Roses in Winter


M’s mom, JM, came into town between the Christmas and New Years holidays. How are there even words to comfort a mother who is there to collect her child’s belongings and settle his outstanding affairs?  The night she got into town, JM went to “her” house to see what was to be collected and to make a plan on how to get the items moved out.

The day of the move came and “all” of M’s items were out in the yard. I’m not sure who helped her move stuff out of the house or the garage but it was all on tarps and no one was allowed to go inside the house. Our church had several men with trucks and trailers ready to help move items to donate, to ship back to AZ, to trash, or to return to me. They were in and out of there within a two hour time frame with everything neatly wrapped up. Notice I put the word “all” in quotes above… there are still a few things that are unaccounted for– things that anyone that knew M knew he would never have parted with, but they are gone and the only assumption is that they are with her and allegedly her new boyfriend. (shaking my head)

It’s been three weeks and I finally went into the garage to see what came back to me. Each item could tell its own story, each item had a memory of its own… each item was so definitely M and my life together that where once I was so sure it was going to be easy to part with them, now I pause to consider the act of saying goodbye.

Some items will be sold, while others donated, many of the items will go to friends of ours….things that I think they would like to have to remember M. One that brings to mind so many memories is our GPS. If you read my earlier blog post you know that I sold my ring and purchased a GPS for myself since M had taken both of ours. I got a message about a week ago that B had located our primary GPS (which we had named Conway Twitty) tucked far beneath the driver’s seat of the car.  I thought Conway Twitty was gone for good but I’m so thankful that it was found and that its coming back to me. Conway Twitty took me and M on adventures all the way up the east coast as we visited his family in VA and NY, and it provided plenty of direction in GA as we learned new destinations. Additionally, stashed in M’s large roll away toolbox was found the handheld GPS that was used for geocaching. Appropriately enough we named that one Johnny Cache. These two items bring back smiles and I’m glad that even in the midst of all the craziness of what went on, that I can still find good memories and I can smile at the good times. I will keep Conway Twitty but Johnny Cache will go to friends that used to geocache with us–hopefully it will provide them memories of good times in the past and memories that their family can enjoy for the future.

I know M doesn’t exist in his stuff, but looking at all of it, its still easy to see him. Since M was no longer a daily part of my life, it’s still hard for me to believe that he is gone. I find that I repeatedly look at the death certificate for confirmation that he really is dead — I have a hard time typing that word, let alone saying it out loud.

When I was younger, I cross-stitched a small sampler, “Memory is the power to gather roses in winter.”  I’m not naive enough to think that my roses with M didn’t have thorns, but I’m thankful for a memory that finds the moments when my thorns had roses.

GoBlueBlog – 2014 in Review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

August 2014 I started goblueblog hoping to just have an outlet in what I intended to be an open letter to M. A letter I was going to share with him the day our divorce was finalized. I never did share it with him and just 62 days after our divorce, sharing the blog link with M became a moot point.

Blogging has been an amazing experience and I recommend it (along with therapy!) to anyone looking to find their voice. You’re not as alone as you may think or feel and you never know the folks that will walk along this path with you…many never to be known.  WordPress provided me with my little blog’s year in review which I will share for a bit with you too. May 2015 yield God’s blessings upon all of us and all the love we can absorb from friends and family.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,000 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Legally Divorced, Emotionally Widowed


Legally divorced and emotionally widowed….there is no other way to say it.  It’s the only way to describe this chaotic, conflicting, non-sensical way I’m feeling.  I was barely getting used to not referring to M as my husband and now he’s gone.

Eight days ago, I was mentally & emotionally stable.  I was in a good place; happy with where I was at, the progress I was making, the fact that for once in a very long while, I was happy–maybe not all day every day, but every day, I was truly happy.

Because the divorce happened so quickly, its natural for people to think of M and then think of me. Now that he’s gone, I feel that people are looking to me to be the representation of him. I wonder if they think of me as shallow and hateful because I’m not visibly a puddle of tears wondering how I’m going to move forward.  What they don’t see is that behind closed doors or in the comfort of my closest friends, I am a mess–confused by the emotions that are within me.

