Journal ~

Iím facing down the next phase of this process - mediation. I feel a need to push things along, as on all accounts (parenting time, finances) I expect to be better off. I know Iíll be okay. Things may get nasty. This upcoming process may be really brutal emotionally, and will take its toll, but in the end, things can only be better.

My W scares me. I just want a settlement in writing. At the moment I feel like I still give ground on little things, solely for the purpose of maintaining peace. Part of this is NGS rearing its head, part of it is fear of her reactions. Just last Monday she called me a ďviolent personĒ in counseling, to which the counselor corrected her and said maybe something UC did was violent. This mentality scares me. Her inability to rein in her emotions, even when we are in front of a counselor, does not make me feel confident in the mediation process.

But something deeper is eating away at me. Iím looking at my future. I know Iíll figure out the logistical stuff (clothes, food, school schedules) even if it does not come so easy for me now. I have improved during the separation.

Deeper down I am emotionally a mess. Iím not wallowing in it like maybe I would have a year ago. But itís there. I know I need to step away from any whiff of a romantic relationship for a long time. I need to reset my life, figure out what this all means, how I want to approach friendships, my estranged family relationships. What are my values? I will be handed controls to run my own life again. Itís exciting and scary at the same time.

What eats at me is that I still look back. I should be looking forward, 100%. But I turn my head and look over my shoulder. Itís not the hope of reconciliation (at least I think so). Itís looking back at how good life could have been if things had worked out. And not understanding what the he** just happened.

And at the same time, recognizing there is absolutely NO WAY I can go back. She accused me of abusing my children, of abusing her. In front of mandatory reporters. Several times. She continues with that thread. And then turns and acts upset if we arenít friendly to each other. The resentment has set in for me now. I see her being controlling, and manipulative, and putting her needs first, and not dealing with her own emotional baggage.

I know part of healing is going to involve standing up for myself and facing the hurricane-force winds when my W realizes how her life is about to get turned upside down. She is not going to have the life she expects to have. The only impact she has felt in this separation is missing every other weekend with the kids. I know the storm is coming. I know long-term even if I secure 50/50 custody there will be constant tug-of-wars, and she will constantly try to assert herself as the superior parent. I just have to feel secure that my kids love me and Iím doing the best I can.

I just feel really emotionally screwed up from all of this. My parents cut me off 3 years ago. Iím pretty sure I suffered CEN (Childhood Emotional Neglect) as a kid. I attached myself to a W who felt like the love of my life. I should have done something differently. Not to save the MR, but to avoid the protracted limbo standoff that turned into overblown worries that I was an unsafe person. Something is not right with my life decisions. Yes, I go to IC and work on all this stuff. I just wonder sometimes if Iím going to feel whole. I know now that is up to me and not another person.