Life After Divorce











{August 14, 2009}   Whiplash

Ok kiddies… we are coming down to the wire.  Only 16 more days until the lease expires.  I am packing up and moving as much as I can this weekend.  I am SO over this.  I always thought to myself, “If I ever move out, I am filing for divorce right away and we will be done in 60 days!”  Well, as I am sure happens with most break-ups, life gets in the way. 

You see, once you are out of the horrible day in/day out situation, you don’t think about it as much.  At least for me.  There is such a quiet freedom in being able to do what you want without judgment or need for justification.  Without the daily misery… I am free to just be me!  I enjoyed my quiet times and for the first few months, my social calendar was full!  So many people invited me out to take my mind off it.

But there were calls.  And texts.  Oh… the texts.  All day long.  All night long.  Never an adult conversation.  Always either whining/crying or screaming.  Ugh.  In February, the stress got to me and I landed in the hospital ending in emergency surgery.  After a month of recovery, I was feeling better.

Then in June, I got sick again.  Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, they are calling it.  (Basically, my nerves in my digestive tract are just too sensitive and closely tied with anxiety – Hooray.)  Now I am feeling better.  I rented a storage unit and start packing and all that jazz.  This weekend will be my big move.  I am hoping that I can get it all together and be out.

But now that we are rolling to a close, I am not the only one feeling it.  For months, Steve has been “so sad.”  Trying to convince me to come back and in the same breath pushing me farther away.  I know he is bipolar, but sheesh.  Then last week he started vacillating between “Denial” and “Uber Pissed”  Now the good times are mostly forgotten.

Sample texts:

“I hope you are sterile”

“File for divorce and get it over with you quitter” (I’d rather be a quitter than a cheater)

“Wish u would have never married me.”

Damn.  Can you feel the love?  I sure can! 

Here’s the deal.  I don’t feel sorry for you.  YOU put me through hell for years.  YOU couldn’t give a shit about me or my emotional (or physical) well- being.  YOU laughed in my face when I told you I was hurting.  YOU pushed me aside as if I didn’t matter and just did whatever the hell you wanted to do.  I asked you to go to counseling for FIVE YEARS and you wanted nothing to do with any of it.

Until I walked out. 

Until I didn’t come back.

Until you finally realized that I was a great thing, and that I did EVERYTHING for you.

NOW you want to go to counseling.  NOW you want to talk about love.  NOW I am interesting.  Guess what?  Too.  Effing.  Late.

It.

Is.

NOT.

MY.

FAULT.

And all of the nastiness in the world won’t make it so.  I have been sent on so many emotional guilt trips that I will take ALL of my loyal readers to Fiji with me on the frequent flier miles!

It isn’t worth it.  Not the stress to my health, my psyche, or my sanity.  You can say all of the ridiculous things you want about ME walking out and “ruining your chance at having a family.”  No.  That was YOUR choice for years, when you decided to tell me I would be a horrible mother (lie). When you told me that we would never have children (right.. not together, we won’t).  When you told me that what I wanted wasn’t important.

But it is important to me.  That is why I left.

So take yourself on down the road to whatever and whomever you want.  I don’t care.  You told me once that you would “find a really PRETTY woman next time”.  Good luck with that.  I hope that you mature a little before you ruin someone else’s life and steal their youth.

Suck it.  I’m out.

“Love”,

Your Soon-to-be-Ex-Wife



{November 5, 2008}   Busting Out

During all of Steve’s bipolar craziness, we were still living at my dad’s house.  As I mentioned, I found out that Dad was no longer paying the mortgage.  I lived in a constant state of panic and fear that one day that knock on the door would come and my greatest fear would be realized – Homelessness.

In January 2006, after having a heart-to-heart with my Dad (not an easy task, I will tell you) – I decided that I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I had a job I hated.  A husband who broke my heart daily.  And a deep seeded fear that any day now, I would be discovered and evicted.  I couldn’t breathe.

One Saturday I was hanging out with my mom and we decided to go look at apartments in the area (we both have a great love of looking at houses, apartments, cars – whatever).  We went to one of the “luxury” apartments in town and found that they had a 1-bedroom unit that I could totally afford, even on my crappy salary AND a $200 move in special.  I signed my name on the dotted line right then and there to reserve the unit.  I would be moving in a week.  It was the first really impulsive thing I had ever done, and I felt amazing.  I planned to go home and tell both Steve and my Dad that I was out of there.  See ya suckers!

