Divorce, Grief

When A Blast From The Past Feels Like a Punch In The Gut

Something happened last night that I need to share. I need to share because one of the ways I feel better is to write, and quite frankly I need to feel better.

I have an upcoming trip to the Philippines and I’m looking into buying a new camera to take a long. For the past 4 years or so I have only used my iPhone for pictures but I figure if I’m going on a 2 week vacation to somewhere half way across the world I should probably take better quality pics.

I remembered that during my move a little over 2 years ago I had packed away an old camera and video recorder I used to use when Anna was little. I found them tucked away in a box in the back of my down stairs closet. I grabbed them from the box and charged them both.

At the end of the evening as Anna is brushing her teeth I start watching video. It’s a really cute video of her when she was 4 opening her gifts from Santa. I told her that tonight instead of books, we’ll watch a few of these home videos before bed. She is very excited to do so.

We are snuggled in her bed viewing a video of my ex, Anna and her brother on a camping trip in May of 2013. I remember that weekend well. I didn’t want to go for the entire weekend. This was when my ex and I were really having issues and, so as a compromise I met up with them for the day. The video is fun to watch. Both kids are so little. Anna is 3 and my step son is 11, still a young boy.

After about 5 minutes of watching them by a camp fire, Anna eating and my step son widdling a stick the scene moves to the kids playing at the local park located at the camp site. I recognize another little girl immediately. It’s Fugley’s daughter. My heart starts beating out of my chest and my hands start shaking. I haven’t felt this much rage in over a year. I could have won an Oscar for how calm I seemed to Anna. She quietly states that she knows who that girl is and tells me her name. “That’s right.” I say, as calm as can be. I then tell Anna that this will be the last video we’re going to watch and that she needs to go to sleep.

I shut her door and I am seething mad. That mother fucker was so arrogant that the not only invited his Ashley Madison mistress to join MY family on a camping trip, but filmed her daughter! Just a reminder he and I were still married at the time and he had just started this affair.

I call him and cool as a cucumber I ask if he wants the video to watch with Fugly this weekend to commemorate their love. He declines and tells me he is getting ready to go to bed. That’s it. No apology, no embarrassment, nothing.

But then, what should I expect? I haven’t gotten a sorry in the 2 plus years since the cat’s been out of the bag. Shame on me!

Today, I woke up and still feel a little stung from what happened last night, but I’m about 90% over it. Thank God for two of my best friends that spent time with me on the phone last night.

I am pissed more than anything. What a huge slap in the face and reminder of what a POS I was married to. I didn’t expect that as Anna and I were preparing to reminisce and view old memories.

I need to finish up now. I have to hop in the shower to get ready to chaperone my daughter’s field trip. Today I will only focus on the good. The sun is out and I get to spend all day with my favorite person in the world.




5 Divorced Women Share What They Wish They Had Known Before Marrying

Woulda, coulda,  shoulda, isn’t that how the saying goes? If I knew then what I know now would I have married the man I did knowing how badly it ended?

As women, many of us envision married life as having the white picket fence, 2.5 kids, Prince charming by your side, and living the American dream; happily ever after.

Then, you get married. Reality sets in. Many of us realize we got into a relationship that we don’t see lasting “til death do us part.”

I asked a handful of women in my network what they wish they had known before they got married.  I got a variety of answers, but what stuck out to me the most is that every single one of us wrote in one way or another that we wish we knew before we got married that we were enough. Every single one of us settled on someone because we didn’t think we were good enough to get treated and loved the way we deserved.

Below 5 Divorced Women Share What They Wish They Had Known Before Marrying

1. RM- Married 7 ½ years, together for 9

I wish I would have known how much work you need to put into a marriage every single day.  You have to treat your marriage as you would a full-time job.  You have to work at making your spouse the #1 priority even if you have kids. Plan regular date nights, have sex on a regular basis, go on trips together. Don’t let good sex cloud your judgment over the things that really matter in a long-term relationship, especially marriage. You have to be friends with your partner first. I never considered my husband my best friend. He would always comment that I always sounded so much happier when I was talking to one of my friends. Truth be told, it’s because I was. I was able to be myself around my friends. I wish I would have known that if your boyfriend seems to be a bit bossy, that will turn into full on controlling behavior as the relationship progresses. And with control means that you become a shell of a person you once were because you get beat down so much. You start to question your own worth. I will never ever allow a man to determine my worth again.

