Shit about divorce that you forget is coming …. this might be part one of a whole fucking series …. so brace yourself

I cannot explain the profound effect that this divorce has had on me.

It has changed something about me.  I appear to have lost my muchness.

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Initially I got caught up in the spreadsheet nature of this divorce.

Who would take what and who would get left with what.

Why Kennith wanting to take the red carpet would prove to be so upsetting.  And a thousand other things which now appear minuscule, but at the time it felt like my life was being wrenched apart

I often listen the The Script, and this line from one of their songs always resonates with me “I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing, just prayin’ to a god that I don’t believe in. ‘Cause I got time while she got freedom, ’cause when a heart breaks, no, it don’t break even.”

{swapping the he for her and so on….}

I am not “over” this divorce.   I keep thinking I am.  Or I have got over the worst of it.  But there are too many reminders that I am still struggling with this fucking beast.

It is actually like time makes it worse.  Time softens the edges of the things you thought you would cut your wrists on, but brings the things that you feel are going to crush you into sharp focus.

I think time reveals things you did not realise you needed to factor into this thing called divorce.

And then you are put into a situation and faced with something that makes you realise that you are not coping.  You have a semblance of coping, you might even look like you are skipping down the hill with the Trapp Family close at your heels.

But then something will come and remind you that this shit is not over.  Not by a long shot mate!

My most harrowing day of the year, was a wedding I attended in February.

It is a cousin of Kennith’s.

I have always had a close relationship with Thelma, her husband and her children.  During the relationship and after the relationship, I would stay over there often, pop in to see them and it was all really great.  I easily saw them socially once a month and Thelma and I taught many bottles of wine a lesson in what an hostage drama would look like.

Thelma and Zef had planned a Vow Renewal Ceremony and I was feeling very nervous about the day.

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Everyone was going to be in the same room, there was going to be this awkwardness (mine, I figured no one else would give a continental).

I really wanted it to be a wonderful day for Thelma and Zef, but I wanted to get through it without any more bleeding than I felt was probably going to occur.  On my part.

I took my partner W with and I had the three children with me.

The venue was the One and Only which is gorgeous.  The weather was on the side of baking, but everything was beautiful.

I could not quite put my finger on it what it was that I was so nervous about.

Maybe it was the thought of having to be introduced to Kennith’s partner ……. yeh, I am not ready for that.  Excuse me whilst I go and cower in the toilets.  See how much of a grown up I can be?

By the time I got there I had already worked myself up into a bit of a lather.  You know the moment when you are just one missing button from a full scale melt-down.  Like that.

Then it hit me.  And it hit me.  And then it just continued to hit me for what seemed like a very long time – I knew what the thing was that I was “fearing” the most.

I had been axed as a family member.  Through no fault of my own.

Kennith’s extended family was there and to be honest few, if any of them had reached out to me when Kennith asked for a divorce and he moved out.  And it really hurt. And this would be the first time I was seeing many of them.

I just disappeared.  Instantly from everyone’s consciousness.

I had (more often times than not) been the instigator in getting everyone together and making sure we kept regular contact with Kennith’s family.

I was now at a function that had clearly demarcated lines of “family” and “not family.”

It started with his family being together on one side and the other rabble being close to the bar.  I realised as I walked in to the room, that though I would naturally walk over to “the family” and say “hello” this was not going to happen.

In short Kennith was the MC so his partner was sitting with the “family.”  I sometimes think I have steel gonads, but not even I would venture into this without some sort of head injury.

I got that “cotton ball sort of feeling in your throat” as I summed up what was happening, and it just made me feel uneasy.  And there was no way I was going to drift over there and swan around saying “helllooooooo” to everyone.

It did not help when Kennith came over and told me the kids should sit in a certain section of the “ceremony area” where the “family” was sitting.  And I would be in the “other section…”

And so this “family” thing persisted for the balance of the evening.

Eventually I tried to “rise above” just fucking “rise above this shit” but these people were “my family” for the last 20 fucking years.  Then in one swoop, none of my doing, I get kicked off the “table.”

I do not have a big family – so it was nice to get a larger family from Kennith’s side to bulk up the numbers where mine sort of fell flat.

The evening proved to be excruciating.  I could have happily gone to sit in the bathroom and spent the evening crying.

Instead I took a stab at looking like I was having the best time imaginable.  I did my utmost to do 5 glasses of soda water for every 1 glass of wine, or I was pretty sure this evening was going to end in me having a “moment…”

One of the nicest and sweetest things that was Kennith’s grandmother’s husband – Kennith grandmother had passed away a few years back – came and asked to dance with me.  So for a song we danced together, I probably stood on his feet the majority of the time, but it was really such a sweet gesture.

Divorce.

Being excommunicated from “the family” and this really horrible feeling of not knowing where you stand is just shit.

I had spent years developing some of these relationships and “poof” there I was, not quite being invited to the family photograph.

I know I am not expressing myself correctly.

I think if I was drinking wine and not hot chocolate I probably may be able to word this better – with some really descriptive words and probably a bit more fucks than I am using right now.

It is this profound sense of rejection that the day represented for me.  And the realisation of what I thought I felt, to what was in actual fact reality.

This sense that all the time and energy I put into these relationships for the better part of my adult life have disintegrated into nothing.  Gone.  And I could basically just fuck off, but to leave the children because they were family.

The message is clear.  This is not my family.  These people do not give a flying fek about me.

Which of course makes me start to wonder, what the hell was it that went on for two decades there?

During a divorce you worry and fret about a lot of things, but the family you will lose usually does not come into the equation.  Or maybe it does, and I just did not buy the right “What to expect ….. when you are getting divorced from” book.

Yeah, so there is that.

Right now I am in a “just fuck it all frame of mind…”  I ap0logise for the frequent use of the word FUCK moving forward.  I don’t actually, but I want to sound like a courteous host.

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When you try to shove your life into boxes …..

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Packing up a house easily rates as one of my least favourite past times.

I have been able to get out of it for the last 4 – 5 moves. I pretty much outsourced all packing and unpacking and went with the philosophy that I did not matter where something was unpacked as long as that I was not that someone doing the unpacking.

Unfortunately this time around it needed a lot of sorting and then packing.

The sorting became where all the time was spent.  I had little flashes of “Hoarders” as I rummaged through boxes with old diaries and paperwork, and tried to make the choice of whether to keep or to toss.

I did get a bit more brutal as the hours ticked by.

I spent a lot of time sorting out the garage – the garage had become the storage place of “all the shit we did not know what do do with” and there was quite a lot of stuff to sort through.

There were a lot of boxes that I had not opened since I had moved into this house.

A large part of the interior of the house was painted early last year and I had packed up all the pictures, books and ornaments .  I had to open each box and go through them to see what to keep, and what to toss – the packing was done to get the items out of the way of the painters, and there was no thinking in terms of what would go where and to which type of storage.

Here is the part I did not expect to find.

The life that Kennith and I had.

I found photographs, cards, letters and various other remnants of our life together.

I found the memories of our life in boxes.  In the garage.

Much of it I had forgotten – as you do.  I am not sure if it is just me, but the problem with Divorce – other than it sucking maggot dick, is that it focuses all your attention on the end part.

The part where he says “I want a divorce” and where you do not hear him and carry on talking about the dog.  Until he has to repeat himself and then you start realising that we are not talking about the dog.

My entire being has been trapped in that moment.  From that moment until this moment. That is where I have lived for the last two years or so.

I have existed in THIS space.

I saw photographs in the boxes that reminded me that we had a rich and gorgeous life.

We were happy people, with a lot of interests and things that drove us.  We did stuff, we went away for weekends, we spoke about all sort of things – we did things together, we showed dogs and we loved our dogs.

We had a life.

We had a happy life.

We had a life that was packed with memories.  And stuff.  And things.

I had forgotten it all, because I have been trapped in THIS.

This that is happening RIGHT NOW.

I won’t lie to you.  Moving out of my home, so that Kennith can move in and live with the children is my equivalent of bobbing.

I am not drowning. I am not furiously trying to kick my legs to stay afloat. I am just bobbing.

On the surface.  Face up, the rest of me under the water.

My ability to swim, to try to get anywhere has just evaporated.

I just bob and remain afloat.

Every now and then I get a mouthful of sea water and need to really cough up a lung to breath.  For the most part my eyes are red, and I am weary to the bone.  Tired and cold.

