Archives for posts with tag: thoughts

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.

 

It’s my birthday today. A time for celebration?  Well, yes, but…

I feel sad. I feel happy too, but I also feel like crying.

I feel like crying because I’ve been thinking about my birthdays over the past few years.  In 2011, a significant birthday, I went to a London show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, with my husband and daughters.  I got a deal for a meal and best available price tickets and, would you believe it, they gave us a box!  It was a great night, but I organised it and paid for it and had to persuade husband to come, but who cares?  It was good.

In 2012, it my birthday fell on the day of the Christmas party at the dance studio where husband and I had been having ballroom lessons.  By this time, husband had stopped attending the lessons, but I was hooked and kept going on my own.  He very, very reluctantly agreed to come to the party. He sat in the same seat all night, looking miserable, and refusing to socialise, making it quite obvious that he didn’t want to be there and had only come because it was my birthday. I enjoyed myself because I’m that kind of person but it’s not a good feeling to be out with someone who obviously isn’t enjoying themself. It darkens the evening.

Last year we were supposed to be going out, where I don’t know. But a couple of days before he started making noises about him having to finish work early and the expense.  The expense!  I don’t need money lavished on me to have a good time. Anyway, to put him out of his misery, I told him not to bother. So he didn’t.  I had lunch with a friend and went dancing with another friend in the evening.  Husband didn’t even ask me what I’d done or if I’d had a good time. When I raised that with him later, he said he hadn’t asked because he didn’t care.

And presents?  He asks my daughter to get me something from him.  My daughter and I went along with this charade of her buying me something and us both pretending it was from him.  Until last year.  Last year, she gave me ‘his’ present of lacy underwear and I knew this wasn’t from him because the last time I put on lacy underwear, he asked me what the f**k I was doing and switched on Sky Sport (that was on a weekend away!). Then later on he saw the bag from the shop where she’d bought the gift and asked me who’d been shopping there. You, I told him, for my birthday present. He later chastised my daughter for not warning him. Should we laugh or cry?  Who knows.

So these are my past few birthdays.  Yet I am responsible and completely to blame for the failure of this relationship.

Little wonder I feel like crying.

But I’m also happy.  Friends who know about my situation have sent me cards and I know the messages have been chosen especially to show me their love and support.  And people I’ve only known for a short space of time show me such kindness when they really don’t have to at all, they have no obligation to, but they do it because they care.

And who knows when my divorce will come through and what I’ll be doing this time next year.

At the moment, I’m out having breakfast on my own and thinking about the past and thinking about the future and feeling sad and feeling happy and feeling…

Alive.

 

It’s 10 days since I instructed my solicitor to proceed with my divorce.  It was the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make in my life: it’s final, there’s no going back once the wheels are set in motion.

I was afraid: afraid of what I might unleash, afraid of the impact on my children, afraid that I was being selfish and thinking only of myself, afraid that I would regret it. So I kept postponing the inevitable. Even though I knew it was inevitable.

And then the moment came when it couldn’t be postponed anymore. I’d kept waiting for me ‘to come to my senses’ as I referred to it; to take up the fight for my relationship once again, to try harder, better, stronger to make it work. But it takes TWO, and there was only one, me.

I felt sick at what I was doing but there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.

And so I did.

I felt lousy and I expected this feeling to continue and get worse.

But so far it hasn’t.

How do I feel?  Relief, strength, excitement for the future.  I feel as if a burden has been lifted from my shoulders, a shackle has been removed from my leg, chains that were holding me back have been cut. And now I keep waiting for these feelings to pass and for fear and dread and despair to replace them.  But they haven’t so far and perhaps they never will.  And if they do, then I will remember what led me to my decision, and how I did not make it lightly, and I will take responsibility for my life and my happiness.  And I know I have the resources and the resilience to do this. So I needn’t worry.

And now I’m wondering why I was so scared and why I waited so long.

When I knew it was inevitable.

The letter arrived yesterday. I went out for the day: gym, coffee shop, park. If I’d had my passport on me, I would have booked a flight to my holiday home because I was scared to go home.

