The first week of my being on my own was pleasing, frightening, frustrating, depressing and any number of other emotions that were globbed together.
I suspected I was denying quite a few of these feelings, that I was numbing myself out. I imagined there was a very big, very unsatisfying cry in my future.
The actual move went smoothly. I did most of it by myself. I had been able to purchase a table and chairs and a coffee table at garage sales. My good friend, Chris, helped me move a desk I planned to use as a vanity. My other good friend, Joe, helped me move the loveseat.
When he came to help me move my biggest piece of furniture, my son was in distress as his sister had been pushing his buttons for half an hour. He was tired. At one point he'd curled up on the couch and put his thumb in his mouth. Based on the research I'd done, his behavior was normal but that didn't make it any easier to deal with.
Again, when I left to go to my home, I thought "I'm walking out on my kids again."
The first week of visiting the kids after I was done with work was awkward and strange. It was made stranger by the fact that Scott's best friend, female, was in the house at the same time. She was changing beds, making home improvements and generally taking care of the house. While I knew she had my children's best interests at heart and wouldn't say bad things about me to them, it still made me uncomfortable. I later asked Scott that when I was visiting she not be there. I wanted my time with my kids to myself. He agreed to do everything he could to accommodate my request, which made me very grateful.
When I wasn't spending time with the kids, I was battling depression. A friend of mine told me the first couple of months would be very lonely, but it got easier with time. All I wanted to do was sleep or read, generally falling asleep reading.
I was waiting for the new appliances to be delivered. I didn't have a refrigerator, so I had fruit and chocolate in the house. I ate at work and snacked at home.
There were some definitive differences in my day to day. I still rose early to be at work by 6:30. But, I was taking a shower every evening. I was picking up after myself. This was a much easier task since it was just me and I wasn't doing any cooking.
I was also struggling trying to get a plumber out to look at the washing machine, which wasn't working. It wasn't an issue since there was a laundromat close by and my laundry needs weren't huge.
Then there was dealing with the benefits department of the company where I worked. Trying to get everyone enrolled was a chore. Not only did I have to call the benefits line twice to get the necessary paperwork emailed to me, I had to call to verify it had been received and ask that it be forwarded on to the next department. Then I had to wait for contact from the company that would need documentation that my dependents were actually my dependents. Then there was calling to verify that paperwork was received and finally calling the insurance company to be sure the benefits had been activated. After all of that, an additional 100 dollars was deducted from my paycheck than what I had been quoted. Apparently, the activation date was the 1st of February. As that fee had not been paid, 1 and 1/2 times that amount would have to come out of my pay, spread out over 2 checks. This was a chunk of change for me. None of this had been disclosed to me. I complained that I was being charged for benefits I had not been able to access. I had specifically NOT used any medical services because I didn't have insurance. I had filled prescriptions, paying a huge amount out of pocket. The pharmacy told me I'd go through my company to be reimbursed for the difference and my company told me I would go through the pharmacy. I saw that money flying away.
This finally drove me to tears. I took out my frustration on the poor woman who explained all this to me.
Starting on the 2nd, Scott was leaving town for a week and I would be parenting full time. This meant massaging my work hours so I could get the kids off to school. It also eliminated any possibility of extra hours. Even an hour of overtime was a big help to my budget.
Then, Sunday the 1st, my son started to throw up. He couldn't go to school the next day. He had to be nausea free for 24 hours before he could go back in the building. Since he dad was leaving the morning of the 2nd, I had to take a day off work to stay home with him.
This distressed me as I desperately needed my job. I didn't want any concerns of any kind in my boss's brain. With my new situation, I was somewhat paranoid.
And so, the second week of my new life started.