I desperately want people to circle around me and give me support.

I desperately want everyone to go away and just leave me alone.

I want to be with people so I do not feel so alone, so worried, so scared and such a desperate mess.

I want to not see anyone so that I can feel alone, worried and scared without having to give the impression of a “stiff upper lip.”  I want to be my desperate mess without people asking me why my makeup is smudged and my eyes are so red.

Hayfever.  I say. {I don’t suffer from hayfever, but if you give a half way plausible response, most people are happy to leave it at that}

I cannot describe how painful this packing is.  This move is.

I daily question my decision making.  I daily wake up feeling like shit before the day has even started. I heave myself out of bed.

Get vertical.  All you have to do is get vertical, everything else will follow.

I promise you — just get vertical.

I try and fill the hole with marshmallow easter eggs – 20 does not fill the hole, but it does make you feel violently ill a bit later.

I daily feel a panic attack coming on, which I manage to divert by going to lie on my bed and fall into a deep coma like sleep – or just sit and stare into space.

I find car parks are the best for this – no one bothers you and no one comes to ask you anything, you can sit in your car and just zone out.

I know what depression feels like – for me depression has always been a chemical issue.

It would not matter what is happening in my life, when depression came along, I could have just discovered the only true living unicorn who farted glitter and it would still make me feel flat …. absolutely flat.

This is a bit like depression …. but this is more despair, this is more brutal sadness, confusion and worry.

Nothing makes sense, everything feels like it is a right old fcuk up.

I am going through the motions of packing and getting my life ready to move out – to move away from my children.

There is nothing good happening here.

The problem is I am upset.  I take out my being upset and my confusion on the children, which is not exactly the image I wanted to leave with them.

But when they are asleep, I go and tell them how sorry I am and stroke their foreheads a bit.

Tell me again who said being an adult was going to be fun?

 

close to drowning

 

Moving out, big girl decisions and big girl panties …..

This year has brought some new challenges and changes – which have been dragged in from 2015.

I would love to tell you I am embracing them and it is making me a stronger wiser person, but then I think, yeah fuck that, please can we go back to the old way, I am really tired of this adult shit.

It seems not.  The number they said I could phone is not being answered and the message box is full.

In summary here is what has changed and what changes are happening:

One:  Kennith and I continue to try our best to be civil to one another – it really is hard work trying to always communicate well, and to not stand swearing on the driveway with spittle on your chin.  It’s hard to keep up this entire “co parenting, co decision makers” vibe.

Two:  The house I am living in is the house that belongs to Kennith and I – the aim was to have the house on the market, and the house to sell – we would divvy up the proceeds and everyone would go off and do what they wanted.

Three:  For several reasons this house has not sold – but the area we live in is not known for fast house sales, it is just one of those suburbs where property does not move at an overnight rate.

Four:  I made a very stark realistation, that could no longer afford to live in this house (it is a large home and has upkeep and the running costs of a home this size tend to get a bit overwhelming eventually).

Five:  I started to panic around that and then I made the next realisation that right now I cannot afford to live in this house and if I moved out, where the hell would I go – and if I moved I would not have money out of the house (as it is not sold) and then where would I go with three children, and financially be able to keep up any semblance of our existing lives?

Six:  I worked through several permutations, and in each I tried to use the principle that the children would remain with me.

Seven:  The decision making flow chart that followed from there ended up not looking dissimilar from this — if you do not include the smudgy parts caused by tears and wine condensation running off the glass and making it’s own set of splotches.

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Eight:  I realised (not quickly — but eventually after trying every possible combination) that it was not possible for me to live with the children.

Nine:  That realisation was not the most pleasant one I have had — and accepting it as the new reality was a very bitter pill to swallow.

Ten:  In short – the decision at the moment is that Kennith has given notice on the place where he lives. I will be packing up my stuff in the house and moving out in the last week of February.  The children will remain in the house.  Their stuff will remain as is – so there is very little in the way of things that will change in their world.

Eleven:  Kennith will move into the house in the last week of February, and I will move out.

Twelve:  Kennith and I will swap roles – we have a schedule of who takes to school and who drops off, and which days the kids are with whom.  This has been in place for about 18 months – and it works quite well.  I am lucky as I work for myself and this allows me flexibility, so if Kennith is away or has a work commitment I can pick up the slack.

Thirteen:  In terms of what will happen with the house that is still up in the air.  We have decided is a secondary issue to this one, which is swapping who lives with the kids, and in a few months time we can relook at how to proceed with the house (rent it out, one of us purchase it, or put it back on the market).

I was freaking out in December, the first two weeks or so of January 2016 had be on the verge of a total “poes” collapse.

Then I calmed down — I am not sure why, or how — I just calmed down.  A bit.

I do not feel so threatened, my anxiety about “losing my kids” has reduced, and in general I am in a much calmer state than I was a week or so ago.

I am trying not to think too hard about the kids, and the house, me moving out and and and ….. I am going with the never EVER been used philosophy for me of “what will be, will be….”

People, that is where things are at the moment.

It has not been an easy decision.

At a point it came down to the reality that this was the best decision, and actually in reality the only decision I had available, that would not put me in one bedroom flat, in a less than favourable neighbourhood with three children, a dog and a cat.

Decision has been made.  Now it is a case of just getting my head into the space of moving out —– and trying not to lose my shit too much.

{I really get anxious when there are changes on the home front – I can adjust to changes in other areas of my life, because I know when I get home, everything will be as I left it — so this change does make me feel a bit panicky, anxious and stressed.}

Anyway.  It is what it is.

 

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Divorce is a head f*ck …… and sometimes it’s about cauliflower

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Divorce is a strange animal.  I am not totally sure it is easier or less painful than dealing with the death of a partner.

At least in death you get to mourn, and then keep a rather idealised perception of your partner in your mind’s eye.  And then get on with your life.  At which ever point it is required, or you are able.

Divorce is akin to having a large plaster applied to your hairy inner thigh, and then just as you think “hey, this is okay …. I am sort of getting used to this” then someone comes along and pulls said plaster off.

Taking with it all your hair, the roots, the first few layers of skin, and basically any fucking sense of humour you thought you had left.  And then you cry, and get to watch it all grow back.  Slowly.  With some ingrown hairs just for ambiance.

Divorce is a game of constant adjustments.

You keep thinking that “okay, so we are at this stage now …. okay, sure, this is not too bad” and then some fucker comes and ask you to please part your thighs slightly so they can get at the huge fucking plaster again and pull it asunder.

The other thing about divorce is the bizarre and strange way that things, that are not meant to bother you, fucking really bother you, and you cannot explain why or how.

If you try, it just comes out in a splutter of rage, pain, torment, and sometimes a bit of embarrassed laughter because you are really not being a trooper and dealing with this like an adult.

Instead you have reverted to a 12 year old who has little in the way of vocabulary, and just wants to sit around sulking muttering “motherfucker” under their breath.

A few weeks ago Kennith chatted to me about the fact that he was thinking about dating.  I though well, we are buds now, let’s just kick that ball around, like buds.  I can do this.  {has inside talk with self ….. self says listen I don’t think you can do this …. I go, self, that was then, I am fine now……. self shakes head}

{I high fived myself in anticipation of what an adult I was being ….. it was a proud moment …… fleeting but proud}

This is me being a mature divorced FROM person.  Not the angry, resentful person who is still hurt and pained by being “dumped” by their partner after 20 years.

Any the who, so there I am being adult, and kicking the breeze and feeling jolly.

I ran into Kennith a few days later at Woolworths.  As you do.

I was shopping for cauliflower to turn into mash. I am not sure exactly what he was shopping for.  Because we are buds he told me he was on his way to a date, you know, like you tell your bud.

I was not sure at that EXACT moment whether to punch him on the shoulder like a mate and say “good on ya” or “punch him in the face” and say “I am your fucking ex wife fruit cake, why the fuck would you want to tell me you are going on a fucking date??”

Did you not read the study notes on the section “shit not to talk to about with your ex-wife at any time in the next 10 – 15 years following a divorce??”  No, you didn’t.

Let me send it to you again with the highlighted bits.

I opted instead to draw attention to the cauliflower in my trolley.  Yes, that is what a confused woman with about a million emotions does when they don’t want to punch other people in the face or the genitals.  Whilst at Woolworths.

