’ve spent years feeling responsibile for his happiness and well-being, but it really was never my responsibility.

So I’m sitting here thinking that I should be scared, fearful, anxious, and a whole host of other negative emotions.

Yet I feel calmly confident.

And that’s good.

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After an aborted attempt at a house move in August (lost our buyer so I lost the house I was buying), I felt very low.  I was hanging on, believing that I only had a few more weeks to get through so when it all fell through, it hit me really hard and I felt both physically and emotionally exhausted.  I had trouble concentrating on anything, work was a struggle, and day-to-day living under the same roof with my STBEx became an even more stressful experience.

Now we have another buyer and I have made an offer on another house, which has been accepted.  Our buyers want to move quickly so I’ve said we’ll vacate even if my purchase hasn’t gone through but I’m just hoping that somehow it all comes together at the same time.  The whole situation is giving me sleepless nights – made worse by the fact that it’s been two years since I’ve had a bed to sleep in and I’m on the sofa or in my daughter’s bed.  In the middle of the night, my thoughts run wild with all sorts of problems and scenarios racing through my mind.  Then the next day, I’m exhausted and feel down, negative, anxious, all of which is made worse by extreme tiredness.  Then because I’m a fighter, and an optimist, my mood lifts and I feel positive and happy – it’s a rollercoaster.

Living in the same house as the person you’re divorcing is a surreal experience, made difficult by the fact that he blames me for everything. Sometimes he speaks to me as if everything is normal, then there’s a hugh blow up, then there’s the silent treatment, and so the cycle continues.  Somehow I manage to detach from this – most of the time anyway.  I much stronger than I used to be.  But I don’t have a home I can relax in.  I spend my days outside the house, but then I can’t get on with my life properly.  It’s not easy to say the least.  I feel as if I’m a ghost in my own life.

But despite this I’m relatively happy.  There are lots of positives in my life.  Although I have my dark days, and although they are becoming more frequent, I hold on to the hope that sometime next year, and sooner rather than later, I will be in my own place and my daughters and I (and our new addition, my daughter’s dog) will be living the life that we want: a life that is not controlled by someone else’s anger and abuse, in a happy home where there is fun and laughter, and family and friends are welcome.

In the meantime, to keep myself sane, I enjoy socialising, reading, writing, walking in the park, yoga and pilates, holidays and…

Dancing with another.

 

Four months after filing for divorce, I had a letter from my solicitor saying that husband hadn’t replied to the Particulars of Divorce, so there I was thinking the end was in sight when I discovered that I was no further forward than I had been in November last year [sigh].

So I had to speak to him about this and his response: “Anyone else would have tried to make a go of this, but not you”. What?  Does he honestly think I haven’t tried?  All those times when I tried to sit down and talk to him…  Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I do know that I am doing the right thing.

He’s now responded and things are progressing. The house is on the market. Every time I take a major step like this, I wait for the feelings of uncertainty to hit; those ‘am I doing the right thing?’ doubts to come and trouble me in the darkness of the night. But they don’t. Every step has seemed like a major obstacle to be overcome; consequently it’s taken me quite a long time to build up to some of them.  However, once I’ve taken the step and look back, it seems easy and I wonder what I was afraid of.

My biggest fear of late was how I would feel when the house went up for sale and I suppose that even though I wanted it, I was also dreading it. I was certain that the doubts would hit me.  But even this was easy. I’ve been looking at houses further out from London where I will be able to afford the three bedrooms that the girls and I need. This will mean moving away from the area in which I’ve lived all my life.  But I’m ok about that, I’m looking forward to a change, and I’m seeing our future, our new life, the life we want, and it looks good, very, very good.

And I wake up now, not feeling dread and anxiety, but with the feeling that everything will be all right.

As the saying goes “everything will be all right in the end and if it’s not all right, it’s not the end”.

It’s difficult at home as we’re all still living under the same roof but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

The tunnel might be long.

But the light is there.

When I was a child, I used to feel sad when Christmas and the New Year were over. For some strange reason, I also used to feel afraid. Although I can understand why a child would feel sad that the fun and festivities had come to an end, the feeling of fear doesn’t quite make sense. It was a fear of a whole blank year stretching out ahead; it was a fear of the unknown; it was a fear that the happiness wouldn’t return; it was mourning the loss of an oasis, when the ordinary, everyday could be forgotten.  But wasn’t it strange for a child to experience that fear?

Then I grew up, got married, became a mother, took on more and more responsibility, especially that of making Christmas special for everybody (alone, as husband just sat back), and it became stressful. There was a pressure to get it perfect, that I was responsible for everyone else’s enjoyment; irrational, but there all the same.  And that took away the pleasure for me and I always breathed a sigh of relief when I took down the Christmas cards and put away the tree. Now I only had the normal, everyday pressures to deal with – alone.

Today I’ve started thinking about that childhood mourning. Why? Why for the first time since my early teens has it come into my head?

Because I’ve just removed all signs of Christmas and instead of feeling the normal relief, I feel sad and afraid and I’m mourning the loss of the oasis that has been the past two weeks. Why? Why this return of those childhood feelings?

To begin with, although Christmas was sad, because we weren’t together as the proper family we should be, which is my fault because I’m ‘the one who is splitting up the family’, it was also happy. Happy because I spent time with my children, and my sister, and my friends, and a special friend. And I didn’t even attempt to make anything perfect because there was no way it could be made perfect so why bother trying?  And in a funny kind of way, that made it better. I didn’t have to do everything alone, I didn’t have to slave away feeling resentful while husband sat there with his feet up, I didn’t have to persuade him to come out with us or join in, I didn’t have to put up with his drinking or sitting miserably with my family and wanting to go home. I forgot all about him and got on with my life.

