A Look Into The Life of a Woman Going Through Divorce — Opening Up About My Abusive Marriage
This is blog #42 of 47 from January-June, 2012. This was a difficult time in my life where I was navigating through my thoughts during my divorce. Now I share them with you. They are the only writings I have left from that era of my life.
It’s a look into the ending of my past life, showing bit by bit what an actual life transformation after divorce looks like.
In my blogs, I talk about my ex, my friends, my kids, my chronic pain (which had intensified during my separation and divorce), my job, dating, losing my first boyfriend, and my first solo trip — to Costa Rica.
I’ve edited some blogs for clarification and discretion. If you‘d like to read from the beginning, you can start here.
What a Year It’s Been
April 4, 2012
I was going about my usual business yesterday and it hit me suddenly that April 2nd was a momentous occasion. It was this day a year ago that my ex moved out of the house. We’d separated months beforehand and were only living under the same roof together (his idea not mine) because of finances.
After our decision to split, living in the same household was like living in a nightmare. There was so much anger on both of our parts. I hated coming home from a stressful job to seeing the tv being turned on to football with him in his recliner drinking. Usually he had been sitting there for a while. It was depressing and with such a feeling of hopelessness. As the hostility built and as the level of tension rose in the household, it got to an unbearable point. Mostly I would go hide somewhere, usually in my room. Any talk with him was typically met with yelling and verbally circling a subject without resolution. I had asked him to leave several times over the course of five years and he always refused. And even after we “separated” it was still the same shit with a refusal to leave, excuse after excuse of why he needed to stay, and what I saw as an ongoing hopeless situation.
Around the beginning of March last year, he physically attacked my son. I won’t go into the details, but I’ll just say it was really bad and I am still surprised to this day that the police weren’t called. I could see the pressure mounting and the drinking was getting worse, his outbursts were getting more volatile and his outbursts were unprovoked, he would really just go off if anyone even spoke to him. I anticipated that he was going to get physical either with me or with my son. I wish it had been me because I’d rather bear that happening than it happening to my son. To this day my son still has nightmares that the ex is returning to live here.
After that incident, I told him that he needed to leave. I gave him a week. It took him another month. I felt shame that it had to get to a boiling point for him to move out, I didn’t understand why he couldn’t have left when I’d previously asked him, but he is one of those people who has to be in control, nobody can make decisions for him. Instead, he found a way to become uncomfortable staying — losing a battle with my son (who overpowered my ex because my son is younger and stronger). Then he decided, yes, it was then justified that it was time for him to go. He made it something that he controlled in a passive way. And caused trauma for my family in the meantime, double bonus for him.
April 2nd, 2011 was the day he moved out. I remember that I went to a Beats Antique show with friends and stayed overnight at Laura’s house. It was the first time I’d really been out in years. In my marriage, we didn’t go out. My ex preferred to stay home, watch tv, and drink beer. This was drudgery for me. I’d beg him to go out but he didn’t want to be seen with me in public — his words. After he left, I instantly felt the weight of the world leave. I instantly had my house back. The tv stayed off. Music came on instead. I moved my daughter and her husband in and suddenly, the house was filled with my kids and their friends, laughter and lightheartedness. There was peace in the house almost instantaneously. My son and I didn’t really know what to do with ourselves!
Over time, my son started inviting friends over (that wasn’t allowed while my ex was here, he made it too uncomfortable for anyone to want to be here). They liked it here. My son got a foosball table and his friends would actually hang out here, spend the night here, eat all of my food and leave my house a complete mess. I loved it. At least for a while because it was so different than what I had to live with before. It was nice to have my daughter and son-in-law here too; it brought in some different energy and Scott absolutely loves his brother-in-law.
After April 2nd, my life changed tremendously. Beforehand, I suffered constantly from migraines and neck pain. I didn’t sleep. I was severely depressed. I had a very small circle of friends that I managed to miraculously hold onto. After April 2nd, my mind eased up. There was never any remorse about him leaving, I think because I wanted him to leave so badly and for such a long time that when it finally happened it was like someone opened the windows to let the light shine in and a soft breeze blew away all the darkness and ugliness of his terrible energy. It was nothing but goodness with him being gone. That’s how bad it was.
Over time, I realized how free I was to do whatever I wanted (well, within means of course. I still have responsibilities). I started going out more with my friends and realized just how much I loved that, and how wonderful my friends are…not just in general but in supporting me through a really rough time in my life. I think about the past year and don’t know how I’d have made it without them. And beyond that, they liberated me. They took me out and about, I experimented with new things, mostly going to events that were out of the ordinary (ie. faerie festival and beer circus. Those were a lot of fun!). My friend had a gypsy birthday. We went on beach weekends. I met new people and expanded my circle of friends. I started listening to different music, going to places I’d never been in my own city that I’ve lived my entire life. I started having fun and enjoying life. My neck pain started going away and my migraines decreased over time.
Another huge thing was that I took a solo trip to a country that I wanted to visit for years. It was very liberating and raised me to a higher level of independence.
I also attempted dating. I didn’t do as well at that, but I’ve had some interesting experiences, a lot of “firsts” in that department and have learned so much about myself from this and continue to learn. That is definitely an ongoing learning process. Mostly it has been met initially with a lot of confusion and later with a lot of reality checks. And here it is a year later, I remain single. I prefer it at this point. It fits well with me and I’m so much happier. I’d like to eventually have a relationship, but not until I meet the right person.
The biggest thing that has happened to me is that instead of focusing on another person and a terminal relationship that I tried to keep on life support, I’ve instead focused on me and what I really want out of life. I found that there are some things that are very important to me and some things that I thought were important are not so much. My friends and family are the most important to me. I’d neglected them because I spent all of my time trying to rescusitate my marriage. The work that I do in this world is important and it’s very important that it have a purpose. Playing is also important. Something I hadn’t done for a long time and went a little overboard in that area this last year. And seeing the world…something that I’m finding is extremely important to me.
Other things are surprisingly not so important. Like owning a house. Or dedicating my life to a job that does not fulfill me. Or spending my time with people who bring me down, for the sake of cordialness or because I’m suppose to. Or even giving too much of a damn about what other people think.
As time goes on, I work on moving out of those undesirable aspects, because its all a process and I work on moving towards a life that is fulfilling for me. There is no roadmap for this and I’ve fumbled along making a ton of mistakes and going backwards at times. But as I sit here and look at myself a year ago, as compared to myself now…wow, what a transformation! I’m so proud to say that I’m a completely different person now. More to my true self.
Thank you for reading about my journey. I write about relationships and self-improvement. If you’d like to sign up for my ‘Alchemy’ newsletter, please go here.