Closing the Door


Yesterday’s a closing door, you don’t live there anymore.  Danny Gokey, Tell Your Heart To Beat Again

This song isn’t new but it is new to me and I wonder if I heard this song two years ago if I really would have heard it. Two years ago I remember comments that M made and his confusing actions. I remember asking the questions and questioning the behavior but it’s just a recollection of a conversation that occurred.  And I realized I don’t live “there” anymore but where exactly is “here.”

I used to read blogs and hear tales of infidelity – stories of how the betrayer was always so remourseful, so sorry, so willing to do whatever it took to make it right.  I wondered what it was that made M so determined that he didn’t want to save our marriage or why he apathetic to the whole situation. I remember telling M that I wished he hated me because then there would be some sort of emotion. But as I have said before M wanted nothing to do with me or in reconciling our marriage.

As selfish as it sounds – and I know it sounds selfish – I have to admit that there is a part of me that is glad that the door is closed and locked and the key doesn’t exist. I feel as if I got out, got lucky, got real closure…and I’m thankful. Thankful enough to say that statement out loud and to even write it. What I do need to remember is that in my storage unit is a tote full of ten years worth of photos, a china cabinet which was our first joint furniture purchase and a huge wall sized world map that for some reason was one of the first things I was glad to get back into my possession after M passed. Maybe I don’t have closure as much as I am benefitting from outta sight, outta mind. My “here” (aka today) might still be “there” (aka yesterday)…. I’m not sure.

But I could get caught up in a life that was shattered (mine) and/or a life that was lost (M) or I can let every heartbreak and every scar be a picture that reminds you Who has carried you this far ’cause love sees farther than you ever could, in this moment heaven’s working everything for your good.

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.

Strength


It’s been a Pinterest sort of day. There are a LOT of quotes about how strength is realized after having been through something.

Some people get months and years to go from D-Day to divorce, I had 60…. days — not months, not years. Some days, I’m tired of pretending to be stronger than I really am. I’m tired of pretending that I don’t think about M, that I don’t think back to the past eleven years of my life. And some days, I’m in a good place, thankful for the strength that has shown itself in the past two months. Thankful for the strength that has been willingly given to me by my friends & family.

But now it’s a different kind of strength I seek. I seek one day for the strength to stop counting days since D-day, days since M left, days since the divorce was final. I also wish that I had the strength to stop replaying the image of M & her in my mind … images of her attending church with us, images of her having lunch with us… truth be told, I imagine it was more like me as the third wheel to them. I still have a physical reaction thinking about them “together.”

I seek the strength to admit that in the midst of my marriage, I ceased to exist and I seek the strength to forgive myself for letting that happen. Recently someone told me that I need to take care of myself like I was taking care of a child. I don’t have children, but the concept was not lost on me.  I would never let a child go to school without breakfast,  I would make sure they were bathed, and had clean clothes and that they had good, healthful food. I would make sure their physical, emotional, mental, spiritual needs were met, I would speak kindness to them, encourage them, etc.  I started crying as she was saying this because I have realized that in the midst of the past eleven years, I was so busy dealing with everyone and everything else that I forgot to think about taking care of me.

With that in mind, I’m going to resolve to let go of the thoughts that rob me of my strength and to be Ok with the fact that I can’t do anything to change the past but I can control today.  And I’m going to “act” as if I’ve got the strength I seek is already in me so that one day I will wake up and realize I haven’t added just one more day to my countdown calendar but that I’ve added one more day to MY life.

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Trifecta


In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It Goes On. Robert Frost

I’ve slowed down on posting. I started writing this blog the night you left the rental. This has been my own way of working through my hurt and I think I always intended to share the blog with you on the day our divorce became final. But that day is closing in upon us I don’t know if I will or not. Does it really matter? Do you even care? I know the answer to both of those questions… if you did care, then this blog would never have come into existence.

D-Day feels like forever ago and it has just been 61 days. I’m definitely not the same person… emotionally or physically. I’ve aged about 20 years, I look at my hair, there’s more gray, my eyes are sadder and usually puffy from crying–beit small two-minute meltdowns or full-on cry myself to sleep, my smile isn’t always at the ready, and I find less, well actually zero humor in shows that minimize the effects/affects (?) of infidelity and divorce.

