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Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Playing Catch Up
Okay...obviously I've been gone for a while. To be honest, it's been even longer than intended since I've kind of been avoiding this whole explaining my absence thing. It's not a bad thing, it's just a complicated one. So I'm going to do my best to sum crap up as quickly and painlessly as possible. Bear with me.
About two years ago, my life basically started imploding. My husband of nearly a year (and partner for nine) decided to have another affair. We won't get into the backstory or the details, but yes...another. It wasn't a good period of time. I was a wreck. I felt worthless, humiliated, and broken. I tried to work through it as best I could (we decided not to do counselling this time around --- probably a bad choice, but it is what it is) and I decided to start living a little more for myself and a little less through him.
At the same time, I was dealing with the increasing issues that went along with an apparently progressive neurological disorder which the doctors couldn't (and still haven't been able to) diagnose as anything specific. All I knew was that I was getting weaker and dealing with constant pain, which was destroying my ability to enjoy a good majority of my hobbies and was causing issues with my ability to do my job without experiencing distracting discomfort.
I went back to school (something I'd wanted to do for quite a while) and learned that I did still have the ability to learn and experience new things. I was happy for the first time in quite a while. Weird how it took homework to do that... At the same time, I was struggling to keep things together financially for my family since I had to reduce my work hours at the recommendation of my doctors and (being self employed) I wasn't always able to bring home a paycheck.
Crap more or less hit the fan last fall. I was online chatting with some writers and met a few incredibly nice people who were taking more interest in me than my own spouse. He was taking a lot more time "working late" or spending time on a computer game he enjoyed. I started to realize that I deserved more. Our relationship was crumbling and there was nothing I could do. I tried a few desperate things to save it, but it was too late. My ability to trust him was gone and (based on things that had been happening in the previous few months) I knew that additional affairs were not only likely to occur, but most likely were already occurring and/or had come and gone during the prior year.
I gave up.
That's not typically like me. I fight hard for nearly everything. But after ten years of fighting to keep a relationship healthy and happy, to keep afloat in a profession that was slowly killing me in both spirit and a physical capacity, and to keep our finances from eating us alive, I felt too overwhelmed to continue.
Over the next six months, I asked my husband for a separation, started dating someone new, watched my husband sign up for online dating services while begging me to give our marriage another try (something I would have likely done if he hadn't been on Match and Tinder and ... Ashley Madison), and finally filed for divorce. It crushed me to do so, but I needed to save myself.
I also gave up on saving a house that I could no longer afford and that was falling apart around me. I closed a practice that I had been operating for 12 years. And I moved half way across the country.
It's been a long twelve months. I sank inside myself, I felt disappointed in myself, I hated myself, and then I realized that I wasn't living. I was being smothered and suffocated by all of that stress and worry and it was time to let go. Yes...I have had some failures. Yes...I have made some bad choices here and there that led me to those circumstances. I wasn't always the hero in this story and I wasn't always the good guy. But I didn't have to be trapped and punished forever. So I gave myself permission to lump my failures all up and toss them away. They still hurt, don't get me wrong. But I left them behind so that I could maybe, just maybe actually enjoy my life. And I'm getting there. I'm still dealing with aftermath and trying to figure out who/what I want to be, but it's better. There's less stress. There's less constant worry. There's less pressure. There's more me.
So that's where we are now. I no longer live in Idaho. I live in the northwoods of Minnesota. It's frightening. I know nearly no one (both a blessing and a curse). I can't get many places without relying on Google Maps. But I'm more at peace. Life is better. And most importantly, I am living it.
And now it's time to suck it up and get back to being who I want to be. I've missed this space. I've missed the people who surround it. And so I'm coming back. I won't be the same and it won't be the same, but that's okay. I'll be working on revamping the blog and getting it to where I want to be. But most importantly, I'll be working on getting myself back.