I left the night the clothes basket went over the edge. I knew I was done. Packed an overnight bag and headed out to hockey (yup, I played. Made a pretty scary defense in the beer league!) I wasn’t coming home till morning when the kids needed to get to school. Or that was my plan at the time. Remember my mind was still racing. Playing hockey that night released some of the adrenaline that was coursing thru the veins though.
A phone call from the husband that it would be silly to just leave and he would sleep downstairs made me change my mind. I had a lot to organize before I could leave leave. So we tried the him sleeping downstairs, me upstairs for a while. That didn’t work quite how I had it pictured. He didn’t leave the bedroom really. All he did was sleep downstairs. Every morning as I was sleeping, he would wander back up to shower and get ready (all his things were still in the bedroom). So once again, I took matters into my own hands. I was tired of fighting.
So I moved out of the bedroom. Moved all my clothes, my bathroom stuff, my pillow to the downstairs bedroom. The tension in the house was thick and EVERYONE walked on egg shells. Very very delicate egg shells. My days were filled with trying to keep the routine going for the kids. But while they were at school, I set out to get out. I had to look for a place to live. I had to fill that place with house stuff. I had to figure out just how the hell I was going to do this. Keep in mind, I had not worked in over 14 years. I really had nothing that ‘I’ owned. Everything was provided by my husband. And I felt I really had no claim to any of it. I mean, I hadn’t worked. I hadn’t contributed financially to anything we owned. I felt like I had really not contributed other than being a Mom. About 6 months later, it would be revealed that he felt that way as well, so I wasn’t too off the mark in my thinking after all.
But as word got out that I was leaving, people starting offering advice. Oh how the advice flowed! And I also learned I was ‘entitled’ to half. Side note: do NOT under any circumstances use that word when getting a divorce! Trust me on this one!!! There are also stages to divorce. Much like grief (makes for some interesting reading actually, if you ever want to research it). Anyway, half of what was in the bank accounts was deposited into my newly formed ‘on my own’ account.
The emotions were running inside me like a wild roller coaster during this time as well. Some days, I knew exactly what I was doing and others, well not so much. Some days I blamed myself for everything that was wrong and other days, it was all his fault. I honestly thought that once I removed myself from the house things would get better. We would go back to being friends. Without the tension and frustration of living together, things would be better. He revealed to me at one point, that he honestly thought, I would leave, get the divorce and things would stay the same (I believe he may have been in the denial phase. Which would change oh so quickly).
And I was scared. Scared to be alone. Scared to be making such a big decision all on my own. Scared of the unknown. Scared of the days I felt such strength in my conviction. Scared of the days I felt so weak in my conviction. At one therapy session (see the Dirty ‘T’ word blog) my therapist asked why I was so scared of success. I’m sorry, did you say success?? I was scared of being a failure. Nope, she looked me square in the eyes and asked again… ‘Why are you so scared of things turning out good for you?’ Hmmmm, let me sit with that one a while…
I was the one leaving. I chose to walk out. So, in my mind, I wanted to make this as smooth as possible for everyone. I wanted to take as little as possible from the house. I set out to the stores daily to set up a new house. After I found a house of course. Funny how the mind works sometimes. I was looking for a house in the general area of where this house was. I wanted the kids to be able to walk to either parent’s home. After some searching, I found it. A 3 bedroom, 2 story just a few minutes walk from what would become their Dad’s house. I would take possession of that rental on January 1st, 2009. How fitting was that? A new beginning on January 1st. So I just had a couple of months to get thru. Including a trip to Mexico for Christmas that had been planned for a while.
I could do this! Right???