Esmerelda freezes up dealing with separation and divorce 2

(Esmerelda is a fictitious name selected by the person who submitted this story so she remain anonymous.)

When a choice causes us to freeze up

When a choice causes us to freeze up

When I was 19, I married my high school boyfriend. At the time, it seemed like a wonderful idea even though my parents and his parents were a little trepidatious because we were so young. That decision was made out of what seemed like the obvious thing to do. I don’t remember any debate or internal voices.

Life got more complex over the next few years.

Fast forward to me at 28. We had separated once before at that point and it was happening again. We were not meant to be married and both of us had known it for many years. Whatever inner voice I had, I had smothered repeatedly in hopes that I could continue on my current path without having to go through any major upheaval even if I knew eventually it was coming.

When it did finally come and there was no way to get away from it, I more or less froze up. At the time, I was working very part time. I had some savings, but was afraid to get an apartment on my own in case I couldn’t pay my own rent. I was afraid to change everything I knew. I was afraid I would lose a lot of people by divorcing and separating from a family I had been a part of since I was in my teens. I was afraid of just about everything. Still at this point, if there was an inner voice, I couldn’t hear it. I curled up on the couch and went dormant for a bit (actually, I got mono so I didn’t have much of a choice).

My then husband was moving along anyway. He had a new girlfriend already and rather than getting mad at him, I was still just feeling more broken down and unable to make a change or move on. Things were getting to the point where I would have to make a decision, a series of decisions, about how to 1) Move, 2) Work and 3) Get over it.

The first step in the process was getting away. At first, I did not want to leave town, but then I decided to anyway. At that point, I began to take on a philosophy of doing the opposite of what my instincts told me to do. My instincts had led me into a situation where I knew I had been unhappy and did nothing about it for 10 years. So to hell with my instincts for a bit. Someone told me once that sometimes you have to let the universe hold you and so I did. I decided to take on a policy of saying yes to anything that would change me and have faith that what came my way was better for me than what I had.

Strangely, not much of what happened to me next had to do with my own decisions other than saying yes. I had been writing freelance for a website and was offered a full time job without even asking for it. I was offered a cheap place to live with someone I knew. I went to visit my mom and step dad and ended up being given a free vehicle (I needed one). Later, I went back to visit them so I could drive my free truck home and brought a friend along with me.

This friend asked me to drive through her home town on the way back, to which I said yes. She also decided on the drive up that she was going to fix me up with her cousin. Her cousin lived 800 miles away from me and I had never met him, but I told her to go for it. That decision came from a literal voice in my head that said “yes.” Her cousin and I met. We soon began to talk regularly on the phone, over email and visit each other. This last summer he moved to my area and we now live together.

In conclusion, I think we often make decisions based on fear or what seems like the most practical thing to do, but really we know what we often should do. We sometimes don’t want to do it or are afraid to do it, but if you can get rid of those feelings and get to the core of what you know is good for you, the world really does hold you and shuffle you along a path that will lead you to better and happier things.

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2 thoughts on “Esmerelda freezes up dealing with separation and divorce

  • June Schlueter

    I feel like there have been many “forks in the road”, but maybe the one that changed my life forever was this one. My husband and I had just returned to work from the funeral from his grandfather’s passing and we were, as to be expected, sad. The other part to this story is that we had wanted children and after it wasn’t happening for us, we went to a fertility specialist. There were a myriad of tests. The end result, was that we were on the track of taking the appropriate medications each month. We had been through hell with all of it. We finally applied for adoption and were told it would be three years. Back to being at work after the funeral. My husband called to tell me that our baby boy was ready for us to pick up. And we would be picking him up on Christmas Eve! We had done nothing to get ready, since we were at 2 years, not the 3 years they had told us. But his parents were able to run around with my husband to get supplies, and friends donated clothes. At work, I was stunned. I had to spring this on my boss. I had not mentioned one word about our situation as of yet and now he would be shocked and surprised. He came around and was understanding that I couldn’t have told him ahead when I didn’t know when the baby would come.
    That was one aspect that changed my lif — having my son handed to me on Christmas Eve. But, the other part, that really changed my life forever was what the adoption did to my career. I really still wanted to work too — actually needed to work. I had a good job. But the agency required that I stay at home with the baby for six months. The agency was very much into bonding with the child. I tried to negotiate with HR, but there was no way they could make an exception for me and I was given only 3 months.

    So, as my dream of being a mother was coming true, I was losing a part of myself that I didn’t realize at the time, which was my identity as an employed woman who was working up the ladder. I had to quit my job. It was so wonderful to have our baby on Christmas like a special gift from heaven. But down the road, we had to make choices about our finances and my husband decided we should move to Chicago so that he could find a better paying job to make up for the loss of my income. So that is what we did and we lived there 8 years. My life would never be the same again. I brought income in by being a child care provider, but then we adopted our second son in Chicago, so I didn’t work full time in all the years we were there. And today, I am still trying to find my first full-time job after several part-time jobs. I know I would still be at that company I had to leave because of the maternity leave and I would be in a good financial situation. Now, I am divorced, and need the income I could have had, had I not left working at the request of the adoption agency. Moving to Chicago was exciting and interesting and I made lots of good friends that I had to leave when we returned to Cincinnati. I am so grateful for my two boys and I guess I wouldn’t change that part for anything. But the adoption did change my world forever when it comes to the bottom line of my person financial situation, even today.

    • Don Shapiro

      Hi June,

      Thanks for sharing your very personal and difficult journey (so far!)From where you currently sit, you have sacrificed a lot to gain two wonderful boys. My heart goes out to you. I have received many stories about similar situations.

      Nothing happens by chance. There is a reason why you have been chosen to take this fork in the road. It can be hard to be in the middle of a journey where you don’t know what lies ahead.

      When we follow our heart, we can suffer for a while, sometimes for years. I can feel good things in store for you and your boys in the future. Keep your heart open, trust yourself and listen to the voice from deep within. There is a better tomorrow on the way that will make all your difficulties worthwhile.

      Please stay tuned and let me know what happens. Remember, life is a journey, not a destination.