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Neither Rick nor I can sleep so we just had a massive tickle fight. Which, by the way, is just not fair since I am just WAY more ticklish than he is. He only has one ticklish spot on his back and you have to catch him off guard even then. Does that sound like odd behavior for a couple that is divorcing? I suppose so. But Rick and I are and will remain good friends through this all. Now that the decision is pretty much made - though the actual details still need to be ironed out - and the pressure is gone we can just laugh and have fun together.
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Rick says he understands why I have to leave him. He doesn't like it, he doesn't want it, but he gets it. *Sigh* He's the one that really needs to understand - not that I don't wish my family could still get it - but he matters more. I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off my chest.
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Well, it's a sure sign that the apocalypse is nigh. ;) That, or I REALLY need a job.

I've been tackling the ever so fun task of dividing up our stuff in preparation for divorce. I was sorting through our book shelves and came across "Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts" - well, that didn't work. What the hell went wrong? It just seems like we started off doing everything right - so how did we end up here? I also found my workbook for "Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts" - don't know where Rick's is, but it probably will turn up eventually. When it does it will be intersesting to see what he wrote. Here were my personal 10 Commandments from exercise #1 - okay, I only wrote in 9 - guess I couldn't come up with 10.

1. Downplay your sucesses
2. Never call attention to yourself
3. Don't try new things you might fail at in front of other people you're likely to see a lot of - you will look foolish if you fail
4. Don't let other people tell you what to do
5. Don't get sick and if you do try not to let it slow you down (be like Daddy)
6. Don't leave lights on if you're not using them - it's wasteful
7. Put your needs (sleep, food, privacy, etc.) 2nd to your loved ones'
8. Always consult your loved ones for their opinion even if you know what it will be or what you will do already
9. Always read between the lines

Hmm...I don't know why # 10 is not on here - it so obviously should be:
10. Never cry or show weakness in public

Part of me is just shaking my head that even with such clear communication upfront in our marriage we still messed things up. #8 really stands out because Rick was just telling me a few days ago that he thinks he finally understands that I had a need to have his input on all sorts of things - the little things - in order to feel that we were sharing a life together...and he didn't do that for me. I got a lot of "I don't think it gets me in trouble" whenever I asked him what he thought. Hmmm, so it took him more than 5 years to comprehend that I expected something that I put down in writing for him before we even married? Yeah, can we say communication problems are HUGE here. :) It's like we exist on totally different planes and don't even have a reference point to start to communicate with each other. I guess you live and learn. As long as you do learn from your mistakes rather than repeat them.

Edit - Oh look, it's the devotional book we did when we were dating/engaged and our manuals from the Weekend to Remember marriage conference we went to 2 years ago. *Shakes head* - what went wrong?
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I see the love you have for me,
Though I cannot feel its fire.
I know your love runs deep,
That you are not a liar.

For you do not merely speak of love,
You try to show me every day.
Often times it does not come through,
Because you do it in your own special way.

And your way does not mesh with mine,
And so our paths must now diverge.
The sadness shall not be disregarded,
We will each play a separate dirge.

But once the dirge is over,
And all the tears have passed.
Our friendship shall remain,
With the happy memories we’ve amassed.

And though our paths will again be two,
And no longer shall be one.
Our paths will still run parallel,
Till our time on earth is done.

For Rick

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Just got back from hanging out at Ravenwood (local coffee shop) with Rick, Dave K. & Dave H. It was nice to see that we can all be in the same room together and still laugh, joke, be friends etc. with a very minimal amount of tension. We had a lot of fun and numerous random conversations.

