Tag Archive: divorce


Finding Myself

I will admit I was lost for quite a while, wandering in the wilderness of the dark night of the soul.  I got to the point where I didn’t even know who I was anymore.  Getting a divorce, remembering abandonment issues and traumatic occurrences from your childhood will do that to you.  But  although it’s been a long hard slog I’m still surviving and starting to take baby steps and move back among the living. 

I’m stronger, still not sure I can rebuild my life in the place where I’ve lived for the last 10 years but trying to cobble together a life that I can take with me if I decide I can’t.  I’ve dipped my toes into the dating pool which I still don’t think I’m quite ready for.  I’ve seen my beautiful son a lot more and learned to forgive myself for not knowing the answers.  At this point I’m not even sure of the questions.  But that seems to be a theme for the world right now, all these interesting questions with no easy answers.  There is so much going on that chaos seems to be the in thing.  I think my only contribution to the greater good is to try and calm the chaos in my soul right now. Maybe that is the contribution everyone should make to the common good, find their own answers and find their own peace.  Then perhaps they can share their answers and help someone else. I can’t really do that at the moment but what I can say is that I am really one of the lucky ones. I have a little bit of leeway to ask the hard questions and try to come up with an answer that works.  A roof over my head, food in my kitchen, a son that loves me and a general feeling that life will get better.  So I don’t know what I will be doing for the next 20 or 30 years.  I think the answer to the next 20 or 30 years is to live in this moment and keep moving.   Maybe thinking of what will happen to you when you are 80 when you are 50 is overwhelming.  

So I’m going to try and write a bit more, try to meditate a lot more and try to understand how and why I ended up in this oh so dark place and bring some light to it all.   I’ll probably write about the same issues I’ve written about in the past but do it with a new appreciation for just how important it is for your words to be your words.

So my words to end this blog post are, love and peace are the answer.  I don’t know what the question is but peace and love are the answer.

 

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Unlovable

Unlovable,
What does it really mean? Where does that thought come from? Does it come from the knowledge that my brother died when I was 5? That my dad had a car accident and didn’t come back for a year and when he did, he couldn’t care less about me and my brother? Does it come from the knowledge that my mother had a nervous breakdown from the stress of it all? My pets died, my friends couldn’t come over, and I was bullied in school? I lived in squalor, my mother didn’t make breakfast, clean my clothes, any of those other things that normal people have. Does any of it really mean anything?

I guess it means I am unlovable, that God decided when I was 5 to take my life and shake it and shake it until I had nothing left except a huge ball of fear. A ball so big that when I tried to walk home on an icy day I couldn’t get over the fear of walking down the hill until a neighbor had pity and held my hand all the way home, trying to make me feel safe. But he didn’t succeed because I still had to walk back up the hill to hell and back down the hill to hell again. I’ve been afraid every day of my life since. I did learn to smile through it all though so I was able to make people love me but when the unlovable returned they abandoned me too or I abandoned them first.

We live our whole lives based on our parents; if they loved us we are blessed. If your life fell apart you are cursed. You try to move on and some people do but most of us are damaged somewhere especially if we grew up with an unloved childhood. I made people laugh and smile and put them first in my life. I forgave everybody everything; no matter how horrible I gave them a second chance. But when I decided I wanted a happy life, life wasn’t done with me yet. To be an artist and a writer and find a true love, that is what I wanted out of life. I fell apart. I was abandoned again. I had too many mothers and fathers and not enough understanding of what happens to an unlovable person when they try to make a change. All that unlovable just comes back and haunts them through their every moment.

I heard the voice of the bully who made up nasty poems about me in the 9th grade. I think of the time I had to walk home from bowling in the dark because my parents forgot they were supposed to pick me up. I remember the dog crap on my hallway floor because nobody could pick it up and the cat pee that permeated my clothing. I remember peeing in my seat in kindergarten because my brother had just died and I remember the kids laughing about it and reminding me of it when I was a senior in a small town high school. I remember how I didn’t ever want anyone to feel sorry for me, so I kept them out. I remember the times I was told to shut up, be quiet, children were supposed to be seen and not heard and unkempt children just fade into the background. Those are the voices many of us hear but never talk about.

We love the people who love us and care for us and we tend to make them bigger than perhaps they deserve to be. We think our friends are the best we will ever have; they have the answers to all the unanswerable questions. They know what is right for us, why we will never be a successful artist or writer and why we will just live the rest of our lives unlovable because we got stuck at 5 and can’t get out. They have families of their own. So we either live our lives in quiet desperation, or we act out, or we go insane. Or in my case I did all three. I’m still that little 5 year old looking for love and thinking I’m unlovable.