2. SS- Married 8 years, together for 21

The one thing I wish I’d know before marrying was that I would be ok being alone. For many years I stayed in an unhappy, codependent marriage because I was afraid. I was afraid of being lonely, afraid of being a single mom, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make it on my own financially, afraid that our son would think I’m a failure, afraid of all the unknowns. So I stayed, disconnected from life, going through the motions, not feeling a damn thing. I was an empty shell breathing. I remember frantically crying the day he asked for a divorce. Not because I was sad, but because I was scared to be alone. But I started to realize that I had to make a new beginning. My life was craving a new journey, one that was defined by me. I slowly started to feel the life radiate back in the soul. I began to feel free from the prison of my own thoughts and what I realized was that I was ok being alone. I was enough. I am at peace and I feel whole again. I finally found the freedom from my own insecurities.

3. EN- Married 4 ½ years together for 8

Looking back at myself, if I knew then what I know now, I would have waited longer to get married.  At the time I was sure about my husband to be and thought he thought the same about me.  What I did not realize was I was blind and did not know the real man my husband I married was until he wanted a separation.  It was through his inability to be serious during our separation did I realize I could not remain married to this man as it would have led to a miserable, false life.

4. MT- Married 4 years, together for 11

One thing I would have known before marrying; I wish I knew that I was good enough, so I didn’t have to compromise and settle for less. I wish I was confident enough to talk myself out of the relationship that was full of compromise. I wish comfort of being married never took over my desire to live free.

My ex-husband’s family was abusive towards me from the start. My ex was the youngest of 3, with 2 older sisters with very strong and narcissistic personalities. My ex was quiet and his way of coping with his family problem was to let them be, and not rock the boat. When I came into the picture, his family started to attack me by doing things that hurt my feelings or made sure that I knew I was never included in their family functions.

I was wishing and hoping that my ex would stand up for me. After 11 years of being together, he never did. I don’t think he knew how.

So I compromised. I told myself “This is it; I must make this work because this is what I deserve. I can never find a man better than him.” Deep inside I knew I didn’t deserve all abusive behavior coming from his family, but I was comfortable. We were married, we had financial stability, and we were doing ok. So I let the comfort of being married take over my desire to live free.

But at the end, I have no regrets. It was my opportunity to learn to get to know myself, love my imperfect self, fight for my freedom, and understand that I am good enough. I am not going to give this freedom up again easily because it was damn hard to get it.

5. JK- Married 3 years together 7

I wish I knew my worth…

I was 22 when I met my ex-husband.  I was so young and stupid and within a year and a half had an oops pregnancy, got married a couple years after and immediately pregnant again, but then about a year-and-a-half later, separated for divorce.

So… my worth… I wish I truly understood my worth. Of course, there are a million things I wish I would have known and understood better about my ex-husband and his family, but ultimately, it comes down to me. Nobody really taught me my worth, at least not the right people.

Although I thought I had high self-esteem and I definitely was an accomplished individual, good daughter, star athlete, great student, loyal friend, highly sought-after employee.

But, I was lacking the deep understanding of my worth and had no one to guide me into healthy, respectful, worthy, romantic relationships. I was missing the key importance of setting a healthy standard for my own match.

It took me time, help, discipline, and motherhood to value and better understand my worth.

We all make better choices when we know more and I believe it starts with knowing your own worth.  Truly understanding the meaning; having expectations for ourselves to challenge each other to be better and grow.

I am remarried now and have such a better understanding of my worth. I purposely have consistent conversations with my own children so they truly understand their worth so that they set healthy, appropriate, and fair boundaries and standards, and take their time.

I wish I knew my worth, we always need to start with ourselves, because knowing yourself makes all the difference.

In closing,

I believe my favorite fictional character sums it up the best.

Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.

Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Divorce, Grief, Life

What Being In Therapy Has Taught Me About Life

Today I made the difficult but right decision to let my therapist know that I would not be coming back after today.  The last 6 months with her have been so helpful and empowering. She gave me tools that I will use forever to succeed in my journey of healing and self-discovery.

