Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 214; My Merry Christmas

Christmas was costly, but I knew it would be.  Financially, at least.

What I hadn't factored into my budget was the emotional costs I would end up paying.   

Naively, I entered the holiday weekend with plans to sleep over with A and the boys.   There was just no way I was ready to be apart from them during this most holy of family traditions and times.

As Christmas Eve fell upon us, so did a feeling of general malaise and lethargy.   I was getting sick at Christmas!

A offered his bed and he slept in the bottom bunk in one of the boy's rooms.   I slept well, but felt horrible.  Christmas Day we happily waltzed through our traditional dance of gifts, breakfast casserole, eggnog, stockings, and more gifts to finally collapse amidst a mountain of goodies and torn paper and ribbons.

Perched on the couch, under homemade quilts, with the fire roaring nearby, I was in Heaven.

I looked at our boys, looked at A and truly wondered where and why I had fallen off the path.

I pretended, for three days, that life was as it once was.   Idyllic, slow, cozy, and warm.  
For three days I wore flannel, comfy socks, my hair clipped back off my fresh washed face and dreamed that A would fall in love with me all over again.

I pictured all of our good times, the best times, our dreams and hopes encapsulated in that weekend, like one of those Christmas tree ornaments that magically holds a photo inside the transparent bauble.

As the weekend came to an end and A prepared to leave for work yesterday, I tentatively broached the subject of us, our life, our ghosts...past, present, and future.

And again I was met with the same gentle, but firm reply.

Apart is how A wants us to be.   He can't trust me and I'm not sure I can either.   He can't give me what it is I"ve needed and wanted for so long.  At the end of the day, there is nothing left for me.

I struggled with the weekend, needing to know if it was reality or a dream.    I think it was something in between.

There were times in our life when the reality was dreamlike and magical and this weekend was one of those.

Part of me is happy my kids could witness their parents together, but separate.   Part of me aches at the thought of our future holidays where we spend time apart out of circumstance.

My emotional bank account is empty.   It's time to replenish it so I have more to spend when the next bump in the road comes my way.

Was it a Merry Christmas? 


Was it the hardest Christmas I've ever experienced?

Most definitely.

But next weekend heralds a New Year with new beginnings!

I say bring it on!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 209; Being Here

I don't know what is happening to me.   I keep feeling like I've made a huge, huge mistake.  Images are flashing through my mind of all the years A and I have spent together, all of our laughs, all of our adventures, even the not so amazing ones.

I miss them.  I miss him.

What have I done?

What am I doing?

Is this fear talking or is this how I truly feel?

It seems real to me, seems honest, seems true.

We have such a history together and three, beautiful children.

I feel sick to my stomach.

Being here tonight hurts.

Maybe tomorrow will be better, it's a busy day for sure.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 208; Patterns

I'm noticing a pattern with myself and will be curious to see if it continues through the year.   When I enter my PMS phase of my monthly cycle, I lose my strength and fortitude and ask A if he wants to reconcile.   It happened at Thanksgiving and it happened this week.

Come to think of it, it could have something to do with the holidays, but either way, I am onto myself and will watch closer from here on out.

Each time I've asked A if he thinks we should reconcile, he says 'no'.   We texted our way through it all this time around and even though I couldn't see his face, I felt his earnestness, his sincerity.   I didn't feel as though there was an overabundance of anger.

He said we were a recipe for failure and that he finally believed that we were not meant to be together.  He said I'd been indicating that for some time with my actions and he was just now ready to accept that and believe it.   He also questioned my motives for wanting to get back together, feeling that I was motivated by fear and loneliness.

Again, I couldn't necessarily deny those claims.

So, I asked the big question.

"Does this mean divorce?"  and he replied that it did.

Standing in the aisle of the toy store, the silent tears streamed down my face.    What he said hurt deeply, but I knew there was truth  in the words.

He said he wanted to focus on being a dad, the thing he does best in this world and that he deserved to find someone who loved him just as he was.

And he does.   I never meant to not be that person.  

I hope he finds happiness, although in all honesty, I am no where near able to envision that happiness with someone else.

Yes, I'm a hypocrite, but I promised to always be honest here, so there you have it.

As it stands, we plan to discuss the divorce after the holidays.  I am assuming we will start getting things in order the week after Christmas.

I could be sad, and will be.   Profoundly.

But I can also look towards a New Year with new beginnings.

There's hope in that, right?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Finding Forty; Day 204; Winter Breaks

I don't know what to write about.

Earlier this week, I envisioned a blog about sleeping alone in my bed.   Yes, I feel like a four year old proclaiming my victory, stuffed teddy bear tucked under my arm.   Instead, I'm forty and I have a stuffed hippo who spends his nights with me.

The realization I had this week, as I snuggled into my cold bed, was that for the first time in my adult life there is no one there jolt awake as I place my icy, cold feet onto his bare legs.  There is no other body making warmth, stealing covers, snoring.   I used to like to listen to A breathe and try to synchronize the rise and fall of my chest to his.    The only night I spent with S, I kept my hand on his thigh the entire time.  

Now, I reach over and feel nothing but cool sheets.

But, the thing is, after that twinge of nostalgia passes, I am okay.  I grab a pillow, or stuffed hippo to hug and pay attention to my own breathing, my own thoughts.   It's not scary, it's not hard, it mostly just is what it is.

More and more I feel like it is time for me to find my own place to live.  I've loved having a safe, inexpensive place to be to collect my thoughts, practice being alone, evaluate my choices, but I miss my kids.

I want them to be able to more easily be with me and I want to be closer to them.

I want my own towels in the bathroom cabinet, my own dirty dishes in the sink.   

This nest has been lovely, but it's time for this bird to fly.

Possibly over the winter break, I will look for a more permanent place to live.

This afternoon I see my therapist for the first time since August.  There will be much to tell her about and I can get her advice on my next move.   I need to talk to A.   I still feel like reconciliation isn't what he is interested in and I can't say with 100% certainty that I am either, so living apart works. 

As for divorce, I am not sure.  I think  he's more focused on what is happening with the business and I understand.  I don't mind affording him time and space to work on the other issues.    

I just want to help him more with the kids, the daily stressors, the ups and downs of parenthood and I know I can do it if I move closer and establish my own routines.

So today begins my two week break from work.  I plan to use the vacation time wisely, thinking and mapping out the next path I will take.

I can do that, all by myself, wrapped in the warmth of my own breath and blankets.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 202; Time's A Flyin'

I have things to say!  I have no time to say them.

That isn't altogether true, but my excuse this morning is that I got up and ran on the treadmill.

Not a bad alternative to writing, I'd say.

But I will be back, hopefully later this evening with some thoughts and an update.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 196; Father Christmas

Friday morning and it's my weekend with the boys.  I didn't see them after school yesterday and I already miss them.   I need to move closer than 20 minutes away.

I went to get gas on Wednesday and my credit card was declined.   At first I thought it was the particular gas station, so I drove to another.   "Please see cashier" flashed on the screen.   The other place said "Please try another card".  

There is no other card to try.   Luckily I carry around a stash of emergency cash.   Luckily this happened when I was alone at a gas pump and not the evening before when I had $100 worth of groceries on the conveyor belt at the check out line.  

I am not above being poor, but I, well, I just would never want to have to go through that.

I am not sure the situation is fixed.  I  never heard from A one way or the other.  I know that's a burden for him, but a little communication would be nice.   I don't know about the business.  He continues to go and make things, but I think he's surviving on borrowed time at best.

I want to just move on or dive in or jump off or whatever metaphor you can envision for getting past all of this!

If we end up bankrupt, let's do it.  If we divorce, let's do it.  If we reconcile, let's do it.

I keep trying hard to just BE in the moment but I'm even finding it hard as I type this blog.

On an up note, I received an email yesterday morning from my dad that was amazing.  He wrote to say he was sending me money to help with Christmas.  I was so happy.   What was even more special were the things that he said in it.

I think I'll share it, it's too good not to.   When I read it, I do believe in the magic of Christmas.

