Thursday, 2 April 2020

Reclaiming My HEA: Hunkering Down (Sadly, without any hunks)

Reclaiming My HEA is a regular feature where I share what's been going on with my separation and divorce.

Things have changed rather drastically since my last Reclaiming My HEA post on March 5th.  It was only four weeks ago and in that time, my kids' schools have closed, my day job has shut down, and my ex-husband is now working from home.

That last one makes things difficult, since we're doing an in-home divorce, where we're continuing to share the family home and expenses.  This usually isn't a challenge.  I work from home and deal with the vast majority of the household and family planning and tasks.  I don't tend to see him that often, except during meals and the odd family activity.

Now, four of us are sharing a house that I usually have to myself five days a week.  (Or at least while the kids are at school.)  I'm finding it to be a real adjustment, especially since I'm having to take over managing the kids' schedules and dealing with any education stuff.  And keeping them from annoying the crap out of each other.

My ex and I might not have worked out as romantic partners, but I'm not in the "he-demon sent from the depths of hell" mindset regarding him.  There are plenty of frustrations, but he's not a bad person.

I've had to remind myself of that a lot over the last few weeks.  Some of it is just the stress of having four people around without the opportunity for our usual diversions.  My oldest has been particularly hard hit, since everything he does to relax is a public activity, which means its been no-go.  Some of it is the stress of financial uncertainty, now that I'm no longer employed.  Some of it is the stress of managing my extended family, particularly my parents.  I've somehow become the de facto therapist for a number of people, which I'm good to do, but it does take an emotional toll.

But some of it is that it's hard to ignore our incompatible approaches now that we're in each other's space throughout the day.  I've been seeing the headlines about a rise in divorces due to self-isolating, so I know I'm not alone in finding it frustrating.

It's been a struggle finding ways to escape and give myself some quiet time to myself.  A few times, I've been tempted to take the car and park somewhere random with my computer.  I miss getting together with my friends and having my monthly massage and hair appointments.  I miss being able to blast my music and dance around the kitchen.  I miss being able to immerse myself in a story.

However, I also recognize that as much as my life has been disrupted, it is very small compared to those who are struggling with COVID or watching their loved ones struggle.  Or worse, have already lost people to this disease or other complications due to the lack of health resources.  I don't want to be one of those petty people who can't see the bigger picture.  Having us all stay home might be aggravating but if it means that fewer people die, then I'm good with that.

Meanwhile, I'll just try to be gentle with myself and enjoy the parts I can enjoy.  And try hard not to think about the parts I don't.

Previous Reclaiming My HEA: Thoughts on Partnership

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