I Was In Stage Three.

After my October 8th burning ceremony, I felt a bit better. It is amazing what a little pyro- therapy can do for the soul. I decided to take that “better” feeling, slow down and reflect on what had happened the last nine months. I first turned to Gina and Lisa for a girl’s sushi night. This had become our tradition, and it was our favorite form of group therapy- with sake! I then turned to Sabrina. She was proud of me for burning my wedding photos and felt it was good therapy. She was also proud of me sending an email to my husband’s family. Though it had been a few days I had not heard back anything from any of them, funny thing was, I didn’t care. I didn’t write that email for a response, I wrote that email for me. I hadn’t spewed anger at them; it wasn’t the goal. I had plenty of it, but I knew it was pointless. I basically said that I would spare them the ugly details, I wished things had turned out different, and I wished them all well.

Though my life was fun and seemed exciting from the outside, and much of it was, I was lonely. I had become an expert at avoiding my feelings, pretending everything was ok and getting on with my life – but that had not gotten me very far. The reality of my situation started to settle in, like really settle in. Ever since the one-year anniversary all I could think about it is, “it was one- year since…” this or that.

At work, we were all preparing to head to the east coast for New Hampshire pageant orientation. One-year prior I had gone to the New Hampshire pageant orientation the weekend after my wedding. We had decided to put off our honeymoon due to our work schedules. In fact, the day after our wedding we flew to Las Vegas for a work conference that my husband needed to attend. Literally twenty-four hours after my wedding I was at a cocktail party on my new husbands arm schmoozing and being the supportive Mrs. Married Woman. Two-days after we returned home, I barely had time to unpack and head to the airport. This was normal life for us; we both often traveled and had adapted to mutual hectic schedules over the past several years. It hadn’t always been easy, but we found our groove.

I was heading east, and my husband was speaking on a work conference in Napa. He was a bit nervous for his speech, but he was so charismatic I knew he would do great and charm the room in an instant. I kissed my new husband curbside at the airport and was off. We kept in touch throughout the weekend via text and brief phone calls. The three hour time difference made it difficult but we made it work. He told me his speech went well and sent me a photo of a wine label from the bottle he was enjoying at the dinner. Since moving to San Francisco, we had started to enjoy wine so whenever either of us had a special bottle we would send the other a photo of the label. It was our way of saying, “wish you were here.”

He spent the weekend, what should have been our honeymoon, networking and entertaining. I spent the weekend working with pageant girls and parents, proudly showing off my new ring. Though the trip was going well, I had so much guilt for having to go to New Hampshire. I had was married less than a week and here I had flown off, leaving my poor husband. I felt like a terrible wife. He reassured me that it was fine, it was going to be mostly men at the conference anyway he said. I was so lucky to have such a supportive husband.

What I would later learn is that my husband spent the weekend in Napa, not alone, but with Katy. I even found the same photo of the wine bottle on her Facebook page months later. When people would ask me about our honeymoon, “no we didn’t take one, well my husband did, he just didn’t invite me.” Had become my standard smart-ass reply. Needless to say, we never took a honeymoon.

During my next session with Sabrina, I told her I wanted to step up the work I was doing. I, of course, thought that if I could speed through the steps and really dive in, I would be back to my old self that much quicker. I know that sounds crazy, but it made sense at the time. I started dating less, and though I was still in my bad habit of recycling I decided only to spend time with those in my life that made me feel good about myself. In LA that is hard to find but I was lucky to have supportive friends.

The one person, man, I knew I could still rely on was Rick. Rick and I had stayed close and for some reason I felt close enough to him to tell him everything. All the dates, the drama, my feelings… which I shared with almost no one. I kept thinking that if I pretended I was ok, I would eventually actually be ok. This act might have eventually worked in the long run, but it wasn’t working for now. Rick could see the semi- self-destructive path I was on, and I think he stayed close and put up with my over-sharing to make sure I didn’t spiral out of control.

I decided to take a break from men, which, let’s be honest, lasted all of about 15 minutes, and I was busy at work which kept me focused. We were only a few weeks away from our first pageant of the season, and things were getting hectic. I started staying later and later at the office. I didn’t like being alone in my apartment, so I started going home late and left early each morning. I started going to the gym again and decided to do whatever I could to get myself into a good place. Sabrina told me to be a bit selfish; that is what I planned to do.

Sabrina and I also discussed the five stages of grief and loss: 1. Denial and Isolation 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance

At this point, I was in stage 3. Bargaining. When you feel helplessness and vulnerability, you have a need to regain control. I needed to regain control of something in my life. The hardest part was I didn’t even know what I was trying to regain control of. During this stage many people try to give the marriage one last-ditch effort, this was not my case. I defiantly had zero desire to give my marriage another try; I just wanted to give my life another try. The life I had before I ever met my husband.

I did eventually get a response to the email I had sent on October 8th, eight days later. The response was what I expected; brief, empathetic, and final. We never spoke again.

Single & Stylish,

xx Keylee

When you are going through an “all about me phase,” it is good to spoil yourself a bit! Here are a few things that will make you feel spoiled but won’t ruin your wine budget!

*All of the events I have written about in the above and previous posts are about me, my life, my experiences and from my point of view.

© Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and KeyleeStyle.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and KeyleeStyle.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.