Monday, December 27, 2010

Let's Face It...There Will Be Rough Days (The Emotional Separation Begins) (image)

Now that I have officially "let go" of my dead relationship, I am realizing that I am now going through a grieving process.  I left my husband a year and a half ago.  I know now that that was only a physical separation.  The emotional separation is just beginning.  The life that I had hoped and planned for is not going to be. 

Although I have no regrets over leaving, it hurts a bit that it's over.  And it is not that I am hurting over him, I believe in my heart that it is fear not knowing what my future holds as far as relationships.  I have so many questions and doubts.  Do I want to be in another long-term relationship or marriage?  Will I be lonely? What if I never find anyone else? What if he finds a new love, how will I handle that situation?  Why am afraid to file for a divorce?  The statistics say that over 40% of black women never marry, did I miss out on my one chance?  Crazy thoughts I know but this is what is going through my head.

Then I look back at the unhappiness that I've experienced and being single is not worse that being trapped in a loveless marriage.  I will be o.k.  But I have to allow myself to mourn the loss of my marriage.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tip for Today: Don't laugh with them but be happy around them

I am always happy around my ex lately.  I appear to be having the time of my life even if I am not whenever he is around.  It eats him up that I am no longer depressed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tip for today: Don't laugh

Stop having conversation with your ex and definite don't laugh and talk with them until they understand that it is over.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Good-Bye Letter to My Estranged Husband

(This letter is more for me than it is for him.  He may never even see it.)

Dear *****,

When I met you, I fell for you right away.  My life was so structured and calculated but you allowed me to be free.  We talked for hours about everything.  I remember listening to your hopes and dreams for your future and it inspired me.  You swept me off my feet so fast.  I knew that because you had a love for God, that would translate to love, dignity and respect for me as a potential mate.  Our friendship quickly turned into a courtship.  After our second date you declared that I was going to be your wife.  I thought you were rushing things but I continued with the flow.  You met my son, my family and friends. Everyone cautioned me to slow things down.  But how could I let this God-fearing man that inspired me and cared for me go:  It felt right.  It was what I've always planned to be a wife.

Things got hectic with trying to plan a wedding with limited time and funds.  Your mom and I went to look for a dress.  I found a simple but beautiful white dress with a few sequins on it.  When she told you about the dress, you sent me an email telling me that maybe we should call it off because the dress I choose seemed to be "more elaborate" than you wanted it to be. (In hindsight, I should have taken that as a hint.)  Maybe I didn't because I wanted this marriage, a marriage so bad.  I agreed to not get the dress and ultimately not have a wedding at all because you felt it put "undue importance" on ourselves.  You didn't want the attention.  So we eloped and I got married wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

I agreed to move into a home that was owned by your mom, in a very bad neighborhood.  It was an upper flat above your brother.  I agreed because it would help your mom and you promised it was only going to be a year, it was actually 7 years.  I didn't protest it as much as I could have but I think you knew how unhappy I was there.  It also strained relationships between your family and I.  The landlord-family-neighbor triangle was too much.  You later admitted that it wasn't a good ideal.

All of your hopes and dreams that you were constantly pursuing became an avenue for you to neglect me.  I know now that this was not deliberate.  You were always on the computer, working on websites or some get rich quick scheme.  I never spent time with your and I became bitter, very bitter.  I hated your computer as if it was another woman taking you away from me.

I was so bitter that you didn't want to be around me.  Which pissed me off even more. The vicious cycle began and continued for the duration of our marriage.  We fought, destroyed each others property and I became obsessed with the friendship you maintained with your ex-girlfriend throughout our marriage.  I checked you emails and call logs constantly. Who was this woman that I became? I didn't like myself.

By year 5 of our marriage, things were just horrible.  It was the kids and I and then there was you.  You didn't do things with us.  You were physically there but I knew that you didn't want to be with me.  I watched you from the window sometimes when you got off work and you would just sit in your car for a long time before coming into the house.

