|A Beginners' Guide To Separation|
Okay to look at me, you'd never have guessed that fifteen days ago I was a happily married wife and mother well, a married wife and mother.
There in my mirror is the look of the new me, two big zits, red eyes and bags under my eyes you could pack households in. And you can't even see the half of it (at least I hope you can't see) the laryngitis, the stress and the new set of grey hairs.
But I have to say, that woman in the mirror looks to be in remarkably fine fettle, considering. In fact, I'm a bit surprised I'm still in one piece. Emotionally battered, shaken and definitely stirred. But still wombling along.
I never realised that once I placed my foot upon the separation conveyer belt, how simply things would fall into place. I'm not saying it was easy, it just wasn't as hard as I'd imagined it would be. Admittedly, I had a sister to run to, a brother-in-law to rescue me from the clutches of evil, and two little boys to wear a brave face for.
The boys really surprised me. Packing up in the middle of the night was all a big adventure to them. They got to stay up WHILE IT WAS DARK and THEN got to stay with their cousins, and we even allowed to top'n'tail in their beds with them. They even got LOLLIES, in the CAR.On their balance of payments, they were definitely in credit.
I had been working up to D-Day (desert husband day) for quite some time. In fact, I think the only one who was really surprised was my mother-in-law, in true mother-in-law fashion. And my husband, of course, he never believed I'd ever be stupid enough to give up on him, treasure of the Gods he was. But I did it, in a less than organized fashion. But you know what they say about the best laid plans that if you're stupid enough to actually expect to be able to rely on them, then you're destined to be knee high in doo-doo before too long.
When I woke up the morning after, I could still find the bits of my emotional anatomy. Shock horrors, they were still pretty much where I'd left them. Then the big question crept up from behind me and slapped me in the self-confidence with a month old fish.
What did I do now?
I'd always had such a firm grip on the prospects for tomorrow. I hadn't always liked or looked forward to them, but I knew exactly what they were. And it was all gone. I still had the make beds, wash hands, clean up after little people part, infact, I think that's what got me through. But the mopping the floor tomorrow, meeting tomorrow night, trip to the car racing on Sunday bits were all gone.
I had no plans; no future mapped out in my head. It was a heady, terrifying experience. Similar to what you'd expect to feel upon climbing an arduous mountain, being unbearably proud of yourself and suddenly finding the trail back down is broken by a twenty foot wide abyss. It was about then that practicality stepped in, pushing indecision and uncertainty aside with a firm knee to the groin, so to speak. MONEY. As much as you hate it, you hate living without it so much more.I had a plan. It was deceptively simple.
I managed to spend several days accomplishing that one. In fact, consolidating my position has actually now filled up over a fortnight. And I don't imagine I'm finished yet.And I did it all with laryngitis, a gift from the Gods to keep me from getting cocky enough to think I was treading water rather than flailing around wildly with sharks nibbling at my toes.
Ah, the hurdles I've cleared, the mountains I've climbed, the rabbit holes I've dropped my foot in and snubbed my nose on the rocks.
All in the name of finding a place in the world where I can be what I want to be not what others want of me. And it is all only just beginning.
I'll leave you with one note of advice.
Remember that marriage is the major cause of divorce.
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