Moving on is a Bitch Pt 2

Expanding on yesterday’s poem, I’ve hit a snag in my recovery.

Things had been going pretty well, I was going weeks at a time without crying and I was excited about the future. It seemed that the past was in the past and there was nothing but a blue-skied future ahead. However, the past few weeks have seen a reversion back into melancholy and sadness. Memories of her and times we shared together are bubbling to the surface with their old regularity, accompanied by daily watery eyes.

I was shocked to catch myself thinking if she came back, I would accept her and still love her. That’s crazy talk! We’re DIVORCED… she ain’t coming back and I know it.

What happened? Have I gone backwards?

In the immediate aftermath of the split, there was nothing but pain, loss, confusion… the raw emotions the come from from having your partner of many years, the object of your devotion, suddenly end things. Every little thing was a trigger for sadness and I couldn’t even keep it together through the morning bike commute to work.

Then, after a few weeks, the pain morphed into action. There were divorce steps to organize, a project to work on. Grocery shopping and weekly dinners were something to figure out, another challenge. All the chores we used to split, like laundry, were now back on my plate and had to be slotted in. Everything old became new again; fresh challenges were tackled, new routines and habits were figured out, new freedoms were discovered. I spent time thinking about who I am, what makes me me, and what I’ll look for in my future partner. The silver lining started to materialize. Looking back, this was around when I wrote Movement.

That period took me into the holidays, which despite some trepidation about being alone for this festive time, were a welcome distraction. I was lucky enough to spend two weeks back in the midwest over both Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years. Being removed from Portland, back in familiar surroundings with family and friends, was enjoyable and for the most part made me feel happy and supported.

This momentum continued on through my return to home in January. I even returned to the therapist, not to get help moving on but to talk through my desire to start dating and how to approach it. But then, a few weeks ago, I found myself back in the sad state of mind. The sheen of my new life suddenly wore off: I am alone. Reality has set in… all the time, the years, spent getting to know her have been for naught. Finding someone new will be just as long of a journey, not something that will happen overnight. I desire a life partner, but it will take years to get there with someone. In other words, I’m going to be alone for a long time. This dose of reality is what brought me back to Earth, and likely is what has my brain serving up fond memories of the past, wishfully hoping I’ll make some attempt to regain that past relationship.

I know I’m going to be okay. I know I just need to keep continuing forward and this pain will subside, that this is just a phase. But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t suck any less than it did on day 1.

Day 121

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Moving on is a Bitch Pt. 1

Hello sadness my old friend
Didn’t think I’d see you again.
I was doing so well,
Focusing on me and my new life was quite swell.
Thought I had left her in the past
But I guess no one moves on that fast.
Now I’m seeing her nightly when I’m sleeping
And waking up feeling like weeping.
Our memories constantly boil to the surface of my mind
As I realize a new partner will be so hard to find.
I think I can find someone better
But for now, to our legacy I am still fettered.

So I’ll keep on living.
Knowing that one day this sadness, I’ll be able to ditch.
But in the meantime I have learned one thing:
Moving on is a bitch.

Day 120

From a Past Life

(Written January 2015)
*AHEM*

How do you do?
I’ve a story for you
Both cute and sad
This story’s pretty rad…

(Written 2012)
Tucked up in bed
After tea and fresh bread
Nestled softly into the pillows

Comfort is near
She’s protected here
The outside wind gently billows

As peaceful a place
There’s a lonely face
Longing for something that’s missing

Something warm and sweet
That makes her complete
Something appropriate for kissing

It makes her heart sink
But it’s not what you think
Not chocolate, hot chips, or a cat

Not a shooting star
Or a fancy car
What she’s got in mind tops all that

This something is someone
He’s a man and he’s fun
And he goes by the name of Kyle

Both gentle and kind
With a clever mind
Just the thought of this boy makes her smile

He’s got bony hips
Big juicy lips
Three nipples, nice teeth, and blonde hair

Nothing special you say?
She’ll argue that any day
For her nothing else does compare

Those icy blue eyes
Give her butterflies
He’s certainly handsome for sure

And he’s a caring soul
As tall as a troll
He has goodness in him to the core

Now the good news is
That she is his
And they found love from the start

Unfortunately though
Love is hard to be so
When he and she must live apart

Separated by sea
Unable to agree
On a plan to meet in the middle

They can only wait
For pending fate
They sit, they sigh, thumbs twiddle

Trying not to mope
And keep up hope
But starting to feel rather stuck

Who knows with these woes
Or where the wind blows
Maybe soon they’ll run into luck

