Once Upon a Time…. nah~


Alot of people don’t know (and now they will) how much I love the story of Cinderella.  Always have, always will. We never see her grumbling about her lot in life, she did what needed to be done and in the end no matter how badly her stepmom and stepsisters tried to ruin her chance at that glass slipper, they couldn’t change her destiny. She was meant to marry her prince.

I went to Target last week after signing the papers and found a new journal with Cinderella’s profile on it. It’s been waiting on my dresser patiently…. just waiting for the day I’d hear from the lawyer that the paperwork was final. That text came this morning. In just 67 days my life has been completely turned upside down and no matter how badly M tried to hurt me, he can’t control or change my destiny. I’m meant for better things.

And so, today is the start of a new story— no, not one that starts with Once Upon a Time… heck, even I’m not that sentimental. My story starts with “A funny thing happened to me on my way to living.”  And sure, I’ll have my fair share of ogres & dragons, and invites to parties, and struggles to find the perfect dress and then of course the shoes. And while there may or may not be a prince, there will most certainly be a happily ever after…. because after all, this is MY story and his story is exactly that — HISTORY!

Unanswered Prayers


….just because He doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care. Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.         Garth Brooks

This is one of two posts that I have struggled with posting. Not because I don’t believe in it but because it was so tough for me to actually accept. Truth is God answers all prayers, sometimes just not in the way we want to hear them.  Its easier to say that the prayer was unanswered than to admit that the answer was No.

In packing up and moving my stuff from the rental to my new place, I found some of my old journals. I scanned through them and was actually surprised by some of what I had written. There were numerous pages where I had written prayers to God begging him to take your anger, take your depression, your foul language… begging Him to help control your frustration towards me and thus the anger that I was on the receiving end of, and then the prayers for strengthened love between us and for the pressure of finances to be eased. One of the first entries that caught my eye was me recording a meltdown you had one of the first night we moved into our rental. You were angry at me because you had to make the mac & cheese with margarine instead of butter. It wasn’t a good night.

I struggled with the fact that you got this great job at the U. We (I) had prayed for this job for years. Lord, please bless M with a job at the U so that he will have benefits, retirement, we can have holidays off together, we can start to look at owning our own place, and Lord, please let it be a position that we might be able to still work with one car so as not to have to add an additional burden to our budget right away.  BAM-answered. You started your new job 13 days after D-day. And I carried the burden of not understanding how God would answer that prayer but not the ones that I had prayed for so many years. I struggled because if God is omnipotent and nothing takes Him by surprise, then why would he choose to bless you knowing that you were going to do such a horrible thing. Why were you getting to benefit from the prayers of not only me, but my friends and my family? Why would He not want you to have to struggle with where to live and where to work and what to do?   Why? Why?

But it doesn’t matter why. The answer to my prayers for peace in my marriage all those years was “no” and the answer to you getting the job was “yes.” And the reason it doesn’t matter is because I don’t know what the road ahead holds, but I do know who holds the road. Years ago, I couldn’t see that years later the Lord would say Yes to peace, just not in the way that I expected. I do have peace now and while its not within my marriage, it is within me and it wasn’t an unanswered prayer but rather a prayer to yet be answered.

PS… if you are struggling with the whys in life, talk to a Pastor. Mine has been an invaluable resource in helping me get through this and if you don’t have a Pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley has a short article that might help– How will I know God’s answer to my prayer? 

Wonderland


“Only a few find the way, some don’t recognize it when they do – some… don’t ever want to.” ― The Cheshire Cat 

The nights are still incredibly quiet but somehow they don’t seem as lonely. Don’t misunderstand–my thoughts still keep me awake and when I do fall asleep its just for a few hours and them I’m once again awake for the rest of the night. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to be able to fall back asleep with enough time to actually rest before the alarm goes off. Most mornings however, I turn off the alarm before it even goes off.

It’s been 48 hours since I signed the papers.Time used to be so fleeting to me and now I’m so annoyingly, conscientiously aware of it. I still measure time by D-Day; I don’t mean to, it just happens. I still don’t hate you but I sure hate what you did. I hate that your selfishness has ruined four significant dates for me: the anniversary of your father’s passing, my brother’s birthday, my birthday and our anniversary …… in one fell swoop, every single one of those significant and special days is forever marred by the memory of your infidelity and your indifference.