Good morning Sweetie ; Hope things are going as well as can be expected and that A and the boys are fine . It was good to see you guys recently . Please send me your current address . In a week (payday) I will be sending you $1,000.00 for Christmas. Please give the boys their hundred , A a nice shirt and tie or sweater or something appropriate and you keep the rest to help you with Christmas . Of course I wish it were more as there is nothing I would not do for you . As you know you two girls are the love of my life and I am proud to be blessed with wonderful children .
The house is coming along and I think it will be  just right for me . Enjoy these next few days and don't forget to forward that address .

Monday, December 6, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 192; Him

I'm slipping into sadness tonight.  Perhaps I should just try to go to bed and get my mind off him.  

Which him, you ask?

I don't know.

 I think the 'him' I'm thinking about is the next him.   Will he be a stranger or someone I've known for years?

"Him?" you ask.   "Why not her?  Why not you?"

I flush with embarrassment and stammer.  I know I should be focusing on me and not giving one whit about another him, but I am.

I've always thought about him in some form or fashion.  I've always had crushes, always checked out guys, always dreamed of love and being in love.

Now I move through my days longing for a him to smile with me, make me laugh, hold my hand, want to talk to me at night or go places with me.

I walk into the grocery store or a restaurant and wonder, "Is that him?"

I fear the harder I look and the more I think about him, the more elusive he becomes.

This isn't all consuming, it's just what's on my mind lately.

I've been picturing myself at the beach for about a week now.  I'm wearing white and I am with him.  We spend long, luxurious afternoons making love in our bungalow and then talk for hours over dinner and wine before walking on the beach, hand in hand.

It's a silly, little fantasy, but I've been enjoying it.   The best part of all for me is that my him is faceless.  I don't pretend like it's A and I haven't even considered it being S.   There's an old friend from Jr. High I wouldn't mind it being, but he's not an option either.

So, for now, I'll just go along with him being unknown.

He is in "real life" anyway.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 190; Morning Musings

Kenya, my therapist is coming back to town!  Finding that out was a highlight of the week and I immediately made an appointment.

Yes, I realize that my money is funding her jaunts, first to Kenya and then next to Canada, but she's the one I want to tell all of my woes and worries to.  Well, her and the world wide webz.  But, you get my point.

I can't wait to get her up to speed on all that is going on.

More and more, I think things with A are done.   I saw him last night at our neighborhood Happy Hour, but I am not sure we spoke more than one or two sentences to each other.  It makes me a little sad to type that, but in the moment I certainly had no problem with it.

I texted him on Thursday night and again he said he likes being apart more than being together.  Not too much a person can do about that.   But if that is the case, I want to conclude the detachment.  These lingering threads that bind us (other than the kids, I know we will forever be bound in that way) are far more painful than I realized.

I want to be able to look at him with nothing but neutrality and friendship in my eyes.   Looking at him and longing for something that neither of us can muster hurts too much.

I'm working on just being.   Being alone.  Being me.  Being happy.

I think "June", one of my followers asked if I ever tried to just be happy in the moment (or something to that effect) and the answer is yes!  Yes, I do!

R and I laugh all the time.  I love her and miss her.

I love the sunshine and turn my face to it always to let it warm me from the inside out.

Music is my salvation and while it can bring me down at times, it also lifts me and helps me soar.

My job is wonderful, even when I hate it and I thank God for it daily.

And then there are my kids...with their stinky heads and sweet smiles.  They bring supreme joy.

I'm gonna make it a good day.  With or without A or S or anyone.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 186; Oz

I spoke with A on Sunday evening when he returned from his parents.  I cried and told him of my recent thoughts, my worries, my hope that if we could only speak each others love language, we could make this work.   

He told me he loved me, but that he feared he could never be what I wanted or needed him to be and that when that happened, he had no trust in what I would do.

I asked if I had come to him before the affair, would things be different, and in all honesty, he answered that he didn't know.

I left dejected, devastated, and demoralized.

He had a wonderful weekend without me, feeling free and unencumbered and I sincerely believe he is happy, quite relieved with this separation.

I made my bed, I'm lying in it as I type.

Yesterday, I ventured over to a friend's blog.  Months ago he wrote a very moving piece about parting with the one you love, about dream's not always working out as you thought, about moving on in life, despite your broken heart.

It is entitled "The End of the Rainbow" and it moved me to tears.  I still weep, hours after reading it, when I think of how beautifully he explained such a sad time in  his life, in my life now.

This morning, I feel like Dorothy, chanting 'there's no place like home'.   But is home the proverbial Kansas or the facade that was Oz?   

Am I the Wicked Witch for having the affair, for not being able to articulate my needs before straying?

Or am I a tangled mess of The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion?

Funny, it seems I could play all of the roles and maybe that is the brilliance in the story.   In us resides the capacity, the ability to assume any of those roles at any given time in our lives.

No real answers today, just questions.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Finding Forty; Day 184; I DID IT!!!!!

And on a totally unrelated note,  I wrote my first novel!

Its pitiful little title is "Convenient Love".   That makes me chuckle.

I finished this morning, clocking in with 50,014 words.

I haven't even gone back to reread the novel.  I am sure it's beyond horrid, but the challenge was to get the words in one month and I did it!

I feel happy and proud.

Finding Forty, Day 184; The Language of Love

Thank you all for your honest comments.  I probably shouldn't have posted our personal emails, but I did.  I'm not sure why I share so much.  Maybe to help others who are going through what we are going through, maybe to garner insight from readers.

One thing, though, is that I was not looking for pity.  I appreciate everyone's responses, but I will not be able to answer each question.  To begin with, I don't have the answers.  I suppose if I did, I wouldn't be at this place in my life.

I can say this.  I am remorseful for the affair and I have shared this with A.   He knows how sorry I am and how I wish it had never happened.

Having an affair strips you of everything.

Yes, if I choose to fight for this marriage and fight for A, I realize I become the person who has to give more than she takes,  proving to A how sorry I am and how I am back in this 100%.  I might have to be the person that does this for the rest of my life.

A's love language is Acts of Service.  It is how he expresses love and wants to receive love as well.   Acts of Service is 4th on my list of love languages, so for all those years, when he was trying so hard, he wasn't filling me up emotionally.  Yes, I appreciated everything he did for me, but for the most part, I walked around empty and lonely.

As for him, his tank was mostly full.   I was a stay at home mom who cared for the kids and did things around the house.  Yes, there were specific acts of service I failed at (having dinner decided and ready when he got home from work and other household tasks), but for the most part, I was willing and able to do those.

If you had asked him before the affair if he was happy in our marriage, he would have said yes.   And he will still admit that today.

Mine was a resounding no, but at the time, I didn't have the tools to communicate with him what it was I needed from him and I am terribly sorry for that.

Having the affair stripped me of my right to ask for what I need.

Gary Chapman, in The 5 Love Languages, says that you can ask your spouse to learn to speak your language, even if it does not come naturally to them.    He goes on to say that a spouse who speaks a language other than their own is actually shower deeper love by working harder.

If only I'd asked A before the affair, before the trust was shattered and the heart broken.

The book truly opened my eyes.   Like I said, I wish I would have found it sooner.

If you are interested in finding out more about it, have a look here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 183; Mirror Mirror

I am sad.  My heart is breaking.  I have slipped into panic mode about A and I am not sure what to do.

I had a dream about A on Thursday night and woke up in a mood.  I still haven't shaken it.  Here is our latest exchange.


 I've sort of been trying to reach you today, pretty much to no avail. I suppose you are busy. I suppose you don't want me bugging you during the day. I am sorry. I've tried to just get on with the day, but I keep coming back to you.

 I miss you today. I had a dream about you last night and so I woke up in one of those moods, you know, the irritated, sad kind? The dream seemed so real. You were going out on a date tonight with X and Y. I suppose it made all of my weaknesses come out. All the same ones that have haunted me for as long as I can remember.

 I think I wanted you to read that Love Languages book and finally understand what I needed to fill my tank. I should have been direct with you about it, rather than just handing it to you and hoping you had an epiphany.

