Friday, September 26, 2014

Everything that Drowns Me Makes Me Want to Fly

Things are falling into place, almost as if the Universe has lined up a perfect order to our lives. I could not dream a better dream, altho of course my dreams fall short of what I’ve come to believe is truly in store for me, for us.

I'm keeping a journal of all the miracles, big and small. They line up like an assembly line of little elves loading Santa's sleigh on Christmas eve, each taking a turn tossing awesomeness in our direction, some miracles larger than others, but all building a large mountain of gifts that were unimaginable. I didn't dare to dream what I thought was impossible. I couldn't see the bigger picture, and the bird's eye view of this transition is still obscured by my proximity to the epicenter and by a lack of faith and hope. Really God? You're bigger than I thought, and even more impressive is the suggestion: this stream of gifts may not ever end. (Is it true?) Can these gifts keep coming, like a lottery pay off with a daily allowance of goodies?

While obstacles and challenges still stand in our road, there's a need for strength and courage, both for me and for Oliver. He's a trooper. He's generally happy, altho school has been a challenge for him — reasons still undetermined. I don't need a whole lotta suggestions from readers on that (right now) as I don't have time to go into detail about it, nor time to tell you why we are still in the dark about the origin of his animosity. This weekend I have to clean out our old home, and in spite of all the help I've had, there's much to do. I could just leave it all behind and let the new owners deal with the junk and mess, but that's not me. Besides, the feelings that journey alongside accomplishing closure (at least there is closure to this ending) and a job-well-done earn my self-respect, something that has been lacking in my life for some time.

A friend of mine shared this:

Fear and courage ignite some of the same feelings and physical reactions in the body. The difference is, with courage you move forward. With fear you stay stuck.

My self-diagnosis, then, is that I have been filled with courage.


Monday, September 22, 2014

In One Fell Swoop, We Were Moved

Saturday, 20 or more people descended upon my home. They came in shifts, the first starting at 8 am. Three men and a trailer, plus two girlfriends. Two of the men I had met casually at a picnic; the third a husband of a good friend. He recruited two guys and they were off to the races within minutes of arrival.

By 9:30, the 100 or so boxes were out of my home and into the new one.

The day continued with people just showing up, smiling, laughing, helping. I had bagels and a sandwich platter brought over, an endless supply of coffee and bottled water. People helped for however long they could. Many stayed until the job was done. By the end of the day most everything was in the new place and all the food and water were gone.

Nearly everyone commented that the new place was really nice, that I scored a great apartment. It is pretty, and I'm sure that once I make it my own in some ways, it will be even nicer.

We are still in our old place since our beds are still here. Movers come Monday (today) and bring the larger pieces of furniture and appliances. Tuesday a new range arrives. Eventually I will head to IKEA for a few things, and once I swap out a few light fixtures, lay down area rugs, hang the art work, bake some cookies... it will feel like home. I hope. I even have Halloween decorations close by so that I can help my little guy celebrate and feel excited about his new place.

People who have walked me thru the past month have said I look lighter. I think the worst is behind me. I'm looking forward to getting settled. There is a little apprehension regarding the holidays. I am not looking forward to them this year. I had celebrated them so differently in years past both married and while dating; I'll try not to worry about that today. (It's looming tho.)

Bill's 50th birthday is coming up. I had custom ordered two special gifts for him.; they were both very  meaningful to him and were hand crafted by artisans. They sit here, both items something engraved with his name, useless to anyone else; I'm still contemplating whether or not to send them to him. I will be with girl friends on his birthday at a woman's conference — in a safe place. I'm not a role model for your daughters... I wish I could be the type of woman who never looks back and says I deserve better. Despite his anger, rejection, betrayal, I wish for closure. I know I will never gain his respect, and that makes me sad. I went thru that with Matt for years until I think he finally saw me in a new light. I want to be a confident woman who says, I don't care what you think of me. Your loss. I deserve better. You all tell me that. My friends tell me all the time. I will keep working to be that kind of woman, and I will no longer settle for anyone or anything less.

I deserve more and so does my son. This new apartment will be my clean slate. Like a reader said, a blank document, a new browser window, and from there we get to paint the world we want to have.

(Ha, and it helps that I'm almost 30lbs lighter too!) :) :) :)





Friday, September 19, 2014

Unsettled

One day left until a dozen or so friends descend upon my home and carry these boxes away.

It's 5:30 am. I wake before sunrise daily, dark, quiet. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to last another 30 minutes longer, when the sky begins to turn a light grey. Often I rub my eyes and try to make out the time. Many mornings it's much earlier than I imagine, and then my thoughts go directly to Bill. If it's midnight, I imagine he's with her, if it's 3am, I feel secure that he's asleep. Do I care really? I try not to think about him mostly. Perhaps I go there out of habit.

