More about me, less about him – today is an angry day in the grieving process – Day 7

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Alright, so my mind is constantly revolving around my dissolving marriage that I often forget about my personal fun filled flaws.

When I was the tender age of 16 I developed bulimia nervosa. It started very casually as most eating disorders do. I wanted to lose a little bit of weight and I did and people innocently said ‘you look great!’ and from that day, being thin was good and not being thin was bad. Spiralled out of control, I lived in complete secrecy with this disorder and it consumed me until I was 19 and I couldn’t keep living that way and destroying my health so I searched for help.

I went into full recovery and was in an inpatient program for a while and outpatient for 6 months and I made a great recovery. It was incredibly hard and challenging, and took a while and I had to really look deep into my heart to heal myself from what brought on this illness in the first place. What many people don’t realise is that an eating disorder is not about being self absorbed, or vain, or being thin. Its not about calories and portion sizes and scales and overexercising. Those are just the symptoms of a much bigger problem.  Those are the behaviours and obsessions and coping mechanisms that the individual is hiding behind.

Whilst an eating disorder never truly leaves you, I do believe that you can recover. That inner voice of the disorder will always be there, lurking in the background. Some days or weeks or even months the voice is quiet and then there are days that it feels like chatting again and you have to decide for yourself if you are willing to entertain it or not.

For 6 years I like to think I thrived 🙂 of course the illness was still lurking in the background, but I faced it full on. When I had the urge to over exercise or skip a meal, I stopped myself and asked why and I confronted the problem. This is the behavioural side of the illness – the chemical side is still there, but you learn to control the behavioural side.

In February this year, ED(eating disorder voice) started chatting again and it was ever present. ED was around every corner and I confronted him, I however found myself losing with every conversation that we had. ED had a better excuse or a better solution every single time. This is where the chemical side comes in. After my insanely wild wedding (my husband hated it, we rode on a donkey card, there was swimming at 5 in the morning and there were drunk granny’s) it was wild. After my wild wedding and fun yet incredibly depressing honeymoon and after being asked for an annulment 5 days after my wedding and being told I was attention seeking and blah blah blah, its actually boring now to keep talking about it. After the roller coaster I was finished. My self esteem slowly started to drop by every hurtful remark from my husband, I was guilt ridden because I distanced myself from my family because my husband said I was a little child, and I was shameful because I started to believe that I was in fact this awful human being that was childish and narcissistic and self absorbed and attention seeking and selfish.

Constantly beating myself up for being an awful wife, all these things transpired into my shell and my body was the one that had to pay for this. When we face a threat we go into survival mode and we revert to old habits that make us feel comforted. For me that was ED. This is why I call an eating disorder a symptom of a much deeper routed issue.

It was so much easier to focus on my body and every calorie I was consuming and it was easier to exercise for 2 hours a day to get an endorphin rush and feel good about myself than it was to face what was going on. Every time I wanted to face what was going on in my life, my husband shut me down for worrying too much and calling me attention seeking. So I found comfort in binging/purging, over exercising and starving.

I eventually told my husband that I had relapsed in April and he was very supportive and loving – he was incredible! I thought that opening up to him might actually be our saving grace. It wasn’t. He suggested I see a therapist and then when I did and only told him after I had seen the therapist he was furious. I wanted him to be part of my recovery but he refused to go to therapy with me. It then became evident that he was not interested at all in me never mind the illness I was grappling. He found the eating disorder attention seeking and vain and didn’t bother to even read one sentence about what the illness was actually all about. (The annoying part is that if I was looking for attention I would have confided in my parents and they would have driven 480km’s in a heartbeat to come and support me and they would have showered me with love and get to the root of the symptoms). This is one of the reasons I also distanced myself from my family because the minute I opened up to my mother about y relapse she would have known things were not right. She would have immediately searched for the root of the problem because she would know that the eating disorder was the mere surface.

So I pottered on in my self-recovery and found a therapist and a psychiatrist and went on medication and started dealing with my illness. I however couldn’t fully grapple with the ED because until I faced up to the real problems, ED’s voice was going to be comforting me.