I had been telling M goodbye for 4 months. I had been mourning the loss of my marriage for 4 months. I had realized that the person I loved stopped existing 5 1/2 months ago and I didn’t know this new person claiming to be M. I don’t know why he chose the path he did, why he started making the choices he did, I just know that four months ago, he told me about his affair and 9 days later he moved out.

And yet, here I am, once again, telling him goodbye. Here I am walking through the stages of grief once more. Here I am, replaying different scenarios over and over again in my mind. And mostly, here I am again … angry.

This time my anger is much different. I know that this time it’s a defensive anger – an anger that exists because even in death, I have heard more lies that M told. Really M?! Really?!  You had the nerve to tell co-workers that I wanted the divorce, that you still loved me and that I was the heartless one?! Again, I say Really?! I want to just plaster billboards all over town with the link to this blog. I’ve spent the past four months working out some hard emotions because you scoffed at the idea of reconciling or rebuilding our marriage.  I’m angry because it doesn’t matter now – I have no one with which to be angry, I have only the memory of you getting the last word.

As for “her”… I am conflicted because I want to say to her that she flatters herself if she thinks that what she did or said caused M to make the choice he did 7 days ago, but that’s not fair — I don’t know what she is feeling and its not my place to tell her how she should or shouldn’t feel.

Mostly I don’t want her to feel the pain or confusion as to why he did what he did. Three years ago when we lost a friend to suicide, M and I talked about his depression and the struggle he fights each day to stay this side of life. He talked about his past suicide attempt many, many years ago and how it had nothing to do with anyone else. It truly is that the person experiencing the anguish is at a point of seeing no other options.   I don’t know why, but I find that having that conversation in my heart brings me peace.

90 days ago, we were separating our stuff, making new lives for ourselves – now in a few days, his stuff will be distributed and donated and deemed worthy or unworthy of being retained by family members. Legally I have no say to anything regarding M or his property and yet I am probably the one that knew him best. Emotionally, I am having a hard time pulling my heart back into sync with my head and returning to my state of mind just eight days ago.

I feel like I’m more of a widow than a divorcee… 60 days to divorce and 62 days to a “forever-goodbye.”  Who the heck can even make sense of that?

Where Did You Go? pt. 2


My prior post can be interpreted a couple of different ways especially since the focus of my blog is my life and how it has evolved since D-Day.

Readers, sadly I share that I wrote that poem to M after learning that he took his own life in a very tragic and painful way.

I “lost” M 4 months ago….. I have been saying goodbye to him and I have been mourning the loss of a life that we shared. I have spent countless hours crying and trying to understand who this person was that existed since June — I don’t know him, I don’t know that man. What I do know is that M’s choices were M’s alone. I’m not ashamed to admit that it has taken many hours with a professional to come to that conclusion.

I am absolutely hurt that he is gone and I am crushed that he felt there were no other options. That he felt that he had no friends and that he was alone in this world. I (we) will never know where he was at with God when he chose this option. I witnessed him walking the aisle and being completely broken before the Lord and I take comfort in the thought that I believe he was saved. However, the enemy is going to take whatever stronghold it can and M let him take hold of his mind and as such his pride and then as such his judgment and ultimately his actions.

“My M” was my world for 11 years…. good bad ugly and beautiful. But I get to answer the same question each day that he did… Who am I going to live for today? And I choose Life. For better or worse in this rotten world that we live in, I choose Life and I TRUST that the only thing holding me now and keeping me from being crumpled up in a ball in the corner is the grace of my Heavenly Father who knows and understands the loss of his own Son.

M’s family and his friends can use our prayers and loving thoughts. They are left with many questions and are trying to fill in the gaps. But the answers that they are searching for are not going to be found.  It was not “one” thing that caused M to make this choice, there was no “nail in the coffin” sort of conversation. M was somewhere that very few people ever get to– utter despair and he went to a dark place.

Yes, the person I loved didn’t exist and that is no longer figuratively but literally. I weep now for the loss of a life, the loss of a friend.