 That list of things to do in the Quality Time chapter are all exactly the type things I want. I guess I am curious if you think you could do those things and if you are even interested anymore in trying?

 I'm sorry to bug you about all of this. I think I am just at a spot where I needed to know.

 I hope you are having fun. We are doing okay. I am ready to be back home, but I can't even define what 'home' is anymore so that's a bit confusing too. I guess I'm just feeling a bit down.

 Have a good day,

And this is what he wrote back:

I can tell that you are wondering about things. Wondering what there
can be between us.

Frankly I don't have an answer. I feel 2nd best, 2nd choice. I still
feel that you really wanted someone else and not me. I feel that
everything I thought I had is gone. I am exhausted. And I'm trying to
figure out what I want to do next.

I also think it is going to be hard to get over every thing we've been
through. I don't trust you the way I want to trust my best friend or
my partner. I don't know how to get that back.

I also don't trust that I am who you really want. I'm the safe
alternative. The backup plan.

It seems that you are feeling lonely. That you are wondering again if
I can fulfill you. I was trying to do that for 20 years and I failed.
I don't have confidence that I can do it. I don't even know if I want
to do it given what we've been through.

I love you. I do not regret our life together.

I worked really hard to make you happy. You broke my heart. Now I have
to learn a new way to make you happy. All while feeling like the
consolation prize.

How do I do that?

I am exhausted. I desperately want to move on without feeling like a
wimp and a door mat. Without feeling like a failure.

How can I do that?

Reading this again, my heart continues to break.

I am back at the house with the boys, having just arrived home after a 5 hour drive from my sister's house.  A is still at his parent's house, so he's not here.   The boys and I ate Thai takeout and have now started digging into the Christmas decorations.

This feels like where I am supposed to be. 

I'm so confused and I can't afford to hurt anyone else anymore.   I need to figure out a way to refocus and get my head clear.

Tonight's blog feels more desperate and whiny than they have in a while, but I'm being honest.  I guess that's why they call it the ugly truth.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Finding Forty; Day 182, Reception

We, the boys and I, made it to my sister's for Thanksgiving with little fanfare and much ease.  I made sure to wear my brightest smile and be on my best behavior.

Out here, I have to choose my words wisely for fear of the attack.   My honest words get me in trouble when I visit my sister.   She doesn't understand how I could be unhappy with A, with my marriage, with life in general.

Her overarching philosophy is that life is a choice, our attitudes are choices and even if things are not great, she chose them and therefore she can now choose to make them work for her.

It makes me feel so emotionally needy and inferior.   Why can't I just choose to be happy with A?   She says she would never tear her children's family apart but is quick to add that she does not judge me for doing so.

Wait.  I'm sorry.  I'm confused.

As I type this, I fear she will read it or catch wind of it.  She would not understand my neediness or my wanting to search for more in life.  I can't explain it to her.  I can't tell her how empty I have felt with A, with myself, with life in general.  She has no tolerance for wimps.

She pointed out yesterday that it was my first Thanksgiving in 21 years without A.   I hadn't yet formulated that realization on my own.  Wow.   It smarts to hear it said out loud.

 I missed him a bit yesterday.  I have what I call "book end" emptiness.   I miss him at the beginning of the day and at night before I go to bed.

Doesn't help that I dreamed about him last night going out with two 'girls' that we went to high school with.     I woke up with a most unsettled feeling, almost panic, worrying if I was making the right choice.

The thing is, I think A, even though he wanted our marriage to work, is doing quite alright with me out of the picture.   I also think that what I need for him to do to come back to the marriage and make it work are things he is not willing or able to do.

I suppose I should ask him because I can now tell him exactly what I need.

Maybe we will talk later.

That is, if I can get some reception out here in the country.

An addendum:   After having vented, I feel much better.  The day is beginning and I am enjoying her company again.  I think I awoke in a very "poor misunderstood me" mode, but I am shaking that negativity and I plan to enjoy this crisp, gray, fall day with people I love and who I know, when it is all said and done, love me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 178; Lump

The lump rests at the base of my throat, unsure about whether to move up or down.  If I inhale slowly, the oxygen just glides behind the lump, it doesn't push it down.   Exhaling does nothing either.

I was having a good day.  A good evening even.  And then, I went to Facebook.   I don't care for Facebook anymore and probably should just delete my account.   For the most part, there is nothing to say or do there.

I looked at A's Facebook page but there is no new activity there.  I'm not sure why there would be or why I would care.  Well, okay, I can figure out why I'd care, but I don't want to.   I don't want to be numb to A, but I do.

Today on the phone, I asked if he'd had a chance to read the chapter in the love languages book and he had not.   I felt dejected.   The very chapter I want him to read is about filling my emotional tank with attention and quality time.  Even when I ask for something specifically, he isn't able or willing to do it.

Yes, I understand I just gave him the book.  Actually, I know I am overreacting.  One day is a ridiculous expectation.

Okay, no more bitching about A.  I do hope he reads it though because I am anxious to hear his thoughts.

I can't wait to get to my sister's house and relax and visit.   It will be great to see all of them.

It seems the lump has dissipated.  I can't find it now, I won't be crying right now, possibly later.  Surely later.

I'm still scared.   There are so many unknowns.   I want a vision, some hope for where I am headed.  I want more permanence and my boys with me.

Inhale.  Exhale.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 177; Steady

The weekends bite me.  Every time.  I go through the week, for the most part rocking and rolling, feeling strong and stable and then Friday afternoon arrives and in sets the doubt, the anxiety, the overall feeling of sadness and confusion.

This weekend was no exception, although now that it is just about over with I realize that I made it.

I saw a really special friend yesterday and she and I shopped a bit, laughed, and talked.   We mapped out our plan to lose weight by early next year and I am excited about making positive changes.

Today, I stopped by the house on my way "home" and A and I went to lunch.  I wanted him to read a book about the five love languages, mostly just to get his thoughts on a specific chapter.

After reading the book, I know full well that my "love language" is quality time.  More than anything that is what I need to be fulfilled and the book does an excellent job of putting into words, with concrete examples, what I have had a hard time telling A.

I think, there is a part of me, that wants him to read it to understand what it is I've needed and to see if he thinks he is able and willing to do those things for me.

I don't want to push the book on him, but I do want him to read it.

From our lunch and talks today, I gather that he's mostly happier with me gone.  I'm not sure exactly how that makes me feel.  Part of me is saddened by that, while the other part of me feels a bit relieved.

I can't wait until I fall on either side of the fence definitively, but for now, I will just accept that this is where we are.

I almost feel apologetic for not having any drama to report, but it's been a slow few days and more and more, I cherish days like this.

I'm looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 174; Tom Brady

I finally sent my close friends an update email about the state of my life.

Yeah, I'm an ass.   All you cyber readers knew I had moved out before my true, blue, love of my life friends did.

Here's why.  Hopefully, all of you will be able to understand.

First of all, I am exhausting.  I know it.  My past year or more has been 'me, me, me' and I get that a whole bunch of 'me' is really annoying.   My saga has been the SOS (same ol shit) for months upon months.  I just think that friends can only take so much and I feel like I exceeded "so much" about six months ago.

So, when the time came for me to move out, I just did it.  I didn't announce it or debate it or ask for advice. I knew I had to to it.  The time had come, no matter what anyone thought (not that I'd ever had dissenting voices from the people who love me).

I just was trying to find me.  And me means me.   The me I am at the end of the day when no one is around to ask what we should have for dinner.   The me who decides what time everyone (me) goes to bed, the me who does anything and everything she wants.

(On a side note, I MISS my kids.  ME doesn't want to be solo.  I want my kids in my life always, let me make that clear).

So, I moved out.   In some ways, it's huge.  In other ways, it just is what it is.  Much like everything else in life.

Heidi Klum is hot, even after three kids.  Just is what it is.   Tom Brady is a gifted athlete who can knock up a supermodel, dump his former girlfriend and still be her baby daddy, grow his hair long, and still rack in huge bucks as an NFL quarterback.   Yeah, doesn't feel fair but it just IS WHAT IT IS.  

Plus, Tom Brady is gross, so I hardly care.