In June I had enough. My husband worked constantly, when we spoke he was in a different world. When I tried to confide in him he didn’t care and told me to stop feeling sorry for myself and to find hobbies. If we would fight and I cried, he would say I should stop feeling sorry for myself. He even once told me that I was like a little child that he felt he had to entertain all the time (all the time? we both work 9-6, there were only about 2 hours a night when we saw each other). So I had enough and I couldn’t keep living that way. I was completely abandoned and neglected and became part of the furniture.

I called up my mom in June and she was incredible and supportive and very concerned. I went to visit my family about three weeks after that and I opened up to my parents about what was going. Not only were they supportive of me, they were supportive of my relationship. They tried to explain my husbands point of view and they tried to help me to learn how to communicate better and they tried hard to support our marriage because they loved us both.

By June my eating habits were more or less under control, I did start restricting, but I was not fully consumed by the illness. Nothing changed in my marriage however, my husband kept lashing out and he kept asking for a separation and I kept saying we should try. It was quite clear that he wanted out but he wasn’t man enough to say he did and he needed it to be all my fault. So one night ager a huge fight, when he said ‘I can’t wait to meet my new wife because she will love me and respect me so much more than you’ that was the last straw and drove off. The minute I drove off, he sent all my family and all his friends messages that I had left him and that we were getting separated. I left, it was my fault – I didn’t try hard enough – that is the message that everyone received.

3 days later my husband wore his best apology and I was back home and we were going to try again and we were going to couples therapy. Some hope had returned, even though he made it quite clear there was no hope when he said the magic was gone. Therapy was a mess! We sat for an hour while he cried to the therapist about what an awful wife I was and that if he stayed with me he would kill himself and that if I left him he would kill himself. Thats a hard position to be in, no matter what you do, your husband wants to kill himself. The couples therapist got hold of me and said he was a narcissist and was not willing to listen to anyones point of view, he would never change, and she could not understand what I was still doing in such an emotionally abusive relationship. She would help us if he was open to it but no one could force him to work on our marriage.

3 weeks later my husband told me I had a black heart and all the emotional abuse started again and I left for good. He refused to believe he was emotionally abusive even though all these signs were there:

A person’s behavior may fall into the category of emotional abuse when:

The behavior in question does not stop or even pause when the recipient begins crying or asks for time to cool down. In fact, abuse may escalate as the recipient of the abuse becomes more vulnerable and upset.
The behavior is frequent, occurring several times in a month or less.
Vulgar language, insults, and demeaning language are used or baseless accusations are made.
“Arguments” are one-sided: one person does all the talking, never listens, and is not kind to the other.
Threats of violence are made.
The person who is abusive does not apologize.
The person who is abusive will not recognize the validity of anything his or her victim says.

This was 7 weeks ago and I have since received 278 emails about how awful yet wonderful I am. How I have no empathy, and am selfish yet I m the softest most loving person in the world. Very contradictory.

Do I still love him? Forever. I forgive him and I love him. But I love myself too and I saw the way he was treating me and the way his family treated him and I panicked because I knew he would treat my children the same way one day and he said he would be hard on them. I couldn’t let this happen, he told me I was a weak person and I had to toughen up and I couldn’t. I couldn’t toughen up to the point where everything my husband said scared me, even when he was being sweet, I couldn’t trust it anymore, and I got scared.

My husband now views me as his saviour because I opened his eyes as to what he was doing and I saved him from himself and he is a changed man and isn’t even drinking anymore. Which I believe, because that is the man I have always loved and wanted to spend my life with. That is the man I believed in and I love. I love his flaws too, I just couldn’t let them destroy me.

If I can be the woman that has helped my husband to face his drinking and his soul and his inner demons – then my love for him has conquered. Then my heart will smile. Because I love him, and if I didn’t stand up for myself, he would never ever have got to the point where he looked at himself and he would never have realised that he is adequate and he would never have realised the beauty that lives in his soul.

