Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Me embarrassed?

Oh you wanna go down that road…

Another day has dawned my friends. It is day 10 of the 15 day-challenge and today’s post is something that I try to steer clear of. Like other side of the world clear. I hate getting emotional because I do it way too often in my real life, yes I know I should share the good and the bad on my blog but honestly why would you wanna read about all the no, good, terrible bad things in my life? I try to focus on the positive but because I made a commitment to this challenge I will step up and take the bait.

{Day 10} What’s your most embarrassing moment?

Phew… embarrassing moment, I don’t tend to get embarrassed very-easily. I mean it is kind of hard to embarrass someone who has a weird fixation with peeing outside. It is also hard to embarrass a person who lived with 20 other girls at one point. Also hard to embarrass someone who just doesn’t give a shizzz about what other people think about her… However without a doubt the most embarrassing moment of my life happens almost every day. The moment I have to admit that I am 25 and divorced is exceptionally embarrassing. I hate it. I am so ashamed that I did the one thing I never wanted to do which was get a divorce. Am I glad I did it? Without a single doubt I am. Am I happier now? Oh you better believe I am. Would I take it back? No, not in a million years. But you just can’t help but feel ashamed of failing at something you believed in with your whole heart. I am embarrassed to say I am a divorced woman at the mere age of 25. Shall I elaborate on how I got here… I suppose now is as good a time as ever.

I chose to come home from college mid-way through my sophomore year. I was failing classes, hopelessly lost on who I was and wanted to be, my family was in crisis. I was plain and simple miserable. So I came home. I packed everything up in my little Mazda 3 and hit the road. I ran basically. At the time I had been dating a man from Nebraska (we met when I was on vacation visiting friends) I thought he was the one for me. I fell hard and was actually planning on moving to Nebraska and starting classes at UNL. He had different ideas. He broke my sweet little heart days after I returned from a visit there. I was even more of an emotional hot mess than before. I relied on my friends and a lot of booze to get me through. One of my friends was named “Justin” (not his actual name). He really helped me to see that I was better than how “Nebraska” had treated me. He listened day in and day out as I cried and cried and cried. He never judged me or made me feel ridiculous for how I was feeling. He prayed with me, he prayed for me and was a great comfort to me. As time went by our friendship became closer and at one point I prayed and asked God to show me exactly where Justin belonged in my life. Oddly enough the next day he came over to watch movies and as usual he fell asleep on the couch. I wandered off to my room and went to bed because this was not unusual. What was unusual was when Justin came jumping into my bed the next day. He had never even been in my room. Something changed between us that day. All of a sudden I saw Justin in a different way. The rest was history, we began dating. We were together all the time. One day we began talking about marriage and I knew deep in my heart that Justin loved my more than any other person ever had, that he would always take care of me and always be my best friend. He asked me to be his wife in a very nontraditional way. It went like this:
Justin- “Hey so you remember how we talked about getting married in a few years? What if we like got married now…”
Me- “What do you mean now?”
Justin-“Like this summer.”
Me- “Oh… Okay”

Yeah totally romantic I know. So he asked for my dad’s permission.Then he asked his dad who was a pastor for his permission and if he would marry us. Both prayed about it and gave us their blessing. We were married 3 months later in a small ceremony with our closest friends and family. I beamed. I was so happy to be his wife. I thought that all my dreams were coming true. That nothing in this world could ever make me happier. What I didn’t know is that being married is hard. Really hard. And sometimes life has its own plans for you. Less than a year after we were married Justin's dad passed away from Bone cancer. The family was devastated. Justin was lost to say the least. Not to mention he had been in search of a new job for 6 months without any luck after getting out of the Army. To say our first year at marriage was difficult is an understatement. When it finally felt like we were easing into a routine, Justin had begun a new job that he was excited about, he was happier than I had seen him in a long time. We had just moved into a new apartment and it felt like we were moving forward. Until we got the letter. The letter that changed everything. Justin came home early from his first day at his new job. I had been sent home early from work because of a storm that was coming and the power being out. I thought I would enjoy the first twilight movie and a nap, I was wrong. Justin sat down next to me and I will never forget the words he said “Ashley, I will need you to be stronger than you ever have been. You need to read this.” He handed me a fedex letter. I opened it and as I tried to make sense of a bunch of words and abbreviations I couldn’t understand I finally laid eyes on a sentence that would forever change my life. “Report for duty for a period not to exceed 400 days in operation with Enduring Iraqi Freedom”.