Anyway, back to me.  Friends of mine, I'm still here, where I have always been.  One third of me being the best mom I know how to be, despite all my flaws, another third of me being the best teacher I can possibly be, and the last third of me working massively hard to figure out who I am while constantly perched behind this laptop.   Hit me up on email if you want.  I'm always receptive!

I love everyone.  Including A and S.  Which has probably been the biggest problem of my life.

But I love all my friends too and now, more than ever, I need you.  I'm asking out loud.

I need you and love you and I will be great, I just feel it!

Love you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 171; Two Steps Up, One Step Back

So, if I'm being honest, the title of today's blog should be one step up, two steps back.  

R, my girl in Chi-town, always tells me that movement is good.  And this movement is good.  Tonight, at my friend's house, I feel happy and content.    I ate out alone tonight and I didn't even consider getting the food to go!

I walked into the restaurant, ordered my food, then sat down and ate.   I didn't even rush through the meal.

Of course, the entire time I was there, I was checking out the other patrons.  First of all, to see who else appeared to be single and secondly, well, isn't it obvious?  I was looking for cute guys.  Really, you ask?   Yes, I like to scope the scene.

So, I'm making progress.

Here is where I'm not.

First of all, did I mention I emailed S after seeing him the other day?  I needed to tell him how worried I was for him, how bad he looked (think concerned not catty), and how he truly needed help.  I sent it on Saturday and heard from him this afternoon.   I thought he might be mad that I called him out as an alcoholic, but he was jovial and in denial.   My heart fluttered a bit, actually.  Sadly.  But not enough to really shake me from my FORWARD motion.  I know I'm the dumb girl in the horror movie (thanks Nana), but maybe I can be Jamie Lee Curtis.  She survived those Halloween flicks (okay, the first one at least, I don't know about the sequels) and I will survive all of this too.   Look at her now, writing children's books and posing without make up in fashion mags.   She's strong and I can be too!

Secondly, in my new place, there's cable t.v.   Hold onto your hats, but...I'm addicted to the Bravo channel.   These Housewives of Beverly Hills and Atlanta and whatever other hood I can find to move into in the confines of my "progress" pad imagination are so freaking addicting!

The Housewives of Beverly Hills are incredibly over the top, with more plastic in them than my kids' playroom.  And yet I can't not watch and yell back at the t.v. at their insanity.

The Housewives of Atlanta are a bit more down to earth, but only by one level of atmosphere, say from the stratosphere to the mesosphere.

Either way, they are amusing!   I love the drama, the excess, the absurd, ridicularity of their lives.  I don't even think ridicularity is a word, but it's perfect for these women.

Maybe I love them because they inject that dose of normalcy in my life.

So, I'm moving, I'm walking.  Sometimes I stumble back, but other times I get forward.

Either way, I'm secretly, guiltily loving the journey!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 170; No Going Back

Six days!   It's been a crazy six days.  Well, okay, relatively crazy.  I was away at a conference for three of them and now the weekend has almost past.

Today is A's birthday.  I had the kids this weekend and we spent yesterday running errands, buying him a few presents and making his cake.  It's our tradition that we decide what type cake he gets, then we do our best to make it.

It was hard this year to think of something for him.   He's had such a shit time of things lately, I wanted to try to come up with something like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Part of me wishes I could have baked a heart shaped cake to give to him, but that wouldn't be fair.

Being at the house has been hard.  I spent last night here, in our youngest son's bottom bunk.  It's not as contrived as it might seem.  He and youngest son had gone to a football game, middle son was having a sleepover with a friend, so oldest son invited two friends over for a sleepover.  We decided the house would be better than at my place, considering the friend I rent from doesn't have kids, so A asked if I would stay until he got home.   I asked if I could sleep in the other room if I got tired.   So that's what happened.

But it's hard.  This was my house for 12 years and I know it's nuances inside and out.  The majority of my things are here, it's just been our life, our routine for over a decade.   When I'm here, I feel like I should be here.   When I'm away, that feels right also.

I'm thinking that part of what is contributing to this messed up head I'm feeling is that I saw S on Friday.   On my way home from the conference, I drove past his work, called him, and stopped by.  I didn't go inside the building, he came out to my car and we talked for about 15 minutes.

It was an interesting situation.   I called for about 15 minutes prior to reaching him and his line was busy.   When it finally rang through, I said, "Hi, it's me,"  just assuming he'd know who 'me' was.   He replied, "Hey!" and when I said, "I'm just driving through town on my way home," he said, "Oh, I thought you were just who I was on the phone to.  You sound just like her."

What?   My brow furrowed and of course, I had to ask who he was talking to.  It turns out he was talking to he and his wife's hairdresser.   He's told me before that she's attractive, a former stripper even, and apparently they were talking to iron out some plans for the weekend because they were going to do something couple related.

But my instinct tells me there is something more going on.  Just the way he assumed I was her.   It left an unsettled feeling in me.

Also, he looked horrible.  As I stood in front of him, I noticed his tired, puffy, wrinkled eyes.   His hair was a wreck.  His clothes disheveled.

His truck, parked next to where we were had a dent in the passenger door and the side view mirror was damaged.   When I asked what happened, he said he'd' gotten a 'whiskey dent'.   Apparently, from what he could remember, he'd hit another car as he was backing out of a parking spot leaving a bar.

When I asked how he was doing, he said "great".   He said he'd realized how much he loved his life and his wife and how he'd never do anything to jeopardize that again.   I pointed out that he'd figured all of that out at my expense and he acknowledged as much and apologized.

We hugged goodbye and I drove off.   I didn't cry.   More and more, it hit me that I fell in love with an alcoholic who is addicted to not only beer, but to his lifestyle.   He might have had all of the feelings he had for me at one point in time, but they were never enough to pull him away from the lifestyle he so loves.

It was quite disheartening, but eye opening at the same time.  

So, then, seeing A at our house, looking cute and sweet, really pulled at  my hearstrings.

But, I know there's no going back.  There's only what comes next and what that might be is left to be seen.

A is good with us apart and I am genuinely happy for that.  He deserves goodness in his life.

We are still friends and that is good.

As a matter of fact, we are off to his birthday lunch!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 164; Declining

Things are pretty good.

I went to see the boys after school and they are so engrossed in playing with the neighborhood kids, they hardly know I am there.

First, I arrived and did some household chores.  I don't and never intended for A to be a single dad, so I want to help him out as much as possible.

Then I went outside where the kids were playing and sat with them.  They were involved in this amazingly, creative game of tag and so I basically sat and watched.

Me being there is more of presence sort of thing than a "let's do this and that together" sort of role.

I am fine with that if it still manages to help the kids and let them know how much I love them.

It's the walking through the house that is hard.

A organized the bedroom apparently and cleaned off my nightstand.

Mind you, I gave up the rights to that nightstand when I moved out and I KNOW that.  But seeing it devoid of any sign of me is pretty weird.   My lotion was in the bathroom cabinet and all my self help books about relationships had been moved to  my closet floor.

It was slightly weird.

Another weird thing is that none of my friends have messaged me or texted me to see how I am doing, save two of them.

I know that one of my friends knows I've done this.  She lives right down the street and saw A at a neighborhood birthday party on Saturday and I wasn't there.

Why hasn't she even texted to see how I'm doing or to ask if she might offer some help?

I suppose I shouldnt' worry about such things, but it does slightly strike me as odd.

Only thing is though, I really used and abused my best friends this past year as I moaned about S and all of his shit, so possibly they are spent?

I realize I've been quite needy of late.

The absolutely cool thing is that despite anyone's interest or concern or help, I moved out.  I finally did it.

And I've stuck with it, if only for a week.

Tonight, my oldest son asked me to stay for dinner and I graciously declined.  I could not see the merit in that.

I will have the boys tomorrow night, overnight and we already have plans to eat out.

I told him no because I couldn't bear to sit across the table from A.   The memories and expectations are just too much.

But ultimately, I feel good and today has been a strong day.