When I left you in my heart I was hoping one of two things would happen:  1. You would immediately realize that you and I were meant to be and you would come live with us. or 2. Over a short period of time we would cool off and get back together.  I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE A PERMANENT ARRANGEMENT.  Well it's been over a year and a half, we are still separated.

You say you are happy now and don't want me back.  I would never force you back into my life.  I have relative peace since I've been gone. Our children don't live in a home filled with arguing and fighting.  They are safe physically and emotionally. You still come over to be with the kids while I am at work and take them to school.  And occasionally for a good meal and sex.  It is almost like you are getting the parts of marriage/family life that you want and rejecting the rest.  Every time you leave I feel hurt and used all over again.  It's time for it to end.  It's not a matter of you releasing me, I have to let go.  I can't allow you to continue being in my day to day life, while I am your "a la carte wife".

So I want to say good bye.  I wish things could have been different.  I loved you the best I knew how.  I will always care about you but I have to start caring for myself now.  I forgive you and I release you.  I truly wish you happiness and love.  I can't deal with you anymore except for issues regarding our daughter. 

Good bye Love,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Personal Mission Statement

I will live my truth and realize that I do not have to be anyone but myself.  I will live a life of happiness and peace for my sake and that of my children.  I will let go of people and situations in my life that are bringing me unhappiness and chaos.  I will take care of my body, mind and spirit by feeding them with things and experiences that  will raise me up to a higher level. I will pursue work that I am passionate about that challenges my nursing skills, knowledge and creativity.  I will love and care for myself as I have done for others in my life.  I will be the best mother, daughter, sister and friend without forgetting that I am still a phenomenal woman deserving of love, respect and happiness.

If I Lived My Life According to My Values...What Would It Look Like

This is the exercise for Day 4 of Rosetta Thurman's 31 Days to Reset Your Life project from her website Happy Black Woman.

Rosetta in this exercise challenges us to "envision your values in action".  It's was a two part exercise.  First the values that I felt are most important to me needed to be listed (done in the previous blog) and then I need to assess how fully I am living these values in my life currently using a scale 1-10.

  1. My children-9
  2. My family-8
  3. My physical health-7
  4. My emotional/mental health-4
  5. My overall happiness-3
  6. Having peace in my life-5
  7. Having love in my life-3
  8. Having financial stability-6
  9. My relationship with God-3
  10. My career-5
Next, Rosetta encouraged us to look at at least 3 actions that should be valuing and exam what it would look like if we were truly living it as if we valued it.

My career-I would not be working a job that I have no passion for simply because the pay is good.  I would be more aggressive about finding a nursing job that challenged me.

My overall happiness-I would be doing things that really benefited me.  I would go to concerts and jazz clubs to listen to the music I love.  I would visit new restaurants and try new foods. Enroll in a class perhaps wine tasting, photography or maybe even a creative writing class.  I would fill my free time with activities that fed my body, soul and mind.

Having peace in my life:  Peace in my life would entail letting of of drama-filled situation in my life.  I would go ahead and get my divorce.  I would stop caring about who my husband spends his time with. I would have no desire to look at his email, phone records or facebook accounts. Each day would be spent pursuing peace.  The need to be right would take a backseat to maintaining peace.

This assignment was very enlightening.  I, for the most part, do not live my life according to what I value.  I have the power to change that and I will.

Identify Your Values

Reset 10
Top 10 Values

  1. My children
  2. My family
  3. My physical health
  4. My emotional/mental health
  5. My overall happiness
  6. Having peace in my life
  7. Having love in my life
  8. Having financial stability
  9. My relationship with God
  10. My career

As part of her 31 Days to Reset Your Life project Rosetta Thurman suggest listing the things that matters most to us in our lives.  I had a difficult for me for some reason.  My kids, family and health came easily. I struggled to complete the list.  Not quite sure what that means but it was challenging.  Does it mean simply that I haven't taken the time to look ate what is important to me for a long time? Could it mean that there is not much in my life that I value?

My values aren't listed in order of importance.  I can't wait to see what is to be done with this list.

