It’s My Life – Chapter 22

Over the next few days, Ted explained the reasons he was leaving.  He had always wanted kids and thought I would change my mind.  He wanted to start going to church.  He told me he would always love me but that we just wanted different things.  I felt like I was moving through water; all I could think about was the amount of debt in my name.  Things were rapidly spinning out of control, yet a small voice in my head was saying “this is your chance” and assuring me it was going to be ok.  When Ted broke the news to his parents, they extended the common phrase “Is there anything we can do to help?”.   That $30 in my bank account was certainly not going to get me very far, so I asked if they would be open to me staying in the empty addition that had been built onto Ted’s grandfather’s house while I figured out what I was going to do.  My soon-to-be ex-in-laws agreed and Ted was oddly on board with the arrangement.

Unbeknownst to me, you can file for a divorce online.  Print, sign, file, and pay.  It was a heck of a lot harder to get married!  I had people tell me to fight and try to get support.  I deserved something.  He should have to pay.  I should not take on any of that debt.  But all I wanted was out of the marriage and was ready to just sign and be done.  Legal counsel costs money.  I had none and certainly wasn’t putting myself further in debt to obtain a lawyer.  I was exhausted and could not imagine fighting over months or potentially years to finalize a divorce. We drafted an agreement on how our debt would be allocated and had it notarized.  The majority of the loan/credit card debt was in my name and would become my responsibility.  The house was in his name and I didn’t want it.  Every piece of furniture I asked for was rebutted with a “What will I do without a couch?  Where will I sleep?”  Exasperated, I fought for no material items.  He could have it all.  The dogs, however, were coming with me. 

Kara was going to meet me at the house to help box up my clothes, some dishes, and personal things.  A time was arranged when Ted was not supposed to be home as Kara and Ted did not get along.  Shocker. Ted was still in the kitchen prepping his food for the week when Kara called to say she arrived.  When I reminded Ted of our arrangement, he asked me casually like any other day in our marriage if I could finish what he was doing so he could leave.  Sorry Ted, I no longer will be cutting up your chicken or doing anything for you going forward.

Pap, Ted’s grandfather, was kind to me as I moved my sad allotment of things to my new space.  He had just recently lost his wife to dementia and was struggling to adjust to his life alone.  While I don’t know how he initially felt about me moving in, it ended up helping us both in more ways than I had ever imagined. 

I borrowed a blow-up mattress and a few hundred dollars from Kara and her husband, which I promised to pay back with each paycheck.  I was terrified but not homeless, broke but had the money for bills until my next paycheck, and felt alone but had two Labradors lying next to me.  I was going to be ok.

My routine stayed the same, feed the horses and go to work, repeat.  Ted would check in asking if I had enough money for gas, etc.  His kindness during this time was so odd.  I didn’t trust him and wanted as little involvement from him as necessary. 

I received an anonymous card with money that read

Sometimes it helps to remember what life’s really about.  It’s not the kind of home or clothes you have.  It’s the kindness and love you give away. It’s not about driving the latest car.  It’s about not being afraid to create a new road, step by step.  It’s never about trying to impress.  It’s about being yourself every moment of every day.  ALWAYS be true to awesome you and you’ll be ready for whatever life brings.  You’ve got lots of people on your side.” 

I was touched by the concern and support I was receiving from all around me.  This was the right decision.  No turning back.

My medication was helping to keep me functioning but on the night I received a call from a friend that Ted had posted pictures on Facebook of him and his new girlfriend within days of me moving out, I broke down.  I hated him.  I called Kara sobbing and she told me she was on her way.  In a matter of minutes, my sobbing stopped and I felt fine.  Whoa.  I called Kara and jokingly told her my medication kicked back in and she no longer needed to come to my rescue.  These breakthroughs and immediate “being ok again” happened frequently and I decided to schedule an appointment to get my dosage adjusted.  I needed a bit more help in regulating my emotions!

Comments were made that Ted was going to ask me to come back, which I brushed off.  One, I was never going back, and two he appeared to be having the time of his life with this new girl.  But within a few weeks, they were right.   Of course, it was my fault that I didn’t stop him from making this huge mistake.  As words of regret are pouring from his mouth, his phone is blowing up from what I assumed was the girlfriend.  When I pointed out that he was involved with someone else, his reply was that if he knew I was coming home, he would get rid of her.  Would I agree to go back to therapy? 

My reason for agreeing to therapy was not to fix our marriage, it was for closure.  I was worried that Ted would wear me down as he had in previous attempts to stand up to him.  The woman that walked into her first marriage counseling session months ago was certainly not the woman who showed up to end it.  There was absolutely nothing Ted could say to get past the wall I had put up.  I was stronger than I thought. 

Bryant on the blow-up mattress.

Catch up on past blogs!

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