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Yesterday was all about the upside of having left my ex-husband.  Today is remembering the more difficult parts…

Being alone in a marriage is horrible.  You’ve hitched your wagon to the star of someone who promised to love and protect you forever and when you figure out those were just words because your star doesn’t know how to love and has no desire to protect… well, that’s the deepest kind of loneliness I know and if that’s where you are you have my heartfelt sympathies – and my sincere plea to to leave and try to find some happiness for yourself.

Being alone as a single person is very different and not something I have experienced for about 21 years.  As a matter of fact, being alone before marriage was completely different than being alone now as a divorcee so this is entirely new.  Oh happy day.

In the last 561 days I have been very much alone but rarely lonely and I have to say it’s refreshing!  The thing that I wasn’t prepared for was the weight of handling EVERYTHING myself.  Turns out that ‘ole ex was good for something after all…  even if it was mostly having someone else to blame when things didn’t go as expected, lol.

But there are days, like today, when everything seems overwhelming and I wonder if life is worth it.  Stop freaking out – I’m not suicidal and I don’t even feel like I’m depressed anymore, not since I left the ex, but I can’t be the only one who has thought that life might be too hard.  Is it really worth all the effort of fixing up my little 1975 trailer, trying to sell it, moving to another state, starting life over while only knowing four people, going back to beauty school…

On the other hand, is working 55 hours a week for roughly $9.50 an hour and not having a life outside of work actually a life at all?  Never being able to participate in activities where I could meet new people, including possibly, maybe, hopefully, a boyfriend?

I’m soooooo tired.  Almost always.  And there’s no one to come home to.  Nobody to hold me and be proud of me, nobody to tell me I did a good job.

The cat tries but it’s just not the same…

You know, when a woman loves fiercely she is invincible.  Us women can stand up to just about anything if we’re defending someone we love.  And when a woman is loved properly she is invulnerable.  Love is a shield and the stronger the love, the more impenetrable the shield.  We can walk through hell  with a smile on our face if there is someone who loves us completely and unconditionally.  When we are unloved life is twice as hard. You men need to know this.

There are days where I don’t want to get out of bed, I just want to stay in my jammies and watch Netflix all day long and my only prayer is Dear God, please don’t make me have to Adult anymore!  But Adulting it is, all day, every day.  Dammit.

Oh yes, I swear a wee bit now.  That could be considered a negative since leaving the ex.  Although I did read about a recent study that found people who swear regularly have lower blood pressure so now it’s healthy, right?

And my one day off – that I get almost every week – is so packed full of things I need to accomplish it is not possible to get much rest.  I’m beginning to think wistfully of the 40 hour corporate work week with weekends off…  I can’t believe I’m even considering quitting my dream of doing nails and becoming a salon owner just because I’m so tired.

Tomorrow I will be strong again and will go back to having more good days than overwhelmed days.  And I will once again put blood, sweat and tears into moving out of state to be closer to my father.  And I will continue to pursue my dream of furthering my beauty education to be a good salon owner in the future.  But this is the worst part of being alone, having to bear every ounce of responsibility that, for over 20 years, someone else was there to at least bounce ideas off of and share life’s burdens with, even if it didn’t seem like he did that much at the time…

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It’s been 560 days since I left my ex husband and changed my world.  In that time I’ve grown and become different in so many ways and I think most all of them are good…

I’ve learned how to “mow” the lawn with my weed wacker, lol!  I never had to do yard work before and I’m still not quite sure this qualifies but there it is.  I move the sprinkler around my little patch of trailer park lawn and swing the weed wacker around  – I can count that as exercise too, right?

I’ve lived within my means and yet been able to spend money on myself.  At first it was very difficult – two months after I left him I spent $120 on four new bras.  For our entire married life I had only been able to purchase one or two bras at a time and it felt scandalous, extravagant, vain and almost sinful to spend that much money on a basic necessity for myself.  (And they were practical, not even pretty!)  I did get over it and have been enjoying finding clothes, outer and under, that are both comfortable and good for the level of professionalism required at my job.  (I work at a classier salon than most Asian nail shops I’ve ever been in, I wear clothes there that I would have previously worn to church on Sunday mornings!)

Speaking of church, I stopped going to church right about a year ago.  Yes, this is one of the not-so-good things and really needs to be the subject of it’s own blog post.  I have reasons, I promise, and I fully intend to attend church faithfully with my father and step-mother when I move up there with them but for now I’m not attending church anywhere.

I’ve come to realize that money spent on fun is not wasted and as long as I am staying within my budget it is not wrong to buy myself things I enjoy, try new foods that I may or may not like and do activities that will do little more than make good memories.

I’ve also been able to spend money on others and I enjoy that very much.  I’ve been able to bless others with gifts, meals, clothing, rides, a vehicle and even a place to sleep.

