I’ve met a lot of separated people in my life. Through various reasons. At different points in their separation. Some have been bitter, jaded, angry. Some broken, terrified. Some have been single for years and are terrified of making that first step into a new relationship. Pretty much all struggle financially – especially where children are involved. Some maintain friendships with their ex’s, some don’t.
In all these experiences I’ve heard, I’ve never been able to empathise or relate. Sometimes I’ve felt bored listening, sometimes I’ve felt terrified at such a breach of trust and thrust into vulnerability. I’ve rarely known what to say, and can only offer logistical help. Frankly I’ve thought, thank god that’s not me. Sure, my husband and I have been through some rough times, but we make it back together. He’s my rock, my best friend. In anger I’ve screamed, I’m leaving you! But NEVER have I imagined actually doing that.
So now I find myself in this position and frankly it’s like I’m riding a tidal wave. But not in a cool pro surfer way. In a, barely breathing, moments of near drowning, everything stings, feel like I’m in a washing machine type way. Flailing around all over the place, desperately trying to reach land or calmer waters.
When I was first pregnant and asked women about the pain of childbirth, they’d give me this knowing look and look of pity and say it was hard to describe. Of course once my first daughter was born I went to these people and said, why the f_ck didn’t you tell me how f_cking painful it was. That I’d feel split open in half and want to die and be put under?! The response was, yeah, thought it was better you didn’t know how painful it was going to be, would have scared you.
Now I’m separating I get a look of pity and a vague warning about it getting worse before it gets better.
My psychiatrist has upped my dosage and told me to be strong and do the best I can. Grrreat.
I saw my lawyer whom was blunt as always. Told me how bad things were going to get and that I needed to take my head out of my arse, accept it and put solutions in place, financial, strategic, etc
I try to to be logical and remove the emotion but it looks like this HUGE puzzle of pieces with no picture to go by. If I let the emotions get the better of me, I cry and wail and want to collapse on a heap on the floor. Worse still, I still want to reach to him. My best friend, my soul mate. The person I’ve spent the last 17 years with. Making memories, creating a family, creating plans. Every couple I see where they tenderly hug or kiss in front of me makes my heart ache, every place I see or hear about that we’ve been too creates a brain movie playing memories with a cheesy love song to boot. Every piece of furniture, every type of food, every conversation, everything around me, no matter so how seemingly trivial is connected to this intrinsic relationship of ours.
I want to act normal like he is. As though it’s just a daily life occurance, we’ve become acquaintances and we live like flatties. But then my arms seek his embrace, my body aches to be touched. I want to see him sleep next to me. I want to hear his laugh, I want us to make plans for our family, I want him to look at me the way he used to. I want him discuss his concerns with me and we work though it together. I want us to have lunches or dinners together. Talk about our days, the food, the weather. I want to tell him about my Drs appointment today about my shoulder and wound area. I want to tell him about my psychiatrist appointment. But the reality, he doesn’t ask, he doesn’t want to know. Flat mates don’t usually give a shit about the nitty gritty of the other person.
The loneliness is an intense feeling that all the oxygen has gone. That I’m struggling to breathe, stand up, be.
My friends rush to my side, offering words of advice and platitude but I’m still looking at them hazy. This isn’t real right?
I have to sort out budgets and it looks like he will be better to move out the house. I don’t know what’s worse. But knowing I can be here for the kids keeps me grounded. But I love smelling his cologne just after he’s left. I still feel relieved when I hear his powerful car come up the drive. I love knowing he’s in the house, even when he’s fumbling around a project that he’s spontaneously decided to do and never completing long over due, needed projects. It’s just him, the way his, the way his mind functions. I know the way his mind works because I know him like I know myself. He’s quirky and odd, but I like that. He’s fiercely intelligent, an amazing father. An amazing cook. He always knows the best advice to give me when I’m in a quandary. And he’s always known when I just want to slob and chill out. I’ve always guessed his reaction to things and I know when he’s stressed, agitated, concerned about something.
But all of that is gone. He doesn’t ask about my appointments, he doesn’t care. If I’m overwhelmed and down (we had last our Sunday group for example) he gave me an obligatory hug but I doubt he really wanted to spend a sunny afternoon listening to me talk through my ‘token past.’
He hasnt enquired about my Drs appointment for my shoulder. He doesn’t care. It’s not his concern. I’m not his concern, his problem. It hurts that he has quickly determined boundaries.
His concern at the moment is the financial separation. His monetary contributions and potential losses.
It makes me sad that this has become a sticking point and suddenly I’m this bitter wench out to screw him over. Which simply isn’t true. I just want a reasonable agreement.
More than that, I want him to love me again. I want to go back.
But everyone is quick to point out he left me ages ago.
So I’m that person now. I get looks of knowing, pity looks, the whole ‘it’s turns far worse before it gets better speech’ and I feel alienated by some people. Simply because they don’t know what to say. And happily married people don’t want to hear my story or my sadness because they don’t know what to say or because I’m a reminder that no one is infallible.
I wish I could hate him, but I don’t.
But I need to accept that he deserves a better shot at happiness and to be with someone he loves and appreciates him before it’s too late.
He deserves an amicable end, our children deserve the best from us. And I need to formulate a plan so that I know what I’m doing for myself and the kids.
It’s really one of the worst things I’m having to face. I finally felt like I was accepting my past and moving on. I finally felt in more control of my self care and my self destructive thoughts. Now I’m learning to be a strong individual again.
It’s a rough road which I wish to god I could just walk away from. But all my life I’ve ran away from things I can’t handle. I can’t fix this, so I can only muddle my way through
But Jesus, it hurts like a mother fucker. My brain is exhausted from thinking, my heart aches from the loss, and he’s around me – I want to reach out. Hold him, feel his warmth, see his soft eyes and get that smile back. But he’s not mine and the affection is gone.
2016 is going to be another extremely painful year.