This decision also makes me a little sad. I really like my therapist. We just “clicked.” If I would have met her randomly at a party I would immediately like her. I could tell she really “got” me and what I was going through because low and behold she had gone through the same thing! I think it was fate that I found her when I did. Every single time I walked out of her office I felt lighter, refreshed and ready to take on what life was ready to throw my way.

I’ve been to therapy many times in my life, but never for very long. After a few sessions I felt I got what I needed or didn’t get anything at all so I would stop going. The last time I was in therapy was with my now ex-husband. He was in the midst of his affair, but forgot to mention said affair while we were in counseling. But, that’s water under the bridge and I have moved on. For the most part anyway.

Here are a few things the last six months of therapy have taught me.

  1. When on a journey of healing from a painful divorce and dealing with the residual anger that comes with that experience, be easy on yourself. You’re going to fuck up and go to crazy town once in a while. And that is ok! You just want your visits to crazy town to become further and further apart until eventually you never have to visit that place again.
  2. Self-healing is a lot like training for a marathon. You can’t go from chip loving, pizza loving couch potato to running a marathon in one day, just as you can’t go from damaged and angry to peaceful and loving in one day. It takes time, work and reconditioning to get where you need to be. Whether it is physically or emotionally. When I get mad at myself because I fucked up and behaved in a way I shouldn’t have I remind myself of this. You can’t go to the gym one time and walk out with six pack abs. Boy would that be nice though.
  3. Life is hard. Really hard. For all of us. We are all fighting or have fought battles in our life that we wish we wouldn’t have. Therapy is something that I think is still taboo and people are afraid to talk about.  Therapy has been a life saver for me. Truly. It has been worth every single penny. I think everyone should have a therapist just as everyone should have a primary care physician or a dentist. Mental health care is just as important.

The last few weeks have been the best I’ve had as far as talking myself off the ledge when I start to think about my ex and what he did. A year and a half ago I would text and/or call him and berate him, scream and cuss at him all day long. Now I remind myself of all the reasons I’m so happy we are no longer together.  This replaces my need to go harry carry on him. A few of those reasons are:

  • I live in a house where I no longer have to walk on egg shells.
  • My stomach doesn’t turn when I hear the garage door opening knowing that he is home.
  • I don’t worry about getting micro managed in the kitchen and being told what pot to use to boil water, or god forbid how to properly load a dishwasher. I now get giddy when I turn on a half full dishwasher. Why? Because I can, damn it!
  • I spontaneously decide what to have for dinner each night instead of having meals pre-planned. God forbid we go out to eat when it’s taco night! No more of that. If I thaw out chicken in the morning but get a hankering for Thai food. Guess what? Thai food it is!
  • I no longer have to deal with a fuddy duddy who never wanted to go anywhere unless it was within a 5 mile radius of the house. I can do what I want, when I want and don’t have to deal with a wet blanket while doing so.
  • My daughter now has a happy Mom who is redefining herself every day. And that is a beautiful thing.


My journey is not over, not by a long shot. I will keep working on my healing and self-discovery until the day I die. I now have the tools in place and the mind set I need to keep trudging on no matter what life throws my way. I have my therapist to thank for that.



Divorce, Grief, Life

When Can I Have That Breakdown I So Desperately Deserve?

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“When Life serves you lemons, make lemonade.”

“The glass is always half full.”

These fluffy, positive life sentiments are my life mottos. Or perhaps I should say was my life mottos.

I’m getting a little jaded as I get older. Life just sucks sometimes and life can be really unfair.

In the span of a year and a half I found out that the loving, sweet, poem writing, compliment giving husband I married was actually a sociopathic, cheating liar.

In May of this year my upbeat, always optimistic, happy, always smiling dad got diagnosed with Lymphoma and died two months later.

An ex-boyfriend I loved so madly and deeply at one point in my life many moons ago suddenly reappeared and just as quickly left my life once again.

Sometimes an ubur positive, living a life of gratitude woman can only take so much before she’s ready to have a breakdown. That someone is me.

I have always loved life and always looked on the bright side of every situation, no matter what was thrown my way.  Before my divorce and death of my father, I had been through a lot of setbacks and heart ache. My mom died when I was 12, I’ve had my heart broken by ex-boyfriends. Like really heart broken. Like five years to get over heart broken. I’ve been dirt poor more years than I haven’t been dirt poor. I’ve always had self-esteem issues and feelings of inadequacy.

