You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘EJ’ category.
What a rough couple of days for me on the memory scale. Two years ago today, my life took a drastic turn, which I wrote about on my old blog, which you can find here, at the 6 month mark post. The reason for even starting this blog, and especially the inspiration for the name of this space. I went back to the beginning of this blog to read a little bit, the day-to-day ramblings of someone trying to just wake up and get out of bed. The little minute details that was all consuming. It is heart-breaking, going back and reading. The pain is so obvious, so raw. I’m so grateful that I began writing so soon after, and that I have a place where I can look back and remember. There is nothing quite like immediate grief like that.
It is obvious amongst all definitions that the dissolution of my partnership was life-changing for me. In all the general ways that heartbreak is, but then in other ways of which you cannot see until months and years later; that the moment in time that changed you veered you down a different road which you are only now beginning to see, to experience, to understand. I am sitting here, in another state, with a new job and a new partner and a new layer onto my existing life because of that moment two years ago. Yes, I made choices and decisions that brought me here, but I could not have done that without a prerequisite: that I was alone and single. It is that simple. And so when B gets angry and gives me her rant about how much she hates EJ and how fucked up the way she treated me was, and expresses frustration at my willingness to be kind and generous to her, I simply reply that, although I do understand, it was necessary for her to do what she did in order to get me here. To this moment, right now. I don’t condone her treatment of me and at this point in my life I don’t have a desire to be friends. I’d be lying if I said I truly understood the reasoning behind it all, and because of that the forgiveness process is difficult. Sometimes I still miss her, the her that she was before, and that life that existed for us so long ago. Because it was a good life, and that I cannot deny. But more than anything else I love where I’m at right now, and life is generally great. That is more than I could have ever hoped for myself just two short years ago. I am so glad that I set out to overcome my deepest fears and my shattered heart. So glad that I had a wonderful support system to do so. So glad for all of the choices and people that have lead me here. Even this space, where anyone and everyone can read the innermost workings of my heart, a certainly seemingly unlikely place to find comfort and strength, has been a blessing. Life is funny that way.
It is so amazing to just be aware of the process of my evolution. I savor it. It isn’t always easy, but at least I know there’s no getting around it. I’m proud of myself. I am strong. I am so strong to have gotten through the worst of this, to continue to work on the bumps that pop up along the way. I am beautiful, smart, funny, kind, generous, hard-working, and loving, and no partner can ever take that from me. It is empowering to know that at the end of the day, no matter what, I can do it. I have done it. And that? That is divine.
Here’s to always being consciously aware of my evolution, my self-worth, and my strength. I can’t wait to see what else this journey has in store for me.
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. – Maria Robinson
Today has been a year. I find this hard to believe. I almost think it’s a joke. Seriously? A year already? A year since I got a horrific voice mail which collapsed me where I stood. A year since I had to drive home next to her, in her truck, and listen to her tell me it was over. Listen to her tell me that she emotionally cheated for the past month, that she wants to date this woman and divorce me. Listen to her tell me, in a matter of words, that my life as I knew it was over. Without any warning. Without any choice.
I will never forget that day and that night. I will never forget the days and weeks that followed. The shock of it all. The sick feeling, the feeling of being punched in the gut, that took months to go away. I will never forget the betrayal, the confusion, the heart break. It is imprinted on my heart and my soul. It has changed who I am. I am still working on the forgiveness part -complete and total and pure forgiveness – as I feel that can only do me good, the complete release of pain and hate and anger. I don’t give myself a time line on this, as that would be too harsh. Some people don’t understand why I want to forgive, but I think it’s the only way. I realize that it won’t be possible to forget something so profound, but it will be possible to forgive and move forward. Right? It has to be, because I hate carrying the hurt around. It’s too heavy to bear for a lifetime.