Listen if it was Checkers, then it would have been on like Donkey Kong.  This is Woolworths, I would like to visit this store again, I am quite fond of it.

I did not ask about the date …… why?  Because again, I am the fucking ex-wife who is still trying to adjust to being the ex-wife.

You divorced me, see, that means I do not really want to know about how you are getting your jollies or potential jollies!!!

Cheese and rice —– am I the only person who thinks this way.

The last two weekends the kids were meant to be with Kennith the kids mentioned to me in passing they had not been with Kennith the one night on each of the weekends.

Again, it’s his weekend with the kids, and he can choose how to spend it or not to spend it.  I am not going to sit them through an interrogation, really I do not want to know.

I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW.

I have been down this street, I know how this works.  The less I know the better.

Today they mentioned it again and I was a bit of “sorry what are you saying there kids” and then my friend mentioned that Connor was over at the house, and I was really confused.  She mentioned Kennith went to a “fight thing”, and I thought, but he usually takes Connor with him …………

Okay wait now …. wait now ………. I am feeling a slight deja vu in the Matrix and that his not good for anyone.

I remembered “oh sweet mother of mary, we are friends on Facebook again” <Kennith and I, in case this story is moving too fast and getting a slight rabid feel about it> and I thought “fuck no, please no, I really really cannot do Kennith dating….”

I don’t want to see it.  I don’t want to hear about it.

I do not want my friends stalking on my behalf.

I just can’t do this again.

It can happen out there in the wide world of “I don’t know and I don’t give a fuck” but when I do know then I do give a fuck.  I become the slightly insane person who is not sure why they are reacting this way, but they are and that is not good for anyone.  Especially me.

I sat quietly and scrolled through Facebook and there it was …….

The short answer is no I have no idea why this bothers me.

No, I am not jealous.

No, I am not waiting for Kennith to come calling and beg and plead for me to return.

No, none of that.

But his dating, it bothers me.

I get upset.  And I don’t know why.

And that is why divorce might be worse than dealing with a death.

Dead people do not post on Facebook.

Dead people do not date.

You can create a rather inaccurate but rather fond picture of the dead person, and there is fuck all that can come and fuck it up for you.

I can’t put cauliflower in my trolley and talk to Kennith about his date.

I can’t see his date.

I cannot hear about it from my kids —– I have already done this and it was pain-fucking-ful.  The chances that this might be starting again is just not on my list of  “things I feel like dealing with right now.”

I just am not there.  Yet.  Sorry Kennith, but you and I might need to break up as Facebook friends.

I just do not have the stomach for this right now.  I am not sure when I will.

It’s not me, it’s you.

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{On a side bar note, I am doing fantastically well.  Last year and part of this year was a little shall we say rough — well there were some rough patches there.  Some were not my finest hours.  Some I look back at and shake my head.

I bled a lot {metaphorically speaking not like in a menstruation way}, and I really struggled with what was in my head and how I was processing stuff.  

I had some moments there where I thought I would not survive.  I had some moments there that really tested my sanity and my ability to get out of bed and function.  

I got my shit together.  I moved on.   I learnt a lot about me.  I learnt a lot about life and how the universe works.

I am really in a happy place right now.  Life is challenging, but it is not impossible.

I am happy – and that this not a phrase I use often.  

I am still “getting over this thing called divorce” most days I am “yeah, I am so over it” and then other days I am “Listen, I need a moment here” but in general I am doing really well.

What divorce brings with it is this constant need to adjust.  

To the changing phases in each of your individual relationships. and how these put us in situations where we relate to each others.  

Sometimes those adjustments are small and you go, ah well, see that didn’t hurt.  Then there are the other ones where you do “shoo, this feels a bit uncomfortable, I am not sure whether I need an enema or a bit of a lie down, because this does not feel good.”

Maybe it is me — maybe this adjusting, adjusting and readjusting is something I do not do well.  Kennith appears to be coping like a fucking legend over there.  Good on ya mate!

Maybe in time it will be easier and I will not find it such a challenge.  But that is for another day.  Now however, the adjustments make me feel uncomfortable, and I don’t like them.

And I am going to choose to sit them out and not have to see them.}

Yes, and some days it is just shit-a-holla ….

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I hate it when people ask me “so how are you doing…” and not add the “with the divorce thing, you know” …..

I still don’t know what to say.

Some days I am super happy. I have the remote control.  I can make star angels in the bed, and can poo with the door open. The world is pretty much my oyster.

The next day I don’t want to get out of bed.

I am not sure if I miss or hate Kennith.  It could be a bit of both.

Yesterday evening driving home I saw him running along the side of the road.

In a split second I had two thoughts “drive the fucker over” and “shame, I should stop and give him a lift” ….. but I understood that both would probably have a knock on effect to him running the Comrades, and instead chose to just drive on.

I hate that he has toddled out of this relationships straight into another.  And seems happy.

I want to kick him in his hairy little face and say “look what you did fuck wad….” but I guess he did not do it all by himself.

Why can he not have a relationship where they are fighting and throwing cat food at each other?  But in a non sexual way!

Why can’t he be muttering “she is a dumb bitch” under his breath ….. instead of looking so delightfully peaceful?  I am seriously ……….. seriously

I want to ram a fork into his shoulder, just to see if he will react.  I will blame her of course.  I know I can do it, I figured out how to sneak into their house …. I know which door squeaks, I know where the forks are kept.

I can be in and out of them in under 8 seconds ……. at the moment I am still at 14 seconds.

But I train two or three times a week, and my times are getting better.  I am only going to stab him with a fork, it’s not like I am going to shoot him whilst he is on the crapper. Relax people.

You will know when I am unhinged, trust me, you will know.

I hate that my kids keep telling me how wonderful she is – I don’t know her, and I still want to drive her over.  If my kids compare her to me one more time, I am seriously going to start to take Xmas money away from them and tell them J stole it.

On other days I sigh and I think how peaceful life is and I am glad K is not lonely, and I am glad he is dating someone who seems to be nice to my children.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck.

I never think that.  I’d like to.  That would mean I was potentially a nice person.

I just lie there and go fuckity fuck fuck.  Fuck it all ….. “now bring me wine and chocolate” I scream at no one in particular.  Hence I get neither.

I am fine for several days, and then I am not.  It might have nothing to do with Kennith it might just be PMS, but fuck that, I am blaming him for it all right now.

I do not want Kennith back.  I do not want him to die.  I do not want him to explode into 1 000 little pieces.   I am not sure what I want.

I lie in the bath and sip my wine – I have changed it up to a rosé – it makes me feel pretty and girly.  And I still get drunk at about the same rate, so that is really all that matters right?

Life is good.

Life is kak.

Life just is.

My constipation was pretty bad on the weekend ….. just filling space here people, just filling space.

Some days I am so happy I sing along to really shitty songs.

Some days I cry at radio adverts.  While the radio is off.

Other days I have MUSIC going so loud in my ear phones, I physically prevent myself from being able to think of anything.  It also drowns out the sound of my kids arguing in the car, so really it is a win-win all round.

Last night I climbed into bed.  The girls were already in my bed – this is kind of where they sleep most of the time.  Sadly it reflects on my social life.

I got into bed, I was tired, exhausted, and the cat was trying to find a spot.  Isabelle’s chubby slightly damp little hand came over my shoulder and held onto my arm, and for that little slice in time, I forgot everything and felt pure joy.

Then the cat clawed my foot, and I tried to kick him, missed and kicked the end of the bed, and the moment was just that little bit less magical.

As said before, fuckity fuck fuck.  With a double fucker fuck fuck at the end.

 

The upside of Divorce …… that no one tells you

There are few perks to divorce, but if you do not focus on them, and try and relish in the small thing, there is a good chance you might end up with a sawn off shot gun, and an alcohol binge session that is not going to end well for anyone at the post office.

So here is my non-comprehensive list of shit that is good after a divorce:

1.  You can use it to stop a “call centre” operator in their tracks.  I had a call yesterday from Old Mutual and an operator was trying to set up an appointment with a very nice financial planner, to plan my life.  I said “you know I am at the end stages of a massive divorce, right now I can’t plan for next week {I did make it slightly more dramatic than it is} ….. I really can’t do this right now.”  I could hear him flicking through the “cards to use to deal with difficult customers” and he came out with nothing.  He apologised, wished me well, we might even have held hands symbolically and sang kumba-ya-ma-lord for a few moments.

