Midlife Monarch with Lori Ballen

Decisions After Divorce

June 23, 2019 Season 1 Episode 3
Midlife Monarch with Lori Ballen
Decisions After Divorce
Chapters
Midlife Monarch with Lori Ballen
Decisions After Divorce
Jun 23, 2019 Season 1 Episode 3
Lori Ballen
A journey into something new after divorce. Fear, Sadness, Joy, Excited, Anticipation, All OK emotions
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I dive into the emotions around a new 1st following divorce - the road trip!

Speaker 1:
0:00
Welcome to midlife monarch, the podcast, episode three. Now I am storytelling in this podcast talking about being, um, in my mid life. And there's a lot of conversations that will come up in here and one of those happens to be divorce and starting life over in these very important years. I want you to know, first of all, that I am in the happiest place I've ever been in my entire life. I feel incredibly free, empowered, um, pretty much stress free. I still have a teenager at home, but she's a super, super good kid. And I have set my life up in a way where I have removed a lot of the stresses that I've had my entire life since my early twenties of being a employer. And I'm really enjoying the things I get to do today. So I want you to know that first.
Speaker 1:
1:01
So anytime I talk about any kind of fears or concerns or depression, which we're going to talk about because it's such a prevalent thing in my entire family and, and divorce, it's not because I'm a sad person. I am so, so happy today. So I really want to make, I really want to clarify that before I go into anything else today when I want to talk about is something that's on my mind and that's the way I want these podcasts to go is whatever's in the moment. I'm taking a road trip tomorrow to California and this is, I'm in Las Vegas and road trips to California have been part of my entire life. Um, since young adult I have been traveling too, back and forth to California, as many people from Las Vegas do. Disneyland is a frequent attraction for us as is the beach. And it has been something that I've done just forever.
Speaker 1:
2:00
So my kids grew up on it. Now my teenage daughter of course still loves to do that. And even though her father and I got divorced, she still wants to do those things. Of course she does. It makes perfect sense. Well, right after the divorce a few years ago or after the, the initial separation a few years ago, my ex husband actually took her to Disneyland and I was so thrilled about that. Unfortunately, he hasn't been s um, financially stable and that was actually one of the things that led to our divorce. So he hasn't done, he hasn't done any of that since then. And I have taken her on multiple vacations but not alone. So I've taken her to, on the Alaska cruise a couple times. I've taken her to Disneyland several times with my brother's fam family or with my adult daughter and she happened to bring up a few weeks ago.
Speaker 1:
2:51
Hey Mom, I'd love to go to Disneyland and we actually just got off the Disney cruise, uh, last month with my older daughter. But I thought, you know, I've never wanted to do this by myself because I don't really enjoy driving. In fact, I get pretty scared behind the wheel of a car, just have not ever been super confident. But this year I bought Alexis and I absolutely love that car. I feel incredibly safe. Um, I love the safety features that that car has a name. In fact, I just took it in and got it. It's first service and they've replaced the air bags because I guess there was a recall on one of the air bags and you know, got it all fixed up. It's beautiful, it's washed. And she brought up this road trip and I thought, you know, now's the time. Now's the time. I've got plenty of time to do this.
Speaker 1:
3:42
There's no reason I need to wait for anybody else because we are trying to, uh, she was trying to go with my older daughter and they're buying a house and doing other things. There's no reason I can't just do this with her, by myself, you know? And it's an interesting thing because being, I've never really loved to just hang out with kids. I'm not a super playful kind of person am I'm very much a worker entrepreneur. I love masterminds. I love business. Um, now when I'm with a family environment, I love it because the kids play with the kids and the young adults or with the young adults and the moms are at the moms and the grandmas were the grandmas. You know, there's kind of like that thing going on. And so it's always felt a little weird. Just go, okay, I'm just going to go with one of the kids or I'm just going to go with the teenager.
