Fall to pieces

I reread some of my old blog today.  Posts from last summer, from our first “separation” that lasted all of five days.  We moved back in together, not because we realized that we were making a mistake, but because he got caught doing something he shouldn’t, and he wanted me to forget about it…and because I had a complete nervous breakdown and couldn’t handle it.  Or didn’t want to.  Whichever.

Rereading those entries really drove two points home to me.  The first being that we’re making the right decision, because being put through the wringer like that by someone you love is unacceptable, and should never be acceptable.  And the second being that I am afraid — really afraid — of falling to pieces again like that.

Of course, the chances that this will happen are slim, and I have to keep reminding myself of that.

1. The “divorce” has already happened.
Nothing is going to change except that, by law, David and I won’t be husband and wife anymore.  This has already happened.  We live in separate apartments.  Our finances are separated.  We have no bills together — except our cell phone bill, which we retain until January so we don’t have to pay an astronomical fee for breaking our contract.  The only time we encounter each other, really, is in our social strata. 

2. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this for months.
Separaion #1, in July of 2012, was something that occurred after three months of talking about separating.  I hadn’t prepared myself for it at all.  In this case, I first brought up “I want a divorce” in September of 2012.  It has been nine months since then.  Everyone knows about it, nobody is going to be shocked (I think — although I did just run into someone from church who hadn’t known), and I’ve had time to think about it and wrap my brain around it for quite some time.

3. Nothing is going to change.
Except my name.  I won’t be “Megan B.” anymore.  I’ll be “Megan F.” again.  That’s…it.  Everything else that is going to change, already has.

I’m not going to fall to pieces.  I’m not going to let myself fall to pieces.

I’m in a sort of depressive funk right now, but it won’t last forever.  And I’m wondering if that’s more because of this horrible dreading of anticipation.  That we’re only a week and a half away.

I just can’t wait for this all to go away.  And then I’ll be okay again.

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Strength

We are coming up on the end of this journey.  Within the month, D will be my ex-husband.  Except…only on paper, because he’s been my ex-husband since November 18th, 2012, when I moved out.  I keep reminding myself that we’ve been divorced, physically, mentally, and emotionally, for seven months now, and that the court date is only a mere formality.

So why I am so afraid of it?

I couldn’t tell you that.  Maybe because, to me, it’s too ceremonial, it reminds me so much of a mockery of our marriage.  Something we so lovingly cared for and crafted and planned out, dreamed of, rehearsed, and found such joy in…eradicated in ’30 seconds’ (which is what the court clerk assured me yesterday).  Four and a half years with someone…burned away to nothingness?

Yes.  All of that.

You’d think I’d be excited.  You’d think I’d be happy.  The things that he’s said and done in the last eighteen months were heinous.  He has not treated me the way you would even expect someone to treat a casual acquaintance.  To quote one of my friends “there is a difference between murdering someone and torturing them to death”, and when it came to how our divorce was handled, he definitely chose the latter path.  His reasons for doing so, I will never know.  I’d like to think it was all misguided fear of hurting me.  He didn’t want me to know.  He didn’t want me to be hurt.

Or I could choose the more likely scenario — he was protecting himself.  His ego, his reputation.  He didn’t want the world to know what we were, who he was, what he really thought of me, what really went on behind closed doors.

I feel so old beside him these days.  And it’s not even because he’s 28 and I’m going to be 30 in just three months.  I just feel so much older than him.  I remember when we first started dating, how weirded out I was by the fact that he was a mere four months older than my younger sister.  Over time, I stopped sensing the almost-two year age gap between us; it didn’t seem relevant.  And in the last two years…it’s there like a massive rift between us.  It’s not even that I’m so much older than he is (I’m not), it’s just that I want so many different things than he does.  I was ready.  He was not.  And it fell apart.

I hate when people say “well, you kind of rushed into marriage.”  We were dating for two and a half years before we got married…I don’t really call that “rushing.”  And you can’t really put a time limit on something like this.  My parents were engaged after only six weeks and they’re going to celebrate their 33rd anniversary in October.  It’s not a “one size fits all” sort of scenario.  And I think that’s been the most difficult thing about it.  There’s no rhyme or reason, nothing I could have done.  Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.  The end.

