I see and hear a lot of “get over it” or “just move on already” from others after someone gets divorced. I know friends and family got tired of hearing from me about my divorce. I, honestly, forced myself to stop talking about it and my feelings. I had to lie and keep secrets because I was still with my ex. We were divorced and I was still spending the day with me and sleeping with him.
The truth was, I was stuck in the first stage: Shock and Denial. I wanted to avoid our divorce. I wanted to avoid I knew he was dating other women. I blamed myself for the divorce. Maybe if I did this he would love me again. Maybe if we had more sex and I did oral more he would want to stay with me. I cried. ALL. THE. TIME. I could not function.
The anger stage caused me to have to leave work and go to the doctor. I was diagnosed with anxiety and stress disorder. I started having horrible anxiety attacks all the time, which I have always had social anxiety but this was different. I would be brought down to my knees.
I was ashamed of myself. How could I be so stupid to stay with my ex. I knew he was seeing other women and just like during my marriage I ignored it. I loved him. I wanted him to love me too.
Everything made me angry. I was so short tempered, which is so out of character for me. I am actually the most patient person you will ever meet, but this stage made me angry. I could not control my temper. I was embarrassed by my actions after the fact, but if the moment I could not help myself.
I hit rock bottom a couple of years ago. Ex had taken my daughter out of state for a long vacation. I did not get to text or call her during that time. When they returned, it was my day to take her home. Ex had bought her a new video game. She did not want to leave. She wanted to stay and play the game and ex was about to bring girlfriend over. I remember leaving his house – I do not remember driving home. I remember writing a note – do not remember what I wrote. Then I remember swallowing handfuls of pills.
I stayed in the depression stage for several months. I would think I was getting better and then something would knock me back on my ass. I would see ex and girlfriend kissing. I would hear about what he bought her or where he took her and wonder why was he not like that with me.
So I bounced back and forth between stages. I remember still having ex as a Facebook friend and seeing them ring in the new year by kissing and posting it on Facebook. He never kissed me for New Year’s. My heart would break a little more.
I had no one to talk to. I wanted to cry. I wanted to talk about my feelings, but I would hear “move on.” Or “you should have left him years ago.” My favorite, “you can do so much better than him.” These comments did not help. I was still in love with this man and now I’m hearing that I need to move on. Where was my support?!?
I finally did find some support. I joined online dating. I found two guys I remember chatting with that really did help me. One, (I have talked about him before — think I named him Chris) understand the depression and the suicide attempt. He had attempted suicide as well after a person he was close to completed suicide. Chris understand the feeling of regret after the divorce. Did I make a mistake divorcing my ex? Chris told me about the same feelings he’d had after his divorce. The second guy help with my anxiety and getting back into the dating world. (Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve ever named this guy. For today’s post, I will call him Zack). Zack suffered from extreme anxiety. He could not even drive a car because his anxiety was so bad. Together we talked about our anxiety. We talked to each other about our experiences with online dating. He was dating multiple women at the same time and I would quiz him on which one (their likes, stories about them) so he would not confuse them. He would talk to me about what few guys I would be chatting with. It was nice to get a guy’s point of view on things. We mainly talked about music and The Walking Dead.
I am currently working on acceptance, new relationships, new strengths… the upward steps now. I feel like I am “me” again. I honestly do not remember the last time I actually cried. I do remember my last anxiety attack – February of this year because I had sex with the serial cheater, I will never forget that attack.
I can talk to ex without feeling angry. I know I will never get the closure I wanted or deserve. Actually, I make him nervous – I think. Last night we were talking – he’d forgotten our daughter’s school pictures at tumbling on Tuesday night. They have been in my car ever since, waiting for him to remember them – so my daughter hinted about the pictures. You see the ah-ha moment cross over ex’s face that he’d forgotten them.
ex: shit. I left them in the floor. Hopefully the teacher picked them up and they are still at tumbling.
me: or your wonderful ex-wife picked them up and has them right now.
**Ex smiled and did an awkward laugh.**
ex: Thank you.
I know I am accepting more and more of ex and girlfriend. Actually, my daughter and I were talking the other day. Since ex is moving into girlfriend’s house what do I call that house now? Used to it was ex’s house and girlfriend’s house. Now, since they will be living together, do I still refer to it as her house? his house? their house? my daughter’s second house/ home? My daughter decided we should do a mash up of their names for the house:
For example: Brad + Angelina = Brangelina./ Ben + Jennifer = Bennifer.
We tossed around a few ideas and got a good chuckle out of them. But I think that is a step in the right direction. I am healing. It is a very slow process. But I see it happening.
I don’t have to talk about ex. Actually, in real life I rarely talk about, or to, him.
Hmm… now if only my dating life would improve. I haven’t been on a date since April of this year. I seriously can not find anyone that I am interested in long enough to actually meet in person. I get bad vibes from so many of the guys online these days.
I want to find someone, but after everything I’ve been through I don’t want to settle.