Chapter 41 – Lots of Wanderings on Divorce

 

Monday, 8 February 2016.

 

Day 50

 

During her lunch break at school, Anna sits down to scribble in her diary.

 

 

Dear Diary,

 

Long time no write! Sorry.

Look, I’m not feeling sad right now, but I forgot to write about something the other day – something important to me that I want to register here.

 

Betrayal.

 

 

Awful word, but intrinsic in human nature.

I remember just last year, a month before moving out of our last home together…

I had already signed my rental apartment’s contract and was spending my afternoons and evenings looking for good deals to buy furniture and household appliances. That part was fun, tbh. I adore moving and decorating. I’m good at it!

I love looking for solutions. Hmm, should have been an engineer…

 

Anyways, the shopping kept me busy and focused on practicalities for the near future, instead of the immediate pre-separation…

…valley

of

death.

 

As you can imagine, I was going through all kinds of feelings. I’d go from excitement and exhilaration to deep sadness.

Agonizing joy.

Energetic exhaustion.

Blue fun.

Fearful hope, dreaded freedom.

 

Oxymoronic paradoxes.

The silent screams of my soul were pretty ugly. Good grief!!

 

Some say that people get divorced too easily nowadays, but I sincerely don’t believe that most take separation lightly. It’s a scary and painful experience. They say it’s like amputating a leg.

More like amputating a part of your heart.

With all our problems, we were together for 23 years. So, neither he nor I took it lightly.

 

Sigh.

I really wish we had divorced eight years ago, when he first made up his mind about it. We wouldn’t have wasted so much of each other’s time and would have avoided more excruciating heartbreak and some other drastic measures… Though I am grateful we were able to part in piece.

Ops! Part in peace!

 

Uh…Where was I?

Yes, during that pre-separation month, I’d feel relieved and then I’d feel anguished. Little did I know it was going to turn out to be a cruel kindness – what he was doing to me.

If only people knew! They’d divorce sooner.

But people with bad marriages fear. So, they make haste s…l….o…..w……l…….y…………..

They’ve got to go through the process to progress.

Yes! Be wise, don’t take it lightly. Prepare the way for a better future.

 

As I was saying… at times I’d cry in the shower. I’d let go and then hold on for dear life.

 

I’d love him with all my hate.

 

I’d agonize and think about betrayal.

I asked him once, “Do you already have somebody else?” All the signs pointed to that. He’d just answer and say, “Anna, I’ve already hurt you so much in this marriage. There’s no reason for me to hurt you more right now.”

Eurgh. Holy sinner – damned saint!

Hmm. Not unlike me…

Some church people judge him, but I respect him for not remaining a hypocritical chaplain in the end. For finally having the courage to be true to himself. And thus, give me my freedom to find love again.

 

As much as it hurts, it’s always better to deal with the truth. I’ll choose hearing and having to deal with the truth 90 out of 100 times. Ha!

The truth shall set you free – true – free to fly the amazingly dreadful flight of freedom. How can we make the best decisions for our own well-being without the truth? 

But do speak the truth with love…

 

OK… Would it have been better to stay in the bad marriage and feel alone together?

♥️ I’d much rather be together alone someday. Just the two of us! Mr. One and me. ♥️

 

As I was saying… I’d cry in the shower thinking about betrayal. I felt so betrayed!

Yet, what was the betrayal??

Was it that he was possibly jumping in bed with another lady?

For me, the greatest betrayal was not that.

 

He fell in love. And I find love truly beautiful.

As Dr. Helen Fischer says, love is a powerful brain system, more powerful than sex drive. It comes from primordial parts of the brain – way below the cortex. It gives you the energy, the focus, ecstasy, the despair and the motivation. To win life’s greatest prize – a mating partner.

Aye!

(Btw, she’s studied brain scans of couples who have been romantically in love after 21 years together. It can happen!)

 

Passion makes people climb the highest mountains and sail the raging seas. Romantic love inspires poets, musicians, commoners. The memories make people write books. 😇

 

Love is something that can cover a multitude of sins.

 

Then, what was the betrayal?

 

The betrayal for me was this:

How can he prefer not to have me in his life? To just erase me, swipe me out.

After everything. All the friendship. All the memories. All the battles, victories, photo albums and family memories. All the patience and forgiveness. All the support and growth.

All that investment in vain.

How can someone actually find they’re upgrading their lives by taking me out??? To think he’s better off without me than with me? Unfathomable.

I felt like garbage.