But still, I managed to pick myself up and live my life. Live a life full of joy. People always compliment my smile and say that I smile a lot. Well, truth be told that smile as of late is fake.

Melissa Etheridge has a song called Breakdown, which is my theme song that is constantly playing in my always “on” brain.

When in life do we just have to surrender and say “enough is enough?”

I think as women we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders because we have so many people depending on us. This could be our kids, our spouse, our boss, or friends. I was talking to my therapist and I told her that I feel like I’ve been holding up this brick wall for so long, that right now my arms are shaking so bad that I’m about ready to let that wall fall down and crumble right before me.

How do I exercise that muscle so I can continue to hold that wall? Or do I need the wall to crash, so I don’t need a wall to hold onto at all?

I do know this. I have a little person depending on me. She needs me as much as I need her. I may have given birth to my daughter but she has actually saved my life. If it weren’t for her I probably would have drank myself to death after I found out about my husband’s affair. I would have not been able to find the strength to move on and find help to rebuild my life. It was because of her that I did find help and work on rebuilding our new life together. A life that up until a couple months ago was a good life. A life of love, peace and laughter. The death of a love one will put a damper on the peace and laughter, at least for a while.

As they say, “The show must go on.” But there are times that I just want to close the curtain and call it a day.

I don’t know if that will happen. I’m too busy living my life to have the nervous breakdown I so desperately want and deserve to have.

Ladies, I want you to know that it’s ok to be weak once in a while. It’s ok to cry and not want to get out of bed in the morning. There are a lot of us out there, but some too proud to admit.

I am one of those proud that is finally ready to admit it.


How To Tame The Beast When It Wants To Run Wild

I went there today with my ex-husband. And when I say there I mean that ugly place where I say or in this case text something where instead I should have just taken a deep breath and moved on with my day.  I have been doing  good for a long time staying silent when I really want to go a little nuts or say something really passive aggressive to my ex.  My tongue has the bloody scars to prove how much I’ve been biting it the past few months.  But sometimes I can’t tame the beast and it unleashes like a caged tiger jumps at a fresh raw piece of meat once that cage door opens. Today I was that tiger and my ex was that piece of meat.

My ex lied, cheated and betrayed me when he decided to have an affair. I’m more upset about the betrayal more than anything. Neither one of us was happy the past few years of our marriage, but even so when we fought (which wasn’t really that often) we were never the type to cuss, scream, degrade and yell at one another. We fought like real adults. We talked about what was pissing us off and didn’t need to tell the other person to fuck off.

Well now I have days where I would love to shout FUCK YOU from the roof top. I want to hear it echoing miles around me so that bastard knows what a piece of shit he is. Is this healthy? No. And I know it’s not. But isn’t it ok to still go crazy once in a while? When is the perfect time to let it all go? I don’t know the answer.

Why do I still harbor this anger and resentment? Is it because the last few times I’ve seen my ex he tries to play nice and make small talk?  Any sort of friendship or idle chit chat will not be happening. That all went out the window when he decided to fuck his mistress in our bed for a year and a half. This mistress whom he met on the married dating site www.ashleymadison.com. Can you say “Jerry Springer?” I’ll also add that my ex’s mistress now girlfriend looks NOTHING like the woman Ashley Madison promotes on its homepage.  On a scale from 1-10, I’d give her a 4 at best, and that’s being nice.

I think what it boils down to is this harbored anger and resentment is really about me. How did I let this man who I spent 9 years of my life with make such a fool of me? Why didn’t I do anything when my gut told me on numerous occasions that something wasn’t right? Why did I ignore all the warning signs that something wasn’t right? Was I too lazy and not ready to leave? Did I not love myself enough to think I could do it on my own?

But, I hung in there for my daughter and step son. I’m the one that recommended we go to counseling. I did want my marriage to survive, even though I knew deep down that I had fallen out of love with him years ago. But now I get angry again, who in the fuck goes to marriage counseling in the midst of an affair and doesn’t bring it up? My ex-husband!!! My God, is he a sociopath? How this man sleeps at night is beyond me.

I am going to take a deep breath, count my blessings and play with the scars I’ve created on my tongue.  I have a feeling I’ll be biting it a few more times before I can finally say I’m over this and I have officially moved on.


