Three months ago, this Anonymous writer shared the heartbreaking story of how her husband left her shortly before the birth of their second child.
This is the second part of her story. It’s about what’s happened since, in the months after they welcomed their new baby.
The first blog I wrote was less than a week after Jeremy* told me our marriage was over. He had met someone else and it was less than 5 weeks until our daughter was due. I can still remember our conversation word for word, like it is burned into my memory. In fact, I can remember everything about that weekend.
It’s funny but Jeremy and I, along with my cousin and her husband went to a taping of “Before the Game” the night before, and I still haven’t been able to watch an episode since. I keep associating it with that weekend. One of my goals will be to watch an episode before the year is out. Might sound frivolous but I’m still only at the baby steps stage.
In the last 12 weeks Jeremy and I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows together. The 2 days before I was due to have Lily by a scheduled c-section, I found myself crying nonstop. I cried at the post office, in front of the lolly pop lady at Ted’s school, out to lunch with Jeremy and even at my booking in appointment at the hospital.
The midwife kept looking at me suspiciously and I’m sure I was “red flagged.” I think that I had put so much focus on Lily’s impending birth that I knew that once she was here I could no longer put off the inevitable and start my new life as a single Mum to 2 kids. I had been in a holding pattern for the previous 5 weeks, almost unwilling to face reality.
Lily’s birth was everything that I had wanted and hoped for. Jeremy held my hand throughout and whispered in my ear that everything would be okay. His support gave me strength and seeing his obvious joy at witnessing Lily being born filled me with hope.
In that moment I had reason to believe that Jeremy would not want to walk away from his baby girl and would be there to see her grow up. I had maintained from the start that I would regret it more if I did not allow Jeremy at the birth, where as whatever happens I don’t think I will ever regret giving him the opportunity to see his baby girl come into this world.
For what it’s worth, I hope Lily will grow up knowing that her Mummy loved her enough to share this amazing experience with her Daddy, despite the circumstances. The 3 days in hospital was a roller coaster of emotions. For the smallest amount of time I got my wish and we were a family of four, but this was often over shadowed by the stress of trying to manage everyone (the warring factions) in my life. Jeremy would discreetly disappear when my family would visit and even then that was stressful. Through the constant stream of visitors I felt on edge the whole time and prayed that there was no arguments.
It is true with what they say, you come to realize your true friends in times of hardship, and I have some wonderful girlfriends. On the day I had Lily one of my dearest girlfriends stayed to midnight, not only to keep me company but she also helped me shower and change. This was both a humiliating and humbling experience. I will never forget what she did for me that day.
After spending the last 10 weeks in therapy, I have come to realize that it is okay to feel the way that I am feeling, that there are no time limits on how and what I should be feeling, in spite of what some well meaning people in my life may lead me to believe. Just because I feel this way today doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same next week, month or year.
I am determined to not let this experience define me and not to see myself as a victim. Don’t view this as a weakness, rather see it as having the ability to forgive and move forward. I am not ashamed to admit that I am under the care of a psychologist and realistically this will probably continue for the remainder of the year. After listening to an inspiring woman named Ingrid Poulson, I realize it is time to stop grieving for what I have lost, rather, be thankful for all that I have.
There is always someone worse off than you out there. Will Jeremy and I get through all the dramas and come out as friends and co parents on the other side? I honestly don’t know, only time will tell. We have very differing views on how our marriage ended but I can only speak for myself when I say that Jeremy leaving was akin to being hit by a Mack truck. As I did not see this coming I feel like my heart and life has been smashed into a million little pieces and I am slowly putting them all back together.
Am I in a good place now? Not yet. However, I know I will get there. Do I still love Jeremy? Yes. Am I still in love with him? I don’t know. Jeremy was my first love and it will take me a long time to heal. At the moment I am working towards day 100. I figure that if I can survive the first 100 days then the next 100 days must have to get easier.
I am not interested in starting a serious relationship yet. This is the time, if anything for a bit of fun and let’s be honest I am carrying enough baggage to bring down a 747. I still believe in love and hope that one day I will be able to trust again and allow myself to be happy.
I have to believe that I am deserving of happiness and someone will love me for me. I wouldn’t say that I am winning at life yet, but I want people to know that I AM OKAY, and that’s good enough for now.
I’m venturing out of my comfort zone, I have signed up for a couple of short courses on topics that have always interested me but would never have taken the time before to explore these options. I’m doing okay at being both a Mum and a Dad to 2 kids, hell, I have even become a Grand Master at building Lego.
I have managed to get Ted to school on time every day, my bills are being paid, I’m taking good care of myself both physically and emotionally, I have surrounded myself with 12 AMAZING women and best of all I have 2 beautiful children. There is still plenty to smile about…
*All names have been changed to protect our author’s privacy.