It's getting better, sleeping. Anxiety had been preventing me from a full nights' slumber. I would wake at midnight. I wake at 1. 2:30. 3:30. 4:30. It was only once per night that my sleep was interrupted, yet I'd have a sinking pit in my stomach.

This is normal with grief and loss; something has been lost. Knots neatly twist and turn pain into a tight little ball, which at given hour, begins to slightly unravel. That's when I wake with a start. Ugh. Yuck. Sadness. Bill... Why? How could you?

A fair amount of reading or brain exercising will tire out my mind; my silent cry out to Bill is brief. Once at ease, I can then sleep until 5:30 — the point of no return. It's an unwelcome, one-way ticket to the beginning of my day.

The first waking hour has a lingering anxiety, almost always related to the break up. One last time I think of him and wish I knew what he was doing. Are they still together? Head to desk, I bow for a moment, then pray, asking God to relieve me of the desire for him, thoughts of him, hurt from him. Let me be free Lord to find the life I want... a quiet life, a content life, and allow me to find my self-esteem and dignity again.

It's been two months. Bill is a distant bell. Not long ago, I was dating someone, enjoying time with him, receiving kindness and love from him. I was living in my home, planning the next big project, adding it to the giant "to do" list. As the list became longer, I realized there may never be a possibility to complete my ideas. Attempts to regain this property may not work. I tried several different routes each resulting in utter failure, though none without optimism and hope. Bill shared my dreams and planned right along with me; he of course would be the one to execute them. He is a carpenter, extremely skilled and prideful in his trade.

My marriage and subsequent divorce did not end with much animosity and hatred. There isn't any hatred between us; for that I am grateful. I wouldn't pick my X-husband to be my friend, but there is a child involved, and somehow we found a way to get past ourselves, our hurt, fear, frustrations and self-centeredness, in order to focus on what's best for Oliver. (I could write a book about that.) It works, and in a quirky way, we've become friends. I get text pictures at times; he trusts me; I trust him; dare I tell you that I even like his partner? :) She's great actually, and I'm glad Oliver has someone who really cares about him in his life.

There is something stark, unsettling about having unresolved conflict between Bill and I; perhaps this is what it's like to have an adversarial divorce. Obviously we were not married, but I have not experienced ongoing adversarial interaction with a person you once loved. He is disgusted and extremely angry with me, and I'm not sure why. I reached out immediately, several times, after he stopped talking to me to find answers — I was met with rage. In doing so, I lost my dignity. He became even angrier. I stopped trying to find answers (I had one). The last time I saw him was in court. The last time I spoke with him was two weeks or longer prior to that. It's been well-over a month since we spoke, and when we did, he was not pleasant. I was graveling.

These are the feelings that come up as we prepare to move. I don't know what it will be like in the new place; will I miss this home? Will I find relief? We don't live in luxurious and fancy; but I do have some amenities that I'll miss: jet tub, lots of counter space, back patio attached to my bedroom, green grass and room for Oliver to play. Even Oliver says he will miss our home. Sigh... Then I remember there are people who do not have electricity, food, clothing, shelter, and I silence those thoughts, say praises of gratitude that we are healthy today, alive, and living in a wonderful neighborhood with an amazing school, with amazing people in my community. That part will not change.

I am loved by so many, and that is a big gift in my life, one which I cannot clearly see why I deserve. I think about all my faults, places where I need to improve. There is shame surrounding my faults and mistakes. Forgiveness for my own mistakes does not come easy. I am hard on myself. I want to learn to stop that, but self-criticism and high standards come naturally. Perhaps practicing mindfulness will help. Others are less so with me. I am loved.

Here's what friend said to me just today when I updated her on what's going on in my life the past two months:

I’m so incredibly sorry to hear you’re dealing with all this crapola right now! YOU DO NOT DESERVE IT! These dang men have NO IDEA how amazing you are! Screw them. This is completely Bill’s loss for sure. And, sounds like a fine time for you to focus on you and that sweet little mister… Oliver anyway! I know it’s easy for me to say, harder for you to do… but I do hope you know just how awesome you are. Beautiful, inside and out! Truly a shining soul!

Let me know if there’s anything I can help with. I’m always great at bringing wine and cheese to warm a new home with someone!!! ;) ;) You name the day… after you’re settled.

I love you, girl! Chin up, smile and shine! xoXO

I get texts and emails like this often. They lift me up, inspire me. They are one of the many hands that together carry me.

It was great to see you and Oliver today. I wanted to let you know that (child) and I are always here for you and Oliver. You look great and it sounds like things are on the up swing. I am so sorry you've been going through such a hard time. You are a strong and powerful woman who is capable of of anything. You are getting healthy.... if there is ever anything you need, please ask. I am here :)

And...

You have a very warm, sparkling personality and the world would be a darker place without you.

And...

I'm thinking about you all the time, please let me know if I can help you out in any way.

I will get thru this, I am getting thru it.



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