Realities on Divorce, Dating, Parenting and Re-Invention

#1. Boot Camp

1 Boot Camp

#1. Boot Camp

Here I sit, a forty year old divorced, fat, unemployed, single mother of one.  Not a pretty picture. 

In the spirit of making an effort, I began today by venturing out to a local park for a ‘Boot Camp’ class run by an ex-Marine.  I dragged myself off the couch and took the leap to re-enter society.  I decided not to let the embarrassment of my 60 pound weight gain keep me locked up in my apartment anymore!  Besides, If I don’t start losing weight now I’ll just keep gaining and then end up as one of those people on TV where they have to knock a wall down just to remove them from their homes.

The class was full of very attractive and fit middle aged women, clearly of means as it was at 11:00am on a weekday.  I was the only fat, poor one.  Whatever.  I was going to do my best.  But as I struggled to survive the various drills, I could’ve sworn that I tasted blood coming from the bottom of my throat. When I stopped jumping rope like a crystal meth tweeker to express concern regarding the possible of bleeding of my lungs, the Drill Sargent got right into my face to spit and shout , “You don’t taste anything except failure Fatso!!!”

Whoa! Hello? Rome wasn’t built in a day buddy… Geez.  I really tried to start jumping rope again but I had to stop as I thought that I was going to faint or throw up or both.  Immediately he marched over to me to continue his rant.  “You wouldn’t survive one day in combat soldier!  Get on your knees and give me one hundred push ups before you get us shelled!”  Oh boy… Total PTSD.

I seem to have a real knack of igniting profound instability in people.   After escaping to hide behind nearby bushes when the maniacal Drill Sargent wasn’t looking, I couldn’t help but wonder why I was paying money to be tortured and ridiculed.  There is an ongoing theme here and I don’t like it.  The reality that I have willingly volunteered on numerous occasions to be surrounded by raving lunatics is very disturbing.

The Boot Camp reminded me of my marriage.  I went into both with good intentions, only to be met with hostility and degradation.   Because we share a son, I will resist the urge to condemn my ex too much, as I have already achieved that end when I performed a one-woman show called, “Forget Love, Try Prada”.  In retrospect, likening him to Adolf Hitler was wrong.  Besides, playing the victim role has gotten old.  Time to grow up and make the story about me – not him.  I left that train wreck of a marriage ten years ago but the bewilderment of what transpired remains vivid. The Divorce mirrored the so-called marriage.  It was emotionally draining and financially crushing, leaving me depressed, bankrupt and terrified to be a single mother.  However, it was a small price to pay for my freedom.  It hasn’t been easy, but what worthwhile experience in life is? 

As I mentioned above, I have been a performer/writer.  Not a lot of stability or money for that matter.  Before the marriage, I was not wildly successful, but I did get work and I loved what I did.  During the Divorce, I was certifiably insane.  No question about it.  Like Lenny Bruce, I was obsessed with my legal proceedings and the injustice I perceived to experience in the Family Court system.  I carried around affidavits like a raving lunatic and told anyone who would listen about my Divorce troubles.  I probably should’ve been committed to an in-patient facility – no kidding.  I was clinically heart broken and majorly pissed off. Now I’m just a fat, boring, middle aged woman looking for some type of gainful employment so that I can feed my kid.

It has taken me years and sufficient therapy to conquer the resulting depression and madness.  But, I can honestly say that I am a better person for the experience.  Both the traumatic marriage and Divorce, forced me to re-define who I am and what I want from life.  I would do it all again to get to here.  Well, I don’t know where ‘here’ is exactly but at least it’s not the ‘there’ of a shitty marriage.  I don’t really know what to make of ‘here’.  I’m scared.  I need some direction!!!  What do I do now?

My son is going into grade seven and he is developing his own life.  I freely admit that his life has been my whole life for the past decade.  This has to change.  Of course I love my precious son so much that it hurts, but it’s time to create a new life based on all the healthy and productive realities that I am learning to establish for myself. 

This blog is dedicated to every woman who has the courage to leave a dysfunctional relationship and/or has become saddled with the responsibilities of motherhood and financial provider.  I will be sharing the lessons I learn from the job market, dating world, child rearing challenges and personal health and growth.  I can’t be the only one in the world who followed the rules by getting married and becoming a mother only to find disillusionment and disappointment.  I have a new life to build and invite you along for the journey.