Justin was being called back to serve with the United States Army. He had been out of the Army for over a year, but was being involuntarily re-activated. Not only that but he was to leave in 12 days. I wanted to break down and lose my shit right there. But I didn’t. I remember thinkin to myself…this is it, this is when you have to make a choice, be strong or fall apart. I called my sister and told her what was happening. Then I called my best friend. Justin and I spent the next 12 days preparing for his departure. I would not cry in front of him, only in the comfort of the night when he was fast asleep. We spent our Valentine’s Day in Leavenworth snowboarding and relaxing. When I finally had to drop him off at the airport days later I vowed to be strong. I hugged him goodbye and watched him walk away. I got in the car and lost it. I cried so hard I thought I was going to throw up. When I finally managed to get back home I curled up in bed and layed there all day.

The next few months Justin was in training he went from South Carolina to Mississippi to Illinios. It was grueling and unfamiliar and stressful. We were on different schedules and I hadn't been away from Justin for this long in our whole relationship. He eventually began to become angry over little things, things that normally he wouldn’t get upset about. I assumed it was because of the stress of it all and the looming date of deployment to Afghanistan. I was wrong.

Over the next year he verbally abused me. It would seem like he loved me more than anything in the world one day and the next he was telling me I was a crazy bitch. He would threaten to send me divorce papers at least once a month. I would call my family crying hysterically or my very best friends. I was a mess. I tried so hard to blame it on the stress he was under, I went to counseling to try and avoid building up resentment towards him. I did my best to try to make that year less awful. I branched out and made new friends. I worked two jobs for half of it and also went back to school for a certification program. I went on a few trips with girlfriends. I tried to do whatever Justin asked of me, I let him spend money like crazy without saying a word; I sent him whatever he asked for. I tried not to get upset when he didn’t acknowledge our anniversary, my birthday or even Christmas. Slowly I felt myself shutting down. I held out hope though because there would be weeks when he acted like the man I fell desperately in love with. I thought that if I just kept praying and believing we could be ok. He came home after being gone for 1 year and I was so nervous. I prayed and prayed that it would be ok. I felt awful because a part of me was scared for him to come home.

At first it was ok. But I started to notice changes in him. A man that was usually outgoing and social was withdrawn and defensive. A person that was nurturing and loving to me in times of need was gone. I was deeply saddened and heart broken. A man who loved God with all of his heart was now telling me that he didn’t believe in God. I was so lost. I tried to find the man I loved hidden within this stranger. I tried to support him but he continued to push me and everyone else out of his life. I do not claim to be blameless in the demise of our marriage. I am sure I could have done a million things differently and I was not easy to be married to in the beginning of our marriage. I was clingy, needy, and desperate for love; making it so difficult for him. But enough was enough. After him walking out on me several times only to return a day or two later I finally made a decision while on a girl’strip. I spent 4 days with my closest friends and they helped talk me through my feelings. I finally accepted that I could no longer live a life like this. I deserved to be happy and appreciated.

When I came home from that trip the next day I told him I thought that our marriage was beyond repair. That I felt too exhausted to keep trying. I explained that I loved him deeply but was too hurt to continue this way. That I wanted to be happy and that I wanted him to be happy even if that meant we had to go our separate ways. It was the first conversation about our relationship that didn’t end in a screaming match. He completely agreed with me and said he had felt that way for a while but was scared to hurt me. (Odd since he had been hurting me for a solid year) That evening I packed a few suitcases and drove over to my best friend’s house. She welcomed me with open arms as I scarfed down a grande meal from taco bell and sobbed.

We separated in November of 2010 a few days before my 24th birthday. We were legally divorced February 22nd 2011. Oddly enough this was the day that he left to go to training in 2009.I can tell you with all the sincerity in me that I loved that man. I wanted nothing more than to create a life with him and grow old. It breaks my heart still to know that we won’t have that life together because at a time in my life I was certain we would. I do not regret gettin married so young (I was only 20) and I do not regret finally making a choice to get out of a very unhealthy relationship. We have gone our separate ways and while we have tried to remain friends we have had our ups and downs. As much hurt as I received from him I wish him nothing but happiness and truly hope that he goes on to become the great man I know he is capable of being. He helped me to become a stronger and independent person. He taught me how to stand up for who I am and what I want in life. He taught me that nothing in life is certain. He loved me through some of the worst times in my life and supported me when I was anything but easy to love. But in the end we just could not make it work. However we are now both moving on into our new lives and I hope that one day I will no longer feel such shame when I must admit that I am 25 and divorced.

Wow thank you all for reading that was a lot and super long I apologize but it sure did feel good to get that off my chest! I love each of you that takes time to read my ramblings and I hope that in some way this helped you all to get to know me a little better!

Love ya Nuggets!
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