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.

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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.

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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The Tide is High But I’m Going On


There’s a tide in the affairs of men…
Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

Yes I realize I’m taking complete literary license with this quote but because everything happened so quickly I find myself caught in what can only be described as the tide…waves of people knowing or asking about what happened at different times. So every few weeks, I’m sharing bits of the story to friends, relatives, and office mates.  Sadly, in Georgia one can be divorced in 31 days, so it catches most of them by surprise that we are indeed now divorced.  Heck, it still catches me by surprise and I’m the one that just went through it.

Had M not left for a scheduled vacation that first week and had he paid the lawyer in a timely manner we probably would have been divorced in 32 days but as it was, from “start” to “finish” it was 60 days. I wasn’t quite sure how I would be on day 61 or even any day after that but surprisingly (yes, surprising to me), I’m doing Ok. I am working with some really great folks who are holding me accountable to meeting personal goals that I’ve set for myself. Sometimes my goal is just to not dwell on the what-ifs and I’ve got a bevy of friends who randomly send me texts just to keep me focused. I’ve also been “privy” to way too many similar stories and it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach that infidelity is such a common thread woven across so many people, regardless of their economic, spiritual, or social backgrounds.

As for the tides, most of the time, the church wave comes in with an innocent question… “where is that man of yours? or where is M, is he sick?” and I pause for a moment so that I don’t blurt out “probably with his girlfriend and yes he is sick … in the head … and I hope he catches some incurable venereal disease” to say, “he made a choice to go outside of our marriage and wanted nothing to do with reconciling so you probably won’t see him here again.

The work wave comes in asking about whether I will have a booth at the upcoming local fall craft festival or if we will be attending a specific event or sometimes it’s just a question based on comment overheard in the hallway.  For the most part, with each response, I’m able to just state the facts… sometimes they come out like verbal diarrhea (Sorry P!) and I have to apologize for just regurgitating 60 days in 60 seconds. And sometimes, people listen with a look of sorrow, feeling for me because I’m “such a nice person and how could he have done that?”

But then just as quickly as the tide comes in, it goes out – and there are moments where no one is asking about M or about “us”… and even those that have known for awhile stop asking me how I’m doing because they know I’m doing fine. No matter when you that are reading this found out, just know that I will forever cherish your prayers and your love and your support.

Yes, there will still be some days that will be better than others but while I may not be able to stop the waves, I can, at the very least, learn to surf.

Everything Old is New Again


Never look back. If Cinderella went back to pick up her shoe, she never would have become a princess.

With all due respect to Cinderella, I’m looking back, not forever, just for awhile. Just to find where I left myself.

I used to bowl. Truth be told there are a lot of things I used to do and its been fun thinking about them again. But yup, bowling was definitely one of them. I spent some time on a co-ed league, had my own ball with my name engraved on it and was a sucker for those clown shoes.

So when the urge to go bowling hit, I called my friend C just out of the blue and told her my plan. She wasted no time telling me that she was going to go look for her bowling shoes in storage and I knew I had asked the right person to come with me. I just cant believe that I got rid of my own bowling ball 3 weeks prior to D-Day. Hind sight is 20/20 and breaking in a new bowling ball is agony! Now, was it smart given that I just had knee surgery 3 weeks ago… probably not, but did I do it anyway… heck yeah!

I really did forget how much I missed it. I had not bowled the whole eleven years I was married. So the plan for the day was one game to honor my past life and one game to honor my new one. In the end, my fingers were sore, my knee was raging but my spirit was happy.

For the record…. game to honor the old: 92 pts, game to honor the new: 134. YAY new life wins!!

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!