I picked up the items from you that you found when packing up your own stuff from the rental a week ago. I was surprised to see so much of “our stuff” just tossed into in the back of your car, stuff that we had accumulated over the years that apparently didn’t have a spot in your new home, so they were just in the back of your car. One thing that stood out to be is that you are no longer pleasing in my sight. I will never again look at you with eyes of love. I will never again speak about you with terms of affection, your name is simply M, your appearance is just one of a random person in a crowd.

I got the initial paperwork from the lawyer today with the details that will be incorporated into our divorce decree. It’s the last time our names will ever be joined with the words husband and wife. Our anniversary is Saturday… no, our anniversary, would have been Saturday. It’s football Saturday here, UGA Homecoming. For so many hours and days after D-day I prayed for my own sort of homecoming, but it never came.

I was a fool for thinking that you were actually considering “us” when you were on your trip to visit your family in NY. I dropped you in Atlanta at 3:20 pm. The chat log shows your first text to her was at 3:26 pm and they didn’t stop until 10 pm that night. You no sooner walked into the airport hotel lobby that you began texting her, apparently desperate for her.  And then for the next seven days that you were supposed to be thinking about us, and whether or not there would be an “us” again, you were texting her and calling her.   My stomach still lurches thinking about the fool that I was.

But I’m not a fool anymore. You fooled me for too many years and Heaven knows that you are fooling yourself into thinking that you  and she did nothing wrong. I don’t know how long you will fool your new girl into letting you stay with her. I think its funny that you had the audacity to say to me on D-weekend,  “nothing will happen between me and her until you and I are settled” and “I could never live with her, she’s got two kids.” And yet, it did and you are. No matter how much we shared in almost eleven years of marriage, it does sadden me that the mere mention of your name, a name I used to count as “safe” is now reduced to who you’ve become ….

Liar. Cheater. Thief.

How Are You Feeling?


The saddest thing about betrayal is it never comes from your enemies.

Its football season here in SEC land. My friend L was visiting on Saturday and the GA game was on in the background. We were casually chatting and through some weird course of the conversation we got to talking about football. I never would have imagined that I knew as much as I did because it certainly wasn’t the case 11 years ago. Eleven years ago, I was just learning and now, I know all about the BCS and how championship games really aren’t about matching up the top two teams. I have learned how to read and discern between the coaches poll, the AP poll, the USA Today poll, etc. I’ve learned key rivalaries and how college overtime rules are different than pro-game overtime rules. But it didn’t stop with football. I also know that March madness will be quite different. Walls covered with poster boards, pages of bracket possibilities and the hourly calls to tell me that I called an upset or I lost an Elite-8 team. I have learned even more about wrestling – the tadpole splash, sweet chin music, the pile driver, the money shot and that Hulk Hogan had a bazillion name changes, just like the wrestling world itself.  Yup, you taught me a lot about your favorite things.

About a month before D-Day, I shared with you that you didn’t make me feel like a priority basically you made me feel that I didn’t matter.  Of course, after D-Day and pulling the chat logs, I was able to see why I didn’t matter … because you were already emotionally gone and nothing about me mattered to you.  In hindsight, I wonder if anything about me mattered to you. What did you learn from me, do you even know my favorite things? I’m shaking my head because I know the answer.

47 days ago, I started this blog and at that time I thought maybe, just maybe, when this was all said and done and the hurt subsided that we might be friends. And reading back in earlier posts, I did write with the hopefulness that a friendship on some level might exist but now.… now…. now, I must accept that the person I loved doesn’t exist anymore.

Sadly, that matters to me because I thought you were my friend and that I was yours.  But a friend doesn’t hurt another like you hurt me—the worst kind of hurt: betrayal. You chose to hurt me to make yourself feel better…. I have to ask… do you feel better? Don’t answer  that– I don’t care …. at least, I’m trying hard not to.

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This


Three years ago I was driving an hour outside of town to bring you clothes. You were in an inpatient rehab center after an overdose. Two days later I was driving into Atlanta to meet your mom and Mr. B as they had an extended layover on their way back to Arizona. And I recall that the only thing I wanted for our anniversary two weeks later was to go see Boyce Avenue but realizing that wasn’t going to happen.

