2012. God, I thought it would never end. But I made it through and now it’s time to look back.
If you notice, the title to this post is a little different than how that saying usually reads. That’s because my first thoughts about 2012 are not about the positives.
January. Rung in the New Year in Florida. I was there to see my daughter play with her marching band in the Gator Bowl. I made this trip alone because my husband chose not to go, and I was not happy about it.
February. My husband moved out. I took a business trip and a little side trip to Sand Key in Florida where I spent some time with my cousin Crissy. February was probably the month that I started crying on a daily basis, several times a day. Valentine’s Day is really a cruel, cruel day. Convinced myself that not only did I have no husband, I also had no friends.
March. Went to SxSW in Austin and while there I had a meltdown due to an errant text from my husband. I almost flew home that day, but I stuck it out and somehow managed to have a (mostly) great time. Started meeting with lawyers in a ‘collaborative divorce’ process. Cried throughout every meeting. Mackenzie got accepted to Syracuse and to Emerson in Boston.
April. I started to really have some major anxiety and found myself barely functioning. My anniversary was particularly tough. I decided sometime during the month that I had to put the divorce process on hold because I couldn’t deal with it ~ at all. I stopped talking to my sister because I was convinced she was betraying my confidence in her and talking about me to my husband behind my back. Visited Emerson in Boston with Mackenzie. She loved, I loved it. It would have been a perfect school for her. Felt incredibly awful when I had to tell her she couldn’t go because of no financial aid and no tuition exchange.
May. Spent the month trying my hardest to change my husband’s mind, to no avail. By the end of the month I decided to relent and agreed to put my house on the market. At which time my husband told me he had cancer. (now cancer-free, thank God). Mackenzie went her senior ball and was so beautiful. And I was so terribly sad about it everything.
June. My house sold in three weeks. Mackenzie graduated high school and shortly thereafter put a video out on FB and YouTube telling the world about her battle with Alopecia. I was never so proud of her. I spent my birthday alone and miserable, but I did plan a dinner for myself with friends and Mackenzie at my favorite restaurant. That made me happy.
July. Hosted Mackenzie’s graduation party by myself in my house which was now sold. Started packing my life up. After looking at houses for momths, decided to build a house. Signed the contract and broke ground. Realized I needed somewhere to live between the time I closed on my current house and moved into my new house. Asked my Dad if I could move in with he and my mom until my house was done. He told me I could move in, but I couldn’t bring my dogs. Had an argument with my mother on 4th of July and stopped talking to her.
August. Probably one of the most stressful, awful months of my life. Went to California to be present at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories for the landing of Curiosity on Mars. A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. While I was there I had an unbelievable reaction to some medication I was taking that caused me to feel miserable for the majority of time I was there. When I came back I started panicking about the amount of time I had to a) get Mackenzie read to move into SU, and b) move out of my house. During this time it also became increasingly clear to me that I could not, under any circumstances, move in with my parents. I started to feel like I had no family, and my family was treating my horribly, and no one cared at all. Not sure where I was going, but I had to figure something out. I made one email, and thanks to an amazing person in my life, I had somewhere to stay. That was a great relief. But the week I had to move Mackenzie into her dorm I had to turn around and be out of my house three days later. I had an amazing amount of help from my aunt and uncle, who became like my surrogate parents and I’ll be forever grateful to them. Moving out of a 3,500 sq ft house and downsizing to live in a 1,760 sq ft house is a major undertaking for anyone, least of all when you don’t want to sell your stuff and give away the rest. I felt like I was dismantling my life and selling it off to the highest bidder. My husband decided to help me the last weekend I was in my house. We were able to get along, and actually went to dinner together. Probably not a great idea, because I set myself up to believe maybe things could be different once I got in my new house.
September. Absolutely miserable. Living alone for the first time in my life and in a place that wasn’t mine. Mackenzie was away at college, my dogs were with my husband. I was truly alone for the first time in my life ~ and against my will. I spent the month avoiding being alone at the place I was staying. No one ever visited me there. Actually one person did, and we spent most of the night talking on the porch. I ate too much and drank too much and drowned my sorrows every chance I got. And I spent a lot of time burying myself in building my new house and searching the web for the perfect ‘everything.’ I was really counting on my house being a new beginning for me.