Whilst I am sad that he had to destroy the woman he loved more than anything in the world to face everything, I am happy that he did. I wish I could be the woman to spend my life with him, but I can’t, in my heart too much damage has been done. I sometimes wish I was stronger and that I could forgive to the point where I wanted to be with him still, but I can forgive but I unfortunately don’t have the strength to forget after all that has happened.

I really miss him deeply, every day, every minute. I miss the fact that I am not the one to support him through his personal growth and illnesses, but instead that I was the one to push him into the emotional growth.

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Happy anniversary baby – Day 6

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Today is my four year anniversary with my husband, we have only been married for 8 months but our relationship turns four today.

Our third year anniversary was magical. We went to our favourite restaurant for dinner, and we didn’t buy each other a gift, instead we wrote each other a letter. I still have that letter that was written 365 days ago but I cant bare to open it, I think there will come a time when I am ready, the time is just not now. I don’t know when it will be and I don’t know if waiting for the right time or never ever opening it again will help in any way or form even. I just cant even bare to think of the beautiful words that were shared, and all the love and the hopes and the dreams.

It was 3 months until our wedding and it was special. We were special, it was good and we were great. When you just skip certain conversations because you know you both thinking the exact same thing. I even remember what I was wearing and I remember what dessert he ate – Italian kisses. I would mention something that I was stressed about concerning our wedding plans and he would say that it didn’t matter, nothing mattered, all that mattered that we were getting married, it didn’t matter what went wrong or what went right, all that mattered was that we were getting married. We were about to embark on a journey as lovers and best friends forever.

While I know its all long gone and that magic is not here no more. I still shudder when I think of those moments and I remember them like they were yesterday, like I could relive them ever second of every day.

Numb. Numb is how I felt on the 25th of December 2014. Exactly 5 days after our wedding. Lying in bed with my husband, at my new parents house, with my new surname. Lying in bed with the person I had committed my life to. Numb. When he asked me for an annulment after 5 days of being married.

Now I lay in my bed decoding why the person I love so dearly just broke my heart in the blink of an eye. When nothing mattered. All that mattered was that we were lovers and best friends and we were about to embark on the most incredible journey of our lives, hand in hand forever.

But a lot mattered. Everything mattered.

So much mattered and I was oblivious to it all. I blocked it all out with the sounds of ‘I love you’. It mattered that our families were different, it mattered that I was 8 years younger than him, it mattered that his family thought I was not intellectual enough for him, it mattered that I was brought up in a close knit family, it mattered that I was a creative person that followed her dream of being a designer instead of committing my life to success and being a civil servant. It mattered that I had a soft and sensitive approach whist he told me to toughen up and stop indulging people, it mattered that people indulged me and that I would one day indulge my children. And it mattered that I was still the sweet and innocent 19 year old that he met 6 years in his eyes, it mattered that when I started to grow he wouldn’t support my growth. Most of all it mattered that he had a saviour complex, that he always wanted to save me, when I never needed to be saved. I needed to be loved and not abandoned.

I got a call from my lawyer today and my husband is going through with the divorce. I will be receiving the divorce settlement soon. I am afraid to see what it says but it actually doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter, nothing matters.

It doesn’t matter that I have been encouraged to get a court order against him for harassment and slandering. It doesn’t matter that his family accused me of having an affair and it doesn’t matter that they think I am a spoiled little girl that isn’t intellectual enough for their son. It doesn’t matter that my husband has said that I am now second hand and it doesn’t matter that I am 25 and getting divorced. And it doesn’t matter if his friends knew all along that he was making a mistake marrying me or that he often joked about me making a good first wife. It doesn’t matter that he told me not to take his last name because I was not his wife, I was a child. And it doesn’t even matter that he asked me for an annulment after 5 days of being husband and wife!

All that matters is that we had 4 years and they were special and they were good. I believed in love and I believed in the man I married. I will never view our love as a mistake and I will always cherish our time together even though we destroyed our relationship in the end and there is dust on every page, it was good and I’ll never look back.

Let go of the one that stole your home – Day 5

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In a cafe posting because of my horrendous wifi. I have had two chai late’s because they are awesome.