I feel like Rick is starting to get why I feel we just won't work out. At this point in our life we lack any common ground. Spiritual beliefs that used to be in synch with each other are no longer that way. And we never really had much of anything else in common to begin with. Add to that communication problems that we continue to struggle to overcome and may in fact never overcome as well as different directions and goals in our lives. Let's face it - God has not been glorified in our relationship with the constant fighting and bickering. God would be more glorified in an amicable divorce and us remaining friends - things that just don't usually happen in the world. We can be more "Christian" in our divorce than we've ever been in our marriage.
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That has been a blessing. But now I am so exhausted. Job interview went well. Lunch with mom and brother was fun. Shopping afterward with mom was fun too. I just didn't get nearly enough sleep last night. I told my mom the basics about what is going on with Rick and I. Last time we saw her and dad we told them we were getting counseling - somehow I knew the topic was going to come up today. That may be why I was a little queasy this morning - either that or I'm still having issues from the spicy chicken I ate from popeyes. ;) I got the "we will love you no matter what" speech that is the norm for my parents. I emphasized several times that Rick and I are sharing the fault for the state of our marriage and we don't want family and friends to place blame or take sides if we do end up splitting. Now I just need to work out, grab a shower and decide which library book to curl up with. I figure if I take a nap now I won't sleep tonight - so trying to keep myself awake until bedtime is the order of the day.
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We have another counseling session tonight at 5pm. Rick told me a little earlier on the phone (so it wouldn't be a surprise when we meet at counseling - he's coming straight from work) that he still wants 6 more months together to heal and work through things even if we are ultimately going to divorce. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that...but it's probably the least I can do I suppose. Still, it will be odd living with someone who I'm married to but feel absolutely no romantic attraction to.
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It's odd, I'm embarking on a path (divorce) that most Christians would consider a sin not to mention my expanding spirituality that is starting to include/incorporate ideas and concepts that many conservative Christians might term new age or neo pagan. I'm sure many many Christians would look at me right now and say I'm being deceived and led astray by Satan. I've considered that very scary possibility myself. I've been so humbled by the fact that I've looked at other liberal Christians in the past and thought the same of them. I have been so judgmental - how could I not even have been aware of it? That was the deception. I know I'm not being deceived now because of this: sins I have been struggling with for years are just falling away with absolutely no effort on my part. Addictions to food, TV/soap operas, etc. no longer have any hold over me whatsoever. I still have some bad habits to overcome but now it's more a matter of being conscious of what I am doing rather than lack of power to change. I turned on Days of Our Lives yesterday more out of habit than anything and after 5 minutes I was sick of it. What a waste of time and energy. There are so many more important things I could be doing/learning/experiencing/meditating on. I have never felt more spiritually whole in my life. I am closer to God now that I have ever been before. Once I was willing to drop my pre-conceived notions about who God was and how he worked - once I stopped trying to maintain an omnipotent God inside my own little finite mentality's box and opened that box up - wow! It's really beyond words.

On an entirely different note - I have a job interview tomorrow morning at 8am for a temp to hire admin asst. position. This will be the initial interview with the temp agency, then I don't know if they'll just place me or I'll need to interview with the actual people I'd be working for as well. Prayers and/or good thoughts would be appreciated.
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I'm not really feeling much of anything right now. The emotional pain levels got a little too intense. In order to be able to continue to function for now a numbness has settled in. I suppose that is part of the natural grief process, right? Denial or whatever....shock maybe? Reality is trying to set in and it's so much more painful than I expected.
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This is harder than I thought it would be. I told Rick that I just don't see things working out between us in the long run. It kills me to see him in this much pain and know that I'm the cause of it. I just can't stand to see anyone in pain - I feel others pain so deeply - stupid gift(?) of empathy!

A little too much
Today was a little too much for me
A few falls to many
And one win too few

That's playing on the stereo right now - how appropriate. Today was a little too much for me. I feel like I'm at the end of my rope, ready to snap. If I didn't know that God was in control I'd completely loose it right now. Deep breaths, lots of prayer...things will be okay eventually.
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In last night's into the wee hours of the morning conversation which is becoming habitual for Rick and I he said he did not understand my need to be understood by the person I'm romantically involved with. He wanted to know why wasn't it just enough that I was loved? I've thought about that and this is what I've concluded. How can someone love me unless they understand me? If they don't understand who I am at the core of my very being then they're not loving me - they're loving a pale shadow of who I am, not the real me. That kind of love is great in friendships - I give and receive that kind of love from a lot of people who don't truly understand me and whom I don't truly understand. And I don't want to belittle that kind of love because it is special and wonderful and beautiful in it's own way, as all love is. But is it so wrong to long for something deeper than that with that one special person? A truly spiritual, mystical, deep and unexplainable connection that leads to a natural understanding of each other on a core level even if sometimes you don't necessarily understand all the details of each other in the physical realm?