 

All I want now, is strength.

Strength to get through the court date — July 8th — with my head held high, and no tears.

Strength to know in my heart that I am making the right decision; the only decision.

Strength to look beyond July 8th, and see that the world isn’t ending.  This world, maybe.  But the new one is coming, and it’s brighter and more complete and fulfilling than this world was.  Even if I can’t see where the path leads right now.

Strength to hold my anger, my pain, and whatever bitterness I feel inside, because releasing those thoughts, those words, out into the world, solves nothing…but it may destroy something.

Strength to be classy.  I never wanted to be trashy, I always feared loud confrontation and drama and theatrics.  Please, when this is over, let me have the strength to have carried myself in such a way that nobody will be able to say anything about me except that, through it all, I redefined “class”.

And above all…

Strength to never reproach myself for what has occurred, for any of the choices I have made.  They may not have been the easiest decisions, but they were the right ones, no matter how I felt at the time.  I may not be happy with them now, or with the direction that my life has taken.

But oh, I believe, I believe with my heart and soul, I am not done yet.

There is beauty left in the beyond.

 

You have to set yourself on fire

The last few weeks have been a roller-coaster, and of course, the ride isn’t over yet.  I am putting the finishing touches to the edits on my prospectus…and it’s a nightmare.  The fear of not being good enough is all-consuming.  Worse, there’s a depression that’s hung over me since the move.  It’s not the apartment (I love it), it’s not my roommate (she’s wonderful).  It’s just that I put way too much pressure on the move, too much emphasis on thinking that once I moved, I wouldn’t hurt anymore.  Surprise!  Not the case.  If anything, I think I may have felt worse, because the move, with the due date for three major papers just behind it, combined with the choice timing of some douchebaggery from David, spiraled me into a very bad place over the weekend, and I’m still struggling to crawl out of that, and get back to where I was before.

Depression, stress, anxiety, and way too many tears, combined with work pressures (I’ve had to go into work on a weekend two weeks in a row) and some overwhelmingly bad nightmares, and the result most days is…this:

Sometimes, I just want to give up.  My life took an abrupt turn for the worst on September 26, 2011.  It has been twenty months since then.  And twenty months is a fucking LONG-ASS time to be sad a majority of the time.  Sometimes I get so damn frustrated with myself.  Why are you not over this yet?  Why is this divorce still bothering you?  Why can’t you move the fuck on and stop living in the past?  Why do these things still make you sad?

It has the combined effect of making me irrationally angry.  At myself.

But you know, I looked back in my blog a few months, to the entry dated January 29th, 2013, entitled “Death of All Dreams.”  And I read back to those words that I wrote, pre-filing, pre-moving, pre-…everything I’ve done since January:

There before me, on a funeral pyre, are all the dreams I had for myself, all the unfulfilled promise that we had when we met, aged 23 and 24, so ridiculously in love, ready to embark on this great journey of life.  We were going to be different.  I know that nobody goes into a marriage planning on divorcing.  From day one, we said that divorce was not an option.  And then…it was.

They lie there, on this mythological pyre, so many memories and dreams and plans.  I turn them over in my hands before putting them back down…

And although he has stripped the memories, the dreams, the hopes, even the love, bare, and laid them on the pyre, I haven’t been able to set the pile alight.  Because you see, he won’t.  He won’t do it.  Only I can do it.  Because he never will.

He left them there and walked away, he thinks I can never bring myself to end what I never wanted to end.  To light all of those dreams on fire, watch them melt and run together and evaporate into thin air.

He doesn’t realize that once they are burned, once they are gone forever, once I give them up…I can start dreaming again.  I can hope again.

I just have to find a way to strike the match.

Lord, help me find a way to strike the match.