Speaker 1:
4:29
But I will tell you that it's 16. She's, you know, incredibly mature and, and um, I love the way she loves Disney and the beach and I'm, I feel like, yeah, we can do this. We can hang out. So I'm sitting here today planning my trip. Now I'll share with you something that happened. My original plan was I wanted to leave at noon on Sunday, which is tomorrow. And the reason why was because I thought to myself, I want to do this different than my ex husband would have. I want to do this my way and I like to take a slow roll, get up easy, have my coffee, even do an hour or two of blogging before I leave. Just I like to start my day that way. I always have and not be rushed. I want to pack in the morning, I don't want to be rushed and, and we're going in a day early on purpose just for a travel day.
Speaker 1:
5:24
So we're not going to Disneyland tomorrow. I purposely added a day just for travel because I don't want to drive for five or six hours and then be tired when I get there. So I knew that I had this full day planned just for travel. We're going to get in, we could get in at five or six, check into our hotel, go to downtown Disney, have some dinner. Perfect. So the other day my x comes and picks up. My daughter takes her to lunch and he doesn't, we have, we, we had shared custody, but because of his financial issues, he stopped taking her. So he just kind of comes and gets her cake sometimes and they do lunch or food or something like that. She came back and said, hey mom, I got this idea. Like, okay. She says we should leave at eight o'clock in the morning and so that we're ahead of traffic and Yada Yada.
Speaker 1:
6:13
And I'm, I'm laughing to myself going, okay, these are not her words. These are somebody else's words. And I said, well, what makes you fearful of traffic or whatever? Well Dad said, you know, it's better if we leave early cause it's Sunday and everybody goes back later. And you know, it was, it was frustrating for me. I won't lie. I was frustrated by that. I'm like, you know, I'm taking care of this kid by myself. I'm doing all this stuff myself and I don't want an opinion on whether or not the time I chose for leaving on my road trip is smart or not smart, you know? And this morning I can't stop thinking about it as I'm, I, I told her, okay, we'll leave earlier and now I'm kind of like, you know, that
Speaker 2:
6:52
w w
Speaker 1:
6:54
if I'm going to leave earlier, I should change it and do something else. We're leaving earlier because we're making a stop or something. We're not leaving earlier because it was his suggestion. Right. And it's, it's, I'm, I'm thinking about, you know, how would my brother and sister in law have done this? How would my daughter, older daughter be doing this? And I'm trying to remind myself today that, no, this is my trip. I planned it. I'm in control. It's my choice. If I want to drink a huge cup of coffee on the way there, even if that means we're going to make two or three stops, because that's my choice. Right? That was something I never could do before. I never could have coffee the morning we left because we would have to stop. If I drink coffee, we're making stops. Right. And, um, so I, I wouldn't do, I wouldn't drink coffee and I'm like, no, I can drink coffee this time.
Speaker 1:
7:40
It's all I can stop as much as I want. I got plenty of time. Um, and then I had a flashback and I remembered right before the divorce, he took a trip by himself for the first time and we were already having a lot of issues. And this was literally the while he was gone on that trip is when I decided to actually leave because shortly before that trip, we had a dinner one night. And at that dinner he told me he was only in the marriage for our daughter. And so I'm, there was a lot going on and I'll talk more about it over the, over time. Um, I believe personally that we still very much loved each other in his, his choice of words were odd, but I don't think he was really saying, I don't love you and don't want to be with you.
Speaker 1:
8:27
It's kind of a, just a different place. But still I processed, you know, I'm supporting the family, I'm doing all this work. I, I'm not going to be in a relationship where the person doesn't want to be with me. So right before he took his trip, he took his car and got it all souped up. Right. Check the air in the tires, change the oil. And I had taken a trip a couple of weeks prior to that, a work trip and my older daughter drove us in my jeep and I noticed that for the first time he did not check my jeep out. And every road trip we had ever taken, he always took, it was just kind of a routine thing. He would check the oil, he would check the air, he would wash the car, he'd put gas in it and he would have fun doing it.