Maybe I'm just too much of a romantic and I just expect too much, but I can't seem to help it - that is what I long for and what I despair of ever finding with Rick. When I married Rick I think in a lot of ways I thought it was time to put aside my childish dreams of prince charming. I think I thought finding someone with the same dreams and goals in life who was good, decent, and kind who I found attractive and who found me attractive would be enough. The only problem being that the dreams and goals were not actually my dreams and goals but those that society had told me I was supposed to have. I wasn't conscious of any of this at the time obviously or I wouldn't find myself in the mess I am in today. And that is probably a recurring theme in my life. I'm too impulsive, act on feelings without examining them carefully enough - that gets me into trouble a lot.

So I'm trying desperately to take the time to examine all the feelings that I'm being inundated with now but it's so overwhelming sometimes I don't know where to begin or what to believe. I keep asking God for a sign - which way am I supposed to go? But there haven't been any burning bushes in my yard recently to speak to. And despite all the confusion and anxiety on the outside for the first time in a very long time I feel at peace in the core of my being. I feel at one with the universe in a way I've never felt before. I'm realizing that God is the universe - and the true nature of what that means, his omnipresence is something so wonderful that it brings joy to my heart and tears to my eyes.
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...guess that will happen when you forget to eat for 24 hours. Hmm, sorry, food? What is that? I forget. Too confused/anxious/upset/did I mention confused? to eat. And how is everyone else doing this lovely spring day? My cat is staring blankly out the window - hmm, that's kind of how I feel at this point too. I can hear birds chirping outside, that's nice, I like birds. I'm probably not making too much sense at this point so don't try to read this entry as if it should make any sense...just take it for what it is...confused ramblings of a psychotic woman. Have I ever told you all that sometimes I think the best way to sum up who I am is to say that I'm a rebel trapped in a conformist's upbringing? I'm pretty sure there are some chains around here I don't need that I need to break - I'm just not sure which ones they are. If I break the wrong chains I'll end up hurtling into the gorge of eternal peril for the rest of my life which would just not be cool. By the way my name is Amanda, my favorite color is blue, and my quest is to figure out what path I'm supposed to take in life. It's that last part that's got me all confused. Though for a while there in Jr. High it was difficult making the decision between blue and purple - gosh problems were so much simpler back then. I think too much, waaaaay too much. Why can't I just be simplistic and float through life without worrying about finding meaning and purpose? Ignorance is bliss - the problem is that you can never go back to ignorance even if you want to. Lord grant me the serenity to accept the chains I should not break, the courage to break the chains I should, and the freaking wisdom to know the difference...
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Apparently Rick thought that I "got him" that I truly understood him. In actuality - I'm completely clueless. I do not understand him at all. He has mistaken my empathy for understanding. I see he's in pain and I feel the pain too even though I don't understand the whys and wherefores. So apparently I don't understand him any more than he understands me. This is why we're constantly abusing each other mentally and emotionally. It's certainly not on purpose. I'm having to accept responsibility for my retaliations and that I have hurt him deeply too - I'm by no means blameless in the breakdown of our marriage. I tried the best I knew how to communicate and fix things but the best I knew how was far from perfect. That knowledge helps me a lot in learning to let go of the pain he inflicted on me. He did his best too but he's not perfect anymore than I am. I know that God crys for us - that we've hurt each other so deeply - and he wants to heal that pain. I'm not sure what the next step is here but I'm trying to take things one day at a time.

One thing I said to Rick last night that really helped him face the possibility of divorce was that we would always be friends. Now I've said that before - but this time I added on that if we do split and any of my future relationships can't handle me being really close friends with my ex then they can take their insecurity and leave, I don't need them. And I mean that. Rick will always, no matter what happens, be a very important part of my life. I will always care deeply for and about him. I'm just not sure I can keep living with him because of all the pain that causes on both sides.
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Yippee I'm 29 - ack! I'm getting old! Massive confusion was not quite how I wanted to spend my birthday - but looks like what's on tap. We were up until the wee hours of the morning yet again but I feel like Rick and I made a massive breakthrough in communication last night. I feel like he finally understands why I feel so little hope for our marriage. He finally gets the mental and emotional torture he inflicts on me with out ever meaning to do so. Strangely enough this has led to Rick being more willing to let me go and me being more willing to work on our marriage. I feel like if Rick finally understands what the problem is then maybe it can be fixed - though I'm still skeptical. As much as I try to separate my feelings for Dave from my marital issues it's really hard. But if there's a way to work out my marriage and fix it maybe I have to take it even if it's not exactly what I had wished for. Today sounds like a good day to spend in prayer for clarification and direction.
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