Today when I got home from work I read the entries from my personal journal I started keeping after my husband and I separated. AKA – the really crazy shit that I wouldn’t post on the internet. Recently I thought it might be a good idea to blog all of those entries, so that other people going through what I am going through might find comfort in knowing that these thoughts are shared by other human beings. Reading through it I decided against it, because really all that would do would further smear the name of the guy that screwed me over. So, instead, I want to highlight a few things that I wrote and share my thoughts. And then, because I am me, I will probably switch topics and end up somewhere completely different. At the end I will title the blog entry. Grab your towels and get ready for the ride.
First I started by writing a quote on the very first page. You know, the blank page that separates the journal from the cover. It goes “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been.” That quote, if you care to know, is from John Greenleaf Whittier and I have absolutely no idea where I saw it. Somewhere on the internet, I am sure.
I distinctively remember the heaviness of that quote when I saw it, and how much I could relate. Cue tiny violins and scene of me crying in a corner all emo-style. Such a breakup quote. And now, reading it, I feel no emotional connection to that whatsoever. Well, I guess my reaction could be characterized as indifferent. I no longer associate my marriage with the sad thoughts of what might have been. Actually, I am kind of grateful for it. So many life lessons learned and I appear to be doing pretty well, so I got all these perks and none of the crap that was guaranteed to go along with it. You divorced people out there should be able to relate. Really dodged a bullet on that one.
So, anyway, next page. August 5th 2012. 43 days after I kicked his ass out. I write about how I kept track of the days, because it isn’t a battle fought over weeks or months, but by the daily struggle. Well, that’s the damn truth. At least in the beginning. Wake up, find the resolve to get out of bed, spend the entire day hating your life, crawl into bed at the end of the day, try to sleep. Later, start partaking in illegal drugs to help you sleep. Four hours every night for weeks just doesn’t work – hence the drug use. Also, you probably shouldn’t do that. It’s bad for your lungs.
Anyway, so yeah. Daily struggle, but also not a battle. That puts an entirely unhealthy spin on it. Sure, you feel like it’s a battle in the beginning. A battle against the self, a battle against the partner, etc. But really, it should be viewed as a foray into the unknown, and the feelings are all over the place because feelings are feelings, but really it’s just a new chapter. And, I will tell you, if you are going through it now or recently, feel that it is a battle in the moment. It will help your resolve. But don’t forget to be on your own side.
So then I go on to talk about all the things I did. Throw away my wedding cake in the freezer, move furniture, pack up his stuff. In retrospect, I kind of wish I had just thrown it all on the lawn. Because what feels better than being vindictive? Nothing. Nothing feels better than that. And if the person REALLY deserves it, rake them over the coals. I didn’t want to be that kind of woman, I wanted to handle it with class. What I’ve realized is that he didn’t deserve an ounce of consideration or class from me. Kind of wish I had been able to make him suffer just a little bit. (Okay, maybe this shit is a little too crazy to post on the internet. But trust me, it’s all completely normal.)
Then I talk about my feelings, blah blah blah. Blame it on him, good show. And a whole lot of sadness.
Next day, write about feeling overwhelmed. And not trusting the thoughts in my head. Ah, here we see it. The first documentation of self-doubt. That Kyrston was a puss. Talking about not feeling myself, playing a role and not knowing who I am without this person to define me, some song lyrics from Thank You by Estelle, my divorce soundtrack if you may. Psh. Losing something so precious. Love we shared was real. That we belonged together (no we didn’t). Then talking about the guy I am currently dating. He has been a friend of mine for years and was a crucial part to my healing. He talked me to sleep every night the weeks after it happened, because I was too afraid to fall asleep, and he made me laugh and smile. Reflecting on my thoughts about our friendship. I will have to remember to share these things with him the next time I see him. So, if you’re reading this, call me. =)
And then the really juicy stuff comes in. The thing that makes me so disgusted that I wish I could go back in time to Kyrston circa August 2012 and punch her in the throat for being so incredibly stupid. “Is it really that he is a bad guy or is it that its my fault?”
Um. Ahem. Can we just pause for a quick second and observe the idiocy in that statement. If you’ve been following along with my life story, you are probably smacking your hand against your head right now. It’s like the most cliché thing you ever hear. Man screws woman over, woman feels hurt, woman immediately tries to excuse the man’s behavior or engineer it so that it’s HER fault. Sigh. Idiot.
