Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Finding My Voice

Sometime in our early marriage, for God knows what reason, I bought in to my husband's idea that I was responsible for everything -- keeping him happy, keeping him from being triggered, not pushing him to help around the house (even though he happily did while we were dating), not pushing him to parent ...

In the last few months, I've stood against all of that and said, "No more."  I'm not living in toxic bullshit anymore.  I'm moving forward, and I'm choosing healthy relationships.  He can choose to change and come along for the ride, or he can get the hell out of my way.  We've been seeing a marriage counselor and he's actually hearing me say, "I'm not OK with you trashing me.  It's abuse."  He's done some work that I never thought he'd do, and that's pretty amazing.  So is standing up for myself and saying, "This situation is making me feel unsafe emotionally," and having him understand that and back off.

The kids started therapy a few weeks ago.  I'm hoping it helps them, but it's really too soon to tell.  They do all look forward to going though.

A healthy relationship with myself is part of all of this change.  I've been sabotaging my own health with over eating, eating things that I know make me feel yucky even if my taste buds like them, and not exercising a whole lot.  I had been doing yoga every day, and then I stopped. 

So Monday, I did a little yoga.  And as I caught up on some homework yesterday, I decided that enough is enough.  Today, I woke up and put on my exercise clothes, came into my office and worked out.  It's 5:30 a.m. and I feel pretty good, if a bit sweaty and tired.  Time to catch up on some work and get ready for the day!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Just when I thought life couldn't get any weirder ...

It's been an interesting couple weeks since my birthday.

I started a new job the day before my birthday, and that's going well.  I think.  (I hope they like me as much as I think they do ...)

I started a graduate school program for nursing educations so I can teach baby nursing students in the classroom setting.

Motau started a job with UPS and passed all of his classes with B's, despite everything that's been happening with him and between us.

The 18yo started a new job, too, paying more money more consistently.

The little kids are struggling, just like I expected, and just like the rest of us.  I'm trying to get them into therapy ASAP because it can only help at this point.

I went on a date with my husband last weekend.  That was weird.  We've dated during our marriage, so that wasn't weird.  It was weird to go on one with him right now, when we're separated and unsure of the future.  It was weird having him make dinner, open doors, and cater to me.  He's done those things before, but definitely not when we've been fighting or not getting along.

It's weird when he comes to visit the kids at our house.  It's weird to have family scriptures and prayers with him here -- the kids and I do that almost every night, but it's weird to have him join us.  It's weird to have long heart-to-heart talks about why we are where we are. 

It's weird to have him actually hear me.

I'm just not sure what to think of all of this.  It's weird to have filed for a divorce and then have my husband decide he wants to make things work.  It's weird that he's being kind to me, even after having him forcibly removed from our house.

It's also super weird to have his brother living with us still, but at least that's a nice weird, not an awkward weird.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

They Say It's Your Birthday

I honestly thought today would look something like that.

Instead, I came home with my 3 little kids, and found Motau in the kitchen sweeping.  It is his night to visit the children and I knew he was coming over, so I wasn't surprised he was here.  He gave me a gift a few days ago, too.  He'd bought a cake and balloons, fixed the vacuum, and started cleaning.  He mowed the lawn yesterday and brought spooling for the weed eater today.

Phone calls, texts, messages on Facebook, a card from my new managers ...

It's been a good birthday.

It's weird that now that I've filed for divorce, he's being kinder to me than he has in months.  I don't know what to do with that, but I'm enjoying today for what it is.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sometimes Love Just Isn't Enough

That's the title of a (really bad) book I loved as a youth, but couldn't figure out why love didn't fix everything.  If you love someone enough, you should be able to fix the problems, right?

Today, Moe and I both went to our daughter's end of year performance.  He brought his sister, which helped alleviate some of the awkwardness, and after it was over, he hugged the kids goodbye, I hugged his sister, and he waved at me with a sad smile.

It's incredibly difficult still being so in love with someone who has made choices that have made you so miserable.  I know we'd both feel temporarily better if I hugged him or said I change my mind, but that wouldn't fix anything aside from this temporary heartache and loneliness.

And now I understand how sometimes love really just isn't enough.

It doesn't matter how much you love someone if they don't love themselves enough to manage an illness that is tearing apart your family.  It doesn't matter how much they love you if they don't see that their behavior is destroying you.  It doesn't matter how much you love each other if all you can do is fight instead of communicate.  It doesn't matter how much love still exists between the two of you if all that's been there for months is rage and anger and you have both said and done things to tarnish that love.

I need to be respected, cherished, honored, trusted.  I need to be liked, for Pete's sake.  I'm hilarious and I need my partner to see that and enjoy me for me, not tell me I'm doing everything wrong. 

