recovery


So many of my male friends are shocked by the #metoo stories and how many women they know with stories. Somany of them are asking what they can or should do, this is a good read regarding this.

 

#MeToo testimonies are flooding our social media feeds. For men, realizing complicity can be uncomfortable. On seeing this discomfort as a challenge.

Source: For Guys Reading #MeToo Testimonies — Courtney Martin | On Being

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My life has been super crazy the past few weeks. I have a lot to share and blog about but right now my focus is my birthday. I turn 50 on Saturday. I don’t know why we focus so much on decades but we do. I have been thinking a lot about the last ten years. Ten years ago was one of the most difficult of my life. We had the year of the deaths and it was when my marriage really started falling apart. I got depressed again and really had no motivation to live. I changed jobs thinking it would help my marriage. It didn’t. I started drinking very heavily and was not sure if I wanted to go forward. My children did throw me a great birthday party for my fortieth. It is a great memory. They threw me a massive surprise party. I had friends and family from all over the country surprise me here at my house. We had a band, food, and overall a great time. That was my last good birthday as a married woman. My ex-husband was never much about celebrating birthdays so there were only a few even decent ones while I was married.

I now look back at the past ten years and remember all the heartbreak I had when my marriage dissolved and several more people dying that I cared about. It has been rough in many ways but, in others, it has been great. I now look back at my divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to me. It took me a long time to realize that but I sure have. Since the divorce, I have grown so much. I am now stronger and healthier and happier than I have been in probably fifteen years. I feel better than in years. I look great. I am stronger and in much better shape than I was ten years ago. I no longer feel like I need someone to take care of me. I find my own solutions to my problems. I have a job that a love, a complete new set of friends, and my kids love me. I am lifting weights again. I no longer have breathing issues or chronic pain. I am sleeping better. I have gotten used to being solo most of the time and it doesn’t bother me. I honestly feel that IF I end up with someone, they will be so lucky to have me. I am actually better emotionally than I ever have been in my life. It took fifty years to get to where I really and truly love myself and am confident and happy.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very sad that my birthday was coming up and I was going to spend it alone but now I am not. I had one girlfriend take the bull by the horns and now several of us are meeting at the local steakhouse. I will get 50% off my meal and then we will hit the town. My ex-bf/ bff is coming as well as several others. I am actually excited for my day again. I won’t be alone to ring in my next decade. I will be with people that love ME for me and accept me for ME. FIFTY is going to be a great year and I am like a fine wine, I am going to keep getting better with age.

Here I am sitting in my den with my dogs, alone, on a holiday. The kids are at work. There are events going on, of course, but I really didn’t feel like going to these alone.  This is such a family day. My friends are with their families and I have my dogs. I guess this is a good day to get some  things done around the house and get some blogs written.

It is funny how most of the time I am not lonely anymore. I am truly content being alone most of the time.  can do what I want, when i want. Read, watch TV, take a walk, ride my motorcycle. Eat dessert for breakfast. cook if I choose, I really do enjoy the freedom BUT there are times that it is super lonely and things that I really miss. I miss family meals. For twenty-three years, we had a sit down meal almost every night. We would laugh, talk, share our day, dreams, etc. I miss that so much that it sometimes hurts. Now I get that rarely. I eat by myself most of the time. I am most  lonely when my emotions are high. When I am super sad or excited about something, I miss having a partner to share things with. I miss having someone to run things by before a decision is made. I do not miss them telling me what I can do but advice and a helpful ear is definitely missed. I miss having someone to share fun and bad times with. I miss having someone that is my best friend in all ways. Good thing that my pup listens well. 😉

Today I am lonely. I wish I had someone to BBQ with, to drink a beer or two with. To snuggle with and watch fireworks. Instead, I am home….alone….. and will be until I go to bed. I tried to stay up and positive today but as the day goes on, it is getting worse. Oh well, this is now my life. I need to get used to it.

It is funny how some things will trigger me and remind me of how bad things had been. I was at work, walking up 12th Street and there were three cars at the intersection. The first one was turning left onto Main Ave. The traffic on Main doesn’t have a stop sign so it can be a long wait to turn left. The second vehicle was going straight and the third wanted to turn right. This is a small town with relatively little traffic but it has grown a lot over the years. I admit it has not been fun watching it grow over the thirty years I have been here but it goes with the territory. The guy in the third vehicle started screaming and cursing profanities and honking his horn. He couldn’t see that the first vehicle wanted to go left. He was being very impatient and letting himself get super stressed about such a minor thing. When the first car finally was able to turn (maybe ninety seconds), he squealed up to the second car and turned right very quickly and potentially dangerously while revving his engine. I immediately thought to myself how glad I was to not be with someone like that anymore. The ex-husband used to get such horrible road rage. There were times I was afraid that he might even get us shot or hurt. He would flip people off on the highways in the city, cut people off, tailgate on purpose if someone cut us off. You never know when someone might pull a gun. If I said anything to him, he would then yell at me. I was often very nervous in the car with him. The stress and tension in the car was always so bad from that moment on. It was bad for all of our health. Stress increases inflammation which increases pain, diabetes, and so many other health issues. He was slowly killing us all.

