Tuesday, October 26, 2010


That's what I am. That's all I am. The high that I was on from the thrill of changing my life for the better has worn off. Now I'm just being pulled under by the endlessness of the legalities and the stress and the seemingly bottomless anger and bitterness we have towards each other, that seems to be growing every day.

Does divorce always have to be like this? I feel like there must be couples out there who decide to end things and carry it out in a civil manner. Maybe it has to be more of a mutual decision in order for that to happen...

All I know is that I'm completely wiped out. We can't even hold a semi-normal conversation without our counselor present. It's like he's finally realized that it's truly over and has stopped asking me to reconsider, to give us a chance... and now the gloves are off. And boy, it really sucks when the gloves come off with someone who knows you this well. They know just how to really piss you off and screw you over.

It's so exhausting to not only deal with the pressures of my final year of school, taking care of my daughter alone, and the financial stress of raising her without an income other than my student loans... but also emotionally to try to find some way of handling the death of this relationship that was supposed to be forever. Most of the time, I try not to stop and think about any of it, because if I do, I start to fall apart... but I can't do that forever. At some point I am going to have to turn around and face the fact that my life has pretty much exploded in my face. I have my own therapist (separate from our couples counselor) to help me through it, but it's so hard to make it work with my schedule when I have patients until 5pm and then I have to get to daycare.

On the days I can push it to the side and focus on what matters and the light at the end of the tunnel, I am happy. Other days, like today, I am huddled in the corner of the library with my headphones on, trying not to cry. I don't know what I've done/ Or if I like what I've begun/ But something told me to run/ And honey you know me it's all or none...

So much pressure from all directions, I feel like I am going to crack... why can't we just both agree that we weren't right for each other and walk away from this, relatively unscathed? I wonder if it ever works out that way. I kind of doubt that it does. I am starting to think that getting divorced is the only way to truly get to know the person that you married.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Caroline and I kept our apartment when Tyler moved out. It has its positives-- we didn't have to move, we are both used to living here, and her daycare is right across the street. But I didn't feel like I could keep living in a space that represented our old life because it made me feel sad and uneasy all the time. Plus, some of our furniture went with Tyler, of course. So I changed things up. Made things brighter and bolder. It's a fresh start. Not anywhere near finished, and I still have lots of blank walls, but... it's a beginning.

Here's the living room couch. I got it from IKEA and put it together, all by myself! Our living room used to be a bunch of blah browns, so I love the bright blue.

Our bedroom used to be blue with like a country quilt on the bed, but I re-did it in bright red. Which you can't really see at all in this picture and it also looks like the reds don't match each other, and in general it just looks kind of horrible. But I promise they do match when there isn't two different types of light, and it looks good in person. There, now you're convinced.

I've spent an awful lot of time at IKEA lately, replacing things Tyler took with him and getting new stuff to redecorate. It is kind of a depressing place to go when you are dealing with a situation like this. There are all these cute little families buying baby stuff and couples moving in together and being all affectionate and making out and stuff in the checkout lines and vom. I try to just charge through with my cart and pick up what I need and book it outta there.

There is also the problem of how to decorate when I have literally no money to spare. But I needed to redecorate in some way for my own mental health, so I have resorted to using lots of mirrors. IKEA has lots of them for cheap, and they help open up the place, which is dark and small. At first it kind of bothered me to be seeing my reflection everywhere I turned.

But now I kind of like it. Like I said, it's open. And I'd rather have mirrors than mass-produced art that you find stacked in an IKEA bin. We used to have our walls filled with paintings and art from different places we'd visited, but a lot of that went with Tyler, so I guess I'm just going to have to take some trips to fill up my walls again!

Besides, my new life is going to be one that actually includes me and what I want. Rather than centering around what I can do for everyone else while I just sort of fade into the background. So the mirrors are kind of fitting.

I like our "new" place. It's not our forever home, of course. But it will do for now. For the first time in my life, I have a place that's just mine. And it turns out that that's a pretty good feeling.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Justifications, rationalizations

It's funny how strongly my own feelings about my divorce are affected by other people. I think that if I were living in some kind of social vacuum where there was no one else to influence me about it, I would be in a pretty constant state of calmness and peace that I am finally making the changes in my life that I've wanted to make for a long time. But really it's hard to say how I would feel, because everyone and their dog has an opinion about it and no one can possibly hold it back, not even a little bit, not even to my face.

I should back up a little and explain what I mean, because from the people I am close to, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. No judgment, not even from those who don't know the entire story. My friends are truly amazing and supportive, and I love them completely.

But what makes me feel the worst is when people guilt me about Caroline. Believe me, I am fully, completely, soul-crushingly aware that I am splitting up our family, and I know what that means for her future. I don't need anyone to remind me of that. It haunts me. It kills me. I wake up during the night and lie awake for hours, completely overwhelmed with guilt.