To end today’s entry, I want to tell you all that unless you are actually enlisted in the Army, forget any kind of Boot Camp in your life.  Being humiliated and ridiculed is not the answer to a healthy existence, whether it’s your boyfriend, husband, boss, etc.  I’m going back to Yoga, where the gentle movements and supportive environment encourages a strong mind and body.  Will I find a man who can do the same?  I don’t know, and a large part of me doesn’t care.  But, the journey to locate a good man, job, and new life will undoubtedly make for a great adventure.

  1. Mommy
    MommyAug 28, 2011

    Thank you for being so brutally honest and I look forward to reading more of your blog! I too, am going through a bad split at the moment. It has been horribly abusive more so mentally than physical but a small mixture of both. I am officially leaving this Tuesday where I can hopefully get the last of my things and be out for good no turning back this time. My 2 yo daughter & I will be staying with a friend till I can get back on my feet again. I'm scared, I'm anxious, I'm embarrassed, I feel like a failure, I'm hostile, I'm angry, I'm broken. I've been going back and forth as to how much of everything I want to share on my on blog but I read so many other womans blogs of similar experiences and this is what inspires me and helps me gain strength so in a way I want to do that, too. But I'm not sure yet…

    • Hayley
      HayleySep 02, 2011

      You hang in there! You are NOT alone. Many of us have survived the same challenges and come out the other side, better for the experience. I know that may seem crazy – but you hang, and you are about to take the ride of your life! Best thing about it, you get to design the route!

  2. Anonymous
    AnonymousAug 29, 2011

    I know exactly what you are going through. Every single feeling. I straddled between seething with anger, saddness and intense fear. Have you retrieved all of you and your daughters' documents like birth certificates, etc? You don't need a big life plan right now. Does he know you are leaving and when? You should think about calling the police to accompany you. They do that so you will be safe and then you will have on record that you are leaving an abusive relationship. Just get yourselves to a safe and peaceful environment. You may feel like your self esteem is gone. But, what you are about to do takes more strength and courage than anything else. You will write about your experiences when you are ready. FYI – i found a women's group through the Jewish and Catholic Family Services. You don't have to be Jewish or Catholic and you don't have to pay. They can help financially, psychologically and employment. They are amazing and really care. I went to a women's group through them with women who also just left the exact same relationship as mine. It really helped. Just get through each day. If you stay, you know what your life will be. If you go, the possibilities are endless. Please post back after you have left. You are not alone. Be proud of yourself. Your a lot stronger than you think you are. Emotional abuse is a horror. God Bless You and your daughter.

  3. Notes For Nadia
    Notes For NadiaAug 29, 2011

    I can't tell you how glad I am that I found your blog today. You take the words out of my mouth and reassure me. I am in my early stages of my divorce and I know in my heart it's the right decision. Staying would have meant the end of my sanity. God Bless You!

    • Hayley
      HayleySep 02, 2011

      You are on the right track! Greener pastures! You know what staying would look like. Now you get to creat the life that you want for yourself. Remember – you DESERVE happiness and peace! Thank you for your comment!

  4. Margaret
    MargaretSep 11, 2011

    Very nice, i suggest webmaster can set up a forum, so that we can talk and communicate.

    • Hayley
      HayleySep 12, 2011

      Thank you for the suggestion! My wonderful webmaster is working on it this week and we hope to have it on the site ASAP.

  5. SEO Bootcamp Canada
    SEO Bootcamp CanadaSep 16, 2011

    All your suggestion are valuable Really Thanks.

  6. Joan
    JoanNov 28, 2012

    HAHA! I actually considered a bootcamp. This is too funny. Where you were when you wrote this is similar to where I am now- fat, unemployed, mother of 4 trying to figure out how to push past this horror of a divorce, travesty of a marriage and society’s dismissal of middle aged women in the workforce.

    • Hayley
      HayleyNov 28, 2012

      Hey Joan! Boot Camp was not for me. Read: as that is how I lost the weight. And you hit the nail on the head with the word ‘horror’. I get it. I left 12 years ago and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. God bless you with four children. You WILL get through this. I truly believe that you will come out of this better than ever and so will your kids. Just be kind to yourself and be patient. The patience part is the hard obstacle. Choose hope and keep going. Things will get better. I promise.

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