No Apologies

The thing is, I don’t even have it in me to apologize anymore. Not for this. Not for what I’ve become. The old me? The old me apologized all of the time. I apologized for everything. I apologized for who I was.

Not anymore.

The truth is, this is probably my most selfish season of life. I am constantly thinking about me. What I want. What I don’t want. What I’m willing to tolerate. I don’t do things just to do things anymore. I do things because I want to or because I don’t want to.

I think this throws people off. I know it does.

Because they aren’t used to it. Heck, I’m not used to it. And maybe I’m doing things the wrong way, who knows? But what I do know is that for 10 years I was in a relationship that had nothing to do with me. For 10 years I constantly put myself below others. And not in the nice way, but in the sick way.

For 10 years I did it the way everyone else wanted to. I avoided conflict. I nodded when I wanted to scream. I learned to cry in the shower. I learned to hide my emotions, except anger and resentment. I got real good at showing those.

I learned to disguise myself as something that made everyone else comfortable. Except myself.

For those 10 years, I was never comfortable.

So maybe I don’t know what I’m doing now. I don’t think I should know. I’m learning. I’m taking it one day at a time and trying. Because this is all new to me.

Because this wasn’t supposed to happen. He was supposed to love me through good times and bad. In sickness and in health. Till death do us part. And he didn’t.

So maybe I do look like I’ve gotten it all together. Most days, I feel like I do, but then sometimes I just don’t. And I’m okay with that. Because, if anything, I’ve learned it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress and that is something I’m making everyday.

So don’t push me. Don’t criticize me. Don’t act like I should have it all together because I don’t and it’s not fair that anyone expect I should. I am taking this one step at a time because when you plan too much, like spending the rest of your life with your husband, well it can throw you off when it doesn’t happen.

So this season is about me. It’s about learning who I am. It’s about being okay with the brokenness. It’s about being selfish and finally being the one who isn’t uncomfortable.

And no, I’m not sorry.

Closure Part One

I’m titling this as part one because I just have a feeling there will be a part two. I don’t know for sure, yet, but I just have a feeling.

I’m going to Texas this weekend. Doing my best to pack up the last 10 years of my life and try to figure out how to get it here, to North Carolina.

I miss my stuff. My things. Our things, but I am not looking forward to this trip.

I have begged and pleaded to God to let this happen any other way, but there must be a lesson here. Somewhere in our things.

Because I’m going to Texas this weekend.

It’s easy to be happy when you aren’t thinking about it. Aren’t thinking about your marriage not working. Not thinking about your lease ending on the place you shared with someone you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with. It’s easy when it’s out of sight, out of mind.

But now I’m having to close that chapter. Turn that page. And find that closure.

It’s not that I expected things to be different. He left. I moved on. It would never be the way it was or the way it should have been. It was over. But now it’s like really over.

For so long it was Lauren and. And now it’s just not.

It’s just real now. It hasn’t been real yet, or it has and I just haven’t felt it. But now, it’s real.

Now it’s just so real.

So here goes Part One.

Missing You

I miss him. Man, do I miss him.

No, this isn’t a post about my ex husband. It’s been a long time since I’ve missed him. I feel like I spent a good amount of time in my marriage missing him.

No, this is about the one who got away.

I wake up and he’s one of the first things I think about. I go to sleep and I secretly wish that tomorrow will be the day he comes back.

I miss him.

I miss the conversations. The excitement of a new relationship. The surprises. I miss wanting someone again.

I miss being wanted.

I know some of you will not understand. That’s okay. I’m not sure I get it most days, but I am lonlier now than I was when my husband left.

I always kind of knew he wanted to leave. I certainly knew he didn’t love me anymore. We just existed. And I’ve spent a long time grieving that, but this is not about him.

I’ve tried to use this time to grow. To learn about who I am. What I want. What I don’t. It’s been a long time since I’ve lived for myself, but I miss him.

I miss having someone to talk to. Someone to share things with.

I’m in my own place now. For those of you who follow me on Instagram you probably knew that already, but I’m here. I’m settling in to my new life. My new season.

I remember talking to him about getting my own place. I remember him telling me it would happen. He even would mention how I should consider living closer to him. I did. I thought about it.

I imagined inviting him over for dinner on the weekends. I imagined him picking me up to go out. I imagined texting him when the kids went to bed to tell him about my day and ask about his.

I think about his daughter, a lot. I wonder how she’s doing. If she’s getting better. If you actually get better. I think about her always complimenting my ‘shiny teeth’.

I think about if we’ll ever actually see each other again. I pray often that we will.

I refuse to give up. I think that would hurt too much. And truthfully, I can’t hurt anymore.