That actually felt like death.

A resurrection I should have welcomed.

 

Why not sooner then? It would have saved me some of my youth.

 

And what about our kids? They say divorce is harder on teenagers than children. 

 

Wow.

But no problem.

Now I know his cruel kindness was for my best, too.

A passionless marriage is not true. Holding on is just wishful thinking. Wasted years? I think so… 

Men and women out there: pleeease do not hold on to someone who doesn’t love you. Please do not fear. You deserve to be loved with all of your lover’s flawed human heart. Everyone does.

Mutuality!

 

But, silver linings, silver linings, Anna! Don’t get depressed now.

Everything happens for a purpose. Or at least you can give it a purpose and make it meaningful.

I sure am going to turn my pain into something beautiful.

 

 

In this long, long diary entry, my mind has been wandering everywhere – itinerant from place to place. I can break it down later, but I did warn you in the title.

And it does happen with pre-separation. Consider separating, do it, and your mind will thus wonder and wander while your heart rides that emotional roller coaster.

 

Long story short – finally!

 

Divorce??

 

More like amputating a part of your heart.

Hey, maybe a heart transplant!

A new heart? I like that.

I’m gonna think of divorce as an open-heart surgery from now on. Painful, risky, extreme. I’ll need time for convalescence… But not alone, please…?

 

The Divorce Paradox – a seemingly false, but significant step.

 

Anna, you’ll get a new heart – hope for a stronger one.

You’ll still retain your brain, your memories, your soul, your you. But you’ll have the chance to start over.

Bitter sweet. New beginnings. A crash landing? New-found grace.

And an opportunity to be true. To love again and do it much, much better.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 50 of an oxymoronic new life.

http://gtotd.blogspot.fi/2007/06/oxymoronic-paradox-wisdom-of-yogi-isms.html

 

 

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Chapter 28 – In the Forest

 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017.

 

Her work trip is long – an hour and twenty minutes from home to the second school where she teaches twice a week. Anna’s driving there now and wonderful English choir music is playing in her Kia Ceed.

These drives are often special. When she doesn’t use the time for listening to Ted Talks or chatting with friends and relatives over the phone, she gets to meditate.

Reflect. Revisit her inner world and check how she really feels about things. Not just logically speaking, but more importantly, in her gut.

Heart. Soul.

A couple of deer have just crossed the road before her. Dangerous. But oh, so beautiful!

Her mind is empty, for a change, and she’s just sucking in the majesty of the Finnish countryside nature.

 

Beauty – ah! What is beauty?

These wheat fields. Oh. Such colors! Now I understand Van Gogh.

 

Rain is falling gently from the grey clouds onto the slippery, curvy, hilly roads ahead, as the Chelmsford Citadel Songsters harmonize with each other. The trees all around her are shedding what they’ll have no use for in the coming seasons.

Gracefully, nonetheless.

Their yellow leafs dance their way down, blowing in the wind as they fall to the ground. To match the scenery, thankful tears of deep emotion escape Anna’s eyes.

Shamelessly.

Lots of people I love are going through so much. Both the good and the bad. And all those dates I had last year. Real human encounters some of them. And then love. I’m going through rain in my soul, too. 

But behind those clouds, the sun is shining strong and it will conquer again.

She inhales deeply.

 

And what about people? What makes a person beautiful? What makes a guy handsome in my eyes?

I know.

Very well.

She arrives at the school parking lot, stays in her car and quickly scribbles some thoughts on a leaflet. She’ll keep on working on the poem during her lunch break.

🍂 🌾

 

I’ve been wondering. What is beauty? Hmm, who is handsome??

 

I think beauty’s a sad countenance

With a hurt heart that’s healing.

A brave heart – succumbed –

That keeps resilient,

Like a little bird must in a cold, cold storm.

 

Beauty is…

…both generosity and self-confidence.

…self-esteem, a good posture.

And your smile.

Yes, yours. Who else’s, precious one?

 

Your weight, your height.

Being you. Your wrinkles.

Trying to become a better version of yourself (with help),

While being comfortable in…

Your own skin.

 

A fearless soul

Marching to battle,

Though so fearful in sacrifice, maturity.

A scarred soldier who conquers:

Beautiful is he.

 

Beauty’s…

Intelligence.

Producing and loving. Youthful vigor.

Experience. Old age.

A life. YOLO. R.I.P.

 

Acceptance is graceful – weaknesses and all.

Loving yourself in a healthy way

To then really, really love others:

Your neighbor, your soul mate,

Your father? Your friends.

