Having a particularly hard day today.
I'm back to work at one of my independent contractor jobs that comes back around every summer. Our 3 year anniversary just passed, and thank god I didn't have to be at work that day, as XH used it as an opportunity to ask me to agree to file for an annulment rather than a divorce, essentially invalidating any relationship we had as if it was nothing.
I was at this same job last summer when we were trying to get pregnant. Every bathroom in this building now reminds me of peeing on ovulation sticks every 4-6 hours. How excited I would get when it would turn that undeniable positive! I would text XH a pic and say, it's on tonight! He would check in on me to see what time I was off of work, and he would say things like "come home baby maker!"
My boss was pregnant last year at this time, and the main focus of all conversation at work was her and the baby. Every client meeting, every lunch hour, every break. And every month when my tests would come back negative I would cry and ask the universe what the hell is wrong with me? But I would have my day or 2 of grief, and then start back up again, peeing on the sticks, temping etc. So hopeful.
I was also at this job when XH bought me the Best Wife Ever t-shirts that he vehemently denied buying when I screamed about them on DDay. I remember showing pictures of them to my coworkers, and for the first time in my life I didn't feel like the lame girl bragging about her SO. I felt so secure and happy that I was excited to show them off and talk about how sweet my husband was.
Then the end of September, XH tells me he doesn't want to have anymore kids. After all that work, years saving up for his vasectomy reversal, years of talking about our future with children, hopefully at least one son, a little mini-me for him that he had been so looking forward to. We had a gender neutral name picked out since about year 3 or 4. We had talked about where we would live, making sure we were in a good school district. I can't even count how many times he had said something to the effect of, "I can't wait to have a baby with you! It's going to be so different raising a child with someone like you. You're such a good mother already, I can't wait to watch you with our own kids." How could he just up and change his mind like that?
Then came November, DDay. It all makes sense now. But at the same time, nothing makes sense anymore. I finished up the jobs I absolutely had to, then took 2 whole months off. Getting out of bed was an achievement.
I'm a lot better now. I have therapy to thank for that. I'm back at work, I'm setting better boundaries with work so that I'm not completely exhausted all of the time.
But I'm realizing more and more that since my career developed and built right alongside my relationship with my XH, I'm really not sure if I'm going to be able to keep at it anymore. Every time we start a new job in a new venue, there's a whole new batch of triggers. I try to identify what they are going to be before we start the new gig, to try to anticipate it and ward it off. But they come on just the same.
I feel like such a fool now. While all of my coworkers are busy going about their days, I am tearing up regularly. I am using my lunch break to write here, because I cannot relate to anyone else around me. I feel weak, broken, incapable. Not words I ever thought I would use to describe myself.
Lo and behold, my boss is pregnant again now, 2 months along, completely by accident, again. She didn't even have to try. It's all she talks about, again. And while I am supportive, and happy for her, and I listen to all of the discussion over how much bigger her belly is this time around, how this time feels different, how she can't wait to find out the gender etc. etc., this time around I am morose in a completely different way than last time.
Last summer I was trying. Every month I got to try again. Now I am childless and abandoned. My step children were ripped from me. I've been denied any contact with the younger one, and the older I get to see every once in a while, but she is busy being a 20-something with a boyfriend and not wanting to hang out with her step mom. I had anticipated the empty-nesting aspect due to older step D's age, but to have that happen alongside relationship abandonment as well as having younger step D ripped from my life, I am reeling.
Children of my own aren't even on the horizon. Neither is a relationship. And while I know the main focus for a BS after infidelity is to try to focus on yourself and what you want, what I want is inextricably linked to relationships. I have the utmost respect for single parents. But I absolutely do not want to intentionally become one. I always wanted to do this as a co-captain of a team, not as a solo leader who is just barely making ends meet. I won't get approved for adoption, and I don't have the money for artificial insemination. And even if I did, I don't have the money to support myself through a maternity leave, nor can I afford child care if I were to go back to work immediately.
I've been disenchanted with this job for years. And had for a long time been researching and building plans for a job that allowed me to work from home so that I could be there with my young children. XH was on board with this too, and was one of the people helping me make these plans. But that type of work was dependent on a dual income. There's no way I could afford to do that now. So now I'm stuck in my job that I had been planning to drop, just because I need the money to survive. And after working 60 hour weeks, I don't have the energy to do anything but hang out with my cats, veg out to some TV, lurk on SI, and sleep.
IC has given me homework this week. I am supposed to write out the things I want in my life, and the corresponding behaviors/activities that I took on, often in response to my XH's inability to regulate his own emotions, that prevented me from having those things. The goal is to create a working list of my own behaviors and reactions, so we can know what my knee-jerk reaction is, and then work to reprogram so that I avoid those pitfalls in the future with other relationships. Knowing that the only person I can control is myself, so I need to get better at accepting poor behavior for what it is and moving on from the relationship, rather than trying to make it work.
Keeping up with weekly therapy has been my number one goal in self care, and I have managed that, even though it feels incredibly indulgent. I rearrange my work schedule around it, and everyone knows not to even ask me to miss it. IC and I have been discussing the need to focus on myself, what I want and need. But I find it so very difficult to "focus on myself" when the one thing I want for myself I can't have. All the self care in the world isn't healing this wound.
I know it's a good thing we didn't have kids together, especially after everything I learned post DDay about his sustained meth use and all sorts of other problematic behaviors. But even though I know it is the best thing intellectually, I'm still feeling so lost and sad. So I post here, because you're the only ones who will get it. '
ETA: No intention of this being a threadjack. I started out with just a few lines, but as usual, I don't seem to know how to write anything unless it's a multi-paragraph thesis.
I hope everyone else is doing well!
[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 2:37 PM, August 1st (Thursday)]