2. Twice the cupboard space.  Not something I really factored in at all.  I left K’s cupboards pretty much untouched for a month or two, and then I thought, hey wait a minute maybe we can put my jeans here, and my jackets here.  And then I pretty much took over all the cupboard space. It makes me smile nearly every morning to open all those cupboards.

3. I have access to the remote.  Now, I can’t quite explain this emotion. It still makes me choke up a bit.  Unless you have lived with a man, you do not realise that has a woman, you just do not get remote control benefits, and if you do, then what ever you select to watch is deemed as shit/junk/this crap again.

4.  This is also connected to the DSTV remote.  I change the sound on the DSTV remote.  The rule was we only change the sound on the TV remote and you will be cast into hell if you dare change the sound setting on the DSTV remote.  I now do it with reckless abandon.  It is still quite a heady experience.

5.  I get every second weekend off and one night a week.  Let me say that again, every second weekend, I have no kids, no responsibility and the same is repeated one night a week.  I love my kids, but holy shit balls I like them so much more now that I get a break from them.  It is creepily fantastic.  I know I should be lamenting how I miss them and how I can’t live without them, but I am too busy fiddling with the sound on the DSTV remote.

6.  Isabelle sleeps in my bed almost every night – Georgia sometimes comes along.  There is something delicious about that warm, moist and sweet smell of your children close by.

7.  It is such a relief to not find shoes fucking everywhere.  Everyone puts their shoes into cupboards.  I no longer have to pack shoes away.  I did all the options, leave the shoes out, and see if “all” the shoes will eventually be left randomly all over the floor, and throw a shit fit, and then do internal anger.  I tried it all.  It appears the only solution to the shoe issue is divorce.

8.  Every day —- every solitary day —- K either takes the kids to school or fetches them.  I don’t wish to mention that at one point he had no idea what school or grade the kids were in, but it helps to give a balanced view of how fantastic this present arrangement is.  It means on two days a week, I can get up at 08h00 if I want — and I always want.

There are lots of negatives.

There are lots of things that are still shit.  There are lots of things that feel like I am being punched in the diaphragm and vagina simultaneously, but there are some ups …… there are some things that still make me skip around the house like a lunatic in happiness.  You know some days you need to cling on to the slithers of happiness in the madness, or you will lose the plot.

And stand screaming on your drive way.  I choose to get excited about the remote and changing the sound, without any repercussions.

great loss

Oh for fox sake …..

I have really been struggling to sit down and compose a blog post that I actually publish.

I have written dozens of “almost posts” and jotted down all sorts of shit and stuff — but I have not got to the point where I feel comfortable to post anything.

There is a lot of things running around in my head at the moment.

To be blatantly honest most of the things that are creating noise is me trying to adjust to this new life being a “divorced person” in a relationship that is over, and all the fine details hat comes along with that.

Getting divorced is pretty easy.

Being divorced is a bit of a fucking dog show, without the dogs, but with all the shit left on the field.

In the bigger picture I have been struggling with what I can talk about publicly and what I should hold close to my chest.

I am not a big fan of airing dirty laundry, and there is seldom a way to do it in a healthy manner.

At the moment I feel quite raw, exposed and vulnerable.  All the usual bravado that I try to wear as a protection is seriously dented and lacking.

I keep thinking okay I will write about “that” and then when I start to jot down some words, and those words form sentences, and now and then paragraphs, then I look at it and go “no, I can’t put that out there….”

Then I sit there quietly as the inside of me is this bubbling chaotic space, and my mind feels like it is being knocked around inside my skull.

The part I used to love about blogging – is now the thing I am struggling to remain true to.  I have always believed that you should blog what you feel, blog what you think — what you really think — blog with honesty and integrity – ignore who you think may read your posts.

I do not blog for the people who read my blog, that has always been a slippery slope to venture along.  I prefer to blog and ignore who may or may not read it.

It sounds selfish, but for me it is the backbone of what I love about blogging.  And what I love about reading some bloggers work.  Honesty, and blogging for the sake of writing what is running around inside your head.

Today was a difficult day.  I felt really gutted today. I felt a bit beaten up.

I felt a bit like life had taken me by the gonads (yes I imagine I might have them on some days) and swung me around so that my head kept hitting the wall of the very small square imaginary room I felt I was in.

It’s 12:10 am, the day is at it’s end.  Thank fuck!!!

I have spent the better part of the last 5 hours covering school books.  That wasn’t the reason for the stress, and mental confusion – it was actually the task that kept me focussed and prevented me “going off the deep end.”

I took some time out and went to sit outside – it is a lovely evening weather wise, and stared up at the stars, sipped my wine and thought duckety fuck, duckety fucking fuck!!!

Then I stood up, brushed some of the dirt off my pants, and thought “bitch, get your shit together, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, you do not need this level of kak …. and you need to go and pour yourself some more wine, because you have bought some crazy arse beautiful wine glasses …..”

And then I said “fuck yes!”

oh for fox

 

 

I hereby pronounce you ….. divorced {throws confetti?}

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As you may or may not know, Kennith and I are going through a divorce process.  It has not been a horrible divorce, but it has been a divorce, and ending a relationship that has been in existence for the last 20 years.

We have three children,.  We have a shared life that overlaps in many aspects.

We have been in a relationship with each other for our entire adult lives.

Sitting and breaking that up into a spreadsheets and pieces is traumatic.

No matter how nicely you “play with others” and no matter how much you try your utmost to act like an adult, the process is really awful.

It is often not the big things that leave you bereft and licking your wounds, but the tiny almost insignificant things that you realise are actually pretty significant, that make you cry and sob.  I remember when Kennith was meant to collect the rug that is in our bedroom, I felt like if he took that rug I was going to break into a thousand pieces.

It’s a rug — it really has no sentimental value.  But when he arrived to collect it, I really felt this was the time when I was going to break.  {In the end he left it, because he could see I was upset…..}

The last ten months have had me work through every possibly emotion.  Which includes sadness, denial, pain, indecisiveness, happiness, relief, anxiety, euphoria, being numb, pain and despair, confusion, rejection, chicken licken’s fear of the sky falling, and any thing else you can add to the mix.

For the most part I have tried to appear composed and that I have my shit together.  I am not sure why it was important to look like I am keeping my shit together. I think possibly because I felt that if I started to slip, it would be all over and I would be a crumpled heap at the bottom of the white cliffs of Dover.

There have been several moments where I have felt like I had taken a walk over to the dark side.  That there was no way I could actually hold on to this little ledge of sanity that I am clinging to.

That feeling of panic and irrationality often pops up at the exact moment where I think I have got this all under control.  To remind me in no uncertain terms that I am actually a minefield of emotions right now, poor decisions and sometimes immense sadness, fear and self loathing.

I cannot imagine what my life is going to be moving forward.  I am stuck in looking back, and am struggling to lift my eyes up off the floor and really get a good look at the horizon.

I am scared.  I am afraid.  I am still a bit shell shocked to be honest.  I referred to Kennith as my husband the other day … then I just stood there and stopped speaking mid-conversation ….. because I was not sure what to say.

Kennith attended court last week – it was an uncontested divorce, so I did not have to go along.  Kennith let me know when he was at court, and then let me know when it was over.

Wednesday was a very surreal day.

I knew what was going to happen. I had participated in all the decisions and the processes, so I was well up to scratch on what was happening, the how, when and what.

When it happened, I really felt like I had been sucker punched.  Like something in me had just caved in.

Last Wednesday left me feeling sad, scared, with a sense of profound loss.  Twenty years and it was over.  Officially.

It is difficult to explain — it is difficult to articulate.  Last Wednesday was an important milestone in my journey of life.  I am not sure yet whether it was a good milestone, a bad milestone or just a milestone.

 

Quotes about life and maybe a bit about divorce, that resonated with me:

 

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quotes06

 

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And the two I liked the most

 

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quotes11

 

When the wheels fall off …..

Jeremy Lipking

I get really frayed around the edges when things do not go to plan.

I am not suggesting I am someone who is unable to adjust to the things that life throws at me, or that I am unable to adapt when the situation calls for it.

I can adjust my sails and pick a new course without too much ado.  I am pretty flexible, and though I might first stand there like a deer in the headlights, I make decision and remain flexible in most situations.

