When I found myself divorced, I became very depressed. I honestly believed God had forgotten me and that I’d never find joy in my life again. I was unemployed for 4.5 years. I was living off of a rapidly dwindling 401k. And while countless people offered advice on finding a job, no matter what type of job I applied for, I wouldn’t get any response. And trust me I tried the most basic, hourly wage jobs to things for which I’d be better suited. Nothing.
I decided I needed to move closer to my eldest daughter because she lived in a very affordable city. Depression came with me and so did the tears. I really didn’t see a way out of my situation beyond moving in with my daughter or mother. And then a miracle happened.
My daughter was working as a nanny, part-time and her employers needed someone for the two extra days. I jumped at the chance because the small amount of money, would help me stay afloat. I had no idea I was about to fall in love.
From day one of caring for APL, my depression began to lift. It wasn’t so heavy. There was sunshine instead of dark clouds. Several months after starting, my daughter left to have my first grandson and chose not to return to work. So now I was the full-time care provider for this sweet boy.
I tell him God knew I needed him and sent me to this town so I could take care of him. He was 16 months old when I began and soon will be 6 and heading to first grade. Just like with my own kids, the time has flown.
While from time to time, my depression returns, it leaves quickly and is never as severe. Two more children have been added to my employer’s family and with it more joy.
I should have trusted God. He knew what he was doing the entire time.
I didn’t realize it had been a year since I posted anything on my blog. With all the time alone, it would have been easy to write about something, anything at all but I found it much too easy to do nothing. Which sadly, has been my excuse for several years now, post divorce to plan nothing.
The title of my blog is LifeRewritten because as many people do, I had a life plan. My ex and I had even discussed vacations where we’d take our future grandkids. And trips we would enjoy together. Alas those dreams will not happen. I started this blog to work through my emotions and now it is time to start actually writing those new chapters.
First: buy a house which I did May 2019. Two years have flown by and I am beginning a new project. I have a small, shallow, wide backyard. After two years of contemplating do I or don’t I spend the money to do something to it, I decided to take the plunge.
I had several landscapers come out but they didn’t give much direction and the cost was astronomical for very few plants. So I researched on the internet and read my trusty Neil Sperry Texas Garden book. I drew countless arrangements of plants and trees. I finally decided on a general plan and on May 29th, the work begins. I’ll need to add many more plants once this initial work is completed.
And while promised by the end of May, I am not as hopeful for my new patio cover. A previous owner had a sunscreen hung as a patio cover. The ice storm ripped it down and now I am having a new one built. The builder promised me by the end of May, but now he says he is in the middle of a house remodel. I am not happy, but I am committed to this builder now.
The first chapter of a LifeRewritten begun in May 2019 when I bought my house. I didn’t add too many pages but it’s time to start writing the future again.
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.
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.
Lately I’ve been asking myself several questions and I was surprised I couldn’t answer them. They aren’t difficult questions. What do I like to do? What is my personal style? What are my best qualities? What am I good at? Questions many people never ask because they already know. I thought I knew the answers to these questions but lately I’ve realized I have very little idea of who I am.
Strange because at the age of 58, society says you know yourself. You have life experience and can define who you are. Not the case for me. I think like many women, I defined myself as wife and mother. I haven’t been a wife for five years and although I’m a mother, my daughters are grown. The divorce put me in a downward spiral which I am happy to say is over.
Now I am left with so many questions. I put “me” on the back burner, completely forgetting who I am and what I like. In fact I’m not certain I ever knew the answers to those questions. As a perpetual people pleaser, it never occurred to me to even consider what I wanted.
Due to life circumstances I will be moving to a new city in about 18 months. I have no idea where I’ll be going. I’ll have to decide whether to follow my daughter and her family, move home and in with my mother, stay put here (without family or friends) or put the decision on hold and travel. My girls tell me staying here or traveling is just putting off life and living.
I think they are right. If I had the financially ability to buy a home, it might be an easier decision. Renting makes me feel rootless. My goal this year is to get to know myself and discover what I want.
I’d love to hear how you’ve learned who you are, what you’re good at, how you define yourself and how you discovered what you want in life.
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.
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.
I’m feeling like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. this has been an interesting place to be but I’m tired and want to go home. The difference between me and Dorothy is I can not go home. Home, as I knew it, no longer exists. I know home is where your heart is, but my heart has yet to fully recover.
I feel sometimes like this is a bad dream and tomorrow I will wake up and life will be back to normal. Of course I realize my normal wasn’t healthy. It was destructive. He was cruel and incapable of empathy and compassion. So why do I find sometimes I still long for the security of my marriage even though I wasn’t happy?
I’ve had to accept he is a narcissist and absolutely incapable of understanding how his selfish actions have hurt not just me but our daughters. I have to accept he will never change because he doesn’t have the ability to change. He will forever be a soulless man.
I continue to pray and ask that I know His will. It’s not easy to know. I pray God leads my girls down the paths He has chosen for them. I pray I don’t fall apart again. I don’t think my girls are strong enough to handle it. All I can do is one minute, one hour, on day at a time.
From my Book – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @ Amazon.com Trauma can be caused by a wide variety of events, but there are common denominators. There is frequently a violation of the person’s familiar ideas (belief system) about the real world and of […]