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.

Sense of relief

I finally told my boss today that D and I are divorcing, and that I want to file for an annulment.

This was a huge, huge task that I’d been putting off for months.  Partially because, when D told me that he wanted to separate back in April of 2012, I broke down and became an uncontrollable mess for months.  It really affected my output of work, to the point where my boss finally said “I know you’re going through a difficult time, but I need my secretary” and I knew I had to buck up and start putting myself together.  And partially because my boss was very vocal, in the beginning, about my marriage being a Catholic marriage and I had to fulfill my end of the bargain, and work it out.  I didn’t want to seem like I was giving up.

That last sentence would probably seem laughable to most of my friends.  Most of my friends have argued that it wasn’t “giving up”.  Even D said, back in September, “Meg has given me more chances than I ever deserved.”  To most people, I’ve hung on far too long — and maybe I have.  But I’ve lived with this horrible, horrible fear of being judged as flighty, or not taking my marriage seriously.  My friends and family, hell, even D, will tell you that this is anything but the case.  But I couldn’t make myself understand it, at all.  I felt like I had to go down with this ship, I had the ring on my finger, I had put my head to the grindstone and I had to make it work at all costs.

I hadn’t meant to tell my boss today.  My boss is a Catholic priest — furthermore, he married D and I two years ago.  The idea of telling the man who married us that we hadn’t managed to make it work chilled me.  I didn’t know how I’d ever do it.  But I did.  It just sort of came out.  We were talking about marriages and annulments and vocations and I just…blurted it out.

And he understood.  He shook his head and told me I was better off, under the circumstances, filing for divorce and applying for the annulment.  The fact that D told me he doesn’t know if and when he’ll ever be ready to have children, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t attended Mass since we got married and has no faith in the Church, pretty much nullifies our Catholic marriage right there.  I always knew that D only agreed to marry in the Church because I was Catholic and he knew it meant a lot to me.  But when we got married, he said he felt it was the right choice, that he was glad we had a Catholic marriage, that we would have children in time and he was okay with raising them Catholic.  All of that fell apart within the first year of marriage.

The weight that fell off of my shoulders when I confessed everything to my boss, and when he gave me that response, was incredible.  I felt like the terrible fear I’d experienced since December was finally gone.  He was the last person I had to tell…and now I am free.  D still has to talk to my IL’s about our divorce, but he has to do that, not me, and it’s not my responsibility.  Though I’m dreading the conversations that I will have with my IL’s (if they see fit to contact me) after he finally ‘fesses up, I have no more mountains to climb when it comes to telling the truth…and I feel…bittersweet, but free.

Send help

Guys.  Send help.  Seriously, I feel like I’m drowning in my own mediocrity this week.

Plan was to go to the gym on Wednesday and Friday.  Wednesday did not happen.  Friday is still up in the air.

I haven’t gotten more than about four hours of sleep a night.  None of that is uninterrupted.  I sleep like garbage.  I tried to remedy that by using Law and Order SVU to sleep by (surprisingly, this usually works).  It’s not working right now.

Due to to the financial burdens of separating, my bank account is…sad.  We’ll say sad.  Savings is good, checking blows, D’s car payments this month came out of my bank account instead of his, and though I AM going to get that money back, you can’t get blood from a stone, as they say, and D now owes me $300 for this month.  Super.

Oh, grad school?  BAHAHAHAHAHA.  I am about halfway finished with The Behemoth.  As for reading for my other class…not even close.  I emailed the two Civil War historians on campus, per my thesis adviser’s orders…and they haven’t responded.  Thanks, guys.

I vacillate between “I am okay with getting divorced, this is going to be a new start”, terror about the idea of dating, feeling sick over the idea of divorce, and freaking out because this was not supposed to happen.

Hopefully I’ll be feeling better tomorrow.

Death of all dreams

We’ve been separated now for two months.  There is a reason why we’re not divorced yet, and that reason is twofold.  1) Because as much as D wants to be single and live by himself, he is not ready to fully take responsibility for his actions.  And 2) because I’ve been deluding myself the entire time, hoping that his reluctance to proceed heralded him rethinking this, that maybe he would undo what had been broken, and maybe — just maybe — we didn’t have to do this.

That’s not true.

I cried last night (this is nothing new, I cry all the damn time).  I cried because everyone is right; certainly, he is dragging his feet, but I am not forcing him to face up to what he has done, what he has destroyed.  I am not facing up to what he has destroyed.  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.

Lazy summer days at Hampton Beach, watching the sun go down, laughing at chubby-legged infants being bounced in and out of the waves by their proud parents, imagining bringing our own chubby baby with brown curly hair here someday.

The way he would languidly grab my waist when I tried to get out of bed on Saturdays, dragging me back in, begging for just ten more minutes of cuddling before we actually had to get up and face the day.

