When I wake up tomorrow, I will be 59. I can’t believe I’ve arrived here so quickly. One day I went to bed 35 years old and now I am staring down 60. I am grateful for another birthday because growing old isn’t a privilege everyone gets.
It would be nice if the days and years would slow down. I’d like the time to dream again and figure out what I want in my future. In less than a year I’ll have one daughter on the West Coast and one daughter with her family living back East. Due to financial reasons I will be staying behind in central Texas. I pray I’ll be able to afford to take the time off to see those I love so much. My heart breaks at the thought of living here alone.
It is impossible to know how much devastation divorce can cause until it happens to you. It is time to start finding my way again so when 60 does arrive, I’m ready.
When a person is in a battle with depression, most will find they have triggers. Post divorce, my depression was so serious, I spent weeks and months as a recluse. It has been a lot of hard work climbing out of that dark pit, but I see light now and don’t want to wander into the darkness again.
Working with a therapist was the best decision I made but it took going through several before I found the right one for me. He helped me learn to recognize my triggers. This has enabled me to be ready for what I used to think was depression from out of the blue.
Trigger #1: A change in seasons. It’s a reminder of the things my ex and I used to do at specific times of the year. Like now spring is coming and I’m feeling the tug to buy lots of flowers for the yard. Only trouble is I don’t really have any place to plant anything.
Trigger #2: Certain music. Typically if the words remind me my ex put no effort into saving our marriage, I’ll feel down for a day or two.
Whatever it takes by Lifehouse
Trigger #3: Certain scents. I’ve read that scent is the strongest evoker of memories. It never fails when I smell burning leaves I break down. Why? That is a scent I associate with the early days of my marriage.
Of course there are a few more triggers, but before I allow my emotions to take control of me, I have some quiet time and reflect. Asking myself questions to determine why I feel myself falling backwards.
It takes time. And I’ve learned growing old is a privilege not everyone gets. I don’t want to waste anymore days in the darkness.
Say hello to my family. It isn’t exactly the family I imagined I’d have. My husband, the girls’ father isn’t in the picture anymore, literally and figuratively. For a long time after he left, I felt like a failure. It took a few years, lots of counseling, support from my daughters and son-in-law, and loads of prayer to finally understand I wasn’t a failure.
I did spend lots of time being mad at God. I couldn’t understand why He didn’t answer my prayer to save my marriage. Slowly but surely God guided me to an understanding that sometimes He doesn’t say Yes, but He says I have something better planned for you.
I am no longer on the journey to a 50th wedding anniversary and it still disappoints me, but I’ve experienced so much joy in the last few years, I am beginning to grasp God’s plan. I don’t have the power to see into the future so I don’t actually know which direction God will be taking me next. I’ve moved 6 times since 2012 and have gone from living in 4200 sq. ft house with a pool and home theater to a 1000 sq. ft duplex. I live in a town I didn’t even know existed until a few years ago. I live here because I wanted to be close to my daughter and son-in-law.
In less than 18 months, they will be moving across the country to the Northeast. My other daughter lives in CA. Again, having my girls living so far apart wasn’t part of my plan. I still pray God can work it out so we can all live near one another. I will continue to work daily on trusting him,
My life is going in a new direction and I am waiting to see where that leads me.
If you continue to hope someone who continually disappoints you will change, its best to stop hoping. Most people never change. A tiny few will surprise you and change. I know because I surprised my girls and changed.
However my ex-husband (30 yrs of marriage), has for their entire lifetimes, disappointed them. And now after five years divorced, he has sunk even lower. I endured being treated as though as I was invisible and now he is doing to the girls.
How you ask? Always staying focused on himself and his comfort. Handing over gift buying to his live-in younger girlfriend who doesn’t know either of them. And my daughters have no desire to know her. Every time, which is rarely, they see their dad, they say it’s like he’s on something. He’s not himself. He makes odd comments. He doesn’t follow through on promises.
It breaks my heart for my daughters. I asked my oldest if she thought he treated them so poorly because they are also my daughters and remind him of me and all his betrayals? Her response was no. She believed he saw his parents and his own siblings as his real family. She and her sister were just some unimportant extended family.
So stop and think this Christmas season, if you are a person of integrity? Do you make people feel valuable and loved? Are you interested in those close to you or is your focus solely on your own life? Do your children know you love them and they are the most important people in your life? Change is not impossible, but it does take hard work. If you are someone who continues to hope my advice is to stop. Pray you can accept this person as he is and not to allow his problems to hurt you.
An impediment to moving forward. Why do I feel it’s not possible to be happy and relaxed? Is it because I believe I don’t deserve to be happy? Am I not worthy of happiness? Is it I don’t know what happiness is so I don’t recognize it? I know I’ve felt and experienced happiness before but now, for the past several years beginning in 2009, my ability to be happy has eluded me.
I see other people. I can feel their joy. I can sense their satisfaction with life. They are relaxed and have fun. I feel wound up so tightly that it’s impossible to move for fear I’ll break or snap.