My i-calendar is full of birthdays and anniversaries and I wonder if I’m ready to start removing all the dates on my calendar that apply to you and your family. I know that eventually the calendar entries will become less of a reminder of what we shared and more of just a memory of a time that once was. I have to accept that the person I loved doesn’t exist anymore and therefore neither should these reminders.

I remember how I would replay the events of that week and try to piece it all together. My calendar is full of notes as I tried to sort it out. Fifty days ago I was coming home from Wednesday night service and stopped to bring you home one of your favorite hamburgers from a local restaurant. I was blissfully unaware that your friend B  just had a meltdown in the office of our pastor.

I was unaware that he was telling Pastor the events that had been going on between you and her. The way you asked him to lie for you, or as you told him, “be vague about the details.” You would send him graphic texts about what you and she had done and expect that he had your back, that he was your ‘boy’, that he would cover for you.

Personally, looking back at how you operated and orchestrated everything, I think you knew exactly what you were doing when you included B in your secret life. You knew that he would not keep this to himself. That he would break down and tell someone. You might have even expected that he would tell me, thus setting into motion what you imagined would be me screaming and yelling and asking for a divorce. But it didn’t play out that way. B told the Pastor, Pastor called you out on it, you told me and I offered you forgiveness.

I know you didn’t expect my response because before you told me the dirty details, you got some tissue and said, “you’re going to need this.” But unlike the story you played out in your head, I didn’t cry.  I told you that night not to mistake my lack of tears as a sign that I didn’t care but that you didn’t deserve my tears. Yup, you didn’t deserve my tears then and I’ve given you way too many in the 48 days that have followed. I can get through most days now with nary a sniffle and I’m thankful for that.

The lawyer just texted. He said that he will be meeting with you in two days to get the final payment from you. Today is not like most days.

Enough Already


I feel like my life is a drinking game. Every time you lie, someone has to take a drink. We’re already on the second keg.

The question is “why are you getting divorced?” The answer is YOU wanted NOTHING to do with reconciling our marriage. Period. End of story.  Yet, when someone asks you why we are getting divorced you go into detail as to to why you felt justified to have an affair. Let me run through a few of them….  “we acted more like roommates than husband and wife, there was no spark between us, we mutually grew apart, it wasn’t much of a marriage, I wasn’t affectionate enough.” And then to me you say, “you never felt good enough for me, you always felt inadequate, you felt like you were holding me back, you loved me but you weren’t in love with me.” Enough already!

When telling your stories, how many times do you share that I immediately offered you forgiveness? That I said I would forgive you and forgive her and not hold it over your head? That I wouldn’t speak ill of either of you, that I would only show her kindness? How many times do you say that you asked me to wait one full week before deciding whether or not you wanted to move forward with me? How many times do you tell people that I left you at 9:30 pm that night and by 10:30 pm you were at HER house FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT?

For almost eleven years, I was in this marriage too. Do you think I was always satisfied? Always happy? Do you think I enjoyed the drug years and the side-effects that came (or didn’t come) with that? Do you think I enjoyed navigating the daily, sometimes hourly mood swings caused by your depression?  And yet, I didn’t have an affair, I didn’t go talking about the state of our marriage to strangers or even family. I stayed a part of this marriage, praying for it, fighting for it. You woke up one morning, realized that you didn’t like being married to me, you didn’t want to “work” at it and over the course of three weeks had put a plan into action.

You calculated everything. Starting with the fake “let’s go to counseling” conversations that  you brought up to me all the while you were with her. You wanted to save face with your friends and say “Look at me, I wanted this marriage to work—see I even suggested we go to counseling, but it didn’t work out. I guess we will have to get a divorce.” I asked you to talk to me, to tell me what was going on and you wouldn’t. You would shut down and say, “if you really loved me, you wouldn’t have to ask.” Pure manipulation.  After we were separated you sent me a text saying that you were serious about counseling and that you did pray about our marriage. Stop lying. The timing of everything is recorded and can be pieced together by looking at your chat logs. Enough already!