Since Getting a Divorce This Is What I Know For Sure

Before going through my divorce, I knew one absolute truth and that was we will all die. There’s no way to escape that. Everything else was really a big crap shoot.

As I approach my official one year anniversary of my divorce and my year of soul searching I have come to realize a few things I definitely know for sure about myself and relationships.

It’s been a rough and rocky road, but I can honestly say that even though I’m not exactly where I want to be emotionally, I am so much closer than I was a year ago. I can tell that the hard work I’ve been putting in is paying off. Improving yourself mentally is just as tough as preparing your body for a marathon. You must work at it and work hard every single day to see the rewards. I am finally starting to see those rewards.

During this last year I had to take a step back and take note about the men I had chosen throughout my life and I began to see a pattern.

Maya Angelou so wisely stated “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Looking back I always saw a few red flags in the beginning of all of my relationships but naively thought that either he would change once we got serious or I thought that those red flags wouldn’t bother me later on down the line. I thought that it was something I could deal with. No one’s perfect, right?  Well, I was wrong on both accounts. When you see someone lying and stretching the truth to everyone else, but think he’s not going to lie to you, you’ll be sadly mistaken. When you marry someone who’s been married 2 other times and he tells you that both women left him, take note. There was a big reason why those women left him. Now I know. He is a cheating, micro managing, penny pinching douche bag. That’s why they left. That’s why I left. Lesson learned.

When your gut tells you something is not right then something is not right. This is something I would bet my life on.   Not once in my 43 years have I gotten that gut feeling for no reason. I have ignored that feeling on more than one occasion and it bit me in the ass. My now ex-husband had a year and a half long affair. I started to get weird gut feelings a month or two after he started this affair. I ignored it because I never ever thought he was the type of person to do such a thing. I should have listened. Sometimes we know things before we want to believe we know things. I swear to God that I will never ever ignore that feeling again.

I also learned very recently that it is me and me alone that controls how I feel.  Whether I’m happy, sad, mad, jealous, etc. it’s my reaction that will determine my emotion.  I have wasted so much of my energy letting the negative behavior of my ex get to me. I finally realized that what he did and continues to do is his issue. He’s the one who has to lay his head on his pillow every night knowing what he did. I do the same knowing that I tried my best and continue to only focus on the good.

And there is so much good. I have learned that had I not started being grateful for what I do have even at my lowest of lows, I could never have made it as far as I have. Instead of wallowing in my pity and woes I make it a point each and every day to think of at least 5 things I’m grateful for. I usually start with the same two every day; I woke up and I have my health.  Honestly, I don’t understand how the people who are always negative, bitching and complaining all the time can make it. Life is really hard at times, but you have to see the silver lining. You just have to in order to make it to the other side taking away some life lesson that it was supposed to teach you.

It’s been a long and winding road to get where I am today, but I have no doubt that I’m where I am supposed to be.

Divorce, Life

Is Single Life Really The New Boogy Man?

I’ve come to a realization that I am a rarity within my female gender.

I don’t feel like I need a relationship, a man, a warm body to “complete” me or to make me feel happier about myself.  Lately I have come across a multitude of women who choose to either stay in very dysfunctional relationships or jump into one relationship to the next because they are so damn scared of being alone.

This really, really pisses me off! Why do so many amazing, beautiful, talented women feel that in order to be whole that they must be partnered up to do so? Does having a warm body next to you really makes you feel that much better even if that warm body drinks too much, verbally abuses you, lies to you and cheats on you?  Why would anyone in their right mind choose this relationship over the “dreaded” single life?

I know that love is complicated and that both men and women are complex individuals, but why does it seem that I am the minority as I try to work on myself alone, without that warm body?

I need to find out why in the past I have always picked the dysfunctional men who have drinking problems, sex addictions, and the men who feel that habitual lying is a part of life and is ok to do on a daily basis.

As I step back and look at my past relationships I can see a pattern, and it’s not good.

I admit that I am very fortunate to have a tribe of many friends and family that love me and have been there for me whenever I have needed them. Especially during this past year of transition from family of 4 to breadwinner divorced single mom. Which by the way scares me to death to know that it’s me and only me that is responsible to raise my child and give her the life that is better than the one I had growing up. One of my biggest fears is that the day she turns 18 her first phone call with be to a therapist because I screwed up so badly during the prior 18 years.

