I walked out of my counseling session smiling.
Pumped – like, I literally pumped my fist in the air as I walked out.
I had clarity. I had vision. I had confirmation. All things that had been eluding me.
Now I sit here, at 2:20, confused again? What happened?
Maybe it will help me to recap my visit.
She did her usual check of my “vitals”. No depression. Sleeping and eating fine. Focus, check. Anxiety, still highs and lows. Then it was my turn.
I had jotted some notes down beforehand and I knew going into the visit exactly what I wanted to lead off with. I wanted closure. I wanted a resolution to the separation issue. We are coming up on a year since we separated and there so many things in my life that I want to do, need to do, but can’t or at least I feel like I can’t until I know – we know – what our relationship status will be. I told her that over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about letting things go. That last night as I sat with the Ex at the ice skating rink and she gave me not-so-subtle reminders that she was waiting for me to decide, I was frustrated. I mean, really frustrated. I’m tired of the pressure. I have given it time, and the feelings – the romantic feelings – haven’t come back. They’re further away than ever before. The Ex…she hasn’t changed. She hasn’t made any progress. She hasn’t shown me anything to indicate that she is working on her issues. She got back into school and failed two of her classes. She got a new job but hates it. She still talks down to kiddo, criticizes her publicly, makes her feel insecure. She had a lot of money and apparently lost it, because she was asking me for money again last night.
All of this came out. I told my counselor that I can’t progress until I get “unstuck”.
My counselor repeated to me that when her clients ask when they will know what to do about their relationship troubles, her answer is always “you’ll know”.
I have changed. I have done good things. I have a stable job, a stable house, kiddo is in school. I have growing savings – I even paid for my car repairs without any help. I have lost weight. I have started exercising. I opened my own bank account, hired a babysitter, kept up with school, acted in a play and a musical, made new friends, expanded my horizons, rejoined the local ultimate frisbee league. I have done what I needed to do in order to get by. The Ex is still borrowing money, still working jobs she hates, still driving a car she can’t afford, still needing a roommate to pay the rent, still sad and lonely and I don’t want her to be in that position but she is, and I can’t take responsibility for it anymore. I can’t save her.
I said the words that my heart felt but could not speak. I am ready for a divorce.
I told my counselor that lately I have been disconnected from my friends…I haven’t seen them in about a month. And I haven’t been on Facebook much either. I needed some space, some distance from them, for reasons unknown to me. I just knew that I needed it. The counselor said something very interesting. She said she thought I did that because I was distancing myself from everyone so that they didn’t affect my decision. And that’s so true. Girl #1 and the rest of my friends pull me in one direction, the Ex pulls me in another, everyone is pulling me in different directions. I need to make my decision based on how I feel. Based on what I know. Based on what is right for me and kiddo. That gives me confidence. Knowing why I needed that space. It’s weird, knowing that I am doing things that have a reason even when I don’t know what it is. It’s the organic part of me doing what it has to do in order to survive, I guess.
The hardest part of all of this is still ahead of me. The Ex is going to throw everything at me to get me to change my mind. I will still face doubts and uncertainties, I will question my decision over and over but I have a growing support system to help me – and kiddo – through this. I am scared but I am not alone in this journey.
We talked about the grieving process. Two or three times now, I have felt sad. Remorseful. Perhaps mournful, because this is so similar to many other types of loss. But those feelings have been fleeting, and I want to really feel it because I know that is a healthy thing, a sign of moving on. Dealing with the loss. I want to weep, spend all day in bed just crying my eyes out and remembering the good times and the bad times.
We talked about all of the things that I want to do once I get past this part of my life. I can be awesome. I can be everything I want to be, do things that I’ve always wanted to do, I can provide the kind of life for kiddo that she deserves. I can be happy. It’s just that none of that is possible with the Ex.
I got to work and I told this to my closest friend, and he questioned my decision. Have I done everything I could to save the marriage? I don’t know. Could she change? Could she improve? What if she did? What if I gave her more time?
Those are all good points. In my mind, I know that she could fulfill her potential. She could be amazing too. The idealist in me believes that everyone can change, everyone can improve.
But realistically, it is not there. And I cannot wait any longer, I just can’t.
When I left my appointment, the only questions were when and how. When would I tell her. And how would I tell her.