I will confess that the last month has had one too many whoppers for me to deal with.  This last week I have felt exhausted, and very sleepy, and by the time Friday rolled by I was already feeling like I was stretched that little bit too thin.

Then VODACOM came along and by the second hour of being bounced from one department to another, I think I lost the last remnants of my mind.

I could feel a full scale panic attack coming on whilst I was standing at the NOT ACTUALLY A VODACOM, BUT LOOKS LIKE A VODACOM store at Century City.

My heart rate was up, I could feel that breathing was starting to feel a bit laboured.

I was sweating up a storm, and I think I stopped blinking.  I really was not having a fun time, and the fact that it was allowed to escalate, really felt like a donkey had kicked me in the nuts. Or if I had nuts where they might be.

I was actually unable to think clearly after that point and the balance of the day was spent in full scale panic and anxiety melt down.

Kennith came over to do dinner with the kids, and he made a suggestion about my phone which was quite obvious, but in my now panicked situation, I just could not get to myself.

On reflection, this has been a bit of a month:

1.  I resigned, and left a structured employment arrangement for a wide open risk situation.

2.  A friend died in a car accident.

3.  I had a very surreal phone call from a friend about that friend, and how that friend felt about me – which made me ask all sorts of questions about myself.  Life and stuff.

4. I had a car accident – which scared the living bejesus out of me.

5.  I had to deal with insurance brokers (who were more than organised, and pleasant to deal with), arrange to get a rental, and then of course there is the assessor queries and all of that – and feeling constantly that I had done something wrong, or how I could have done this much damage to my car.

6.  Kennith dropped off the final papers to submit to High Court.  I had seen them before, so there was no surprise there — but the fact that I was holding a set of papers that was our divorce papers.  Reality, set in here.  In spades.

7.  I worry that I have bills to pay and shit to do, and do not have a pay check that is going to be clearing in the next two days.  <add increased heart rate and sweaty palms here>

There are of course a few other things that are happening in my life — no big deal stuff, but it does sometimes feel like I am a bit frazzled.  Friday was the moment when my little train going up the hill going I think I can- I think I can …. just said, fck this shit, I am going off road.

Just going off the edge of reality.  Don’t worry, I will send you a postcard.  I can’t call you … because well you know, but I will send carrier pigeon or soemething.

I know I had a bit of a shit fit about my phone — but it seriously was the last straw.

I really started to have some real concerns about my welfare on Friday night —–

On Saturday night I still had NO SERVICE on my phone.  I did call VODACOM again, and pretty much had written my life off at that point, because I could not face being bounced around by them.

I spoke to Kendric in Data – Technical or something of that nature.

He was pleasant and helpful, and resolved the issue quickly.  He did try to end the call with a little add on sale ….. I didn’t hold it against him.  Thanks Kendric, you have not quite restored my faith in VODACOM, but you have managed to assist me having a slightly saner evening.

And for that I am thankful.

I hope your week is a good one —– where ever you are …. and how ever you are spending it.

 

Image sourced:  Contemporary Artist Jeremy Lipking – his work can be viewed here.

Dating older men …. and them wanting to date younger women …..

funny-captain-dating-site

 

Part of setting up a profile for yourself on any dating site is that you indicate your age, and you indicate the age range of a potential partner.

The site uses this as one facet to “match” you to potential partners.

There are load of other criteria:  religious beliefs, ethnicity, the colour of someone’s eyes, the colour of their hair, whether they have any hair, whether they have piercings or tattoos, whether they drink, whether they smoke, the sort of job they do, their educational level, whether they attend church, whether they have dogs, whether they have brothers and sisters …. the list is pretty endless.

The idea is that the more specific information you supply, the less likely you are going to end up in chats with people who are so far out of your “acceptable range” that it will make you question humanity, and the dating site you are subscribed to.

Realistically the first search criteria are location, age, ethnicity, and belief system, and whether they drink.

I have connected weights to these and all the others that I have been given to select from.  If you say you do not want children, then you need to rate it according to “deal breaker” versus “well, let’s see where this conversation goes.”

A few days ago I was approached by someone older than me.

I glanced at his profile, and it was not so much the age that was an issue for me — but his series of photographs that not only left me going “what were you thinking?”  They immediately introduced me to someone that I probably would not gravitate to at a dinner table.

All the photographs appeared to be taken with a self timer — maybe not a well set self timer, which may explain his expression – but in more or less the same position in his lounge.

I was also led to believe that he owns white vests and black vests, and rugby shorts.

Without putting too much emphasis on how someone chooses to cloth themselves, I think it would make sense to say vests are not going to assist in moving this into any direction which may or may not result in a relationship of any kind.  A restraining order is probably more likely as the happy ending here.

The reason I am ambling through this post, is I replied to his first two messages and explained that the age gap was going to be an issue for me.  I wished him well for his day, and then got on with mine.

I try my utmost to be honest with people so that we both do not get emotionally invested in this process.  Possibly when I get a bit more jaded (which I am on the cusp of doing) I will just push delete and not respond at all.

I received quite an extensive response from R. and he explained how society creates these scripts we follow with regards to age, and that meeting and connecting with someone often has nothing to do with age.  Interesting people find each other interesting no matter how many birthdays they have had and so on.

I am paraphrasing, but that was the sense of it.

It was polite and well written,and pretty darn convincing.

By the end of it, I really started to think about the “ageism” I was practicing.  For a few moments I started to judge myself quite harshly for excluding this guy, because of his age.  And that is really bad of me.  Judgy.  And short sighted.

I had decided to say nothing about the photographs.  I had been shamed, and now I feel ashamed.

I  tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.  I thought let’s go read through his profile again, and just look at the rest and “ignore” the age and the vests —- and that he is wearing “hooker” stockings in the one photograph, which was not taken at a party, but looks like he was alone in his lounge.  Again.  Like the others.  That besides.

Keep an open mind I said.

I read through his profile again.  Here was the part where I thought —– interesting.  He is 55.  His age range for potential people he wants to meet is 29 – 44 years old!

Well now, that is an interesting little age band for someone who has no sense of age and how we are connected.

Seriously do I really really want to meet a guy who is 55 who has aspirations of dating a 29 year old girl.  And wears hooker stockings, with a vest and a rugby shorts in the privacy of his own home?

Probably not, so I am going to make a rash judgement here — PROFILE BLOCKED!

 

Timeline of a Divorce

Originally posted  :  · · in Healing From Trauma. ·

I hesitated to share this. Not because it’s private. Or controversial. But I’m afraid people will misinterpret it as an absolute.

And if there’s one universal truth about divorce, it’s that there are no absolutes.

I’m sharing this because I see a need. A void. People reaching out and wondering if their feelings are okay for the place they’re in. We all want to know that we’re “normal” and we seek reassurances that we are while silently worrying that we’re not.

But worrying about if your feelings are normal doesn’t help you feel better.

In fact, it makes you feel worse.

Your feelings are what they at this moment.

And that’s okay.

And it’s also okay to want them to be different and then to work towards making them different (notice the intent is paired with action!).

I am sharing the rough outline of my emotions and mindset at different periods throughout and after my divorce. Please do not use this as a ruler to measure your own progress. Just because I reached a certain benchmark at month eight doesn’t mean you should too.

In fact, ban the word “should” from your mind as you read this. What I hope you get from this timeline is an idea of how healing comes in slowly, even as you’re living. I want you to find comfort in the fact that it’s okay to still struggle after X amount of time has passed. My wish is that you don’t feel alone and that you have faith that you will be healed one day.

Read the rest of this post here —->>>

Parents – how they get it right, and how they get it so very wrong …..

I have always been critical over my parents and their ability to parent.

I have written some scathing blog posts in the past.

At the time, that was how I felt.

This blog is where I put my thoughts, my ramblings and sometimes my emotional spews.

I know I can go back and delete, block or amend the many blog posts that I do not necessarily agree with anymore. Or the ones that I do not feel the same about at the moment … I could.  I prefer not to.

One of the things I like about blogging, is that it gives me the luxury to go back and read my thoughts.  To see how I felt about something.  And compare that to how I think and feel about something now.

To recapture my emotions in a slice of time.  To see my view point then.  And compare it to now.  That is a rare gift, and blogging allows that.

My parents should never have married.  If they did not have sex, that would actually have been great too.

Then there would have been no pregnancy, and  no p (more…)

Friends with benefits …. and friends with wisdom …..

