What a Difference One Year Makes

Posted in Divorce, down with the sickness, exercise, family, friends, It's all about me, deal with it, kidlets, random, Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 by brandyv

The first pic was taken in January 2010 when Joshua and I chaperoned the marching band at Disney World. I was a mess. Depressed, on an obscene amount of meds, unhappy, fat…just plain miserable. The second pic was taken right after Christmas, December 2010. I am no longer suffering he demon of depression, detoxed off all meds, pseudo happy, and almost 70 pounds lighter. I am still a work in progress. Imagine what will happen in the next year.

It would be easy to say that the end of my 19 year marriage is the culprit for this change. It’s not that simple. True, Joshua and I splitting up forced me to confront many issues I had been suppressing, to take a long hard look inside, and finally the courage to make changes needed to move forward. My metamorphosis is a daily challenge. I have gone back to work. I am dating (it’s not as fun as I thought it would be). I am focusing more energy into taking care of my whole self instead of taking care of everyone else. At first, I honestly thought I was being selfish, and the guilt was overwhelming. But the light bulb finally came on and I realized that if I didn’t even have the courage to make myself a priority, how could I ever expect anyone else to consider it? Instead of seeking my happiness in what others think, I started to look inside for my happiness. What did I think? What did I want?

This last year has NOT been easy. I have made tons of mistakes, resorted to self-harm during a very dark time (a bitter and ugly leftover from my mental implosion 4 years ago), hurt the ones I love, and lost friends. But, I have also found courage, sought inspiration from truly supportive friends and family, and ended my treatment for depression (therapeutic and pharmaceutical).

To package this as the “old” me and the “new” me devalues who I was before. I am still the same person, just an alternate focus and perspective.


Thanksgiving Day

Posted in Divorce, family, friends, home, kidlets, random on October 25, 2010 by brandyv

Originally, when Joshua and I split earlier this year, we foolishly agreed to spend holidays together with our children (and if there happened to be significants joining, so be it). The holidays are still about the kids. As far as we were concerned, we were still a family. That was then.

Thanksgiving is a month away. I asked the kids what they wanted. I asked Joshua what he wanted. He wanted me to have them for half the day, then they would venture to his place for the evening. The kids were neutral. Having been the child of divorce, I always HATED splitting holidays. So I suggested to my son, that since his father only had Thanksgiving Day off, and I had the entire weekend off, they should spend the day with their dad and his girlfriend, and I would have a lovely dinner party for them on Saturday. That way, they don’t have to feel the pull of either parent, and we each get an entire day to chill with the kids. Mind you, M & M are 17 and 19. We aren’t talking babies here.

My son thought that was a good idea. The plan was set into place. And then it hit me…my first holiday EVER without my kids. WTF was I thinking??? Oh yeah, putting their happiness and comfort over my own. The 5 year old inside me is screaming, “Mine mine mine”, but the grown up is also saying it’s what’s best for the kids. So what to do with myself for Thanksgiving? I am not close with most family members and if we ever did celebrate together, it was at my house. My holiday plans are still formulating in my brain, but whatever happens, I am good with the decision I made.

New Chapter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 11, 2010 by brandyv

A lot has happened to me in the last few months. Mostly good, some bad, but I am hangin in there and better than ever! After careful consideration, I have chosen to end my medication regimen for depression. 14 weeks and counting, and I am great! I have found my true friends after all the separation and divorce issues from Joshua. We have never been farther apart, but right now, that’s a good thing too. We both need our own lives and to move on. I have found love from a man who makes me feel like I think a woman should feel. He is smart, sexy, funny, but MOST of all, supportive in all that I have needed to do to get where I am. That in itself is a joy to think of. I have learned thru the unfortunate trials of a friend that I CAN BE strong again, even if it means facing my own darkest fears in her situation. I managed to help her when she needed it, even though I wanted to run away and not face the hurt. I got a job!!!! Today was my first day to be back at a traditional bean counting position. It was great. I really think I am going to like it there. I am looking toward my future and letting go of my past. It’s wonderful.

I am Just Fine

Posted in Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 by brandyv

Lately, people have been treating me differently. It’s because Joshua and I are getting a divorce. They don’t know what to say, or they have questions but are afraid to ask. I commented on this to Melanie tonight and she said the same is happening to her and her friends.

I AM JUST FINE. Yes, he is gone. Yes, it was devastating. But I am moving on with my life and am pretty happy right now. I am concentrating on my fledgling business, concentrating on my kids, and my OWN happiness.

Joshua and I married when I was just 17. I went straight from my parent’s home to being a wife and mother. I have never lived on my own. Yes, Melanie lives here too, but I still consider this living alone. Not much is different. I have to take out the garbage (new experience, Joshua usually remembered before i would), and home maintenance are the 2 things I am getting used to.

But the biggest issue I have is that people I THOUGHT were my friends have disappeared. I don’t know why, I am the same person, just minus a husband. It is situations like this that show you who your true friends are, and they know I am just fine.

Just Another Day?