That wonderful afternoon we spent at the reservoir in Lawrence, rolling down the green sloping hill, throwing new fallen autumn leaves at each other, kissing, always kissing.  I never imagined a day when those kisses would stop coming.  I never knew they had a finite end, that within five years I would not be able to coax a kiss from him again.

The future — the dreams we had.  The house in Wakefield, Massachusetts, with a finished basement and an office for me.  Children, a boy and a girl, hopefully, that we would send to private school, that I would teach to ice skate, that he would play catch with.  A husky puppy.  Growing old together, just like his grandparents, two people in mutual love forever.

All of that changed the day he texted me at work, the day he told me he felt nothing for me anymore.  It’s been a year and a half, almost.  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.

The Crash

Some days, you crash.  More specifically, some days, I crash.

Why?  I don’t know why.  Could be a really overly emotional counseling session with DS this morning.

Could be a weekend of too much alcohol and probably some funky mixing with my anti-anxiety meds.

Could be staying up way too late on Saturday for a party and on Sunday to watch the game (RIP 2013 Patriots 😦 Such a disappointing loss).

Could be that feeling of failure, of feeling like, no matter what I do, how many A’s, how many advanced degrees I get, I am a failure because my marriage is over and I don’t have children.

 

Goals tonight: survive the evening.  Crazy Bruce says somedays that’s the best thing to do.  I don’t say that to mean I’m suicidal or anything.  I just refuse to make effort or expectations higher than I can meet without exertion.

A hot bath, reading a good fluff book, and early to bed are all in the cards for me tonight.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I’ll face it when it comes.

Painful Memories

Autumn, 2005.  I am twenty-two years old.  The last two weeks of twenty-one were spent in the hospital, and then recovery, after a brutal car accident that broke my pelvis in three places, cracked three ribs, punctured one lung, fractured my tailbone, and left facial lacerations that will eventually need corrective surgery.  I spent two months healing, getting better, learning how to walk again, dress myself, take care of myself.  And finally, I was able to go home.

That’s when I realized — my body was repairing.  My brain was still broken.  I was lost.  Stuck.  Trapped in my apartment.  Every time I went to the door, my hands would shake and I’d break into a sweat.  What will happen this time?  I got lucky the last time.  I survived.  Next time, I won’t be so lucky.  The next car accident I get into will probably be my last.

I am alone.  Nobody talks to me.  Nobody realizes that, despite my outward appearance, I am not healing, I am not healed.  I sit alone in my apartment for hours on end.  I am screaming on the inside, and nobody can hear me.  Sometimes I feel like the part of me that was real died that day, and I’m just a shell of who I used to be.  People say “I don’t understand why you’re like this.  You survived.  You’re going to be okay.  Be happy.”  They don’t see me.  I am invisible.

 

October, 2008.  I am twenty-five years old.  My boyfriend David and I have been together almost six months.  I have been battling anxiety and depression for three years.  It is just another day.  Nothing special.  But I am uncontrollable.  He can already tell…it’s another one of “those” days.  Days when the smallest thing will send me into a tailspin of anxiety, leave me lying in bed crying for hours.  I can’t control myself.  I am out of control.

He is going to leave me, I just know it.  He’s going to decide one day that I am not worth it, that he is tired of grabbing me around the waist and holding me while I sob.  He’s going to go find a simpler girl. 

He swears this isn’t the case.  “I love you.  Nothing you say or do is going to change that.”  But he is reaching the end of his rope.  He knows that I have a prescription for anti-anxiety drugs in my wallet.  My doctor prescribed them to me five months ago.  He wants me to take them.

“They aren’t going to change who you are” he says, “They’re going to help you.  They’re going to let you be the person you should be without the anxiety.”

And that day, I cave.  That day, I fill the prescription, I take the first pill.  I never, ever look back.

 

August, 2009.  We are engaged now.  David has just returned from Massachusetts.  His estranged father won’t speak to him, won’t look at him.  Doesn’t care about him.  This is the way it has been for almost ten years.  I have known this all along, but this is the first time that it has really seemed to affect David.  This is the first time that he has seemed to care.

He lies in bed, in pajamas, staring at the wall, too upset to do anything except cry.  I hold him, he leans his head against my chest and sobs.

“Promise me,” he says, “that if I ever do this, if I ever push you away, if I ever become like my father…if it’s genetic and I can’t escape it, promise me you won’t give up.  Promise me you’ll do anything to make me get better.  Drag me to a doctor, drag me to a therapist, I don’t care.  Just please, please don’t let me ruin your life and mine the way my father has ruined my mother’s, and my brother’s, and mine.”

I promise.  After all he has done for me, it is the least I can do.

 

December 2012.  We have been married for two years.  I am twenty-nine, he is twenty-seven.  I have been medicated for four years, I have had a therapist for almost three.  I am not healed.  I never will be.  But I am better.  I can count the number of panic attacks that I have in a year on one hand.  That is amazing progress.  But the minute I started to get better, David fell apart.

