There's so much going on in my life right now that I couldn't think of anything as a good title for this post. Between moving and counseling and everything else, it's been all I can do some days to actually manage to wear matching socks (which really shouldn't be that hard considering all I own are white socks!). I'm just so easily distracted by a lot, mostly moving related stuff. Billa and I move into our smaller apartment on Sunday afternoon and I've been panicking about it. At least I got confirmation from one other person in the apartment office that they will let me have my keys a little bit early on Sunday, so that was good news. Now if I can just guarantee my moving crew I'll be happier! I wish I had the extra cash to just hire a moving company, but things are tight right now, so I have to watch every penny. Michael left his job about three weeks ago and has been looking for something new since, but despite a couple of interviews, there's not much out there apparently. It makes me more thankful for my job!
In other news, Michael came back from a trip to Colorado earlier this month with news that he wanted to go to counseling together with the goal of reconciling our marriage. When he made the decision to go on this trip, he told me that he felt he should take advantage of the opportunity since he had no work obligations and he wasn't having to pay for it. I was very angry with him, because it meant that Billa would miss out on seeing her Daddy for almost a week and a half. (Ok, and because I was a frazzled mess and really needed a vacation from everything. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that part of my pissyness was because I really wanted to go to CO too!)
We had ourselves a little "come to Jesus" meeting the night before he left. I told him that he was going to take Billa for six days when he got back so that he could have some perspective on what it was like to walk in my shoes. He wasn't exactly pleased with my decision and it was then that I laid out all the dirty laundry for him, explaining how was self-serving, self-centered, and selfish. I told him that everyone was an afterthought to him, and that his daughter was a trophy to him. He could treat me however he wanted, but he damn well wasn't going to treat his little girl as secondary to his own desires and wants. She should be the center of your world, I told him. You're a father. It's time to man up and be responsible. How do you want her to remember you? I asked him.
I can honestly say that when I spoke to him that night, it didn't feel like me. This person was calm, precise, and to the point. I tore him down and probably could have continued to tear him down even more, but I didn't. I truly believe that Michael can be a great man and I made sure he knew that. Change or die, I told him. You have the choice to make something out of your life, or lose everything that is worth something to you.
I don't know if it was the come to Jesus meeting or if something happened on that mountainside in Colorado, but whatever it was, something got through I guess. He came back from Colorado with an action item list and his first one was to find us a counselor. Within two days he was calling me at work asking if a certain day and time was ok for an appointment that he was setting up! He's been incredibly helpful in preparing Billa and I for the move this weekend, and he's been stepping up in terms of spending time with her. On more than one occasion he has taken her for an overnight without my asking him to. And we've both noticed that Billa's behaviour has greatly improved as a result of balanced involvement from us.
Now, I know that a lot of my friends and family members are concerned with Michael and I giving reconciliation a shot and rightly so. Our relationship has been rocky for some time and Michael hasn't been the perfect husband. But I'd be a terrible person if I didn't accept culpability for my part in it. I haven't been the best possible wife. I think a lot of my friends feel that I should cut my losses and move on with the divorce, but the truth is, I love Michael very much. I meant it when I said "for better or for worse" and I don't feel that I can be a genuine person if I didn't honor that commitment by at least giving reconciliation a shot.
Being separated has opened my eyes to a lot of things, and one of those things is that life is a far cry from black and white. There is no cut and dry version of life in existence. For myself, to throw everything out the window when my husband is willing to put forth effort to rebuild the foundation of our marriage into something stronger, it doesn't sit well with me. I don't think I could live the rest of my life with that sitting in my heart. Some people will (and do) tell me that I'm not thinking straight. To them I say, "Bite me!" When you've walked through my shoes a few miles, when you've experienced heartache, brokenness, and pain on a level you never thought possible and then alternately experienced moments of pure joy and bliss when you thought you'd never see the dark side of happiness again, when you've had your whole world come tumbling down and slowly worked to rebuild it back up piece by piece, when you've taken time to turn the microscope inward and see your own shortcomings and accept them and yourself for who and what you are, and when you've come to terms with your faith and your God (or whatever higher power you answer to...I believe the ways are many, the light is one), then you come talk to me about what you think the best option is. I guarantee you, it won't be an easy choice to make.
But it is a choice that I've thought long and hard on, prayed a good long while on, and talked to lots of therapists, friends, and family on. And I have decided to give Michael a second chance. If I were in his shoes, wouldn't I want a second chance? I believe people can change for the better if they choose to. It won't happen overnight, and it won't be easy, but it's possible. Anything is possible. My friend Caroline once told me that even if Michael and I got back together, that the idea I held in my mind of "us" and our marriage would never be the same. The more I think about that sage piece of advice, I DON'T want my marriage to be like it was. I want it to be better and stronger and more loving. I DON'T want the old "us" and I sure as hell don't want the old me. I think about that girl and what she was like and all I can think is, "I wouldn't want to be married to her!" That's a hard thing to admit, but there it is.
We're still remaining separated for now, and I'm moving forward with my plan of getting myself to a better place emotionally, mentally, spiritually and personally. I'm continuing to see my therapist and we go to counseling together once a week. Michael is going through the same process too. I haven't set any deadlines, as I think that would be detrimental to the process. If either one of us will sincerely change, then it has be an organic process. That's not to say that I'm going to wait three years, but I think after a few months of hardship we will both have an idea of whether there is any progress being made or not.
Wow, that was a lot more than I intended on sharing, but I'm not going to go back and change it. I think I would do myself and the little progress I've made the last two months a huge disservice. I won't be something that I'm not. I can't photoshop myself IRL (but if I ever figure out how, you can betcher ass I'll share that secret...after I've made my million bucks off it, lol) and I shouldn't edit myself too heavily when I write. Sometimes the best things in life are unedited.
Ah, now that's a post title worth considering..."Unedited"
On that note, I bid you all good night! Moving in less than 48 hours!