Sunday, August 8, 2010

Six Months and One Week

Tomorrow, August 9th, it will be exactly six months since I packed up my belongings, my kids, and my dog, and left my husband.  The adjective that will probably always best describe my memories of that day is “scary.”  I was scared of how my husband would react, I was scared of how to accomplish the things I had to do to become independent with my two kids, I was scared about how my kids were going to handle the transition, and I was scared about not knowing what life had in store for me.  But most importantly, I was tired of being scared of my husband, and of not knowing who was going to walk through the door at the end of the day.  I knew that would never change if I stayed with him.  The only hope I had of not being scared any longer was to face my fears of the unknown and try to overcome them, without him. 

At that time, I filed separation papers, primarily because the state I moved to would not let me file divorce papers under their legislation until I had lived here for six months.  However, if they had let me file for divorce right away, I still don’t know that I would have.  The idea of initiating something so final when I had just crossed the threshold into my new life was too… scary.  I thought then that six months would be a good waiting period for me to be sure that was what I really wanted for my life.  Now, I am absolutely certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I do not want to live with that man ever again.  He is working on himself and making a lot of positive change, but I’ll just say that at least one of every five conversations I have with him serve as a perfect reminder of why I left him and why I will never go back. 

So, after August 17th, when my son is back in school, I will be back at the courthouse to file final papers and continue moving on with my life.  That leaves me with only one week of my kids’ summer vacation, and in addition to the fun I am planning for them, I have a major goal of my own to meet this week.  I am finally going to finish rewriting my resume.  I started working on it a few months ago, got a draft ready, brought it to a career counselor, and realized that not only did it need to be completely redone, but also that I was not yet emotionally ready for the process of looking for a new job.  It was a step across that threshold into my new life that I was not able to handle at that time, earlier this summer.  I struggled a lot to figure out what was holding me back, what was making it so difficult for me; it’s just a job, after all, and I do already have one.  I just needed a new one.  And now, after lots of introspection, emotional healing, and counseling, I have finally found the place in myself that is ready to take on the challenge of leaving my at-home job for something that will support me as a single parent.  It’s still scary, and it’s still overwhelming, when I look at the whole picture all at once.  But, when I remember to slow down and take it in baby steps, I find myself slowly, carefully, steadily moving forward, like a toddling infant taking its initial tentative steps.  Each step takes a lot of energy and thought and concentration, but with each unsteady wobble, the young toddler gains confidence; and before you know it, that little toddler is a preschooler showing off her favorite dance moves, or a second grader showing you something exciting that he just read. 

I'm getting there, albeit in baby steps, but at least I am able to handle them now.  And, because my brother has decided that he needs to update his resume too, we set a common goal to have them both finished by this weekend so that we celebrate by going to the Gravenstein Apple Fair together.  It's something we have talked about doing together for the last few years but the timing has never been right for us to go.  He's my best friend, and my kids love him, and it will be a very fun and well deserved Saturday for both of us.  But first, I have more work to do on my resume, a few sentences at a steps.  But just think, in one week, it will be done!  I can do this in one week.  And after that, there will be more baby steps for me to take, and I hope that the places they take me will be more exciting than they are scary.  


Kim V. said...

Going at a pace that is comfortable for you is paramount in this process. This will allow you to heal and move forward in a positive way.

Sherrie said...

Ditto what Kim said. You needed time to process things, and knowing what you won't do is just as important as deciding what to do next.