Rest in Peace M, rest in peace (M. 1974-2014)

YAY! HE DID IT!


M finally lived up to my expectations.  I expected that Day 60 would come and go without a word from him or without repayment of what he owes me both in cash and property.

It has taken me some time to realize that its not my responsibility to remind him of what he owes me. It’s not my job to to make sure he is aware of the day or the details. We both received the same copy of the divorce decree. We both signed the same paperwork.

Worst part is that I’m a nice person — probably nicer than I should be where he is concerned. If he had communicated with me, I am fairly certain that while I wouldn’t have been happy about a delay in paying me back,  I would have been understanding.  But as my preacher said to me months ago… Lower your expectations. He said I hold M to a high standard and that’s why I’m so disappointed when he fails to come through. I said, I only hold him to the same standards I would hold myself to.  Preacher just gave me that knowing glance that conveyed without words that M will never live up to those standards.  And so I did lower my expectations and what do you know… M actually met them.

And honestly, it makes me sad. Sad that I still wanted to believe he had a bit of something in him that would cause him to do the right thing but at least I am not devastated by it. It sucks, don’t get me wrong. I could use that $170, after all, it is Christmas;  but in the grand scheme of it all, the fact that M can lay his head down and sleep at night says all I will ever need to know about him.

Recalculating


Life’s like a road that you travel on; When there’s one day here and the next day gone. Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand; Sometimes you turn your back to the wind.
Tom Cochran, Life is a Highway

I haven’t posted in quite awhile because I am finding that my Mac is pretty much so outdated that adding a post is starting to become a bit of a challenge. A new laptop is just one more item that I recognize I need to add to my new life and I can’t help but recall that just two months before D-Day, my parents gave M a new ipad for his birthday and how I now know that FaceTime was just one of the ways he communicated with her thanks to that gift. He disgusts me.

Recently I had an opportunity to get “out of dodge.” I needed to go some place where no one knew me or my story and where I could just go and be without constantly wondering if that was his car or her car or if I would see them around town. My friend K made arrangements to get her parent’s timeshare and we were off to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. As I was planning to go, it occurred to me that I no longer had a GPS or luggage. M took all the luggage on his way out of the rental as well as the GPS. To be fair, he did ask me if he could take it and of course I said yes (smacking myself in the head now!)

Within two hours of arriving in South Carolina, we went to a local pawn shop and I sold my ring. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Make no mistake, sure I was sad and had moments of “wow, I can’t believe this is it” but for the most part, I really haven’t looked back. It probably also helps that I’m not going to be scoping out women’s hands looking to see if they are wearing that ring, nor am I wandering into a pawn shop here and seeing what my life is worth based on that ring.

As K and I drove around town and were talking, she filled me in on what the dating world is like these days. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit scared. We had a great laugh over dinner as she shared with me some of the craziness that she is witness to when it comes to men and the way social media and texting play into it all now. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for me to get back out there and while I do miss the thought of someone to love, I’m definitely not ready to drink the Kool Aid just yet.

I shared with K some of my concerns about dating. I made the comment that I sure didn’t feel like I was a “catch” now… I’m 44, divorced, I have bad credit due to the chain of events that moved us from Arizona to Georgia 4 years ago, not to mention that I’m back living with my parents. But she said something to me that I have taken to heart over the days as I’ve let it sink in. She said “You are a catch. You know what you want and you know what you won’t settle for now.” She’s right– everyone has a story, and in mine I’m not going to relive my past mistakes. I’m working on becoming financially stable and right now that looks different for me than it might for someone else. I’m very aware of red flags and already more trusting of myself when I see them, even in people that I am just getting to know on a friendship level.

So, how’d I spend the money I got when I sold my ring? I bought a GPS. Sort of symbolic and ironic since I’m working on recalculating my own life, not only literally with a new budget and new adventures with old and new friends, but also emotionally and spiritually. I AM a catch and I work hard each day to remind myself of that–some days I’m not successful at it, but I keep trying.

For my friends reading this blog, should I start to get down about things and start to drift back into “romanticized”memories of my life with M, I’m counting on you to say to me “Recalculating” so that I know I’ve wandered into the past and its time to focus on the road to reality.