I’ve gone places and seen people!  I used to do a lot of road trips, I would pack up my girls and we would go places to see people and experience things, for some reason our adventures quit happening about 8 years ago, I’m not sure why.  But in these last 560 days I’ve taken 7 road trips and 1 trip by airplane!  I’ve seen my dad, brothers and best friend more since I left my ex-husband than I had in years and I also got to go to the ocean and Las Vegas – so much fun!  I’d forgotten how much I like to drive and take trips…

I feel safe.  All the time.  My Vietnamese family has played a large part in this because they all take such good care of me and none of the guys are even a little bit romantically interested in me.  Especially, bless his heart, my flirting buddy (who has been the more than occasional subject of my post-divorce junior-high-like infatuation) is a man of such high standards that while he could have easily taken advantage of my damaged heart he has never even come close to crossing that line.  I am as much a genuine part of their family as a chubby white girl could possibly be and thanks to that treatment I am no longer worried that a male touch or look is going to end in a request (or a demand) for sex.  It’s so hard to explain but being adopted by them has been so freeing – and very healing – for me.  God knew what He was doing to put me with them and I am so grateful.

I’m sure there are more ways that I’ve changed and grown but these are the big ones for now.  Sweet dreams!

Three days ago my best friend from high school’s mom died very unexpectedly. That was Friday and today, Monday, my BFF was scheduled to have a surgery that she could not postpone so I drove the 8 hours to come stay with her children while her husband was with her in the hospital for the surgery, which went great and she is recovering nicely.

It was outpatient so she came home and went straight to bed.  I decided to go visit one of my brothers who lived about an hour away because he was really wanting to get together since I was in the area – and that’s a bit unusual for him, honestly.

It was a good visit, it really was.  We talked about lots of stuff, work, kids, dogs, horses, the usual…  I asked them if they knew my ex was engaged and not only did they know but they had met her.  He brought her all the way up to have dinner with my two brothers and their wives on the same trip he took her home to introduce her to his parents.

Why in God’s name did that make me cry the entire hour I drove back to my friend’s house?

I had to really think about it.

Before I go any further I should explain my position on my ex-husband’s new relational status. I left him at the end of January, 2015, we were still trying to “work things out” up until April of 2015 and our divorce was finalized in mid-May 2015.  That means he has been legally single for fourteen and a half months and I was absolutely expecting him to be dating by now because he has never done well on his own and with his sexual addiction a celibate life just won’t work for him.  But to be engaged right now, that blew me away.  Huh.  Although it does tell me that he was over me a long time before I left him in order to meet, date and propose to someone else this quickly.  So I totally did the right thing in leaving because his heart hadn’t been in trying to make our marriage work for years but he was continuing to do so out of duty and obligation, as was I.  That’s a recipe for hell on earth right there in my humble opinion…

So aside from being a wee bit bitter that I had to be the one to leave in spite of his wanting to move on as much or more than I did I think it’s funny that physically she’s shaped a lot like me and looks similar enough to me that I’m sure people will mistake her as the natural mother of our firstborn daughter – or worse – her sister because she looks closer in age to our oldest daughter than to him, lol!

But honest-to-God, the primary feeling I have about his engagement is overwhelming relief.  Over. Whelming.  Relief.  Hopefully he will stop being mad at me now that he has someone else in his life.  And believe it or not, I’m happy for him.  I wish them well and I hope that she will stand up to him and make him a better man, that she won’t put up with the things that make him a bully and that she’ll improve his relationship with his children, especially our youngest, whom I keep telling to give her future step-mom an honest chance and try to be her friend because she could be the best thing that ever happened to him and hopefully she is exactly who he needs.  I know I wasn’t.

I said as much to my brothers (not the bitter or funny part, just the happy for him and told my daughter to give her a chance part) and I could tell they were startled by my words but why, dear God, why won’t they actually ask me the questions they want to know the answers to?  They just won’t ask any questions at all about how I’m feeling or what I think about situations.  Ugh, brothers!

But back to why I cried all the way home, I was trying to pinpoint the source of my soul-hurt and this is what I realized:

My brothers like him more than me.  Truth accepted.

My brothers are more on his side than mine in all things, the divorce, our beliefs in God, parenting, etc.  Truth accepted.

Introducing her to MY brothers and not just his relatives on their we-just-got-engaged trip makes me feel cut out of my own family.  Absolute truth although probably not done intentionally but still very hurtful.

It’s not enough that his family hates me but he wants mine to completely dislike me as well because he’s the righteous one and I’m the evil sinner so he’s trying to get my own brothers to replace me with her.  99.9% probability that this is not truth but I could definitely see him thinking that way.  Extremely hurtful.

My brothers value their friendship with him over their relationship with me and have a stronger sense of loyalty to him than to me because they participated in an event that could only make me feel excluded AND they made a big outing of it at a fancy and very expensive restaurant.  They didn’t tell him that meeting her would be like saying he was their brother more than I was their sister and so they must regretfully decline.  They didn’t say it was not a good idea because they are his ex-wife’s family, not  his family and it would be awkward, for them and for his fiancé, to spend a dinner together.  They didn’t stand up for me, even the tiniest bit.

Aaahhh… there it is, that is why I cried for an hour.  I feel betrayed by my brothers in favor of him.

Life is hard sometimes and then it gets better.  And then worse and then better again.  This is one of those worse days but soon life will be good more than it’s hard… I’m looking forward to that!