I spent time with people who want to be with me. I went walking with my sister and her dog and a friend on more than one occasion, ending up in cosy pubs, drinking mulled wine.  I went to London with my daughter, visited Covent Garden, saw the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square and had lunch.  I went to the theatre with a friend, heading to the West End on the off chance we’d get tickets for something, and we did and I had a great spontaneous evening. I went out for breakfast and lunch with my daughters and we talked about our lives and our hopes.

And it was an oasis in a difficult time and I could forget about my problems for a couple of weeks. But now it’s back to reality and the year ahead contains so much uncertainty and husband doesn’t want to discuss things so communication is impossible and it’s always down to me to instigate difficult conversations and I’m mourning the limbo land of the holiday season.

But when I took down the tree, I thought: hopefully, next year, this tree will be going up in my new place: a place where family and friends will be welcome, and laughter and fun will be allowed.

So, despite my circumstances being difficult, I had a much happier, better Christmas and New Year than I’ve had for a long time.  I spent time with people who mean a lot to me and I went…

dancing with another.

I feel exactly like I did last September, the worst month of my life.

I feel worn out, defeated, like I’ve been tossed and turned and battered in a storm and now the water’s calm again but I’m damaged and can’t sail on.

Last September, I spent two weekends in bed: I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t do anything.  It was all such an effort, a pointless effort.  The struggle wasn’t worth it and it was easier to give in to it, to give up.

And I feel like that today.  I want to go back to bed: to cry, to sleep, to blot it all out.  It’s tempting, so tempting.

So I’ve forced myself to write about it here, as therapy, in the hope that getting all these negative thoughts out of me will allow space for the positive thoughts to return.

I can’t understand how he can be so vicious and nasty in an argument, make me feel like I’m a selfish, worthless individual; then refuse to speak to me; then act as if nothing has happened and expect me to do the same.  I AM HURT, DAMMIT; YOU CAN’T TREAT ME LIKE THIS.

But he does.

I spoke to my friend about it, even though he’s said he doesn’t want me discussing it with anyone.  I told her I’m worried about making myself and the girls homeless.  I told her he says it’s his house.  I told her he’d said he was going to withdraw his financial contribution to it, which puts me in a vulnerable position because the household expenses come out of my account and I rely on him to give me his share.  I told her … and then I stopped.  She had a look of horror on her face.  And I realised what I was saying.  I realised that he keeps telling me it’s his house and, even though both our names are on the deeds and even though I pay my half of the household expenses and even though I know I have a 50% entitlement to this house, I am starting to believe that he’s right and that it is his house.  I don’t see it as part mine.  I see it as a place where he allows me to live.  I’ve bought into what he says.

I explained about our financial set up.  We don’t have a joint account.  We pay 50% of the household expenses each and whatever is left over is ours to do with as we please; that’s the way it’s always been even though he earns five or six times more than me now.  She asked what he did with his money.  I said I didn’t know; I have no access to it; I never ask him for money – I’m good at budgeting and I have my pride.  Her look of horror didn’t diminish.  Obviously, my situation isn’t quite as normal as I thought it was.

I started thinking about other things.

I don’t have friends or family round.  Why not?  He doesn’t want people round; he makes it difficult.   I go along with it.  Why?  Because I’m buying into the fact that it’s his house and it’s easier for me to go to them than to have a battle with him.

I’m selfish.  I go out without him (he won’t come).  I didn’t invite him on holiday (he’s got angry in the past when I have).  I don’t do enough housework (but I do – the house is clean and tidy).  And I realise that although I know deep down that these accusations are ridiculous and not true (hence the comments in brackets), I DO feel that I am selfish and lazy and whatever other label is being applied to me.

For the last few days, I’ve not done any of the things I had scheduled, apart from see my friend (because I knew he would be at work at that time and wouldn’t know I’d been): I didn’t go to my six-weekly writers’ circle; I didn’t go ballroom and Latin dancing; I didn’t go out with my friends last night; I didn’t go the gym.

I get to the point where I just give up.  Trying to assert myself doesn’t seem worth the battle and perhaps it would be better to go along with the way he wants things, if only for a quiet life.

And so I give in and feel low and go to bed to cry and sleep and wonder what’s the point in living such a joyless life.

But not today.

I’ve got it out of me.  The sun is shining.  I want to read; I want to write; I want to work on my art journal; I want to try my new project of pastel drawing; and tonight I want to go dancing.  AND I WILL.

I am strong again.

Thank you for listening to me.

 

 

 

As I’ve said before, I don’t want to feel like I do about my marriage, about husband.

I want something to happen to change my feelings.

Every time I feel that we are taking some small steps towards each other, husband throws up the barriers and starts an argument.  For me, it’s just one more nail in the coffin.

For example, on our weekend away, we had a really pleasant evening in a lovely restaurant.  Afterwards we went to a bar.  We walked in.  Husband stopped.  “Go on”, I said.  “You don’t want to be here”, he said, and turned and walked out fast, leaving me struggling to catch up in high heels on cobbled streets – a funny scene in a rom-com, except there’s no rom and not a lot of com and quite probably no happy ending.

Then a couple of nights ago, he came in and started an argument over the fact that he had been festering for three days that my sister had been round and the final straw was that I looked at somebody’s Facebook status and laughed.  I’d booked some theatre tickets for us and felt quite warm towards him but, like I say, a force-field appears and it’s curtains for the good mood.

So when I have a small glimmer of hope, it’s not long before it’s extinguished.

Sad but true.