 

And sometimes it seems like I haven’t come so far.  But when I look back on there…I did find my way.  I filed.  I moved.  I struck the match and burned it to the ground.  The only way that I could move on was by burning the past, and I did it.  I did it.  I burned it.  It’s still burning.  There’s no sense staring back and trying to reach in to salvage the pieces as they catch and burn.  I’ll only hurt myself.  Even if I pull them from the wreckage…they’re still charred, they’re still gone.  No sense in looking back.  Burn it.  Burn it all.

And then, when it’s over…it’s over.  And you can begin again.

When there’s nothing left to burn…you have to set yourself on fire.

Boston, You’re My Home

The Marathon Bombings have taken all the wind out of New England’s sails today.  Boston is a wreck.  Nobody knows who did it, or who is responsible.  There is blood in the streets.  Men and women are missing limbs.  Parents went to bed last night without their child.  The city is in chaos, it will be weeks or months before we know who did this, years before everyone feels normal again, and never before we find out why.

I am not from Boston.  My family is.  My ex-husband’s family is.  I have so many friends who live in Boston that my heart was in my throat as I scanned my newsfeed on FB yesterday, mentally ticking off each person who checked in and said they were all right.  That beautiful city, my favorite in the world, torn to pieces on that most special day ingrained in Massachusetts’ history — Patriots Day.  It’s rocked Boston, Massachusetts, and New England as a whole.

But there is not a single doubt in my mind that Boston will rebound from this.  Boston is scrappy.  Boston is defined by its strength, by the legacy of the thousands of Irish immigrants who came to the city, forced there by the potato famine in Ireland.  The tenacity that makes the rest of the country call its people “Massholes”, some fondly, some in irritation.  The tough but loveable accents, the dropped “r’s” that sound like “a’s”.  The magical city of dreams where a ball team that hasn’t won in 86 years can defy all odds and take home the title.   The birthplace of our nation’s freedom, where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired.  The beginning that has no end.  Boston has everything.  Boston is everything.

And she will overcome.  The city by the bay will rebound from this, stronger than ever.  There is no doubting it even for a second.

Not-so-realistic Idealism

My life trips by on a sequence of “busy nothings” as Jane Austen would say.  I’m busy trying to find a new apartment, busy with school, busy with work, busy with trying to keep my brain occupied and not think about K, the relationship that could have been but wasn’t.

I wonder sometimes if I am idealizing it.  K was, after all, the first man who paid me any sort of attention, post-marriage to D.  He was like an oasis in the desert, he showed me how special I was, and how not all men would take me for granted.  It’s true that we clicked, in many ways — we shared many similar interests, we made each other laugh, we were certainly compatible in many ways.  But it disturbs me how much I compare everyone to him these days.

I never went through a period where I compared anyone to D, because my relationship with him had already withered to the point of nonexistence by the time I was ready to shelve my marriage and proceed on.  How does one compare prospective loves with a man who hasn’t been your love for some time?  Although D and I just separated six months ago, and just filed for divorce in February (though we had to re-file in March), our relationship had been breaking down since September of 2011.  It’s been so long since we were close, as husband and wife should be, that I can hardly remember what that life was like.

I had expected my interaction with K to feel…forced?  Difficult?  Guilt-ridden?  And I experienced none of those emotions.  I was like a child exposed to sunlight for the first time after playing in darkness for years.  Like a flower that withered on the vine for eighteen months and is suddenly drenched in water.  I felt alive, vibrant, special, vivacious…ready to take life by the horns again.  For several days, I felt that liveliness…and then it was snatched away, and darkness fell again, though to be as dark as it was before.  Potential was realized.  If not with K, then with someone else.

I never thought it would be the friendship I missed.  Someone calling me every night, asking how I’m doing, how my day went, what is happening with me.  I wonder sometimes…did I let him go too easily?  In a world where it took me so long to finally convince myself to let D go…did I cut ties with K, did I let him go, almost too quickly?

No time for second-guessing.  This is life, you don’t get a re-do.  I could call him, I suppose…but I promised I wouldn’t, that I’d give him the space he said he needed to work out his life.  And it hasn’t even been a week yet.  Would be a good way to look like a grade-A psycho!

No, it’s better to let silence speak for me.  Focus on school, focus on work, focus on getting an apartment.

On living my life.