I guess this is one of the reasons I’m choosing to remain single for the imminent future. I need to be a whole, self-aware, self-secure woman in order to raise a young daughter who grows up to feel whole, self-aware and self-secure.

What makes me so sad is that many of these women who choose to remain in dysfunctional relationships are modeling what relationships look like to their children. This then starts the whole dysfunctional process all over again with a new generation.

What is the answer? How can I help my fellow sisters realize that being single isn’t a bad thing? Why is being alone so scary? Do these women despise themselves so much that being alone reminds them of how much work they have to do in order to get where they know they need to be?

This process I’m in of self-discovery is not easy. There are days that I want to lay in bed, pull the covers over my face and stay there for weeks on end. But, I can’t. I have to face life and my inner demons head on in order to find peace within myself.  I am doing this work not only for me, but for the love of my life; my daughter. I want her to know that she doesn’t need a handsome prince to come save her when life breaks her down. What she needs is herself. That is all she will ever need. And maybe her mom.

Dating, Divorce, Life

Do they all really let us down sometimes?

When I was in Jr. High many years ago, my friend and I made up a little acronym- G.A.S. and it stood for “Guys are Shit” and our slogan was “They all let you down sometime.” We even had a man haters “club.” I was proudly the president of said club and my friend was fine being nominated as Vice President. What’s funny about this is that I can barely remember what I did last weekend, but I remember this part of my childhood as if it happened yesterday.

I’ve always loved love. I am a sucker for any romantic comedy and I always love when the outcast geeky girl ends up with the hot, popular jock. Think Molly Ringwald in the classic 80’s movie “Pretty in Pink.”  I had many daydreams as a geeky pre-teen that the amazing popular boy would fall madly in love with me and we would be sitting on my dining room table in front of a birthday cake getting ready to make out. Think the other 80’s classic “Sixteen Candles.” Pretty much every girl who grew up in the 80’s wanted to date Jake Ryan.

What I find sad is that in my 40’s I’m ready to return to my old position of President of the  man hater’s club and I find myself reverting back to that saying I made up when I was barely a teenager. In the last year my life I have been witness to the following:

  • A husband who had an affair with a woman he met on Ashlemadison.com. This woman would come to my house on a regular basis for a year and a half while I was at work and have sex with my husband in my bed. I was completely blindsided because I would have bet anyone that my husband would never cheat on me. I never ever thought he was the type. Lesson Learned.
  • One of my best friend’s long term boyfriend of 5 plus years cheated on her with someone young enough to be his daughter (she’s legal age, but barely) AND has proof that he also likes to give blow jobs to men who are living as women.
  • A new friend I met through my daughter’s school friend has been with her partner for 13 years and he has cheated on her the past 2 years off and on with the same woman. This man can’t decide who he loves and is stringing both women along. He treats my friend like shit, verbally abusing her and drinking all day long as she pays all the bills. It’s actually quite pathetic.
  • I joined a private online support group for divorced moms and I had to leave the group within a week because all of the stories were so depressing. A woman who was married for 30 years was left out of a blue for a man. More than one woman was married for 20+ yeas and their husbands pretty much woke up one day and decided they didn’t want to be married any longer. Another woman was 7 months pregnant when she found out about her husband’s affair. The list goes on and on.
  • A guy I briefly dated about 9 months ago who I met online still has his profile up and is now lying about his age. I realize this seems mild compared to infidelity and betrayal, but I can’t stand liars, especially since I was married to one for 8 years.


What the fuck has happened to good old fashion honesty?

I was miserable in my marriage and would dream about having an affair all the time, but I just couldn’t do it because the guilt would have been too much. If my ex and I would have decided to cut our losses a few years ago, we could have remained friends and co parented our daughter in harmony. But now, I hate his guts and can barely look at him. Sometimes I can’t.

Why can’t we all just be honest when a relationship isn’t working? Breaking up is going to hurt no matter how it happens, but it can soften the blow a little if you keep betrayal out of it.

Remember the saying “He’s just not that into you” made popular from one of my favorite shows, “Sex and the City?” Can’t we make this universal and just end it with “You know what, it was fun I did love you at one point, but you know what I’m just not that into you anymore and I feel the urge to sleep with someone else, but I have integrity so I want to tell you first.”

Am I living in a fantasy world to think this can actually happen?

