Driving home from preschool drop-off, I had ideas about how this story would go. I knew how to title it, I knew how many posts it would be broken into, and I knew what I wanted to say.
As I sit here in front of my keyboard, I’m not finding it so easy. Words are failing me, and my emotions are everywhere. I have tears streaming down my face and I don’t have the slightest idea why. I thought this would be easier.
The past 10 months of my life have been…indescribable. Although I have hinted at things here and there, I have kept quiet about the details on my lawyer’s advice, and fear of the unknown.
I can’t continue to live my life based on fear. Especially not fear of my own making. The divorce is dragging on, and after nearly a year, the silence is suffocating me. I can’t do it any more.
The things I have to tell you may come as a surprise, or it may not. Just know that while there will be a lot left out so as not to let this series of posts turn into a novel, everything I put here will be the truth as I see it. I will not make any one person the bad guy, because the fact is in turn we all played a part in some way. Just as there are no villains, there are also no victims. No princess, no white horse, no dragons.
Real life isn’t a fairy tale.
the ex and I were together nearly 10 years, married nearly 7 when I realized that my relationship was over. If you asked me, I probably would have told you I felt like the maid who was required to put out every so often. If you asked my ex, he probably would say that he worked long hours, only to come home to a wife who didn’t appreciate anything and couldn’t keep house well enough. The truth, as always, is probably somewhere in between.We weren’t the kind of couple who has arguments a lot, there was just a lot of nothing. Little sex, little emotional intimacy, little time spent together. If he felt the distance, he didn’t comment on it, and as for me, I had long given up coming out and asking for the affection that I so desperately wanted. We didn’t talk about any of it, we just functioned.
It was this kind of emotional climate that drove me to blogging. Putting words to paper(or screen as the case may be) has always been therapy for me, and the community that I became a part of in the process gave me some of the affirmation I needed but didn’t get in the real-life job as a stay at home mom. No one gives out awards for making a great pb&j, but adding a well-written post to the blogosphere brings recognition and a sense of accomplishment, however small. I relished being able to use my words to connect to others.
It was during this time that I came to meet Paul. He was an Irish technology blogger living in Denmark, and had it not been for the most random reading by one of his friends, our paths likely never would have crossed. We clashed over the topic of an online contest, and then we coolly went our separate ways, or so I thought. He came back to my blog a few weeks later, and I returned the visit a couple weeks after that. In the age of Google Reader it seems odd to bookmark a blog and only visit every few weeks, but that’s what we did from June till November of 2007.
Somewhere around the very beginning of December, Paul started livecasting on Ustream. He sent the link out over Twitter, and with nothing else going on that afternoon, I logged in to check it out. I had seen him on his vidcasts on his own site, but getting to see him live and chat with him was a different experience. This most casual of online aquiantances became very real. Real enough that we began to chat online. Real enough that we started opening up and sharing things about our lives and our troubled relationships. Real enough that feelings began to develop, on both sides.
At this point I didn’t talk to anyone about what was happening. How could I? What could be said? Hey, I know I’m married, and he’s married, but I have these feelings about this guy who lives ohhh, 4000 miles away, but you totally understand, right??
The whole thing seemed impossibly insane until he arranged an opportunity for us to meet in Chicago for SOBcon 2008. We would go to host a party and provide blogging coverage of the conference with FuelMyBlog, and in the process, meet and see if what seemed so real online would hold up in the light of day.
On May 1st, 2008 I boarded the plane for Chicago.
To be continued…