Is there a secret? A secret to letting go of the worry, always worried what people think of me? A secret to just enjoy the moment? I know I’ve missed so much since 2009. Time we can never reclaim. I don’t want to waste anymore moments which could possible hold joy and happiness.
I just received a tongue lashing from someone who knows nothing about me or what I’ve been through. It’s so easy to judge someone’s life or decisions when you judge from comfort. How can anyone know what someone else has experienced without asking?
How can someone speak of believing in marriage and not divorce when she doesn’t know the choices you had or the situation you were in? How can someone minimize your struggles or heartache when she knows nothing of your life?
Divorce is not something I wanted. I spent 30 years forgiving and trying to make it work. It takes two people to make a marriage work. And for anyone who believes mental and emotional abuse is less damaging than physical abuse has never experienced it.
So before you give someone a tongue lashing stop. Keep your mouth shut and thank the Lord above you are not in that person’s situation.
I had just said goodbye to my husband (now ex), as he was leaving to go to work. He was in his uniform and heading to the airport. He was and still is a captain for AA. As he was walking out of the door, the plane hit the tower. I yelled at him to come back in.
Needless to say he didn’t go to work that day. Our world was shaken like so many. Two days later I drove him to DFW so he could fly from Dallas-Fort Worth to Oklahoma City. He had one passenger on the flight. The airport was a ghost town. There were no security bars on the cockpit door that day or for many months to come.
What so many people forget is the first lives lost were those of the flight attendants and pilots. Certainly their throats must have been slit as they sat strapped into their seats. Flying an airplane had never been an easy job. Now a new level of danger was added to the already difficult job.
My ex’s mental health suffered after that day and he has never regained what I consider a balanced mindset. Heavy drinking, prostitutes, porn, erotic massage parlors, fear of terrorists, job security as the airline industry suffered all led to the destruction of our marriage. We were just another casualty of 9/11.
I don’t know if you can tell from the photo but I’ve been sleeping on a very small and uncomfortable sofa for the last two days. I helped move my daughter to the LA area. I helped load the truck. I drove the truck and then helped carry boxes up to the second floor apartment. Thankfully she moved no furniture.
Without going into details the room she’s subletting and the apartment were filthy. She said, “Mom, how can people live like this?” I don’t know but working as a real estate agent a few years ago, I learned never to be surprised what was behind closed doors. So rather than unload the truck first thing, the next few hours were spent making the room clean enough to even begin. Once we unloaded the truck, I thought I had been hit by a semi. I don’t remember the last time I ached so much.
Then we ran a few errands including buying paint. When we returned I promptly set about painting the orange and blue room a soft gray. More unpacking and cleaning, finally crashing about midnight on the sofa.
The next day we made an IKEA stop, along with half of LA followed by Walmart then we set about assembling a bookcase. The room needed more cleaning. A lot was accomplished including cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Hopefully we will finish up today because I fly out of LAX this evening.
Maybe it’s the physical, emotional and mental fatigue which has caused the nightmares to return. They not only make for a poor night’s sleep but I awake feeling depressed and disheartened. I return to spend another week with my family and will go to chemo on Thursday. I will manage to see three high school friends before my cat and I hit the road again for two long days.
There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my daughters as long as I am able to help. I no longer have the ability to help financially even with anything small need. I wonder if their father, who acts as those they were never born, realizes he is missing out on the lives of two incredible women and the love of the three of us. Praying the nightmares leave so I don’t wake up feeling so down.
My life has changed in major ways in the last 10 years. I became an empty nester, a mother-in-law, and a divorcée. I’ve been a hospital patient, a surgical patient and have become a woman whose childbearing days are over. I’ve moved six times and filled out thousands of job applications. I’ve lost my father, watched a family member fight a rare type of cancer twice and win and I have learned someone else I love is fighting cancer. I’ve fought depression at every turn. I’ve seen my daughters’ father and his family treat them as though they never existed and I’ve watched them persevere through it becoming better women because of it. It has been a crazy and an emotionally and physically challenging 10 years. I’ve experienced some highs, my daughter’s marriage, my youngest college graduation, my oldest getting a master degree. I watched my son-in-law take the Hippocratic oath and become a doctor. I saw my youngest brave a year living abroad. I’ve also experienced the worst years of my life in the last ten years.
They say nothing in life is guaranteed. I’d disagree. You can always be guaranteed life will not stay the same. There will be periods of highs and lows with lots of nothing much happening times. I know I am ready for a change in my life. It’s as though I can feel it coming. I just pray it’s a change for the good.
I love Instagram. I see photos from all over the world taken by everyday people. There are lakes, mountains, cafés, flowers, old buildings, hotels, boats, dogs, cats, interesting people and so much more. Sadly I am currently stuck living in a place which offers dead fields, flat land, Walmart, McDonald’s, uncared for homes and not much more.
My heart cries out because it’s not home. I want to go home but I no longer have a home. I am alone with no one. Although one daughter is here with her husband, they have a life and are not responsible for me. I haven’t been able to motivate myself to reengage in life these past three and half years. Nightmares have returned to haunt me.
Nothing has changed. Nada.