Yesterday

I remember the day, like it was yesterday.  Walking up the four floors of stairs to my apartment where my husband was waiting for me.  I would be seeing him for the first time in 5 days.  I was trying to ignore the fact staring me straight in the face that while he was gone, he also seemed to drop off of the face of the earth.  He was not reachable by text message or phone calls.  I was nervous.  I was hopeful.  I pushed away the memory that we were in turmoil.  I was trying to forget that we were meeting briefly and would be going to our first couples therapy session to see if we could fix whatever it was that was broken in our marriage, in him, in me, in us.

I just wanted him to take me in his arms and whisper, ‘don’t worry, everything is going to be ok’.

He sat me down on the sofa and read for me a letter that he had written to help him express his feelings.  While I remember the day like it was yesterday, at that moment I can only remember seeing his mouth moving and hearing him say “I have fallen out of love with you and I don’t want to try”.  The sound in my ears was like a vacuum.  It sounded and felt like my life was being sucked from my body, up through the pit up of my stomach, and through my oxygen deprived lungs.  As tears rolled down my cheeks, I tried to breathe with an unbearable, crushing weight on my chest, the rushing sound of life in my head and a vice grip, strangling tight around my heart.

I remember one other thing; he did say to me ‘you’re going to be ok’.

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I remember the day, like it was yesterday.  I was at the gym, working out with my trainer.

After the separation, I desperately needed to do something about my body.  Due to the divorce and all that it involves (stress, sleepless nights, anxiety, no appetite), I had lost 30 pounds.  Around this same time I heard the saying “divorce diet”; while highly effective, I don’t recommend it.  The fast and furious weight loss had left me looking gaunt and my skin saggy.  I needed to fix this, fix myself.  Being in the fitness industry, I knew a number of trainers.  However, there was only one trainer that I trusted, literally with my life.  I had known him for a couple of years, but did not know him well.  We were connected in some inexplicable way and I knew he could help me.  I had a lot of energy that I needed to use.  Nervous energy.  Anxiety.  Sadness.  Anger. Lots of anger.  I knew that these training sessions would leave me feeling exposed and vulnerable.  I knew that at some point I would no longer be able to hide my “brokenness”.  I also knew that my trainer would be there for me.  He would push me when all I wanted to do was stop and  he would catch me when my heart completely broke open.

On this particular day, another trainer joined us for the session.  She was there to observe and did not speak much so it was like any other session.   As usual we talked, we laughed.  I worked hard.  Harder than I ever thought possible.  Harder than I ever thought I was capable.  As always, I channeled my energy to get through the workout.  Seeing, feeling and hearing the images and words in my head, to help the strength grow and build.  To heal.  The end of my session was always reserved for some metabolic training; a series of very intense exercises that I would perform as fast and hard as I could for a short period of time.  On this particular day (and often afterwards for symbolic reasons), the circuit ended with burpees. A burpee is a multifaceted, full body exercise consisting of jumping up reaching for the ceiling, and then dropping to the floor and performing a push up.  Often vomit inducing, they are great for raising your heart rate.  In my case, the jump portion of the burpee included jumping up onto a step, jumping off the step, and then down to the ground for the push up and then jumping back up onto the step…repeat and repeat again until the time runs out.  Or until you throw up.

Round one went great.  I was feeling strong.  Round two, something started to crack.  The first 3 exercises were good, solid and strong.  Then I hit the battle ropes; think about the big, thick rope we used to have to climb in gym class, fold it in half and attach it to the wall, and take each end and basically play the drums, creating waves with the ropes.  The ropes are heavy and it requires a strong core, and strong shoulders to get the desired effect.  As the arms fall into a rhythm, the ropes beat the ground.  With the right state of mind and focus, when you channel anger, when you start using your imagination the exercise becomes almost effortless, and very cathartic.  It was during this second round of the battle ropes that I felt the crack in my heart open just a little bit.  But time was up and I moved onto the burpees.  Again, I found a rhythm but also felt a tightness in my chest. It was uncomfortable.  It was different than a panic attack.  I did not understand it.  I was not sure I wanted to understand it.  Thankfully, time was up.