Speaker 1:
9:13
It was kind of like his thing. Right. But he didn't do it when we left on our trip and I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that he did not care enough to make sure that we were safe in that same way. And I wondered to myself, is he just not ever going to do this anymore or was he always only doing it because he was on the trip? And then when I saw him take his car in to take his trip, I realized that I don't feel like he ever was taking the car in to protect me. He was taking the car in to protect himself and that really hurt. And that, that was one of the reasons why we got divorced was because I didn't feel safe. I felt like I was being thrown under the bus and being bad mouthed and being put in financial harm's way.
Speaker 1:
10:03
And ultimately for me, that was really the deciding factor. I didn't, after 25 years, I, as much as I loved him, and I believe he loved me and I believe we had a lot of great things together. I couldn't be where I wasn't safe. I knew I could take better care of myself. And that was a big reason. And so this morning as I'm preparing this for this trip, I can't stop thinking about the cards. It's just an odd thing because I'm feeling so safe and so confident and so happy. But I can't stop thinking about where if we were together right now, he would be doing, this is what he would be doing to the car today. And this is how he would be prepping for our trip tomorrow. And I'm not sure if that's on my mind just because of my daughter coming home and telling me that was his opinion or if it's because, um, it's just a new thing.
Speaker 1:
10:53
Right. And I am excited about the fact that this is my trip and it, and it is all in my power to choose. And I personally think that when people struggle with divorce, they struggle with depression. I mean, I've, I've done really well with this. I've, um, like I said, the day I left, I still very much loved my husband and three years later I'm not even dating it. And it's a weird thing. I still kind of feel married or obligated even though he's moved on in dating. I, I just can't yet. And it might also be because I just don't trust men in general. Right. I don't when the one person that I trusted after being abandoned by fathers and all that, of course. And, and um, my first husband who I'm married very, very young, um, suddenly came home and said he wanted a divorce after four years of the two month old baby when the man I was with for 25 years can sit across the table from me and look me in the eyes and tell me he's only there for our child.
Speaker 1:
12:04
You know, I lost all faith in, you know, I don't want to say it's a, it's a thing that it has to do with the male species. I should just say in partners in general, I don't know in interrelationship because it made me want, it made me question so many things, but I'll tell you that I have to constantly rewire my brain so that I don't allow that story to play over and over again in my head that I don't allow this, this, you know, film to play where I am constantly watching myself be rejected or be, um, you know, tell myself that I wasn't loved or that I wasn't good enough or that I wasn't attractive enough or that I was too old or, and I don't believe any of those things are actually the truth. But you know how it is, you know, what we do to ourselves.
Speaker 1:
12:55
We are the worst on ourselves. We are so critical and I think that people really have a hard time coming out of these spells of grief, loss, divorce, getting fired from a job, um, you know, financial at, down, whatever it is because they keep telling themselves a story about why that thing is so bad. Today I could really easily allow myself to get funky. I really could. I'm looking outside the window and you know, the wind's blowing. It's not, it's not, it's not this perfectly beautiful sunny day for my family coming over to swim in the pool and um, you know, I'm having to get up and clean the house and kind of do things that it is in my normal morning. But instead I'm going, I get to go on a trip tomorrow. I get to look at these beautiful Martha Stewart roses that are sitting on my breakfast bar that I order from subscription box that I love so much.
Speaker 1:
13:55
I get to live in this beautiful place that I love so much. I love that I get to look outside a window and see a, a pool outside. I love that my cat is sitting here preparing next to me who wants nothing more than to be with me 24 seven. I get to take my daughter on a trip because I have the financial means to do so. I have the freedom to do so when I have the desire to do so. And no way am I going to spend this day in any kind of sadness or regret or bitterness, right? Which is what I honestly, what I felt when I heard those first comments, I felt bitterness and, and um, this, this podcast, by the way, my, my daughter doesn't listen to this. I, I'm really careful about how I talk about divorce in the situation and her father.