But in the end I did. And he didn’t say anything, which I’m realising is typical of the way he deals with things.  He ignores them and hopes they’ll go away.

He went out for the evening, I went out for the evening.

I didn’t sleep well last night but finally I dropped off for a few hours.

And when I woke up, it was just like any other day: the sun rose, my daughter got ready for work, I prepared breakfast for her and saw her off, my other daughter texted me, my sister texted me, I had breakfast, I got ready for the day.  Everything was normal, the same as it always is.

And I realise…

Life goes on.

And life will continue to go on.

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’ve said all I have to say. I’ve told him how I feel, I’ve explained why I feel like I do, I’ve asked him why he’s shown me no affection or companionship for years and yet doesn’t want us to part, I’ve told him I just want to be able to understand.

His response: he doesn’t know.

So if he doesn’t know, then how can I understand?  There’s no more I can do or say and so finally I feel I’m ready to let go of that need to understand. What’s the point?  It won’t change the situation and so I’m wasting no more time analysing it and seeking explanations. It is what it is.

My daughter’s been on holiday and so we decided (me, older daughter and younger daughter) to go out for a drink and a catch-up. I told a friend I was doing this. Why can’t you just sitting in the living room and open a bottle of wine, he asked. Good question. Why can’t we?  I put that to older daughter.  She looked at me like I was crazy and laughed. Sad but true.  But it was a wake-up call – it’s what ‘normal’ people do.  Yet it would be so abnormal for us that it doesn’t even enter our heads as an option. And I got to thinking how nice it would be if I could just invite my friends over for coffee, or lunch, or dinner, and if the girls could have their friends round, and I imagined a house full of friendship, and love, and laughter.  And I know that’s what the girls and I want – an open house, which although poor financially, would be rich in love.

I told the girls I couldn’t live like this anymore, that I’d been to a solicitor and was going to take action, that my priority is to care for them. ‘Don’t worry about me.  I’ll be ok,’ said older daughter. ‘I want to move out,’ said younger daughter. She hates the arguments. But I’m not wasting no more time on pointless arguments. I showed older daughter the list of unreasonable behaviours; ‘100% true’ was her verdict.  I’ve been so uncertain at times, wondering if I’m making too much of things, imagining them.  They almost seem trivial. But they’re not: their impact is immensely damaging. The one that had the biggest impact on me when I saw it in front of me in black-and-white was that he doesn’t appreciate what I do for him and the family. I didn’t say that to the solicitor; she took that from other things I said. And it brought tears to my eyes, and I hadn’t even realised I felt like that or how important it is too feel appreciated for putting everyone else first and ignoring yourself, and yet being called selfish. I’d dismissed it as being trivial.  But it isn’t. It most definitely isn’t.

Yesterday he blamed me for ‘wrecking’ the relationship. I pointed out that you can’t wreck what is already a wreck.  I also stated emphatically that I wasn’t accepting the blame because I knew what I had done to try and keep things on track. He’s going to blame me – so be it. Deep down I know how hard and for how long I’ve tried.  And if he searches deep inside himself and confronts the truth, he’ll know that too.  But if he doesn’t, so be it.

Yesterday I picked up my new glasses.

And now I can see so much more clearly.

I’m not wasting no more time.

I went away for the weekend on a dance holiday with a friend. It gave me the opportunity to stop living in my current situation and forget about it for a while. I thought that might have been a bad thing, that a few days of escape would make the return worse.

But it hasn’t.

Instead I feel much, much stronger, clearer and in control of my life.

Before I went, I found a letter I wrote to him over two years ago, expressing my concern at the things that were going wrong in our relationship and trying to appeal to his better nature to help me get things back on track.  I’d written the letter because when I tried to talk to him, he wouldn’t listen.

So today I emailed the letter to him, I suppose in an attempt to get him to acknowledge that this is not some whim of mine but something I’ve been trying to remedy for a long time.

He wasn’t happy.

But now he’s asking me to give him one more chance.  And I’m mad!  I’ve spent years trying and now that I’ve given up because its too late, he thinks I’m being unreasonable because he’s prepared to make a go of it but I’m not.

But, like I said, I’m strong.