Had a moment this afternoon when a bit of sadness washed over me. Tomorrow would have been my four year anniversary with my husband. Just typing those words makes me feel as if my heart is going to leap out of my chest. Its times like these that doubt creeps up on you. When I start to worry that I have made the biggest mistake of my life. Even when there are sounds in my head, little voices whispering that I should go and this should end – I still have doubts.

I think the doubts will be there for a while.

For the first time in a long time though, I am trusting my heart and soul and my body. Even though this is the most difficult decision of my life (up until now anyway), somehow I know its the right one. We all only have one home – our mind, body, soul and heart, your values and your loved ones and your dreams – thats your home. The only thing you need in life is to protect is your home and be happy in your home as its the only place you have to live. And no matter how hard it is I keep telling myself to let go of the one that stole my home. I let him take my love and my heart and soul and he destroyed my home.

Now its up to me to start rebuilding day by day.

“Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or greater Benefit.”

You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens- Day 3

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Today was one of the better ones.

I didn’t sleep particularly well last night – it takes a while to get used to a new bed I suppose!

Work was good and so busy so it kept me preoccupied which was good and then I had a great dinner with my parents and aunt and uncle! My mom and dad are on their way to London tomorrow and I am so excited for them – they are so excited!

During this process there are so many ups and downs. Some up days and some down days and then there are those days that flit between up and down and you feel like a yo yo. Today was an up day and I enjoyed it cautiously, I think that one of the most challenging aspects of divorce is moments where you feel happy you actually feel guilty simultaneously. Divorce is one of the most challenging experiences one can go through, its so deep and dark and multi faceted and in reality it is like experiencing a death. The death of a relationship that you committed yourself to (until death do us part) and it is the death of all the future plans and dreams you and your spouse shared as well as the death of a fragment of what makes you who you are.

I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, an employee, a stranger, a girl, and the list goes on and I am also a wife. When divorce strikes, you literally lose one of the fragments of your being. You lose your best friend/husband/wife/companion/love of your life and you lose a fragment of yourself. It is so incredibly hard to build a new life without your partner and it is equally hard building a new life when you have lost one of the fragments you have identified with.

This morning I naturally wanted to be a wife. I always used to wake up before my husband and do a bit of cleaning and so on and I would pack his lunch for work and then I would take him his coffee and biscuits in bed (ginger biscuits). This morning however I made myself coffee -I never drink coffee – and I made no lunch. These are just the secondary losses of losing someone. The primary loss is losing your soul mate (one of your soul mates at least) and the secondary loss is losing those moments. Thos tiny moments that made you a wife and made him your husband.

So today I did a lot of work and then I went out to dinner with my family with all the fragments of my being except for being a wife. There was no holding hands, his hand on my leg and the two of us tasting each others dishes. But there was me being a daughter and a niece and being loved and cherished, being cared about and being supported and for now I think that is what matters. Yes things have and are falling apart, but there are so many new moments to experience. So many new moments to experience in the now. For now I think I am feeling so grateful and appreciative for what I have gained and not focusing on what I have lost. Because when you going through hell you just keep going. And you keep looking for moments, even if they are just tiny specs, you look for them and you appreciate them.

Things are getting real for me down here – Day 2

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OK! First and foremost, my wifi at my new house is horrendous. So I still write a post everyday but I will unfortunately only be posting them every few days!

So day 2

Today has been both exciting and equally saddening.

I like my new little flat, its tiny and quaint. I’ve got pretty much everything from my old house so today I bought a few pot plants, a new lamp and stocked the fridge with groceries. I spent about an hour in the book store this afternoon flipping through books about divorce, there was even a workbook to work through all the anger and depression and guilt and shame. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a book though-it just seems so depressing. Instead I bought a new cook book!

Moving in was fun, I listened to music, unpacked and decorated and then sat on my bed and ate a whole box of chocolates and then I think reality started to sink in. I haven’t been alone (by alone I mean single) in four years. My husband is still emailing me daily – though he has managed to bring the emails down to about 10 a day. I’m in two minds about this: firstly I want to be a little bitch and tell my lawyer that he is still harassing me, and secondly I still love my husband so much and I guess I want to protect him against the implications (whatever the implications may be).

