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.