Since I now have posting privileges (huzzah!) I thought I would offer myself up to the hive as a sort of...project? Experiment? Whatever.
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Unfrozen Cavewoman Housewife.
In 1983 I hurt myself at work and had to leave school to come home for a while. That summer I ran into a guy I'd had a crush on since seventh grade. We fell madly in love, and in 1985 we got married. I never went back to school. I went to work at my mom's catering company until we started having kids, then I quit and stayed home. Hubby had a good amount of money from a buyout of the family business.
A lot happened over the years. My husband started and lost or abandoned several businesses. He invested heavily in an experimental cancer drug. He opened a high-end clothing store. He started an Internet-based site geared towards the heavy equipment industry that tanked in a big way. He built a huge bowling center. He was involved in out-of-state real estate developments that I knew nothing about, and he built himself an enormous hunting lodge without telling me. There's a lot more, but you get the picture.
Around 2004 he had a breakdown. Life was very chaotic. I was scared to death. It was a terrible time.
Eventually things normalized a bit. Now he wanted to follow what he said had always been his dream. He said he was going to start a biodynamic farm and devote himself to the locavore movement. He poured all our resources into it. He was so in love with this new project that he decided to make a movie about it. He hired a producer and cameraman and started to travel the country interviewing people like Michael Pollen and Alice Waters.
Meanwhile I was taking care of the kids, and throwing myself behind each new project. I was the cheerleader, smiling my face off like everything was GREAT. Inside I was a mess. I knew he was crazy. Around that time he started to treat me like crap. I became the enemy. Then the economy collapsed.
We sold our house and had to move into the hunting lodge in the country. My husband lost interest in the farm and started another business which took him to town every day. The property went to shit. I finally lost it and went into a deep depression. I felt trapped, with no education and too many years out of the workforce. Every night he came home drunk. Sometimes he didn't come home at all. The kids were miserable and begged him to stop. I had no idea what to do.
When I found out about the affair I was devastated. He was in love with the mother of our youngest kid's best friend. They had been very indiscreet in front of the kids. It was humiliating for all of us.
So finally I moved out, and filed for divorce, and here I sit with absofuckinglutely no idea what to do with myself. I don't even have a BA. I haven't worked in twenty years. There are all sorts of things I'm good at, but that doesn't make me employable. I managed to find a floral design job for $10 an hour but they let me go after Mother's Day.
Fuck me, I married a psycho narcissist and threw away thirty years.
So here I am, an Unfrozen Cavewoman. I have to figure out what to do regarding this divorce. He does not want to pay any maintenance, just split up our assets, which are at an all-time low. I actually don't even know what's there. He's been lying to me about money for years. I also have to figure out how to get a job.
Lurking around here has helped a lot. I'm learning from others who post about their divorces, and am comforted by the warm and nurturing responses they get here on Groupthink.
I am just a little lump of clay. Help me make something beautiful! I'm still cute (the weight disappeared when I moved out, go figure) I'm healthy, smart and my kids love me. 54 is a hard age to start all over. I'll take any ideas or advice about life as a single adult, since I know zero about how to take care of myself. I was frozen, but not any more. Help me figure out what's next.