Something doesn't feel right. Well, duh. There's nothing *right* about divorce. It is devastating. It is painful. It is a truly humbling experience in accepting the things I cannot change.
But, there was something not right about the blog. This blog. Being here again, oh wow, it feels like an old, familiar home - full of sorrow, pain, joy, FRIENDSHIP and sisterhood, and everything that shaped me over the past 9 years. Something was missing. Something is missing.
Being open and honest is kinda my thing in this space. At least, as it pertained to infertility. And every single personal detail of my journey through it.
Of course, there was always an element of secrecy when it came to information that didn't *only* concern me, and would have invaded my husband's privacy. There was always this idea, in my head, that someday, he would guest blog or even write a book surrounding that untold story. It wasn't meant to be.
That part was always unspoken. Not just here, but even in my own private life. There were glimpses of it at various times throughout my spoken story here, but always under the surface. And, it didn't necessarily feel like it was secretive, but so often, I thought it was better, getting better, or long behind us. It didn't seem to affect the story that was being told on TCIE of Catholic infertility. But, it was always there, even when I was unaware of its existence.
Now? It's different. Because it's out there - but only generally. As I've said, there is just too much at stake for my son, and I also want to protect my husband's and my privacy. However it does make blogging a little weird for me.
So I thought maybe I could address some Frequently Asked Questions that have been rolling in, in various forms. And I'll do this periodically as things progress.
1) What happened??
This is perhaps the biggest question to those who read and were shocked at what they read. I can say, "what happened" was not a recent incident, or even a series of incidents, but a much bigger underlying issue. Quite similar to the NaPro and FertilityCare explanations for infertility and miscarriage, I think the underlying issue was there all along, leading to many of these other issues and incidents through the years. The underlying problem in the relationship was by far the heaviest cross, and despite 10 years of trying to get through it, it only got progressively worse.
To keep the NaPro analogy going, there were times when I thought we had addressed the underlying cause of, say, endometriosis, with a laparoscopic surgery with a NaPro-trained Fellow, only to discover that the surgery was done haphazardly, or was never done at all, or the post-op requirements to ensure regrowth of endometriosis was kept to a minimum were ignored. And where I had become very well-versed in NaPro and FertilityCare through my infertility journey, I never felt like I was getting any better in my navigation through the issue in the relationship.
For those truly concerned friends (even if we've never met IRL), I do have a private blog and am willing to share that part of my life if you are interested. The private blog was only started in 2013 when things truly were out of control. You can feel very free to reach out to me via FB or my email. Again I just ask that privacy is respected on this blog, but do not feel awkward approaching me if you care to learn more.
2) But you two always seemed to come out of difficult situations stronger on the other side...
Yes, it did seem that way. And there were even more difficult times in the recent years, including losing our home, bankruptcy, and welfare. (I am climbing back from all of this, now.) Keep in mind, you were reading only my words, and so you accepted (because you had to accept) the light in which I presented my husband. Fundamentally, however, while it looked like we were surviving as a team, on the surface, what it felt like was that the underlying issue was grabbing ahold of both of my feet, bearing the weight of 2 anchors, while I tried to keep him afloat and myself. For over a decade.
3) Where are you living now? Are you near family?
We moved when Robbie was 4 months old, as we were about to lose the house. We have the most perfect little 1-bedroom cottage in my hometown, and are surrounded by family and the best friends anyone could ask for. It was a year later, this past August, that my husband moved out. I have an incredible support system that I have to learn to utilize more because I truly cannot keep up at the pace I'm going, currently...
4) Are you seeking annulment?
I'll write more about this as time goes on. Right now, I'm taking a day at a time while also planning in a way I could never plan my life in the past. I'm taking the steps necessary to ensure first and foremost that Robbie is as protected as possible from the issue, and while I hope and pray every single day that God will work miracles and heal the family unit, I am also approaching this much more realistically than I ever have (now with 6 months distance and lots of therapy and spiritual direction, all of which I never had all at once).
I may indeed approach the Church Tribunal to gain a deeper understanding and a Wisdom about what in the heck was going on at the time we took vows. And that is exactly how I look at it. I will not, in my mind or motivation, be "seeking annulment" (if you ask me, that whole term is stupid and a misnomer, anyway). I don't want a certain outcome. I want Truth. I have always been after Truth, and now is no different. But with so much deception clouding a lot of my judgement and choices through the years, I do feel that this step will help me gain a clarity direct from Church authority, so that I can begin to take the appropriate next steps, whatever they may be.
5) What is this new business you're doing?
I actually started my business last April - and wasn't really sure what direction it would take. (At the time, I had hoped it would be a business my husband would take an active role in.) Finally, towards the end of summer, it was morphing into something that wasn't yet cohesive but was at least earning income. Now? Well, I am probably less than a month from launching and marketing it in a big way. It will feature what has become my main area of expertise through the past 11 years, mainly, Fertility, and add in some new skills and training I've acquired in eCommerce. I'll also discuss this more as time goes on but it is both at once exhilarating and absolutely TERRIFYING.
My anxiety has been through the roof in all of this - the business, the single motherhood, the divorce, the cleaning up and making amends for all of the casualties of the underlying issue in the relationship... it has been exhausting beyond compare. I feel like a failure pretty much every moment of every day, and even when I do have amazing news or close an unbelievable deal with the business, I am immediately met with a fear that the other shoe is about to drop. (You remember the whole inadoption thing, classic example, but this kind of thing was ALWAYS happening.) I haven't yet made peace with my own strength and ability to handle setbacks now that the major issue is not a part of my life, anymore. It is going to take a lot of time and re-training of the brain, I suppose. But man, this anxiety. From what I'm hearing, it is fairly common at this time in life, as other single moms have commiserated. In any event, I am trying to find my peace with everything that is being demanded of me now (by myself) to be the best mother but also the best provider I can be. And I fail. Daily. But I continue to pick myself up, brush myself off, and start all over again. With Him, In Him, and Through Him.
What a glorious Lent it will be. Much needed for my soul.