Monthly Archives: June 2019

An interruption

So on top of everything else, my brother and his wife, my step-mom, and her brother and his family are all coming to Europe. Like, now. They are or will shortly be in various bits of France, and of course I want to see them. This has been in the planning for months and months, long before Mr. Husband decided to blow our immediate family to smithereens.

But then he did that, and so now, right in the middle of moving, I have to go to France for a week. I would have gone for longer, but you know. And I kind of find myself resenting my family for their terrible timing, but of course they gave me plenty of warning and the terrible timing was all Mr. Husband’s.

So that adds to the procrastination. Every day I mean to move to the new house, but that will just complicate the packing and prep for the week I have to be gone. And the week I have to be gone complicates the move, to the point of paralyzing me. Then too, I can’t take Hekate to the new place, so she will stay here at the house until Mr. Husband moves into his new place with Bitchface McWhoresy, and it’s not like I’ll be able to visit her there, so I’m trying to get as much time with her as I can.

Not that we get a lot of snuggles in, because oh yeah! We’re in the middle of a heat wave.

Song du jour of the day: Daniel Castro, I’ll Play the Blues for You.

this is not helping

I really thought I’d feel better once I could start doing something. Knowing I had to move out was awful, but once I actually got started on it I could keep busy and distract myself and it would maybe mitigate the grief somewhat. But then I found every excuse not to get started.

For awhile I was saying I need boxes so I can start packing, it’s making me crazy wandering around the house, picking things up, deciding whether to keep them or leave them behind, and then putting them back where they were because, whatever I had decided, I couldn’t do anything about it right then. Then I borrowed some boxes from a friend in Mannheim, and they sat in the front hallway forever.

Then I decided I need to know where I’m moving to, which was actually a legitimate thing: turns out, since I’m moving to a shared house, I don’t actually need any kitchen stuff at all, for instance. There are some things I’m fond of, though, which will have to go into storage: I’ve had that copper-bottomed pot since I moved out of my mom’s house, I’m not giving it up.

Once I’d signed the rental contract I needed mini-storage. I set that up on Wednesday, a very tearful day in which I needed to feel like I was doing something, and then yesterday was to be for packing and putting stuff in storage. I managed two boxes – everything I’m taking from the basement – yesterday, and the bathroom box today. And today I dragged Thing Two down to the storage locker to help me put up some shelves and hoick two of the boxes (my car is very small).

So yeah. Two shelves up, three boxes packed, and I do not feel better. I should. I’m keeping busy, I’m making lots of (probably very questionable) decisions, I’m staying active! But I think I have overestimated the value of moving forward and let that obscure the fact that this is still not a direction I want to be going in.

I’m just so tired of being sad.

Song du jour of the day: Together, by Ryan O’Shaughnessy.

23 again…

… but now with wrinkles and bad knees.

So yeah, I now have a place to move to. The place is furnished – a lot, actually – so I could go with almost nothing and maybe I should, but today I put some ice cubes in my coffee and realized I really like my nifty silicon ice trays and I don’t want them to end up in a landfill. There will probably be a lot of things like that around the house. Which is why I signed up for six months of mini-storage today, and also why I should quit procrastinating and start packing.

Maybe this is for the best. It’s better for me not to live alone, at first – too big a change from kids and husband and cat to Nothing. I don’t know how to cook or shop for one, so roommates to share leftovers with would be a useful thing. I’ll finish my thesis there and get my degree and start applying for jobs, and when I get one I will think about getting an apartment of my own. Or, I’ll apply for teaching-abroad jobs and be itinerant. I don’t know.

Right now all I have to do is finish my thesis, and this gives me the freedom to defer other decisions until that’s done. Another advantage that I just thought of is that it defers the adult responsibilities like getting internet set up, figuring out gas and water and general bureaucratic foofaraw that Robert always handled and that I’m afraid of navigating in German. I realize that avoiding this stuff is not wise in the long run, but right now everything is Too Much and I can’t think straight, so it’s better to wait until I can to sort all that out.

This is a forward step, and if it was made from a place of despair, well. It’s not permanent. Also, and I cannot stress this enough: I have had no other offers. I imagine I’ll start getting them now, but that’s too bad. If the universe (or Robert) wanted me to have my own flat it (or he) should have stepped the hell up.

So I’m moving into a house with some students and a designer and I will have non-family roommates instead of living alone and in a lot of ways it’ll be like going back to the me I was when I met Robert – lost, aimless, and unstable. But not as cute, and with a lot less energy. With this level of starting over, it’s hard not to feel like the last 25 years were wasted. I did get two sons out of the marriage, but I could have gotten those with a lot less suffering.

Song du jour of the day: What Have I Done To Deserve This? by the Pet Shop Boys.

Still here, still sad.

It’s hard to believe it’s only been two months. I feel like I’ve been here forever. I spent three weeks in the clinic, so that means it’s been about five weeks – six? – since I started looking for a place to live. Heidelberg is a tough housing market, and I was looking at three, sometimes four flats a day and getting turned down for all of them. It was incredibly demoralizing, hard not to take it personally, and by yesterday I was well into believing that it’s not just my husband: nobody wants me around because I’m worthless. I felt a kind of combined panic and despair – what if I never find anything? So this morning I accepted a single room in a house with four other people, the only thing I’ve been offered so far, and have since been swimming in lake What Have I Done? I’ll have to rent a storage locker now. I checked out a place right after signing the contract, picked up a price list, and will probably go sign up tomorrow.

My current crew of reality checks all say this is a good step, and I’ll feel better when I’m out of this house, with memories and regrets leaping out at me at every turn. I mean yes, it’s a positive step, but also, like, a step forward in a process that I still really wish wasn’t happening.

