Friday, April 30, 2010

The Things I Do Miss

Even though I do not miss Tony per se, there are things I do miss about being a married couple. There is always a secret language that each married couple share. Each couple have their routines and their inside jokes. Sometimes those little things crop up and I think "Awww I'll probably never discuss that again."

Take for instance today before I left for the bus stop. I hurriedly gulped the rest of my coffee down before walking out the door. Had Tony been here he would have gone with me to the bus stop and taken his coffee with him. We would joke about my guzzling since I feel the air outside compromises the taste of the coffee. When it hits the outside air something happens and it makes it taste funny to me. He thought I was crazy, I swore he had numb taste buds and we'd laugh about it every single time.

Another thing is everytime we leave the house I make sure he has the keys about fifty times before I close the door. Fifty times he'd reassure yes, he had the keys. Then when we got out of the car, I'd insist on seeing the keys before closing the door. He'd show me. When we would get back to the car, I would panic and ask "You have the keys right?" He was always patient about that. And now I get to have those freak outs on my own.

I'm ok with that. You know, right now I'm enjoying my carefree life more than I imagined I would. My therapist asked me if I missed him, and I thought long and hard for about half a minute and I said "Honestly, no." A part of me feels so fucking guilty for not missing him. Like, why? What is wrong with me? My marriage is over, not even by own hand, why don't I care more than I do?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Over It

Yeah you read that right.



Yes, people. That is the truth. For now.

I realize that can change. I'm human. I still get sad, but I never really get sad over HIM. I get sad about leaving my home because for 11 years I lived with white walls and beige carpet. Finally.. FINALLY!! got to paint and pick and choose what goes in my house and now I must leave and live in a place with white walls and beige carpet once again.

I get sad when I think of the people I'll leave behind. My little bus stop crew and Cindy, Brecken and Larkin. The kids in the 'hood who call out "Hi Miss Sandi" when they see me.

I get sad when I think about how next year was going to be THE year. The first year both kids were in school full time and I could concentrate on volunteering and going to field trips. Now, I'll be a working mom trying to fit everything on my plate.

I get sad when I think about my kids growing up in a broken home.

I get sad knowing that he gets the cats.

I get sad because I feel like I failed at the one thing I was kind of good at.

So, yeah I get sad. I get choked up. Sometimes I even have to fight back the tears. Not because of losing him, but for all the little indignities that come along with a divorce.

With each negative though, I remind myself of a positive.

Yes, I will have to move to a new home, but it will be MINE. It will no one elses choice but my own. I get a bed to myself, no facial hair in the sink, and no uniform on my end table. EVER AGAIN.

Yes, I'm leaving people behind, but I'm coming home to many too. People I've known my whole life and who I love dearly.

Yes, I will have to work but that opens up a slew of new people to meet. Have work friends. Find some other single ladies and go dancing and get free drinks from men.

Yes, my kids will living in a broken home but a happy home with a happy mom and yes, a happy dad. Grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins nearby.

Yes, he'll get the cats but I get the dogs. They poop and pee outside.

No, I did not fail at the one thing I was good at. I'm good at a lot more than being someone's wife. Now I get to show that side of me as well.

I am strong. That sounds incredibly vain I know but it's the truth. A friend once said "Fire can forge steel or melt butter." Truer words have never been spoken.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Finding Out What I Need

It's been interesting to realize what it is I've been missing in my life. It's not love, I thought I had that. No matter what he says now, there was love there. It's not security. I can give that to myself with the help of child support. It's not having a partner to live with. Helllo? Deployments? 'Nuff said. Not sex. Ok a little bit sex, it's been awhile but not what I'm getting at here. It's not someone telling me I'm beautiful. Tony was always good with telling me I was beautiful and sexy and the stuff of men's dreams come to life. I will always credit him for helping me build my self-esteem up to the point of being borderline obnoxious about it. If there was anything that man was good at, other than being in the Navy, was making a girl feel wanted.

No, I realize what I've been craving. It's something simple, something I didn't realize I missed so much.

Conversations. Words. BIG words! Talking. Those who know me know I like to talk and tell stories. I have kept inside here at home.

My ex is an intelligient man. I don't know how many times he has both surprised and delighted me with the things he's created from the scraps around the house. I had a live in McGyver. Pool filter not working to it's optimum level? He fixed it. Laptop cord isn't working right? Out comes the sautering gun and bam. Fixed. He loved to putter. He loved to sit in the shed and just fix and create and that was awesome. With that though meant... he wasn't much of a talker.

I accepted this about him. He was smart in so many ways, but even by his own admissions, not with words. As time went on, I slowly started to tuck away my "five dollar" words as not to make him feel dumb. Words that came naturally to me during an argument would just end up pissing him off because he felt I was talking down to him. His simple style of talking became the norm in our family and it was ok.

I love words. I love the way certain words roll off the tongue. There is nothing more satisfying to me than fitting into a sentence a word that is not commonly used. It's as if I hear a satisfying click, like when you've found the right puzzle piece to make it all complete. I miss the fun back and forth of a witty conversation.