My consolation is that my “new” birthday will be in February. Yup, that’s right… at least for awhile I will celebrate my half-birthday 🙂 I can thank L for that suggestion. And our anniversary will now be my “antiversary.”  It’s all sort of fitting as I have felt a bit like Alice navigating the twists and turns in Wonderland so these un-celebrations would be perfectly at home with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the White Rabbit. And like Alice,  I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

But I’m Ok. Actually, a lot more Ok than I thought I would be. After signing the papers, I had a mini-meltdown that lasted about 5 minutes and was solved with hugs from Ms. E and Mr. R and then later hugs from my parents who stopped what they were doing and just listened to me as I likely shared the same stories and frustrations they’ve heard for the past 2 months.

Aside from that, its been pretty non-eventful. Although, I will admit that I have been in a constant state of checking my email to see if there is word from the lawyer that the judge has signed off on our divorce paperwork.  In that respect, I feel like the white rabbit always checking his pocket watch. Alice:How long is forever? White Rabbit:Sometimes, just one second.” 

I’m honestly not sure how I will react when I see those words and see the documents showing the finality of it all, but one things for sure I’m willing to take the road less travelled.

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

45-Minute Procedure


“God only gives us what we can handle. He must think I’m a bad ass!” pinterest pin

I had knee surgery yesterday. I think back to a conversation we had just a week ago when we were talking about you and your plans for moving your stuff out of the rental and I had mentioned I was at the orthopedic surgeon’s office. You never asked me why and I know its because you don’t care. Just like the night I injured my knee, exactly one week prior to D-day. I hobbled into the bedroom, you were already asleep but woke up to my crying and limping around. You asked me if I was Ok. I said no. You prayed for the pain, offered to get me an ice pack and then went back to sleep, never bringing it up again.

I lived with the pain from that day through now but little did I know that the pain of two tears in my meniscus was nothing compared to the pain I was going to begin to have to deal with just one week later. If only it would be as easy as a quick 45-minute procedure to repair the tears in my heart as it is to repair the tears in my knee.

So while I’m layed up over the next few days, I am soaking up plenty of Pinterest.  Often I would look to fellow pinners to post words of encouragement that I needed to hear/see. Many were things I wanted to hear from you but I had to seek out myself. Today, I spent 45 pinterest minutes on a procedure I like to call “Me.” Here are some of my favorite pick me ups today.

 

Picture 2  Picture 4 Picture 5 Picture 6 Picture 7 Picture 8 Picture 9 Picture 10 Picture 11 Picture 12 Picture 13 Picture 14 Picture 15 Picture 16 Picture 17  Picture 19Picture 1

 

 

Dangerous Territory


Emotional relationships venture into dangerous territory. They may not initially lead to physical involvement, but they can still devastate marriages.  Focus on the Family, The Truth About Emotional Affairs.

Your justifications, your excuses… I think I dwell on them because they are without reason and sense. I find it hard to believe that I lived ten years buying into all sorts of excuses, even helping you make a couple of them. And now, being removed from you really makes me see them for what they are: stupid, nonsensical and really just lies.

The day you handed me your half of the rent check and it had her address on it, you knew exactly what you were doing. I asked you what was up, what was the deal, were you two dating? And your response was “Yes & No, that you hung out and did things together.” I’m going to poll the audience on this one but isn’t that called……… dating? It’s been awhile but I’m pretty sure that’s one of the definitions.

You told me that you weren’t having sex with her. I’m not sure why you felt you needed to tell me that but you did.  You stupid, stupid boy, an affair isn’t just about sex. You are living with her and she is a part of your life, a part of your routine, she is someone that you care for. Case in point — the day you were leaving for your vacation you very specifically said to me,  “Now, P and all of them aren’t going to go to the store and harass her are they? Because that would fuckin’ piss me off.”  I responded, “how would I know?”  There was more emotion in that question you asked me about her than there was the entire weekend leading up to you leaving. Affairs are not just physical, they can be emotional. You are emotionally involved with her, ergo, you are still having an affair and yes, you are still married.

It still makes me completely nauseous to know that you spent time talking about me to her, compared me to her, hid your 1800+ texts and phone calls to/from her, spent time at another co-worker’s house with her, used your friends as a cover to go be with her.

I pray that the Lord grants me grace and the freedom to forgive myself for trusting you and readily buying into the lies you told me. And I still pray that you will come to full repentance before the Lord. But since that’s not happening anytime soon, will you at least pay the lawyer?

Going, Going, Gone


The language… oh the language. I’m embarrassed that I sound like a sailor.

I find myself constantly apologizing to God, to my friends, to co-workers. I keep referring to you in some not kind words and I know better than that. In my grieving process, I’m apparently in the cursing stage. Hopefully it passes quickly because honestly its not me. I really don’t like foul language– I’ve always believed that with so many words in the English language I should certainly be able to come up with one that would work. Plus that’s not how I was raised and my mom would probably wash my mouth out with soap…that is, if she didn’t think the same of you as I do right now. But I’m sorry, its childish and you know me well enough to know that it not me.

