A little while back I wrote about my current separation with my spouse. Since then, all of the steps have been made in order to file for divorce. The whole process was not easy and I can definitely say that it has been quite a learning experience. When I got married 10 years ago, I never imagined being in this position. Life sometimes throws you things that are unexpected. The past few months have not been easy and the cats and I had no alternative other than to live in a toxic environment until we were able to leave. The type of work that I do does not make life easy financially, therefore I had to continue living with my spouse under the same roof while making arrangements to move out. When all of this first began in January, I was heartbroken and I felt betrayed. I was not sure how I was going to get through this. As time went by, I realized that the person I had been with for 10 years was a complete stranger. Part of being married is promising to be honest and not to keep secrets. Meanwhile a secret had been kept from me for many years.
Of course, there are two people in a marriage and I don't deny that I did some things I am not proud of. Once inside of this huge tower of terror, I realized the reasons behind how I acted in certain situations. It all boiled down to the fact that I was angry. I was angry about a lot of things that happened throughout the years of our relationship. There were countless times where I felt unimportant. Friends and material things were always put above me. No matter how hard I tried to discuss these issues with my spouse at the time, defensiveness and temper tantrums always resulted from it. For some reason, I would always find myself apologizing in the end for something that I didn't even do. I realize now that I was very easily made to feel guilty. Things like jealousy, dishonesty, lies and temper were always the instigator and I just allowed myself to accept them as though they were just a normal part of a relationship. Obviously they are not and my conscience took it's toll. I've never been so angry at someone for so many things. Sometimes that anger would fuel me to nag causing further upsets in the relationship. Regardless of the anger, I can honestly say that I always made an effort. Marriage was always something that was important to me. It means family and it means that you work together at solving your problems. I always did my best regardless of the situation to be open minded and willing to work to solve whatever issues arised. Even after my spouse told me he wanted a divorce, I did my best to try to see if we could resolve it.
My efforts were not lost as I learned a lot about myself through that process and I have become a genuinely happier person. Doing the work made me realize that I am important too and that I deserve to be happy. I can't force someone else to love me and I can't force someone else to work at something if they've already checked out years ago. All of these stepping stones helped to make me a stronger person.
So as of today, my new life begins. I've moved with Oreo, Onyx and Sunshine. I have to say that driving away yesterday and leaving the mess of anger behind felt very liberating. The cats seem to be settling in fine already! Sunshine surprised me the most! She was up and about as soon as I opened her taxi door. She began exploring rooms and window ledges and she's eating really well! Oreo checked out the balcony right away and he showed me his appreciation by stretching out belly up in the sun. Onyx is the only one who is having a little trouble adjusting. Although I can understand with all the hustle and bustle that it must be frightening for her. She's been hiding under the bed covers since last evening. Oreo has coaxed her out a few times to come and explore. She seems happy regardless, she will just take a little longer to get use to it. I am a little concerned about Sunshine as I found a lump between her neck and her chest a couple of weeks ago. As many of us well know, lumps and bumps are never a good sign. I was unsure of what to do but once I spoke with my vet, I feel I am doing the right thing. My vet reassured me that at her age (18 years old), lumps and bumps will appear. At this point, what is most important is that she is happy and that she is enjoying her everyday, which she is! They told me to just keep her with me as long as she is happy and not to stress her out with biopsies and treatments and whatnot. So that's what I am doing. I am very lucky that she is here with me and as long as she is happy that's what matters.
This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I am looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I can honestly say that I am content with my life just the way that it is at this moment. I am grateful and lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive family and to have a place that I can now call my own. Sometimes we have to live through the bad to find the good. Out of all of the heap of anger and discouragement came Oreo and Onyx. They are two of the best things that have ever happened to me and I would do it all over again just for them.
Here's to new beginnings...
Tina Modugno is a children’s illustrator from Canada. Tina loves all animals, kids books and cartoons! She currently resides in Quebec with her husband and four cats!