I will never put up with that from someone again. It was one of the many ways I was mentally abused and controlled by him. He had a nasty temper that I was afraid to set off. he never physically hurt me but I was scared of him and so were the kids. I wish I could say that he never laid a hand on them. He never beat them but kids should not be scared of their parents.

About the man in this story, I feel bad for him (and the ex). Life is too short to get so upset over such insignificant things. His blood pressure was up, I am sure. His behavior was bad for his health. Luckily, there was no one else in the car and I am sure I was the only one that heard his language. I was the only other one really affected and it made me feel grateful that I no longer have that kind of stress in my life.

I thought things were getting better in my marriage. We had had a great holiday season. I thought things were turning around. It had been sketchy for a while but I never wanted to give up hope. I believed in love. I believed in marriage. Most of all, I believe in promises.

I was in a great mood and the husband came home and directed me into the bedroom. I thought he was going to do something romantic, instead, he told me that I was going to be served in the next couple of days as he had filed for divorce that day. Not only had he blindsided me with this. He had hired an attorney with the most vicious reputation in town. He claimed he didn’t know her reputation but I didn’t buy it. I know he had to have asked someone who to hire. I felt so betrayed on so many levels. The holiday was a lie. He hired Deb. He had been talking to her for almost 18 months so almost two years was a lie.

There were so many things that were done in that time frame that I wouldn’t have gone along with had I known that he was leaving me. We traded in MY car for him to get his BRAND NEW dream truck and I was given a car that was not what I wanted. We got rid of our pool table. Those are a couple of the things I just cannot seem to get past. The car he left me with was such a lemon. I ended up having to replace the engine less than a year after the divorce and then last year had another 2000 to put into it. Those expenses have hurt me terribly and sent me into debt. I cannot help but resent the fact that he has that stupid truck and I had that car. It was totaled last summer so it is gone. At least, I do not have to get in it and think about it daily but I do miss that pool table often.

I did love him at one time and believed in love, marriage, and mainly promises. I do not break promises. I still get angry that he wouldn’t fight for our marriage. I resent that he used my atheism against me yet he was the one breaking his religion by getting a divorce. I had nothing but my word and my love for him keeping me fighting for our marriage for the final eight years that we struggled.

I did cry for months, every day. I worked at the local hospital that he had worked at for sixteen years. We live in a small town so people know each other, especially the medical community. Since we were both in medicine, we knew so many of the same people professionally. It was so difficult to go to work and have people daily ask how he was, tell me to tell him hi, etc. I would always break down in tears. This lasted for easily two months. I went through the stages of grief, including anger. It would have been much easier if he had moved out but I couldn’t afford an attorney and he stayed until the divorce was final almost nine months later. He did so much damage to me and the kids in that time frame. I imagine that I will share much of that as time goes on.

By the time we got divorced, my self esteem was in the gutter, I never thought that I would have sex again. I didn’t think I was even pretty, much less beautiful. I didn’t think anyone would ever love me again or I could love again. When we met, I was active duty Army and had great self confidence. It is amazing what verbal abuse and living with a narcissist for 23 years will do to you. I had been suicidal in 2008 and probably part of 2009 but I was at least healthy enough mentally that I didn’t go down that path again. In fact, I remember one night telling him that he was NOT  going to kill me. I would live through the divorce and I would be okay. I was determined to not get suicidal again and I have not. I have had moments, very brief, where I have felt like I might go down that road again but I have endured and survived.

I was blogging prior to his filing about my depression and he took it all as an attack  and reflecting poorly on him so that blog is gone. I hope to be able to release these things again as they are healing for me and I did have several people tell me how it helped them. I have survived and am stronger and healthier than I have been in ten years. There is life after divorce. It is not always easy. Financially, I struggle (a lot due to that lemon car he gave me) but I am happier. I am allowed to be me without being criticized. I can go do things without feeling guilty leaving my partner sitting on the sofa watching television and getting fat. I do miss having a partner but, honestly, he wasn’t a partner for many years prior to him blindsiding me. He had been planning for years. I am sure he was stashing money. I would not be surprised if he had had a girlfriend at the time. Those things do not matter anymore. I am happy now. I am not sure he is. I am not happy that we cannot speak anymore and I cannot let go of anger towards him yet. Most of it is from things he did that affected the kids negatively. I know my anger affected my relationship with ex-bf. I have got to learn to let so much more go before I can be serious with someone. If he can quit hurting the kids, that would be much easier.

