When I first separated from my husband I had a hard time believing that I could really be free from the relationship.

How would I support myself after being a stay-at-home mom all of my life?

Was it possible for me to have financial independence?

In early July of 2012-I think July 9th-my husband moved out and into a small house down the street. My anxiety was high and our life was a mess.

On July 26, I dropped my kids off at a local pool and decided to go for a walk before heading back home. I walk every day and thought walking in a different area of town would be a nice change.

I  began my walk with prayer as I often do. I prayed God would give me a sign during this walk that I would be able to be free from this destructive relationship. I wanted the sign to be obvious so I wouldn’t have to second guess.

“Please show me – give me a sign that this is possible-and please make it obvious.”

After that prayer, my mind wandered and I forgot about asking for a sign. I followed a road that led out of town. A walk in the country would be nice. I came to the entrance of a sub division that I had never been in before. I left the main road and headed into a new neighborhood.

After walking many blocks into it and I thought I should check where I was so back tracking would be easier. At an intersection, I looked up at the street sign.  I then remembered my prayer at the beginning of the walk.

It was my sign from God.

I was standing on the corner of Freedom Way and Independence Lane.002

I cried. I couldn’t believe that I asked for a sign from God at the beginning of the walk and I literally got one.

How and when this freedom and independence would come is in God’s hands. I, of course, was hoping for it to be soon.

But I accept that God’s timing will be the best and it will come when he knows I am ready for it. I also assumed it would come by way of divorce and the recent change of events doesn’t make that seem to be the plan.

For the first time I am truly willing to peacefully submit to God’s plan. He is holding up both me and my husband – there will be no winner or loser.

This is a season. And all seasons end.

 

 

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noSigns of depression are creeping in.

Loss of interest in school, sleeping more, withdrawl–at least I know it’s there and can take action against it.

I will say no to depression.

Some of those feelings are due to the fear that this could go on for years and not months.

How will I deal with this relationship that long without withering away?

After everything I’ve learned from my counselor and pastor I know that spiritual junk from others can make us sick. Even though he’s been pleasant, just being around my husband makes me emotionally sick.

I’ve prayed for spiritual protection and hope that if this does last years, I will come out of it emotionally well.

***

We’re kind of on our own as a family. My husband doesn’t belong to my church or have any friends of his own. I have friends, but most of whom my husband doesn’t know. We may have been married, but we’ve never been a couple, so we’ve never connected with people that way.

It’s an awkward situation. Here are two people on the brink of divorce, suddenly finding themselves back together due to a terminal illness.

What are people supposed to say? “I’m sorry to hear your husband is sick?” or “Congratulations – how convenient for you.”

So they don’t say anything.

My friendship with my church friend is very strained. I told her some of our financial burden would be reduced because of disability and death benefit insurance on our mortgage–we should be done paying for our house–and she expressed jealousy.

I’m starting to see her as a bitter person.

***

I have to remember that God didn’t bring me this far to drop me on my head. He’s seen me through and provided for me during these last two years of turmoil and marital separation. He will continue to do so.

I’m grateful for this quiet corner of the internet to be able to express my dark feelings. This journal and the handwritten ones I keep may come in handy.

Maybe I’ll title a book, “How Not to Marry a Murderer and Other Great Advice.”

 

It’s emotionally difficult to sit with someone when they receive the news that they have an incurable cancer with only months to live.

Even though I don’t feel love for him and still desire freedom from the relationship, I feel sadness for someone who’s facing the end of their life.examroom

The diagnosis is stage IV colon cancer that has metastasized to the lungs along with malignant ascites–accumulating abdominal fluid containing cancer cells.

He has multiple abdominal masses, but surprisingly not on any abdominal organs including the liver.

Prognosis is less than six months without treatment and if he wants to try chemo then maybe a year or possibly two.

My own research has consistently shown that someone with malignant ascites due to colon cancer has a life expectancy ranging from 1-4 months.

Some journal articles said 20 weeks with a mean of 11 weeks. One medical journal from Japan said a mean of 3. 7 months. They all fall into the same range.

He wants to try the chemo and his first chemo is set for April 17, two hours away in Madison.

