A Look Back — Part 2

If you haven’t already, please read Part 1 first.

April 27th, 2012
It would also be easier perhaps to give in, keep my mouth shut and go along with The Mr. on his reconciliation attempts.  My life would be set, money would never be an issue, I’d have all the material possessions I could dream of.  I would live comfortably.  It’s not easy to hear hurt in his voice and still say I’m done.  It’s not easy to take a blind jump into a future alone.  With him I’d be content as I’ve always made myself to be, but I would never be happy.

I have come so far in this process that I am no longer concerned with possessions or the picture perfect life and family.  I don’t want to be in a marriage with someone who has settled with me because of circumstance.  I don’t want to have things.  I want to have what money can’t buy.  And I deserve it.

July 13th, 2012
No one I know was a fan of Carrie’s relationship with the Russian, so we were all pretty pleased that she came to her senses and broke up with him, and NO ONE can forget what she says when breaking up with him.  “I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”  And that’s where my tears always start.

Every time I think about that line…I see myself.  That’s me.  I could have written it if someone hadn’t done so already for God’s sake.

August 9th, 2012
I’m letting it go.  My name is Mandi, I’m an American, I’m not sure what I believe in or what I want out of life, but I do know that no man will ever give me that answer.  I no longer fit in single-digit jeans, I no longer fit in my marriage, and I’m no longer ashamed of either of those things.

August 19th, 2012
As I look outside at my daughter dancing around and hear the familiar tune of Suzie Q that my father used to play and sing to us when we were little, I’m reminded that I”ll have to leave soon and I’ll have to find a new definition of everything is great.

I wish I could say that I’ve made peace with going back at this point, but I haven’t.  I’m still praying for a miracle or even a disaster as long as it keeps us from having to get on a plane.  I still haven’t completely ruled out a public meltdown at the airport as a last ditch attempt at showing him I’m serious about not wanting to go.

September 12, 2012
I’m so thankful to finally be getting some place to call my own.  I’m happy for the space and the privacy.  I’m happy for control over the kitchen and the remote control.  I’m happy that my daughter can laugh and play as loud as she wants to in her very own room.  I’m happy to have space for my parents to stay when they visit.  I’m happy that I’ll be able to have friends over any time I’d like.  I’m just happy.  And although it may be short lived, I’m going to let that feeling be and enjoy it for just a little while.

September 15th, 2012
As confident as I am that the decision to end the marriage (although not the simplest) is the best thing for me, I still have my days where I panic and wonder if what I’m doing is really the right thing.  I mostly worry about how my decision will effect my daughter’s life.  If I will get enough time with her.  If she will have emotional trauma.  If she will resent or blame me someday for being the one who broke up the family.  I do have selfish concerns as well, like what if the person I’d like to move on with doesn’t happen to live in Saudi.  What if I have to be alone for a while.

September 22, 2012
I think I’ve talked about this before, but just before things all went to Hell between The Mr. and I, life was perfect.  He’d straightened up practically over night and became my dream man.  We were spending time together as a family, we were looking at buying a home, and planning on having another baby.  Nothing could have brought us down.  Except what did.  Just when I felt like my life was coming together, it all came crashing down.  I feel a lot like that now, and I have all week.  I’m scared to get too comfortable or too happy because chances are it won’t last.

I know I’m my own worst enemy.  I know what I should and shouldn’t do.  I know that I shouldn’t dwell on the past, use past events to judge the present, or worry about the future.  Maybe it’s my hormones, maybe it’s part anger about being here, part stubbornness about not being THAT unhappy here after all, and part fear and uncertainty about my future.  Whatever it is, it’s definitely taking its toll on me.  I need a break.

November 8th, 2012
The Mr. asked me once again last night if I really wanted to live in the States (as if that’s some sort of mystery still), and I answered yes.  The answer will always be yes.  I fantasize about having a cute and artsy little place all to myself, working enough to pay my bills, having my family close by, and not having to depend on anyone.  But it’s just not possible for me to be the kind of mother I want to be living in a different country than my daughter.

November 11th, 2012
I’ve not had my own room since…actually, I can’t even remember when.  Maybe the 10th grade.  No joke.  I’ve shared with siblings, roommates, a boyfriend, a husband, and a child.  People say that the bedroom is where the magic happens.  I think by magic they must mean sleep.  Beautiful, uninterrupted by someone else’s quirks, sleep.  As a parent who didn’t sleep through the night for 6 solid years (pregnancy+my daughter’s nightly “please come and cover me” routine until she was 5 years old), sleep is a serious luxury.  In my bedroom, there’s no blanket stealing, no snoring, no kicking.  Only sleep.  Glorious sleep.  There are no clothes on the floor that do not belong to me.  My lotions, perfumes, and makeup are all exactly where I put them.  There are no man-things in my way.  There are no kid-things in my way.  I can make it as feminine as I want to.  My sheets are beige and I am not worried about anyone jacking them up.  My pillows are all for me.  Every side of the bed is MY side!  It is my sanctuary.

November 14th, 2012
The good thing about being a part of a failed marriage, is that I can now tell other people how not to screw theirs up.  I have the hindsight you’ll wish you had if your marriage goes south as well. Men: Appreciate your wife.  Chances are she does more work than you could ever handle all while trying to maintain her appearance for your sake.  If she works outside the home, that probably doesn’t stop her from also working inside the home, doing most of the domestic chores and cooking.  If you have children, she’s probably the primary caretaker of those children.  So speak up.  Say thank you, and mean it.  Tell her how much you value her contribution to the family, then show it.