October. I went to Seattle at the beginning of the month, and it was so beautiful. I was having a good time by myself and spent a reaally nice time with some friends…until I totalled my rental car. It was a perfect storm of not being familiar with the city and being totally distracted. I would say this was about the lowest point of the year. I was so shook up. I saw the car crash into me and it was exceedingly violent. I was OK, and probably because I saw it coming. I’m convinced this was the result of a year of distraction, and it made me feel more alone than ever. No one to call. No one who cared. All alone on the other side of the country, trying to deal with a traumatic event on my own. Just a few days later (Even though I had told the person who’s place I was staying at that I would only need to be there until mid-momth), I fell apart when I was told that I needed to be out by the 15th. My house wasn’t going to be done for at least a few more weeks and I didn’t know what I was going to do. Then I remembered my sister (my other sister) had told me I was welcome to stay with her if I needed to. I called her and she welcomed me in until my house was done. I enjoyed spending time with her and her family, and reconnecting in a way that we hadn’t in years. And I shared with her my unhappiness about the way things had gone in my marriage, and my continuing inability to accept what had happened and how I still wanted it to be different. I still wanted to fix it. The last part of the month was also incredibly stressful as I waited for a closing date. I’m not a patient person and this was brutal.
November. Moved in on November 2 to my new home, which had turned out to be everything i wanted. Got my dogs back. Felt like I got my life back. Now I was going to get my husband back. But within a couple of weeks it became clear to me that wasn’t going to happen. At the same time, I started being able to relax and really consider what had happened over the past year and what I wanted to happen in the future. Mackenzie came home for a week at Thanksgiving, and we had Thanksgiving dinner at the new house. My first Thanksgiving without a ‘partner’ and it was a rough one. At some point in the month, or maybe late in October, my Dad reached out to me to make amends. I ended up inviting my parents over Thanksgiving night, and I spoke to my mother for the first time in 4 months. Noticed that I wasn’t crying every day anymore.
December. The holidays and all that comes with it makes it very difficult for people who are alone. Since I’ve been with someone since I was 18, I struggled with being alone, at the same time that I was learning to enjoy living by myself. Sometime early in December, the sister who I hadn’t spoken to since April reached out to me. Even though I swore up and down I would never speak to her again, for some reason I started thinking that maybe I should soften that stance. That it was hurting me more than helping me to continue this, and that it was just too hard to not be ever able to see my family because I refused to be in the same room with her. So after several extended emails on both sides, we met at my house. And now things are mostly back to normal, and I’m very grateful for that. Halfway through the month, I decided to ask my husband not to contact me anymore, because it was too hard for me. I finally gave up on thinking that we were going to have any kind of relationship, and I started to look forward, instead of back. Christmas Eve sucked because I have always had a party at my house since Mackenzie was 2 years old, and it was her and my favorite night of the year. This year I was invited to my sister’s house. Things have changed so much…everybody has little kids and my little kid is now grown up. Christmas Eve was just tough…but Christmas day I felt better. Didn’t hear from my husband on Christmas, not even a Merry Christmas text. So, on the day after Christmas, I delievered a package to his door of a 10-page letter I had written two weeks earlier and stuffed in a drawer hoping things would miraculously change, along with notes, cards and pictures of the two of us I wanted to rid myself of. I also told him in this note that I would give him the divorce he wanted. This was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
So, would I go back and relive 2012? Not in a million years. But did I learn an immense amount about myself, what I’m capable of, what I really want, and what really matters? Absolutely.
On January 1, 2014, I fully expect to recap an amazing year filled with new and exciting experiences and opportunities, love of friends and family, and growth in new directions. While I now know I’m OK by myself, that (in the words of my therapist) *I’m not going to die*, I still want a special person in my life. I still believe in love and I’m confident it will find me.
Hope your new year is everything you want it to be. If you have thoughts about what 2012 meant to you, I’d love to hear them.
Oh, and I’m so much better off than I was a year ago. Thank you to everyone who helped me get through 2012; you know who you are, and I’ll never forget how you were then when I needed you most.