During round three, it finally happened.  What had been building up for a few weeks was finally going to happen.  Only, I did not know it. I remained focused and strong during the battle ropes.  I felt strong, I emulated strong.  I was proud of myself.  Look at me rocking this shit!  I got to the burpees, found my rhythm and the tightness returned to my chest.  Breathe.  Jump.  Breathe.  Jump. Breathe. Push up.  Jump.  Jump.  Push Up.  Breathe.  Jump.  Breathe. Jump.  Push up.  Jump.  Jump.  Push up.  Breathe. Jump.  Breathe. Jump.

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Keep it together.  You’ve got this.  Keep it together.  Not now.  Please not now.  Don’t break open now.  You can do this.  I can’t do this.  I don’t want to do this.  Please not now.

Time ran out and I finished, intentionally with the push up.  I stayed there.  On the floor.  I couldn’t breathe, there were tears, I was sobbing.  The crack in my heart had opened, big and wide, releasing anger, sadness, frustration, disappointment.  I was vulnerable to my core.

I was right.  He was there to catch me.

After I got my shit together I remember saying “please tell her that you did not break me…it wasn’t the work out that brought my to my knees”.

It was me that had brought me to my knees.  It was my strength and determination.  It was pride.  I didn’t realize it then, but I needed to break open, big and wide.  I needed it to happen so that I could start healing, growing and get stronger, physically, mentally and emotionally.  I needed to break open, to release the emotions, to make room for the strength.

Every time I see that trainer (she works at the studio now), I am reminded of that day, of that moment.  The moment where I started to grow and heal and get stronger.

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I had a moment today during my workout, during my push ups, where I realized how strong I truly am.  Coincidentally, I saw her today, that trainer.  My trainer and I talked about it.  Again.  As we have done so many times over the past two years.  We remarked on how much time has passed, how much I have grown and changed.

I wish that he could see that.  I  wish he could see that I am no longer the woman he was married to.  I wish that he could see that I am no longer the woman he left.  I wish that he could see me for who I have become.  I wish he could see that I am a strong woman more capable than she ever thought possible.  I wish that he could see my determination, my dedication, my accomplishments, my confidence.

He was right.  I was going to be ok.

I wish he could see that I am more than ok.

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Cat’s in the Cradle

It’s that time of the year on the east coast where summer and fall seem to straddle each other, like lovers not wanting to part.  Where the sun shines, and feels warm on my face.  Where the sky is blue, yet to give way to the grey that is inevitable.  Where the breeze carries the fallen leaves and a chill that makes me excited to pull out my sweaters.

It’s been a while since I have given attention to my blog.  Too long really.  I love to write.  I need to write.  It is part of my self care.  If I am not writing, I am not taking care of myself. So while I have not been writing here, I have been writing in my journal.  Page after page of the torment I seem to be going through.

There is something different about writing here.  In my journal, I write random thoughts; I write whatever I am feeling at the moment.  Here I try to be thoughtful; I try to make sense.

Lately, if feels as though there is very little sense; hence my absence.  And by lately I mean the last many months.

As I sit here, soaking up that last rays of summer, I wonder, “do I fill you in on the last many months, or do I skip to right now?”

I think I skip to right now.  It all leads to this point anyways, and along the way the story will weave in and out of time.

Tomorrow I will be sitting down with a therapist and my ex-husband.  How the fuck did I get here?  So begins the weaving of this part of the story.

My youngest is dealing with such severe anxiety that this week that I decided to take him to the hospital, to the emergency room.  He started using words like “scared” and “uncomfortable” and “I just want this to all end”.  Always accompanied by what seems to be endless tears.  For the first time in my life as a mother, I was scared.  I was scared that in the blink of an eye I might lose him.

