Saturday, March 22, 2014

my side of the bed

Photo attribution here.

I don't know if this is something all divorcees do, but I like to mark milestones. I still remember congratulating myself for making it ten minutes in to my first day back at work the morning after the bomb dropped. I counted days up until I hit six months and I counted months 'till I hit a year. Now, I count waves crashing, beautiful boys smiling and hours remaining 'till my homework is due. Today, however, I would like to pause to note and commemorate, as of early this month this blog is officially one year old.

Congratulations, blog. You made it through your first year!

In order to celebrate this occasion I want to share with you a post I wrote just before this blog was created on another, more private blog I'd been keeping. It describes life in the early stages of recovery. I want to share it because I was remembering today how desperately I wanted to know, in that time, how long my life was going to look so much like the seventh circle of hell. Often times when I am feeling sad I convince myself that I am the only one who could ever possibly understand or experience the pain I feel. This is just not true. While I haven't felt everything you've felt, I do want to offer you this glimpse (and believe me, it is a very small, watered down glimpse) into what life was like in January of 2013.

This is my life now.

I wake up at 6:30, fall back asleep till 7. Freak out that I'm late and jump in the shower. Eat a PB&J on my way to the car (have I mentioned I need to go grocery shopping?) before slapping some makeup on my face as I drive. I then spend 4-6 hours with a five year old boy. His mom is a stay at home mom, and does indeed stay at home while I am there, at times. I don't blame her for needing the break. He just got kicked out of his third preschool. 

After job one I head into town (a 45 minute commute) where I spend the rest of daylight nannying two considerably calmer children. After job two I come home to my apartment where it is cold and dark and there I meet some mail addressed to someone I don't know, mystifying stale smells, and my disgruntled Siamese. Everything in the house is exactly where I left it. Not one thing has changed or been touched by an outside force of any kind. All that's there is me. 

I find anything mindless to do for the next few hours, then I go to bed.

I sleep in the bed The Mr. and I bought with some of our wedding cash. That bed, my newlywed and recently divorced bed, has many, many memories. The relationship in all its extremity was experienced here. Giddy. Love drunk. Elated. Orgasmic. Exhausted. Optimistic. Confused. Concerned. Cuddling. Compromising. Talking. Fighting. Fearing. Feeling. Praying. Pleading. And oh good God, so much crying. This is where I was sitting when we decided to separate, and this is where I crawled moments after he walked out the door.

I still used to sleep on my side, in the beginning. I found that I would turn over in my half sleep and find myself alone. That's no way to start or end a night. Now I sleep in the middle. I surround myself with pillows and my cat hops up to join me, whether I like it or not. I bought new sheets and a new duvet cover. I painted the bedside tables, right over the back sides where we'd painted our initials in hearts at The Mr.'s suggestion. I put a new skin on the bones of my life, but it doesn't change that the flesh is all still missing. Empty. Quiet. Calm. Free of the chaos that was killing me, but... dead. Just a little bit dead. Painted and spruced, clean and calm and... unrelentingly heartbreakingly wrong.

And now,  a brief synopsis of what my life looked like today.

This morning I woke up around 8:00 to the sound of tropical birds and lawn mowers. Oh, Hawaii-- how you can have such a laid back attitude about pretty much everything in life, but such an affinity for ear drum blastingly loud lawn care equipment in the wee hours of the A.M. is beyond me. In ceramics I turned in my latest two creations. The teacher was clearly impressed, because I am a pottery ninja. Sheri Dew came to speak at devotional today. Sweet of her to drop by. Book of Mormon class was thought provoking, as usual. Our teacher loves a good question, and you know how much I love to ask a good question. 

I ordered some new t shirts from my favorite site because they are having a sale and then hit the grocery store with Sassy McLadyBoots. The lime Tostidos were on sale, making them almost the price they would be when I'm not shopping on a remote island. Clearly, God loves me. A woman from my mission is in town, so we met up for the night show, which means I spent a couple hours watching my adorable roommate perform the hula and countless dudes from my classes whoop and holler and slap themselves and play with fire... shirtless. 

After the show I stopped over at Hukilau beach and did a little yoga, stretched, prayed and took some deep breaths while the wind fussed with my hair and did her best to tip me out of tree pose. Then, back to my twin bed in a shared dorm room which, I realized last Sunday, is starting to feel impressively and unexpectedly like home. The Padre asked me today if I'm coming home for summer break. For the first time in my life I could truthfully say, "I don't know, I think I might rather stay."

Perhaps you're tired of me saying this, but I need you to know--things do get better. The painful things diminish and new things steal your focus. Mundane things. Scary things. Exciting things. Things so unexpected and hilarious you almost forget you ever had a no-good-low-down-rotten-or-at-least-not-ideal spouse in the first place.  Life may not be extraordinary every day, but you have within you the power to move in a positive direction. You have within you a way to make it through.