***

We’ve been to Madison three times already for biopsies, fluid drainage and follow ups.

I was a little apprehensive about spending that amount of time together (2.5 hours from our house to the front doors of the hospital). We hadn’t spent five hours together in one day like that for probably over twenty years.

I’m not kidding.

Surprisingly, the drives have been comfortably quiet. We’ve chatted some. He asked me about nursing school that will start in August. but otherwise a lot of silence. But not a tense silence like it had been for years if we were together.

I’ve picked him up at 5-5:30 a.m. and we listen to the news on Wisconsin Public Radio.

***

It’s crazy how life can change on a dime. I’ve been running and going a mile a minute for the last twenty-months and it all has come to a screeching halt. The pull to focus on home and turn inward is so strong that I know that God is calling me back home.

I believe he allowed the separation as it was needed for me to become emotionally healthy and strong.

I once told my pastor that there can only be one winner in this situation–either my husband ‘wins’ and I’m forced to go back to him, becoming emotionally dead or I ‘win’ by getting the divorce and becoming free of this relationship.

At the time my Pastor said that God is holding both us of and has plans to raise us both up to something good.

No one wins or loses in God’s eyes.

Now at first glance it might seem like I’m going to ‘win’ in this situation, because I’ll be free of the relationship through death. But my Pastor said that not all healing is physical. Yes, it does look as if this is the end of my husband’s life, but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t working here.

Maybe God has plans for emotional and spiritual healing for my husband. Can it really be that God can take an ugly mess like our relationship that never contained love and bring some kind of peace to it?

Maybe, just maybe it’s true that nothing is beyond the reach of Christ.

Both my pastor and counselor agreed that becoming my husband’s caregiver and stopping the divorce is the right thing to do. His care would be done two hours away at the veteran’s hospital in Madison where biopsies were being scheduled. home

Because of the time commitment of driving and the fact that my husband isn’t well enough to cook for the kids or have them too long, I quit my two part time jobs.

I feel a strong urge to focus on home. I enjoyed my massage job, but when I left for the last time I felt relieved and free.

The words, “It’s time to go home,” echoed in my head.

I had spent the last 20 months going to school full time, working part-time jobs, searching and searching for how I was going to make it once I was divorced.

***

I was surprised by the reaction I got from my friend at church. When I told her about the masses that were found and that I would be caring for my husband, she told me not to.

She said my two older kids (18 and 22) should handle it and that I should move on after everything he’s put me through.

Then she told me if I chose to help him–she didn’t want to hear about it. I was stunned and hurt.

How is putting my kids through that going to help promote any goodwill in my family? Getting divorced is tough enough for kids to deal with – under these conditions I would imagine my kids would resent me for a lifetime.

They need to know someone is handling this situation and taking care of things. My husband has children and grandchildren in Texas. They need the assurance that someone is helping him here.

And that someone is me.

Some space is needed from this friendship for awhile. I’ve had to wonder what the friendship was based on. She always told me about how she barely made it financially as a divorced mom when her kids were young.

Did she want to see me struggle as she did? I think she did. And now the situation may be that I could be a widowed mom and not have to struggle financially. She outright said she was jealous. She’s in an unhappy marriage and I need to understand that this is her issue. Her junk.

***

So once again, I’m an at home mom going to school online full time.

It feels comfortable.

It feels right.

Before we proceeded any further, I knew we needed to sit down and have a discussion.

If I was going to help my husband through this time I needed to tell him that I remembered back when I was 19 he hold me he killed someone.coffee2 It hasn’t been forgotten because I was a kid and it was decades ago.

I had to say it or it would always be hanging in the air.

I picked up my husband and took him to Starbucks. I asked him what role he wanted me to play as he goes through this.

He said that when he was in the hospital he worried about going through this alone.  His lack of social skills has left him with no friends or social circles.

He wanted to me to be there if I would be willing.

I said I would, but I needed his assurance that the things we discussed would stay between us. That he would not use our youngest son as a sounding board or post our conversations on facebook.

He agreed.

And then I said it.

I told him that I have never forgotten what he told me and even though we never spoke of it again, it’s eaten away at me for 26 years. He said he did it, but he was ordered to.