I’m the 53 year old survivor who doesn’t really feel like she has a life, I can’t do the things I love. Literally, figuratively, emotionally I can’t do the things I love. I can’t go backwards, I can’t go forwards, I can’t move on from 5. When I think of my life all I see are the things that I’ve lost and somehow managed to forget I had lost until I decided to live my own life. Now I see every single loss and just expect to lose more. I expect to end up homeless just like some in my life told me I will end up. It’s really easy for them to say, they are the lucky ones. They didn’t lose everything when they were 5 all in one fell swoop. They didn’t grow up thinking they were unlovable and being reminded of it every single day by one person or another, usually by someone who was supposed to love them. But I am alive, more than I can say for most people who lived through a childhood like mine.

I keep thinking perhaps one day I will figure out my life and become an inspiration but somehow I can’t seem to find that day right now, all I can find is a way to try and heal my mind, my soul, my body. I’ve been writing my life story to heal but as in everything else I’m kind of stuck at 5 and I don’t want to write a War and Peace length novel. So if you can’t say anything nice to me right now don’t say anything at all because I am unlovable and cannot put any more negative words in my head. I have enough of them there already.

No Trust

Trust comes from inside us.   It cannot be bought; it cannot be paid for.  It has to just come from inside of us.  Do we trust the voice of spirit inside our head, the feeling of warmth from our heart or the cynical words of cynical people? 

 

The answer is clear we only have one choice, the feeling of warmth from our heart, the voice inside our head that says this is the place where we can find peace and joy.  Fear will keep us stuck in old patterns and in the past, trust says that we can move forward.  Trust requires faith and hope.  A new understanding of how the world works. 

 

If you trust in God and a loving universe you believe that God puts angels in place to help us move forward out of hardship, that we have learned the lessons we were sent here to learn and it is time to help ourselves and to help others.  It is time to share our lights and illuminate our darkness.

 

A lot of my darkness comes from the inability to trust.  I  sometimes live from a place of fear where there are boogey men around every corner.  I am setting the boogey men free and I am living from a place of hope and faith and a belief that there are angels here to guide me.  I can no longer believe in the boogeymen.  They have not served me well during my lifetime. 

 

I have to trust that I was put here for a reason and I have all the resources I need to move forward.  All of my angels are in place and it is time for a new way to live.  I know I have a lot of angels watching over me as they watch over all of us.  I am going with feelings.  I feel my next home will be the one where I will find the answers and finally come home to wholeness.  I will listen to my heart and the voice of my inner spirit and be joyful and contemplative. 

 

The time of listening to demons is over and it is time for me to trust that God has put everything I need in front of me and I will do my part to heal the world.  There is no other option.  It is time to trust and move forward.  It is time to follow my heart and listen to the voice of spirit inside my head.  I am ready for the next chapter and the story my spirit has written will be a beacon for others.

I hate to admit it but I’m going through a divorce and I feel lonely just about every single day. I feel lonely when I close myself off in my one room in the house to avoid conflict. I feel lonely when I don’t feel understood by my soon to be ex husband. I feel lonely when I think of leaving my son and moving on. I moved out for a while and oddly didn’t feel as alone when I was alone as I do when I am living back in the home I lived in the last 10 years. I had a mental breakdown several months ago and let me tell you they didn’t write the song nobody wants you when you are down and out about nothing.

When you are going through a loss and unable to determine a plan to move yourself out of that one room nobody really wants to hear it. They have advice which is great and really thoughtful but if you cannot get yourself out of the place in your head where you are alone and living in hell, you are alone and living in hell.

I guess the moral of the story is to have a plan before you decide you are moving away from your marriage but I’m sure I’m not the only one or the lonely one who jumped without thinking. Not everything can be planned out. So I am looking for a job, contemplating how I am going to continue to be an artist and have some semblence of the life that I had before I decided to move on from a relationship that doesn’t work for me. I’m thinking that the loneliness and pain of staying in the place where all this happened is just too much and if I am going to feel so alone I should just pick myself up and put myself in a new location and be alone. But then again I am feeling so alone and so stuck that I just can’t seem to move myself forward into a plan. When you are a hand embroidery artist and a stay at home mother for 25 years answers just don’t come easy. I’m going to try and think up a plan to make some money(if you want anything hand embroidered just email me) and try to find a job that won’t suck the rest of the life blood out of me and hopefully I will rebuild my life soon and not feel so lonely anymore.