November 29th, 2012
As much as I try to work through the idea that I really don’t want to be here, the concept never leaves me and I am never free from it.  Even when I sleep, if I do sleep, I have terrible dreams about being back home and begging not to have to leave, about being trapped, about losing my daughter or being kept away from her.  It just never stops.

December 3, 2012
This morning, I lit my three fall-scented candles as I always do before getting ready to clean, but today I decided that each one would represent 10 years.  Who needs birthday cake?  I blew them out happily, all by myself, with a wish that life that remains filled with the unconditional love of incredible friends and family, and somewhere, someday, somehow, I get to have the new beginning I so desperately need and have been waiting so very impatiently for.

February 13th, 2013
I never dreamed that my life would someday lead me from hearing about Saudi Arabia on the nightly news to actually living there.  Even when my tall, dark, and handsome Saudi walked into the bar where we met, even when this friend of a friend became my lover, then my husband, and the father of my child, I never imagined that his over there would be my right here, just outside my heavily curtained window.  But nearly 10 years after that meeting, here I sit, in the country’s capital, enjoying a nice warm breeze blowing through said curtains on a typical February afternoon.

March 2nd, 2013
I know it sounds a little crazy.  This is what I’ve wanted for a while now…to be separate from him, having my own space and my own life.  This would be the first step to moving on.  But I couldn’t and still can’t get past the idea that my involvement in my daughter’s life would be restricted and would be entirely up to him.

I worry who would she cuddle with in the mornings when she wakes up.  Who will she come to when she’s had a bad dream or can’t sleep?  Who will brush her hair in the mornings, pack her lunch for school, or make her breakfast?  So many things.

I guess these are all things I’d have to face with divorce no matter where we are, but just not to this extent.  And at least back home I’d have her some nights.  I’m the one who does all of the actual parenting, so what happens when I’m not there?  How will it affect her?

I’m beyond ready for a life away from The Mr, but I don’t know if I’m ready to be away from my daughter, even if it’s just a 20 minute drive away.

March 13th, 2013
Once you love someone, do you ever really stop? Falling in and out of romantic love is easy and it comes with the territory in any marriage or long-term relationship. But even if you’ve been hurt or been through rough times, is love something that just goes away? I think love is a constant. It’s not something that is there one day and gone the next. Even through terrible times and experiences, you can’t make it stop. I use love as a sort of post-mortem test on my past failed relationships. If I don’t love them now, I never really did.

May 25th, 2013

I’m afraid that in some ways I’ve outgrown this blog. I’ve mostly learned how to deal with my issues, or at least keep them all safely tucked deep down inside me, so I rarely feel the need to come here and work things out. The things I do want to work out here are now off-limits since people know who I am,  The Mr. is now aware that more than a handful of people read here, and since the people I sometimes have issues with read what I write.

This can no longer be the diary that it used to be, and it turns out I suck at writing fluffy stuff, so I feel stuck a lot of the time. It was much easier when most of my posts were inspired or accompanied by an emotional breakdown or breakthrough of some sort. Now life is normal and I’ve released or worked through most of my crazy and I have nothing exciting to write about. Talk about white people problems.

The longer I wait between posts, the harder it is to find something to write about, and the harder it is for me to be satisfied with what I write. I write tons, believe it or not, and then I either trash the posts or place them in the draft folder never to be seen again. 

Sometimes I’d like to say goodbye to this little work of mine and start a new blog where I can write about the next chapter of my life under the comfortable cover of anonymity, but I know how much what I’ve done here has helped people in situations similar to mine, and I feel almost obligated to stay here. You can take all of this information and imagine how terrible I am at ending and letting go of relationships.


13 thoughts on “A Look Back — Part 2

  1. Mandy. I feel your feelings so deep, understand you and support you.
    I dont know You personal, but somebody who read your blog and someone who has a similar experience will feel like you are a friend forever.
    I love your strength, love your life and you. Write on, this is your therapy, your shelter. Never forget who you are and how great a treasure is your daughter.
    you can always count on support from me, even though I am a stranger.
    Warm hugs for you and your daughter from Poland.

  2. I love your blog so much. I feel like I step into your world.

    Have you ever divulged the precise reasons why your marriage fell apart exactly? Or has that been something you’ve left ambiguous (I started reading your blog only a month ago).

    • Thank you, Peter :) I’m glad to have you along.
      No, I haven’t gone into detail about the marriage and I probably never will. I open up a lot about my feelings and personal thoughts here, but I have to keep some boundaries in place and respect other people who are connected to my situation.

      • Completely understandable.

        Well, I’m glad you at least seem to be in a better place now. It must be so scary to be in such a foreign country when you’re having battling a lot of emotional distress. Can one even find access to a non-Saudi therapist if he/she really needs one? I wonder how Westerners living in KSA combat that dilemma.

      • There are non-Saudi therapists, but the system in this country is nothing like what it is in the West. I don’t think I’d ever trust it. I’m not sure what people who truly need mental health support do here. The thought is frightening.

  3. I hope you get everything you hope and wish for, and more, I hope you know what those things are when they come. I’ve never really managed that. It took a devastating illness to open my eyes and see what needed to be let go of and what needed to be cherished. It’s hard, isn’t it?

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