I'm rusty. I feel it coming back though. I've always been a talker. Too much of a talker some might say. I feel the words again and it's a good feeling. I missed them.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I've Been Warned

I swear, if I hear the word "vulnerable" one more time, I'm going to off myself. Seriously. I get it. Yes, in most situations, a woman in my position would be *gag* vulnerable. But, I'm too level headed, too bossy, to0 controlling, too much of a fraidy cat, to allow myself to be too vulnerable.

I'm lucky though. When I was a teen, I had something happen to me that made me realize how precarious it is to be a woman. It wasn't anything serious. Just a date pushing his liberties too far. In those moments I felt like a caged rabbit being eyed by a hungry fox. It had started to rain and we had to pull over underneath an overpass as it was dark and raining too hard to see. The whole night had been awkward. He pretty much wanted to make out the whole night and I wanted to chat. I found him a bit of an intellectual and when he went away to college I had a mad crush on him but was attatched. When he came back, I envisioned us sitting in a coffee shop talking about adult things. Not having his tongue rammed down my throat from the moment he picked me up from my house.

While we sat underneath that overpass, he inched forward slowly, hand on my thigh, arm around my shoulders, plump lips heading toward mine, I felt panicked. I liked kissing as much as the next girl, but this was getting to be a bit much. He whispered in my ear that he would like it if I snuck him into my house, that he really wanted me and that I was so hot. His kisses got harder, his hands got a little rougher. I kept saying No he couldn't come over, no I wasn't going to have sex with him. No No NO

Finally, he broke out of his lust frenzied state and realized the rain had died down and took me home. He didn't call me again and unfortunately, I had asked him to prom. We got there and went our seperate ways. He left with someone else and I was stuck scrambling around for a ride.

My point to this story is this. I was not even 18 at the time and was more of an emotional mess then. Now I'm 33, with two kids, and a new life within my grasp. I'm not going to fuck it up. I promise.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who Am I?

Yesterday, I went shopping at a clothing store I frequent regularly. As I was walking around, I started to panic a bit. I started thinking "How is this new me supposed to dress? What kind of clothes does a smoking hot divorcee wear without looking like a total slut?" All of a sudden my normal "mom gear" I would have gravitated toward (Khaki bermuda shorts and bright t-shirts) didn't feel right anymore. Not only am I stepping forward into a new life, I've lost a lot of weight. I don't want to be that stereotypical former fat girl trying to show every ounce of flesh she can and not get arrested, but I don't want to be boring anymore. I don't want to wear denim capris. Or khaki capris. Fuck it, I don't want to wear capris anymore. What are with those anyway? What a ridiculous length of pants!


Even though it started with clothing, it opened up a whole new conversation with myself as I was trying things on in the dressing room. Who am I? I used to be wife and mother. I'm still mother for sure. No longer wife. I'm ok with that, but I've been wife longer than mother. I've been "Tony's girl" for more than half my life. The prospect of being just Sandi is both amazing and terrifying. I want to it, but still a part of me doesn't. Why? Because it will be hard.

Once a few years ago, my dad told me that I never do anything that's hard. I will always choose to do things the easy way. Even though I hated to hear it, but he was right. Since then, I've tried not to take the easy route in most things. This is the hard route, but I'm willing to take it. Granted the intital decision wasn't mine, but I'll take it now gladly. I am holding the golden ticket and just like Charlie Bucket, I'm going to have good things come from it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Breaking It To The Kids

Telling the kids of a seperation/divorce I always assumed would be hard. The way I saw it going down in my head was that Tony and I would sit down when he got back from deployment and talk to them about it. The thing is, kids aren't fools and we find ourselves in an odd situation. What other conclusion can you come to when mom is on the phone asking "What about the lawn mower? Can I take that or what? Ok, great. Well, what is your deal? What DO YOU want? Just tell me! What do you mean personal things?!? Just your clothes?"

So, yeah that's how our kids got to find out. While Tony and I were on the phone trying to figure all this out. I feel like a heel, yet really what could I do? He's halfway around the world, the time difference is crazy and I tried to call when they were outside playing. You know how kids are, when you need privacy they come after you like hungry wolves circling the kill. They have an innate sense of when to come in at the worst possible time. It works in almost every situation from when you want to use the bathroom, to when you want to grab a quick afternoon delight, and when you're discussing with your ex how he can keep the fucking patio set because you've always hated it anyway.

Aislinn, of course cried her eyes out. While Tony was on the phone I tried to console her. She immediately asked if we were moving. I said yes. She cried harder. Tony asked to talk to her, and I told her and she refused to talk to him. I explained we had to move. I gave her positives to why we had to move all of which she negated. Tony asked to speak to her again, she refused once more and then reconsidered. She said "I will talk to him if he tells me we don't have to move." and I said "Honey, he's not going to say that." she bawled more. I hissed something on the phone to Tony that was unpleasant and hung up on him. I had no time to worry about his feelings, my baby was hurting.

The crying didn't last long. Jonny of course was oblivious. They went about their day and played outside.