In September of 2011, he told me he wasn’t in love with me anymore.  He told me he wanted to separate in April of 2012.  In November of 2012, after months of trying to make things work, I moved out.  I told him, repeatedly, that if he is not going to seek counseling, if he is not going to remove the negative influences from his life, and if he is never, ever going to love me the way a man should love his wife, then there is no sense in us even trying to reconcile.

I go to his apartment, our old apartment, the day after Christmas.  I am upset.  I am fed up.  He has been lying to me — again.  And I can’t take it anymore.  I want to move on, I want to find someone who loves me, who makes me feel like I am worthy of being loved.  And I tell him I am ready to file for divorce.

He crumples, there on the couch next to me.  Dissolves into tears before my eyes.  He cannot move forward.  He cannot move back.  He doesn’t know where he’s going.  He removed me from his life and he is still unhappy.  He thought that I was what was holding his happiness back, but that’s not true.  Though he has been told — months ago — by our marriage counselor that he needs therapy, he is unable to bring himself to face it.  He prefers to work constantly and surround himself with people who tell him that he doesn’t need help, that he is fine the way he is.

I once did that too.

I thought I was doing the right thing, telling him I wanted a divorce.  I thought he’d be relieved.  I thought that was what he wanted all along, he just didn’t want to be the one to pull the trigger.

But he sits next to me, sobbing into his hands, “I don’t know what to do, Meg.  I don’t know what to do.  I never am comfortable in my own skin.  I feel so alone, all the time.  I am never home, no matter where I am.  I am so unhappy, and nobody realizes it.”

And it breaks my heart, because I have been there.

I am just as lost as I was before.  I sit there, and I hold him as he sobs.  And I wonder…where do we go from here?

 

2012 In Review — Part III

This is the third of four recaps of the 2012 Review Extravaganza.  I’m joining up with other bloggers, recapping the past year, three months at a time.

Have faith, guys.  This is the last three-month post of hell and crap!  After this, it gets better.

July: I’m not proud of July.  I moved out on July 1st…and moved back in four days later.  I don’t really have an excuse for my weakness or frame of mind.  I can only say that…living in an old house in the middle of the woods, the house where my grandfather died, while trying to figure out if I should end my marriage, didn’t work so well.  I moved back in, David and I decided to give our marriage another shot.  It didn’t work, needlessly.

In other news, I took a five-week course on the American Revolution from July 2 – August 5.  It was a really, really interesting course.  I learned a lot, I got to take two field trips, and got to cook authentic colonial-era food.  It was a great time.  I have never studied as hard as I did for that final, and I ended the class with an A-, keeping my GPA up.

August: August is pretty much a blur.  I know we went to Wildfire again, and that would have been a great time, except that it poured the first night and our tent got soaked.  So that kind of sucked.

September: A week into September, I found out that David had lied to me about going out of state, for the third time.  I couldn’t ignore the signs of infidelity anymore.  On September 11, the day before my 29th birthday, I told him that I wanted a divorce.  It was ridiculously terrible timing (worst birthday ever, right?) but at the same time, I turned 29 making a definite decision.

We went to Falmouth and Boston at the end of the month, with the intention of telling my MIL that we were splitting.  Unfortunately, David didn’t find a way to tell her until October, so that’s a story for another time.  I got the all-clear to rent the apartment that I’m living in now, back in September, but it would be two months before I could move out.  Living with your estranged husband for two months is…difficult, but we made it work.

I also threw myself into (what else?) graduate school, which was entirely necessary and helpful considering the emotional wreck I was inside.

Next week: the (somewhat) happier conclusion to what really, now that I look at it, was a rough year.  2013 promises to be better though 🙂

That’s How You Know

Rough night turned into a rougher morning when my mom called me at work to remind me that my parents are flipping out because I’m separated, not divorced yet, and I’m turning 30 in nine months and getting older and don’t I want a family and shouldn’t I be thinking about these things?

Holy shit.
I’m almost 30?
I’m separated?
I’m getting older?

Guys, I’m begging you…if you have friends that are separated/getting divorced…please don’t remind them of the fact.  Trust me.  They know.  Most days, it’s impossible to get out of your head.

But honest question…how do you know when it’s time?  Maybe it’s just difficult because it’s the damn holidays and all, but I’m having a bitch of a time throwing in the towel and making a statement about this.  I haven’t deleted D from my FB, I haven’t filed for divorce.  We’re calling a divorce lawyer to mediate all of this in January, so I mean, that’s a certainty.  But…when do you start all this shit?

People are giving me crap for not being done with it already.  It’s weird.  I know there’s nothing left in this marriage for me to work for.  At the same time, I’m terrified of going forward.

How do you know it’s time?

 

“I can’t go on living this way.
And I can’t go back the way I came.”

– Evanescence, “My Heart Is Broken”