I miss him, I really do. I miss him holding me and I miss listening to his stories and seeing his smile. I miss having dinner with him, I miss making his lunch for work and I miss finishing each others sentences. I miss the way he used to tap his wedding ring on his wine glass while taking a sip and smiling and I miss my wedding ring, I still cant get used not wearing it, my left hand looks and feels so empty. I love him dearly and unconditionally. Despite what has happened I still love him – I think I will probably love him forever, just in a different form maybe.

I however don’t miss the last past 8 months, I don’t miss our wedding day and I don’t miss our honeymoon. I don’t miss being called a child and a spoilt brat and I don’t miss being told that I am constantly looking for attention. I wish I could erase the night when me told me he couldn’t wait to meet his new wife because she would love him and respect him in a way that i didn’t. I would give anything to forget the moment when were sitting outside his office on the stairs next to the ‘tower of light’ (how ironic) when he said that he had been thinking about being with other woman and when he said he had been thinking of ways to end our marriage since it started. Most of all I’d like to erase the fact that he and his family accused me of having an affair. His family, that had become my family that i had loved so dearly. Like black and white. All of a sudden I was and still am hated by everyone for the shit that they made up about me.

Now lying in bed, I feel like my bed will never be warm again without him. And nothing hurts more than just remembering how special our love was.

My parents are coming to visit tomorrow evening and then they are off to Paris for 3 weeks. I will admit, I am horrified. My support team is flying across Europe, and I am so excited for them and yet I am so horrified of not being able to pick up the phone and cry like a two year old to my mum.

I think I’m going to have a cup of tea.

Divorced at 25 – Day 1

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Technically today is not day 1 of being divorced.

But it is day 1 of the journey.

I am moving into my new flat today. I’m just unpacking today and then tomorrow night I will spend my first night alone in a flat.   My lawyer has intervened so my husband is not allowed to contact me anymore (he was sending about 39 emails a day) apparently this qualifies for harassment, and also his emails were very emotionally abusive. So all contact has ended between us.

What does it feel like to be getting divorced at 25 after only being married for 8months? It feels strange. Slightly liberating, Slightly depressing. Unbearably frightening. And empty and hollow.

There’s no better reality check than going to a party and people say:

‘Oh my god, you got married the other day, congratulations!’ SQUIRM! Or they say ‘How’s married life? Are you loving it?’ SQUIRM! Or there are people that you have never met and you making small talk and they ask ‘Do you have a boyfriend? Are you married?’ SQUIRM – I’m kind of married sort of divorced, don’t really know what to call myself just yet and divorcee sounds so extreme because that was not the question and that is going to lead to an awkward conversation. So I just say no and smile politely and say something like ‘This is such a great wine, what a good year, I’m going to refill my glass’ even if my glass is still full I go refill it anyway!

And only after this party (which was an engagement party might I add) did it really hit me. When you have to start telling people. I can handle the words and the trauma in my head and I can speak to my family and friends about everything. But when you say it out loud for the first time to a relative or friend that isn’t in your immediate support group it really hits home. Word is getting around however and I constantly have missed calls on my phone, and I am embarrassed to say that I never phone people back. Because I honestly don’t know what to say to everyone.

I am also one of those people who put up a brave face, I can cry and mourn with my family and friends. To strangers however I look happy as a clam. People are even commenting on how good I look – this makes me feel a bit guilty as I feel that I should be wearing sweat pants all day and no make up and walk around with a tub of ice cream all day. Somehow my coping mechanism is to engage in retail therapy, change my hair colour and train for a marathon and watch HBO girls at night- I think I am trying very hard to feel good about myself after my husband slammed my self esteem into the ground!

So my plan for this blog (I have about 5 blogs and I post one post on each and then get over it or forget about them or I forget what I called the blog). Anyway my plan for this blog is to post every day for 25 days about all the motions I am going through and what it feels like to be a 25 year old divorcee! Also what its like going from the cutest couple ever to being no couple at all.

Honestly I feel like I am in a catatonic state of shock 24/7