through the pain


Obviously, it’s been quite a while since I last wrote! So, what has been going on?

There have been no more conflicts between STBXAH and me, which I guess is good. We’re on a pretty good schedule where he picks the kids up after daycare on Mondays and Wednesdays. I have them Tuesdays and Thursdays. We then alternate having them Friday and Saturdays overnight.

I finally got around to filing the divorce papers at the beginning of this month. Our divorce should be finalized around November 1st. At this point, I don’t feel real emotional about it being final on paper. It just seems like one more administrative task I need to get done.

Back in June, I decided to try something new with my law practice, so decided to start taking on some family law cases. Business has really picked up and this month, I had my highest revenue-grossing month EVER. I’m proud of myself and trying to take some time to recognize that that for the past 3 years, I’ve been saying that my goal was to earn X amount of money per month, but never got there (a lot of it had to do with the stress and ups and downs of my marriage.) This has also meant that I’ve been extremely busy, often working late nights after the kids go to bed. This type of law is new to me, so it takes me about 3 times longer to figure stuff out than it will in the future. I’m concentrating on figuring out a good work/life balance right now, that will help alleviate some of the stress I’ve been feeling from work.

Last weekend I had dinner with my single girlfriend. Somehow, our discussion convinced me to sign up for Tinder. I find the whole online dating thing so strange. I see these photos of men who seem attractive enough physically. But I can’t get over the fact that they’re STRANGERS. Anyways, I had quite a few matches and then multiple guys started messaging me. I chatted with a few for one evening, but this all seemed to trigger me. I became very sad about my divorce and began craving that familiarity I had with STBXAH. I woke up Monday morning and realized I am in no place to be trying this dating stuff yet. The good news about the whole experience is that I realized I’m still desirable. There are guys who are interested in meeting me based on my photos, at least. For someone whose self-esteem has taken a beaten over the course of the last 13 years, something as superficial as knowing others are a bit interested is meaningful.

Well, this whole experience seemed to quickly move me back into the bargaining phase of my grief process. I had a couple days where I was really questioning myself and even considering asking STBXAH if he has regrets? I mean, the last conversation we had prior to our marriage really ending was that he wanted to work it out. We had discussed counseling. He told me he was going to stop smoking pot for 30 days. I told him that was great, but that I still wanted to live separately for a while. Once I said this, it was like his wanting to work it out never existed. So, part of me still wonders…what happened? My theory is that the whole counseling schtick was just another example of him saying whatever he had to do to keep me around. And enforcing my boundary was unacceptable to him.

I snapped out of this bargaining phase quickly. That’s the nice thing about having a busy work schedule…it’s very easy for me to be distracted by work. Of course, I’ve been through the bargaining phase before but this one seemed to come out of nowhere. I’m taking that as a sign that maybe I’m coming very close to the final acceptance stage. It’s now been 6 months since we decided to divorce.

Right now, I’m focusing on accomplishing the things I always said I would, but never got around to. Motivation is hard to come by when you’re stuck in a codependent relationship with an alcoholic and you never know what crisis is going to pop up next. Work is going well. I’ve just got to keep moving forward.