Friends tell me I’m handling this like a rock star. I got a new job the same day I left the clinic, now I’ve found a new place to live, I got a bike, I put a rack on it by myself, I’ve figured out the mini-storage thing, and from the outside it looks pretty good. But I don’t know, it just seems like… I feel like rock stars don’t do all the work while crying, you know? I mean, maybe they do, it’s not like I would know, never having been one. Is it always going to be this hard? Why is my heart still burning?

Song du jour of the day: Landslide, by Fleetwood Mac.

Setbacks hurt

Sometimes it’s a jagged flapping thing that beats against your chest from the inside and writing is the only way to get it out. Sometimes even the writing doesn’t help. I’ve said everything I can say, and still the pain flares with the same intensity at every setback. But I have to see him tomorrow, in public, and I can’t afford to pick a fight. I still need his help, so this obsessing about my stolen future has to stop.

It wasn’t mine. I worked for it, but there was no contract and I shouldn’t have put such faith in him. I should have built my own career instead of supporting his, but I gambled and I lost and that is a thing that happens sometimes. He wasn’t mine. People don’t belong to other people. I chose him, but he didn’t owe it to me to choose me back. The love I thought I had, the future I thought I had, were built on my own delusions and I need to accept that they were never mine. They were never real.

If the universe closes a door in your face, removes a person from your life, it’s because they weren’t meant for you. The truth is, I married way up, and lived outside of my social class for a quarter-century but I never grew into my role, so the universe has put me back in my place. I didn’t belong there, I belong here. I expect I’ll adjust, eventually. I feel like it would be easier if it weren’t so abrupt, and if it hadn’t all been taken from me by someone else, but really, it would probably just take me longer to accept. It was a very persistent delusion. I was really good at maintaining it.

Yesterday was wretched. Most of today was wretched, too. But the sun came out around four, and I went for a long walk, and it seems like climbing out of this most recent slump went a little faster. That’s progress, right? Please let it be progress.

Today’s song du jour of the day is aspirational: it’s not true yet, but I hope it will be someday. Leona Lewis, Better In Time.

Better for a minute

I had a couple days of not feeling like hell. I got stuck into the search for a place to live, looked at four places on Friday and then attended an academic conference and looked at two more places on Saturday and kept myself fairly busy. Sunday was Sunday, and Monday was a holiday, so I had a couple days of rest too, watched a lot of YouTube videos about letting go, moving on, and trusting the universe, and was generally feeling like I might survive this.

But today I had to call him about an apartment and he mentioned that he’d found a place but he kept using the word “we” so I asked. I guess I shouldn’t have asked.

Yep. He’s moving into the new apartment with Her. I’d been looking for a place for us to move into for about a year – I wanted three rooms, in a particular neighborhood, for about half of what we pay here, and he found exactly what I wanted and is moving into it. With Her.

And just like that all my progress is gone. I held it together for the rest of the phone call, though there may have been a few longer-than-usual pauses, but once we hung up I just lay on the floor and cried until I couldn’t breathe. Then I had to get up and go meet a friend for lunch and pick up some moving boxes.

I guess I wasn’t really feeling better about all of this, I was just not thinking about it. How he wasn’t happy but instead of telling me and trying to work things out he just waited until he found a replacement. How easy it was for him to throw me away and just slot her into the space I had occupied for 25 years. How I worked toward a future together for half of my life and he just took it away from me to give to another woman. But there it is staring me in the face and I can’t ignore it any more.

I wish my damn therapist wasn’t on vacation.

Song du jour of the day: k.d. lang’s cover of Crying, by Roy Orbison.

Anger, trust, and math

Quite a few of my friends are righteously angry on my behalf. It’s gratifying, makes me feel loved and all that, but it seems to give them a lot of energy, which they think I should spend getting things notarized and seeing a lawyer and hunting down all our financial information and getting a bunch of cash out NOW and buying myself a lot of expensive toys before he can stop me and setting up a new bank account and reading reams of German to figure out exactly what my rights are and moving heaven and earth to make damn sure I secure every single one of those rights. What they seem to forget is that their anger gives them energy: I am still a damp rag.

Meanwhile, Mr Husband is offering me quite a lot more than is legally required (I read the reams of German, so I’m now fairly informed on this): three years of spousal support instead of the one year I’m entitled to, and the whole house, paid off, instead of half the house and half the debt. We have to trust each other, but if we do, then I will be in a much safer position financially. If either of us breaks that trust, I end up with what I’m legally entitled to and no more. So what my angry friends are effectively advising me to do (though I’m sure they wouldn’t put it that way) is to prevent him from screwing me over by screwing myself over first.

Last Sunday we met and talked about this, and on Friday he came over with a document he’d drawn up, spelling out his commitment to the above and containing no obligations on my part: there are no hidden traps. I will take it to this pro-bono International Family Center place where I made an appointment for June 16th under pressure from my vengeful friends and have someone there look it over, and maybe there will be some sneaky legal factoid that I don’t know about. But I doubt it (or if there is, I doubt that he knows about it). I choose to believe that he’s trying to minimize the damage of all this. He can’t unbreak my heart, but he can at least make sure I’m not homeless, and I think he still cares about me enough to genuinely want that, even if he doesn’t love me anymore.

I’m having to rebuild my identity at age almost-50, and I’m going to have to change a lot of things about myself: stop caring so much what strangers think of me, stop basing my identity on other people, stop ignoring my own needs to accommodate others’ (which will first require figuring out what I need, which itself is no small task). It’s going to be a lot of work. I can’t name many positive traits in myself, but I do know that my core values are kindness, loyalty, and honesty, and I’m not letting go of those.

Song du jour of the day: I’ll Never Love This Way Again, by Dionne Warwick. Oh my god, y’all, that DRESS!