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Joy and Pain

It’s been two weeks since I’ve written my last post and it’s been an eventful two weeks to say the least. I’m finally back to work doing what I love to do, which is running enrichment programs for kids at a local school. I’m very grateful to be back to work and the people I work with are so great, but unfortunately the salary is not enough for me to live on and it certainly doesn’t reflect my skills and experience. I guess there is always joy and pain in every transition in life. Especially when it comes to divorce.

I find myself in a constant state of limbo over the last several years. Like that reoccurring dream when you’re stuck in quicksand and you think you’re almost out, but something happens to suck you back in. That has been my experience up until now at least. I try and stay in a place of gratitude and joy, but then my car breaks down for the second time in two months and I come up short with the mortgage payment (yet again), I find myself sinking and powerless. I feel like I just can’t catch a break and I’m stuck between the joy of being free from a miserable marriage and the pain of having to make impossible decisions that will affect my future and my kids.

A perfect example of this is that I recently interviewed for a big job that would pay me a six-figure salary and would allow me to be financially free for the first time in my life. If I get the position, I give up doing what I love and would have to take on a potentially high stress job. The other factor is that if I accept the position, I will have to move to the city within 6 months. It would be a big change and a stressful one, but I’m open to what a new life has to offer.  This could be the opportunity of a lifetime or the biggest mistake I’ve ever made, but I just have to trust my gut and listen to that little voice that always guides me in the right direction. I can feel that I am on the precipice of having a real breakthrough and having a positive change in my life. It’s right there in front of me and I can almost reach it.

The biggest thing that is keeping me stuck in the quicksand is my damn house.  If I sell it, I will lose quite a bit of money on it and I will be in even more debt. If I don’t sell, I’ll probably end up in foreclosure.  Just the thought of that gives me major anxiety. I constantly ask myself, how the hell I got into this mess and the answer always points back to one person….my fucking ex-husband.  Now, I know I have written a lot about finding forgiveness and letting go of anger and bitterness, but let’s just be real for a second; you tell me if it’s at all fair that for the sake of having an amicable divorce, I took on half the debt that he accrued (without my knowledge) and a house that’s under water to keep my children in their home?

Meanwhile, he gets to walk away– making double what he was making at the time of the divorce and pays nothing more in child support. I’m stuck with managing the house and taking care of the kids, while he goes on expensive European vacations with his new wife. That son of a bitch had the nerve to bark orders at me telling me to sell the house so it doesn’t affect his credit and suggested that I’m not taking this seriously.  Really dude???!!! I’m the one taking care of EVERYTHING and he has the fucking nerve to tell me I’m not taking this seriously??  I’m the one lying awake at night worrying. I’m the one taking care of the kids and the house all on my own. I’m the one fighting back the tears everyday trying to stay strong…and you have the fucking nerve to tell me what I should be doing while all your worried about is your next vacation to Mexico?!  Boy BYE!

When I saw this condescending text, my blood started to boil and I hit my breaking point. I decided I was not going to allow this man to place all the burden on me and get away with this shit anymore. I picked up my phone and as I’m finally giving him a piece of my mind and telling him he’s a selfish bastard, my heart is racing and I can feel the heat rise in my cheeks. My hands are shaking as I hesitantly press….send. This was the first time since we went through the divorced that I cussed him out and told him how I really feel and it felt AMAZING! I sat there after sending it and cried. Not out of sadness or fear, but out of relief.  I felt like all that pent-up anger and resentment had been released and I could feel my body relax for the first time in a long time. All those years of swallowing my true feelings for the sake of “getting along” with my ex—all those years of letting him off the hook because I didn’t want to rock the boat were finally over. I felt free. I felt powerful. I felt like I found my voice again.

For all those years, I was so concerned with keeping things cordial between us that I didn’t realize I was suppressing my real feelings and allowing him to get off the hook.  Sure, he was willing to help me here and there, but it was always on his terms. I was sinking in quicksand and he was flying above me feeding me scraps.  Well, I’m done! The gloves are off and I’m not going to carry this burden alone. If I have to, I will take him back to court for the back child support he owes me and ask that he pay for what we may lose on the house. My mama didn’t raise a push over, that’s for damn sure.

I ask myself, what kind of man buys himself a new Jaguar, a motorcycle, expensive watches and travels all over the world on fancy vacations while the mother of his children struggles to pay the mortgage on the home where his children live? What kind of man abandons his children and doesn’t care to spend time with them or barely calls them? Not a man that deserves my respect or my kindness.

What I thought was finding peace and harmony having a “conscious uncoupling” approach to divorce was just me taking all the shit he left behind and letting him get off scot-free. Well, screw that …the bitch is back and I’m not taking sole responsibility of our children anymore. Time to ante up and take some responsibility!

If you’re in a similar situation, please find your voice. Don’t allow your ex to continue to walk all over you. If you swallow your feelings because you don’t want to make waves, you’re only allowing them to manipulate and control you. Suppressing your truth only makes you internalize thoughts of helplessness and pain which will eventually cause you to suffer emotionally and even physically with illness or fatigue.

All these writers or “divorce coaches” that tell you to approach everything with joy and love are full of shit. Not everything can be brushed off. Divorce can’t always be loving and accepting like many people would have you believe. Sometimes it’s ugly. Sometimes things will need to be said that are uncomfortable, but as long as it’s coming from a place of truth and fairness and not bitterness and anger, it will always bring you that much closer to healing.

Never swallow your truth to avoid releasing your pain. Hopefully you can work it out like mature adults, but if you’re the one in the divorce that is always getting the short end of the stick, you have to stop allowing it.  That is the lesson in all of this. Finding the balance between feeling your pain and finding your joy is absolutely necessary to get through divorce. There’s no easy button. There’s no way around it. You have to face it head on and find the blessing in every lesson that you learn along the way.

With Faith, Hope and Love,

~Teresa

 

2 Comments

  • Teri Joblon

    Amen! Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what your relationship is post divorce. What matters is how he steps up for your children. Part of stepping up is making sure the mother of his children isn’t stressed out about providing the basics for their children. How you act when no one is watching says a lot about your character. Not only have you been a blessing to your kids, you’ve been a great example!!!!

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