I like lists. I like to plan. To be organised. A to-do list helps focus my mind. Seeing things get ticked off the list gives me a sense of achievement. It is a good visual aid, a concrete marker of progress.
I usually pin my to-do list on the fridge, but as this one is personal (in that I don’t want my children or visitors to my home to see it), I am putting it here instead.
As this is no ordinary to-do list, I will use this page to record milestones. I suspect it’ll be months before any of them can be ticked as complete and removed from the list. But I will record developments and progress along the way.
These are the things I want to fix:
- My heart – at this moment (12/03/2016) I’m not convinced this is achievable. But I want to try. I want my heart to catch up with my head. To accept that it’s over, without feeling any pain. For it to stop yearning for him. Stop loving him, in a romantic sense. I think I’ll always care for him, he’s the father of our children and I would like us to friends again one day (I can’t envisage how that will work, as I hurt too much). Update 21/05/2016 my heart and head are pretty much in sync now, thank goodness. I do not yearn for him anymore. I sometimes lament the loss of my life before this, but not him per se. I now realise he no longer exists. The person I knew and loved is no more: he has become someone I don’t recognise physically and especially emotionally. I have reached the point already were I can say I loved him – it doesn’t trip off the tongue easily but it’s definitely a past tense thing. Update 9.9.2018 I was in denial when I wrote the last update. In the yeah, I’ve bossed this phase. Before the crashes and nervous breakdowns. After nearly two years of therapy I have come to accept that I will probably never stop loving ex. He was my family. Always will be, as he is father to me children. And no matter how shitty family behave, you can’t stop loving them. Saying this, I also know there is a huge difference between loving in a familial sense and being in love. I’m not in love with him anymore.
- My children – they are doing ok, but obviously they are struggling. Especially my youngest. Update 22.05.2016 The children are making wonderful progress. My middle son’s grades have bounced back after dipping for a few months, and he had a stellar school report. He’s less stressed. Still not talking about it much but enough (for him, I’m not pushing it we all deal with things differently). My darling daughter has made phenomenal progress. I have worked hard with her. She is accepting of it now. And is rebuilding a relationship with her daddy. Obviously my ex returning to the country and seeing them regularly will have an impact but I’m hoping it’ll calm down quickly and they’ll adjust to the new routine.
- My light – I want to stop faking it. I want to be really and authentically my happy old self. Update 22.05.2016 my light is doing good. I rarely fake it now. I’m pretty much back to the normal me. I have bad days. But instead of pretending, I express my low mood/sadness/whatever it is. I feel like I’m being much more authentic.
- My ability to trust – I’m struggling with this one. I think this is going to be a massive project. Update 22.05.2016 surprisingly this is proving much easier than I thought when I wrote this. I’m trustworthy. I know lots of trustworthy people. Just because he let me down doesn’t mean others will. I think focusing on him less, not allowing his decision to consume me, has helped me get this one into perspective more quickly. Why should I let his shitty decision influence my relationships with others? I shouldn’t. It’s that simple.
- My self-esteem – it’s taken a battering. Rejection really does massively rock the foundations of your sense of being. Your self-worth. Update 22.05.2016 As with my heart and trust I have had a radical mental shift with this one. My divorce diet has worked wonders. I am taking care of me for the sake of me – not to impress someone else or get flattering comments. I give myself a pamper night at least once a week. I am feeling comfortable and good about myself.
- My financial position – I need to get a job, become financially independent and work towards building a secure future for my children. Update 22.05.2016 this one is still a work in progress. My time out of my job – living in a foreign country as a trailing spouse – stonewalled my academic career. I was foolish to give that up. At the time I believed I was doing it to betterment of my family. I am having to change careers and have secured a place on a prestigious career development scheme. But my entry is deferred until next year. So I’m still trying to find an interim post.
- My relationship status – in time, I’d like to start dating again. After 22 years of being with the same person, this is daunting and frightening prospect. But being alone for the rest of my life is an equally scary option. Update 22.05.2016 again a work in progress. I have taken the plunge into the dating world and had a few dates so that major hurdle has been crossed. But I’m still not ready for anything too serious. This is going to be a time thing. I am sure I won’t ultimately end up alone. But if I do that’s fine too. I am happy on my own/being single. I am enjoying the independence, being the mistress of my own destiny.
- My friendships – so many people have distanced themselves/responded awkwardly. I would like to establish new friendships – being part of this virtual community of the broken hearted is really helping. I’d like to find new friends who have experienced this (none of my friends have been divorced). Update 22.05.2016 a work in progress too. I still haven’t made new real world friendships but I do value the support from my WordPress buddies. The comments I receive help so much, particularly on the hard days. My real world friendships are still affected. I don’t think now that some will ever be repaired: our joint friends continue to struggle with this. But I’m good with quality over quantity. I have a few friends who have been absolutely incredible support and for those I am eternally grateful.
- My world – all of the above will help me build my new world, my new normal. Update 22.05.2016 this is going well. I’m creating solid foundations. There’s a way to go. However the signs are positive. On the whole I remain optimistic and hopeful about the future. I am succeeding in my quest to remain serenely sanguine – divorce is changing everything (in terms of my world as I knew it) but it’s not affected my core being.