It's Time for Me to Assess The Situation

My Life Assessment

As a nurse, I am trained to do assessments on others.  There are focused assessments where one concentrates on a particular problem or area.  Then there are the more thorough assessments called the head to toe.  During the head to toe assessment all areas of the body are examined very carefully.  When we do assessments, there are also tools that we use:  blood pressure cuffs, penlights, stethoscopes, watches, etc.  It is time for me to do an assessment on my life using the a wonderful tool from Rosetta Thurman's website  Happy Black Woman.  It is part of her 31 Days to Reset Your Life "project".  It is time for me to start the assessment:

  • Lifestyle:  I live in a very quiet neighborhood, close to my parents and sisters and I love it.  I adore my home but hate that fact that I have accumulated clutter.  My leisure time is spent mostly watching television or on Facebook (Farmville in particular.) I wish that I had real hobbies.
  • Work:  My current job pays very well but I don't feel as if I am being utilized to my fullest potential.  The shift I work (midnights) is also difficult because I am tired all the time and can't be at home in the mornings when my children are getting ready for school in the morning.  I am a registered nurse by profession and I love it.  I wouldn't chose another career.
  • Education:  I am a college graduate and I am content with that right now.  In the future I may pursue a higher degree if there is some area of nurse that I am interested in requires advanced degrees.
  • Finances: My expenses are covered and I can't complain about that at all.  I wish that I could save more money.
  • Health:  Mentally-I have a lot of stress on me but I realize by letting go of many situations and/or people that cause chaos and stress in my life, I would be better off.  Physical-Since the beginning of November 2010, I have been attempting to live a healthier lifestyle.  I am regular again at the gym and attending Watch Watchers meetings.  I have lost a total of 15 lbs so far!  I want to be healthier, so I am just a work in progress.
  • Family:  I have pretty good relationships with my family. We are all very close.  I hate that I don't have more time and energy to spend with my children doing things they love.
  • Relationships: OH BOY!!! HERE  I GO...My love life sucks!  I have been separated from my husband since July 2009. And I am looking forward to the day that I am officially divorced. He still comes to my house to help with the kids while I am at work, which is ok.  The problem comes in when he stays and uses my house as a retreat for him.  In 2011 I am filing for divorce, I can't continue on in this limbo state.  I want to be in a relationship but if it doesn't happen, I have to learn how to be ok with that too.
I wish I could turn this assessment over to a doctor and have them write me a prescription for all that ails me. But I realize that only I can make the necessary changes to correct all that makes me unhappy.

My journal

"Writ­ing about one’s own life, it is only when one writes about the most inti­mate and seem­ingly idio­syn­cratic details that one touches others." SUSAN GRIFFIN

 This is my journal.  I haven't had one since I was in middle school but it has been very therapeutic for me to write in it .  I will also document most of my journal on this blog because I know that the things that are occuring in my life has happened to others and maybe in some small way my journey/journal can help someone.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Mantra for 2011

Mantra is defined as "a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of "creating transformation". (wikipedia)

My mantra for 2011 is:

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come."- Joseph Campbell

My life did not exactly turn out as I planned it. I became a single mom at 19 years old (not planned). Then to correct that I tried to marry to again get the life I "planned". I married a man that I knew but found out I really didn't know (not planned). We had another child, not planned but a wonderful surprise. Marriage then went sour (not planned) but continued to hold on to because I "planned" to be married forever, no matter what.

I had to let it go or lose my sanity (not planned). I left our home with my children (planned) but unfortunately my soon to be ex-husband is always at my home (not planned). Now I am ready to move on with my life as a single mother of two children. I want him out of my life but in my daughters. I am ready to shed the old skin of that relationship, so a new one (with someone else or with myself) can come.

I've spent so much of my life chasing the "ideal" that I am losing my joy. I am letting go of the ideal and realizing all that I have planned may not be what is best for me. So I choose to let go.

2011 will be my year of LETTING GO! I can't and I won't bring the garbage of bad relationships with me into 2011.