 

Oh, beauty is a trusting spirit

– Like that of an innocent child.

Gentleness, uncorrupted sweetness, and kindness, delight.

 

It’s to be proud of your achievements, talents.

Yet humble at heart.

 

It’s certainty, uncertainty.

Genuine you are.

 

In service. Purity.

Determination, vulnerability,

Respect, authenticity.

Do shine your light!

 

Forgiveness.

Wholeness.

Your brokenness, too.

Gratitude. A joyful being!

Deciding to live in truth.

 

Your amazing body and that sparkle in your eyes –

Beauty is the whole package, you see? Cutie pie.

 

When you can be bothered

You’re so handsome, making lots of little efforts

Both in action and in words,

You hardworking, fun,

Affectionate Guy.

 

Beauty’s…

A person walking in the forest

In solitude.

If accompanied – oh!

They’ll soar, they’ll fly.

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is!

Tudo é belo ao que ama…

 

It’s solving your problems and

Finding your purpose.

That, beauty is…

Most definitely.

Indeed.

🍂

 

She’ll read her poem aloud to some. She’ll send it to ten-fifteen loved ones she finds beautiful. Who inspire her. Including him.

© 2017 rf

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Wheatfield_with_crows_-_Google_Art_Project – kopio

Wheatfield with Crows, 1890. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

 

 

Obs. About a year and eleven months since moving out. 

 

 

 

Chapter 24 – Let Him Down Easy Like This

“So don’t be afraid – you are worth more than many sparrows.”

 

February 2016 and before.

 

There’s a little birdie flying in the Finnish sky. Clouds or no clouds, sunshine or rain, our sparrow spreads its wings and glides away. She soars, back-flips, twirls and dives.

She’s free, you see?

After a long long time, she’s happily – finally – free to fly.

She wasn’t his prisoner. No, they were friends – both in the same cage. Then came craze and maturity and now they’ve both been freed to age with dignity.

There are other birds out there. Flying her way and she theirs.

“No! Go away – you’re not him.” Let’s see what happens when she finds 16.

  🐦

 

Tears will come later. More longing. But truth be told, Anna has been feeling relieved and delivered.

The last two years of her marriage were all about friendship, kindness, and awkward final attempts to reconnect. A few last fights. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Of course it was shocking when, in the summer of 2015, it felt as though he was far away and as good as gone already. They were spending a long holiday in Majorca with the teens, but no, no connection. Just a huge unsurpassable gap.

July to September flew (ha-ha). Then one day in the latter, they were sitting in her car in the afternoon. He touched on the topic of a separation – again…

And Anna couldn’t take even one more of his candid, unruffled reminder-threats! Yet, it looked as though he had accepted the truth and was at peace.

At that moment, she searched her soul, to its most unerring part and back, faced the tweet 🎵, let herself feel fully what she really, truly felt. And then very calmly, very lovingly said:

“Pedro, I think we should stay together. We have our teens, all the memories, our photo albums, all our victories. We have just moved back into our renovated/redecorated flat. The teens have settled in their new schools and made friends. We’ve found new jobs, paid our debts and can start saving again.

“I don’t want a divorce – and I love you. We have all we need to grow closer together, open up our hearts once more to each other after our many storms. And just be happy, leaving the past in the past.

Having said that, the only reason, the absolute only reason why I’ll want a divorce is…

…if you look into your heart of hearts and know – you just know that you don’t love me enough. You don’t love me like I deserve to be appreciated. Like everybody does.

In that case, I do want a divorce.

But, I won’t ask for it. You will have to be brave enough and make the decision. To take that leap of faith.

A flight of faith?

 

It felt amazing to speak with such veracity. They finally connected.

And a week later he asked for the divorce.

 

It was a slow-paced process – that dragged on for years – the whole thing. Now, four months after that earnestness, Anna has been living in her adorable flat for almost six weeks.

All the tears seem so 2015 to her! Tears that purified her being, nonetheless. She feels washed up and freed.

A new beginning! Há males que vêm para o bem.

A blessing in disguise. Every cloud has a silver lining.

Even in the Finnish skies.

© 2017 rf

🐦

 

P.S.alm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place… My soul yearns, even faints… my heart and my flesh cry outEven the sparrow has found a home… Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley… they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength… Hear my prayer Lord… Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper… than dwell in the tents of the wicked. No good thing does he withhold… Blessed is the one who trusts in you.