 

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{The blogger topic for day 10: is The best advice I ever received/ heard …. I may well be behind a day or so….}

Throughout this year I have been blessed to know that I have friends who stand by me.

Offer me support, allow me to sleep on their couch, and who keep me focused on the things that are good, and ways to keep me happy.  Sometimes they just supply good wine, and a ear to listen, and that is often enough to make everything all better.

Divorce, no matter how well it is managed, is still a pretty kak process to go through.

No matter how much the two of you try to appear adult, and to deal with each other in a respectful manner, you can’t help feeling that your life is in a state of free fall.  You are trying to desperately grab onto tufts of grass as you slide down the slipper cliff face into who knows what.

I have tried my utmost to be upbeat, and brave and not lose my sense of humour.  I tell everyone I am fine, and I seem to be coping.  Some days I am a bit side swiped and I struggle to get my head around where things have brought me, and I am petrified of what the future offers.

I do try my utmost not to wallow in my pity, shame, sadness and embarrassment.  I am embarrassed that I could not make this relationship work.  That I failed, and that my failure is so public.

I know in time I will have a different outlook.   I do feel a fair degree of shame, embarrassment and a sense of failure that I could not make this relationship work, and retain Kennith as my partner.

He divorced me, this was not a mutual decision, so I have been divorced from.  I know it is just semantics, but it does not soften the fact that I was rejected.  I was left.

Possibly for something better, possibly for nothing, possibly for the possibility of something better.  Or what ever else.

It still hurts.   It goes right to the core of my psyche, that I am not good enough.

Back to my good friends — I have had friends who have remained in my corner, who have let me vent, who have offered me their couches to sleep on, and who have sent me messages of support, given me hugs, and just been there for me.

No judgement.  Allowing me to speak, offering guidance and support and not insisting I take their advise.

The one piece of advise I think of on a regular basis  was given to me by Karen and it rings true for most things:  “If everyone could put their shit in a brown paper bag, and throw it up in the air, everyone would rather catch their own shit, than have to catch someone else’s.”

I am ad-libbing there, but the gist is that your shit is your shit.

It is easier than having to deal with anyone else’s shit.  And when you really sit down with someone you realise that they have far more in quantity and in complicated-shit than you could ever imagine.  So rather hold onto your shit bag, and keep it as your own — everyone else’s shit is going to smell worse, and probably make you gag.

That piece of advise, or that sentiment has sat with me for some time.

I often want to pull on a hessian bag and push charcoal through my hair and weep at the state of my life, but I think of the bags of shit and I am thankful that my shit is actually not that bad in comparison to others.

In no way am I minimizing my pain, or my experience, but I am owning my shit.  At least my shit is familiar.

 

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I am also a fan of the old adage: “don’t shit where you eat!!”  Wise words those.

 

 

 

 

 

Puts hand up and waves …..

I really have been unable to blog as of late.

There is just too much going on in my head to find the one thread of sense to put a blog post together.

Instead I have been journalling like a mad woman.  Furious writing.  Thoughts.  Emotional vomiting.  Stuff and things.  Just trying to work it all through in my head.

It is more doodling with letters than actual journaling, but my crazed notes are everywhere.  Random thoughts.

The post before last was a bit hectic – and I was really at what could easily be described as the lowest most painful place I have been to in quite some time.

I had my own concerns that I would not survive that day.  That week.

I am still feeling a bit shaky, and a bit uncertain.

I get up every day, go to work, attempt at being productive and try to be sociable as much as I can.  I try to give the impression that I am keeping my shit together — most days.

There are other days when I am feeling like I have got it together, and that I am better than okay.  That I might be alright.

But those are only on some days.

I have decided to return to cognitive behaviour therapist I saw about two years ago.

As much as I love the therapy that has you lying on the couch talking about about my mother and having the other person go “uuuhhhmmm” and “yes, I hear you” and “and how did that make you feel?” I got so much benefit from working with Dr J previously.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is such a powerful tool.

It has helped me immensely in the past, to try to move out of “catastrophe thinking” – it’s the thinking that no matter what happens or occurs, you start to think the worst is going to happen, and plan accordingly.

Great for the end of the world, not so much for every day thinking.

I have found that I tend to ruminate with something negative.

It runs through my head over and over again.  I relive the situation in every detail, over and over again.  Then I beat myself up about it over and over again.

CBT definitely gives me the tools to realise that my thinking (in some instances) is faulty and gives me the method of how to change that thought process.

By changing the way I think or process information, changes the way I feel about something, and has a natural knock on to change the way I behave and and and ….. I am simplifying it, but you sort of get the idea.

Not quite “think you are happy and then you are happy” stuff – but it helps me to crawl out of the constant negative and bad feelings that often overcome me.

Kennith and I have worked through all the details that are “the divorce” and at this stage paperwork gets sent to a lawyer who prepares them and as we have finalised and agreed on the details, it means that it goes through as an “uncontested divorce” – so that should not require too much energy.  And blood.  And tears.

This is me telling you I am alive.  I am okay.

I may not be 100% okay, but I am a little bit okay.

I have faith that I will heal.  I will be more than okay one day – and each day I feel a bit stronger, and I can glimpses of the me who I will be.

Long road still to travel — no doubt there will be a few rolls back down the hill, but there we go.  Moving forward.  Baby steps.

 

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Facebook Relationship Status married to …. actually that is no longer relevant

I really have not blogged a great deal about the process of divorce.

This process we are going through.

I keep looking at my Facebook relationship status and it says “married” and then I think, no that is not what we are.

Is it complicated or are we separated ….or should I just leave it until we are divorced, and then I only have to push one button.

It is not the time it takes to press the one button, it is just that it again adds “a time stamp” to this process.

It is just another marker on this shit route.  This festival of fucked-up-ness.  I am sure that isn’t a word, but today I really am not giving two flamingos.

Looking at “married” on Facebook somehow disturbs me.   It really does.  I think we aren’t actually – we are in the “between place” — that place of nearly and not at all.

We are no longer married.  Sure we are going through the process so we can get an official document that tells us we aren’t.  But that is just waiting for a sheet of paper?

In my head, and my heart, we are no longer married.  The 20 December 2013 was a defining date in my world.  When things shifted.  A great deal.

In some ways good, in some ways not so good.  I really have tried to constantly keep my eye fixed on the silver lining …. and anyone who knows me will tell you that that is decidedly not my normal style.

I have moved through the various processes of grief a lot faster than I thought I would be able to.  No doubt it is more of a circle of grief, and I will have to go over a few of the ones I breezed over before.

I have been stoic and accepting, and have rolled with this process like a fucking trooper I have.  If there is a shirt for being “accepting and adult” then shits bells I need to get it.

We are no longer married.  We have both stopped wearing our wedding rings.

He did first, and that really hurt me.  It really distressed me.  I know it is silly, but it really distressed me.  I kept thinking “put your freaking ring on …… do it” and then he didn’t.

I kept wearing mine.  Maybe it was whilst I thought that things were not going to go the way I was being told they were going to go.

Then one morning I realised that I can’t actually wear it anymore.  And I took it off.

On that day I told three people we were going through a divorce.  And then three more.  I do not feel married anymore.

No matter how long this process is or how long that piece of paper takes to come through, it is over.  We are no longer married.

This is just the details of that process.

The upcoming m&f (mediation and facilitation) meeting has got me feeling anxious and terrified.  I feel like I am going to be stepping into a room that I am ill prepared to face, and I am terrified of going there.  I know it is a process and we will all sit there like grown ups, but I am not sure I am quite ready to be that grown up, not today.

Every part of me is screaming to postpone to just give myself a few more days to get my head into the right place.

I have asked to postpone it.

I do realise that pushing out and rescheduling something that is horrible and frightening, is not the best way to deal with a heightened anxiety issue.

Anxiety is a bitch, and she crawls in and whispers.

Eventually you can’t actually remember what the problem was because she has created an entirely different set of issues, fueled by anxiety and your mind winding out of control.

So that is how I am feeling today.  Riding that Anxiety Bitch into the sunset as I drink a large glass of wine and listen to Eminem (yep, that tells you something about my mind set right now)

I do want this divorce over with.

I want to click my heels three times like Dorothy and I want it all to be done.  And dusted.