And so: “Forgiveness does not change the past. But it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese
I forced myself to go back and read my Six Months post that marked this day. In the post it has the entry that I wrote in my old blog titled “devastating news.” Truly, an understatement for me at the time. I hate re-reading that. I remember writing it. The pain. Such a low and lonely place to be. It’s so scary to know that it can happen again – and for most people, it does. Heart break is apart of life, and many of us will see it multiple times before we’re all set. I hope much time elapses for me if it is to happen again. I cannot stand to relive it in my memories, let alone in real life.
I remember the night it happened and in the weeks that followed I just kept saying, “I wish it was 6 months from now. I wish it was a year from now. I can’t stand this pain!” And unbelievably, here I am. 365 days later and I am still standing. I really am proud of myself. It has not been easy and still sometimes, I am challenged. Even a year later I still sometimes cry or feel hurt or sadness. This makes it surprising to believe that it took EJ just a month to make the decision to leave me, to stop loving me after 5 and a half years together. If I’m still recovering and healing now, a year later, how did she do it in such a short time? How did she ask this person to marry her after 6 months of dating? How do you shut those feelings off so quickly? I’m not sure I will ever understand. What I do know though, is that I can live with the decisions I’ve made in this past year and the way I’ve handled everything. And I like that.
I have continued to grow and heal and evolve. Some days are easier than others but no days are as hard as the beginning. I am grateful for that. Time is such a big part of the healing and I am truly grateful for it. It takes a while, but it does come. Thank god.
Do you think any of this has been difficult for her? Do you think that she was able to sever things without pain because she was running into the arms and home of another woman? I wonder if she sometimes thinks about me. I wonder if she remembers dates like I do or if I just randomly pop into her head or if she saw something that was so me that she couldn’t help but remember. I wonder if she regrets anything. I wonder if she misses me (plantonically) or misses my family. I wonder if she hopes we are friends in the future.
It has been good, and probably necessary, to take time to reflect on this day last year and on her. I haven’t been doing it much lately because it just hasn’t been anywhere near the top of my brain. She let me know a few weeks ago that she finally got a lawyer and the paperwork is being drawn up for the divorce. (We had a domestic partnership in NJ, before civil unions were legal). She went in recently to sign some things and I should be getting paperwork in the mail that I can either contest or agree to, and once I mail it back a court date will be set. Isn’t it amazing that still, a year later, we are taking this relationship apart? It is not easy, the ending of something like this. I am still reminded.
I reflected on this in my Six Months post, and it still rings true: despite the things I’ve lost and the pain I’ve been through, I’ve also gained much. B, for instance, who has made me feel worthy and loved and treasured again. Who has made me feel all of the things I was stripped of a year ago. Strength – I know now I am capable of things I didn’t before think possible. I’ve gained new friends and have met some incredible people who have enriched my life. I’ve gained new perspectives on things, things that only experience can teach you. I’ve learned that even when promised, it really might not be forever. So slow down. Enjoy the now, enjoy the moment. That’s all we have.
I am almost near tears, but not because I’m sad. I’m just happy I made it. I did it without the one person in the world I couldn’t imagine living without. It makes me feel like I can do anything.
It has taken me almost this whole year to believe the quote below. But my eyes open wider every day:
“Sometimes not getting what you want is an amazing stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama
And lastly, the simple truth of it all:
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost.
B and I are in for the night, ready to be snowed in until tomorrow or so. We’re scheduled to get 16-18 inches… fun! We might go sledding tomorrow. Maybe do some cooking. Sex. Reading. Pictures. Blogging. Snow days are good days.
I had a big week this week. EJ and I bought a camper two years ago. We used it for one year/season, and then the beginning of the second season is when she left. Selling the camper has been one of the last remaining things that I’ve had to do, and I was not looking forward to it. For one, sentimental reasons which I’m not in the mood to get into. But mostly because I knew it was going to be a struggle – the economy sucks, and people are having a hard time buying basic essentials let alone recreational vehicles. I put it on ebay and craigslist in November and didn’t get anywhere, so I left it alone through the holidays. I re-posted it earlier this week on craigslist and got an immediate response from a wonderful couple. Long story short, they bought the camper today. It was less money than I wanted, but I’m just so grateful that it was sold and that it’s going to a wonderful home. I can’t believe it. This was SO HUGE for me. The burden that has been lifted is amazing. I have about two or three more ties to the ex, and then I’m done. Almost a year later, and the ties are still unraveling.