But I miss him.

And in the off chance that you’re reading this, I miss you. I wish I didn’t. I try not to. I try to distract myself. I try to focus on me, but you’re always on my mind. You’re always what I compare the rest to, the reason they always fall short.

I’m lonely without you. I can’t find enough distractions. I try to keep myself busy, but there’s always something reminding me of you. Of us.

Sometimes I feel crazy. Like how in the world could I feel this way about someone? It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way.

Other times I wonder if I should reach out to you. To let you know I’ve been missing you. But I chicken out. Every single time.

And I probably always will.

So today is no different. I’ll do my best to find my next distraction and I’ll secretly pray it will be my last one.

Because if you don’t know, I miss you.

He’s Still Working

I don’t know why I’m even surprised anymore. 

I’ve probably started a few posts out that way, but the truth is it’s always shocking to me. I always sit here after it happens and just kind of hang out with my mouth a little open because I just can’t believe how clearly I can hear Him, especially when I’m listening. 

Last night wasn’t good. It was full of tears and pain and fear. Divorce is hard. Breaking up a family is hard. And it should be. But that doesn’t make it any more bearable because it still sucks. 

The truth is divorce can bring out the ugly in each of us. Maybe it’s intentional. Maybe it’s not. I am constantly reminded that ‘hurting people hurt people’. I know this from experience. 

I often look back at the things that were said and wish that I could take them back. I know better. But in the moment, I can’t help it. I’m hurt. 

I’ve been hurting for years. 

I almost wish he would follow through on the threats. Finally cut the string. What I would give for him not to be able to dangle things over my head. Because I know, eventually he will run out of threats. Eventually, I won’t have to worry anymore about our finances or whether or not I will have a place to live or if our bills will get paid. 

So last night, after things got bad, I realized I wasn’t really nervous. After I stepped back and thought about everything, I was okay. I wasn’t scared. Maybe for a few minutes, but then the fear subsided. 

It was still there. Still present. But it didn’t consume me. 

I can’t take credit, it’s Him. He knew that conversation was going to take place. He knew that those threats were going to be made. And He had been preparing me for it all day, even though I had no idea. 

I went to an Al Anon meeting yesterday. The topic: Fear and Anxiety. How do we deal with those things? My answer, I appreciate the fear and the anxiety because it reminds me that I need Him. And when I actually think about it and what I am actually fearful of and I don’t make up a 1000 different scenarios, I am reminded that He is always bigger than my fear. 

So as I was being threatened. As I was being told that I would be cut off financially and that I would be evicted from my home. And after I put my own feelings aside (not soon enough, but a lot sooner than before) I was totally okay. I didn’t feel scared. I felt comforted. Because I knew He was right there. 

Fast forward to this morning. The fear tried to sneak back in, it did for a minute or two. I held back the tears. I was tired of crying. I opened my Al Anon literature. 

I start each morning with a cup of coffee and 3 readings. Somedays the readings hit pretty close to home. I find myself relating. Other days, they offer great advice, but nothing really mind blowing. 

Today, it was Him. He was talking to me through those pages. And He blew my mind.

We wonder why they cannot realize what they are doing to the family. We doubt they care. If they did, we think, how could they behave in this irrational way? In Al-Anon we learn that this a false conclusion; we cannot know how terribly they suffer from guilt at the hurt they inflict.

I know I will be guided to where I need to go today. I may not always notice my Higher Power’s help, but I have faith that it exists.

Why do I allow myself to suffer, to blow small things out of proportion? I can break a situation down to a more manageable size by taking it one day at a time. 

No apologies have been made. I don’t expect there to be. And I’m okay with that. Because if I’ve learned anything it’s that divorce is ugly, but it’s not my battle. I don’t need to worry. I don’t need to prove myself. And I don’t need to be scared. He’s my provider. All I have to do is just remember to trust Him. 

He’s got the rest under control. And like the guy said yesterday ‘When I’m waiting, God’s working’. 

And even if you don’t even realize you’re waiting, He’s still working. 

But We’re Getting Divorced

I still can’t believe we’re getting divorced.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I think all of the things I hadn’t felt before, I’m feeling now. 

It’s weird. 

I think about you, my husband, er, my ex, I don’t even know what to call you anymore, but I think about you. A lot. Probably more than I should. 

I think about how I still love you. No, it’s not the same, but it would be silly for myself to think that I would ever stop loving you. 

It hurts. 

I think about all of the things I lost when you decided to leave. It’s those things I grieve. The little things. The things most of us probably don’t even pay attention to until they’re gone. 

I know I didn’t. 

