What did you get for Xmas? I got a divorce. You?

{I have changed the settings, so you will need to click through to the site to read the full post …… }

Kennith asked/made it clear that he wanted a divorce.

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On 20 December 2013.

I thought we were talking about the fact that I had got a dog (Parker, the French Bulldog}, and not really taken his thoughts regarding a new dog into consideration – and had gone ahead and got a dog.  That is actually what I thought the issue was about.

It appears I was mistaken.

This is Parker, this is not what the disagreement was about.  This is not what we are getting divorced over.

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It was an evening that proved I was far off the gist of the conversation.

It also proved I had absolutely zero SPIDEY senses.  None it seems.

I did not see it coming.  At all.  No idea.  I still had not grasped we were talking about divorce until about 30% into the conversation – I kept thinking well this is about Parker.

Talk about a slow learner.

You know when you brain is going “kehhhhhh ……” {said in the accent of the waiter from Fawlty Towers} and not quite getting what it is that you are actually talking about?

Just like that.

I really would like to say that I took it like a real trooper, but I would be lying.

I felt like a truck had side-swiped me.  I still do.  I have given up looking for the truck registration.  I have chosen to just lie on the road and go “aaaahhhhh fuck!” in the hope another truck will come along and just finish it off.

I walk into rooms and wonder what the hell I am doing there, because I had forgotten.  Brain = blank.

I cried the ugly cry.  When your mouth does that shape that it is not meant to, and you cry so hard that the tears actually can no longer get out because your eyes are scrunched so hard.

Just like that.

I went on to convince myself that I had somehow heard wrong and Kennith did not actually mean he wanted a divorce after 20 years of being together.

We had not had an argument.  There was no screaming “fuck you” down the passage.  As far as I knew no one had “stepped” outside the relationship.

Well I am convinced that is actually how it is.  I was being broken the news whilst I was thinking we were maybe arguing about something totally different.

Xmas day came and went.  We had a lovely day with his cousin, and I was exhausted by 14h00.  I felt there was this elephant in the room that I could not mention, and was screaming inside – every minute made me die a bit more.

I took the kids and headed out to my mom in Hermanus on the 26 December.  I tried to take the time to digest what was happening – and just to have some quiet time in my head.

My mom let me sleep late.  I could spend time just staring into the distance.  She just let me be.  Bless her cotton socks.

My brain still told the rest of me that I was sure that Kennith did not mean it. He was just having a moment.

I would get back and things would be okay.  Strained but okay.  I had convinced myself.

My mom kept asking “but why?………..” and I did not seem clear on why, so she kept looking at me like I had confused the shopping list, and just needed to really get a grip on things.  I just sat on the couch and sipped wine, and stared into the distance.

She let me.  And for that I will be forever grateful.

I realised that Kennith had not suggested divorce as a conversation starter.  He had told me we were getting a divorce.

He explained his reasons, and though I did not agree.  They were his reasons, and I need to respect them.  I guess that is why it is called a divorce, and not a pleasant picnic discussion at Kirstenbosch.

I returned from Hermanus and was sure that if I walked in with a certain swagger and confidence, then this entire “divorce” thing would disappear.

It seemed no amount of swagger would do the trick.

He moved to the spare room.  He took the large screen TV.  I was left wondering what the hang was happening.  Having to tell myself in no uncertain terms that THIS WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING – then have a bit more of an ugly cry into my pillow.

Divorce I was told was still the plan.

Then we started talking about child custody, and where we would live and all sorts of things that are without a doubt, what I would call a “fucking nightmare!”

My head is screaming.  I tried to look like it was all well within my grasp of things to absorb.

It wasn’t.  It isn’t.

This entire thing is an absolute nightmare.  NIGHT freaking MARE.

It seems however it plays out when I am awake, which is less than ideal.  When I sleep I dream of other things, so it is a nice getaway.

I am beyond the point where one goes “so how are you otherwise?” – I am a wreck.  There are no buts, there is no silver lining – I am fairly sure the time for unicorns and them farting rainbows is just about over.  This people is the time of hard decision, pain and anguish.

2014 is going to be a very challenging year. Winding a 20 year relationship down, has got to be challenging.

I don’t know, I have never done it before.  I am thinking that it must be “less than ideal” – my guess is it will be less then ideal. no matter how we much we set out not to “be ugly” to each other.

Translate hard as “what the fuck” – I just do not know how I will find the strength, the resources, and the mental and emotional power to make it through.

But one must.  Mustn’t one?  What are the choices?

Lots of difficult decisions to be made. Lots of anguish.  Lots of screaming. Lots of crying.  And lots of things that make me want to have a saline drip on wheelies with wine pumping in my veins 24/7.

But that might not present well to the lawyer when chatting about child custody.  So I may need to go and delete and few posts off this blog.