Chapter 12 – Tinder Dates #2-5

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Monday, 18 January 2016.

 

Days 29

 

Handsome Sami seems respectable. An older psychiatrist, that surely means he’s to be trusted, right?

Anna invites him over to her place for evening tea. It’s a spontaneous invitation. She’s not used to so much alone time and someone to talk to feels like a good idea.

He’s kind and well-mannered and they converse serenely about an array of different topics.

He says he thinks she’s beautiful, but also that he’s shy and doesn’t really know how to do relationships.

No sparks are flying. Yet, it feels interesting, though very, very strange to be serving tea alone to a new acquaintance at her place, with no one to answer to about it, for the very first time in her life.

No one who will even ask! Or know, unless I tell.

They hug lightly as they say good-bye at her door. They don’t even kiss and will never see each other again.

 


 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016.

 

Day 30

 

Aaro is a very fit psychologist/ masseur / ballroom dancer. By the look in one of the pictures, he must be really good at his dancing. Wow. A great smile with professional body language.

On the chat, he says he’s won prizes and really adores it all. 👍👍

They meet late in the evening – in a park – after an animated phone call. He looks excited, but has come straight from dance class and is smelling of old sweat in his bright green-pink skiing outfit.

OMG, what?? Seriously!?

As they talk, he bends and stretches in all possible ways. Anna is flabbergasted and starts feeling very sad.

He asks her about her recent separation and she starts crying. He switches on his psychologist mode and gives her good advice, while taking the liberty of rubbing her shoulders.

He thinks she’s crying over her separation, but honestly? She’s crying because she’s so disappointed at the date and is starting to feel lonely, longing for companionship.

It’s been a month and a half since I separated from Mr. Ex… Gosh! Will it be this hard to find a man I’ll be attracted to and have a boyfriend again??

Back home, she writes to thank him for the free appointment(s) before they say goodbye and unmatch. And hopes he’ll find himself a great dance partner.

 


 

Friday, 22 January 2016.

 

Days 33

 

This one doesn’t speak English, so they have to chat in Finnish.

After the Aaro experience, she’s been thinking, and tells Tapio she’s that people should give each other some clear feedback after dates, so they could improve themselves. apparently, he finds her whole idea of ratings hilarious.

He plays volleyball, Anna’s favorite sport, so she decides to give him a chance – despite the fact they’ll have to speak Finnish.

He wants a proper date. Would she like a picnic and a walk in the freezing February weather or a restaurant meal, he wonders. She chooses the dinner.

They meet in front of Tennispalatsi and walk down to the Nepalese restaurant by the Central Railway Station.

Oh! He’s nicely dressed!

With a ¾ black woolen overcoat that looks quite new, jeans and a casual shirt – Anna thinks it’s very sweet when guys put in the effort to do things nicely and give a good first impression!👍🥇 🤸‍ 🏆

Is that too much to ask?

They chat in Finnish as they walk to the restaurant.

By the time they sit to eat, however, she has already realized that there’ll be no chemistry between them, so she decides to order just a salad (more about that later – it’s a whole system she’s unknowingly developing).

 

He’s having a full course meal, which takes forever to eat, and inwardly, she’s getting impatient.

Gosh, this was a mistake! It’s so draining to try to date in Finnish and much less exciting.

So, as awful as it feels, she excuses herself to go powder her nose and there she texts Timo, another Tinder guy she’s been chatting with. 🤥

Timo told her earlier that he was going to be at the Finnkino cinema nearby tonight, so after asking him if his movie was any good, she suggests they meet up for a drink in an hour.

Yeah, sure, I could have a drink! 😀

 

Back at their table, nice Tapio wants to pay and won’t take no for an answer. She feels bad. 🤦‍

Then, he insists on walking her back to her bike, parked by Tennispalatsi in the upper part of Kamppi.

After they hug good-bye, he doesn’t release her, but instead steals a little gentlemanly kiss on the mouth, to her great surprise!

He asks if she still wants to hang out some more, and she lies that she’s feeling a bit tired.

“Bye-bye. Let’s chat later and thank you very much for the date!”

Anna waits and then carefully cycles back down to Casa Largo, near the Railway Station. She doesn’t want to hurt Tapio’s feelings, but there was just no attraction and she doesn’t know how to tell someone that, on the spot.

Hmm, another Google research coming up!

 

The next day, when Tapio cutely asks for his feedback, she messages him:

+ You were really sweet

+ Well dressed

+ Walked me back to my bike like a true gentleman

+ Gave me a proper date (my first dinner date ever) and even insisted on paying for it (thank you!)