Since I’ve moved into my friend’s house I haven’t had cable in my room … so when I’m at B’s house I catch up on some things. I LOVE the oxygen channel! First Wives Club and then Steel Magnolias. Love it. And earlier today we were watching The Golden Girls. Ahhh, snow, you give me excuses to stay in and watch TV and I love that.
Oh, and I’m starting to look into switching to WordPress … I’ve gotten some little birds in my ear encouraging it. Anyone make the switch from blogger to wordpress and want to give some advice?
Yesterday was 8 months since EJ left me, and I almost forgot until the end of the day. I didn’t do any reflecting like I usually do because I didn’t feel it was necessary. Maybe I didn’t feel it was necessary because I had to process lots of emotions and thoughts in great detail after hearing about her engagement. Either way, she was really just a fleeting thought. Time really does amazing things for recovery.
I did, however, have a good sobbing cry about Gracie last night. I was sitting on the floor in my room wrapping gifts and I was catching up on Glee episodes (I have missed about the last 5 weeks or so) and I was listening to amazing music and thinking about the holidays and I just started sobbing. Then I got angry. It’s not FAIR. How the fuck could she have died? A strong, healthy, athletic, young, full-of-life dog just collapses? I have some pictures in my room, pictures of her smiling or running or relaxing. I look at those pictures and then sometimes my head goes to the day she died, when I had to look at her and touch her lifeless body. Her body was so hard. There was no life inside. Just a shell. How did my larger-than-life dog end up dead on the floor? I was thinking this as I kneeled down beside her and began petting her. When I laid down and hugged her to me, tears streaming down my face into her fur, even though I knew she wasn’t there anymore. My mom stood near me and watched as I held her and begged her to please come back to me. I look at the pictures of her alive and then I sometimes remember carrying her dead body out to the car, how my mom and best friend had to do it because I almost collapsed holding her from grief. How everyone left me alone with her in the vet’s office and I talked to her as if she were alive, kissed her and stroked her, tried to smell her, etch it in my memory, so I could never forget.
I’m not sure why I sometimes let my head go there. I wish it wouldn’t. They are not things I should be focusing on or remembering.
So after that I tried to calm myself down and remember good times. I thought about how a few Christmases ago EJ made me mint chocolate brownies – and while they were cooling on the stove Gracie managed to eat the whole thing lol. I remembered when we put reindeer antlers on her and her siblings’ heads and took pictures of them in front of the tree. I remembered how when I would put up decorations, boxes and totes and things strewn everywhere, she would go around and sniff inside and want to know what everything I had in my hand was, and what I was doing with it. I remembered how on Christmas morning she would curl next to EJ or I as we sat and unwrapped gifts. How we would give her her gift from her stocking and watch her trot off with it, happy as always. So I did the best I could and turned my thoughts to positive ones and calmed myself down.
The pain is so amazingly raw still, it takes my breath away. I don’t want to be without her. It’s still hard to believe that she’s gone.
I bought some craft things from Michael’s to make a small ornament with her picture and the year on it so that I can have it on my tree for always in remembrance of her. I can’t wait to have my own place again to put my own tree up.
I didn’t mean for my writing to take such a sad turn this morning. I’m actually really excited for the weekend – plans changed a little and now B is bringing her 2 year old nephew with her and we have him for the whole weekend. I love this kid. Seriously. It’s funny how when I’m doing certain things or around certain people– dogs, taking pictures, traveling, kids – it’s just pure happiness. Just genuine, unblemished happiness. And overall, there’s waaaaaaay more happiness nowadays than sadness, and I’m super grateful for that. I try to remember that every day I’m here is a bonus.
