adjusting to what life has sent my way, while rediscovering who i am

Where to Live???

We sold our house.  Sold in about two weeks to the second person who looked at it.  Talk about an answer to prayer!!  I had planned on buying a house and looked at about two dozen.  I picked one out, made an offer, and got cold feet.  Was I deciding to fast?  What about all the fix ups I want to do  to it?  Will I ever be able to afford that?  It didn’t look like the house was going to go through so I started looking into renting.  At this point, I only have three weeks left in my house, and I’m stating to feel a little concerned as to where the kids and I are going to live, along with our dog and cat.   On top of that, my teaching job starts this week, my son doesn’t have a job and we are pressuring him a little hard to get one as he is 18 years old and not going to college.  All this on top of all the emotions of a divorce and I am just a little bit overwhelmed!!

Then it looks like it might work out again to get the house.  So I have two paths to follow, buy or rent.  I decided to keep following both paths until one stopped and one kept going.  I looked at an apartment about 7 miles from my current home.  It is a beautiful area along the river with lots of mature trees.  There are ponds throughout the apartment complex and walking paths.  They have a three bedroom on the ground floor and the deck isn’t enclosed and it opens up to trees and a grassy area, so it makes it feel a little more spacious on the outside.  There will be four of us, but we can manage a 3 bedroom.

I started feeling positive about the apartment.  Then I thought about the pets.  They love our current backyard, and would the dog bark at every movement from people next door or above us?  I also talked to my 14 year old who has been very open about living anywhere, but now sounded a little bit unsure.  At least that’s what I got from  his 14 year old grunting sounds.  So now I’m leaning toward the house.  Back and forth my mind goes all afternoon.  But my cold feet toward the house comes again.  I start thinking about what I really want in a house – granite counter tops, nice cabinets, stainless steel appliances.  I start to worry I’m settling.  I start realizing maybe a transition period would be good.  Rent a place for 6-9 months, adjust to being divorced, then start looking for a home.  That felt like the path to follow.  So I let my realtor know that I was no longer interested in the house.  I had placed an offer but the time passed for the owner to respond because they were out of town.  They were taking their time getting back to me and now it didn’t matter.

So rent it is.  But should it be the three bedroom I found?  Wouldn’t it be better to find an apartment closer to my sons school and friends so this divorce/moving situation wouldn’t be so hard?  This morning I get up and go look at some very nice apartments about a mile away.  I love this place too.  But there is a problem.  They only have one and two bedroom apartments.  I look at the model and love it.  I try to picture four of us in it.  I start to think older kids can spend more time at their dad’s house, not just with me.  After all, it would be perfect for the younger one.  Luckily I have a counseling appointment on this same day and I can discuss it with her.  I putter around, crying off and on while in this overwhelmed state of not knowing what to do…….thinking, thinking, thinking of all the different scenarios… the same time reliving different parts of my marriage and divorce in my mind.  My mind is overloaded, but when I begin to settle it down, I realize what I must do before I even walk into counseling.  The three bedroom apartment.  It has the most space, is on the ground floor, and has beautiful ambiance.  It’s not for ever.  Less than a year.

Then I walk into counseling and lay it all out for her.  I tell her all about the apartment, my 18 year old’s lack of motivation to get a job, my fears, my thoughts….everything you tell a counselor.  You know what I mean if you’ve been.  And I cry.  I can’t help but let it out.

But, I walk out feeling a little bit better.  I go to the apartment complex and pay my deposit.  As I leave, I drive around the whole place again and soak it in, realizing within two weeks I will call this home.  My counselor told me I should do something symbolic as we leave our old home and move to our new home to start our new life.  (They will see their dad, and can stay with their dad, but this is for their new life with me at our home that I am providing).  So I am thinking about what this might be.

Driving home, I can feel my eyes and head start to hurt after releasing all these emotions I’ve held onto all day.  I was planning on going to my classroom to work, but ended up going home and vegging in front of the television and falling asleep.  Just what I needed.

