It’s been three weeks since the door closed on my former life. A couple of doors to places which I would temporarily call home opened as I began dealing with my marriage separation. Several cars and two vans were loaded up with the tremendous amount of stuff we had accumulated over the last 10 years together. So, the keys were handed over to the last place Mr Peppis and I would call our home.

Marriage separation isn’t simple

Dealing with marriage separation isn’t easy, of course. I cried. Obviously, I cried. But, they weren’t tears of regret, just of acute disappointment that we hadn’t quite been able to make it work. I cried for my fear of the unknown. It was also for how much I would miss not seeing TJ every day. They were also tears of sadness and guilt for TJ’s dad and the new life which I was forcing him to live. I cried for being immediately lonely. It was also because I had no idea how I would cope when dealing with my marriage separation. But, I tried to see this horrible day in the best possible light. It was a new beginning, a fresh start, a chance for me to be Jude again and not just the shell of the person who I had become.

The early days 

It’s been a mixed bag of days so far as I adjust to dealing with my marriage separation. There have been highlights. TJ learning to say ‘baby’ and string that together with ‘roar’ when he saw The Lion King made me radiate with pride (pun intended). But, there have also been significant lows. Sobbing by myself in Marks and Spencer after FaceTiming TJ and his dad is something I won’t forget in a hurry. My heart will be chipped away at every time I explain to TJ that I have to go and he says ‘bye, mama’. I just hope and pray that, if not now, one day he will understand why. I know this is part of dealing with marriage separation and the emotions which come from all three of us. That was to be expected, even if that doesn’t make it easier.

It’s been a blessing and a dirty curse that I don’t have my own home lined up yet. Mortgages, money and all that grown up stuff meant a temporary living arrangement between the spare rooms of my amazing friends and my fabulous sister (I love you guys). There’s up and down sides to that. Regularly seeing my friends is super and not being on my own too often is definitely a good thing at this early stage. But, until I can really start Life: The Sequel, everything feels like it has been put on hold. I can’t get into a new routine and find out how I really handle all that comes with marriage separation yet. It’s pushed dealing with my marriage separation on to a back burner. But, I enjoy the companionship in my new found freedom for a short period of time, at least.

The positives

I don’t know what it’s going to be like on that rainy night in December when I come home from work to an empty flat with nothing to do except get up for work again the next day. I won’t have a nursery bag to get ready. There won’t be toys to pick up off the floor. We won’t have a toddler’s bedtime routine to follow.

But, what I will have is my own home. I will have a pretty little flat which I am excited to decorate in any way which I see fit. There will be time to sit, relax and hog the remote to my heart’s content. There’s comfort and familiarity in living in the village which I spent my teenage years growing up in. My family and friends will only be a short distance away. I may even do some crazy things, like get a gym membership again, go for a run on Saturday mornings, learn to cook more than pasta and pesto and join a local choir. Most importantly, I will have me back, which will make me a better person and a better mother for TJ.

Tough times

Almost every day, I find myself thinking that this has been the most difficult year of my life. Dealing with marriage separation is a long process, and it has only just begun. Yet, I know I shouldn’t be thinking that for so many reasons. I know how lucky I am to have TJ and to enjoy and to be exasperated by being a mum to a nearly two-year-old toddler. Fabulous friends who have welcomed me into their spare rooms. There are the means to put a roof over my own head. A supportive family metaphorically hold my hand. And, I hope to hold onto a friendship with TJ’s dad, despite all the water under the bridge of 2017.

It will be another few weeks before my new normality is established. But, I think I am going to be OK. It’s not easy. My chest is heavy as my heart aches. But, my head is high on hopes for the future and the happiness that will be in my life but also the lives of the two Peppis boys who will always be a pivotal part of my universe.

With the help of (a lot of) wine and the wonderful people in my life, I am still smiling through my Situation Separation.