 

 

Exactly one year ago today, D told me he wanted a divorce.

And look how far I’ve come, what I’ve accomplished, since that day.

A bigger victory

I haven’t written in a week and a half.  I haven’t posted “Little Victories”, and that’s in part because…I didn’t know what to write.  Period.  So many things have happened since Monday, March 25th (when I last wrote), and it’s difficult to go back and write about it.  Some things were fantastic, some things were incredibly hard.  But I reached a turning point in my life, somewhere in the last eleven days.  And while I don’t want to go into too many details, especially on a public forum (I have a more private journal for that), I have to address it, in order to move this blog forward.

I met someone in the last month.  He is not someone I am going to have a relationship with (at least not any time in the foreseeable future).  Although we realized over the span of a month’s time that we had a lot in common, we were attracted to each other, and we were both exactly what the other was looking for…the timing was appalling, for both of us.  He is going through some turbulence in his life right now, as am I.  When we realized this, we both spent about four days agonizing to ourselves about it, before finally coming clean to each other last night.

Another time, another place, but not today, not now, and not any time soon.  When we ended our conversation last night he said that he wouldn’t be calling me soon, but he WOULD call me again.  He didn’t expect me to wait around for him, put my life on hold, all that…and that, if he called me and found out that I was happy, that I found someone who made me so, then he would know he had made the right decision.

I’m not happy, per se, over this decision.  I will admit that I cried when we said goodbye and hung up the phone last night.  But on the other hand, I am so relieved, because in the last month, he gave me everything I needed.  He was someone who gave me the time of day.  He reminded me that I was beautiful, intelligent, funny, worthy of love and respect and compassion and honesty — all of the things that D wasn’t giving me.

He made me realize that I was better than I was giving myself credit for.

I closed the door on my past this week.  On the 25th, I wrote that I just wanted to be on the other side, at that point of acceptance, to look back on the last five years of my life and be able to say, “Yes, that happened, and it hurt, but I am going to be better for it now that it’s over.”  And in the past eleven days, I got that wish.  I closed the door to my painful past and I opened the door to my future.  And that…that gift, he gave to me.  He helped me find myself.

Who knows what will happen to him.  I can’t predict the future.  I’m scared for him, and I hope that he manages to crawl out of the hole he is in, to get better.  I hope that, if and when the day comes that I see his name on the caller ID on my phone, I will pick up and he’ll be happy, truly happy, in his life.  I don’t know if anything will ever come to pass between us again.  I certainly won’t bank on it.  Life is too short to wait around, wondering if what happened can happen again.

But in the last month, he picked me up, out of the hole I was in, and he flew me to a place I hadn’t been before.  He put me on the path I was meant to be on, and then he gave me the gentlest of pushes forward.  He showed me who I want to be, but more importantly, that I wasn’t there yet.

Go.  Live your life.  Be the woman you can be.  Claw your way out of this.  You did it before.  You can do it again.  Close the doors to your past and open the door to your future.  Because it’s so much brighter than you can possibly imagine.

And that was worth more than any relationship ever could be.

 

 

I’m going forward.  Big changes are coming to my life.  I received our divorce case number in the mail this week.  I’m going to my XMIL’s house this next weekend to give her back (or try to give her back, at least) the engagement ring.  I started looking at apartments with my future roommate, Samantha.  We may have found one (*fingers crossed*).  School is seven weeks from ending.  I got my June Wildfire ticket.

I closed my heart emotionally on all that happened with D.  Granted, there will still be times when I am sad that it didn’t work out, and I imagine it will hurt on July 8th, the day our divorce is finalized.  But I will never, ever again feel like I could live that life, pretending that the little he gave me was enough.  My self-worth is back and I will never lose it in the same way again.

I’m on the right path.  And I’m going forward from here on out.

Never look back.

Thank you, K.  Thank you for showing me I was worth it.  I hope you realize someday that you’re worth it, too.

And I hope, whenever we meet again, that you will be okay.

If somebody tells you…

…that you don’t need to have divorce papers served by a marshal (just save yourself the money and hassle and do it yourself!): they are lying.  Or if we’re being nice, vastly wrong.

