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?

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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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