Posted in down with the sickness, family, friends, home, random with tags on July 14, 2010 by brandyv

July 14. Until a few monthes ago, that date meant something important. It was my wedding anniversary. Maybe because i have been so busy, or maybe I have mentally blocked it…the actual date did not occur to me until 4am this morning. Not sleeping and watching the news, the broadcaster said the date. I felt nothing. No hurt, no tears, no happiness…nothing. In fact, I felt fine.

I had to stop at Susan and Lindy’s this morning. As Susan (for those who don’t know, Susan is my mother) is walking me to the car, she tells me that she understands why I am upset today and if I need to talk, she is here for me. This from the woman who has not even acknowledged the fact that Joshua has even moved out, wants me to open up to her about “the date”.

I am fine, I tell her. Just tired. Late night…no need to talk. Nothing to say. As I was driving home from her house though, I realized I DO have a few things to say. Btw, these are in no particular order of importance, just what is feeding from the brain to the keyboard.

Thank you Ryan. Your words about the pain of your divorce have helped me heal more than you know.

Thank you Foxy Boxy and Mildred (my sewing machines). I KNOW they don’t feel, but their assistance in keeping busy has helped me stay focused.

Thank you Michael and Melanie. Your unvaivering support thru this has been an inspiration. A mom could not have asked God for 2 better children. I am so proud to be your mom.

Soren, your invitation to Seattle was wonderful. I felt relaxed, safe, and carefree. The time I spent with my “second family” was just what I needed to regroup, and feel so very loved.

Friends…for those who have not scattered to the wind (like the “D” word is a virus and I am contagious), I thank you for your support.

J, you have been there when I need you and made me feel like a woman deserving of better everything.

These last few monthes have opened my eyes to the fact that I have become someone I did not want to be. I like the control I have over my own life right now. I am sometimes scared, somtimes lonely, but always me. I am not broken, I do not need to be fixed. Music has been a lifeline. Theory of a Deadman, Papa Roach, Staind, and Melissa Etheridge have been staples in my Ipod. There are more to list but we’d be here all day.

So today is July 14th. I will be sewing, getting ready for Heritage Days. It’s just another day.

BTW, if I did not mention you personally in this, don’t be offended. This was a quick write.


Posted in crap, down with the sickness, family, friends, home, It's all about me, deal with it, kidlets, random, Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 by brandyv

Soooo, it’s been a while since I sat down and blogged. Gee, what should I write about? Since this world seems to have a short attention span, I thought perhaps I would bring this page up to date with a list of 10 things I have done or have happened since my last post.

10. I am sewing. Everyday.
9. New Doctor. I am sleeping better (the drugs help)
8. Mike finished his freshman year at Pitt. New girlfriend, new major. I miss him everyday. He’s spending the summer at campus working and taking micro and macro econ classes.
7. I finally started speaking to my mom again. Things are strained, but I caved. Sometimes I am a puss.
6. Melanie is drum major again for next year. She will be a senior. She is so smart, funny, beautiful, talented and makes me laugh everyday. She will be working at Waldameer for the summer and getting her license soon.
5. I got 2 new tattoos. A mandarin kanji of peace on my inner left wrist and a kanji of serenity on my inner right wrist. My next tattoo will be a kanji of the word breathe. I also got my eyebrow pierced.
4. I became a pescatarian (a vegetarian who occassionally eats fish).
3. For the first time since Sept. 11th, I am getting on a plane to fly to Seattle in 2 weeks. I hate to fly.
2. After 20 years together, Joshua asked for a divorce. He moved out last weekend. We are still friends, but I am also still in a state of shock.
1. I can’t start the next chapter of my life when the first and only thing I can think of is screaming the word fuck from a very tall cliff out over the lake.


Valentine’s Day Present

Posted in family with tags , , on February 11, 2010 by brandyv

I have been married to Joshua for almost 19 years. This Sunday will be our 20th Valentine’s Day. For the most part, our days were celebrated with kisses watching the sunset, a poem, maybe a card, or a quick peck between shifts if we had to work a double. We’ve never had much money to throw around on fancy gifts. Last year, I decorated Joshua’s truck with notes tapes all over the seats, the sunroof, the steering wheel telling him I loved him, how proud I was to be his wife, what a great dad he is, etc. Then I left candy kisses in his cooler, and all over the truck. If i had curling ribbon, he really would have been in trouble.

Being married to me is a challenge unto itself. With my mental health issues, I am not always an easy person to deal with. Joshua takes it all in stride, and still loves me, even on my worst of days. That is why I love him so much. It is easy to love when the times are good, and all is well. To love in the misdt of crisis and chaos is a challenge. After 20 Valentine’s Days, Joshua is still in love with me. No conditions, no expectations, no bullshit.

This makes me the luckiest woman on the planet. To be married to this man is a wonderful dream I have not woke up from for 20 years. I am in love with a man I have spent more than half my life with. I can only hope that the next 20 years will be filled with as much love as the first 20. To be blessed like this is better than any heart shaped candy box, flowers, or jewelry I could ever receive.