Control+Alt+Delete


What if it really was that easy? Before it was just a joke… a funny way to say I wish I could do that again, now it’s all for real. I’ve been single… well, let me re-phrase that, I’ve been divorced for 38 days. I still carry M with me– we are still “connected” for another 22 days.

Control: The divorce decree stated that he needed to pay me what he owed me no later than 60 days after the date of the divorce. In the past 38 days, I’ve seen M three times. Each time I believed I was getting what he owed me. $170, plus some personal items. And each time, I’ve been told one thing or another: “waiting for all the final bills to arrive”, “the bank is holding the check”, “he’ll pay me next payday“. And each time, I still believe his “reasons” until I step away and say to myself…”Seriously, Z, why are you still believing those stories?!”  And those are the times I wish I could rewind the conversation and tell him to give me what he owes me and to get his priorities straight.

I was foolish to believe him and yes, I do accept that.  A wise friend kindly reminded me that I needed to manage my expectations. Going by past behavior, its not likely I’ll see anything from him and if I do, it will be icing on the cake. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting him to recognize that he “o w e s” me…. Something … Anything … Everything! But I can accept, painfully, that I will likely get Nothing. I can’t control what he will do, but I can control my own expectations.

ALT: in those 38 days, I’ve managed to remember what it was like to be “me.” My first full paycheck, I bought glasses and contacts. The glasses I was wearing had been broken for 10 months but I wore them because there was always something else that needed to be purchased. I scheduled a haircut, got my nails done and had my eyebrows waxed. I bought mascara, a very simple luxury, but when having to make the choice between bananas and mascara, i recognized that bananas were the safer choice to come home with.

I went to the Opera for the first time. I chose Hansel and Gretel because at least I knew the story line. I took myself to the town theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. I’ve dined alone simply to remind myself that I can sit there and look other folks in the eye and smile. I even went to a friend’s bonfire and mingled with an entire group of people that I didn’t know.  It’s been nice remembering “me”… doing things that I used to do.

DELETE: I’m selling my wedding ring. It doesn’t mean anything to me anymore, well it doesn’t mean much. I pulled it out of the jewelry box and like an idiot, slipped it back onto my finger…. and I cried. And just as easily as I slipped it on, I slipped it off. I’m taking it to the pawn shop tomorrow. I loved my ring, it was meant to be a “starter” ring that would get enhanced with a bigger ring at 5 years … instead, M bought a big screen TV and a PS3. He had the nerve to mention this when he was telling me that he felt like I wasn’t happy, and that he wasn’t good enough for me — that he never got me my ring or took me on a honeymoon etc.   But its time to say goodbye to it. There’s no reason I need to see it each morning in the jewelry box.

As far as my marriage, if given the chance to do it all again, would I? I don’t know. it seems silly to ponder those sorts of questions. I’d much rather ask myself… given what you know now, are you willing to try it again?

I think, yes.

Bittersweet Slumber


It’s an awful thing to just have your own thoughts with which to contend. 

It’s been 95 days since D-day. Some days it feels like forever, some days it feels as real as yesterday. Nights are still the hardest.  I have one job to do at night, sleep, and I can’t even accomplish that successfully. Since this happened, my sleep has consisted of maybe 4 hours of rest each night. During all of this, I have been amazed at how my body will still function, but I’m thankful every day that it does. My trainer would tell me that she wanted me to consistently eat at least eat more than 600 calories a day.  My “yoga teacher” would tell me that she wanted me to sleep more than just four “broken” hours each night. And with each comment they would make, I would simply reply, “I hear ya. I don’t disagree with what you are saying. I want that too.” 

Last Thursday, I started taking a new prescription allergy pill. And the sleep has come — quite unexpectedly. But it is a bittersweet slumber- I had embraced my new routine and grown to accept it. I would roll from one cool side of the bed to the other. I would re-awaken my computer and hear whatever I had set on Pandora for the night. I would check in on Facebook, and sometimes, I would write a blog post. But mostly, mostly I would I would find my friend that works overnights.