Perhaps all will be fine
Those stars will align
The two can at last become one

They’ll reflect and look back
On this long twisty track
From where happier times have begun

(Written January 2015)
Fast forward a bit
I’m pleased to admit
That things have worked out for the best

Three years later
No longer split by equator
Their home is now the same nest

Side by side
Baked or fried
Come rain, hail, or shine

Morning and night
On ground or in flight
They’re woven like two bits of twine

With a ring on each hand
They make footprints in the sand
As they set off into a new sun

What does it hold?
Where will the sea fold?
A new chapter has finally begun

No more hearts to break
Only adventures to take
Until we’re old, wrinkly and gray

Without further adeau
The ocean is blue
I’ve got a final few bits to say

You complete me
Like leaves to a tree
Like Vegemite to butter to toast

Like stories to a book
Fishing line to a hook
Or gravy to a homemade roast

You’re all the things
Thanks for giving me wings
Going strong one year since I do

So here’s cheers
To the next few years
You’re my number one, I love you!

The End. Happy Versary
—————————————————

This poem was written by my ex-wife over two periods of time, first when we were long distancing between two countries and then after we were married and living together. She gave it to me on our first anniversary, 1/3/16. I had written many poems and haikus for her over the years to express my love. She, on the other hand, was not confident with writing so it was a big deal for her to make and give this to me. I couldn’t have been prouder of her, and I couldn’t have loved any gift more. I have kept it in my bedside drawer ever since.

This week I received the official Notice of Judgement in the mail, stating our divorce had been finalized. This poem is the last sentimental thing I’ve kept. Sharing it here before I throw it away. Our love was a beautiful thing. Just so hard to accept that someone who felt this way could change. Hard to accept that all of the care and love associated with that person is now in a past life. Lots of tears tonight.

Day 71.

IMG_6225

Retail Therapy

A funny thing happened recently. I was on the bus home from work, and decided to make a list of things I’ve been thinking about buying. I’ve felt a little more freedom with my money nowadays and have thus bought a few new things I wouldn’t have normally purchased pre-divorce. Other ideas for things I could buy have popped up from time to time lately and since I’m all about lists on my phone, I thought I’d get all of these various things out of my brain and onto “paper”. Anyways, I titled this list “Fun Things I Could Buy” and merrily typed away. List complete, I sat and thought for a bit until the light bulb went off… I’VE ENGAGED IN RETAIL THERAPY!!

I had to laugh to myself that this happened. I’ve never done this before, and never thought I would be one to… I’m not materialistic and am generally quite thrifty. Furthermore, I’m also not going crazy buying stuff I don’t need; most items have been replacement things for worn out old items. However, it has been fun to buy a few new clothing items, and a few new things to use for fun. In the past few months I’ve purchased:

New running shoes (in my defense, old ones were worn to the ground)
New athletic pants (still wearing a few pairs from college!)
Fancy Nike running tights (totally going to make me jog more)
New casual shoes (gotta look good for all those future dates, eh? eh?)
Ski gear (used, natch)
Movie Pass (justified by my need for new hobbies — guess I’ll be a cinophile in 2018!)

As the bus inched forward in rush hour traffic, I thought further about these purchases and my list, my recent and potential future bouts of retail therapy, and realized why I had made these little splurges and why they brought me satisfaction. It all boils down to that aforementioned new monetary freedom. In my marriage, I was the chief breadwinner. My wife was either working menial restaurant jobs or not working at all and concentrating on her latest passion project. I don’t hold this against her, in fact I encouraged her not to work so she could pursue her passions. But it did cause me to be extra frugal; to not go out and update my wardrobe for no reason or buy things just for me, to not book flights to go see friends on quick weekend trips. For the most part, everything I bought was for something for both of us. And every time I considered spending money, it was after considering the both of us. It got to the point where buying stuff that would be just for me didn’t even cross my mind even though monetarily I could have, and probably should have (case in point my holey underwear!). I just wasn’t thinking in that way. Such was my mindset on the time; I was so focused on us as a unit. To this end, I actually saved all the birthday and holiday money I received from family over time, which eventually added up to nearly $500 and sat in an envelope in my drawer, for years. Why didn’t I go out and spend it? That’s why it was given to me, after all, to spend. But I just didn’t think that way and I also didn’t feel secure, knowing big expenses were coming up with the future move back to her country.

