Emotional processing

How did I get here?

I have spent a lot of time pondering my new status in life. Separated. How did I get here? What do I do now that I am here? It is such a weird transitional place to be. You are married but you live your lives separately. You have separate homes. Separate finances. Separate schedules. And I am already noticing, separate friends. Separation sucks.

After 3 years of dating and 10 years of marriage, separation is hard. How do you divide up 13 years? To be honest, the money and property is easy. It’s numbers and spreadsheets. When there is a small boy involved, you do what is right, not what you want. But what about the rest?

The friends? The family? Just because we are not together does not mean we have to say goodbye to everyone. Or does it? I am struggling with this. I am struggling to know the right answer. I know that with his family, it is awkward. I feel as if they don’t know what to say. As if there is an unspoken anger or resentment and a forced cordial that is required at the exchange of my child. I have boundaries and I know where they are. His family is his. I loved them deeply and still do but they are his and so I respectfully don’t pick up the phone and call them.

What I wouldn’t do to talk to a few of them. They have been friends and family and sources of love and inspiration for years and now they are not. As much as I want them to be, I know it is not fair to them or to him to call upon them in my time of need. I know that there are rules of engagement. Certain social boundaries should be followed or am I wrong? What is the right answer?

Just because I can’t make it work with him means I have to give up them? I wish the answer was no, but I know in my heart that it is yes. I can’t continue the relationship with his mother when I am not with her son. I can’t lean on her for support. Sides get picked and even when you are not at fault, you are made to feel like you are the bad guy.

Separated. Two people torn apart by years of turmoil. Years of pain. Sometimes it does not matter if you want to save something, you realize that you might go down with the ship if you try and so you jump. It’s cold, uncharted water but I jumped anyway.

Now that I am floating along, I am realizing that I had to leave a lot of people behind me on the boat. The aunts, uncles, brother and sister in-laws, nieces and nephews. They were mine by marriage and his by blood. I made this decision, so it is only fair that when I separate from him, I also do so from them but wow, it’s hard. I know he needs them on his side but man, what I wouldn’t give to call them up and tell them I love them and that I’m sorry life is working out this way. I won’t because it’s not the right thing to do but I really wish I could be the person that said “screw what is right, I am doing what I want.”

Now friends? What about the friends? How do you divide them up? What I am learning is you don’t. They seem to do it for themselves. I am learning that they pick. As we swim through the waves, some will choose him and some will choose me. And some will float along with us both but how long can that last? Eventually, they will wash away in the waves. There are friends that I have shared wonderful relationships with that I thought would pick up the phone and check in but radio silence… Guess I know what side they are on. Separation sucks.

It does not matter how amicable a separation is, there is still strife and resentment. We would still be together if there wasn’t. I learned a lot in my last year of marriage. I have learn a lot in my first month of separation. I have learned that I don’t want to go back, but I can’t move on yet, either. I have learned that I want to start over, but I also have to deal with the emotions from the past. I have learned that I want to keep everyone close, but there are so many I have to let go. I have learned that life will get better, eventually, but it might get worse before it does. I have learned that separation sucks. It sucks for me. It sucks for him. For our friend and our family. And it really sucks for my sweet little boy. All he wants is mommy and daddy together and all I can tell him is “I’m sorry honey, we both love you very much, this is not your fault but we will find away to make this work.” Separation sucks.

Separation means still being tied to the past and not being able to truly start on your future. Each day you find a reminder of what you had and what you lost. Each day you find a new emotion that you didn’t know was there. Each day you take a few steps forward and then a few steps back. Each day gets a little easier. Then, some days it gets harder. Today was harder. A random text made me so upset and angry but I can’t change it and I don’t want to.

What I wouldn’t do to change this. A sad little boy made me want to hold him a little tighter so he didn’t see his mommy cry because I could hear the sadness in his sweet voice when he said, “I just wish we could be a family.” Me too, buddy, but a family should not make you unhappy and that is what I was. And so I hugged him a little more. Separation sucks.

I know this is what I want but it’s hard. I can not fathom being on the other side. I know my husband is hurting and for that I am truly sorry. I wish it were different. I wish he would have made different choices. I wish I hadn’t felt backed into a corner and that my only chance at happiness was to get out. I wish I felt like I could breathe. I wish the only chance for me wasn’t leaving. But It was. So I did. And here I am. Separation sucks.

I have no positive words today. I have no sparkle. Today is a hard one. Maybe tomorrow will be better but I am not quite sure. Tomorrow, I turn 45. It’s my birthday. Well, actually tomorrow is today because it is 12:10am and I can’t sleep. That seems to happen a lot lately. Sleep does not come easy and I am tired but my brain keeps running. So, happy birthday to me.

So here I am, on my 45th birthday, starting over. I am going to chalk the first half of 2019 up to a bad one. I lost my Dad, my husband, a bunch of family and friend and I am turning 45. Pretty shitty stuff. I am starting over. Separation sucks.

I know that I need to go on and I will. I will find happiness is the silence, but for today I will allow it to suck. It’s okay to do that every once in a while. But, I will remember, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull your shine.

Much Love,

The Manicured Mom

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6 thoughts on “How did I get here?”

  1. Tammy, I wish you lived closer so that I could be more supportive. Your situation closely mirrors my own. I was blessed to have family and close friends that offered support. I will say that I have never “ bad mouthed” Robert to Matty. He is his father and loves him, regardless of his short comings. Robert and I co-parented Matty. I would call him or he would call me with concerns. I never discussed his personal life and he never asked about mine. When Matty started racing his quad we traveled to races as a family and stayed together at the track as a family.
    My husband always thought that was weird that we all got along so well. But it wasn’t about us, but rather about Matty and supporting him. It has been difficult at times, but not impossible. Please feel free to call me anytime. While you live far away, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. You are tough. It is clear in your words and what I know of you as a human being. While this part sucks, you will find a new normal and it’s ok to not be ok right now while you mourn and heal. Here is you want to message…been there for sure.

  3. I wish I could be encouraging, but I lost everything. My friends that I thought were my friends went to His side because their husbands were friends with him. I lost my church. I lost my school that I taught at because of the “good ole boy” system. He refused to pay child support while we were separated hoping it would force me back. It was horrible being all alone with no family and no friends. But I rebuilt my self and raised my girls well. He thinks he won, but he is alone now – no relationship with his daughters because his actions then spoke volumes that they never forgot. I have love and happiness everyday and I love my new life.

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