There is a new part of me emerging. I wasn’t kidding when I said that as long as she is living my recycled life that I was free to get a new one. I’ve had more time to get to know my friends better. They have rallied around me in a way that still humbles me. The best part of receiving love is that you are energized to return it and show it to others. I am calmer, not every moment of my day is spent rehashing the events of D-day. Its as if their love and prayers carry me throughout the day. I will never be able to thank them enough and while I pray they don’t go through anything as life-shattering as I have been going through–I do pray that should their world get rocked that I can be the friend to them as they are to me.

I find that I have moments that I get excited to consider the new world that is mine. I think about venues around town, places that I can experience and explore without having to do a recon mission to scope it out to come home and prepare you for the environment. I really used to think you were spontaneous and maybe when we first met, you were; but as our years together passed, you weren’t as open to new experiences as you led people to believe.  Maybe it was just me, I’ll never know.

You called as sweet as can be asking for my help with your insurance and the pharmacy. This was quite the change from the two phone conversations just 24 and 48 hours prior.  Sometimes, I’m not sure if I’m coming or going. No that’s not true, I’m definitely going. I’m going to be stronger, I’m going to be smarter and I’m going to one day find someone that will love me the way that I deserve to be loved.

The Little Things


It’s the little things

  • When filling out paperwork and I need to list my emergency contact. For so long it was you
  • When having to circle single, married, divorced. I’m technically still married, but I’m currently single while in the midst of divorce proceedings
  • Having to remember to take the trash to the curb
  • Hearing about a current event and not having anyone to ask or talk to about it
  • Seeing someone with a Michigan hat or shirt and wanting to shout GO BLUE so that I could come home and tell you that I made you proud
  • Seeing a mutual acquaintance who isn’t in our current circle and he asks me how you are doing
  • Watching College Game Day and laughing at Lee Corso
  • Knowing that the reason you didn’t like Kirk Herbstreit is because he played for Ohio

It’s the questions that will never be answered

  • Am I angry at you Or am I angry at the time I feel you stole from me by having an affair?
  • Why haven’t you paid the lawyer yet? It’s been 40 days
  • When did I stop being good enough for you?

It’s the realizations

  • I forgot how much I liked country music
  • I missed natural light filling a room, you always insisted on closing the curtains to avoid glare on the TV
  • I really HATED the setting you chose for text message alerts. I told you, but you ignored me
  • I missed pizza with more than a meat topping. When money meant that we could only get one pizza, I always defaulted to what I knew you would eat and gave up my veggie pizzas
  • Quiet time can really be quiet. No TV or music in the background, just quiet—me & God
  • You really had a foul mouth, its nice to go a full day without hearing the “F” word
  • All eighteen stations in the car can now be set to what I want… I’ve not changed them yet
  • Just because my marriage ended doesn’t mean that God’s purpose my life did

Running Numbers


I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? Tom Hanks, Castaway

I’ve been asked a lot of questions, and I ask a lot of questions myself. We had a joke for it when we were together – you said I was “running numbers.” Well, I’m running a lot of numbers lately, trying to figure things out and having moments of clarity accepting that there are things I will never know.

You left me to deal with our church family and our friends. When asked Where are you? I now reply “You have made some choices and decisions that mean you will not be around anymore.” For a period of time, I contemplated simply saying that you had an affair, you didn’t want to reconcile and we are getting a divorce. I struggled with trying to protect you and I don’t know why. You didn’t have an affair, you are having an affair…we are still married and you are still with her. There is no effort to show me how much you are sorry regardless of what you say.

What hurts the most, the fact that he said those things on D-day or that you are no longer his woman? This one took less time to answer than I expected. It really is a combination of both. In recent months, your actions were more cooled towards me. I attributed that to your extra work schedule and the stress you were under while working two jobs, albeit part-time jobs. I didn’t realize it was the stress of living a lie. One of my concerns that I shared directly with you was that you didn’t make me feel like I was a priority to you. If you wanted me to sit next to you at church, then you would have saved a spot for me, but you didn’t. You wouldn’t withhold affection, you would want to hold my hand, you wouldn’t walk three feet in front of me, you wouldn’t jump at the offer of a friend to go hang out and leave me at home. So hearing you say that there wasn’t a spark between us, that you weren’t “in love” with me, that there wasn’t anything in me worth fighting for would have only been words if they had not been validated by your actions. So what hurts is that your actions backed what you said and that’s why I can’t accept your apologies right now. They aren’t just words to me.

