Saturday, March 10

the clarity moment

"Are you clear on the decision you're making? Because whether you choose to stay or choose to go, there are grave implications either way."

This is what my closest confidante stated as I sobbed after revealing to her all that I'd held in my heart for the past few years regarding my relationship with the man I had married over 13 years ago. I'd just told him a few hours earlier that I was "done", that I wanted a divorce, and I knew that I'd have never uttered a word of it to him if I wasn't confident in my decision.

And she knew it too.

She then told me : "Stay focused. Keep your eye on the end goal of getting out of this relationship. Get angry later. Funnel that energy, that anger, into being productive, being strength and structure for your children and taking care of you. Stay focused and keep your goal right here" and she gently placed my clenched fist directly in front of my eyes, blocking out everything else in the world.

My decision to divorce wasn't made on a whim. It wasn't a "this is the easiest way out" sort of thing. It was something I'd contemplated for over four years - and it was contemplation that I'd done entirely on my own.

No one knew how bad things had gotten between me and my husband. No one knew I was even thinking about this. Because I knew that I was the only one who could contemplate it - and I knew that the only one who could help work on the relationship was said husband.

Serious contemplation was prompted by consistently having to fight for air, importance and recognition in our relationship and the nagging feeling that there was no happiness to be created in what we called a marriage.

Called a marriage. What a joke. What I believed a marriage should be - a heaven created by two people who mutually and genuinely want the best for one another, who face the same direction and walk side by side encouraging one another in the path to their dreams because they believe in the wonder of that person and the beauty of the heaven the two of them have created. That's what I thought he believed a marriage should be as well.

Instead, however, our "marriage" began to look like something completely different - not lovers, sweethearts, best friends, not even co-parents but roommates. What was left of our relationship four years ago had rapidly begun to deteriorate as we spent considerably less time together because he focused on oh, let's loosely call it "work" (because I now know otherwise what he was doing at the office for 10 hours a day) and I was left to raise the children by myself.

And it was one day, near what would be the end of those four years of contemplation, while I was watching my then five-year-old daughter joyfully, gracefully dance around the room with her two-year-old brother in tow, the two of them taking in life, enjoying it, letting it swirl inside them and then giving that energy back to the world... it donned on me: I wouldn't in my wildest dreams wish a relationship like this for either of them.

But what was I doing if not encouraging them to seek it out later in life if I stayed and continued to exemplify it to them?

They don't deserve this. No, I realized: they deserve so much more. "And I'm not going to be the one to teach them different than that."

After that realization, it's like I took a deep breath, steadied myself, and leapt. Those years of contemplation had slowly led me to that moment of clarity but it was that actual moment, those dreams dancing so innocently before me that catapulted me forward.

"Are you clear on the decision you're making...? Then stay focused and keep your goal right here."

Monday, March 5

i'm here. finally.

I made the following comment recently to a girlfriend of mine:
"My God, I feel like my life has turned into a Lifetime movie."

"Well it sure ain't Hallmark" was her response.

I laughed. And laughed.

Because it was funny...

Gads, she's spot on.

Fuck.

Sadly, there isn't much else though that would better sum up the past ten-plus months of my life.  (Lost? Click here.)

And at this very moment nothing feels better than to be sitting at my laptop, fingers brushing keys, settling into not only the comfort of my couch but the welcome familiarity of words, expression, and the pouring out of my soul.

And doing so in a manner that doesn't involve my attorney's name and expletive-flowered emails regarding the protection and well-being of myself and my children.

Because that gets old. Especially after ten months of it on an almost daily basis.

So where do I even begin?

As my mom would tell me : Here. Be here.

Here. Where I am now.

The warmth of the smooth keys under my fingertips. The taste of orange juice, cold on my lips. The airplane overhead. Sara Bareilles softly playing from my iphone. The lights on, the fan slowly stirring the sweet scent of orchids from their place in the vase.

And me. Breathing. Freely.In a place of zen, a place of peace, a place open to pondering where my life is headed, a place safe enough to unfold my dreams and build upon their encouraging platform.

In a place I created.

For me and my children.

And no one else.

Because what began on April 24th, 2011 with the heartbreaking decision to tell my husband that I wanted a divorce turned into an unraveling of a fifteen-year facade and the eventual realization that the man who agreed we would remain amicable and want the best for one another was intentionally set on ensuring I went down in flames with little regard to his children becoming casualties of his ill-will.

It’s terrifying to be faced with that life-negating behavior directed at you when you still live together. It's fraying to the soul to live each day in the same house with him and still try to shield your children from the explosive ending of the relationship. It's unnerving and unsettling to live amidst that while trying to pave a path for what's to become your escape.


And as the puzzle pieces fall together from the facade worn by the man you believed you'd share your entire life with, what's left is the horrifying realization that he's held this ill-intent toward you since day one for falling short of his narcissitic expectations.

But I'm here. Now.

Breathe.

Here. Safe in a haven I created. For me and for my children.

And what I found along the way to this safe haven is strength, passion, and courage I didn't know existed within ME. Not within him, not within his relentless ability to violate boundaries, not within his narcissistic bullying, not within his choices to repeatedly break commitments to his children.

But within me.

And it carried me. Here. For me, for my kids.

Because I'm worth it. And my children are beyond worth teaching that to over and over again with unabashed love and reckless abandon.

After the last ten-plus months - fuck Lifetime.

I deserve a whole damn movie.