I want to cherish it all.
I am making a contribution for Thanksgiving dinner – broccoli casserole – which means I’m cooking, which is exciting! I hope I don’t fuck it up. This is the first time I’m cooking anything for B’s family, and lord knows I’m not a great cook to begin with, so I just want to do ok. I hope somebody besides me likes the dish.
To help my healing over these last 8 months, I have often tried to focus on things I’m thankful and grateful for. It is a healthy thing to do always, but especially when bad things are happening. Anyway, to keep things in perspective, I’m thankful for:
• Having a job, and a job I like at that.
• Recovering from my divorce in the way that I have and the way that I continue to and my strength and resolve in trying to evolve and move on.
• My family and friends who I have leaned on and who have helped me more than I can believe this year.
• The new friends I have met through this blog – the support and love and friendship they give me and the community I feel fortunate enough to be a part of.
• B – for being a fabulous girlfriend, lover and friend. For creating new memories and adventures with me. For being with me in the present, right here in this moment, and enjoying the ride.
• My health.
• Rosie’s new radio show.
• Selling my house in such a short amount of time.
• That Gracie died quickly and without pain.
• Having a place to live and food in my belly.
This past weekend would have been EJ’s and I’s 6 year anniversary. Last year we had celebrated our 5 years by eating fondue and having a romantic night out in the city. I can’t believe it’s been a year already – it is always astounding to me, the passage of time. I am getting better and I am recovering. I am trying to continue to find ways of releasing any anger or hurt or resentment and replacing that with genuine happiness for all of us involved. I can’t wait to be fully healed and healthy from all of this. I wish this for myself and I will try to be diligent in working towards that. It is the only way for me.
I’m excited for the holiday! This is the first year in my working life (10 years) that I’ve had the day after Thanksgiving off. So I’ve never done anything crazy related to Black Friday, like getting up at 3 am or whatever, but I’m totally going to do it this year! I want the experience and it would be nice to get a sweet purchase or two out of it.
I leave work in an hour and I don’t have to come back until Monday and that is wonderful. I hope to be doing some reading, writing, sexing, eating, shopping, and loving this weekend. Perfection.
I found out last week that EJ, my ex, proposed to the woman she left me for about a month ago. 6 months after she left me, 7 months after she started to suspect that I wasn’t the one for her. If you’ve been reading me at all you’ll know how obviously life changing and devastating this divorce was for me, how things have happened over the course of this time that I’ve had to mourn or deal with, how far I’ve come from the beginning. Even still, almost 8 months later, I’m frustrated that hearing news about her/them could affect me, because I’m tired of being affected by this situation.
I probably shouldn’t be surprised. If they are pregnant 6 months from now, I probably shouldn’t be surprised about that. That has been what this has been from the beginning – one shocking action or revelation after another.
But listen, it’s kind of nice that they are in a relationship and making a commitment like that – a union based on deception and lies – it should be fitting that they are together so that they can keep that poison within their own circle. I wish them no ill-will but I do believe you can’t put negatives out there without getting some back.
This quote has become one of my favorites since this began:
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. – Wayne Dyer
I have taken EJ’s actions and betrayals and words graciously. I have never screamed or yelled; I did not throw or break anything; I did not beg her to come back to me; I did not purposely make life more difficult for her in the aftermath. I grieved and processed and healed and moved on as best as I knew how, and when doing that I tried my best to not be like she was to me. I think that I’ve been rewarded already – I think I can see silver linings in the middle of all of the trouble and pain – like the fact that our house sold so quickly and I was able to sever this huge tie; like having an initial reason to lose weight, and in doing so looking better, feeling better, and getting healthier; like this causing me to meet new people, see new things, travel to new places; like finding B and beginning an amazing new chapter, full of love and hope and good.