More and more I realize, I CAN do this!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 163; Translations

So, I fell behind in my novel writing and had to make up for it today.   I think I wrote about 5,000 words today to get me back on schedule.

I suppose I should be grateful for the free time to be able to do something as luxurious as what I did, which was lay in bed while typing on my sweet new laptop and write.  What a life!

Unfortunately, I'm writing pure drivel.  It's barely fiction, as it's primarily about my love life saga.   I'm not really sure what my intentions were because I'm finding that dredging up the past is quite painful.  But, hopefully all is not lost because as the author of my novel I get to orchestrate my ending.   I'm sure it will consist of our lovely but lost heroine somehow finding all the things she longed for and needed.

It was A's weekend with the boys.  I saw them on Friday at our neighborhood potluck, but it was nice.  Being there but being separate from A was nice.   He got there late and it was no big deal.  He left early and it didn't even hurt my feelings.  That is huge progress.    Now, you might ask, why can't I separate my emotions when I'm there as his "wife" and honestly, I don't know the answer to that question.

Last night, I went out with a girlfriend to hear an 80's cover band.   While I'm not looking for love, I wanted to look nice and certainly would have let a gentleman buy me a drink or have a dance, but it was bizarre.  I felt fake.  I felt like I wasn't wearing clothes that were me, I felt fat, and frankly, I felt a bit desperate.   I kept looking at all the men there wondering if they'd ever make me feel the way S made me feel, or if they'd ever love me the way A did.   I know those are questions that can't be answered.

It wasn't what I wanted at all, which more and more I'm realizing that what this time is for is reflection and learning how to love me.  Learning  how to be with just me is one of the hardest things I've ever done and it's only been a week.

So, today, I called A to check on the boys and I ended up going to lunch with them and just hanging out at the house for about 2 hours.    I can't really explain how it felt.  I didn't cry this time when I left.  A and I can talk and we even hugged goodbye.

And I'm just trying to figure out what I miss.  Everything I am, everything I own, everything I was and thought I would be are tied to that house, that man, those boys.

R, my best friend, tells me that I am more than a relationship, more than a house, more than a job.  But if I'm NOT those things, then what am I?   That is the scariest question of all.

Many days, I still don't like who I am.  I fail myself constantly.   I eat more than I should, I decide not to work out, I am constantly saying things to people that I instantly regret.   And I don't know how to just STOP being that way.   And harder still, I don't know how to just accept that that's how I might just be.

So, I'm alone.  My husband is in our house, our life, with our sweet, beautiful boys.  And I'm here trying to find my answers.     I feel like the answers are here, a leather bound tome of knowledge, but when I open the pages, the script is in an exotic foreign language.  If I could just find the translation.

But I still feel like this is the move we have to make, the place we are, so we accept it and continue moving forward towards progress.

I can't get down, if I do I fear I'll  be swept away.


P.S.   To my sweet and loyal followers, your words mean so very much to me and I have been so lax in commenting back to you and reading your blogs.  I will remedy that soon!   You do more for me than you know.   Thank you for your encouragement.  xoxo, K

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 160: Okay!

I can't focus.   I signed up to write a novel in November.   The official/unofficial name of the contest is NaNoWriMo and I am supposed to write 50,000 words during this month.

Fiction is hard for me.  I have no problem telling you all about the intimate, or mostly intimate, details of my life.   Fiction is a bitch.

Funny how I can maintain a huge fantasy life within the confines of my feeble mind, but writing about fantasy and unreal things just kills me.

I don't know how I'm going to make it to 50,000 words.

Either way, I plan to try.

In many ways, it's infringing on my blogging, but I've had a hard time blogging anyway.    First of all, I grew tired of hearing myself whine.  Blah, blah, poor me, blah.    Secondly, I really turned inward for a while.   I realize that for many, many nights, I was only talking to myself.

That is cuh-razy!  I don't just talk to myself.  I'm a communicator, the reacher outer.  An "I can't be alone" sort of gal.

Tonight, when I pulled into the temporary housing, a wave of loneliness washed over me.   In that moment, I began panicking.   Like, full on panic attack!   I can't be alone, whatever will I do?  Who can I call, text, send subliminal messages to?

And then, saner heads prevailed.  This voice in my head started consoling me.   It was telling me things like, guess what?  Loneliness is OKAY.  Loneliness is not the end of the world.   People are lonely all the time and there is no need to rush to find someone or something to fill the void.

And as I worked through the moment, I came out just fine!

Here I am, watching crap cable t.v. and gearing up to write complete and utter  drivel for my novel challenge.

And, more importantly, I'm alright.

I think everyone else is okay, too.   I can't know for sure, but the boys seem fine.   Fine, as in, good.

Anyway.    Day 4 and here I sit.

If anyone wants to email, I am still lonely, but happy...

Night all!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 159; Mary Poppins

Day 3 in the new digs.  I can't tell you how wonderful and peaceful this new place is.  My co worker is single and busy and always gone.  I feel, so far, like I live here alone.

One of the routines I've begun establishing is to go  everyday after work to visit with the boys.  So far, it's been averaging 2 hours a day, roughly from 4 to 6.   Not really enough time, but better than nothing.

The problem is that being in the house hurts.  The smells, the clutter, the spaces we shared.   Even the dust bunnies seem to tug at my heartstrings.   And yet, I can't be away from the kids.   Unfortunately, I guess, I've not been able to leave until after A gets home, or just as he's arriving.  That is a huge hurdle, a tremendous ache.   I cry every time I leave and want to make a u-turn and drive home.   Sometimes I know that is where I am supposed and meant to be.   But the further I drive away, the more peace I feel.  There is a spark of excitement coursing through me and I can't deny it.

It's very hard.   I miss the boys.  As crazy as they drove me, at least they were there.   I miss their sweaty heads, the curve of my littlest one's booty in his tighty whitey's, the annoying, silly stories they'd tell me about shows they'd watched.

Last night they stayed with me here and it went really well.  I remember after my mom and dad were separated and I was in college, my sister and I had Christmas dinner with my dad in a Burger King.  It was pitiful and sad, but we soldiered through our Whoppers with cheese and choked down our Diet Cokes and extra salty fries.  I am not sure I ever felt more sorry for him in my life.    Well, okay, I have.  I mean, it is my dad we're talking about.   But still, it was a very painful moment.

I don't want my boys to have those.  For almost two years now, I've struggled on some days through a marriage that was "less than" in order for them to not know Burger King.

Last night, my younger two and I ate take out Whataburger on a piece of cardboard in the upstairs room I am renting from my friend.    We could have eaten at the dining room table, but there was something adventurous about sitting around a flattened t.v. box eating apple slices and burgers.   Actually, there's probably not, but the farther I get in the journey, the more I realize it's all about perception.

We are strong!  We are resilient!  We will all be okay!  

I do believe those things.  

Especially as long as I stay busy and away from A and the house.

I pray for clarity.  I hope for it to magically arrive at my feet, much like a Christmas package or a brown, wrapped box delivered by a hottie in a big van.    If I were Mary Poppins, I could pull clarity right out of my tapestry bag or pour it onto an oversized spoon and swallow it down.

But I'm smart enough to know it doesn't work that way.

I will just try to be.   Be.  And clarity will find me.   At some point, she'll breeze past me and I'll feel her wisps.

Day three.   Not bad.   Wonder how I'll be at Day 30?

Hopefully, stronger than ever.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 157; Trying

Blur, blur, and even more blur.   I feel so strange.  I'm lonely beyond belief and nothing seems to spark me.  Work keeps me busy enough that I don't have time to feel too sad and even though home has been feeling like the place I want to be, I'm still moving out.

Yesterday we told the kids.  It went better than expected, but still hurts like hell.  There were no real tears and in telling them I feel like a ton of bricks was released from my chest.   The only thing is, I think I merely dispersed the weight among my children.

Ultimately, I have a firm and strong belief that they will be fine.  They are so resilient and are so loved.   In telling them I was moving out for a trial separation, we gave them the gift of truth.  No more pretending, no more facade.

It doesn't answer their questions of "why?" or "what happens after the trial separation?", but it does show them that there is such thing as courage in the face of turmoil.