The Dawning

The Dawning

 

There comes a time in every divorced (or divorcing) woman’s life when she realizes that she not only left a marriage but she left a life behind.  That dawning came yesterday.  As I stood in an empty house folding laundry that had not been folded in months it dawned on me that I felt empty folding laundry in that house. I no longer belonged there even doing something as mundane as folding laundry that was not mine.

 

When a woman leaves her marriage she not only leaves her husband but in my case I left my son(and the French toast on the first day of school), my 12 year old dog, my friends, my neighbors, my car, my life basically.  Even the artist coop I belong to has given me a break.  I’m not alone in this, there are women in shelters all over the country who have to live in fear and basically give up their entire lives to be safe every day.

It was years in the making and yet I have to admit it hit me like a ton of bricks to realize that the life I had, my entire life had been changed on the day I moved forward .  I’m at a point now where I  literally cannot decide where I want to plant myself and now I know why, because I don’t think I want to be planted  here.  I have nothing here except my son.  Does it really matter if you start over from scratch a half hour, 2 hours, 6 hours away?  I’m only an hour away but it may as well be 6 hours away.  The whole landscape is different.  I might as well be in a foreign country.

I’m usually a pretty optimistic person.   I can find lemonade somewhere tossed along the lemons but today I’m bitter and angry.  I’m also disappointed in myself.  How did I let myself become so dependent on a life that was built on fantasy? I bought into a fantasy of a life many woman buy into; a fantasy where they are loved and adored and have a house, a happy marriage, their dream profession, a coffee clutch of their own choosing waiting for them.  And then one day it is all over and they have hopefully only crashed and burned once, the day they decide to leave.  In my case that was spread out over several months and probably is the reason why I have nothing today except what I can bring with me.  But I’ve survived.  And I will survive.  And I will rebuild my life on my own terms.  I know I will feel better an hour from now after hand embroidering myself into a little peaceful meditative state, but I also know I can’t depend on anyone except myself to make me happy.  I have to find joy myself and then share it hopefully somewhere down the line.  Now tears are flowing and I am grieving the Debbie that used to be and hoping to find the DebraAnn that replaces her.

Now yes this post was a bit of a pity party, but tough.  That is my mantra at the moment, that’s tough.  I am on a quest to be authentic and this post is authentic.  This sucks, plain and simple.  And you know what I will get over it, but the bottom line is that somewhere there is a woman living in a shelter with 3 kids who doesn’t know how she is going to rebuild her life and where she is going to find the money to do it and she is the one we all have to worry about.  In my case it’s just tough, in her case it is survival so be kind and donate to your nearest woman’s shelter, offer a woman a night on your couch if that will help her.  Help her find safe haven.  Help her move on.  Help her to realize she is not alone and that you care about her.

And for all those women luckier than I am, I know you know the feeling too.  The devastating punch in the gut that accompanies that moment when you realize just how much you gave up to be free and you are not alone either.  We are a sisterhood and we will all survive with a little help from some kind sisters.  Thank you to my kind sisters, just because I realize just how much I have given up that does not mean that the help you gave me was not very much appreciated, it was.  Authentically pissed, keep stitching.

Safety Nets

I am a 52 year old woman and I could be a homeless person if the safety nets we have in this country are taken away by politicians too blind to see that the people they are allowing to write their laws will take away the only thing keeping people like myself and those worse off from completely falling through the cracks of society.

 

I decided at the end of last year that I didn’t want to be married anymore.  My son is 21, my husband is retiring in a few years and I just could not see myself growing old and retiring with someone I have nothing in common with except a 21 year old son.  That decision left me teetering on the edge of sanity, and in a place where I can look at my life and be grateful that I am really a fortunate daughter but I digress.

 

At the time I decided I wanted to end my marriage I gave a speech, made a statement and then backed down because I was reminded by a friend that I was a 52 year-old woman without a job, who had been a stay at home mom since I moved to Upstate NY, an artist and a blog writer with no discernible income.  She told me to work on my marriage and I told her and my husband that I would.  But in my heart I knew I couldn’t, I knew the ship had sailed and there was no other option but moving forward.  I don’t know how I knew but I knew.  I had known for a long time but it just came bubbling out on Christmas Eve of all days, Merry Christmas.