Because of this, our divorce date has been pushed back, and I need to go and re-file.

The word “exhausted’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.  I just want to curl into a ball.  So much of my life is just a huge, expensive, difficult mess.  I try to balance work, school, and what I’m calling a social life these days.  And then something like this just smashes through all “LOL J/K” when I think I have things — finally — under control.

D messaged me when I told him that this was dragging out and just said “I’m sorry.”  I was ready to text him and say it’s not his fault we were poorly directed and that the courts try to dick every single penny out of you.  But you know, it IS his fault, the whole mess is his fault in the first place.

Talking to K (new friend) yesterday, about all this, I could sum it up thus: “We didn’t look at marriage the same way, and that is why it fell apart.

It’s so unfortunately true.

And 99% of the time, I’m so okay, I’m really okay, I don’t want to go back and change anything.  And some days, like now, I just think I don’t want to do this.  Not now, not in April, not in July…never.

I am not

I hate to write “downer” entries, but this blog is called “Honestly, Megan”, and I can’t always be 100% optimistic.  I am not feeling well today.  Part of that is due to staying up until almost 1 AM watching the Oscars.

Part of it is because D told MIL yesterday that he wants a divorce…and then told me on the phone how truly miserable he is.  All this time I’ve been telling myself how happy he is, how much he wanted this, when in reality, it’s not that he wanted it, it’s because he was too scared to do anything except step aside and let this marriage fall to pieces.

Part of it is because I look back on the last two years and see a beautiful relationship that imploded, and it just hurts, it hurts to see every hope and dream we ever had in shambles, damaged and irreparable.

Part of it is because I am so tired that it truly hurts.

Part of it is because I am tired of crying, and I’m even more tired of people telling me that I am foolish for crying, foolish for hurting.  I hate that certain people act like I have to put on a happy face all the time, because sometimes, I am anything but happy.  Sometimes I need to grieve.  Sometimes I need to hurt, and shunting my feelings under the rug?  Doesn’t help.

I am sorry that my crying and my pain and my grief is offensive to people.  I am sorry if people think I am better than that, and in reality, I am not.  That I am tough and strong and I DGAF that my marriage fell apart, that the man I love changed into a completely different person, that even though so many have told me that this isn’t my fault, I still feel responsible because we were each other’s responsibility and I never realized that something was really this wrong until it was too late.

I’m sorry that people don’t want to see the mess left behind.  They want me to feel nothing.  They want me to be stronger, and I’m not.  I’m just me.  Honestly Megan.  Just me.

And even though it’s just one more nail in the coffin, and a nail I’d been expecting, I can’t pretend that it doesn’t hurt like hell when it goes in.

This is not going to be an easy ride.  You can get off it at any time.  I can’t.  I am in this until the end.  It’s started, I can’t stop it, and I only have two choices.  Ride it out, and pray that there’s something good at the end.  Or throw myself out and die.  I can’t do the latter, so it has to be the former.  I’m sorry if the ride is longer than you thought it would be.  It’s much, much longer than I expected, myself.

But I have no choice, I have to ride it out.  Ride or die.

If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you can go.  This is unfortunately as good as it’s going to get right now.  I can’t promise that it will get better soon, but I can promise that it will get better.  I just don’t know when.

Right now, it just hurts.  And I need to grieve.  I don’t mean shut myself in my room, I am not doing that.  I am not sitting here mourning all the time.  But I am going to break down and cry.  I am going to be sad.  I am not going to be gleeful as my soon to be ex husband falls apart.  I can’t sit and calmly talk about severing the marriage that we so lovingly built up.  I can’t think about seeing my MIL for the last time, of never seeing my IL’s again, and not tear up.

I am not made of stone.  And I can’t apologize for that.

Frederick William Elwell – The Wedding Dress, 1911

Depression

I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and PTSD back in 2008 (well, PTSD in 2006, anxiety disorder in 2008, if we’re being fair).  I have never experienced depression.  I mean, we all have our moments.  But I’ve never had five days where I’ve just cried, and cried, and been lethargic, and done nothing, feeling broken and unable to pick the pieces up again.

