Thursday, December 18, 2014

Maxi vs Mini

Over the past month, there have been huge changes in my life. One of the biggest changes is the fact that I am now single.
I wish I could attach photos, but the monitor on my laptop was broken by an irate husband and until I can get it fixed or find a work around to upload my pictures, my posts will be without photos.

Previous House:
1890 sq. ft. with 1 acre of land
Current Home:
Approx. 500 sq. ft. with a stamp-sized yard

I was always overwhelmed with the large house. It was never clean. It was never tidy. It was too much for two people to keep up with. It drove my bonkers.

Todd and I had discussed moving into our 33 ft. RV and I looked forward for the day that we were to downsize! I was done with the “stuff” in our lives! We have also looked into tiny homes for after our RV adventures took place. Though these dreams will not come to fruition for the two of us, I have been implementing them for myself!

I am currently living in a 50’ trailer with the two dogs (Lana is 76 lbs and Buddy is 98 lbs!), and though I don’t know the exact size, I estimate that it is approximately 500 sq. ft. Let me tell you, this is the perfect size for me and the dogs. Actually, if it wasn’t for my jewelry business, I could probably have done without the second bedroom.

When I moved, my mom kept asking, “Do you want to take this?” and “Do you need that?” My answer was always, “There isn’t enough room, mom.” We were able to fit all of my belongings in a 10 ft. U-Haul tow-behind trailer. To be honest, I was worried if it would all fit into my new place, but it did! The ONLY items that did not fit were two of my dining room table chairs (my dad is storing them for me because I do not have space anywhere for them in the house!). Everyone who has come to see my house immediately says, “This is cozy!” And that is exactly what it is for me too.

At the big house, we had duplicates and sometimes triplicates of things like sets of dishes, dining room furniture, living room furniture, etc. I love having just ONE of everything. I have 6 plates, saucers, bowls and cups and even that seems excessive. It’s just me! I like the fact that when company comes over, it takes me less than an hour to clean up.

Though there are some comforts that I would prefer to have in a home (a little bit of land, quietness of the country and a garage!) but I really do like this trailer. I find that because I cant just let the dogs out to roam the neighborhood (darn leash laws,) I am getting out more than I ever have before. I walk the dogs at LEAST 5 times a day with 3 of those walks being “around the block” so they can get their exercise and let their sniffers do some exploring. If it weren't for the dogs, I would probably never leave the house and meet some of the people from the neighborhood. Since moving, I have lost 10 lbs without changing my eating habits! Hmmm…maybe there is something to be said about daily exercise.

I also love the fact that I am close to everything. I work just 6 miles away from where I live which enables me to come home during lunch to let the dogs out to go potty, get a walk in, eat a quick lunch, and get back to work with time to spare! I may never hit 250,000 miles on Bianca, but the daily commute went from 2 hours a day – 90 miles total, to just 40 minutes a day – 25 miles total.

I am really enjoying my downsized (mini) life.
Life is good.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Two Sides to Every Story

It has been a while since I’ve posted on this site. Life has thrown more challenges this year than I’ve ever experienced, but I am here to tell you that I am confident that everything has happened for a reason and in my best interest. This post is to set a few things straight about what has been going on in my life, my marriage, and is my side of the story. Please keep in mind there are always (at least) two sides to every story.

First things first, Todd and I have separated after 7 ½ years of marriage (nearly 9 years of being together). I have written posts every year on our anniversary about how we made it yet another year. Most years it was surprising even to me that we made it, but I was not about to give up and would try whatever I could to make things work between us. There were many issues within our marriage, some easier to move past, others not so much.

There was a post I wanted to publish on the blog for years but never got the nerve to click “publish.” The post was about my struggle living with an alcoholic to let women who also deal with this issue that they are not alone and that I am here if they want to talk about it. I have learned over the years that alcoholism in a marriage is never really discussed: it is an up and down roller-coaster that many women deal with internally (as I had) until it gets to be too much to handle on their own. I learned of many women that I knew (for years!) that struggle(d) with the same issues but never ever mentioned anything about it until I opened up about my struggles with the disease. There is nothing I could have done to help Todd’s alcoholism. Until the addict realizes they have a problem (or hit rock bottom), things would never change.

Todd has complained about pain through our entire relationship. He took dozens of pills each and every day for all of his ailments: caffeine pills to wake up, pain pills for his hands, stomach pills for his acid reflux, magnesium pills to help who knows what, pills for his depression, more pills for the pain, allergy pills, sleeping pills and alcohol because after all the pills, that was the only thing that “truly helped with the pain.” I never agreed with all of the pills and I became extremely unsympathetic when it came to all of his (supposed) ailments. To me, I felt like he was the boy who cried wolf.

I felt in our marriage that Todd always played the victim role and was never able to get past any grudges he had against others. Nothing was ever because of his choices but because of who did what to him. Though he was very close to his mother and father, he had no real relationships with any of the rest of his family (including 4 half-sisters and many nieces and nephews.) To this day, Todd is taking no responsibility to the demise of our marriage.

In no way am I stating that I was the perfect wife in this marriage and that I had nothing to do with the destruction of our marriage. There was a statement I made during counseling many years back that I wish I could take back and I know Todd never forgave me for because it was still being thrown back in my face with each disagreement we had up until the very end. In conflict, I tend to shut down and am unable to talk things through until I calm down. I have a hard time admitting fault in a disagreement but I have no problem apologizing and making amends in the end. But if nothing else, I tried to make this marriage work for many many years.

In the end, it was Todd’s decision to separate. There were many things that were texted to me while at work on a Friday: some of which would have been very difficult to forgive. I took the dogs and went to my parent’s houses that weekend until Todd calmed down. I decided to start looking for places to stay. Three days later, something really stupid set Todd off and there was rage, flying objects being thrown across the room, more verbal abuse, screaming at the top of his lungs, destruction around the house, blame that I made him do all of these things and at the very end, him stating in a round about way that he wished I were no longer alive. That was my sign from God that there was no turning this marriage around. Luckily, that morning, I had looked at a place very close to work and had a deposit down until I decided what I wanted to do. I called the very next day asking how quickly I could sign on the place and move in. Two days later, my brother and my mom came with a 10 ft. U-Haul trailer to pack my things and help me move. And when I say “help me move,” I really mean they did the moving because I was useless. I was mentally, emotionally and physically drained.

Today, nearly a month after all of this took place, I can look back and see how extremely toxic our marriage was to one another from the very beginning. The first week in my new place was extremely difficult not only emotionally, but it seemed like something happened every single day.  By the second week, things started to turn around for the better.

Frankly, I am glad that Todd made the decision to end our marriage. If it wasn’t for his decision, I probably would have tried to work things out yet again for the umpteenth time. In the past, when I wanted to leave, I always wondered if there was anything else I could have done to make things better for us. Now, I know there was nothing more I could have done to save our marriage. It takes two people working together to make a marriage through the good, bad and ugly. That being said, there are more (big) changes ahead for me whether I am ready for them or not.

And I repeat, please keep in mind that this is just my side of the story. I am sure Todd would paint a very different picture of our issues.