I just do not want to go through the process as we divvy up our lives — it is now down to a spreadsheet, costs, and who should pay and how much ……. cheese and rice how the hell did we get here?

It doesn’t really matter anymore.  We are here.

And no we are no longer married.  But why am I so reluctant to click that stooopid button on Facebook?  But that bitch is getting clicked tomorrow.  Not today, I am just going to stare at it a bit more and sip my wine and listen to Slim Shady.

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How are you doing? {said as someone leans in close with sincerity}

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I am asked several times a day “how are you doing?” — and the person is really wanting to know “how are you coping with this divorce?  how are you getting through your day?  have you cried much today?  how are you doing when everyone is asking you how you are doing?”

Well that is what I hear.

The answer is that I am doing better than I thought I would be.

I am not fine, everything is not great, but I seem to be okay.

I have moved through the various steps of grief with alarming speed.   I realise this may mean I will need return to one of the steps that I have progressed through too quickly at a later stage.  Really “unpack my feelings” or “really be honest with myself” about how I actually feel.  Or what I think, or what ever.

I know that, or I suspect that.  But I can deal with that later.  Then when I need to.

Nothing in this process is great.  Nothing in this process makes me smile or gives me joy.

I find myself running out of steam a bit each day – and feeling an overwhelming urge just to lie down and take a really long sleep. And when I wake up, it will all be over.  Done and dusted.   I will not have to face all the details and stuff of a life being pulled apart one strand at a time.

Most of me does not want to be here.  I just want it to be over, done.  I want to wake up on the other side of this.

Kennith and I are working through a divorce facilitator and  mediator.  Together we sit with them for 2 hour sessions.  In these sessions we finalise our lives together.  And apart. Decide and try to agree on how we will move forward.  Apart.  Separated legally.

We are forever connected, forever joined, forever part, but we are facing this so that we can be a part, no longer together, no longer joined.

It is clean and neat.  There is far less crockery being thrown than I would imagine are associated with most “marriages that end….”

There are a lot of spreadsheets, and lists, and agreeing and giving in when you realise it is not worth the fight, and to try to keep the process amicable.  And moving forward.

I think no matter how mature a couple is, someone is going to end up arguing about the carpet.

It is not about the carpet.  It never is.  It is the carpet that will make you cry, and swear and curse.  If your partner leaves with the carpet even though you have agreed they can have the carpet, then you will feel like you have died —- and you are really just trying to live and survive the day.

I think the one redeeming thing in this process — and to be honest I am finding it hard to notice this as a redeeming factor, so bear with me as I go off on a bit of a tangent  — I am not trapped in the “what if?” in the breakdown of this relationship.

Nothing in me is going “what if we got back together? what if he changes his mind?  what if he realises that this has all been a massive bad decision?  what if he realises that I am what he needs? what if? what if? what if? what the fuck if?”

I know that Kennith is not going to retract what he has said and done.  He is resolute on this path.

It is not easy for him, but he did not go into this lightly.  This is what he wants, and he is not going to appear on my doorstep, hat in hand asking me for forgiveness because he has changed his mind.

There is no “what if” scenario here.

He has made that abundantly clear.  I have asked him to change his mind, to reconsider, to not do this — I did in the first month when I was trying to really understand that THIS, THIS was actually happening.

Nothing I could say or do was going to change the course of this action.  The outcome.

I could choose to fight it — but I realised that fighting it would not change the outcome.

It would just make it harder for everyone, and me and my kids.  I can’t be {more} broken in this process.  I still need to get up every morning, face my day and be the support to my kids that they need because their lives are on their heads – no matter how much of a shocker of a day I have had, I need to give a semblance of sanity and “wearing my big girl panties.”

My “lose my shit” time is after 20h30 — kids are asleep, I am alone and if I want, I can go monkey then.

This way I know that if I need to have a total loss of sanity, I can diarise it for after 20h30.  Inevitably at that point, I am content to sit on the couch, drink my wine, eat some olives and let the feelings wash over me.  Sometimes crash over me.

As painful as it was to grasp that “he is not going to change his mind” is that it have given me certainty to hold on to.

It has given me the insight to not have to dwell on the “what if?” and the fantasy of waking up tomorrow, with my husband back and my family not broken anymore.

Not to set my course of action by a bobbing forever moving, and unrealistic mirage on the ocean.

I have only fixed details to work with.  It has kept the voices in my head free from arguing with me about the “what if” component.

Not being stuck in that repeat cycle of “what if?” has been a real gift.

It is a strange gift – but it is a gift, because all my energy is focused on moving ahead.

Looking up and forward.  Not looking back and hoping, dreaming, pining, fantasizing.

Looking up and forward. Not always with a happy countenance, often with red swollen eyelids, and a rather haggard expression, but I only have to look one way.

Looking up and forward.  I do not need to spend the scarce energy resources I have looking back and wishing, dreaming and wondering “what if” …

Does that sound as insane to you as it does to me?

The one about the Clinical Psychologist …..

We have received such great advise from the Clinical Psychologist who is acting as a mediator and facilitator and that is in short — and really not verbatim was – “kids are kids, and kids are moody, and things happen — do not assume every time your child does something wrong, or does badly at school or misbehaves that it is because you are going through a divorce.  Kids will continue being kids, and things will happen.  Treat them the same.”

That alone is almost worth the gazillion rand owed on the statement she emailed through earlier.

I think the knee-jerk reaction is that every time one of my kids throws a wobbly, Connor is upset, the kids fight at the dinner table, the kids slam a door, or they ignore me to go “aaawwww shame, it is because we are going through a divorce” – then I experience the guilt, the {sigh} of resignation that I am breaking my kids, and start to think whether they should start therapy soon.

The reason that kids throws wobbly, Connor is upset, the kids fight at the dinner table, the kids slam a door, or they ignore me is that they are kids, and this is what kids do.

Divorce or not.

I think the Clinical Psychologist was trying to tell us in better phrased words to just “calm the fuck down when it comes to your kids and this process of kids growing up – don’t overreact.”

Sane words.

She did not actually say “calm the fuck down” but that was sort of what she indicated my the tilt of her head and the knowing look in her eyes.

Connor has been a bit more “sensitive,” Georgia has been a bit more “weird” and Isabelle has learnt the value of a really good thrombie throwing which includes doors being slammed.

At this juncture I wish to remind you that Isabelle is 4 – and that I will be blogging soon about her being a problem teen – she is as strong willed as I would think endearing in other people’s children, but for me she is a handful — and she is only 4.  She beats the crap out of her siblings, she is always getting her own way, and she does not take being disciplined well.  I gave her one smack on her bum last night for lying, and she cried and screamed for about 30 minutes.  I had to keep reminding her that I actually only gave her one smack —- I think she thought I had ripped her leg off by the way she was acting.

I would have been quick to send them off to play therapy or some other therapy — but my guess is they would have been doing this even if we weren’t playing “breaking up a family.”

The best advise here is “carry on like normal” if we start treating our kids differently, they are going to act differently.

Otherwise, carry on as you were – have a good weekend, and all that stuff.

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This post has nothing to do with American Hustle … nothing at all

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err … it is not okay, but I like the quote, so there we go – I could have photoshopped it, but I really just could not be arsed right now.

I have realised that in this process I am emotionally removed.

I am so busy ticking of blocks in my head, worrying about the “who, where and how” that I have parked any emotional reaction to what is clearly a cluster f*ck of note.

I have had two total snot cries, but the rest of the time I have kept a “chin up” and a “you just gotta move through it” attitude, which is great.  Yep, pretty great.

I know that the tsunami of “what the hell happened” is going to hit me.  Soon.

The part I fear that when it hits, it will be the storm of 2011 – and I do not have the resources to deal with another one of those sucker punches.  I can well work out my abilities, and facing that sort of “down” is just not possible.

I can’t face that climb up out of the quagmire.  The sticky grabbing mud that suffocates you.  It is too difficult.  It requires more energy than I have right now.

I met with new head doctor yesterday – it was hardly a match made in heaven, but I really have no interest in trying to shop around.  I will give him three sessions and take it from there.  He indicated that my rather fun sides effects were clearly more anxiety driven than depression driven.

Yay – I love doing multiple choice questions.

For all the stuff I say about depression – he has managed to be on the fringes and has not really come to play in some time.  He has sent his dark side kick anxiety and stress which makes for interesting days.  And nights.