I do know you failed to calculate the money. You sent me a text saying that you couldn’t just pull money out your a$$, so I might not get my half of the fee ($120) to get out of the rental right away. You said you didn’t have anyone to give you money, that you told your family and they were disappointed in you.  We had a conversation after we met with the lawyer the first time. We talked about the initial filing fee. I told you I had my full amount to pay the lawyer, you said you had borrowed $200 from “around here.”  What does that mean, “around here?” Was she or someone else going to pay for your divorce as well? Have you paid them back yet? Do they know that I gave you $2500 to buy you out of the interest of our car. That is half the blue book value and in hindsight, definitely more than you deserved. Do they know that the car you purchased only cost $2000 AND how you handed B $1500, not the agreed upon $2000? You told B that you’d pay him the rest when he got back into town …. in four months. There is $1200 afloat in there and you still haven’t paid the lawyer his $500.  Don’t delay this divorce you so desperately wanted just 45 days ago. PAY THE LAWYER!

Enough already. Aren’t you tired yet? Just take responsibility, will ya?

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

Angry is the New Black


If angry is the new black, then today I am in style!

I went grocery shopping today for the first time since D-Day. It’s the first time I’ve felt like planning ahead. Each day until now, I’ve just gotten up and started my day hoping that it would be easier than the one before. Eating consisted of whatever I could stomach which wasn’t much.

I felt like I had a sign on my head that said “Broken-hearted person shopping” … I got three $1.99 frozen meals, one of those being a two pack of breakfast burritos and three bananas, three. I always tried to have bananas in the house, not only did I know you liked them but I knew they would be good for you and be a quick snack you could just grab and go.

Breakfast was always something I tried to make sure that you had. I was thankful when you said that you picked up a nighttime part-time job to help with our budget needs. On those nights when you had to work from midnight to 7 am; I got up early enough to make sure you had a breakfast sandwich or breakfast burrito waiting for you when you got home. I have to laugh at myself now, how many of those nights that you said you were working did you really work? I already know for sure about one shift that you had covered so that you could be with her. How many mornings did you let me look the fool having breakfast ready for you while you had been fooling around with her at night.

I remember watching you on Saturday, just 12 hours after you told me about the affair, watching you scarf down food from a fast food joint. It was the most aggressively I had seen you eat in awhile. I remember wondering how it was that you could eat. By this time, I had not eaten in 24 hours and just the thought of food was enough to make me sick to my stomach. I was still trying to wrap my mind around the events of the night before and you were already moving forward.

I wanted her to apologize. I wanted you to apologize. But neither of you did and neither of you have so far. Sure, you have told me that you are sorry that you couldn’t share your feelings in a way that I understood and that you are sorry that you let it get this far. But you should be sorry because what you did was WRONG! Not only WAS it wrong – it’s STILL wrong. You are living with her and have been living with her since the day you left the rental. Your new bank account has her address on file and her address is on your checks. Perhaps I should stop considering it just her address…since now, it’s clearly both of you.

At first, you used to tell me that you went from one friend’s home to another. You should know that I believed that about as much as I believed you were (and still are) sleeping on her couch. If you were really sorry for what happened, you would not have anything to do with her. Your stomach would be in knots, your conscience on overdrive because you would know that what you are doing is wrong. Your words to me are just chatter. They don’t align with your actions. And until the day that they ever do, I will over-analyze, I will over-think and I will question everything you tell me.

Yesterday, I saw you briefly to give you the keys to the rental so that you could start moving your stuff out. It was the second time I had seen you since you started your new job. It was also the second time I saw that you had a lovely sandwich made for you and when I asked you “oh, who made your lunch?” your response was delayed as you knew that I knew the answer. When you did reply, instead of being honest, you said that she gets these fancy rolls that were delicious and YOU made up some sandwiches for yourself. I don’t believe you.

It’s been 28 days since D-day and you seem to be moving on. You have a daily routine that includes her and her daily routine is now incorporated into yours. You say to me that you didn’t move on with your life and that you aren’t acting as if life was normal for you but you are wrong. Here is how I know…. you are living in the very neighborhood that you looked at buying a house with me, you are dating a girl that is also a brunette, wears glasses, was born in August, is going to college and you have the job that we prayed you would get. I almost feel badly that she is living my recycled life … almost.

Yes, I’m angry today. I’m angry that you don’t see just how wrong your actions were and are. I’m angry that you can’t even wait 45 days for our divorce to be final before moving in and on with her. I’m angry that you say things to me thinking that I want to hear them, I’m angry that I listen to what you have to say, I’m angry that I respond to your texts, I’m angry that I care so much about a marriage and a life that you so carelessly, casually, and thoughtfully threw away.

Yup, today I’m dressed to the nines.