6 months of change

Six months are how long it has been since I have posted. Six months of complete change, but yet everything is still the same. Six months of that roller coaster ride of life that has now become so familiar to me. Six months of everything. rolled into nothing that would be meaningless at this point to share. Sure, I have many blogs rolling through this overactive brain at 1 a.m. tonight: but to be honest with you, I am here for one reason, one blog, one heartbreak I am struggling to overcome.

Last week, my youngest son came home for a visit, it was difficult enough given that I have not laid eyes on him in 10 months, but to make it even more difficult, he felt the need to visit my ex husband while he was in town. It is easy to understand why, this man was his step father for 12 years of his life. We separated a week before my son left for basic training, he came home for two weeks last year and has not been home since. In his mind, he has not seen or have any knowledge of the interactions and heartbreak between his ex stepfather and myself. I have hidden from him the tears, the loss of self, and the heartbreak of a failed marriage, for fear of destroying his hopes and dreams of any future for himself. After all, this is the same kid, who when his father and I separated when he was 5 reacted by ripping the skin off of his lips, pulling out all of his eyebrows and peeing in his bed until his early teens. The psychologist told us what we already knew, it was in response to the stress created by our separation and divorce. I was careful in my single years after my first divorce of who the kids met and how much they knew of my “single” lifestyle because of his self determent and torture. When my ex and I met, fell in love and married, it was for life. He was to be the surrogate father of my kids and we had many discussions before we married on what his role as step father was to be and how protective I was of my kids feeling heartbreak. The year before my son left for the US Air force, he and my ex become the closest they had been in years. With all of this knowledge under my belt, when my son asked if he should call my ex and request a visit, my stomach turned with nausea. I didn’t know how to respond, my first instinct was to ask if he was crazy! Why would he want to see a man who had made no attempts to contact him in the one year and a half we had been separated and had no outside appearances of being damage at all by our separation/divorce, I wanted to ask if he realized how many hours his mother had spent lost, dazed and confused, crying with bouts of anger, depression and the horrid feeling of losing myself and having no one to blame but me. How painful it was when the man I had married sent my kids and I packing and never looked back? How painful it was that he depleted every picture, memory, emotion that we had ever shared out of his heart and his home in one short weekend and walked away with full composure? I couldn’t ask him these things, because he wasn’t aware of any of them because of my protection of his heart. So I answered as calmly and maturely as I could by telling him he was a 21 one year old grown man, if he felt he needed to see his ex step father, then he needed to make that decision for himself.

The only time I have laid eyes on my ex since our separation was in February of this year. Keith and I were attending a hunting banquet/fundraiser for a local charity. My ex has never hunted a day in his life, never had a desire to, so imagine my surprise when he walks through the door with his brother and a young blonde in tow. How could I be jealous? I was with my new beau of over 4 months, but I found myself angry and feelings of rejection washed over me. In August, just before my 40th birthday and on our 10 year anniversary, I had composed a heart-felt email, begging for forgiveness for the affair, asking for a chance to make things better and a simple request to “talk” about it. He never responded. It was in that moment that I knew it was over and I wasn’t sure if I was hurt or relieved. The pain of him not responding, the jealousy of knowing in my heart he had met someone else only four short months after our separation was overshadowed by the guilt of my affair and the loss of self-esteem at wondering if I had made a fatal mistake. To see him walk in the room with his new girlfriend only brought about more feelings of confusion. I had been miserable, he was cold-hearted, mean and narcissistic during our entire marriage, but I was overcome with doubt ,fear and anger. I watched them uncontrollably at every chance I could glance that was without Keith or the ex realizing it. The comfort between them confirmed this was not a new relationship, the affection the ex brother-in-law showered on her told me that they had been together over the holidays and she knew the family well. I wasn’t jealous, I was hurt at being replaced so quickly: but how could I confirm these feelings when I was the one who had an affair and had ultimately chosen the path that ended our marriage?

The night passed, time moved forward and in April (my last post) I was anxiously looking forward to receiving the divorce papers in the mail. In my mind, it would be over. Signing those papers would end the heart-break, the despair, the frustration of feeling that I will never be the same. I was dismayed when the papers arrived in May announcing my 30 days to contest the divorce before a court date would be set. 30 days, seriously? We had been separated over a year, property disputes were settled ( I had signed a quick claim to relinquish it all to him) and now our lovely court system was informing me it would be another six weeks due to the “process”. I had nothing more to do than to move on with me life.

In May, financially falling to pieces and unable to pay my bills and maintain my lifestyle, I reluctantly agreed to accept Keith’s offer to move in with him for a while. It was against my will, better judgment and all I stood for, but I honestly had no choice but to be grateful I had this man in my life who was willing to open his doors to help me out. To add to the mixture of the feelings of heartbreak I was still experiencing from the affair and divorce, I now had the humiliation and embarrassment of failing to support myself and depending on another, something I swore I would never do again. This made a huge dent in my progress to overcome the horrid story my life had become in the last year. I put my big girl britches on, smiled through the tumultuous battle and trudged on.

July 18th was our court date, it was a Wednesday. I had images months before of the day being a celebration. I had false Posadas of a huge divorce party, with cheers of hurrah and surroundings of family and beloved friends telling me how happy they were that I was out of this mans clenches and proud of the woman I was today. Instead, I awoke to drive to the beach (in moving in with Keith I gave up my island life and returned to the mainland) and cried for hours at the same spot I had cried for hours the day I packed my bags and left. In my heart and my mind, I was no further along than I had been on that same day. I was still lost, dazed, empty, scared and alone, only now, I had a piece of paper to prove I was OFFICIALLY alone!