He has always been an anxious child; one that seemed to worry more than the average kid. He definitely worries more than his older sister.  I keep reminding myself of this fact.  That he worries more than she does.  They both have me as a mother, so I must be doing something half decently right?  This anxiety can’t all be nurture, can it?  I feel assaulted when the doctor starts talking about separation anxiety.  He has a hard time being away, separate, from me.  Is this my fault?  So hard to know.

As we head to the hospital, I call his father to let him know what I am doing.  This goes over like a ton of bricks.  Most definitely my fault.

You see, I have not been keeping his father in the loop.  The crying, the agonizing.  I have been dealing with it all on my own.  Why?  Good question.

In my marriage I kept everything and everyone connected.  I managed everything.  I managed the day to day life of our family which included keeping my husband at the time, informed of every single thing that effected the kids.  I did not realize at the time that he was not fully implicated in their lives.  It has only been since he left that I can see my role, and his, with clarity.  His lack of involvement with the kids now is no different than before.  However, my role as communication manager has been eliminated, shining a bright light on the reality of the relationships.

For the first time in many years, maybe ever, I do not let the man who was once my knight in shining armour influence my decision to take our son to the hospital.  He thought it was unnecessary.  He thought that I was overreacting.  I stood my ground; I knew this was the best thing for our son.  And I was right.

A side bar: once we got to the hospital, I received a barrage of text messages and my phone started to ring, simultaneously.  The texts were from my ex, and the call was also my ex.  I answered the phone and this was what he had to say:

I wanted to tell you that I just spoke with [insert girlfriend’s name here] and she thinks it is really great that you are taking [our son] to the hospital.  The children’s hospital has a great psychiatric department and he will for sure get the help there that he needs.  So I wanted you to know that it is good that you have taken him.

So the mother of your child makes the decision to take your child to the hospital but it is only ok once your girlfriend endorses the decision?  Give me a moment to pick my chin up off of the floor.

In all honesty, I am grateful to said girlfriend.  Grateful that she could look at the situation and see that she needed to convince him that I was doing the right thing.  At the end of the day there was nothing that I could do or say that would have convinced him, so I am grateful that she could.

It was the right thing to do; to take him to the hospital.  Everyone treated us with the utmost seriousness.  No one made me feel like I was making a big deal out of nothing, or that I was just an overly anxious mother.  In fact, I felt validated.  I was made to feel that this was probably one of the most important decisions I would ever make for the sake of my child’s safety and well being.  I felt supported.

Our children’s hospital is amazing.  They have a system in place to catch children who come into the emergency room with mental health challenges.  A four hour hospital visit (mostly waiting in the waiting room) ended with an appointment less than 24 hours later for “Crisis Assessment”, with a social worker and psychiatrist.

The Crisis Assessment was very thorough and emotionally exhausting.  I was so proud of my son for answering the questions as thoughtfully and honestly as he could.  I was relieved to hear that he was not having suicidal thoughts.  My heart broke when the psychiatrist said that my son’s sadness was palpable; that he could feel it as soon as he walked into the room.  I was grateful that the doctor could put all the pieces of the puzzle together to create an accurate picture of my son’s life.

After 75 minutes we were given the recommendation for therapy.  While he is most definitely having a hard time right now, my son did not need to be in an out patient program or under the supervision of a psychiatrist.  I had to explain to my son that this was good.  We both liked the doctor very much, and my son definitely connected with him (and he with my son) but his case was not so serious to need a doctor.  Can you feel the collective sigh of relief?

Tomorrow I will sit with my ex-husband and my son’s therapist.  I feel uneasy.  I am unsure of how things will go.  Maybe I would feel better had he joined us for the emergency hospital visit?  Maybe I would feel better had he joined us for the crisis assessment?  I’ll never know.  This will be the first time we will be sitting together in the same room since he left almost 2 years ago.

I will channel this new me which seemed to emerge this week.  The one that followed her gut and put her child first above all else, above the thoughts and opinions of her once “knight in shining armour”.  I will no longer allow him to belittle my opinions.  I will stand strong and tall.  I can do this.  I am doing this.