So it feels kind of nice to just be looking out for me. To have a few nice things for myself, to update my wardrobe just a little bit, to pick up ski gear or a Movie Pass or something is going to bring just ME and me alone some joy. It’s this new found freedom that is the silver lining to my dark cloud of divorce. What’s your silver lining? Even if you can’t think of one, I challenge you to find one… it’s there.

PS Yes – I have since purchased entirely new underwear!

PPS I spent all of the $500 already, so don’t bother trying to rob me 😉

Day 67

Hello Sadness My Old Friend

Don’t have much to say, but tonight I am feeling very sad.

Tomorrow will be two weeks since we signed the paperwork. Two weeks since the last time I will ever see her. Ugh.

A few days after that I sped off back to the Midwest for an extended Thanksgiving with friends and family. My first holiday without her presented its own challenges but for the most part the time away was a wonderful distraction.

Now I am back in Portland after a couple weeks away and reality is setting it again, I guess. I’ve had a few nights since I returned but I’m feeling fragile tonight; a song in a show I was watching is what set me off. It caught me off guard, and memories of my partner washed over me.

Overall I still feel positive and optimistic that things will be fine for me, but I’m just really stinging tonight. I guess that’s normal, but I thought this level of sadness and tears was behind me.

Day 54

The End

She came in the back door,
With the papers that would make us no more.

We sat,
we talked,
we cried (I sobbed).
We signed.

And then she left, just after 9
Leaving me with a ripped out heart for the second time.

Now at last I am free
To focus on nothing but me.

But damn did I love her.

Thank You

It has been awhile since I posted. I thought I’d be posting on here every day, and at first I did. I needed to take the raw pain, the wild thoughts racing through my head, and put them somewhere, and the blog was perfect for that. Lately though, I’ve been talking to people more and that has been the outlet. Also, thoughts are solidifying and the brain has been busy filing things away, compartmentalizing, justifying, adjusting to the new reality, generally getting on with moving on. I remember as a kid with early Windows computers, my Dad would sometimes defragment the hard drive. They had a little graphic that showed all these little different colors and messy shapes, representing the various inconsistencies and things to be cleaned, and as the defragmentation worked, they would get built into little uniformly colored blocks. It gave the impression of order being restored to the hard drive. I feel like that’s what has been going on the last few weeks; my brain has been defragging. I know I am blessed in this regard; blessed with a sound mind that is capable of working through having the world turned upside down on me.

win31_defrag

With that said, I’m back! It’s now been just over a full month since that horrible night, and things are moving along. Her stuff is gone from the apartment, banking has been sorted out, extended family and friend groups have been informed… pretty much everything has been checked off the list and all that is left is to sign the official divorce paperwork that she has been working on. While this will be a sad event, I am very much looking forward to getting that done. It’s odd, the significance that I place on these pieces of paper; they won’t change anything in my day to day life, or magically make anything better, but my brain has latched onto the official divorce paperwork as the last step in the process. I this is building it up too much, but I the feeling I have is that I will finally be FREE when the legalities are finalized. Free of what, I’m not sure. Free to move on and live my best life, I suppose, although again it’s odd because nothing will actually change as a direct result.

Something that I am thinking a lot about, and could even say dreading, is how to act and what to say when I see her to sign the papers. This will be our first time seeing each other since she left me, and most likely the last time I’ll ever see her again. As such, I want to say the perfect things, leave the right impression, but I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what I want her to see of me… should I bring out all the sadness? Should I be stoic and not give her the satisfaction of finding out how I’m doing? Should I be mean-spirited and curt? Or should I act like it’s all no big deal? It’s a bit of a conundrum. So perhaps I’m simply looking forward to signing the papers because it’s just the last step that is out of my control. Once they are signed, I am fully in control of my life and there is not more thinking, wondering, relying on someone else to finish the split up. Yes, I think the papers feel like freedom because they mean I no longer have to worry about things like this.

Anyways, to get to the title of this post, I want to say thank you to all of you reading this. Thank you for stopping by. Thank you especially to all of those who have liked, commented, and followed me. I have been surprised by the number of people who have taken the time to offer help to me on here. In the faceless void of the internet, it means a lot that folks are caring for each other. It feels like a little community, which I never expected. I assumed my blog would be my voice shouting in the dark, but lo and behold many of you have proved me wrong. So again, thank you if you ever said something nice to me. It means more than you know 🙂

Day 38