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Black and white

E Updated
Sorting through boxes and boxes of papers continues slowly. And clothes, kitchenware, cushions, keepsakes, kids' things, you name it. Memories associated with all of it, some long buried. And some raise awkward questions. So I came across some vast quantity of papers relating to the time we met. Seating plans for our wedding, that sort of thing. And from my studies abroad, where we met. There was a folder, incorrectly labelled, which turned out to contain copies of letters I wrote to various friends back home. I have no recollection of writing these, still less photocopying them. Bizarre thing to do! And I would have had to go to some trouble to do so, in those days. There I find the first mention of him, described as pretty unimpressive and very pompous. Not clear how that changed, but then we are dating, and I write that I don't love him and am going to break up with him. He reminded me a while ago that he had found and read that letter, I had forgotten the whole episode, but there in a letter I describe how distraught he was at the thought of losing me. And a lifetime later here we are. I should have ditched him. What went wrong?! Could I possibly have been so weak? Yes. And have been all this time. And yet I would have told you that I loved him with all my heart. Whatever love is. It's a shame that instead I find I am having to ditch all this paperwork for want of anywhere to keep it all, or money to pay for storage. Our memories play tricks on us, so seeing things in black and white is startling and useful. I haven't begun to sort all of the mountains of papers regarding the divorce settlement. It's several more boxes - my lawyer used to turn up to court with suitcases full, and I was so gaga with it all that I kept all the versions of everything, and all out of order. One day I would like my children to know, and I have already forgotten the details, how I tried to fight for them and failed. For now I can't even face looking at it. Sent from my iPad

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The line 'It's OK not to be OK...' sums up those awful times when we felt decidedly not OK and wikis were telling us to let it wash over us and not beat ourselves up for not healing as fast as others.

Coming to terms with who we thought we were in the marriage and who we are now is a massive learning curve and I think we are more honest about who we have become. We are living a new reality and we're doing OK! You're going to be alright in the end Eliza. We all are.

Hugs to everyone who lost themselves in their relationship and have had to rediscover the girl/boy within.
M
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Thanks everyone.

Just listening to that song Sun Flower. Isn't it funny, apart from anything else I seem to have stopped listening to much new music in recent years...

Listening to the lyrics, all about not losing who you are, I don't think I would have known what that meant a few years ago, though I would have admitted to a slight feeling of unease. For a long time now I have not felt 'right'. Hard to know, but I think I was feeling untrue to myself without knowing what I could do about it. This, now, is awful in many ways, but the honesty is reassuring.
E
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Oops,

I too at the beginning of the relationship,is this what I want?
I clearly remember I was quite ill with a severe bout of Quincy,actually that ill it laid me up in bed,obviously Twonk visited me,but I can remember even though I just could not be arsed,everything had to revolve around him,and I know at that time I questioned myself,and what the future was.
Although we can possibly say with hindsight would we have still married them?
I cannot answer that one,because of my marriage I have my amazing daughters,and my little man,who I have to say are my entire world,nothing comes close to the feelings I have for them.

I know that I was a confidant outgong person before I met him,and now that is back,but I also know that people come into your life for a reason,a time etc,so we cannot know how long our Ex's were supposed to be with us,or will we ever know the real reason why?
All I know is that divorce changes everyone,we say the guilty one became alien,but in the process we also change.All look at yourselves and Eliza is testament to this,we have all grown,yes we are battle scarred,many of us are much poorer financially but richer in other ways.We can all get stuck in the whys and wherefores,facts are our Ex's were in our lives for X amount of time,we learned from them,and now is the time to learn from others.....

Flowers,love that song also,and I am me...

Cwtchs
Afon xx
A
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Some pretty thought provoking reading here.

A
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Sunflower - wise words - it may be conjecture but I suspect it sums up many situations perfectly - it certainly does mine - and I am now putting all my energies into saving myself.

Eliza - the clearing out of the family home was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do and having to face years of photos, paperwork, shared history but looking at it from a different perspective was extremely painful. I agree with Vastra - don't hold on to the paperwork. As you know, much of this process involves 'letting go' - of things and of thoughts and feelings. You know that you have done the best you can for your children in very difficult circumstances. Free yourself up - it will enable you to move forward to be the person you are meant to be. All we can do is try and put the past behind us, making sure we learn the very important lessons from it.
A
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Wow Eliza - to find the seeds of the relationship and be able to look back on them and analyse your observations. I think this is a find. If it were me (I think) - I would photograph those letters - you were a strong independent person, very brainy working abroad - brave - stetching yourself. You met this flawed man.....ahh but we are women and have two intrinsic needs (often) - to be loved - and to save someone - and so we are trapped.....ok this if off the top of my head right now....there may be lots of flaws in these statements - so I offer them more as conjecture than fact.

It is a while since I have posted a song on wiki - there used to be a thread soley for this purpose.....but I have been struck by this Ed Sheeren one recently - Who You Are - it might hit home with you too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPIy0oHd390

Don't forget who you are/were. Re find her. It takes time - but she is still there.

Look after yourself. I see such huge changes in your posts. I suspect that you are already well into this process whether you have recognised it or not.

Best wishe - sun flower
SF
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Your first impression is intriguingly similar to how you describe him now - "unimpressive and very pompous". My initial reaction to meeting my ex was "I need to stay away from that creep". The wheel has turned full circle and I'm back to my original first impression too! Don't beat yourself up - I rally wonder how many marriages are so rock-solid that spouses don't question if they made a mistake. Many friends and family have told me how imperfect their own marriages are since my ex left. I can't see myself ever marrying again unless I meet my dream man who finds exhausted cranky single mums wearing clogs with yoga pants attractive.
Regarding the mountains of papers, both old letters and divorce settlement - do you really need any of it? Could you have a cathartic bonfire to herald that minimalist fresh start you were fantasising about?
V