But… somehow… he convinced me to bring him along.  [insert Debbie Downer’s music here]  My pretty, clean, little apartment was invaded by a giant slob who was still talking to other women behind my back.  Why, oh why was I so dumb?  I should have taken the therapist’s advice and moved with no forwarding address.  But I didn’t.  Because I am actually the sucker.  About this time, Steve was called by his job who said, “Look… it’s been nearly 2 years… you haven’t been to work in most of those 2 years.  You can either quit… or we can fire you.  Your call.”  He chose to quit.

He decided on a new career path, which required him to go to school for a few months.  But, instead of starting right away, he decided to put it off for 6 months.  We began to fight more and more.  I kept hearing things like, “Just let me get my license, and I am out of here!”  Fine.  Get your damn license.  Oh?  What’s that?  Having the license doesn’t earn you money to live on right away?  Shocker.  “Just wait until [fill in the blank].”  “If I could afford to leave I would be out of here.”  So… what you are saying is that you are using me as a meal ticket?  Hmmm.

So that was my goal.  Get him to a place where he could afford to take care of himself, and be gone.  This was no longer a marriage.  I was not happy.  He was not happy.  He was too self-absorbed to care about what was going on with me.  So I waited…



{November 5, 2008}   Girls, Girls, Girls

Unfortunately, this post is NOT about my rabid love affair with Motley Crue.  Wait, I never had a love affair with Motley Crue.  [shudder]

This is about one of the dirty little secrets they don’t print in the “Welcome to Bipolar Land” pamphlet.  Well, maybe they do, but I always skim the pamphlets and go straight for the pictures.  I mean, come on… if it were really important, do you think they would put it into a pamphlet?  No, what I am talking about is a little more than the risky behavior of which some bipolar people partake.  I am talking about girls.

Now I have mentioned before my husband’s gravitation towards the opposite sex.  He’s kind of a dog.  But not a cool dog, like a lab.  More like a rabid horn-dog.  In Jabba the Hut’s body.  Once the bipolar news was broken, he seemed to explode into the stereotypes associated with the disorder.  There was no more holding back.

About this time, he became familiar with Yahoo Messenger and the adjoining chat rooms.  Since he wasn’t going to work, he would stay up all night playing on the internet.  I, of course, had to continue my normal bedtime routine so that I could support our family.  But, I wasn’t used to sleeping alone, so I would often wake up in the middle of the night disoriented since he was not in bed.  I would wander downstairs and find him chatting with “people” online, or worse, on the phone.  Typically, whomever he was talking to was quickly closed out or hung up on so that I would not see/hear the content of the conversation.  I would like to take a moment to point out that I am in no way, shape, or form, an idiot.  Sure, it might seem that way from the things I have put up with, but I really am not. I can definitely put 2 + 2 together.

So, I did what any good wife would do – Spy.  I will tell you, if the CIA is looking for a good agent, they should really give me a call.  I became a world class sleuth to figure out what he was up to.  I would check the internet history [shudder], chat archives, phone records, etc.  I was completely disgusted at what I would find.  One morning, I woke up a little earlier than normal and actually walked in on the bastard having phone sex with someone.  I was livid.  He is SO lucky that he is twice my size, or I might be writing this blog from the Texas State Penitentiary System.  Not really.  Yeah really.

This is about the time I start hearing, “What??? WHAT??? Leave him!  Leave him!!”  Believe me.  I have heard it.  I have heard it from the little voice in my own brain.  But the caring, compassionate person in me said, “He is sick.  He is having problems.  He isn’t working.  Where would he go?”  I thought I was doing the right thing – trying to support him both emotionally and financially.  But it was a major blow to my ego.  My self-esteem, which wasn’t great to begin with, went right out the window.  And I was trapped.  I was miserable.  I couldn’t imagine that someone I loved SO much… and had done EVERYTHING for would do something like this.  Especially after the last time

Unfortunately, this behavior continued for years.  Every time I would walk into the room, he would hang up on whoever he was talking to.  The cell phone bills were outrageous (anywhere from $300 – $1100 per month – which I had to pay for).  My heart was shattered.  I know now that I had fallen into the pit of despair with no chance of Carey Elwes coming to rescue me.

