The timing of this blog is intentional as my birthday is days away. Once you read, you will understand.
Who knew that I would leave Ohio, move to California, then back to Ohio for a year, then to Long Island and then make 3 stops through Pennsylvania and then 17 years later end up back in Ohio? God knew. I am exhausted just thinking about it all. Here’s the crazy thing. I know there is another destination for me in the future. I haven’t figured out where it is but I know Ohio is not my final stop. It’s out there waiting for me and I am excited about that part of my life. Do you know why? Because it will be on my terms. It will be my choice. I have followed a man around my entire life in order to accomodate his professional career. None of those moves involved a family decision. It was just announced to me that it’s time to move. Listen, if a couple makes that choice for the greater good of the family and not just the opportunity to take another step up the ladder of professional success in a self serving way, then kudos to them. But if the only thing someone can focus on is work, then you have lost focus of the most important thing or things in your life. When you become self serving, you leave your family behind. When you cannot give your family special time alone with them because work always comes first, you should re-evaluate why you are in a relationship to begin with. I do not knock people who want that wild success story but I do not think it is fair to expect your spouse to be both parents, take care of everything in the house, vacation with your children because you cannot take time off and expect that person to stick around for the long haul. I have said it before in this blog and I will say it again. It didn’t matter that I was married because I parented like a single parent almost all of the time. I no longer live in a shadow of someone who felt threatened by his wife when she decided it was time to go back to work. I raised my children. What was I supposed to do when the youngest went off to school? It was time for me to try and find me again. Listen to me when I say this. The minute I started working is exactly when he could no longer deal with me. I stepped into a career that I loved and I excelled! There is a demarcation in any major life changing event, and getting my real estate license is that time stamp on the end of our marriage.
I thought about how much more I wanted to share in my blog about what we went through. I’ve read my journals and I realize that I do not need to share all of it because it is not necessary. Our marriage failed and control and jealousy had a lot to do with it. It bothered him to see me succeed because that was threatening. Deep down I feel as though he knew if I found that place to rediscover myself, he knew he would lose me. I was no longer the maid, the finance manager, the cook, the taxi driver and the woman chained to the house. Clearly, he misjudged my ability to jump from full time mommy into “Professional Realtor AND full time mommy”. I can multi-task like any of my sisters out there reading this. Do not let any man make you think you cannot ramp up a career in less than a year. Our struggle in our marriage really amplified the more involved I got with my local board of realtors. It drove him crazy if I traveled overnight to meetings in Columbus. If I didn’t check in multiple times a day he lost his shit. I find this ironic because all the years he traveled, he would leave and intentionally not tell me where he was staying and would not call for days. I talked to him about this continuously for years but nothing changed. Let me be clear. My husband and my children always knew where I was. I called all the time. It’s just that when someone isn’t in front of you 24/7, then they cannot control your daily activities. We dealt with a lot and it would never recover. We tried marriage counseling and that was miserable. He threatened to leave me several times and we would talk our way through it. I finally pulled the plug on marriage counseling. My journal reminded me why. The last entry from our last session included words from our counselor stating that no matter what I am trying to do to salvage this relationship, he is undermining and looking to end the marriage. We walked out of her office that day and I was emotionally beat up. I cried more during counseling than during our marriage because I finally could say what I really felt. That last day would be the last day I let him have that from me. I told him I cannot do these sessions anymore. He agreed. He saw how much I struggled and that was that. We kept on through the motions of an odd marriage for a few more months and then my birthday approached.
I really don’t like to celebrate my birthday anymore. I love the fact that I have traveled around the sun for another year and now I prefer to enjoy more intimate gatherings with a few friends and enjoy the day quietly. Here is why.
I lived in a great neighborhood. I made great friends with all the other mom’s. Our kids became great friends. Our husbands went on golf excursions and the ladies did fun things out and we played Bunco. Ah, life in the burbs. It was the Bunco night that it all came to a screeching halt. We had this great group of women that would gather once a month to play an evening of Bunco. It was always planned about a year ahead of time so we knew who would host well in advance. This particular month of March would have us gathering on my birthday so I offered to host. I bought party hats and a sheet cake and prepared my home for 20 women. I love hosting parties. Well…I used to love hosting parties. My husband would be in town the night of Bunco and I asked him to take the kids out for a few hours so they would not feel uncomfortable with a house full of screaming and laughing women. No problem. The evening began without a hitch and we were all having fun. A few hours later, I saw his car pull up in the driveway and the kids came in the house. I found it odd that he didn’t walk in with them. Then the house phone rang. He called me from the driveway to tell me that he was leaving me. He told me to tell the kids that he had to go out of town suddenly. I was speechless. I have 19 women in my home. It’s my birthday. We were supposed to celebrate. I remained quiet and walked over to the dining room window to stare at him. I told him I could not believe he was doing this right now and I then told him “Fuck you. You tell the kids.” I then hung up the phone and walked back to my seat. I continued to host my friends until the evening was over. At the end of the night, my closest friends helped me clean up and they knew something had happened. It was then that I told them that he left me tonight. Just like that. From the driveway, with a house full of friends. No one that night knew anything. I adjusted my crown when I hung up that phone and did not tell my children anything until later the next day. My friends were stunned. Maybe more than me.
That was the most humiliating birthday of my life and never again will anyone have the ability to hurt me like that. Ever.
I’ve been told by a few people that I always find the silver lining in life. Here’s the best part, I did. I was about to experience what it is like to lose everything I had over the next few years. But like the Phoenix, this smart and tough woman would rise up from the ashes and my children are my witnesses. This would really be the first time in my life that I created the Emily that I knew could shine.
This is where the blog gets good. This is where I decide that I am going to accomplish those goals I wanted as a young woman. This is where I show you that you can walk through crap in life and still be strong and shine!
This is where we all find our voice.