I’m in that familiar phase of my separation. I have gone through this twice before. This is the point at which it really gets scary. The point where I went back twice before. When it seems impossible to keep myself afloat financially. When I’m not even sure how I’ve made it this far. My husband is determined to avoid having to pay for spousal support. This is not a surprise to me. What is surprising is how the court system is enabling him. Every deadline comes and goes and he doesn’t comply with the documentation he’s supposed to provide. And nothing happens. The court doesn’t care and there are no consequences. Well, for him, that is. The consequences are solely mine. I’m stuck in limbo. The divorce does not move forward and no decision is made regarding support. What I want more than anything is to rid myself of his last name. It represents everything contemptible and oppressive about my life over my long years of marriage. I just long to be me. Me apart from him.
I know that he is using the court system to continue to abuse me. And I know that I shouldn’t let it get to me. But, honestly, it does. I feel like I’ll never be free from his influence. That, somehow, he still has power over my life. I think that today was the lowest point I’ve hit since I left my husband. I’ve kept these feelings a bay for eight months. I just feel so defeated. I want my divorce to be over so that I can move forward with my life. I’m struggling financially. I deferred my car payment this month and missed every credit card payment. My medical bills are stacking up. I’m not even sure how I’ve made it this far. And I don’t see how I can keep it together. Some days, I just feel like staying in bed with the covers pulled up to my chin. But, I have two kids depending on me, so I just keep going. I get out of bed and try not to think too far ahead.
On top of my personal struggles, my job is unbelievably stressful. I go to work every day with a smile on my face. I say good morning to everyone I pass as I walk through the warehouse. I laugh and joke around, as I jauntily walk by. But inside I’m scared. I’m scared that my job is way over my head. It seems like every week my boss thinks of a new way of measuring our performance. Measurements that I have no hope of achieving. I used to think I was a capable worker. Now I wonder if I ever really was. Maybe I just thought I was capable. It seems that I live with the threat of being fired on a daily basis. My boss is good at appearing that he cares. But, I don’t think he really does. He excels at manipulating and keeping people “on their toes”. He doesn’t build up, but uses fear and intimidation to rule. In many ways, he’s just another abusive man controlling my life. I feel like I traded my abusive husband for an abusive boss. I know I should look for another job, but I’m scared to even do that. What if I can’t do another job? He has totally crushed my self-esteem. I feel like I work under a black cloud that is poised to strike me down with a bolt of lightning.
Despite it all, I’m not even close to giving up. I know that I haven’t made it this far just to fail. And I know that a low credit score is far better than living with abuse. Not only that, if I think back I was not really better off with my husband. I can distinctly remember laying in bed at night worrying about how I was going to pay my bills. Except, I had to lay in bed next to the man who was, in effect, my jailer. Now, I can wake up, stretch out and take as long as I want to get up and get ready. Heck, sometimes I even take longer than I want to. And it’s a mad rush to work, wishing that I had jumped out of bed a little earlier. The truth is that it’s been a very long time since I could wake up and just lay in bed and relax. When I was still with my husband it seemed like my muscles were in a permanent state of tenseness. The moment I opened my eyes, I had to worry about what might set him off. Now, I can live life without the constant pressure of trying to pacify a man who is impossible to please. Most days, the second I open my eyes, my dog jumps up and greets me with a big kiss on my face. She’s so excited to greet me that her whole butt shakes, not just her tail. What a great way to start each day!
It’s time to take stock of my life and make a plan. I’ve never been good at making plans. I’ve always been afraid that if I made plans that I won’t succeed at keeping them. So, to avoid failure, I just didn’t make them. Makes perfect sense, right? Yet, now suddenly plan making is looming on the horizon. And there are two other humans and two dogs depending on me. And all four have big, brown eyes. It occurs me that there’s just no getting around it. I might even – gasp! – have to make a list. Planning and list making are two necessary evils that I’ve avoided thus far. I’m going to go to sleep to avoid any more of these planning escapades. Good night, world. I’ll see you in the morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed. List in hand…. on my smart phone. Gotta love technology.
*Edited on 12/9/2014 to interject humor and optimism. I should know better than to post after a long, hard day, when I’m so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open.