So there is initial shock when hearing news like this, but then I process and I think and I remember the things I am continuing to learn: different things and people make me happy now, but I am still happy; people like them deserve eachother and I deserve better; and finally, any negative energy or thoughts about anyone else is a waste of my time, and I could certainly afford not to have my time wasted.
I’m sure it is something I will still think about for a while, but like everything, this too shall pass.
I’m still surprised at the evolution – not just of myself but of everybody. It is a funny thing, this life.
Things with EJ were fairly uneventful tonight. She was home when I got there, tightening the bolts in the toilet per the request from the buyers from the home inspection. I had a quick dinner and then started packing … after a while she asked for my help with the toilet, so I did, then went back to packing, and then soon she was ready to go through the joint things.
DVD’s were easy – most we knew whose was whose. The ones where we weren’t sure we either gave to the other or split the pile. The kitchen wasn’t bad either – she really didn’t take that much which is great for me. Granted, most of it will be going to storage for now, but still, when I do move back into my own place, I’ll have it.
There was actually some regular conversation back and forth, some small jokes and maybe even a smile or two. I’m still sometimes amazed at the friendliness at which things are at right now, the physical disassembling of everything, no fighting, very cordial and civil. The only issue we have is that we both want the TV that’s currently in my bedroom because it’s newer and better, and neither of us are backing down on it, so she said we have to either flip a coin or put a name in a hat or draw straws or something. I don’t like that, I of course think I should get the TV of my choosing since she makes 1.5 times what I make (literally), but I didn’t say that – I just said I think it should go to me and she disagreed so now we have to settle it democratically.
I went through my bookshelves tonight and packed almost all of my books – 8 boxes! – which is a lot, I think. I feel accomplished for the day. I came across somewhat difficult things, such as our wedding notebook and wedding binder, our camper log book, our house binder from when we bought the house & all that research we did, her “All About Me” book that she filled out, and a journal that she had bought me. The journal was inscribed by her (dated Christmas 2004) and she started the message out “To the Love of my Life” … and then proceeded to say how she knows how beautifully I write and she bought me the journal so I could write about the everydays of life, the good and the bad and the sad and the happy … it choked me up. I remember getting it. I remember reading the words. I remember how much she loved reading what I wrote. How much she believed in me. And finally, I choked up because look, there it is in print, I was the love of her life. I remember that. I remember feeling that. Wow. She really loved the shit out of me. And I remember.
So who wants to fly to New Jersey to spend the weekend with yours truly for a kick ass celebration of her next big milestone – selling the house? I think a party is in order, for sure. Sort of like a housewarming, except it’s an un-warming. A celebration of the severing of this last big tie with Liz – pretty much when the house sells, there is not much left between the two of us and that is tremendous in the process of healing and recovery. Sure, we still have the camper, but really, that’s nothing compared to this.
After some negotiation, we accepted an offer. Next steps are signing the contract (which they have 72 hours to do) and an appraisal and then home inspection. Tentative settlement date is October 26th.
So seriously, I will be having a party, because as much as it is an ending it is also a beginning.
And seriously, I seriously encourage any of you who can afford airfare to Philadelphia International or Newark, to do it, and come spend the weekend, just a Friday night till Sunday, lodging free. I have an extra bed and futon and couch and some air mattresses and lots of floor space. You’ll see some sites of the City of Brotherly Love, the shore and Atlantic Ocean, and lots of alcohol, Jersey style.
6 months after I was looking at bridesmaids dresses, I’ll be out of the house and life we built together, signing settlement papers with a stranger. A stranger who held my heart for so long, and then gave it away.
A stranger indeed.
And as corny as it is, I have the lyrics to Closing Time in my head: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Because it does, doesn’t it?
On Saturday I met EJ at the camper to clean it out. Everything was civil and nice – neither of us had any issues with what the other person wanted to keep. We agreed on things to throw out and the rest we took into my parent’s house for them to go through and see if they wanted anything. There was even a small conversation not related to the camper or the house, which was her telling me about an old friend of ours who she ran into. Look at that.