Yesterday I worked in the yard. At one point, Aislinn stopped in her play to say hi to me and hang out for a moment. She asked what I was doing, and why I was doing it because being the innocent child she is, why do work if you could do something else? I saw this as a good opportunity to get a sense of what she is feeling. I asked her if she was ok. She said yes. She said something about her dad that wasn't very positive. I told her she should NEVER say that about her dad. She looked at me and said "But, I thought you would want me to."

Oh my little baby. How she hurts. I explained that I never, ever would expect her to dislike her dad or be mad at him for anything. That what is going on? That is between me and dad and nothing to do with her and her brother. That I would not expect her ever to be mad at him for my sake. That she never has to choose sides. That we both love her fully and unconditionally and we will BOTH be there for her, even if we live apart. I told her that her dad loves her very much. That by loving her father she is not being disloyal to me, and by loving me she is not being disloyal to him. We both have her best interest at heart and nothing more.

She took this all in a quiet way. Sitting there on the ground, head down, hair falling in her face. My sensitive girl, the girl who hates change, having to deal with such a monumental event in her life. I asked her if she felt funny talking about it and she said she did. I told her that if she ever needed to talk or anything she knows she can come to me or her dad and we'll explain it the best we can. She said ok and then looked up at me and said "I do have a question." Feeling a little better that she's talking I excitedly said "Ok! Great! Sure. What is the question?" She got quiet for a second, and then blurted out "Is ok if I'm mad at him anyway?"

My heart broke in a million pieces. I assured her it was ok. That she is allowed to feel anyway she wants.

My poor baby.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Like Ripples In A Pond

When people divorce it ripples and affects people you don't initially think about. Of course, the now seperating couple is affected and of course their children.

Through all this right now I'm not worried about me. I've been given a blessing in disguise. I of course worry about my children, but I think in the end they'll be ok. The one I keep going back to is my dad.

My dad had three daughters and I am the oldest. The first one to do everything, including having a serious boyfriend. A boyfriend he didn't care for at all. The boyfriend that took his little girl's virginity and who eventually became her live in boyfriend, her fiance, her husband. As the the years passed he and Tony had become good friends. Almost to the point where it was uncomfortable for me since my father and I didn't have the best of relationships.

I hurt for my dad. Not only is he hurting because I'm hurting and my kids are hurting, he is hurting also because he lost his son. His fishing buddy. When Tony and I visited home and stayed with my parents, they were always downstairs, watching some stupid movie together and talking about fishing. My sisters were jealous of the relationship that my dad had with Tony that my dad didn't necessarily have with their men. He often chose Tony's side over mine, lectured me on how I should treat him, and relied on Tony to help him with most mechanical things.

It's hard to fathom how deep this all goes. How one or two or three decisions greatly alters the lives all around us.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Let Freedom Ring....

I think it's natural when first faced with the fact that your spouse wants out of the marriage is to be shocked. You want to cling on. Convince them to stay for you, for the kids, for your history, for the Easter Bunny. You'll pull out guilt, anger, indifference anything to get some type of reaction.

I went through all that. But, then.. I felt a new feeling... freedom. For 12 years, my life has been dictated by the all might Navy. This third party entity that controlled every aspect of our lives. I blindly did what the AMN told me to do without a second thought. I moved when AMN told me too and where to move. I've lived in crappy apartments and shitty neighborhoods when it was all we could afford in cities most people wouldn't live in unless they were made to. I had our first child without the support of my husband. I never got to go to child birthing classes with him, or register for our baby shower with him, or decorate a nursery or go to an ultrasound together. Because AMN needed him, and as a good Navy Wife, I was to shut my mouth and deal.

As life moved on I realized that the needs of AMN was never going to go away. It's seriously the only legal form of Polygamy in this country. You kind of get used to having half a husband. One that can be gone for half a year and when he is home is so exhausted by duty days and PT from when he's spent time with the "other wife". You shoo the kids away as he passes out in front of some show you made sure to record for him. You learn to never agree to make plans without doing the "Navy math" in your head and you learn that even after doing the Navy Math it could all change. You learn to swallow the bitter pills, not realizing that those bitter pills will take root in your belly and eventually bloom into bursts of anger you will take out on your husband. Who else can you complain to? Is it fair? No, but it's how it worked.

Eventually, you find life is easier with him gone. When forced to depend on no one but yourself, you find that fall into a routine that is screwed up when he's home. More bitterness on both parts and you're both starting to not know each other. The wife gets more involved in outside things, commitees, volunteering, mom groups usually started during a deployment to pass the time yet, carried on even when he is back. When you were once there all the time to support his dream, you're harder to find. Not home when you used to be. Not answering your cell because you left it in the car while at the park. Little things like that.

It's not anyone's fault and it's how you handle it that makes or breaks it. Tony, well he didn't handle it well and he broke my heart. Yet, I can't seem to shake the feeling of happiness once the sadness wore off. I find myself smiling all the time because for once I can make all my own decisions. How I feel during deployments? I can feel like that all the time. It's the most freeing feeling in the world.