And I’m doing it well.

 

 

 

 

 

Me Neither

So you know when you meet a guy, and he seems perfect?

And when you “meet” him, (I use quotations to indicated the meeting might or might not have happened on a dating website), he tells you about how he is running a marathon?  And it happens to be the same race, in the same city where you are doing your half marathon?

And then you find out that he will be staying in the same hotel as you?

And you continue to text?  And you learn that not only are you both runners, but he also likes to cycle, and do yoga?

And when you decide to meet in person, your first date you go for a run?  And it is a great first date?

And you go to hot yoga together every week?

And you enjoy each other’s company?

And you are very attracted to each other?  In fact you have never felt sexier?

And you continue to train together for your races?  You spend as much of your free time together (which isn’t very much considering you have sole custody of your kids)?

And then you discover that he might be a little bit insecure?

And you learn that maybe he wasn’t happy before you came into his life?  And there is an expectation that you are the one who will make him happy?  That his happiness is being held, or not held, in your hands?

And that what you have to offer by way of time, is not quite enough?

And despite almost breaking up, once or twice, you decide to book a vacation with him?  And then a couple of more almost break ups?

And then finally, the Saturday before you were going to go on vacation (three days prior to departure) he decides that he can’t wait any longer?  That he wants more than you have to offer?  That he thought he could be patient but he has decided he can’t?

And so you break up, and the vacation gets canceled?

Ya, me neither.

Hurts So Good

Why do we have to be so hard on ourselves during the healing process?  Hell, I thought I was through the healing process, even though a good friend told me…two years.  It takes two years.

Here I am at 18 months post “walk-out” and feel horrible for the first time in a few months.  I thought at least with respect to my divorce, and my ex, that I was doing fine.  I was doing well.  Maybe not.

Feeling very off kilter today, this week.  Blame denial, blame stupidity, I only realized yesterday that it has been self-inflicted.

My ex participated in an extreme bike race this past week.  He planned this back last November and informed me that he would be away for 12 days or so.  Meaning that I would have the kids that whole time, without a break.

At that time, I just sucked it up and did not say much.  But so much has changed since then.  I have been speaking up.  I have finally told him that I was done with him and his never ending changing schedule.  I told him that was it.  I was done doing everything for him.

But what was done for this past week, was done.

And back in November when I agreed, and did not put up much of a fuss, I did not realize that I would have someone in my life that would also feel the brunt of my ex’s absence.  But really, my off-kilter feeling has nothing to do with that.

My off-kilter feeling is from somewhat immersing myself in my ex’s life for the past week.  The race he participated in had online tracking of the teams and racers.  His team had an open instagram account.  You see where this is going, right?

It took me until yesterday to realize that checking in on my ex’s race was doing a lot of damage.  I was already mad at him for a number of reasons.  Too many to list.  Following his race only added gas onto that fire.  The flames of anger rose when he missed his son’s graduation, when I thought about the money he owes me and I might never see, when I got impatient for being the only parent on duty, yet again.

But something else was happening.  There was a part of me that was amazed.  A part of me that was a bit proud.  And then a part of me that was sad because I was not the one sharing this with him.

This was a man that I spent 17 years with.  A man that I thought I knew inside and out.  A man that I supported and encouraged every single day of those 17 years.  A man that I idolized.  He was actually doing something quite amazing, and it was not my place to enjoy it with him.

Ironically, it is still because of me that he was able to do the race.  One of the challenging points of our divorce was the fact that I was a stay at home mom to allow him to work as hard as he needed to advance his career to the highest levels.  I willingly and happily sacraficed so that he could be and do more.  And now, post separation, very little is accounted for in the stay at home mom role.  Not financially anyways.  I will however, hold on to the fact that those years were amazing years for me and my children.  It did though, set a precedent for how he could treat me.  How I would allow him to treat me, because I was not his equal.