Last month, I blogged about a realization about my ex-bf (A self realization) and I mentioned how I was hoping that this would help me get over him an it has. Once I realized that the biggest connection now was the family thing, it helped. It also helped that I really like his new girlfriend. She and I have texted a few great conversations. She fits him better than I do. Also, in recent conversations I have had with him, I have heard how happy he is. I think this man that has struggled with happiness all of his life may have finally found it. As  I am getting to know her, I see why he has fallen in love with her and I definitely know why she has fallen for him. In our conversation today, she told me that she can see why he cares for me so much. She is not threatened by me at all. I am truly happy for him and realized the other day that I am over him romantically.

When I was super down the other day, the first person I contacted was him. I sent him a text telling him what A had done. I vented to him all morning about being the perpetual nice gal and also how that event triggered my emotions from my divorce.  He knows all about R and the married one.  As I was texting him I realized that I wouldn’t be doing that if I was still romantically interested. I realized that I am over him. I will always love him and the relationship he has had with my kids but I no longer want to be with him as a partner. I saw him the other day at work and had no desire to kiss him. Yes, I hugged him but I am a hugger. I hug people I care about. I appreciate how he helped me grow. I appreciate how he taught me how to love again and how to accept love. I definitely appreciate the fact that he taught me to enjoy sex for the first time in my life.  I want to be his friend. I want to be with him or help him through the death of his dog that is coming relatively soon but I also know the new gal will be there for him. I am happy for both of them and I am over him. Realizing this will help me truly move on. I have been in love with him for over two years. He has been such a positive person in my life and there is absolutely no anger towards him. He only hurt me one time since I have known him and we discussed and got past that almost two years ago. I hope that they can continue their happiness and journey. I hope that he can finally be truly happy. I am so glad that I can truly move on.

I have got to wonder if what has been missing with R and others has been that I was still (unconsciously) holding onto ex-Bf. Maybe I can finally move on. I am still not actively looking again. I am still a bit turned off of relationships and men right now bu this has been a break thru for me. He taught me to love and how to love BUT I am finally ready to let go and let us both move on. It is a great feeling and very liberating.

Now I know why nice guys get so tired or being told they are nice guys. Since I started dating again, I have had several guys tell me that I am beautiful, sexy, wonderful, great, etc. They have told me that they are sure that I will find someone (but they are not it). R has done that to me but he was honest real early with me. It did hurt at first. We talked a lot and decided that we would still see each other and be FWB. There was a time over the summer that I thought maybe things had changed but after discussing it again, I realized I was wrong. We have been able to still enjoy each other because of his honesty. The married one (who I still need to talk about more) has been totally honest with me and his wife.

Unfortunately, A couldn’t be honest with me and really hurt me. He was living in a halfway house until now and so we have hardly had any time together. During the holidays, I was feeling bad for him for not being able to go out and enjoy things. I felt bad for him being alone. He gets a parole transfer in March and will be leaving the state. I knew from the moment that we met that we would not have a future but have enjoyed our time together. Last time we hung out, I realized I was glad about that. I didn’t want a future with him but figured that I would still hang out with him while he was here so he would have a friend. We were never a couple. We actually have had very little time together due to his restrictions at the halfway house. He encouraged me to date other guys but didn’t want to hear about them. No biggie. Last night, I sent him a message via Facebook (he doesn’t have a phone) asking him how he was doing. He sent me a message back telling me that he wanted to wait for the holidays to be over but he is seeing someone else. He went on to tell me how wonderful I am and how I would find someone. I truly am not upset that he found someone but the fact that he couldn’t tell me earlier bothers me. I hope that possibly this girl is someone he can be happy with. I know I was not. I am also hurt to get the nice girl message again.

I couldn’t believe how much this bothered me. I cried off and on all morning. I do know some of it was the nice girl thing but another has to do with my divorce. I will share that particular thing soon. It is difficult though always being told by decent guys that I am nice but …. and the guys that really fall for me become obsessive.  Isn’t there a happy medium out there? One of my male friends told me a few weeks ago that men are more trouble than they are worth. Maybe he is right. Maybe I am better off alone. I have basically pulled myself off the market. I am not looking anymore. I don’t want to be the nice girl again for a while.

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