I try to remember why it was a good thing you left, but most days I struggle. I try to remember the fighting, the name calling. I try to remember what it felt like to watch you walk out every single weekend. Or how it felt when I would go to bed not knowing where you were or if you would be coming home. 

I think back to the day I found out you were cheating on me. That pain. How raw it was. How raw it still is. But I think this is worse. 

I know it is. 

And then I get mad. I get angry. I think back to the times I wouldn’t leave. The times I chose to stay. The times I begged you to ‘give us one more chance’ and for what? 

Just so you could decide that you didn’t want it anymore?

Just so you could change everything because you didn’t feel like doing the work anymore? 

I don’t know why I’m surprised. It shouldn’t have surprised me. It’s pretty typical of you, actually.

So then why do I miss you? 

Because the truth is, I am happier. I’m the happiest I’ve been. I guess I just wish I could have been happy with you. I wish we could have been happy together. 

But, instead, we’re getting divorced.

Alarm Clock

You know, I’m starting to feel like I have this whole ‘single’ thing down. There are times when I actually really enjoy being single.

And then there are times when I don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like living alone. A lot. I like cleaning the house when I want. Making dinner when I want. Shopping when I want. Doing laundry when I want.

Or doing none of those things when I want.

I love not having to hear alarm clocks. I love being able to read late at night. Or wake up early in the morning. And actually turn the lights on if I want. I love being able to shower with the door open. Or closed.

I love being able to spread all of my amazing Beautycounter products all over my bathroom counter and not have to worry if it’s in the way.

I love being able to pick what I want to watch on TV and sleep without the TV on at night. Or not.

And I love being able to be the one who gets to decide.

But then there are times when I miss the little things. The things I took for granted because, let’s be honest, I never actually thought I would be getting a divorce. I never thought that after spending 10 years with someone that one day he would just decide he didn’t want to do it anymore.

And so I wasn’t quite ready to give up those things.Or have them taken from me. However you want to look at it.

Honestly, I miss having something to look forward to. Someone to look forward to.

I miss conversations. Sharing things that happened in my day with someone else.

Storytelling. Man do I miss storytelling.

I miss being able to ask someone to get me something while they’re in the kitchen. Or to grab me a towel because I forgot to get one before I jumped in the shower.

I miss listening to someone else talk. Someone else’s thoughts. Someone else’s perspective.

I miss having someone who knows me for me. Who knows what I mean when I say one thing, but do another. I miss having someone who gets my quirks and my weird habits.

And while I love the quiet, I miss the noise that comes with being with someone. I miss the chaos of trying to get on the same page most days. I miss not knowing everything that’s going to happen the next day.

I guess I miss the suspense that relationships bring.

But most of all, I miss having someone to do this with. To share this with. And while I certainly do enjoy dating myself, I just miss having someone here with me. Actually here with me.

I guess I actually miss the alarm clock after all.

 

Folded, Packed, and in the Corner.

I packed your things today. Placed them neatly into bins and suitcases. Set them to the side.

You know how I love to be organized.

It was so weird though. Going through your things. Folding your shirts, it dawned on me, this would be the last time I would do that. For 10 years I folded your shirts. And now, just like that, I’m done.

There were so many feelings today, but I didn’t cry. I couldn’t.

As I went through your things I realized I don’t even know you anymore. It was like I had spent the last few years with a complete stranger.

You became unrecognizable.

I took down our photos. I haven’t replaced them yet, but I will. As I set them in their designated places I realized I’m not sad at all. I feel like I should be. Maybe I’m supposed to be. But as I packed each thing it dawned on me that these feelings I was feeling wasn’t sadness, it was relief. It was rest.

It was peace.

I hate to say that I’m happy, but I am. I’m feeling stronger each day. I’m not scared. I thought I would be. But it’s like I already lived the nightmare. And now I’m finally waking up.

People don’t get it. They still don’t. That’s okay. They never really understood our story, anyways.

I really owe it all to you. The best thing you could have ever done for me was leave. I know that probably sounds weird to hear, but I don’t think I ever would have been strong enough to leave you. I wanted so badly to be the reason you got better. The reason you stayed.

I wanted to be enough.

But I never would have left. I know that. I think you know that too. The truth was I loved you more than I loved myself.

I hated everything about me. Everything. And now, I can’t find anything about me that I don’t love.

I think that’s Him. Actually, I know it is.

And actually, I realized as I was packing your stuff and folding your shirts, for the last time, that I have a hard time looking at you and remembering all the things I hated. I can’t remember the bad stuff. It’s like I finally see you the way He does.

Funny how He can do things like that.

So now, your stuff just sits here, folded, packed, in the corner. And I’m finally able to take a break.