Without batting an eyelash, he made plans to partake in this event.  He did not ask if it would be ok for me to have the children the whole time.  He just assumed.  Like always.  He truly did something amazing.  And the selfish, egotistical side of me, would like some recognition too.  That I made it possible for him to be there.

The race is done.  I can stop looking for the progress of the team.  I can stop looking for the pictures of their race.  I will try to keep both feet on the ground and emotions level when I struggle with being proud and also knowing the reality of who he truly is as a man.

A one week extreme bike race does not take away all that he has done in the past.  It does not erase the example of the man who walked out the door 18 months ago with no explanation and a duffle bag of lies, deceit and deception.

He is still the same man.  And this is still the same battle. One that I long to have be over.

Maybe at the two year point, it will be.

It’s The End of the World

That moment when you realize that it would actually be best for all parties involved if your ex-husband’s relationship with his “new” girlfriend actually works out.

Yup. That just happened.

I can clearly see that if his relationship with her does not make it, things will become very difficult for all of us. Most especially my children.

Let’s just leave it at that for now.

If you had told me, a year ago, that I would be thinking this thought. Today. I would not have believed you. Yet here I am.

Interesting.

Unrecognizable

Back in November I wrote this post, Crossroads II, where I talked about, what else, my divorce.

I was struggling with feeling good about my life and for the most part, how things were going, but not wanting to send the message that I  condone the past, most especially the behaviour of my ex.  I was struggling with the idea that if it looked like to other people that I was doing good, or great, then maybe I was ok with all that happened.  That maybe it was not a bad thing.  I still struggle a bit with that. When someone asks how I am, I want to say “I am great, but he is still a $%#@er”.  And while I can see that this has not been all bad, at the time it was shitty.

It is hard to not be defined by what has happened to me.  My divorce and the affair is not who I am but rather just two things that have happened to me.  Just like my ex.  He cannot define me, but is just someone that was once in my life, whom I loved dearly, and now he is not and I do not.

And then today happened.

I have had a busy weekend.

Back in October I signed up to do a half-marathon at the end of May.  Not too sure why I signed up but I did.  A friend of mine had signed up and when she told me, I thought that if she could do it, so could I.

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When I told my best friend this, she laughed.  Out loud.  You see, I am not a runner.  At all. Well, I did not used to be.  I don’t think I can say that any more.

I started running in October, and tracked my runs using Strava.  Amazing app by the way.  Very quickly I made progress.  Very quickly I felt the benefits of literally and physically putting one foot in front of the other.  If I needed to burn off some anxiety or anger, off I went for a run.  I created a great play list that had music that motivated and pushed me.

When I go out on a run, I just run.  I don’t worry about my pace.  Not really.  I just run.  Unfortunately, towards the end of November, I injured my calf.  Took a week off and when I tried to run again, it hurt like a mother $%#@er.  I took another 10 days off and then finally visited the physiotherapist.

I look back on my blog posts, and my journal, and it is not a surprise to see how much I struggled, emotionally, when I could not run.  Running had become my therapy.

My physiotherapist is amazing.  She knew that she could not completely restrict my running.  By the time I went to her, my calf was almost healed.  I went to see her more because I was worried about a) doing further damage, b) wanting to make sure that it was really ok and c) I was nervous to run.  So she put me on an interval plan to ease me back in, with the stipulation that if I felt anything that resembled pain, I would stop right away.  I was allowed to run/walk.  Two minutes of running and 30 seconds of walking, for a total of 30 minutes.  I had to stick close to home in case there was any pain and I had to stop.  So around and around the blocks I went.

On my second “interval” run, using her parameters, I ran a personal record 5K.

Still under her parameters, I ran here and there but with snow coming to town, running outside was problematic.  More than anything, I was afraid to run outside because I did not want to hurt myself again.

When I took the kids to NYC for Christmas, I took advantage of the warm weather and ran on Christmas morning.  A 5K.  No personal records, but an amazing location.  The greatest gift, seeing the sun rise through the buildings while I ran north to Central Park.