I'm at home right now, having come here straight from work.  I'll most likely get dinner started and head out to my friend's house after that.

I will miss my boys.  I must see them daily, feel their warmth, squeeze their soft skin.

I miss A too.   I can hardly think of him without crying.   

Is that a good thing?  I don't know yet, but if being apart brings us closer, then I have to give it a try.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 152; How, What, When?

Where in the world to begin?  I lapsed in my writing but the roller coaster continues to surge, lurch, and breeze into the station, jerking to a halt.    The amusement park isn't crowded, so I get to stay strapped in, only for the ride to thrust me forward again.

This past weekend, we visited A's parents.   Today is his mom's 70th birthday and we were in town for her party.   Saturday was an adults only dinner, followed by a small, family gathering Sunday afternoon.  At the dinner, toasts were given and I was reminded that A's parents have been together for 51 years.  I can't even imagine.   I used to think that was how we'd be, but not anymore.  Part of me isn't even sure I'd want that.   Although, admittedly, the idea of it sounds lovely and nostalgic.

We got home late on Sunday evening and as we laid in bed, again we talked about how we just weren't working out.  Between us exists a wall and although we chip at it or step back to take a running attempt at leaping over it, we just can't surmount this obstacle.   The talk was one of our cool, calm, collected ones.  I like those.  They make breathing easy.     It was decided or reconfirmed or wait, established, that I would indeed move in with my co-worker.

The next day, with the sun barely emerging in the Eastern sky, I received a barrage of text messages from A.   He  told me he was hurt and angry and needed me to know that he would only consider a separation because I wanted it, but that he believes we should move straight to divorce.   He doesn't feel safe with me, can't trust me, and has recurring images of me with S.   We are out of sync, never being able to give one another what they need at the right time.   And at this point, he's not even sure he wants to try anymore.   Everything in his life is a failure and everything he touches turns to shit.  I tried to point out to him that I was shit before he ever came near me.  My problems were mine from the very beginning.  I'm not sure those truths were duly noted by him.

The words were gut wrenching, but in some small way, I was happy he was finally saying them.   I didn't phone him, but let him continue on, getting as much out as he needed.   I know I deserve everything he says, plus some, and I want to give him any chance he needs to tell me how he feels.

That evening, when he got home from work, I was afraid to see his face.  I don't want to be afraid to see A.  In the few days since then, nothing more has really been said.

Yesterday, our dog ran away in a very busy part of town and he was unable to get her.  I know how special she is to him, so I left work early and loaded the boys into the car, "lost dog" signs in tow, to try to find her.   Before we reached the spot where she was last seen, he called to tell us the pound had her.  Some kind soul had brought her in.

Helping him made me feel good.  I felt a soft spot for him developing and wondered what was so wrong with me that I felt willing to walk away from such a sweet, good man and the father of my children.

But, do I confuse love with friendship?  Or do I expect too much from my primary relationship in my life?  I have no idea.

We've talked on the phone today a few times, mostly about parenting things.  I can very much see us being excellent co parents.

Tonight, I hope to get him alone so that we can continue talking about the separation.  There are a ton of logistics to figure out with number one being....how, what, and when do we tell the boys?   Talk about being left unable to breath.

Except, in my strong moments, I see me moving out to give us some space as a gift to the boys.   The gift of two parents who are not faking it has got to count for something.

I used to love roller coasters, now they just give me a feeling of dread and worry.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 146; New Normal

Long, long day here.   It began with an early morning conversation with A.  I awoke to find him sitting alone in the darkness of the living room.  Too awake to fall back asleep, I joined him on the couch and thus began our morning diatribe about our state of being.

Mostly, I listened.  I think in the past year, I haven't done enough listening.  Whether I end up agreeing with what he says or not, I feel it's the least I owe him.

He told me two things that stand out for him now.   The first one is that he still harbors anger for me.  I bristle every time he tells me that, for having someone angry with me is one of my strongest fears, but what can I do?  I deserve his anger, rage, even.   He should technically hate my guts.   When he tells me he's angry, I have nothing to say other than "I'm sorry" and "I understand".

The second thing he told me was that he has no hope for us.  He wants to just give up and call it quits before any more time goes by.    I hate hearing  him say that, although I know full well, I haven't done everything I can to make him want to keep trying.   Again, I can't say that I blame him.

Acknowledging these things does nothing for making any of this easier.   But, acknowledge I must.  I want A to know that I am deeply sorry and only want things to go smoothly from here on out.

Again, if we had no kids, we'd have parted ways months ago.  But we love our boys so very much, we hang on, in hopes of rekindling something, so that they might hold onto whatever semblance of normalcy is left.

I suppose it's time to create the new normal.   The new normal.  That is what I called life after my mom died.  What else can you do?   Life doesn't stop, even when you want to crumble in a sobbing heap on the ground and wait until strong friends or angels come to lift you up.   Life moves on and so must your aching, dirty, dusty feet.   Maybe you drag your steps for a while, but either way you move.  No caving now.

So, onward I go.   Onward.  I smile because the visual of my onward is about the same as a toddler taking its first tentative steps.   One forward, two back, and then, boom...I fall.

I get up, move on.   Over and over. 

It's time to start formulating the plan for the move out.  

Yes, it's time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 145; Dust

I'm falling out of love with my blog.   More and more it feels like a chore to me, but I can't figure out why.  My love for writing  hasn't diminished.  I think it's just that I feel trapped here too,  much like I do in the rest of my life.

I know the track to what I *should* say and feel, but most days, I'm somewhere off the beaten path.  I don't want to confess things here for fear of disappointing or sounding like a broken record.

Beating the proverbial dead horse is my specialty.  

So, I shy away.   What more is there to say really?

I've had many thoughts of late, but none of them resolute or powerful or enough to change my life, or so it seems.

I can't find a place anymore that brings me peace.  It used to be my classroom, but this year is so weird and different from last year, that I can't quite get comfortable there.   Sometimes I think it's home and oddly enough, I was happy tonight cooking dinner.  Bizarre.  Cooking rarely, if ever, makes me happy.

And even though A and I had talked on the phone today about very serious things, there seemed to be a break in our tension.  That is, until he came home.

As soon as he walked in, I felt myself bristle.  I can't explain it, which is one of the reason's I shy away from here now, but he just irritates me.    The way he looks at me too long to gauge my expression, the way he makes such noise when he eats (even with his mouth closed), the way he tries to tell me about something he heard on the radio on the way home but doesn't explain WHY it happens to be important to him,  the way he only half way listens to me.

And yet, more than once today, he told me on the phone how nice my voice sounded. 


I'm just confused.

Tonight, while looking for some drawings that youngest son did a few years ago, I stumbled across a box of old photos.   Talk about stirring the emotions and pulling the heartstrings.

Years ago, I must have had a camera tethered to me, much like a baby wears their pacifier on their bib or a librarian keeps her reading glasses around her neck.  Picture after picture emerged of A with our oldest son in all sorts of amazing, touching scenarios.   Also present were pictures of my mom, her wrinkled, smiling face peering at my lens.  I can feel her softness and smell her smell, even tonight.  

There was even a picture of S in the mix.   It was a snapshot taken at a wedding shower hosted for me and A, and there in the picture we all stand, smiling.  My best friend, S, A and me, another dear friend and my mom.   Who would have ever known 19 years ago that the two loves of my life would share frame time, as well as deep, profound, forever places in my heart?

I wasn't trying to dig in the past.  I was looking for drawings, which, by the way, continue to elude me.  I'm tired of the past.   Tired of who I was and all the reminders of who I'm not anymore.   Tired of seeing faces of lovers smiling at me, precursors to the pain and hurt we'd all suffer at one another's hands.

I'm tired of not knowing and worrying and being afraid.  Most of all, I think on many nights, I'm just tired of being tired.

Lately, my happy place is my bed.  At least, for the most part, when I'm sleeping I don't have to worry about pleasing anyone, including myself.    I don't have to face anything other than my subconscious and lately, that's been tolerable.

