Where have I been?

What a crazy couple of years!!! Most of you that follow my blog have been with me for a while. It all started with a crazy little fanfiction that exploded and changed my life forever. What most of you don’t realize is where my life was at when I started writing it.

I started writing Holding Out For You (now Ready to Love Again) when I knew my marriage was over, but didn’t want to admit it. HOFY was my escape from reality. Not only was writing therapeutic, but the friendships I made online sustained me and probably kept my marriage together longer because I had a place to escape where people understood and supported me. Nobody knew of my struggles because I was an expert at being a Stepford wife. Failure wasn’t an option in my opinion and I would push my shoulders back and handle every situation with a smile.

A few months after I started writing the story, my husband lost his job and being the dutiful and supportive wife, I put on a smiling face and pretended everything was perfect. I had people commend me on my faith and positive attitude while inside I wished someone would notice things weren’t as perfect as they seemed. I know now that I was too prideful to admit that we were floundering and worse yet, that my marriage was failing.

I cried many nights over what I perceived as my own selfishness. I told myself that I had to keep my family together despite my unhappiness. I came from a divorced home and I didn’t want my kids to bounce from one house to the other. I rationalized that I could continue to manage my marriage until they were grown and then I could move on. Besides, I was stuck. I was married at eighteen and had my first child at twenty-one. I worked as a teenager and college was never discussed while I grew up, so I just figured it was just something rich kids did. I had no education and hadn’t worked since I decided to be a stay-at-home mom at twenty-two. I thought I had no other options.

I struggled with my feelings of leaving for months before an event in my marriage made me realize I couldn’t do it anymore. I would do whatever it took to find a way out and leave as little of an impact on my children as I could. Don’t ask what happened between my ex and I because I will never badmouth him. Ever. He was a good father while we were married and provided for all of us. We just changed after twenty-two years of marriage and I couldn’t live with the changes anymore. He was also offered a job back in Monterey and I knew that if I moved back then I would lose the support I had in Sacramento. I had a small window of time to make a decision and I did what I’d been thinking about doing for years. I asked for a divorce.

As many of you know, who’ve been through a separation/divorce, emotions flare like an uncontrollable forest fire. It was nasty and things were done and said that can never be undone or forgotten. Twenty-two years of a marriage turned into a battlefield where there were no winners. I was a mess. I tried to manage my divorce the way I managed my marriage and there is no managing anything when feelings are hurt and pride is bruised. My health spiraled downward and I developed debilitating panic attacks. The only thing I could do to keep myself together was to cut everything out of my life that didn’t matter at that moment. I tried to keep my kids out of the middle of our drama as much as I could and sacrificed the things I loved to help them through the transition. So, I withdrew from writing and social media. I left the fandom, my involvement in A Writer’s Collective, and the people that I loved because my kids needed me more than my readers did.

After the hoopla from the divorce died down, and we came to an agreement, I contacted Amanda from TWCS Publishing. As some of you know, Amanda was my very first online writing friend. She helped me plot out Lady of the Knight, Holding Out For You, Devil’s Angel, and almost all of my short stories. We would talk every day for hours about characters, plots and stories we were reading online. She, and our mutual friend Katie, invested so much time as my sounding boards for stories that I always felt they were almost co-creators. When I told her I was ready to consider publishing Ready to Love Again, I could almost hear her say “It’s about damn time.”

So, I’m on the publishing road. Why? Because the story is close to my heart. It sustained me through a difficult time. The emotions of the characters are feelings I think we’ve all felt at some point in our lives. It’s a story of overcoming hard times and how we endure the trials in our life. In this writing adventure, the only thing that means more to me than this story are the readers and friends who helped it become what it is today. Thank you for supporting me and helping me share this story with others that may need it like I did.

Until next time…
Annalyse

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4 Responses to Where have I been?

  1. marijee says:

    Hi Annalyse, Making life altering decisions are never easy. Change is difficult and such an unknown….and scary. From what you have written it sounds as though you dealt with all the upheaval in the only way you could. You not only had yourself to take care of. I think you are very brave. I have thought of you often and wondered about you…and I am sure I wasn’t the only one.

    I am so glad you are going to publish. I have loved your stories. You write with such emotion. Good luck and keep us updated!

    Ann

  2. Marysoul says:

    HOFY was the first story I truly fell in love with in the ff world, it started the long loving affair I still have with FF, it was a wonderful escape and it gave me refuge when the real world was not such a nice place to be in. Knowing now what it meant and still means to you makes it even more significant, remarkable, unforgettable. Thank you for sharing your work and ultimately a piece of you. I’m sorry you went through so much but knowing a little bit about you even if just by reading your words I believe your heart and your strength will carry you and yours though, as I’m sure it did and it will grant you all the goodness you deserve. Good luck for every aspect of your life.

  3. PeachyGreen says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing that. I am in a similar situation where I feel hopeless for my marriage. I applaud your courage, not only to make the decision to improve your life, but for sharing it as well. I always adored “Holding Out for You” and I am looking forward to purchasing the published “Ready to Love Again”.

    I wish you all good things in the future!
    -E

  4. debbieinsflorida says:

    It was nice to see your name in my inbox again. I’m so sorry that you had to go through what I can only imagine has been a terribly difficult time, but I hope you’ve found that even though it was hard, you made the right decision. Speaking as someone who’s facing a somewhat similar situation, but who doesn’t have your courage, I’m impressed. I’m also really happy to hear your book will be published. How exciting for you. A whole new road to travel down! I can’t wait to have my very own copy. Congratulations! Good luck and keep your chin up. You have a lot of people pulling for you!

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