A Rocky, Stinky, Sweet State of Normal


My therapist told me to keep writing. I haven’t been faithful to that request. I have been doing a lot of stuff outside of the blog. I’ve been living. Living a new (another) life and finding what has proven to be a rocky state of normalcy for me. In hindsight, perhaps keeping up with the writing would make it feel less rocky.

I have started attending a divorce support group. Last year, I went to one meeting right after M left–it was the week they talked about anger.  I left that class and told the facilitator that it wasn’t the right time for me.  I didn’t “act” like what they showed angry to look like. I had anger in me and wrote about it, but I wasn’t fired-up angry, if that makes any sense. I certainly wanted with everything in me to hate M, to hate her and I didn’t, I couldn’t and I still don’t. I wondered and still do- what’s wrong with me that I don’t have any feelings of hate toward them? Wouldn’t THAT be normal? Don’t normal people lash out and break things and scream at  the top of their lungs until their face is red. Don’t they start fires and burn pictures of past memories and toss belongings onto the lawn, don’t they try to retaliate? And yet, I had none of those feelings. I would share that with folks and they told me I was numb, they told me it was because I understood the love of God for me and therefore could show compassion to those that hurt me. It didn’t make me feel normal to hear any of those things.

In one of my question and answer sessions with A, he came out and asked me one night, Do you blame God? I paused. I cried. I said yes.

I’m a “good, Christian girl” so of course I’m supposed to believe that nothing slips through the fingers of God without Him knowing or allowing. I’m to believe that God is sovereign and that nothing catches Him by surprise. And yet I couldn’t wrap my mind around how five years ago the Lord allowed me (and M) to lose our worldly belongings and have nothing but our family to cling to. Yes, my “family” was quirky but weird as it was to others, it was mine. It consisted of me, M, and our two dogs. Then in a matter of 13 months I lost one dog, then the other dog, and finally M. I lost all of “my” family. I remember saying to God, I don’t understand. What’s next? What else am I going to lose? What’s left to be taken from me?
I was scared to know the answer.

After a pause, A replied Yes, God allows everything but don’t confuse that with Him being the author of it.  And I realized that was an answer my soul could accept. I didn’t want to hear it but I needed to and I didn’t like hearing it anymore than I liked that M and her had an affair and continued to spread lies about me even after they got what they wanted.

I’ve realized I was angry but that my anger was misplaced and the reason it didn’t “look” like what anger should look like, is because how do you “show” anger at the Creator of the Universe when He is the one that I desperately needed comfort from? It’s like biting the hand that feeds you… you may not like what is being served for dinner, but if you’re hungry enough you will eat.  In all of this, I was still counting on the Lord to be my source of strength and to live up to the promises His Word says about having a hope and a plan for my future (Jer 29:11) and that I would have a table in the presence of my enemies and MY cup would overflow (Psalm 23:5).

In my support group, we are in week two of the “trifecta” (anger, depression, lonliness) and I realize that I’m never going to be able to slap or punch M, (and it’s not prudent to do that to her either) but I can be angry at M even though he isn’t here anymore. I have things I would like to say to him, things I want him to know but there are all sorts of ways to work through that. My display of anger isn’t so unusual–anger takes many different forms. Television’s depiction of anger in divorce was what was guiding me to believe I wasn’t handling this normally but I’m handling it as normally as I would handle things.

So my new sense of normal has currently got me in a raw state–like an onion–all my layers are being peeled back and I’m learning a lot about myself. I just hope that it’s not so stinky that I offend anyone, but rather, maybe I will be like a Vidalia onion… sweet and bloomin’!

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.

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.

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.