The pictures are put away.  The only thing stirring still is the dust I roused.  Well, that and my heart.  The dust will settle soon, but what of me and my feelings?

I'm not so sure.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 143; Tired and True

Monday, Monday. Already here. How do my weekends fly by? Not sure, but they do.

I have tomorrow off. I was going to go to Dallas to go with 'Dallas' to a doctor's appointment but she shrugged me at the last minute.

Part of me was dejected. I wanted to be there for her, prove to her I'd be there in tough times.

The other part of me was sadly relieved. I'm so exhausted, the thought of sleeping in tomorrow is thrilling.

Instead of supporting her in person, I'll be taking time to recoup and relax.

Nice, on a very guilty level. I was happy to be there for her.

On Friday I visited my co workers house. It was very nice, organized, well appointed. I could sort of see myself staying there for a few months.

She's said it's okay for my kids to be there, but I could barely imagine it myself. Either way, she's my only viable option at this point. I'd have to buy no furniture, nothing household related. That is very nice.

I suppose move out day would be closer to November 1. What we will tell the kids, I've not a clue.

But more and more it feels right.

Here we go!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 139; Baby Steps

Last night A wanted to make love.  I couldn't.  I just felt so wrong and guilty doing so.  Back when we were in counseling, that was one of the things the therapist talked to us about.  Establishing our boundaries and not being afraid to say 'no' or 'yes' as the case may be.

No was what  my heart and head was telling me, for a myriad of reasons.

But the no led to some talking.  Talking I knew needed to come, but was putting off indefinitely.  Yes, I wanted to email or send smoke signals or telepathic thoughts.  Wait, scratch the telepathic thoughts, I'd hate for him to know everything I think.   Either way, I wanted to avoid the inevitable.

As he reached over for me and I resisted, the time had come.   Without fanfare, drama, or even tears, we talked about how neither one of us are happy any more.  We are worn down and burned out.   Nothing makes sense and while we both feel like failures, there is no readily available path to overcoming where we are.

Selfishly, I want physical distance from him to see what that does to the emotional chasm we are already free falling into.  Maybe absence truly does make the heart grow fonder?   Maybe being away from him will open my eyes to the gifts in my life?   Without a doubt, there is a part of me that hopes and prays for that.

There is also a part of me that hopes that being away from him brings clarity and a sense of validation.  I long for the time in my life where I know I've made the right choice or done the right thing.

And yet, how silly am I?   My 4th graders are doing a poetry unit and yesterday we talked about metaphors and Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken.   We discussed how neither path was right or wrong, better or worse, they were just different.

Why is it so hard to translate from the pages of a book to the pages of my life?

Partially it is because of the kids.  I cannot imagine our new life, being away from them in any other way than a few nights because I'm on a girls trip.     But I can't continue to model the life I'm providing them now.

Sometimes I wonder what they think?  What their level of stress or worry or fear or even realization is about this all.   I fear it is far greater than I imagine it to be.

So,  we laid in bed last night, loosely mapping out our next moves, for they are precariously perched and interwoven with many things, including the children's well being, finances, fear, and so on.    Our first and best idea in the here and now for was for me ask a  friend at work  if I could rent a room from her.  We'd discussed it before and I'd sort of tossed the idea out to her and she was fairly receptive.

She lives alone, has a two story house and her bedroom is down stairs.  I could inhabit the upstairs pretty easily and rent would be far cheaper than an apartment.  I wouldn't have to lock into any sort of lease and the house would be already furnished.  It's close to work and not too far from the boys. 

I decided I would ask her today and be willing to accept 'no' as an answer. 

This morning, I didn't make it to her classroom, instead I got sidetracked and busy, but during my first class, there was a knock on my door.  I halted my teaching and walked over to let the person in.

Imagine my shock and surprise when it was the very same friend A and I had talked about last night.   She was stopping by to fill me in on some major life changes of her own and when I mentioned the living arrangement, she immediately thought it was a feasible and good idea.

You have to understand, our campus is really big and we can sometimes go a week or more without crossing paths.   The fact that she intentionally walked out to my classroom floored me.   I suppose the superstitious side of me wants to believe it was a sign.   I like that thought.

Now, she hasn't said definitively and I will be fine if she decides it's not the right situation for her, but I am hopeful.  This may be my way to ease into the next phase of my life.

Those are the only details I have thus far.   I don't know rent, I don't know how A and I would split the kids, I don't even know what we'd do with our money.  I just know this journey has begun and I have to take it one, careful, tentative but determined, step at a time.

Baby steps, for me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 138; Weddings

Wowza!   Eight days!!   What in the world is going on with me?   I haven't blogged in eight days and in doing so, I lost a follower.   Oh well, c'est la vie!  

To begin with, I was out of town over the weekend.  Well, not technically out of town, but away at a wedding and was super busy and very, very much distracted.    Maybe I'll blog about it in depth later.

The things I will say are this.   I did not cry at this wedding.   Typically, at weddings, I weep silent tears.  Either because I'm overblown by the romanticism or I'm mourning the loss of the love in mine.    Not so on Saturday.   For one thing, I was helping my friend with her son, so I had to exit the wedding a few times because he was doing the whole cough/puke thing.

But mostly, I just felt neutral.  That alarms me a bit.

The wedding was beautiful, though.   Outdoors,  flickering candlelight, a cool, Texas breeze.   It was amazing.   And there I stood stoically.   What is happening to me?

Since returning, I've felt a distance from A.   I've contacted an apartment location service.   I've checked my finances and started working on my budget.   Actually, at this point in time, it makes more sense for me to keep the house and for him to move out.  I'm the breadwinner here.

I admire this man and do love him, but our marriage has run its course and the next step is to move on and move out.  

Thing is, I can't say this to him.  I'm petrified.  I want to send an email and I know that is horribly wrong.   One of our strengths is communication, so an email would be a slap in the face.  

Being at the wedding, seeing new love and happiness, brought home how short life is.   I am tired of feeling hostage here because we are too poor to do anything, not to mention too scared.

I just don't know how to do it.  I want someone to do it for me, but I also know that a huge part of me being ready is also being able to say the things that need to be said.

That is my plan for the upcoming days.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 130; Weird

Today has been a weird day. It started off when I awoke early this morning after a bizarre dream about my favorite rock star. I fell asleep last night after watching several YouTube videos featuring him, so he was fresh on my mind. The dream found him fancying me, engaging me in deep conversations, secrets shared between us, intimate moments and laughter. Even as the dream progressed, some sliver of cognizant mind knew this was too good to be true. Just as the dream reached the stage where we found ourselves alone, his desire for me obviously brimming forth, I could contain myself no longer.

I reached for his pants, unzipped his zipper and helped him wriggle into the glory of his manhood. Imagine my surprise, no, horror, when I discovered his manhood was actually a well coiffed vagina!!

Yes, my most beloved rock star was not the well endowed power player I'd dreamed of since adolescence. He was a chick, sporting hardwoods with a throw rug.

In the dream, I kept asking, "But where is the cock? I need cock!!"

It was more than my subconscious could bear. I tried to will a penis onto the most beautiful man in the world, but it was a no go.

In utter frustration, I gave up and woke up, wide awake, left to ponder the meaning of such a dream.

I'm not homophobic. If anything, I probably have some unrecognized curiosities. But, ultimately, I'm into guys all the way.

The other option is that I am newly undersexed. Since deciding we were mostly friends, A doesn't want to have sex with me. I understand, but it doesn't make my physical needs just magically disappear.

Maybe tonight I can get lucky in every sense imaginable! Wouldn't that be nice?

Either way, I hope the MAN of my dreams dares to make an appearance.

Sweet dreams,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 128; All of Me

As usual, I'm tired.  I feel like I've been fighting a cold all weekend.   I've been wiped out every night.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm anemic.   

Today I went shopping to find something to wear to a friend's wedding next weekend and a family dinner in a few weeks.   I knew I'd gained weight, but hadn't really shopped for new clothes in a while.   I was TWO dress sizes up from what my normal size is.  Not one, but two.   OUCH.

I'd like to say it was very dejecting, but in all honesty I can't.  I've not been doing anything for my size to be anything other than what it is.