It took a little over an hour and then we headed back to “our” house to clean out the front closet and basement. Mostly it was just her stuff being taken from the front closet since I still live there and throwing the rest out. There was a lot more to go through in the basement and we didn’t even finish all of it – although the rest can probably be gone through individually and doesn’t need both of us there. We threw TONS of things out, which was great … there’s just a lighter feel to the house, if that makes sense. We called it quits at about 11 am – everything taking us about 3 hours. I was happy with that as we got much accomplished.
We took all of the trash generated from the camper and the house and put it in the back of EJ’s pickup truck – it literally filled the whole thing – so that we could take it to my old apartment building around the corner and dump it in their dumpsters. I could barely fit in the truck – the whole backseat and front seat were filled with the things she was taking back with her. So I squeezed in the middle seat, turning my legs towards the junk to my right, trying to be as physically far away from her as possible. We pull away, and after about a minute she says:
“So, how much weight have you lost?”
I’m going to interrupt my narrative to just reflect on that question, and what it means coming from her. It was probably the biggest compliment I could get regarding my weight. To see that she notices, to know that she’s curious, to just know that she knows I’m losing weight and getting healthy and stronger without her … it is wonderful. No, it shouldn’t hold as much value as it does for me, but oh well, it does.
So I told her around about my total weight loss number, but added that I’m trying to focus on my pant size and not the numbers so much. She asked if I’m now a 12? (Amazing, how much someone could probably still know about you even after they are gone, just by knowing you before). I told her that I was, but some of the 12’s are a bit big but I’m definitely not ready for a 10 yet. She asked how was I doing it, was I just going to the gym? And I said pretty much, yes. I then asked her if our gym was by her new house (we still split that cost every month, so I figured there much be one out where she was or else she wouldn’t be continuing to pay) and she said that it was, about 10 minutes away, but they are building one that she should be able to walk to soon. I said that was good.
You can definitely tell she lost weight as well – she started losing it immediately after she left me, just like me. I’m sure she wanted me to return the question back to her and ask her how much weight she has lost, but I didn’t. For one, I’m generally not curious about it. I don’t care to know. For two, even if I was curious, I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of knowing that I was.
This was the first “normal” conversation we’ve had since she left me. For the last four months, all of our interactions dealt with us and finances and the house and the pets. There were no “what’s going on in your life conversations.” I’m surprised that it happened, even more surprised that she initiated it, and generally pleased that it had to do with my weight loss. I’m losing weight for myself, definitely, but it’s a real big bonus to be like, “Fuck you EJ, cuz I’m hotter than I ever was and it’s no longer yours.”
When we were finished she dropped me back off and we discussed that we’d have to meet again to finish some things to the camper (power wash it, fix a broken faucet, etc) and then she left. I skipped into the house and ran up the stairs to B who was naked in my bed and told her how things went. I told her about EJ’s question and how it made my day. She was relieved and happy for me as she hates to see me in strife with the ex.
We went on to have another great weekend, and I have some news and thoughts about her and us that I need to share, but that deserves its own non-EJ soiled entry.
Monday marked 4 months since EJ left me. Still difficult to believe. I think I say that for every anniversary I’ve mentioned, but it’s true. It really does get easier with time, although I know I’m not fully healed and I know I still have a good amount of issues I have to work on. She has left me quite damaged, and it really starts to come out when you start dating someone new. I am working on it and trying to find a therapist to help me work on things. It will be good for me, I know. I still have occasional breakdowns or moments or flashbacks or thoughts, random thoughts in the middle of the day, and I know they will take a while to stop. The pain from heartbreak is still surprisingly strong when it pops up, even four months later. When it happens, it forces me to remember that it’s not over till it’s over, and I have no say in when that is. All I can do is grow.
When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure. – Peter Marshall