So here I go again, with my explanations, justifications, rationalizations... not for them. For me. Because I can't forget why I'm doing this, and it keeps my spirits up, and keeps me going when things get tough or when I face more judgment and disapproval and guilt.

I was unhappy. Miserable, in fact. Not just a matter of looking at your life and asking, is this as happy as I can possibly be... what if there's something more out there? But a matter of, I just cannot continue with this, I cannot keep going, I know that this is not forever and if it is, then I just don't want to keep living. Should I have kept suffocating under the weight of a promise I made when I was too young to really know what I wanted from my life? Just for the sake of not backing down?

Once the decision was made, I felt relieved, free, alive. I had doubts, sure... I still do have doubts. But I felt like I could not just close my eyes and go back to sleep. Could not slip back under the surface and pretend that I had never come up for air. If I had done it, if I had gone back just for the sake of not hurting feelings and keeping the peace, every minute would have been a lie and I just. could. not. do it. Life is too short, and you only get one shot at it. I'm not going to waste my time-- and his-- with something that I know in my bones is not enough.

But people can call me selfish. They can call me whatever they want. It hurts, sure. But it doesn't hurt as much as staying in an unfulfilling marriage would have, over the long run. For me, for her, or for him. It wasn't a good situation for any of us, and I'm proud to have the courage to say so.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Things are looking up

I feel good these days. Maybe it's too early to be feeling good, but I can't deny it and I don't really want to.

I've been keeping (very) busy, trying to focus on being productive at school, caring for Caroline, and re-decorating my apartment. The evenings are when I feel the most lonely and sad, after Caroline goes to bed, but I have more than enough to do to keep me distracted. I put her down around 7, clean up the kitchen and pick up all her toys, do a load of laundry, get food ready for both of us for the next day, pack her daycare bag, prep food for the next day's dinner, and take a shower. By the time I'm done with all that, it's usually about 9 and I study if I need to, or just watch TV, read, or play on the internet and go to bed around 11. We both get up around 7 and we're out the door with all our stuff to get to daycare by 8.

I'm not going to pretend that it's all easy and fun, being a single mom in dental school. But it's pretty manageable as long as you have a plan and a system. When I have an exam or if she's sick or teething, things start to fall apart a little bit, but I can generally handle it. Tyler wasn't here this summer and had taken a lot of trips before that, so it's not really anything new... just more official. And once he gets things set up for her at his place, he's going to have her every other weekend, so I will have some time to myself to go out with friends, sleep in, or whatever.

Anyway, I've been feeling good. I was reorganizing my bedroom closet last night (the empty half had been getting to me a little bit) while listening to music and I just felt... strangely happy. I've wanted a different life for much longer than I have admitted it to myself. And now I am getting it, and it feels really good. I feel like I shouldn't feel content like this, that it's too soon. But I do, I feel satisfied with what I have and hopeful and excited for the future that I know is eventually coming.

People judge me for what I've done here. I knew that they would and I know that they do. But that's okay. I refuse to live my life the way I was half-living it. I can't wake up every day wishing I was somewhere else. My husband didn't deserve that either. This process is hard and it's awful but it will end with a better life for all of us. Someone said in my comments last week that it's better to be from a broken home than living in one. And isn't that the truth.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Tyler moved out tonight.

I'm sitting here on my empty living room floor, shaking a little bit. Tonight is hard. Better times are coming, but tonight is really hard.

Things have gotten messier recently. I don't want to discuss it on the internet, really, but I guess I should have known these things can't stay too uncomplicated. I am taking his child, basically. He's losing his baby because I was unhappy. I was naive to think he wouldn't fight back and get angry.

This was my decision. So why am I so incredibly, indescribably sad? I mean, I guess it's the little things that aren't really so little. Like the lack of furniture in my living room. It feels so empty. The pictures missing from the walls. The fact that only half my dishes are sitting in my kitchen cabinets. And then it's the big things that are really, really big. Like the fact that I promised to love him and be with him forever and I'm breaking that promise, like the fact that marriage is supposed to be for better or worse and I'm cutting and running, like the fact that we have a child and I am taking her from her father because I was just too unhappy to keep pretending. Part of me hates myself for doing this, he definitely hates me for doing this, and I wonder if she will hate me one day too.

But I can't... I can't just let it slide. I can't go back. I can't fake it, or just push through, or ignore the fact that I was just as lonely when he was home as I was when he was away. I can't live that life anymore. Not for anyone. I'd be doing everyone more harm than good. And the subject of divorce would continue to come up over and over until this same exact thing happened, so I might as well get on with it while she is too young to remember the fights and the yelling and the bitterness and the boxes of books and sheets and cookware... and the empty living room...

I know I'm doing the right thing. But sitting here on the floor of this empty room, my doubts creep in and that's why I'm shaking a little. I should call someone to come over. I have plenty of friends who would. But right now I guess I just feel like being alone. In this empty room.