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With the New Year, brought my training schedule for my half-marathon.  Two to three times a week I will run.  Very gradually, as I have a total of 21 weeks to train for my half, I will increase my distance and time spent running.  But now with snow on the ground, my running would be moved inside, to the treadmill.  This I was not looking forward to.

My first run of my training, I ran on the treadmill at one of my gyms (I have two gyms because I am an instructor).  It sucked.  I hated it.  But I did it.  Got it done.

And then came the next day of running.  I did not want to run on the treadmill.  I am a procrastinator by nature.  I pushed it off to the next day.  While out for lunch though, I realized how mild the day was and noticed that in fact the roads were only a bit wet.  There was no ice or snow.

I rushed home, laced up my shoes and hit the road (well the bike path that is part of the road).  I needed to run 5 kilometres.  I did some quick math, set my timer for 15 minutes so that I could turn around and head home and it would be a 5K.  The run that I was not planning on running ended up being another personal record!  A 5K in less than 30 minutes.

I realized that I needed to solve the outdoor winter running.  This should do the trick.  Shoes that will keep my feet dry and spikes to keep me from slipping.

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I went out yesterday for a run and it was amazing!  It was a bit mild but the sidewalks were snow covered in areas, and icy in others.  No slips.  No falls.  A bit slower than my normal pace but I did not care.  I was outside!

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My afternoon yesterday also found me at the gym practicing choreography for a class I teach tomorrow.

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And today I went for another run.  This was after my run.  Happy girl.

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I posted all these photos on my instagram this weekend and received a message through Facebook from an acquaintance.  Short and simple, it said, “you are inspiring”.

Huh?

Those three words hit me like a ton of bricks.  Where some people maybe have looked at my posts this weekend and been sick of the repetitive “look at me working out” pictures, here was someone who was looking at it from a different perspective.

Inspiration.

The acquaintance vaguely knows my story, my deal; is going through a struggle of their own, and found me inspiring.

It never occurred to me that if I answer the “how are you question?” with “great” or even “good”, that the message I am actually sending is that I am strong.  I am not letting this define me.  I am not letting this limit who I am or who I can become.

Sometimes, I find myself unrecognizable.

This is not who I was, who I used to be.  Yet this is who I have become.  And I may not have become this person, had it not been for the ex leaving.  He left and made room for me to grow and blossom.

 

 

8760 Hours

A year ago I had my life handed to me on a silver platter.  It was dented, and tarnished; practically black.  Engraved around the edge were the words, “I have fallen out of love with you and I don’t want to try.”

12 months

365 days

8760 hours

525,600 minutes

31,536,000 seconds

The number above that surprises me the most is the hours.  ONLY 8760 hours in one year?  It feels like there would have been more.  As I drifted to and from sad to angry to frustrated to hurt to abandoned, and back again, the hours piled up, one after another.  Looking at that dented and tarnished platter, the hours seemed endless.

8760 hours.

The tears fell and created small pools in the dents.

Sleep eluded me when it was time to sleep, and enveloped me when it was not.

8760 hours ago, he left.

8760 hours ago, my life began.

Not only have I come so far in the past year, but my life is…is…is so much more.

More.

More love.

More friends.

More support.

More strength.

More genuine happiness.

More communicative.

More gratitude.

More active.

More fit.

More.

The space from what I lost has been filled with so much more.  I look in the mirror and no longer see the dented and tarnished silver platter.  I see a platter that has a few dents, but most have been hammered almost smooth.  There are still spots of tarnish, but much has been rubbed away by love and support and resolve.

And the words?  They have been rubbed away.  All that remains is Love.

Unrecognizable.

Me.

Looking In From the Outside

Some days I wish I could look in, from the outside. 

I am very fortunate to be surrounded by the most supportive friends. After this past year, they still encourage and support me.  

“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” they say. 

“You are so strong and doing so well.”