And I’m almost ready to instruct the solicitor.

Every time I’m about to take a step, I agonise and hesitate and get afraid but I’ve come to realise that if I sit with these feelings, eventually the time will feel right for me to make that next move.

So I’m sitting with it.

And I don’t think it will be long.

I saw the solicitor. She’s drawn up the divorce papers. So I had to tell him but it’s so hard.

Nobody gets married to get divorced. And I’ve tried so hard, so very, very hard. And I hate giving up because I truly believe that there’s no problem that can’t be resolved if you just work hard enough on the solution.

But it takes two.

Not one.

And I need to feel that the other person wants Me, wants me emotionally, physically, socially, and not just the service I provide. And I’ve seen no sign of that, no sign at all in the past four or five years.

And when I try to explain how I’ve arrived at this decision, when I remind him of all the hurtful things he’s said to me, and the crushing blow each hurtful comment has dealt me, what is his response?

That he doesn’t remember saying it.

How can he casually dismiss something that has had such an impact on my confidence, self-worth, self-esteem?  That has resulted in my being in a position that I didn’t want to be in?

That has left me with no choice?

And now he says he wants things to work and that I don’t and that I’m am breaking up the family.  Which is true, I can’t argue with that.  But I’ve got nothing left to give him, I’m empty, void, depleted.

And I feel so awful.

And unreasonable.

And responsible.

And horrible.

And mean.

And small.

I have an appointment with a solicitor next week. I’d been stuck for ages, getting frustrated that I couldn’t take the action that I knew was necessary.  Ironically, when he told me he’d taken advice, I was spurred on to take advice of my own.  He’s done me a favour.

For  longer than I care to remember, I’ve been trying to make sense of the situation: why he wants us to stay together but doesn’t want ME.  Something he said made things clearer: ‘I don’t want to live in a flat’.  It’s not about me, it’s about his lifestyle.

So I predict he’s going to make this difficult. And this seems stupid to me. It’s over.  Lets move on with our individual lives because there’s no going back to what we once had many moons ago, in another life.  Why won’t he accept this reality and make it easier for us both?

I’m tired, worn out, exhausted from living in a constant of stress and tension.  I’m existing on less and less sleep.  I’m struggling to function a lot of the time.  I can’t continue like this.

And it can’t be doing him any good either.

So why is he digging his heels in?  Part of me thinks he’s hoping I’ll leave. Then he can stay in ‘his’ house.

Because that’s what he wants.

Not me.

The past few days, it’s been as if a switch has been flicked in my head. When I became aware of how husband affects my behaviour and thoughts even when he’s not there, I realised just how ludicrous the situation had become and how it had to stop.

I was chatting to a friend at the weekend and she looked at me and said earnestly “There’s nothing wrong with the things you want to do.  They are perfectly normal.” as if trying to get a child to understand.   And of course I know she’s right but my thinking has got so skewed that I’ve taken on board everything husband has told me until I no longer trust my own judgement.

I read somewhere about wearing an elasticated bracelet and every time you have a negative thought you switch it to the other wrist.  So that’s what I’ve been doing. And surprisingly, it’s working.

The act of recognising the thought and switching the bracelet stops me from taking the thought on board; in fact, it just stops the thought altogether.  And because I’m not processing the thought and allowing it to have a detrimental effect on me, I’m feeling stronger, empowered.

So when husband tried to provoke an argument last night, it just didn’t work. I didn’t feel weak and on the defensive but strong and detached.  The argument didn’t happen, he fell asleep and then took himself off to bed without saying goodnight.

His life and his unhappiness are his choice; my life and my happiness are mine.  I am not responsible for him, no matter how much he blames me.  But I am responsible for me and I intend to stand up for my life and not feel guilty and ashamed.

And I look at moany, miserable husband, blaming everyone else for his unhappiness.

And I feel sorry for him.

Because whatever happens, I know I will end up a stronger and happier person, surrounded by my supportive friends and loving children.

And he will end up alone.

The title of this post comes from Katy Perry’s song ‘Roar’, which should be every abused woman’s anthem.  Come on ladies, it’s time to ROAR!