Sunday, June 01, 2014

Too many thoughts at the top of my head

A friend of mine who recently went through a divorce told me that when she was first separated, her therapist told her she needed to do three things.  She needed to spend time outside, looking up at the sky. She needed to take a two week vacation by herself.  And she needed skin-on-skin contact.

I've thought about that a lot lately.  When I'm outside, I make a point of looking up.  I see beauty, or turbulent weather, or birds.  Stars and clouds.  Possibilities.  I like it.

The two week vacation thing struck me as excessive, partly because the idea of being able to get away for two weeks feels impossible.  But lately I think I get why that was the recommendation.  

Because when you're going through all of these major changes in your relationship and your life, it's incredibly difficult to process it all when you're mired down in the day-to-day of regular existence.

It's so weird right now, because we made the decision to separate 5 months ago, and we're totally fine with it and taking steps to make the physical separation happen.  But we're still living in the same house, the same way we have for years.  And living this way was what made us want to split up in the first place, so sometimes I'll come home from work and everything feels exactly like it always has, and it makes me want to scream because all I want is for everything to be different RIGHTNOW.

Even as I'm having these feelings, I'm saying to myself, "Wendy, what the fuck is your problem?  Things are moving along and J is looking for a place and it's all going on the schedule we agreed to and everything is FINE.  Calm down."  

But I can't help it.

I'm impatient with the kids, even though they generally have done nothing to annoy me except to act their ages.

Or I'll alternately feel incredibly hopeful and then a minute later incredibly despondent, because who the hell am I to think that I can start over at 44 and I'm old and ugly and no one will ever want me and waaaaaaah. 

I know that's not rational. But it's still taking up space in my head and my heart.

I'm like a tuning fork.  I'm vibrating.  My senses are heightened.  My emotions are incredibly close to the surface.  I overanalyze every interaction with everyone.  

It's like that scene towards the end of Thelma and Louise when the women are driving through the southwest, and Thelma says that she's never felt so awake. That everything looks different.

I'm assuming this is a normal aspect of trying to process the end of a marriage, and the start of a new, potentially exciting, but also somewhat scary, phase of life.  But feeling all of the feels while also trying to maintain a household and transition everyone from the school-year to the summer activities and lawyer and do fitness coaching and everything else is really, really difficult.  

The vast majority of my waking time is spent taking care of other people.  My children, and even my husband, still -- I'm the one who's finding apartments on Craigslist, and figuring out the financial stuff.  I'm still making dinner for everyone every night.  And as much as J is a great dad, the kids are still at ages when they attach themselves to me at virtually every opportunity.  There's no let-up.

Wine helps, though I rarely drink more than three-quarters of a glass. Exercise and eating well helps.  

But I definitely have a much better understanding of, and appreciation for, the "two weeks alone" recommendation.  I don't even have two weeks' worth of leave right now (especially after going to the beach for 10 days with my family next month).  But after J sets up his own household, I am going to try to take at least a 3-day weekend away sometime later this summer so I can just think, and be, and not take care of anyone but myself.

As for the skin-on-skin contact...

Hmm.  That would be nice, too.


  1. Big hugs to you, Wendy. Everything you are feeling is valid. And this has been coming for a while and of course you want it to be NOW NOW NOW. A two-week vacation would be magical. You need a break. Big love to you.

    1. Thanks, Lis. xoxoxo

  2. Anonymous5:39 AM

    I'm slightly ahead of you in process, but going through all of the same motions and emotions. It's crazy reading your blog, because we've been apart for most of our lives and yet I feel incredibly connected to you when I read your entries. Hugs from me! - Candice

  3. You too? Man, there's something in the water these days. We should talk.

  4. hope you can get that time for yourself.....I know how vital it is. Hugs xxx