I have no evidence to say he actually ever slept with anyone during this time.  It doesn’t matter.  The phone and internet relationships were enough to kill off most of the feelings I had for him and destroy my self-esteem.  I felt trapped.  I don’t know why I felt trapped, as I had all the leverage, but I did.  I was told that it was my fault that he had to seek out these other women.  My fault for not spending enough time with him.  Yeah, asshole… because I am asleep.  Or at work.  Trying to support us.  Trying to keep us from becoming homeless.  Trying to keep my own sanity when those around me are losing theirs.  I felt useless.  Unloved and miserable.  Nothing will ever change that.



{October 29, 2008}   Down the Rabbit Hole

After my trip to the hospital, I began harboring some serious feelings of resentment toward my husband and his callousness regarding my illness.  It really sucks hairy donkey balls to feel that sick – to think you might die – and not have the support of the person who is supposed to love you the most.  It is really hurtful.

I remember a few months later, Steve came down with a 24 hour stomach bug.  I remember him wanting me to wait on him hand & foot and telling me that no one has every felt as sick as he did right then.  Um, excuse me, douche bag… wasn’t I just in the hospital???  How can you say these things to me?  24 hours later, he felt fine and I was sick as a dog (this is usually what happens when he gets sick).  But, he couldn’t possibly wait on me… he might get sick again.

From 2002 – 2004, I was doing consulting work – good pay, but never a solid schedule or paycheck.  The work would ebb and flow, depending on the company’s priorities.  In 2004, I learned that my project was ending and started looking for a new job.  I found one, amazingly, that started the week after my project ended.  I went to work for The Company in July of 2004.  One week later, Steve went in for day surgery to have a small cyst removed from his chest.  He was supposed to go back to work the next day.  It feels like he never went back again.

Week after week, he would make some excuse for why he couldn’t go in to work.  He just didn’t feel well.  He stayed up too late.  Then, he began to complain about being depressed.  I told him to go to the doctor.  He went to our family doctor who told him he was probably depressed, and prescribed him anti-depressants.  I was really annoyed with all of the time he was missing from work.  He had missed so many days over the past few years, that he no longer had any sick time and was on “restricted sick leave,” which meant he had to get a doctor’s release EVERY time he missed a day.  So… he wasn’t bringing in any money.  We still owed his grandmother money.  I had a new job which paid consistently, but not very much.  I was drowning again.

Then one day I got a call at work.  Oh My God… I think I am going crazy.  I might kill myself.  He was sobbing.  He never cries.  My whole world took a nose dive down the rabbit hole.  I could feel my heart spinning out of control somewhere around my ankles.  I couldn’t breathe.  Steve went immediately to the psychiatrist who decided that between the family doctor and himself, they had misdiagnosed him.  He was not depressed.  He was bipolar.  Apparently, the anti-depressants alone sent him into a high manic state.  This is a very dangerous state to be in.  We worked with the doctors and the psychiatrists to find him a medication which would keep him balanced.  They told him he was a rapid-cycling bipolar, which meant that he would roller coaster from extremely manic to extremely depressed within a very short period of time.  It seemed like it would switch within hours (this is not typical of bipolar disorder).

I knew some of what to expect.  My mother is bipolar, and has been all of my life – not that she would tell you that.  But I had seen the extreme differences in mood.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  I have read a lot on the disorder, and witnessed a lot first hand.  But nothing prepared me for being the wife of a bipolar man.  One minute – Liz, you are the greatest person I have ever known.  I would be lost without you.  I love you so much.  Fast forward 12 hours – You are suffocating me!  I can’t stand to be around you!  It was a nightmare.  I was so emotionally destroyed that I ended up in therapy myself.  I never knew what to expect and was constantly walking on eggshells.  He was never physically abusive, by any means.  But, the emotional torment of such rapid-cycling emotions was pure hell.

Between July 2004 and January 2005, Steve worked 4 days.  And not consecutively, either.  This was ridiculously stressful because not only was he NOT earning an income… he was spending money like it was going out of style.  $350 for a pair of cowboy boots (he is neither a cowboy, nor a person who wore boots)… Clothes he didn’t wear.  Cars.  OMG don’t get me started on the cars!  That will have to be another post on it’s own.

I did my best to be supportive to the situation – whatever that was minute by minute.  People told me to leave him.  They told me that he was running me down.  Even my therapist to me to get the hell out and do not leave a forwarding address.  But I just couldn’t do that.  I loved him.  I hated seeing him in turmoil!

And then came the girls…



et cetera