The Not-So-Secret Life of Tabatha, née Tabulous.

It's hard to find a place to begin when telling a story like mine.
may 2011
I could start in the middle of the action -- any of the times there was action, because there has been significant action -- but that feels a little disingenuous, a little too forced. I could start at the very beginning (it's a very good place to start, you know) but I'm not exactly sure where that is. Or I could start from where I am right this very second, but then a lot of things wouldn't make sense and I'd be spending half of my time trying to play catch-up, inevitably leaving out important details in my desire to have everyone on the same page.
Perhaps I should just start with the basics.
I'm square in the middle of 27 years old. I have a precocious two and a half year old son with several medical and developmental problems. I also have an eleven month old daughter who is as sweet as pie and perfectly normal. I live in a fairly small house in a fairly small urban area that for the past four years has been under various forms of demolition, renovation, and functional living space -- and it's still nowhere near done. I have five cats and the world's biggest purebred Chihuahua.
I've been married for almost three years. I'm not sure how long that will remain the case.
My husband began cheating on me with a coworker -- well, even here the beginning is fuzzy. The late night/early morning explicit texts and emails and the pretend shifts at work and the secret plans to meet began four months after we married, which was two years after we got engaged and roughly four months into my pregnancy with my son. However, I know that they were "friends" before that and had "hung out" several times when I was out of town throughout our courtship.
I found out about the affair while he was attempting to divorce me about this time of year two years ago. Actually, his mother was forging legal papers and brainwashing him into divorcing me because she's stark raving mad, but that's a story for a different time. We were separated for nearly three months, but we reconciled, got counseling, tried to move on.
Yet through our reconciliation I discovered how deep his lies went, that there was always more to the story to be known, and that basically my marriage as I understood it was a complete falsification.
I persevered, wanting to think the best of my husband, that the boy I fell in love with was still hiding somewhere in him, trapped by a self-made prison, waiting to come back to me.
We continued to live our lives, go through the motions as our relationship lay slashed apart, openly hemorrhaging and decaying while we danced around it, changing diapers, working on the house, hiding behind anything that would keep us from talking to one another.
Well, that's not true. He mostly hid. I did a lot of chasing. And a lot of talking whether or not he was listening.
Anyway, if there was anything left of us, it was barely holding on by a thread. And then (because you saw this coming, you smarty you) it all came crashing down around me.
Despite swearing he had cut off all contact with his mistress, I found on my own laptop of all places, where he had forgotten to log out of his email, a message. To her, stating that our relationship was essentially dead and that she probably didn't want to hear from him, but he just wanted to check in.
Everything I thought we had (which wasn't much, but better than nothing) lit up in flames in my head.
There was nothing about the life I was living that resembled anything close to the life I wanted.
The obvious end to this very short story would be that I got up, packed up my kids and my cats and moved out, started over, the end.
But not everything in life is obvious, especially when it comes to relationships.
Out of all the wreckage that this second, more recent discovery brought down, a magical thing sort of happened. I realized for the first time in my life, that my happiness is not dependent on anyone but myself. It is not relative to my relationships or the things I own or the size pants or shoes I wear. Happiness is something only I can determine and accomplish for myself, and for not only myself, but my children, I have every intention of pursuing it, wherever that may take me.
This life is mine, and I'm taking it all back.
And I do not say this flippantly or casually as I have done in the past. I've had a revelation (as much as I hate such proclamations), and I refuse to let others and their actions bring me down. I refuse to allow my children to see their mother struggle and force things that may not exist because that horrible something is thought to be better than the unknown nothing. I refuse to continue to live my life with my head hung in shame, letting other people write my story and decide who I am for me.
I want to become the heroine in my own story at last.
So I'm on a journey to become the best version of myself possible, to become the woman I'm slowly realizing I was meant to be.
This is the space I plan on sharing my truest, inner most thoughts about this journey. It won't always be pretty or funny or poignant, but more just a space to get it out, to be heard, to progress without the ever present watchful eyes of my family and friends on my own blogs.
I hope you'll sit down and stay a while with me.
Tabatha blogs at Tabulous & Turn Right At Lake Michigan & tweets.

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