A different sort of crutch

When my husband and I made the decision to separate and divorce we agreed we were going to be the couple that could do it the right way. What we hope for and what becomes reality can be quite different.

I’ve heard it said that whatever you are fighting about during your marriage is also what you fight about during the divorce. I had no idea just what a fight I was in for. We couldn’t agree on anything.

Before I knew it we both had attorneys and a legal battle pursued. I hate that I’m writing this and that it went the way it did. Every day was a struggle for me, as I knew it was for our sons too. We shared custody and they would spend one week at my house and the next with their father.

I was so broke; I actually looked forward to them being gone because I wouldn’t have to figure out how to buy groceries for a week. I had no phone or garbage service because those were luxuries.

I had made the decision when I moved to stop drinking all together. I knew the next few years would be so hard to get through; I wanted to keep a clear head. And I was afraid I might use alcohol as a crutch, instead of dealing with the pain of divorce. I also couldn’t afford it.

When I didn’t have the boys I was lonely and tired. I didn’t have money to go out with my friends for drinks and dining out, so I spent a lot of time alone. There is a butte in the middle of the town I was living in with a hiking trail up it. I would plug in my headphones and hike up that hill crying most of the way.

Pilot Butte is in Bend Oregon and has a great hiking trail to the top

I was still working for the saddle maker, but things were changing between us. I remember one day in particular when I was sitting on the floor with a big piece of hide in front of me. I was laying out the patterns for pieces of the saddle, and looked up at my teacher and saw him in a different light.

He was talking about a near death experience he had as a teenager, and I could see the softness of him. Before that moment, I only saw the side of him he let the world see, the tough side. Sitting there on the floor looking up at him and listening to him tell his story, I fell for him.

I used to make saddles

Before I knew it, I was spending my weeks off from my boys, with my new boss/boyfriend. He was supportive and kind and wanted to help. He listened to my stories and laughed and cried with me. It was so nice to have a strong person to lean on during those times.

By the end of the summer, the court battle was over and the divorce was final.

The outcome shifted everything for all of us. I was granted full custody and the boys were happy to end the week on, week off shifts. They hated it and wanted to just have one home.

I now had my boys home with me full time. I also had a boyfriend that I didn’t realize at the time was a different sort of crutch.

Reader Comments

  1. Lisa

    I so appreciate your honesty in these posts, because of the courage behind the honesty. And that last sentence! You’ve left me with a cliffhanger.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Lisa. I almost didn’t want to publish this one. I hate how some things went in my life, but it was my life. And I’m working on “owning” it. Thank you as always, for reading and posting your thoughts!

      • Lisa

        The thing is, when a writer can reach down deep and pull up those stories, us readers connect on that emotional level even if we’ve never been through the exact same situation. It’s the underlying emotions we connect with. And that wouldn’t happen if you weren’t honest. It’s also something that I think a lot of writers can’t do because of fear. Yet you’re doing it with each post.

          • Lisa

            And a quote for you from one of my favorite authors on writing, Jessica Morrell: ‘A writer, like all artists, gives the gift of release to our audience by naming their feelings.’

  2. Trudy Callan

    I can see how the boys would tire quickly of having two homes. Every other weekend is easier to deal with. As a child, we went to Dad’s every other weekend. I was okay with that. It felt normal and did not disrupt my day-to-day living.

  3. Art Mercado

    Wow I rember my divorce was the same way, I actually work with my father in law and he ended up letting me go, I had no were to go, i final realize that I alienated all my friend for this person who no one like. “When a man loves a women” after sleeping on the floor in my brothers garage (wasn’t aloud to stay inside) that’s another story… but I always had the talent to draw, long story short got my degree bettered myself and remarried, 24 yrs strong 2 boys. Thanks for sharing I follow on IG love your pic.


    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank yo Art. For reading and for sharing your story too. I’m glad you made it through the divorce stage and found yourself and the right person too!

  4. carrieandkat

    We split the boys time as well having joint custody. At first we went by his work schedule and the boys went back and forth every two or three days! it was very chaotic but when we did week to week it was much easier. They had two of everything except for their electronics and liked they had more time to spend with each of us and didn’t have to carry so much back and forth.Each family is different.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      So important to find what works for each family. I’m glad you guys found your way through such a difficult time.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you for this. It isn’t easy to be so exposed, but it’s the truth and I do hope it helps other people who have been through the same. We tend to beat up on ourselves if we make a wrong move or decision. But it’s part of life for most of us. Thank you for reading!!

      Love your blog too…honest, authentic.

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