I’ll let him rationalize it however he wants, but I’m not convinced that the military sends Gunnery Sergeants out to put hits on people. I’m thinking a military buddy asked him to and now he’s rationalizing it that way.

But I said what I needed to say and the rest is between him and God.

We agreed to let everything between us go at this time so we can focus on the problem at hand and our family.

It’s obviously not something I could do long term, but it will work for now.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on this blog. I honestly thought I was done with it. I was emotionally stronger after separating from my husband and life was looking positive.  new direction

But once again, I need a place to anonymously share what’s not appropriate for a public blog under my real name.

We were supposed to be divorced last August, but my husband had the court date cancelled.

The new date was October and this date couldn’t be cancelled.

We showed up at the courthouse on October 30, both expecting to walk out divorced. The judge ordered mediation in regards to the children.

We were not divorced on that day.

Our two mediation dates spanned the winter due to my intense school schedule–cramming in a required CNA course for the nursing program into the winter break.

Mediation ended in late January.

On March 8th, I was scheduled to take the nursing entrance exam. The results of this test would determine what I would be doing next fall.

My lawyer told me to wait on the divorce proceedings until after the test. He wanted to be able to tell the judge what my plans were for the coming year–and this test would determine that.

Once again, the divorce was on hold.

Two days before the exam, on March 6th, I got a text from my husband. He said he had just gotten out of the hospital and needed to talk to me.  Tests showed that he had a mass in a partially collapsed lung and five abdominal masses.

I don’t remember what I said.

Not much, I don’t think. I do remember going to my parent’s house for dinner that night.

***

The next day I walked down to my husband’s house (which is four houses down from mine). I told him I would hold off on the divorce.

It’s the right thing to do. Who divorces someone under such conditions?

I prayed for our family.

But I couldn’t pray for my husband’s healing.

If I did, God would know I was a fraud. I talked to my pastor about it and admitted I couldn’t pray for healing–in fact, I hoped for the opposite.

This was a way out of the relationship.

That’s one thing I appreciate about my pastor–I can be real with him and he doesn’t judge me. He told me to do what I can do and that’s to help him with what I can, pray for what I can and not feel bad about what I can’t do.

I can help.

I can support.

But I can’t make myself feel something or pray for something that’s not sincere.

God is doing something here. What it is, I’m not entirely sure.

I ran into a woman I’ve known for about 15+ years from our homeschool group.  We were standing in the grocery store and she was updating me on her family.  Then she asked, “How are things with you?”person_walking_alone_in_thick_fog

I surprised myself in saying that I was going through a divorce.  Last year I would have said, “Fine,” in response to her question and would not have given any personal information.

What was even more surprising is that I didn’t care what she thought.

She said that the Lord is very clear about his position on marriage…

Yes, I know that already, thank you.

I know I will be harshly judged by this group of people – and I’m starting to be ok with that.

My counselor says they make judgements based on the typical marriage and divorce situation – you know the story…

guy and girl meet and fall in love…

some years go by and they grow apart because of their busy lives…

they don’t give attention to their marriage…

they decide to divorce because they’ve fallen out of love and no longer want to commit.

Because this is what most people experience this is the assumption they make about me.

So I guess I will learn to do a lot of smiling, nodding and keeping my mouth shut.

***

This last week I also ran into someone from high school.  She is getting divorced after 22 years – because they aren’t in love anymore, but she says it’s hard to get over the relationship.  Her emotions were raw and she said she was glad to run into someone who knows what she’s going through.

I felt bad because I couldn’t identify with her sense of loss at all.  Again – I just smile and nod.  I may be divorcing after 24 years, but I feel none of the things she feels.

I could never find information or people I could relate to about marriage – and now I have a hard time finding people I can relate to about divorce.

Today was a special day.  My 14 year old daughter was baptized (the first of my children to decide to do so) and then confirmed.  Last fall we went round and round about confirmation.cross

Honestly, I didn’t want her to.

My feelings were that it seems like religious ceremony.  I wanted her to commit to faith on her and God’s time – not when a church says that this is the age you commit yourself to Christ.  And I certainly didn’t want her to get baptized just to be confirmed with her friends.