So much has happened in the last few days that I just…can’t comprehend.  The short story is that, after a slew of really painful incidents last Wednesday – Friday, I hit a point where I just stopped.  it was like a piece of my brain broke, and I couldn’t get it under control again.  And where I’ve cried probably buckets of tears since September 2011…I probably cried the equivalent of that just between Wednesday, February 13, and Sunday, February 17.  Generally over the past year, I’ve been okay when I’ve been around other people.  That isn’t the case anymore.  I cry anywhere, any time, and it’s…inconvenient, to say the least.  Embarrassing, to say the most.

But the worst comes after dark.  When I’m alone in my apartment, and the thoughts that used to eat me alive when I was a teenager come back. 

I am a bad person.  I must be.
Things like this don’t happen to good people.
If I was a good person, my husband wouldn’t have cheated on me.
My friend wouldn’t have lied to me.
My boss wouldn’t have yelled at me today.

My parents wouldn’t be disappointed in me.
If I was a good person, these things wouldn’t happen to me.

I don’t feel strong anymore.  I don’t feel sure anymore.  And if you get all psychological, this is just one more step on the Kubler-Ross grief scale, and I was going to get here eventually.  But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck, every minute I go through it, every day.

I’ve tried slogging through it, pushing through, thinking to myself I am better than this, I will not let myself fall apart.  But in the end, it just prolongs the inevitable.  And I get more upset with myself for falling apart, when it does.

I am afraid to go to my friends, or my family.  I am afraid of being judged or being a burden on anyone.  I cry all the time, and I pick the skin from my fingers (I didn’t realize until this morning that this is a thing that people do when they’re anxious or depressed, I figured it was just something that I did that was fucked-up), and after months and months of pushing through and being strong and being okay, I’m on a downward spiral that just goes nowhere, ends nowhere.

The one person who promised he’d stick by me and be there for me regardless of anything, isn’t there anymore.  Doesn’t want to be here, doesn’t love me or care about me.

I’ve known this since April 2012.  You’d think I’d be over it by now.  I thought I’d be over it by now.

But I’m not.  And I hate that I’m not.

Ommmmmmm

Today I am a mess.  I realized last night that D’s stupid car payments are still coming out of my bank account, and when I called him to try and rectify the situation, he ignored my phone call and has thus far ignored my texts, except for one excuse saying he could put the money in my PayPal account (I don’t have one), and refusing to respond to any other forms of communication.  I’m not sure where he is, or who he’s with, but I definitely have my suspicions, and I’m betting they are right.  They usually are.

This resulted in a massive panic attack last night, another one today…and today I hurt.

It’s not even because it’s Valentine’s Day (though I could definitely live without the hearts and happy little sentiments on FB all day), and I’m “single.”  If anything, it’s because I just can’t believe sometimes that the person I fell in love with, the man I married, the human being I thought I knew so well, could turn out to be this selfish, this cruel.

How could my judgment have been so poor?

There’s nothing I can do about it now.  I can’t get that $148 back until he deigns to contact me.  I’m seeing Crazy Bruce in about an hour, so that’s…something.  I’m going to my friend Jess’s tonight for “Valentine’s Day” and I made chocolate almond gooey cakes for it.

Nothing to do for now, except say “Ommmmmm” and try to relax.  No sense in worrying about what can’t  be fixed.

There was a bright spot in the last 48 hours.  When I went to D’s yesterday (we’ll skip over how incredibly sketchy he was being about having “things to do” — probably getting ready to go where I think he is right now), I was going through my old nightstand and I found a box of junk jewelry.  It fell open and the contents rained out, and out fell my undergrad class ring, which had been missing for about two years.

My white gold, mother-of-pearl, Salve Regina University class of ’05 ring.  I was so, so happy.  I thought it was gone for good.

(The more astute among you will notice that I’m wearing it on my left hand.  It doesn’t fit on my right ring finger anymore, and I figured today, after the events of last night and this morning, was as good a day as any to stop wearing my wedding band.)