There are certain moments in a person’s life that they can remember what they were doing on an exact day.
August 6, 2016, which was one year ago today, is one of those times for me.
It was the last time I’ve seen and hugged my ‘wasbund’. I don’t want to call him an ‘ex-husband’ any longer. He was a major chunk of my life for 11 years and, for those 11 years, I was away from my hometown and my family. I moved over 200 miles to be with him and, against my own better judgment, I forgave and took him back after the first time he cheated.
Forgiveness – yes.
Taking him back? Shouldn’t have done.
But this isn’t about the shoulda, coulda, wouldas.
That happened and it was my decision to tell myself to go against my own ethics about my ‘no cheaters’ rule.
I guess I figured he would change because I saw something deeper in him but, apparently, I need to get my eyes checked. Yes, there were reasons that he gave for the final time and his decision to call it quits. I had my own flaws and I’m certainly not perfect. I don’t see either of us as the ‘bad’ guy in the entire thing. We’re both human and going to make errors in judgment.
I can be painfully distant and, somewhere along the way, I did just that. Went total hermit mode because that’s what I do when I get stressed and/or afraid. For a good four years, I didn’t want to leave that little room in our two bedroom apartment. At times, when I did leave and got the odd job, I wouldn’t and couldn’t stay there long for a number of reasons. My anxiety got to the point I didn’t want to leave the house and, if I did, I’d throw up.
Sometimes, even the thought of going out and other humans seeing me would make me literally sick.
Then, there were the times I would sleep for days and not want to get out of bed. I did try to open up and express what was going on but it never seemed to come out right. The six months prior to him telling me he wanted to divorce, I was trying to get help for my issues and saw a therapist.
In the end, I had made too many trips back to my hometown for my Dad to help when my Dad got sick. I had lost jobs over that reason as well, sometimes being gone from Kentucky for well over a month. To be clear, I don’t regret taking care of my Dad. And that was one of the things that the wasbund said, “If she has to keep going down to take care of her Dad every time he got sick, she can just stay down there.”
Yeah. I don’t forget what people say to me or about me.
So, that’s the basic summary of it all.
And not even the point of writing this but, rather, to say this.
Everything ends and that’s always sad. But everything begins again, too. And that’s always happy – be happy.
I don’t regret, for one solitary moment, what happened and the way we ended. It was his choice in the end but I am happy to be where I am right now. Of course, at the time, it hurt terribly and I shed my tears but I am thankful. I wrote in my journal how no one could love me and how unlovable I was.
I remember telling him that he never loved me at all and the look of shock on his face. He brought up how he paid my car note for 3 months when we first got together and that proved he did love me.
Money does not equate love. Not to me, anyway. If that’s your belief, go forth and think that way. He thought that way and I don’t hate him or anything. We were two different people and our paths weren’t the same. I do wish him well and I’m sure he’s doing just fine without me. And he should.
However, what I see as love isn’t just money but something more unconditional.
Love is sticking by someone – not just through the nice bits where everything is freakin’ shiny and gorgeous. It’s sticking right beside someone no matter what. Even when they make stupid decisions, that you don’t have to agree with, but still be there for them. The love I’m talking about that I, not only want, but need is unconditional love. Luckily, I do have those kinds of people that love me that way and I love them back completely.
And that’s the point of this blog.
Last year, I had some issues with my Aunt but she came to Kentucky on her weekend off to help me move exactly one year ago. I had said some things to her the year before that (2015), which I’ve since apologized for, and I hurt her. She forgave those venomous words I spoke to her and we’re closer now than we have been in very long time. The past is in the past and we can’t change that but we are moving forward and tell each other all the time we love one another.
My Dad has gotten sicker over the years and is in the hospital more frequently. I’ve been back for just a year and he’s been sick a total of four times. During those times, he can say and do some harmful things as well as hurtful things. He has bipolar disorder but he is *not bipolar disorder* and he certainly isn’t pulling any crap when he gets sick. Last Fall, he had gotten so sick that I had to change his PICC line for six weeks straight to help control an infection he had around his heart. Without fail, every 6 hours, I changed it out and kept a close eye on that and his regular meds. It’s the way it is here and we cope with the hand we were dealt the best we can.
During this year, I’ve been with my family on a day-to-day basis and have even been able to enjoy spending the holiday seasons with them. I had not spent ONE Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or anything with them for more than a decade.
And that’s all changed.
My family has been there right through the tears, laughter, and everything. They’ve understood and have helped me out so much during this time. They’ve even encouraged me to the point where I will go out during the day and am not so afraid of human interaction any longer. I take my Great Aunt, God bless her, to her doctor’s appointments and I do that during the day. Having her in my life is a wonderful blessing.
All of that love, real love, and support – not the nagging about ‘show me the money’ or ‘why do you always have to take care of your Dad?” or ‘When are you going to keep a job?!”sort of comments and questions – has enabled me to actually find a good job and even work on my own business while doing said job.
I look back at that journal entry I wrote when he told me he wanted a divorce. I wrote it after the talk in the kitchen when I asked him, not once, but three times if there was another woman and he lied straight up to my face each time.
Yeah, I knew there was another female human… I just did my thing where I tested him. And just a side note here: If a woman is asking you a question with that tone of voice (you probably know what I’m talking about), chances are she already knows the answer and is just testing the crap out of you.
Anyways..here’s that journal entry (I still love a good, old fashioned pen and paper):
And that hope has kept me going even when I had moments where I thought there was no way I could possibly be strong enough. The realization came when I vowed to myself to never ever again let someone’s opinion of me or words affect me to that extent ever again. I had placed my self-worth on what he and others had thought of me.
I still have a panic attack now and again but nowhere near as often as I was having them those last 4 years I was with him in Kentucky. My friend up there in Kentucky, before I left, told me to spend this time getting to know who I am and what I want. The advice she gave me is still what I keep in mind and strive to do which has kind of spoiled me into loving the single life.
So, what I want is simple. I want to be independent and I want to spend time with my family and enjoying their company. I did take all three of my animals with me – Snoopy, Rio, and Tony – because they are mine and I did adopt all of them in my name. They are my fur children and always will be my darlings. I want to work at the Candy Factory, my business, and writing my books. I want to spend this time and get to know who I am and go to Church with my Aunt Shirley. I signed up for a play this month with her there.
The tears I shed last year were not in vain and the shimmer that radiated from them showed that I would survive and there was something to live for.
“Where there’s tears, there’s hope.” -12th Doctor from Doctor Who
Isn’t it strange how we think we’re not strong enough to carry on but, somehow, we find a way to survive?
Love and Light Always to you all and thanks for reading my story.