Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2 years later...Bigger and Better

I blogged the other week about what that day was like 2 years ago - the pain, the hurt and the unknown future. But as most of you know, in these last two years, I have grabbed life by the horns and forged a new path ahead and I am much better for the experiences.

I won't lie, the first few months were tough. I was dealing with the emotions of losing my marriage, the internal feelings of failure, and trying to keep it all tucked inside so few others knew what was going on - all while working a full time job, raising two kids (and two dogs) on my own, keeping up with the house – and working out the logistics of a separation.

And then I realized that this new way of life was actually easier than taking care of a grown child and fighting and/or crying all the time. I was happier and was able to focus on me and my needs. I continued to go to therapy for my mental wellness, I started focusing on my eating and fitness, and then I started listening to personal development and before I knew it, I was feeling better inside and out and I had a better handle on my future.

Once I started to realize that life as a single mom was “easier” and better for me, and carrying around the title of separated (or divorced) really wasn’t so bad, I was able to focus on myself. Beachbody released its new program, 21 Day Fix, and it was the perfect program for me. It was the introduction to better nutrition and the starting point to my interest in wanting to learn more for myself and to help others.

With 21 Day Fix, I also got more involved with Beachbody coaching, and took the time to add personal development into my day – mostly via podcasts during my commutes to/from work. All in all that first year was focused on my mental and physical health.

During this year, I started to realize that a true marriage and love was not what I had been involved in in the 3 years prior, and that there was someone out there who would be honest with me, communicate with me, understand what a relationship is and would treat me (and my kids) the way we deserve.  I was nowhere near ready to go there, but I finally was able to recognize that it was out there for me.

In the second year, I decided it was time to put my thoughts into action and focus on my business ideas. Unfortunately, I kept on hitting setbacks and my heart was never there consistently enough.  During this time, my ex started to get every other weekend with the kids and actually started to take his holidays.  This time with their father is something that I knew was best for the kids, but that I had major personal issues with from a health and parenting perspective.  No matter how much personal development I was doing on my own, I knew I needed to focus on getting a better handle on the situation, so I decided to get back to the therapists office to find a way to not let these issues (and my ex) get to me.

And with that, year two involved some dibbling and dabbling on the business front, but mostly ended up being some more focus on my personal growth and mental health through finding acceptance.

My therapist helped me realize that acceptance didn’t mean I was accepting of the bad behaviors.  Instead acceptance (in my situation) means that I’m accepting that I have no control over the issues. I’m accepting that issues will continue to arise due to the nature of my ex and nothing I do will change that, so its better to focus my energies elsewhere.  My biggest acceptance “win” just recently came when I realized that I could continue to ask questions of my ex and continue to get lies for answers, or I could just accept that I will never get the truth from him, and should just stop asking the questions. By accepting this, I no longer get myself worked up every other weekend over his lying to me.

Two years are in the books and I’ve found acceptance and closure for myself, and am looking forward to see what year number three will bring.

My “goals” for year number 3 are to continue to focus on my physical and mental health, grow through personal development and try and get more consistent with my businesses, but I wouldn’t be true to my Type-A, stubborn, always taking too much on my plate, self if I didn’t add more to the list. And so the addition to year number three is one that I truly didn’t think would be in my future for a long, long time, but realized it was time to be vulnerable. I’m putting myself back out there and looking for my better half.

Maybe it will come this year, and maybe it really is a long ways down the line, but no matter what, I’m going to try and enjoy the journey that dating takes me on.  So stay tuned for crazy dating stories. And if I find someone that I think is that special one, but I have blinders on again – please don’t keep it in and just tell me.

But no matter what I take on in year number three, the most important thing is that I do what makes me the happiest, and that I don’t let the antics of others take away from that happiness.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Two years ago, Part I

I can remember the day very vividly.  It was a Thursday and I was about to depart on a 3-day, 2-city business trip. I had a morning flight, and we had previously decided that he was going to take me to the airport and then he and the kids would pick me up on when I flew home on Sunday.  

We had been fighting a lot recently because of the web of lies that had been spun the weeks (and years) prior - and that morning wasn't much different.  I don't remember if there was a fight before leaving the house, but I know there was a fight the night before and there was angry silence on the car ride.  I finally said something to try and resolve the issue from the night before.  I was met with silence.  I tried again - and was met with more silence.  When he finally uttered words, the words were "I'm going to talk to my brother this weekend and get the name of a lawyer".  

Internally I was melting down inside. Externally I was angry and upset.  

What do you mean you are going to get a lawyer?  What happened to talking?  All I want to do is communicate and have honesty?  We went to therapy to work towards that, why can't you just freaking be honest and communicate?

Those are not the words that came out of my mouth.  I don't know what words did, but I know I was clearly should my external emotions.  I was hurt.  We are in the car on the way to take me to the airport.  He won't speak to me except to say he is going to get a lawyer and wants a divorce.  We finally got to the airport and after some more talking, I convinced him to sit on it, so we can talk some more when we can sit down together.

I went through security and to my gate and I was A MESS.  My coworker saw me at security and not realizing that I was upset started to talk to me - and then he saw my face.  I tried to hide it all that day, but he knew something was wrong.

Once I got to Boston, I did a little bit better because I was able to focus on my meeting that night and everything that needed to be done.  But when I wasn't focusing, I was spying.  I was constantly checking the IP cameras that we installed as baby monitors.  I was checking his emails (he gave me access) and our verizon wireless account to see who he was talking to and about what.  I'm not really sure what I was looking for, but I found things that hurt and upset me.

I got through my meeting that night and went back to my room and we talked on the phone.  It was the worst phone call of my life.  He made his decision that morning and wasn't doing anything to re-consider it. It was clear that he hated me and wanted nothing to do with me**.  I begged and pleaded to no avail.  So finally, I said fine - pack your bags. After you pick me up from the airport, you will drop the kids and I off at home, and you will find someplace else to live.

I spent that night crying.  A lot.  And drinking wine.

I woke up the next morning and continued my weekend travels down to Ft. Worth, Texas.  The meeting went well and pretty much ran itself - which is good, because it was probably the worst job I did as a program manager.  My mind just wasn't there.  I spent every chance I could on my laptop figuring out finances and how I would propose we would split expenses, and how I could possibly afford the expenses I needed to cover.

In the moment - that day/weekend was the worst of my life.  Looking back from where I am now.  That day/weekend was the best of my life because it gave me life.  Check back in tomorrow to see how I went from the same instance being the worst to the best of my life.

And please remember, the reason I share all this is because I want everyone to remember that there are always people out there that have been in your shoes and can help you, or at least drink a glass of wine with you, and there is always a brighter future for you. Please don't let the dark days bring you down forever, confide in someone, getting it out of your system and start the process of moving forward.

**Yes - those might sound like harsh words, but a) I said that to him then and multiple times since then and he has never denied it and b) I'm a much happier and healthier person with no ounce of regrets or vengeance, and I still feel strongly that he hates me