Thank you so much for your responses. Its amazing how much comfort I get from here, just knowing that I'm not alone. There are other people facing the same situations and emotions and we're here for each other. It surprised me to hear you all say that you're proud of me. I'm proud of myself, but I've also been in survival mode this past year. It's been a bit of tunnel vision with the only goal of healing and rebuilding my life, and being stable for my kids.
I honestly cannot believe its already been a year since my last D-Day. I had other D-Days before that (many) but I really consider this one to be the big one because its when I knew in my heart that it was over. It feels like its been way longer than a year because so much has happened and I'm not the same person anymore. Can I take a minute here to brag a little about my progress? Lol, how about, I offer hope that it is possible! Because if you had told me a year ago that this is where I would be today, I wouldn't have believed you. Here's the major things that have changed in the last year since I decided to end my marriage:
1. My STBXH is moved out of the house. I also have a PPO against him so legally he is not allowed in this house and that has given me an endless amount of peace. This house is my safe space where I know he can't come in.
2. I am working again. I was a stay at home mom and dreaded the idea of putting my kids in daycare. I didn't know how to even think about getting a job and figuring it all out (which is a little ridiculous looking back. Before I met STBXH I was a fully functioning adult all on my own!). Well now I am working 30 hours/week at the firm that I started my career at. Its considered full time, so I get health insurance. I only had to put my kids in daycare for 3 days/week, and my MIL watches them 1 day. We have a new routine and its working. Plus, daycare has been really good for my kids, which I had a feeling it would be. It was more my emotions about it. I've had to start my career over essentially, but its a start and I feel like I'll be promoted quickly. I also know that I'm good with money, so I'm not panicking about that anymore. That feeling of financial freedom from my STBXH is one of the best feelings in the world.
3. I no longer miss STBXH. This one was MONUMENTOUS when I realized it! For so long I would cry myself to sleep missing him and wishing he loved me as much as I loved him. Then I started seeing him for his actions, not for my fantasy version of him and I realized what a piece of poop he really is!! Ever since he moved out he has been emotionally and verbally abusive towards me. He will do anything that he thinks will hurt me, including using the kids against me. I now look at him with disgust. Its embarrassing that I was married to him. I still get lonely sometimes, and of course I get sad that my marriage is over, but I don't miss him. I wouldn't take his ass back in a million years! I also recognize his abuse now for what it is, which makes it easier to deal with, and he gets to me less and less as time goes on.
4. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am happy being single. I was never a huge dater, but I wouldn't stay single very long, I would find a new relationship. This past year I have been focusing on healing myself. I feel like I've woken up. I didn't realize how much he erased me, my whole identity was gone. So I've been taking this time to find out who I am again. What do I like? Its weird to say, but I don't even know. I'm enjoying creating my life on my own. I don't want another person to have to consider right now. I want to be selfish and create the life that is going to be best for me and my kids. Later, if someone comes along who fits into that then that would be great, but I don't want to be dependent on anyone else.
At the beginning of this, I thought that being the best co-parent, and the best for my kids, meant that I would still have to do birthdays and holidays together with my STBXH. I thought that that would mean that I'm rising above and being a good mom. But I've realized that I don't have to light myself on fire to keep everyone else warm, even my kids. I am allowed to say no. I am allowed to not be around my abuser. And I don't think my kids would enjoy the event with all the tension in the air anyway. So far I've had one birthday party without him there, and it was perfect. No stress, no anxiety. It was the laid-back party that I've always wanted to have, but never could because everything always had to be perfect for him in the past. If a kid got upset and acted up, that was automatically my fault and the entire party would be ruined. That was and is his attitude! My youngest son's birthday party is this weekend and I'm so excited to celebrate with him! I'm still a little unsure how I'm going to handle Christmas, but I know I'll figure it out. I know that per our parenting schedule I get my kids for Christmas eve and Christmas morning and I'm so thankful that for this first year I got those times! (I also think its hilarious that per our schedule he was supposed to have the kids on their birthdays, but he never bothered to actually read the schedule, so he wasn't aware of that. I am no longer his secretary so I didn't remind him. Their birthdays fell on my normal parenting time so I got to have them!)
Wow - I know theres more that I could write, but thats good for now. I am feeling invigorated typing this all out! It feels official and its making me feel even more proud of myself and how far I've come. This site has been and continues to be a huge part of that. In the early days I used this site as my crutch as much as my journal. I would come on here and spill my guts and lay out all of my emotions. And you all would offer so much support and advice and hope. I will forever be thankful and grateful. I hope that someone else can read my story and know that it is possible for life to get better. <3