Sunday, June 3, 2012

15 Things I've Learned Since Sending My Husband to Jail

"Once you stop learning, you start dying."
~ Albert Einstein

1.        Being alone is okay and actually quite liberating.  It’s no longer necessary to exhaust yourself pleasing someone else.  Being alone means you now have time and energy discovering what pleases you and experiencing the activities you enjoy.  You can learn new skills and grow into the woman you wish to be.  Practice yoga, go running, learn to draw, or go for a hike.  There are a multitude of activities to perform or skills to learn to take care of yourself and be you.

2.       How to change out the battery on my riding lawn mower.  Just remember wear leather gloves and shoes, don’t stand in water, and red equals HOT.

3.       Don’t forget to laugh!  Laugh like a kid.  Giggle.  Laugh so hard your stomach hurts and your eyes water.  Laugh when your day is hectic and stressful and you can’t possibly handle one more thing.  Laughing helps you keep your perspective on what’s important and what’s not.  As long as you are alive, you have a reason to laugh.  Plus, you will achieve the added health benefit of releasing endorphins in your system and relieving stress.

4.      How to obtain a restraining order.   No matter which state you live, you can go to your county courthouse and obtain a restraining order.  If you are in an abusive relationship and you feel threatened or afraid, GO!   The restraining order is there to help you and quite possibly will save your life.  Use it!  The judge is on YOUR side and will protect you and your children as long as you provide reasonable justification for the order.

5.       My son is okay without his dad.  Probably better.  My son is no longer in a tense, stressful and unstable environment. While I am saddened that a dad is not in my son’s life, he is no longer exposed to an arrogant, selfish individual who does not respect women and resorts to violence to solve problems.  No son should learn those types of skills.  Rather he should learn how to love passionately but gently, speak confidently but calmly and above all, to respect women.

6.      How to remove a spark plug from the lawn mower, clean, and replace.  You need a ratchet, a spark plug socket, some WD-40 and your ex’s favorite golf shirt.  You will find the lawn mower runs much more efficiently with a clean spark plug.

7.       I am not crazy and never was.  I cared for a person without the emotional capability or fortitude to care for anyone but himself.  Caring for someone like that can you make you feel crazy, but you are NOT.

8.      Life is short!  There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy.  You deserve it.  Do not waste your days waiting on someone to change.  They won’t.

9.      Just when you think you can’t possibly handle one more obstacle in your life, it turns out you can.

10.    How to charge the car’s air conditioning unit without paying $1000 dollars.  Go to the local Auto Zone or equivalent and buy a $40 can of refrigerant with hose and gauge included.  Follow directions on the can.  Charging your AC a couple times a summer is a hell of a lot cheaper than fixing your AC.  At least, it can get you through until you are in a better place financially.

11.     There is absolutely no reason to put up with a guy’s bullshit and compromise your ideals, wants and needs.  If you find yourself doing more of the calling, initiating or bending, walk away.  You deserve better.  It’s better to be alone than to be with someone who makes you miserable.

12.    Self-help books really do help.  Don’t be embarrassed to read them.

13.    Go to a therapist, counselor, or psychologist.  While confiding in a friend or relative can be comforting, they won’t necessarily have the tools or insight to help you heal and recover.  A professional has counseled others in similar situations and will offer methods of coping with trauma, depression and anxiety.

14.    How to set boundaries.  As I wrote in a previous blog post, sometimes setting boundaries hurts, but they are necessary for your healing and recovery.  Set boundaries by determining what you are willing and not willing to accept in new and existing relationships.  Maybe we are no longer willing to accept a friend’s constant drama and crisis.  Maybe we are no longer willing to accept a relative’s constant criticism.  Or maybe we are no longer willing to accept a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable.  If so, communicate your boundary and stand by it.  You will feel your load lighten freeing yourself to focus on your own needs.

15.    Treasure each and every tiny, wonderful moment in your beautiful, magical life!  Keep a gratitude journal.  I know that sometimes life is hard, but practicing gratitude is a reminder that your crazy and chaotic life is still worth living.  :o)


  1. I love how you mix your list up-practical with emotional. You are giving your son the greatest gift by showing him to stand up for yourself and your needs. Also, you do a lot of lawnmowing.

    1. Thanks, Mara! I appreciate your comments!

      Fortunately, we aren't doing much lawn mowing this summer living in our apartment. And I sold that stupid John Deere riding lawn mower. We won't need it where we are going with 0.18 acre. About all I can handle these days. :o)

      Take care,

  2. What a great post, I know myself what it's like wrangling with a lawnmower, car issues and other things that are typically 'blokey' jobs. Don't you just feel so self-sufficient when you've done them all yourself. I also love what you say about your son being better off without your ex.
    Vanessa at

  3. Vanessa,

    Yes, I do feel more self-sufficient, and very thankful that I am somewhat mechanically inclined. However, there are still some jobs I can't do, but thank goodness for the internet. At least, I can read up on things, so I'm not hoodwinked by car mechanics, etc. Just now at the Volvo mechanic getting spark plugs changed, because don't think I want to take on that job.

    I checked out your website. Interesting. I actually have the opposite fear that my ex will take my son back to England, because that's where he's from. My ex also threatens that he will move back to England so he doesn't have to pay child support. Whatever. Sometimes I wish he would go back so I wouldn't have to deal with his sorry arse any longer. :o)

    Take care,