How are you? (Meaning me) Well, at this moment I am (insert assorted answers.) At any given moment I go through a range of emotions. I realize that I’m like the Georgia weather…don’t like it? Give it five minutes and it will change. One lesson you taught me is an old AA technique: if I don’t have a beer right now, I can have one in an hour. I’ve applied that technique a lot lately but sometimes I can’t wait an hour and I have to just get through the next minute. If I don’t cry right now, I can cry in a minute. And the next minute, if I don’t cry right now, I can cry in two minutes.

Why are you paying for the divorce? Well, I’m not paying for it, but I am paying half. And after that, I really don’t have a reason.

How can you forgive him? Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

How can you not hate him or her? Love… And I don’t mean my love for him, but rather the love of my Heavenly Father for me. ….And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)

Where is he going to live? I don’t know but yes, I do care. The Lord has blessed him with a great opportunity at a new job and whether he succeeds or fails is up to him.

Are you going to move back to Arizona? Tempting but no. I have created a life here that will go on even without him in my life. And now maybe I will be the one taking the opportunity for the one available ticket.

Now what? Well, I guess I will continue to rise up each morning and breathe in and out and pray that tomorrow will be a bit easier than today and I won’t have to remind myself to breathe.

No Doubt


I’m trying to pack and I can’t. It’s not the physical task involved, it’s the emotional weight that putting things in boxes represents. Each time that moving boxes have been involved, there has been some life-changing event that we’ve always tackled together and now I’m left to pack up my own stuff and you will come later and pack up your own stuff. And maybe it’s that your stuff is the “big stuff” so no matter how much I accomplish, to anyone looking in from the outside it doesn’t look like much has changed.

My craft studio contains so much “stuff”…. Stuff that I did by myself. Each piece of paper, each inkpad, each stamp was selected by me. It was mine and I spent a lot of time in that studio. I always said that I was blessed to have a husband who let me have a space of my own. I bragged about your support of what I did and I was thankful that you never held it against me. I was grateful for the opportunity that my little crafts would bring and the cash that would come with those opportunities. Often, they paid for some extra groceries or even take-home when we’d do dinner and a movie from the comfort of our living room.

Your space consisted of the couch or the bed. No matter which, you always had your computer and were always playing online games. I didn’t fuss at it because like you let me have my space, I figured you needed yours… a way to just find time for your mind to unwind. Looking back, it was just a way for us to not talk — to have Netflix playing in the background, to share a common laugh or gasp at what was going on, but we forgot to talk to each other.

I remember saying to you as we were driving to the airport before you trip, and after a particularly tough weekend of talking through a lot of things, that I felt closer to you than I had in a long time and yet, I couldn’t just reach over and hold your hand. We dealt with a lot of feelings those first two days…D-weekend. It’s a shame we couldn’t deal with them earlier.

You sent me a text that said you were sorry that you couldn’t share your feelings in a way that I understood. So am I. You said that if I had only asked if something was going on, that you would have told me. I should not have had to ask. You said that you were sorry you let it get as far as it did. I agree. And yet again, I wonder, is it easier to say sorry now… now that you are sure this is over?

I paid my half of the lawyer’s fees; will you pay yours? You were so anxious for this to end and confident that it would just 19 days ago but you struggle to come up with the full half of your responsibility? You tell me you have just $8 in your wallet until payday and I want so badly to offer you some money so that you can get some new pants for work but I don’t. There are things I want to tell you but don’t. Things that I think you should know, things that would make your life a bit easier but I won’t.

You see, for so long, I was always taking care of the loose ends while you were making deals. And now, you say you go from couch to couch between two homes, one being hers and the other a woman who knew exactly what was going on and didn’t speak up. I know where each lives and it doesn’t make sense. You are always driving her car no matter where you say you slept. I think you are lying and even if you aren’t there isn’t much now that would convince me otherwise. I question your questions, I question your answers, and I question your motives.

Yesterday, I received a text from you asking me if I was going to “shaft” you with the rest of the bills (namely, because the house bills are all in your name). Where in the world did that come from? Again, my response to you is have I proven myself to be so unfaithful to you and my responsibilities to this marriage that you doubt I would continue? You have no sense of boundaries with the chatter that is going on around you. You doubt me, because you doubt yourself.

But you see, I don’t doubt you. I don’t doubt that you will find a way to figure it out. I don’t doubt that you will have your cake and eat it too, I don’t doubt that you will come out of this feeling as if you have been justified in all of your actions and I don’t doubt that you will wake up one day and realize that I’m gone.

Queue Stupid Boy by Keith Urban