When you work overnights, life can be lonely. Similarly, when you can’t sleep, life can be lonely. This was the best of both worlds for both of us and I am forever grateful for my friend on the other end of the phone. However, this weekend, I awoke to a string of texts asking how I was, and then wondering where I was. The texts came not only from the friend I mention above, but from other friends with whom I chatted with regularly. Many of them in Arizona or California, so my midnight and 2 am wake-ups weren’t such a crazy time on the West Coast.

But with the stillness during the heart of the night I never had to feel alone. No matter when I sent out the “You there?” text, it was always received with “Yes!” and we would chat until my eyelids got heavy and I could fall asleep again, typically, only to awaken about an hour or so later to send out the next “Are you there” message.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve noticed that I only wake up once or twice now during the night. I’m dreaming, but they aren’t like before — I don’t wake up gasping for air, trying to catch my breath, and as an added side, my appetite has returned.

Had it not been for my overnight friends, I don’t know that I would have been able to have worked out and cried out and laughed out so many of my questions and anxieties of the past months.  Each of them has contributed so much into me and each has helped me keep my sanity whilst the rest of the world peacefully slept. The world was blissfully unaware that the tiny ray of light streaming from my bedroom window was illuminating a mind so manically awake that I thought I would go crazy.

Tonight, I see my yoga teacher. She will be thrilled to hear that I’ve been sleeping more these past few nights.  But neither my yoga teacher or my trainer will know how bittersweet their happiness for me actually is.

To my fellow bloggers


…. I read your pain, I feel your pain, I live your pain. As we go through this journey-bound by the thread that knits us all together, know that while I don’t “know” you, I do care about you and am praying for our healing.

Please keep telling your story so that I can be encouraged by your strength, your wisdom and realize that I am normal when I want to curse, scream, curl up in a ball, fight, cry, laugh, and remember. You all are my hope, my inspiration, my sanity, and my connection to the realization that I am going to be OK.

And it may not be all day every day that I feel Ok, but hopefully one day, those good days will outnumber the rotten ones and I will remember who I used to be and because of all of this I am not different, but rather a better version of my former self.

Costume Parade


What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas; but what happens around here sure does get around fast! unknown

One of the best things about living in a small community is the community events that bring everyone together. One of the worst things about living in a small community is when that community consists of my cheating ex and her.

Tonight, there was a free concert in the park along with a costume contest for the adults and a costume parade for the kids.  I love to attend these local events where I can park my lawn chair on the grass and listen to the music under the stars. All week, I felt comfortable and confident going except when it occurred to me that M & her might be there. What would I say? What would I do? Why wouldn’t they feel comfortable being out in public together now? — Now that the divorce is final and their actions can be “justified” (blech, my stomach lurches at the memory of their excuses.)

I contemplated not going. Although, this year my costume was perfect — I was going as the Jilted Wife. It didn’t require any special make-up or special effects, no fancy accessories… I looked just like the girl next door, the lady down the street, the woman shopping in the store–the “every woman” because it can happen to any of us and the more people that hear my story, the more they share a similar one and I see exactly how we are the “every woman.”

It occurred to me that even outside of October, the “masks,” much like the labels we all seem to known by were forced upon us. I am known as the WS* or a BS (Wounded Spouse/Betrayed Spouse);  M is the US (Unfaithful Spouse/*also WS for Wayward Spouse as noted in the comments below) or as I like to call him, an asshole; she is the AP/OW (Affair Partner/Other Woman) but please know I use the word “woman” loosely–hmm…. just like she was for my husband <sigh>.  Yes, they are the labels that we “assume” on D-Day (Discovery Day) but only we can decide if they define us.  I have decided that I don’t like my label as the Wounded Spouse… I much prefer fighter, survivor, stronger.

The music was great and the costumes hilarious and in the end, they didn’t come. But it took me some time to let myself relax and just enjoy the music. The truth is that I am going to run into them, its inevitable, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do or say, if anything.

I’d like to think that I will hold my head up high, not let them see me shed a tear, and confidently stand or simply exist showing them that they did not break me.