Now, I’m all for self-reflection. Honestly, I am. Be careful not to get too big in those britches and consider the possibility that you may be wrong. But, some things are universally game enders and nothing you can say justifies is. Sort of like… claiming that a woman who dresses like a slut is asking for it when she gets raped. Perhaps if I hadn’t walked away from him when he was angry, he wouldn’t have dragged me back in the room and screamed in my face. Or, perhaps if I hadn’t been so argumentative, he wouldn’t have threatened to put my ass on the floor if I didn’t stop saying what I was saying.
Unfortunately, my journal does not exactly read as self-reflection, it reads as complete insanity. I am literally wracking my brain for an explanation as to why this person did this and trying to come up with my half of the responsibility (which we all know is the gateway thinking for taking complete responsibility) when the reality is that you NEVER and I mean NEVER put your hands on someone else that way. You NEVER scream at them to scare them, make verbal threats, or call them a cunt or a bitch or a slut or any of the things that people say to hurt other people. You NEVER behave aggressively when you are six feet tall and two hundred pounds of solid muscle. That boy could break my neck with one hand. You never treat another human being that way, ESPECIALLY not one that is just over five feet and one hundred twenty pounds soaking wet. With rocks in her pockets.
So, I just slapped my hand against my head re-reading this particular part of my journal. Are you serious.
Anyway, moving on. Talking about my feelings of moving, then I move into more positive territory. A goal to pick three things I love about myself so much that no one could shake my resolve. A physical thing – I have a cute butt. Boys go crazy over my tush. An emotional thing – I take care of people. I even admit in the journal that I need to find balance in that, but the point is that I am kind and gentle and warm and loving. And a tangible thing – I have a superb work ethic. So, I wrote that I should start there and then use that as the foundation for moving forward finding new things to truly love about myself. Good thinking, Kyrston. You kind of made up for the abused woman mentality.
Next day, I write about how I felt about my ex-husbands grandfather dying. Mostly about guilt that I can’t take care of his needs when I had just lost someone a few weeks prior and I know that kind of pain intimately. That leads into a full-fledged ADMISSION that I am responsible for the decline of our marriage. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me. Guys, I am not making this shit up. Remember how I JUST said that trying to split the blame is the gateway to accepting full responsibility? Well there it is, 24 hours later. Jesus.
Then I go into trying to figure out how much abuse I deserved because of what I did to cause the decline in my relationship. At this point I kind of feel nauseous that I even was that woman. I mean, it makes sense and all, to a crazy person. This is nuts! I literally wrote “I want to blame it all on him, but I can’t. I’m not a princess, and he didn’t go from being the knight to the dragon. I was undeserving of trust, and instead of re-building that the relationship disintegrated. His treatment of me got worse and worse. But in a relationship trust is breached… people make mistakes. The question is how much did I deserve? Not as much as I received. [Oh, thank god. Some brilliance Kyrston.] When should I have demanded better treatment?”
Oh for the love of god. How about, if you’re in a relationship (even a marriage) and someone hurts you that badly that you want to hurt them, you leave them. Hey, you, ex-husband from right around a year ago. You should have left me if I hurt you that badly, you coward.
Then I go on to talk about what should have happened, and all of that is about positive energy and stuff instead of negative energy. Good, good, so I guess you saved yourself from looking like the dumb broad that thinks it’s somehow her fault and she deserved it.
Talking about the level of commitment, trying to have a baby, how I haven’t told my parents that yet, and being nervous about going home. Well, that’s some pretty heavy shit, trying to have a baby. I went to a store once and had to hurry through the kids section because it bothers me. When you’re in the mentality that you will have your own baby soon and that you are dreaming up nursery ideas and names and all that, it’s hard to look at that stuff when that dream dies.
Two days later, journal entry about aforementioned friend (and now boyfriend) about the positive things happening in my mind during our lengthy phone conversations. Then I go on to talk about the positive influence my ex had on me. What he taught me, how he made me a better person. Then talking about being his improved Kyrston even if he’s not there. I remember that being an incredibly uplifting realization, that I could be awesome even if he wasn’t there, but the truth is – I was awesome before he came into my life. And I am awesome after it. The period where I was with him did change me, but unfortunately in more bad ways than good. Only time and perspective has shown me that. I had no idea it was happening at the time. Scary, right?