I need to be seen.  Not torn apart.  Not destroyed.  Not hurt repeatedly.  Not distrusted, disrespected, dishonored. 

No matter how much I love him ... I can't make him see that.  I can't make him fix that.  I can't make him love himself and me and the children enough to make the changes he has to make.

Love like this just isn't enough.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The pointlessness of WHY?

I knew without a doubt when we got married that it was the right thing to do.

I have been wondering why? a lot lately, and throughout the marriage.  I may not ever learn the answer to that in this life, and that's something I'm learning to make peace with.

The bishop instructed me to ask, instead, "What's next?" 

When I sincerely asked that question, I knew I needed to file for divorce and find a new job with more consistency and flexibility than I currently have.

Both of those things have been done. 

Last night, he came over to visit with the kids.  He brought his sister to help me feel comfortable that he wouldn't be alone with them and I didn't have to stay in the same room (though I did for much of the time).

He was reasonable and kind and loving to the children, spending time with them without screens and enjoying the time he had with them.

Again, I asked WHY?

He also mentioned to me that I had been a good wife and he was sorry he didn't appreciate me, among several other things.  We had a conversation that couldn't have happened weeks ago, but needed to have happened a very long time ago.


Why did it take me filing for divorce for him to wake up and get to this point where he realizes he's losing everything?  WHY did it take so long for me to grow some cojones and deal with this?  Why is he now being decent, and will that change in the next few weeks?

I'm reminding myself to ask, "What's next?"

Next, I start my new job, I start grad school (that's been in the plans for months now), and keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I say prayers of gratitude for the good people in my life who are striving to lift us up.  I keep working on the papers and keep communication lines open so the kids can call and see their dad.  I continue to love my babies, to be the woman of integrity I know I am, and make sure I'm involving God in what I do from day to day.

Right now, that also means I need to go make dinner. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Zomg, the Erratica

It's been a ... difficult ... few days.

Thursday, we had court.  The commissioner decided that the things I stated didn't meet the legal definition of abuse and threw out the case.

Things spiraled from there.

Meeting in public, reminding him I don't want to discuss us, him wanting to discuss us, me reminding him I've filed for divorce, 3 a.m. visits, 5 a.m. projects, not feeling safe again ... we ended up having a very good, very productive discussion with his brother-in-law (who apologized for misjudging me and said he understands our issues better now), and we have some visits set up for this week at times and places and with people around that I feel the kids will be safe.

We have a crapton of work to do to be good co-parents and make that relationship work in a way we could never make our marriage work.  I hope we're able to continue to make progress.

I finally slept well Saturday night.  We all slept HARD and didn't get up til almost 9 this morning.  So we were late to church, but we went!  The youngest stayed with me during all my classes because he's having serious separation anxiety right now, the girl child danced out of church talking about when she'll get baptized, and the oldest child at home was glad we went.

They've been able to call their dad a few times today, which I think is helping this transition as well.

We can do hard things.  We can do awful, yucky, horrible things.  

And we can also do fun, amazing, wonderful, and happy things.  

And we will.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bringing the Spirit

The first three months of the year, I was working on reading the scriptures every day before my yoga practice.  It brought a measure of peace that I'd forgotten.

As things spiraled out of control with Moe more and more over the last couple of months, I let go of both of those habits.

This last weekend, I started a new goal:  Five chapters in the Book of Mormon every day.  I've been journaling on what I'm reading and remembering and researching, and it's helped answer some questions I've had for a long time.

With the instruction to myself to be the mom I want to be, I started reflecting on things I did when Lark was small that gave us the close bond we have.  Singing nightly, going to church, being open to discussions even when I'm tired, and many more memories have started flooding back.  I also worked split shifts (half while she was at school and half after she went to bed) so I could be there with her more of the time.

It's interesting to note that, when we were engaged, Moe enjoyed hearing me sing hymns to her at night, and he loved that I worked like that so I could be a better mom.

Due to the bedroom remodel, the kids' mattresses are all on the living room floor.  I've been tucking them in and singing hymns until Ben goes to sleep.  It makes for an incredibly peaceful bedtime, all things considered.

We're being blessed, even in the midst of this trial:  The kids and Moe were super sick last month and I didn't get it (meaning I could still work), some cute friends are helping with child care so Ben can finish out his year at preschool, and I have leads on two new, more consistent and also more flexible jobs.  I'll be interviewing this week. I'm also thankful for my friends in that "weird little club" who lost spouses to suicide, for their insights and wisdom, and feel very blessed to have met these amazing women, who have been supportive of the decisions I've made to keep myself and my children safe.

This is obviously not what I wanted for our marriage when we began, but it is where we are.  And it sucks balls, but the kids and I will get through it.  I'm not so sure about Moe, but I don't have control over his choices.  Only he does, and he gets to be responsible for them.  Thank God.