Jesus. 8 months. So much has happened in 8 months.
Future posts won’t be so long. I hate long posts.
May 5, 2017. My husband moved out of my house and into the house of a woman who has occupied far too much of my brain space over the past several years. A co-worker and old friend of his. I had previously found sexy texts from her, extensive phone logs, found him at her house, but because of my keen ability to compartmentalize and store events and facts, I let it persist with the occasional objection and denial. Another vicious cycle. But he did it. He left, making it our 3rd break-up for the year. I was numb but vindicated. A couple of weeks previously I had caught him going on a date with she-who-shall-not-be-named and I was pretty over it by then. He says it was because I told him that I wasn’t going to change which I don’t remember saying, but in the midst of an ADD diagnosis, psych meds, recent food allergy diagnosis, trying to run and possibly sell my business and be a mom, who knows what the hell I said.
5 days after my husband moved out, I received a message from an old friend of 22 years. Someone who I knew liked me and who I might have dated if our stars had ever aligned. He wanted to invite me to dinner with his friends that Friday. I accepted and I showed up to dinner in Santa Fe on a night exactly one week after my husband left me. Dinner was great. His big group of friends were great. We had dinner and then all met at a bar for a drink. I didn’t drink because I had a long ride home. When it was time to go, he grabbed my hand as we walked out of the bar and all the way to his truck. He held my hand the whole way as he drove me back to my car. It made me forget about my problems for a split second. When we got to my car we hugged for what seemed like forever and then he finally pulled away and kissed me. The kind where he holds your face and like there’s no one else in the world. I drove back home that night stunned by what had just happened, relieved at the lightness I felt after so many months of feeling the weight of my life.
The next 4 months were confusing to say the least. My old friend lived in a city an hour and a half away from me. I told myself it was a good thing so that I didn’t jump in too fast. We started exchanged trips back and forth and sending each other love-ish songs back and forth, building a virtual mixed tape. My husband had my kids for half the weekend, so it all seemed seamless and perfect. He had kids too, older. And they liked me, seemingly better than my husband’s kids ever had.
Then, less than a month in, my husband changed his mind. He decided that he made a mistake. He began trying to gain an audience with me so we could talk. Brought me flowers when he dropped the kids off. Sent me texts and emails of regret and I thought my mind would explode. Obviously, I never wanted my family split up. I was fully addicted to the break-up and make-up cycle that we had gotten into. My old friend never pushed for me to get divorced fast, but not wanting to be in limbo and always seeking to gain approval, I did. I bought my husband out of our company, hired a lawyer and fast tracked it until it was over. On July 31, 2017 my 13 year marriage was over. It seemed more like a non-event to everyone else, so I kept my ugly crying for private. Pushed all my name changes through to prove to the world that I was a strong independent woman.
The next couple of months were pretty great. I seemed to forget my pain most of the time. My ADD diagnosis fell by the wayside and I stopped doing anything to make it better. My business got largely ignored because of the distraction, but my staff was genuinely happy to see me doing so well that they didn’t care much. Our weekend trips eventually had the occasional overnight thrown in. I learned that I really did enjoy affection and being touched when I was feeling thoroughly accepted. We had little adventures, tons of laughs, lots of tequila. I tried my hardest to stay present and seemed to be constantly warning my friend of my shortcomings. He didn’t seem to be concerned and I relaxed into it feeling pretty confident that I had just survived a breakup better than anyone ever had.
Then in late September, without warning, without a single fight, it all came to an end. Without getting into unnecessary detail, my friend broke it off with me over a theological difference between the two of us that he could not live with. A difference that I had put WAY out in the open before things got serious. He told me that he had pushed part of him aside for the chance to be with me and later realized he couldn’t live with it. It was about more than my little brain and heart could handle.
After having hit a pause button on my pain for five months, it was suddenly all there and it was enormous. No husband, no lover, no distractions. Just me and my brain and my responsibilities that I had to re-gain and try to figure out what the fuck had just happened. And I had zero coping mechanisms. I really still don’t.
In the couple of months since I have tried to engage my ex-husband in conversations about where it all went wrong. It always ends the same. My ADD ruined us and that his affair was just a symptom of the problems I had caused and I do what I want now and you got what you wanted go live with yourself blah blah blah. He still sees her, and every time I’m aware of it I still see red. Guilt and anger all mixed together to make shit-show soup.
So now I’m re-engaging my brain. letting my ADD back in as the uninvited roommate and I’m going to see how well we can get along. The thought of therapy scares me. Not because therapists scare me, it’s that I have seen so many over the years and none have caught this. It’s expensive. I’m highly influential and I don’t want to be steered wrong. So, I’m going to do my best in the new year to find the tools I need on my own to figure this shit out.
I still love my husband. Despite all the shit we did to each other. I’m not interested in fixing myself for him. He demanded that of me for far too long. If I am meant to be in his life again, I will. I’m not opposed to it. If I enter into another relationship, I will do so with eyes wide open. And I cannot, will not be anything other than myself. I will not give myself away again.
Dear brain, you are my new bitch.