Breathe

I guess I should say it again. The calls, the messages, even the emails. I know you guys are worried. I get it, but really. I’m okay.

Y’all, I am fine.

Actually, that’s a lie. I’m better than ‘fine’ and ‘okay’. I am not sad. I am not angry. I am probably the happiest I have been in a very, very, very long time and for the first time it has nothing to do with anyone else and how they make me feel, but rather, it has to do with me and how I make myself feel.

I don’t know if y’all know this, but I’m kind of a badass. ;)

No, seriously, it has been a very long time since I actually loved myself, liked myself, trusted myself. For years, it was always someone else making the decisions for me. It wasn’t forced, so please don’t take that the wrong way, but I let it happen. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. And I was looking to everyone and everything else to tell me.

Now is the first time in a really long time where I’m calling the shots. And it turns out I’m not that bad after all.

I don’t know when I stopped loving myself. I can’t pinpoint an exact time, but I know I did. I couldn’t love myself and maybe that’s what made it hard for others to love me, who knows?

But, I’m great. Really. I wake up with purpose and drive. I know who’s in charge. And I’m incredibly happy. I didn’t even know people could be this happy.

I can finally breathe. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that. I know  haven’t taken the easy way to get here, I probably still won’t take it all the time, but the ride has been breathtaking. And I don’t regret a single moment. It made me who you see now.

And I don’t know about you, but I really like what I see.

Finally.

So no, I’m not crazy. I’m not delusional. It isn’t pretend. This is me. This is who I am. This is who I’ve always been, and now she can finally come out.

Love y’all!

No Hard Feelings

I knew this day would happen. I even told you it would. I never knew when, but I knew it would. 

We both did.

Please don’t take that the wrong way. I still love you. I think I always will, but it’s different now. 

I told you I would fight for this marriage until one day I just wouldn’t anymore. 

Today’s that day. 

I just know that it’s over. No, I’m not doubting God and His ability to restore, but what I am saying is that I don’t want what we had anymore. 

I haven’t seen you in 6 weeks. Well, unless you count the few hours we spent together on our anniversary and the time I saw you as you packed up a few of your things. I don’t know if you did that to help me get to this point. Maybe you did. You know how stubborn I can be. 

Whatever the reason, that’s all it took. Well, that and Him. He’s made this easier than I thought it would be. 

It makes me sad to see 10 years turn into nothing. And the truth is I always thought we’d be the ones to make it, but I was holding onto a fantasy. I was holding onto the good stuff, not the reality. And the reality is I don’t think we’ve been in love with each other for a long time.

Oh, we tried. I know we tried. I know you tried, but you just get to this point where it just wasn’t enough. 

I think you got there first. 

It’s okay though. I have finally found the peace I have been looking for.  I hope you have too. 

I’m praying you have. 

Know that I don’t regret a single second. I hope you won’t either. But I think this is what’s best for us. For all of us. I feel confident you will agree. 

It’s just a different story. And the ending is just the ending. Doesn’t take away from what we had. Not in my book, anyway. 

So take care of yourself and no hard feelings, okay? 

XO.

Different

I don’t expect people to understand. I get it. I don’t even think I really understand, but this isn’t me, this is Him. 

It’s always Him. 

No, I’m not stupid or dumb or weak, although there are times when I feel those things. But those things do not define me. 

He does. 

As I sat in church on Sunday listening to my Bishop preach, I couldn’t help but think this was another one of those times when God was talking directly to me. 

‘When God comes into our lives and reveals Himself to us, our life becomes chaotic.’ 

Um, yep. 

Let’s think about this. God revealed Himself to me when He moved me to Texas. From the beginning my life has been nothing but chaos. Car accident, no friends, loneliness, affair, separation, divorce, etc. 

Check. Check. And check. 

It is a prayer of mine that you have been able to see Him through me. That’s all I really care about. I don’t care about the chaos, I care about Him. 

So as He has become my focus, I find myself reminded that I am not of this world. He picked me, even before I was born, He picked me and He set me aside. 

Therefore, the way I react, should be surprising to you. 

It is not because I don’t understand or because I am not normal, I feel it all. I feel the pain and the hurt and the disgust, I do, but more than that, I feel Him. 

He’s got me. 

I feel His arms around me. I feel the peace that only He can bring. I just feel Him. 

And it’s great. 

Oh, I am tempted most days to take my eyes off of Him. I am tempted by those of you who are closest to me. I don’t say that to hurt you. And I know you don’t either. 

But the truth is, I have spent a long time being angry, being hurt, being upset. I have spent a long time trying to do it on my own, my way and focusing on me. 

This time I want to do things differently. This time I want to do things the way He wants me to. And my prayer is that as you watch my story unfold, you will too.