 

The decision to stay because of security almost ended up costing me my life and sanity, because a woman trapped by a series of circumstances and a man who knows that he is living with someone who doesn’t want to be married to him anymore are a very toxic combination.  I can’t blame either of us or both of us but we were not the same couple who were married for 25 years we were monsters together.  But we were stuck together; things didn’t get any better due to outside circumstances which are not really relevant to this blog post.

The relevant part is that women all over the country are realizing as their children age and their husbands near retirement that they are desperate and don’t want to be married anymore and that there are really no safety nets for women like us.  Poor women have resources but those middle class women who were able to be stay at home mothers don’t really have any resources.  A lawyer told me to go live downstate with family if I could find someone who would let me move in with them.  My son was here that wasn’t an option.   I didn’t have enough money to move out, I couldn’t possibly wrap myself around the idea of working at McDonalds and to be truthful couldn’t have kept the job for a while.  Also a job in McDonalds or Wal-Mart(another famous suggestion for the unemployable) would not pay the rent on an apartment and then I would be living in the home I didn’t want to live in and working at a job I didn’t want(nor thought I could keep).

 

I did all the things I was supposed to do I went to a county run job placement program which was even more depressing than a career in McDonalds, I was surrounded by wonderful, experienced people who lost their jobs in the last few years through no fault of their own who could not find a job even with years of experience among them.  It seems those in our late 40’s, early 50’s and early 60’s with years of good work left in us are not in the cheapest demographic people wish to hire.  Business wants kids they can underpay.  So I felt that was another dead end.

 

I was hopeless and ended up taking advantage of other county run services which did not provide answers but gave wonderful counseling services and I am very thankful for that.  But I was still trapped in a horrible, devastating situation in which I crashed and burned several times trying to search for the light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m lucky I survived it.  I am very lucky.

 

I had a car accident which was a pretty bad one and walked away from it without a scratch; I had not been sleeping since December and should not have been driving at 11:30 in the morning around the corner from my house.  That was the last day I could technically call myself a member of my neighborhood.  Two days later I was roaming the streets in the rain unsure of where my brain had gone and I ended up in a mental health unit, which was an experience I will write about separately as it was one of the most inspiring experiences of my life.  You can learn a lot about people and yourself when you are among the most vulnerable in society.  You learn of the beauty and the horror of the mental health system which can be a revolving door of medication and commitment and how that safety net really doesn’t work and doesn’t really allow people the skills to make it their own.  Some do but the majority end up in and out several times hoping for a new life.

 

When I came out of the hospital I couldn’t go home and I have ended up taking a settlement to give my husband and I closure.  The settlement will allow me to start over which is something I am so grateful for, as many women in my position do not even have that small bit of confidence in their futures.  Now in this economy if I don’t figure out who I am and what I was put on earth for I may be forced to go on Welfare and Medicaid and many other social programs.  I am lucky I at least have a chance to pave my own path, but what about those women not lucky enough to be given a settlement who have no way out and no way to get there?  What will happen to them?  Do they end up working in McDonalds and Wal-Mart?  If they do and they are treated with the dignity they deserve God Bless Them, but if they don’t what happens to them?  Do they live in loveless marriages becoming more bitter and unhappy every day until they do something drastic like kill themselves or end up with a life threatening disease?  Do they snap and end up doing something crazier than wandering the streets in a rain storm with no explanation of how they ended up there?  Or do they recklessly surrender to drugs, alcohol and life on the streets?  We should care about them and their children.  There should be places for them to go where they don’t have to end up desperately seeking something in the rain.  They need a safety net.

 

Women leaving lifelong marriages are only one segment of society that needs a safety net, but they are a forgotten segment.  They raised their children, gave up their lives when they were young and finally want their lives back.  There should be a way to repay them for the sacrifices they made instead of the opinion that they should do anything to make money and live in loveless abusive situations because to leave them would be financially committing suicide.  But in the end there are a million ways to commit suicide and at least a financial one allows a way back.  What about those women who find no other way but to crash and burn one final time? Think about those ladies and your mother the next time you bemoan safety nets like welfare, and domestic violence centers, and Planned Parenthood, and Medicare.  There are people out there who need them and they could be YOUR mother.

And before you think stop feeling sorry for yourself, I don’t feel sorry for myself.  I’m a working artist with a new start on the horizon.  The world is my oyster and I am appreciative of every single lesson I learned in the last year.  I just thought a different perspective than the one being offered by the right wing of the republican party should be addressed as I’m sure there are lovely republican women trapped in loveless marriages with no way out also.