I keep thinking I’m doing better.  But now that the house is sold and we are getting closer to moving, it is all becoming so real.  I relive the pain the divorce has on the kids and I am having a hard time letting it go.  My older two (20,18) will be pretty good.  They don’t have the best relationship with their dad right now and I’m hoping the divorce will actually eventually bring them closer together.  It’s our 14 year old I’m worried about.  During a camping trip, he told his dad that he gets sad when he thinks about it, so he just doesn’t think about it.  And I’m sure it helps that nothing looks different at home.  But now we are moving.  This will bring it all fresh to his mind.  It hurts so hard to know that he will be sad and we are tearing his life apart.

It has always been my personality to want everyone to be happy, even at the expense of my own happiness.  I considered staying in the marriage, just so the kids would have an intact family.  But then I wouldn’t be happy and neither would my ex.  He was initially thinking of waiting until our youngest graduated from high school.  That’s four years.  That’s four years for me to not be loved by my husband.  To basically be a mom and maid.  I realized I wanted more than that.  In a relationship, I want to be loved romantically,I want to be wanted,  I want to be needed.  Not only do I want these things, I need these things.  And even though it’s hard on my kids to have their parents divorced, I figured it was a better lesson for them to see me seek happiness, rather than stay in a marriage that wasn’t happy.  I hope we made the right decision.

Why blog all this?  Well, it helps to get it off my chest.  It’s like writing in a journal.  And if someone reads it and gets a little help with their own situation, than I’m glad I could help.

I know life is hard right now and could get harder, but I do hope there is a happier time in the future.  And from what I’ve read about happiness lately, it’s one’s choice to be happy.  I try hard to choose happiness, but sometimes things just bring you down and you find it hard to dig your way to happiness.  I guess the key is to not stop digging.

And by the way, my son applied for several jobs tonight.  Maybe he is starting to see the light.


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Letting Go

How can you be with someone for over 20 years, amicably go your separate ways, and let go?  It hasn’t been easy for me, particularly while we are still living in the same house, and being such good friends.  How can two divorced people be such good friends?  We both admit that we  have gotten along better once we knew we would be divorcing  then we we did when we were married.

The good news is we sold the house.  In fact it sold two weeks after it was listed – to the second person that looked at it!!  That’s pretty hard to believe the way real estate is these days. See my post called The Power of Prayer.  I know that is why our house sold so fast.  A lot of prayer and a lot of faith in God for his help.  So now I can do some serious house hunting.  I’ve been out with my realtor twice and am going back out again this Friday.  Hopefully that is the day I find my new home.  And hopefully that will be a huge leap in the process of letting go.

During the divorce process I learned about the five stages of grief:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. If you’re interested, google “5 stages of grief” and something will come up that will define them in great detail.  These stages don’t move in any particular order, and you aren’t necessarily through one before another.  Sometimes I find I travel through them several times in any one day.

My morning can start great.  I’m feeling good.  I’m in acceptance.  I head to hot yoga for a sweaty workout and during a slow, resting period, instead of breathing problems and issues outside the door like the instructor says to do, they all come to the front of my mind and my eyes fill with tears.  By the time I get to the car, I’m mad as a hornet.  Mad at myself, my ex, God…….  Other mornings that start out great I will find my mind wandering to all that’s happened, and I’ll feel that gray cloud of depression make a home over my head.  Tears will come to my eyes but not always run down my face.  I have been on an anti-depressant for almost a year.  I hope some day to be off, but for now, it helps keep me sane as I weave through these grief stages.

I must confess.  Things are better than they were.  Several months ago I cried off and on for what seemed like forever.  My days teaching kindergarten last spring are all a blur.  Somehow I managed to get those kids ready for first grade.  Talk about having no clue what was going on and being in total denial.  Slowly the time between cry sessions lengthened as I began to understand the truth behind our relationship and why we were having the problems we were having.  Well at first I denied the problems, but now I understand.  I have let myself see that they were there.  I’m working on accepting that we let them happen and forgiving myself for not making changes sooner.  Changes that we can’t make now and stay together.  If we had made changes much earlier just maybe we wouldn’t’ be going down this path.  I have to accept and forgive that as well.

I think acceptance is a big part of letting go.  And when I find my new house, I think acceptance will help me make that house my home.  And just maybe, I’ll be able to finally get a good nights sleep, in my new bed, in my new room.  These sleepless nights are getting a little old…….but that’s a story for another day.

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