One week after our divorce was final, I opened our local newspaper to be dealt another blow. During our marriage, we both attended college and entered the same career field. It was our dream to begin our own family business and build it to pass on to my kids. We had both spent hours upon years pouring over statistics and gathering the information needed to create our dream. My accounting background in check, I had spilt blood in putting together the perfect business plan and we both had sacrificed much time in presenting this plan to banks, schools, grant and loan companies, etc. in pursuit of our dream. Seven short days after our divorce was final, I open an email from an old friend and colleague enquiring about my ex’s new business venture. She informed me he had quit his position with the company he had been with for 10 years and had opened a new business in our town: in that day’s paper, there it was in black and white. HIs smiling face, in front of his new sign with the logo I had created and the business I had helped form the image of. I was devastated. What should have been proof of this mans cold, narcissistic ego: only broke my heart more and damaged my self worth all over again. I have wondered on countless occasions how long this had been in the works and the obviousness of nothing being releases until after the ink was on the paper, only answers that question.

The embarrassment of losing my career over my affair with my co-worker, the humiliation and self contempt of opening my heart to a stranger who devastated not only my life but my soul as well: mixed with the realization of the uncompassionate, cold-hearted nature of my ex has only made me weaker. I felt like I am my own worst enemy and no matter what choices I make, the fates are against me. The pursuit of a new career field, the accomplishments and accolades I have achieved in that field since last January have been overshadowed and lost by feelings of abandonment, self loath and an over all feeling of failure.

That day was July 25th. Since then, I have once again pulled my pants up to my chin, refused to allow any of this to bring me down and made life changing decisions. I relinquished my position at the communication’s center and accepted a part-time on call status with them. I applied and received a year scholarship to return to school and pursue my Criminal Justice degree. I enrolled for five full-time classes for the fall quarter, accepted a full-time waitressing position and have continued to work at the call center 5-10 days a month. It’s not necessarily ambition that is driving me, its more of an obsession to bring my life to some level of normalcy. I have built my savings account, paid off/down several bills and recently had my eye on a new condo in the same complex I left in June. My relationship with Keith adequate enough to make it through, my hearts desire is to be back on my own two feet and not dependent upon another.

With all that in place, I was excited to learn that my son would be home for a few days before he deploys in a few months to Saudi Arabia. My protective nature kicked in, he has never met Keith, though he knows of his existence, I did not want it to be uncomfortable for him to return to yet another home, another man, a life for his mom that he did not recognize. So I rented the new condo for  two days (my lease does not begin until Nov 1). We were at the pool, enjoying a beautiful sunny day, when he asked the question of contacting the ex. Before the air had passed my lips in answer to his question he had his phone in hand dialing the number. I don’t think I breathed for the entire three minute conversation. He disconnected the line and seemed excited that Chris wanted to see him to and was happy to hear from him. My son was set to leave the next morning to visit his dad for  few days and on his way out of town he was stopping by our old townhouse for lunch with the ex. He was excited to see the “old home” and was anxious to see our mini daschund that I brought home as a gift for my husband before we were even ever married. Jake was his name and to date I would guess him to be 13 years old now. My kids have not seen our family pet since the day we drove off in disarray, April 22, 2012. His excitement only made me more nervous to what he would find on his visit. I knew from out side sources the ex had moved all of our belongings out the weekend after we separated and repainted thw hole town house, I was in fear for how stressful this meeting may be. I never once dreamt of the phone call I would receive from my son after his visit ended.

He had left our old home, en route to his fathers when he called to tell me about meeting my ex’s new wife. A week after our divorce was final , the ex released the news of his new business: two weeks after it was final, he remarried in a small intimate ceremony….at the same church we had been married. Least I fail to mention, their marital date is two days shy of our anniversary of August 17th. That call came in six days ago and I have not been able to move past it. I have cried, cried and cried: my appetite has waned, all I want to do is sleep and my heart has hurt as much as it did the day I realized it was over. The hurt is overwhelming and I embarrassed to talk to anyone about it. Again, I feel stupid, how do I explain to anyone that I was the one who had an affair, I was the one who didn’t fight for my marriage, but I am the one who is experiencing complete devastation. And that in itself is the statement of the year. How can he not hurt? How could he pack my kids and my items, move us out in one short week, repaint his home and move on with his life? He packed all of our photos in my hope chest, he gave back the two wedding bands I had purchased and he never looked back. He never asked how we were! If we were financially struggling, never called the kids, or appeared to miss any aspect of our life. All the while, I am struggling. I cannot move forward. While he is sitting in the home we owned, with a new spouse: I am living in a rented room in my lovers home. I own nothing, not a couch, not a bed, nothing. All the while, my son tells me of the new furniture in the home, the surround sound TV, the new hardwood floors. I am struggling to find my place in life with a new career: while has taken our dream and opened his own business with the business plan that I created. I am trying to find faith in the human race, specifically the male species while knowing in my heart I will probably never love again, Keith and I have an amicable relationship in that we have both been hurt and destroyed by marriage and we share a respect for each others space, basically we are friends with benefits: while he has a new wife, to replace me, obviously his trust in marriage was not wavered by any of our experiences in the last 12 years.

I am deeply hurt, lost and angry that this hurts! I have no knowledge how to move through it. I feel that I take 2 steps forward and 3 back most of the time. Are there any others with the same experience? Feelings? if so, how have you made it through or what is helping you battle the struggle?

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