Am I even alive? Can anybody see me? Today I feel like not so much.
It’s the school holidays, and along with my teenage my children I am on holidays. However, right now I am not with my children, because they are 2km down the road at their father’s house (my ex) with his new girlfriend and her kids. A brand-new family unit, and I am alone.
It’s been two and a half years since we broke up, but I am still struggling with grief. I have not re-partnered, I have not been with anyone since the break-up. Instead, I have spent my time trying to recover and rebuild my life. I have listened to podcasts and read books on divorce, vented to my girlfriends, and watching way too much Netflix. I have cried, oh how I have cried. During this time I have also been seeing my psychologist fortnightly to try to recover from the breakup, move on and try to create a happy life for myself.
My ex was my best friend, we were friends for 17 years before our nearly two-decade relationship began. In the last couple of years of our marriage I became more and more tired and resentful due to the extra load I had to take on because of his various health issues and depression. Over the years I asked him, then begged him to do counselling with or without me, but he refused. You see, in a way he was okay with being depressed; it was familiar. Going to counselling was work, and he wasn’t prepared to do that work – and why would he? He had me to do all the work in the family, which allowed him to carry on being depressed and unavailable.
So, I made the incredibly hard decision to end the marriage. At first it was a relief! I wasn’t angry and resentful anymore– and I had time off from the kids 50 per cent of the time for the first time in 15 years, which was glorious. Six months after the breakup he asked to come back. I wanted to give it a year, and get counselling before I would consider it. He didn’t like these terms, so that weekend he went out and got a girlfriend. He wasn’t prepared to fight for me and our family, and after 17 years together and two kids he replaced me – snap! His friends all think it’s great – I mean OUR friends. They are invited to all the parties and places now – I no longer exist.