I will be the villain one day. Kennith can be the villain on other days.  And so it will go.

If we are lucky we can get to the other side without totally destroying our children, and maybe having a smidgen of respect for each other.

And a thin layer of sanity.  Granted zero bank balance, and my guess is a fairly low sense of self esteem.

I cannot do cliches.

I cannot do silver lining.

I cannot do “things will work out” … I just cannot.  If you tell me things aren’t over until …. oh, you know the rest, please please please try not to.

I know you think they will make me feel better, but the only thing that may make me feel better is if I was not having to go through a divorce in 2014.

Be there for my rants.  Be there for my silences.  Be there for my epic breakdowns and when I question sanity, and my place in the universe.  Just be there for me when I need bolstering and when I need a “quiet in my storm.”

It is all a bit of a cluster mind fuck right now.

Now you know.

Excuse me. whilst I have a long lie down.

Tune in again a bit later, normal broadcast will resume.

I wish that this was my sentiment – I really wish it was …… but maybe later …. or maybe never.

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How was your Xmas?  Did you get anything that surprised you as much?

{rules of engagement – it needs to be respected that both Kennith and I are going through this – I would really appreciate if there were no slandering comments, and just being a bit of a dick comments.  I am sure that both of us are to blame, in different ways, but at the end of the day we have three children, and though there might have been a decision on to be with one another, we need to respect that we are trying to do the best that we can.  And survive the day.  So, no shit talk!  ‘kay?}

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What if we treated every illness the way that we treat mental illness?

I saw this graphic yesterday, and it struck a chord with me.

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I have regularly been battling my own demons, and some days I manage it better than others.

Depression and it’s related posse – which are usually socially phobia, general anxiety disorder, alcoholism, or some sort of substance abuse – is not an illness that ever really goes away.

You get given a respite, a few days grace, but then the bitch is back and you get to start the cycle from the beginning.

I do understand how exhausting this process must be for family members, loved ones, partners, parents, children and the sundry of others who love, like and have a relationship with someone “struggling with depression.”

I would imagine it is a bit like helping someone who has a broken leg.

It is all “fuck I am sorry, how can I help?” then you help them carry their books, shuffle to the toilet and back, make them some tea, and pretty much help out where every you can – at about the point when you think “yikes I am tired of this shit” .. then the person’s leg heals.

The cast gets removed and they are “on their feet and back in the swing of things.”

Then you go to the shop to buy milk and a loaf of bread, get back and the person has broken their leg again.  And you are like fuck that shit.

Repeat the loop 3 – 6 times a year, and in the end, everyone is about as sick as crap with you and your stupid broken leg, and really just wishes you would stop breaking that shit.  What is wrong with you for goodness sake.

It is starting to look a bit reckless, and that you might actually enjoy wearing a plaster of paris cast, and not being able to function.

Swap broken leg out with depression and you can sort of see how everyone gets exhausted with you being exhausted.

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Depression is a cruel illness. It strips you of your ability to care or relate to anything around you.

It fills your mind with emptiness – and it’s all you can do to blink without giving up.

I have noticed that with each cycle there is an element of “darkness”that gets blacker and more dense in my mind.  An unwillingness, or an inability to face it again – the constant gnawing cycle of self loathing, self doubt, pain and well …. bleakness.

I think I have got better, as I have got older, at being able to soldier on through the “bad patches” to where few people do not even notice that I am in a bit of a low space .

The reality is the cycles are cycles – they keep on coming and as soon as this one is done you start sensing the new wave building, and you are never sure if this will be the wave that crashes on the beach, or tears through the country like a tsunami.

The ebbs gets lower and lower, and then “the big one” arrives that makes me doubt who I am, my worth, my sense of self, and more importantly by ability to put one foot in front of the other.

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I posted this originally on the 10 January 2012

That creeping sensation that things are not quite as they should be.

The whispers of self-doubt.

The gnawing sensation that everyone is plotting against me.

The hiss that people are talking about me.  Incessantly.  Always in the negative.

The worry that I am doing something wrong.  Everything wrong.  About to be “caught out” for doing something wrong I have not even done.  At all.  Ever.

The sounds of whispers and innuendos and recrimination.

Small sounds reverberate in my eardrums as echos.  My children’s chewing that sounds like the brass frkn band going off tune next to me.

The mental arguing and cross-questioning and “should I” or “what if…” and “maybe you need to go and fix that….”

Unfortunately it has all started again.  It was so lovely when it was gone.  It was so lovely.

And it is back – the swishing tail of my black dog against my legs.

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Voting close at midnight on the 15 December 2013, and then the fat lady has sung.

It’s not really for a good cause, there are really no prizes, just bragging rights and a shiny badge.

And then everyone goes home.

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