Then I talk about that it’s okay to screw up and the sky doesn’t have to fall on my head just because I am human. Be more accepting of my flaws and forgiving of my poor choices. Dont be so self-destructive. All positive thoughts. Bravo. Talking about positive ways to analyze things, rather than letting my brain run rampant. Then end with a car reference – “After all, when a car isn’t running perfectly, you don’t buy a new one. You do a tune up.” Wise words. Not mine.
A few days later, a short (one page) entry with extremely sloppy handwriting. The day that I found out that my ex slept with someone. So angsty.
A few days later, in much calmer penmanship, more thoughts on the previous entry’s content. Mentioning how when I saw his name on my phone I just thought “Oh for the love of GOD what NOW?”. Anger. Lots of anger. Using the word hate a lot. Anger is a big part of divorce. Like huge. You’d think you would feel betrayed, and you do. What does that manifest itself as? Anger. Sadness? Manifests as anger. So do all the other feelings. It all turns into anger. My divorce self-help book talks about how it’s pretty common to want to run over your spouse with a car and then back over them. With a cheery smile. It’s true, folks. Basically we turn into the incredible hulk. And it’s normal.
Journal entry August 18 2012. The day before I leave to go to NH. Emotions raw, a new journey on the horizon, so relieved to see my dad. Afraid I will fall apart because I have been go-go-go the whole time. Realizing I will never sleep in my bed again, or drive on the same roads, see my friends and family, follow my normal routine. I am going home to NH and everything is about to change. Feeling full of sharp shards and they poke me every time I move.
And then the rest of the entries are after I moved here. And really there’s only a handful. After awhile I stopped writing in my journal and very shortly after that I started blogging again. And if you move backwards in time to those blog posts you’re pretty much caught up. As if your very existence hinges on knowing what goes on inside my mind. Ha.
It felt good to reflect on how I felt many months ago. My therapist tells me I have pretty much graduated from therapy. Okay, those are my words. She didn’t say graduated. She just told me I’m just about done. We switched the monthly visits two months ago as it turns out I can cope without crying for an hour once a week in that setting. I cry when I need to cry. Some days I feel bad, some days I feel good. The people who know me best say I am behaving in ways that I never had before. No more tailspins, no more self-sabotage. No more caving and being weak. No more drama, no more uncertainty, and very little pain. Well, the pain comes and goes in the most weird ways, but I am handling it beautifully. Actually, I have handled everything beautifully since I got here, with very few hiccups.
And, I guess I just wanted to write all of that down, because I think it’s unfair for people to have to go through this without a feeling of belonging. The most helpful things I heard during this process were stories that other people told me. Anything at all to validate every single feeling. And when I first got here in mid August and my dad promised me it would take time but eventually I would feel like it was just a thing that happened and not the most relevant thing – I just cried. It felt impossible. I felt so shattered and so dirty, like being divorced had ruined me. I was very close to swearing off all intimacy for good, and it was the tiniest shred of self-respect that kept me from going there. That, and a whole lotta love from a whole lotta people. Shout out to you folks – you know who you are. Thank you for helping me save myself, for being my support system, for being patient and kind, for believing in me. But most importantly, doing these things so consistently and unwaveringly that I had no choice but to learn to believe in myself.
You’re handlng this well, in my (not so) humble opinion =) A lot better than I did, that’s for sure.
It takes a lot to come to that point where you say to yourself “it’s time to be okay.” Of course, it doesn’t just happen magically after you reach that point, but it marks the moment when you’re truly ready to start living again–really living.
For the longest time I found myself simply existing. Going to work from 8:30 to 5 every day. Being jealous and insecure around A. Feeling angry and unwanted because K would not reciprocate my feelings for her. Lamenting the fact that my ex-wife took away my ability to give my children a normal life (the only thing I ever really wanted).
In the last few months, I feel like I’ve actually been living. I don’t feel insecure around A anymore. Although I don’t hate K, and sometimes I find myself wishing that our friendship could have worked out, I realize that she wasn’t any good for me and that I’m completely okay without her.
Those flashes of self-worth and confidence that you saw in me are more than just that now. I feel it. You had a lot to do with that. You were there for me in my deepest moments of doubt and self-loathing, reminding me of how ridiculous it was for me to see myself as anything less than awesome.
I tried to do that for you as well, and I hope that I succeeded at least in some small measure. As always, it warms my heart to see you doing so well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and thank you for being a good friend.