She didn’t choose an immersion baptism.  Our pastor said we could have done it at the Y, but she chose to be sprinkled.

That was harder for me to accept, but I respected her decision.

***

When I became a Christian, I never thought church would be the cause of bitterness in our family.  A few weeks ago, my daughter asked her dad to come to her baptism and confirmation.  He said he would never set foot in this church again and he didn’t want our pastor to baptize her.

Of course, his attitude only makes my Red-Haired Boy (17) feel justified in not going also.  Red-Haired Boy told his sister that he wanted to be there for her, but that he just couldn’t stand to see our pastor.  ~sigh~

***

I called my Big Boy, who’s 21 and mature well beyond his years.  He lives 3 hours away with his wife and baby daughter.  I asked if he would come in his dad’s place and he didn’t hesitate in saying he would be here.

My Big Boy brings life into this house.  Whenever he comes home he brings joy and wonderful energy into my life.  He and I have a relationship that is very different than the ones I have with the other kids.  I’d almost describe it as a brother/sister relationship rather than a mother/son.

When he left home – it left a huge hole in my life.

We talk on the phone almost every day.  He used to call in the evenings when he got home from work, but now that he’s married, he calls during his commute time – and rightly so.  I so appreciate that he still makes time for me while he’s busy with his own family.

A fractured family makes special events like this a bit hard to swallow.

But it is what it is.

I wonder what I’m supposed to have learned or be learning from spending my whole adult life so far with someone I never loved.

I gave my entire youth away to him.  So much mental energy went into imaginary conversations I’d have with him – saying how much I couldn’t stand him or day dreaming that he would die.

Gosh – I think of the years that I spent thinking like that everyday – what a waste of energy.direction-indicators-and-sun

So now what?

24 years is a long time to just say, “Oh well…”  In the end, I want to look back and say that I made use of those years in some way  – that I just didn’t walk away into a new life.

What did I learn?

I’m not sure, other than the decisions that you make in your youth can follow you for the rest of your life.

That’s why I’m tough on my kids to be independent at early ages -homeschooling allowed me to push them and allowed them a level of independence that we couldn’t have achieved as well had they been in school.  When my oldest two were 16 and 12 I sent them on a camping trip 800 miles from home for a week – totally alone.

Some said I was crazy.

I said they were ready…and they rose to the challenge.

I push them because I don’t want them to make the devastating choices I made.  If only I had been smarter and more confident I wouldn’t have walked the path that I did.

What could I do with what I learned?

Once I figure out exactly it is that I’m supposed to learn – then what?

I want to do something with that.

I’m just not sure what direction that is.

@Annabellee45

There are two reactions to divorce I hear.  One is, “Oh, you have to do what makes you happy – you only live once.”  I just nod and don’t say much, but I feel superficial when I hear those comments.  That makes it sound like it’s all about me and what I want.  Two_Paths_Diverged_in_a_wood

I’m not getting divorced to ‘be happy’.

I’m getting divorced to be healthy.

But that’s the idea of marriage the world holds – if it doesn’t make you happy – then get out.

When my pastor got involved last year, he used the term ‘well-being’.

I had never thought about my well-being, but after over a year of counseling with a Christian counselor and months with my pastor – I now realize my well-being is important.  My husband just shrugs it off as nonsense – mocking me on facebook with his “having a nervous breakdown isn’t a reason for divorce” posts.

The other reaction to divorce is that those who are divorced are spiritual failures – that we didn’t try hard enough, pray enough, or grow close enough to God.

Just before Christmas I photographed a friend’s daughter’s wedding that I’ve known for almost 17ish years.  We don’t see each other often, but we’ve always kept in touch.  Her and her husband don’t know my husband personally, but they are connected on facebook – unfortunately.

While I was standing and talking with my friend’s husband – out of the blue he says, “You know, my wife and I had some rough times at a certain point in our marriage but once we put Christ in the middle – it all worked out.”

I stood there not knowing what to say.  That’s the hard thing about having my husband spew on facebook – my life is exposed – and all from his perspective.

I just nodded.  But what went through my mind was,  How nice for you – but tell me, Charles, did your wife ever tell you she shot someone in the back of the head? 

Fuck off.

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