Speaker 1:
14:46
And even though she's 16 years old and can see for herself, I'm careful not to, um, you know, call names or say bad things. But I did, I definitely did react in frustration and I just basically responded and said, you know what? This is my trip. I get to choose and he doesn't get to have an opinion on when we leave and what the traffic looks like because he's not driving the car, you know? But it's okay for me to think these thoughts. That's my opinion on it. I think we're human. And if we didn't feel something, especially after a 25 year marriage, when things like this happen, we wouldn't be human. And yeah, I, I wouldn't change anything. I would, I would honestly, I would leave again because I had two and three years later after watching how our lives have developed, he, he still has the exact same issues and challenges he did three years ago.
Speaker 1:
15:45
I haven't seen any growth in, in any of that. So regardless of how I, you know, how I, how much I may have loved this person or even may still do it, nothing has changed. And so I would do it again. And so what I, what I have to remind myself and tell myself now is this is next chapter, this is what's happening today. And this road trip is going to be about growth and independence and choices. And what I feel is that every time we take a move forward into fear, into something we're uncomfortable with, and sometimes new isn't necessarily scary. It might just be uncomfortable. And honestly, I'm not, I'm not really, I'm not scared at all. I'm not scared to take this trip. Yes, I am uncomfortable. I'm uncomfortable because I'm geographically challenged and deriving scare it. Driving is a, is an uncomfortable thing for me, but I picture quality time with my daughter and listening to Disney music and the scenery and the mountains and going through, you know, the past where there's really cool views.
Speaker 1:
16:59
I'm excited about stopping for lunch and stopping to fill up for gas when I want, how I want and where I want. I'm excited about being at Disneyland for the first time with just us as me as the adult making our own choices. And I'm excited to go to the beach and just figure out what we want to do without a huge crowd of people having an opinion or, uh, you know, my husband wanting to ex husband wanting to do things a certain way because he was a pattern person. This is when we do these things, you know, and I'm not, I'm the opposite. I'm so, it's, although I like to plan in advance so I know where I'm going, I don't necessarily need to be at any particular place at any particular time. I don't have a fear that I'm going to encounter some kind of ridiculous traffic that's not going to get me to my destination the next day.
Speaker 1:
17:50
Right. I don't, I'm, I'm not now if I were going and teaching or doing a job or something like that, that would be, that would be entirely different. But this is this, this is vacation and it's free and it's, and it, that is what I'm most looking forward to. I think we can reinvent ourselves any time that we make the decision to do so. And I think we can change the story we tell ourselves. The story I tell myself today is not that my ex husband didn't love me because he did. I know he did. And I, I believe he still does. I just, I think we will forever and ever regardless of who else comes in our life after 25 years of marriage and the way we loved each other was, wasn't tense. I just, I believe that. So I don't tell myself that story.
Speaker 1:
18:37
I, yes, I still have some self esteem issues and, and, and don't like the fact that my, I'm wrinkled and, and have bags under my eyes and my hair is not full of volume and long like the young girls are. And you know, of course some of those things cross my mind, but it's, I don't believe that I wasn't loved. And I believe that the, that although we both had issues in the marriage, it takes two people to get a divorce. Um, I believe his own challenges where his challenges and they weren't about me. And today I know that because three years later I'm living my best life and I know that I do make good choices. I'm not perfect, definitely not financially perfect. But man, if I made huge headway over the last three years for the first time ever taking care of my own finances and I've made great investments and I'm super, super excited about where I am today. So it'll be fun to share what happens after the trip, um, as I had out there. So I want to thank you so much for listening to midlife monarch, episode three and I look forward to continuing the story and hopefully inspiring you and empowering you to make positive change as well in your life. I'm Lori Ballen and you can check me out at Midlife, monarch.com.