“You are managing this incredibly difficult transition very well. Hang in there!”

“You are such a great mom.”

“There is no timeline on healing. It is normal to feel as you feel.  You are doing so great.”

“Things have a way of working out. You will sort it out.  You are strong.”

“You are amazing. You have so much to offer.”

I wish I could see me as my friends do. Sometimes when they tell me these things, I wonder what I look like to them. What they see. 

I know the words they use describe what they see. But it feels like they must be talking about someone else. It can’t possibly be me. 

How do I start to see myself as they see me?  

   

Be Mighty

 I lay in bed. Afraid to try to sleep. Worried that sleep will allude me.  Typical as of late. For a while sleep come a bit easier. Now, for the past three weeks or so, sleep is not a good friend of mine. Not an enemy, more like an acquaintance. 

Tonight is the end of day 365.  

Tomorrow I will have come full circle. I will have arrived to the anniversary date where my life as I knew it, changed forever. 
One sentence. Or rather one question took me down a path of no return. Only I did not know it at the time. 

“Can you just tell me that we’re going to be ok?” 

For weeks I wondered what my life would have looked like had I not asked that question. If I had just kept quiet. Like usual. Swallowed my voice. Kept the boat steady. 

His reply, “I don’t know.”  

I folded over and put my hands on my thighs. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. 

Of course he knew. This was not the beginning of the lies. Unbeknownst to be at the time, the lies start months earlier. In the end, all irrelevant. 

It has been quite the year. 

My husband, now ex, moved out. He packed his bag full of lies and left a trail behind. I am still crossing paths with those lies. Too many. Too much. Enough already. 

With the help of some of the most amazing women I have ever met, I was pulled up from the depths of despair. The pulling is not done. Not yet. And while I worry that my friends have tired of me, of this crap, I know they are still there. Arms open to catch me on the unexpected days of sadness and anxiety. Not sadness towards my ex, but rather sadness for the life I am mourning. Sadness for the person I was, good and bad. Anxiety for the unknown of the future. 

I held the hands of my Children and wiped away more tears than I ever thought possible. From them. From me. 

I found the strength and courage to ask for a divorce. He might have been the one to have left out marriage. He might have been the one to quit on us. But I was the one to stood up and said I wanted out. I took control of my situation. I protected myself. I protected my children. 

Tomorrow, on the anniversary date of the collapse of my marriage, I will take my children on a trip. To one of my favourite cities. New York. We will build new Christmas memories. New Christmas traditions. We will get space from their father. Distract ourselves from what is now the reality of or new life. 

We will love each other. Cherish each other. 

On day 366, we will put one foot in front of the other. Just as we have done for the past 365. 

We will be mighty.  

 

I see sadness in your eyes

“I see sadness in your eyes.”

This is what a friend told me last night.  We are new friends.  Fighting the same battle.  The same timeline.  But we have approached it so differently.  She feels completely moved on.  That is what I get from her eyes.  But my eyes?

Sadness.

It is hard to not be sad.  It is hard to actually define why I am sad.  I am not sure that is important.  I just am.

I do not miss him.  I do not want him back in my life.  I see this for the blessing that it is.

I miss my family.  I am scared.  Everything I thought I knew about my future does not exist.

I have had a few friends, and my therapist, tell me to lean into these emotions.  To feel them and let them pass by.  But there seems to be a traffic jam.  They are not passing by so easily these days.  And the days of feeling like this seem endless.

I am a fixer.  I am an explainer.  I like to know the answers.

Am I feeling this way because it is the holidays?  Am I feeling this way because a year ago I started suspecting he was having an affair?  Am I feeling this way because I have almost come one full calendar year through the grieving?  Am I feeling this way because I do not have the distraction of A (most probably)?  Is it ok to be sad still?  Isn’t it time to move on?  How do I do that?  When will the sadness go away?

I like answers.  And right now I feel like I have none.

One foot in front of the other.  One breath at a time.  One second at a time.

One day it will be easier, right?