I would be a liar if I said life was easy right now. It’s been a while since I last posted or gave any sort of update, so perhaps I should start there. Please note that I am going to do this in the only way I know how, sparing likely crucial details because I am, in fact, in the middle of a divorce and I don’t want to jeopardize that or the current custody situation.
If you had told me this time last year I would be living with my 2 kids and mother, I would have thought you were crazy. My estranged husband and I had been together nearly 13 years the day I left. Everyone, including myself I think, thought I would go back because we always got back together. The truth is, some days, I wish we had.
I compare my struggle now and the struggle of being in my marriage and some days it’s hard to tell which struggle is worse. My ex (that still feels weird to type and trust me, it’s even weirder to say) and I had a toxic relationship. I won’t go into detail about the toxicity of it, but suffice it to say that it was damaging for both of us as well as our two children. I could write a million stories about all the reasons why it was toxic, but there is no point. Not now anyway. Ultimately I left, thought I would return, but didn’t and now, 6 months later, here I am.
I struggle a lot with fear. Regret. Wondering if I made the right choice for my kids and for me. I get anxiety thinking about losing my children despite knowing how illogical that is. I am a good mother, I love and care for my children, but I have always been a “worst case scenario” type of girl. We signed the Property Settlement Agreement in January without ever having had a sit-down discussion about maybe trying to fix us. I wonder if things would be different if we had.
I signed up for school almost immediately after I left because that was always an area of contention for us. I couldn’t believe I was accepted into UofR. I took three classes last semester and after having several people tell me, including my sister’s lawyer, that I was a fool for doing so and on the path to a nervous breakdown, the semester ended last week.
I didn’t just pass my classes, I got an A and 2 B’s. I’ll take that. B’s used to bother me, but frankly, I am thankful to have made it without a single C. It was hard. I shouldn’t have pushed myself so hard, but I did anyway and I survived. I am taking the summer off to spend more time with my kids, but I will return in the fall.
My ex and I presently have joint custody. I have them more days due to his work schedule, but we split the cost of child care, he pays their insurance and I agreed not to seek child support or spousal support. When I left, I asked for half the equity in the house in exchange for signing it over to him. Seeing how much the value of our home had depreciated was devastating. Not because I was out money, but because the issues with our home were the things I had always wanted fixed, but it was never on the priority list.
I took my $6K and cried. I cried at the final walk-through where all my things had been. I cried over the memories I was walking away from. I cried because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I felt like I wasn’t worth being a good husband and father for. It doesn’t matter now, it’s done. I hope no one else ever has to feel that way.
My kids are happier. I can tell by the way they behave. I think, for the most part, I am happier too. I am not constantly walking on eggshells worrying if someone is going to be upset with me. I am not worried about what I say or do and how that may be misinterpreted. I am able to generally come and go through life as I please, and my kids get to see me happy. I don’t think they’ve ever seen me this way.
Saturday, I took Unicorn to Kings Dominion for the first time. We had an amazing time, but my ex was in the back of my mind and I felt guilt for a lot of the day. Guilty that I had broken up our home. Guilty that my son was there with me and not me and his father, but then I remembered what day it was and his father wouldn’t have been with us anyway. At the end of the day, though, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with my son. He laughed more than I think I have ever heard him laugh. We played and danced and enjoyed our moments together. I wish I could bottle that feeling and take a sip every time I feel down like I do today.
I have some days wherein I feel like a total badass and others wherein I feel like a complete failure. I am trying really hard to worry less and take life one day at a time. I am more put-together now than I have ever been, but man. The days I don’t have my kids are easily the hardest days of my life. Sometimes I think that’s where my regret stems from. Regret of losing 100% of my time with my babies. I don’t know what the future looks like. I do know that today is hard, but tomorrow might be better.
I do know that I am doing the absolute best I can by my kids and not a single thing I have done has been out of spite or hate. I always tell my kids how much their father loves them, even though I am not sure that its reciprocated.
One day at a time.
I will be more active. I will do with this blog what I’ve always wanted to do. Share my momming, my projects, my food, my crafts and our life.