Super villains without capes.  And often less appealing personalities than you would expect.

Kennith and I are using “mediation and facilitation” which I strongly recommend to anyone who wishes to end a marriage.  Cheaper than lawyers, and if you find the right m&f team, you can aim to have your marriage done and dusted in about 5 visits.

Then the paperwork is sent to a lawyer person, who will present it at court and hey presto, it is all over.

Both of you can act like it never happened.  Unless you have kids, then well you are fucked either way.

I saw a pregnant woman at Pick ‘n Pay today and I felt an overriding urge to run up and warn her – but she looked so happy, and I figured I might appear someone unhinged holding my bag of apples, two bottles of wine and 2 liters of milk, that I decided to leave her alone.

I am sort of glad I never changed my signature.

I am sort of wondering if I should head back to home affairs and change my name back — but then my name is different from my kids, and that alone is a bit of a mind f*ck on all sorts of levels.

If someone asks me then I am “fine” … but the reality is that I am anxious, over wrought, stressed and about a flick away from going off my head.

The kids seem fine.

The dogs do not seem to be bothered.

I however appear not to be fully cogniscent of what is happening, and that is where I worry.

On the other hand Darren, I saw American Hustle earlier this week – fantastic movie!!!! Nothing I did not love in that movie.

Kennith moved out today ….

donotgoToday was easily one of the most difficult days of my life.

Kennith moved out today.

Tomorrow will be the first day that I wake up without him as part of my every day life, which has been a constant for nearly 20 years.

I realised today that I have not fully absorbed the “emotional” side of this process.

I have been so busy with the logistics.

How we will divvy up the house.

What happens with the children and what happens financially for the children that I have not really “sat” with the emotional fall out.

I am really good at ticking off the blocks, making lists, and ensuring that things get done in an organised efficient manner.

I am not always so good at dealing with the “emotional stuff” – I avoid it and defer it until it all hits me in one giant mother of a smack against the side of my head.

I have been so focused on the “details” that I have not had a chance to really take this process IN.

I have had two instances where I sobbed.  Where I cried like a lunatic.

The one I sat in my car and I cried with snot bubbles and that silent scream that you do when you are on the edge of insanity.

Then I stopped crying because I have shit to do, and stuff to get sorted.  I do not have the time to lie in a heap on the floor with a pack of Kleenex.

I have the odd tear, and sniffle, but I have not had a cry.

I chew it back.  I nod and say “I am fine” ….. I just do not have the time.  I am afraid and I barely have the energy to hold my shit together.

I am too afraid that if I start crying that I will not be able to stop.  Ever.

And then the world will come to an end.

I have an appointment tomorrow with a new psychologist.

I think it is time to meet a new man.  Sit on the couch and have a good all-fall-down.  Then pay him as I leave for listening to my problems.  Sounds almost like a date, just no possibility of a split bill.

I “feel” like I am “okay” but I have learnt a long time ago that actually that I am pretty awesome at constructing and maintaining facades of sanity.  If you need someone who puts a “chin up” on anything, please contact me – I have it so taped, I could give classes.

I realise I need to get a good psychologist in my corner — because at some point this is all going to crack.  Going to break.

And then all the king’s horses and men will not be able to put this Humpty Dumpty together again.

Today is not a fun day.

My guess is that tomorrow is not going to be any better.

I wanted to say “any fucking better” but then I decided I should really try to stop saying “fuck” “fucking” or “for fuck sake” so fucking much.  Then I decided, well fuck that.

What screws us up most in life …..

A day does not go by where I do not think about a blog post.

I  run the idea of what I want to post about, or more importantly what is running around inside my head and think of the words I will use to get it out.

Then I sit and stare at the screen.

Right now I need blogging — it is my life raft in what appears to be a rather chaotic ocean.

The default thought that overpowers my thinking is “divorce.”  I do apologise as this is going to be a recurring theme of this blog moving forward.  I can’t tell you when I will stop bleating about it.

If you can’t bear to watch, then please click away.

Kennith was hoping we could discuss the details about us parting company like adults and be amicable about the entire thing.  My guess is a spreadsheet and the possibility of a pie chart of some sort would be what moved across the table.

I realised that  is just not going to be possible.  Even with the best hope in the world.

And I love a pretty graph or pie chart.

The problem with a partner of 20 years who asks you for divorce, is that you are thrown into a situation where the person who was your best mate, your partner through it all, the person who was always looking out for you, is no longer THE person who is looking out for you.

Their agenda, their focus has shifted.  It has to.  We are both trying to survive this and get to the other side with as little damage as possible to ourselves and our children.  Kennith’s desire to cut his ties with me, does not mean that he is reaffirming his need to remain connected to me forever.

He is looking at ways that we can be independent of each other – and that unfortunately flies in the face of  what is good for me, or in my best interests.

“Divorce” or “being divorced from” has become a constant in my day – a feeling of rejection, of concern for my welfare, worry whether my children are going to be okay, worrying where we will live, what form our lives will take from here on in and and and …

There is an overriding sense bit of humiliation because I could not make this work. I failed.

This is not what I had planned and FUCK YOU UNIVERSE!! THE UNIVERSE IT APPEARS DOES GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN ACTUALLY DEAL WITH.

I wake up and it is the first thought that rolls through my head, and the last thought as Morpheus takes me away somewhere quiet.

Sitting across a table with Kennith and working out how the next few years of our lives will pan out is not something I think he is the best qualified to decide on. Admittedly I lost my voice a long time ago in this relationship.  So maybe I might not be the best person to make the BIG decisions either.

I don’t think Kennith is a bad person, or a person who plans badly.

Nope, I think he is jolly good at looking at something logically and divvying up a home and making plans in a very logical and calculating manner.

The problem is that nothing in this process is logical.  It requires me to negotiate with someone who is no longer my ally, and who emotionally is just not on the same page as me.

He is not the person I can trust in my darkest hour.  He is not the guy I can run to when I have had a scary day.  He is the guy who asked to leave the island.

I know he says he will look out for me and the kids, and you know I believe he believes that he will.  I do.  I believe he believes that.

But he has not been through this divorce.

I have had a little over 60 days to absorb : a divorce, my partner who I have lived with for nearly 20 years will no longer be living with me.  Every plan, every goal I have needs to be revised.  Every way I saw 2014 going will no longer be heading in the direction I thought it would.  Every solitary aspect of my children’s lives with be altered, revised, and changed and possibly change again.

Everything I know being broken down in some way.  I am feeling under constant threat.

Someone asked me last week what is the thing I fear the most about getting divorced and I said “being more broken ….. making my kids broken people…” and then I cried so many snot bubbles I could not finish my thought or the sentence.  I needed to move along as people were staring at me in the fruit and vegetable aisle at Pick ‘n Pay.

I cannot and will not get into a discussion with Kennith about how we should decide our lives from this point on wards.

I cannot afford a divorce lawyer.

I have asked Kennith that we use a mediator and facilitator, who was recommended to me.  He met with her and has agreed that we will work through her.

I am not suggesting that mediation will be pretty and lovely and have rainbows shooting out of unicorns, but it seems like the best option right now.

Next hurdle – Kennith moves out at the end of the month.

How the fuck did we get here so quickly?

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Please note : I appreciate that this process is one that Kennith and I are both going through.  Please be gentle and careful with your comments.  I am not painting Kennith as the villain and me as the superhero.  

I think we will have different hats to wear throughout this relationship – and some days we will be the dog’s bullocks and some days the shit on the sheep’s arse.  No doubt we will take turns with who gets to wear the white hat.

What I share here is “public knowledge” to a large degree, and I would also appreciate it if you would be as kind and as gentle as possible.

I need this blog as “my place” – I have thought about having a private blog, but that is just not the way I can do things — and all of these things are part of who I am and how I got here, or where I will be going.  I need this blog right now.

I am not talking on behalf of Kennith  – this is my blog and this is about how I feel on a particular day.  I reserve the right to be selfish with my feelings and to write about what concerns me most – my perception may be blurred by the fact that I see things from my own perspective.

 Nothing here is in Kennith’s words – and he is free to disagree with me on all and everything.  He is quite entitled to those thoughts.  This blog is written for me, by me and about me.  Kennith gets to tell his own story, when and how he pleases.

Please play nicely on this blog – no shit talk, no slandering and no being a dick.  Please, I really do not have the energy for trolls rights now.