 

– You don’t like to speak English

– I get tired speaking Finnish in my free time

– I don’t feel we have enough things in common

 

He thanks her, amused.

You really are a teacher!! 😂

 

They never unmatch on the app and mention that perhaps they’ll end up playing volleyball together, someday.

 


 

Still Friday.

 

Timo is waiting for Anna on the second floor of Casa Largo. Anna is feeling a bit naughty.

He’s having tea at the bar, as she sits next to him. It is his tea-total month, he explains.

He works for the Parliament and his English is amazing. Timo’s just a little taller than Anna, probably around 1,68 or so. But personality-wise he’s a big man, very fun, making her laugh a lot.

After half an hour of lively talk, it occurs to her that is she’s having a great time.

His eyes shine like a little boy’s as he talks in this fast and furious pace about events, museums, galleries, festive parties and all the people and places he knows around the center of Helsinki. He seems to be passionate about his work, friends, art, his teens, traveling, etc.

He tells her about an art history course he’s taking at the Atheneum. He likes traveling abroad, but says that in Finland anywhere outside the city center feels too far for him.

Anna, on the other hand, loves the Finnish countryside and tries hard to stay away from organized events, concerts and fixed programs. This won’t work!

 

He says he knows for a fact that he never ever wants to get married again, because he loves being a bachelor. Hmm. He seems to have had a great time, too, and they say good night with a surprisingly warm, firm hug outside the restaurant, agreeing to see each other again sometime soon.

Back at home, she realizes she’s feeling very thirsty.

Ha! He didn’t even ask if I wanted to go get my own tea. What?

He texts her on and off, not really asking Anna anything about her life. He just sends her pics of his events, expositions and trips. She thinks he’s friendly – but finds this kind of interaction really strange.

He’s not trying to get to know me better at all!

A few weeks later, he writes.

We should meet up, Anna!

 

By then it is too late. Anna’s got a massive, heart-warming crush on Tinder Date #16. 😍

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 29-33 since moving out. What now?

 

Chapter 1 – Separated Anna

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? The Prologue and Intro. 🙂

 

Sunday, 27 December 2015.

 

Day 7

 

Separated Anna has started to settle down in her new flat. It’s been three days since Xmas Eve and the teens have been with her since then. She’s feeling merry and she just loves spending time at their new place together.

She loves Kristiina and Joseph way more! Before here and now and beyond.

“I love you guys too much… and not nearly enough!❤️‍” is what she sometimes texts them.

Gosh, to heaven and back, to hell and back, and everywhere in between. Natural motherly love. Plain and simple.

 

Talking of feelings…

At the moment, all her tears have dried up. For now, she’s just making sound decisions and acting on them: stay strong, be happy, light, brave, and matter of fact. Nonchalant.

Fight it with sports and a healthy diet, Anna! Spend time with your teens, relatives and friends. Enjoy freedom!

OK, OK. If needed cry a little. But not too often, please! — she rolls her eyes, annoyed — If Mr. Ex doesn’t want to be with me anymore, well, too bad for him. His loss!!

Who cares about the past, right?

Anna has been through a thousand emotions in the last few months. Torrential tears, inexplicable laughter, numbness, rage, relief, doubt, fear. Just to name a few of the heart-wrenching feelings she’s had down poured all over her.

Or welled up from the deepest, most unbeknownst depths inside.

Take the night she moved out of her home, for instance. It felt so horrible that she can’t bear dwelling on it. She won’t even allow me, the narrator, to further elaborate on that either. At least not yet.

 

Unconsciously, Anna has postponed her final tears for the lost marriage to later on.

You actually can – willingly, yet unknowingly – push your grief into the future. But warning! It will catch you there when you least expect it. After all, still waters run deep. Very deep.

Anna’s storms are slowly brewing, the necessary mourning is still to come. Thunder and lightning – believe me! I, the narrator, am here in 2017, so I already know everything that’s going to happen back in 2016.

This book will seek to relate to you the story of Anna in chronological order (perhaps with a few flash forwards and -backs).

Right now she’s very determined to be happy, friendly and calm. Sweet Lord Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the donkey! Anna’s 2016 will be loaded with novelty in every way.

Hmm. There will be tough partial healing, too. But most of all, 2016 will turn out to be a blessed, fun-filled year, amazing and full of love – like she can’t imagine just yet.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 7 since moving out. New beginnings!