Food has been a comfort this past year, or, if I'm being honest, a  pseudo comfort.  It really hasn't made me feel any better and I'm bigger to boot!   I wish I could get my act together and start taking better care of myself.

I was smaller when I was having the affair.  It was easy to work out and eat sensibly even though S lived 2.5 hours away and I never knew when or if I'd get to see him.   I liked looking at myself in the mirror, smiled all the time, and could slide into anything in my closet.   Shopping was fun when I could wear almost anything I wanted.

I realize my happiness was born out of something bad.   The good feelings I was experiencing shouldn't have been based on anything related to him.

I gave him power over me and when he took his attention and love away, I lost the ability to feel good in my own skin.   Heartbreak has broken me, literally.

The other day, as I peered into the bathroom mirror, I said to myself, "Oh, you better move that hair from your face, it might get into your eye."    As I reached to swipe it away, I realized it was a wrinkle!  

The biggest change, though, is the weight gain.   You'd think I'd feel too sad to eat or use the anger to channel a new, improved, hot body.   Nope. 

I eat to escape and I know it.  For those  few minutes that I am eating or if we go out to eat, I can think about something else.  I physically relax and let go.  Then, I find myself in my closet on Monday morning trying to get dressed for work and nothing fits.  Literally.  

Being too poor to buy bigger clothes, I shop at resale stores to pay a fraction of the cost of something new, hoping and planning to only wear it for a short while.  I love thrift shopping, so that's not the problem.  The problem is having wonderful clothes in my closet and not being able to squeeze into them.

I'm due for my annual well woman exam this month and I plan to call tomorrow to make my appointment, but I am going to make it for December.

That is the goal I am setting for myself.  I have 15 pounds to lose and I think mid December is a realistic time frame to get this weight off.   I have to.  I can't stand myself any longer.  And being disgusted with me will get me nowhere with the work I need to do on myself.

Plus, I want to wear all the cute clothes just hanging forlornly in my closet.

One last thing.  I despise the broken record nature of tonight's blog.  I've said and thought all of these same things before.    When will it finally sink in?   

Today.   I pray today. 

I want to say today, but this is how I feel...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 125; Lessons

Progress.  I'm laughing heartily at myself.   No, I didn't do anything stupid today, at least not as it relates to S, but progress?   Really?   How dare I be so bold as to use that 'p' word.

The afternoon drive home found me sobbing again.  Sobbing.   I often wonder if I were to record the wails if they'd sound more like sperm whale mating calls or ghouls calling out from the depths of the catacombs.    More likely, they'd sound like the poor idiot who just found out on the Maury Povich show that her offspring is without a doubt, 99.9% NOT the offspring of the man she thought it was.   (On an aside, I always loved the tenths and hundredths of the percentages they gave.   As if 99 as a whole number wasn't enough!)

Now I'm cracking myself up.  Don't ask me why THAT analogy popped into my mind.

But this is my life, my mind, how it operates.

I started actually trying to figure out what the lessons were that I've learned or am yet to learn from all of this.   In a stream of consciousness effort and in NO particular order, I'm going to play a game with myself.   (I'm very, very good at games with myself).   I'm going to list the lessons I've learned from all this, vomit form, and in the end, I can sort through the chunks and see what stands out.

Here goes.

I've learned:

My judgment is NOT what I thought it was.
People you love will hurt you deeply.  DEEPLY.  And I am capable of hurting too.
Sex can be better with someone other than A.
Sex can be WAY better and can consume your thoughts.
Laughter is infectious and sexy and it feels wonderful to experience it on a daily basis.
I like to talk.
I like to write.
I love my kids and can't live without them.
I am restless and without a passion.
People either lie or "change their truths"
I'm too easy on some people.
I live in a fantasy world a lot of the time.
Food and alcohol are not really my friends.
In the end, this is my deal, I really am alone.
Wrinkles and gray hair thrive on stress.
Cortisol is a total bitch.
Crying is good, but it doesn't solve a damn thing.
Fear is paralyzing, as is heartbreak.
Panic attacks are real.
Sometimes the grass is greener because it's actually artificial turf.
A is a good and loyal soul.   He annoys me and amazes me in equal measures.
He also bores me to tears and ignores me much of the time.
My soul stirs and I yearn for freedom.
I have a lot of work to do in the liking myself department.
I am crazy, but not crazy.  I know it in my heart.
I'm scared to death.

As I said earlier, this list isn't complete, it's me, today.

Today my heart is piercing my soul, and as the blood seeps, it stings.   I'm so scared.  Scared of not being able to see what is before my eyes.   Or is it scared of not being able to let go and follow my heart?

Life is short, that's the other lesson I've learned.   Too bad I don't have a clue as to what the hell to make of that kernel of wisdom!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 124; BIG

I have a new follower and she's pretty cool.   I mean, I love ALL of my followers, don't get me wrong.   What makes the new one so interesting is that she's a single mom whose husband left her and yet, she's still willing to read my drivel and make heartfelt comments on what I say.

In a recent comment, she posted about how she could relate to me.   She mentioned that she got it because on some level, we are all after THE BIG LOVE.

That's how she typed it and that's exactly how my love for S felt.   To me, he was my BIG LOVE.   THE  BIG LOVE.

I gave him all of my heart and he took it.   All of it.  Every last bloody ounce.   And now I find that most days, I feel heartless.  Dead.  Void.  Empty.

And I hate him for that.

I have no idea how his days go.   I envision him just rocking along like normal.  Like we never even existed.

I know that I sent him the birthday gift and I've not heard one word back about it.   Nothing.  Nada.  No email, no text, nothing.

For me, that is the nail in the coffin and I find that I'm utterly and totally pissed off.   Yes, yes and again yes, I know the writing has been on the wall.  No need to point out the obvious.  He's doing a fine job of that.

There have been heiroglyphics, smoke signals, banners pulled behind planes,  spray painted graffitti.  If I'm not mistaken, he even somehow managed to tattoo his denial of me right across my naive, stupid, little heart.  And to think he told me he hated tattoos!

He doesn't want me. 

He used me.

 And I was fool enough to let him.

I have never given of myself so completely, other than to my children when they were helpless infants and toddlers, and with them, I always received something in return.   I was so foolish to believe all of the things he told me.

And tonight, it all makes me blood boiling angry.

I wanted THE BIG LOVE.  I believed with all of my heart that I'd found it.   And that belief caused me to risk everything I knew and had known for decades.

He's an asshole.   An emotional terrorist as R calls  him.   And he's 'hi-jacked' me up.  

It's not fair that I can't get through a day without thinking of him 100 times.   The only difference now is that where I used to think of him, sigh, and utter the words, "I love him", I now think of him and with scorn in my voice and most definitely in my heart, I spit, "I HATE him".

The thing is, I'm not a hater.   I'm not the girl who is nasty and cruel and spiteful and ugly.   Compassion and empathy are my nature.

But I'm done making excuses for his shitty, poor, sorry excuse for a human being.   He did a terrible thing and if I can't bring justice on my own, I have to believe somewhere in my heart that his time will come. 

Yes, I know I cheated.   I betrayed the vows of my marriage and hurt A deeply.   I can't undo that travesty.   But in the process,  I was at least honest to everyone and I was open about my feelings.  

Maybe, in black and white, I'm no better than S.   I'm the same, scummy, low life that he knows he is.   The funny thing is, I think by blocking me out of his life and mind, he somehow believes he can make it all better, make it all untrue.

Whatever.   I believe that until he and his wife deal with their truth, their reality, no one ever gets to fully recover.

Certainly not me.   And yet I can't control one single thing he does.

I just want to scream tonight.

I have no real point to this.  I just needed to vent and this was my safe place.

My BIG LOVE ended up being the biggest mistake of my life.   The biggest loser, the biggest asshole, the biggest user.

And I'm left being the BIG IDIOT.

I'm sure there are BIG LESSONS to be learned here somewhere, but for now, I'll have to settle with BIG ANGER and DISAPPOINTMENT.

It's a Strange Condition...