As I sit here stewing on my Jr. High revelation from 30 years ago I realize that I may have been onto something. Maybe they do just let us all down sometime.

I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Divorce, Life

You Take Two Steps Forward And One Step Back

You know that saying “You take 2 steps forward and 1 step back?” Well, that saying is a perfect analogy to describe how the divorce grieving process has been for me. It’s been one full year since my ex and I separated, and 9 months since we were officially divorced. The first 6 months were spent crying, yelling, drinking too much, not eating enough, sleeping with a few men and trying my best to be a present mother to my only child, while also working full time. The only words I can think to describe myself are stressed out wreck living on auto pilot.

The second half of the year I spent picking up the pieces of my shattered self, trying to navigate and
recreate a new normal for my daughter and me. I did this by watching Ted talks, most notably “The Person You really need to marry” by Tracy McMillan and “The power of vulnerability” by Brene Brown, which started the theme of my new year: marry myself and live a life being vulnerable. I’ve had some really good days where I feel like I’m finally getting it together and I’m starting to get the old me back.

You see, I really lost myself in my marriage. I was not the perfect wife, but my ex was a micro manager who would nit-pick everything I did. He was also a terrible listener who would either not say a word after I talk to him, or he would interrupt me mid-sentence. After 9 years of this, my self-esteem took a major hit and I felt that I wasn’t important and that anything I had to say must not be very interesting. I became a shell of a human being.

As I step outside and reflect on my marriage I know that I do need to take ownership for some of the way my ex’s behavior affected me. I obviously was lacking in self-esteem or I would have stuck up for myself more often, and I did in the beginning. But after years of telling someone what you want and need from them and in return them not giving it to you, you begin to really believe that it’s YOU that’s the problem. That is such a horrible place to be emotionally.

I would say that up until last month I was feeling the best I have felt in years. My confidence was back. I felt more at ease, really opening up to those I spent time with.  I was hiking which was something I hadn’t done but had always talked about doing. I even went on a solo hike which was huge for me. I began to volunteer with the homeless which is something that is near and dear to my heart. Things were really falling into place.

But now I’m in a place of taking that one step back. I am second guessing myself, losing confidence in just about every aspect of my life.

As I write this blog I’m looking at my vision board I just make last week which has so many positive words and goals I have for myself. “Happy Girl”, “Do it yourself”, “Unstoppable You.” I even have Brene Brown’s definition of Wholeheartedness:

“There are many tenets of Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.”

Why do I not feel I am enough? I can even hear that little voice whispering it to me as I second guess everything I say and do lately. Why are we always our own worst critic?

I know that this is a phase and I am not giving up, especially knowing how far I’ve come. But, like most people, especially us that live in the USA, we want instant gratification. We know what we want and we want it NOW.

I guess my only option is to patiently wait to take those two steps forward again.

Is it too much to ask that they begin sooner than later?


Divorce, Grief, Holidays

December, why oh why do you hate me so much?

Oh December, why do you hate me so much? Thirty years ago you decided that December 20th would be a great day for my 39 year old mother to die, leaving a 12 year old pre-pubescent seventh grader with buck teeth and a mullet left to figure out life on her own.  Fast forward 29 years and you decide that December 27th would be a fantastic time for my husband’s mistress to call me to let me know about their year and a half long affair. Why, why must you hurt me so?

I have hated the holidays ever since that fateful December day in 1985, when my family decided that even though my 39 year old mother’s funeral was on December 23rd we should move on like business as usual and celebrate Christmas Eve as we had in years pass by eating an amazing meal my Aunt would cook and all the adults would drink too much while all of us kids waiting eagerly for the large sum of money waiting for us in a card from our generous Aunt. I remember that particular Christmas Eve as if I was watching it from a dream. I was 12 years old, and my life as I had known had been turned upside down.  Everyone was acting as if nothing had happened even though just the day before they had attended my mom, their Aunt’s, their daughter’s, their wife’s funeral. But, that’s pretty typical of my family and so many others. If you don’t talk about your hurt/anger/frustration it’ll magically go away. Isn’t that how it works? Not so much.

It’s three days before Christmas and I’m STILL waiting to get into the Christmas spirit. But, having a six year old little girl who loves this time of year means that I need to suck it up and put on my happy face. I am so grateful that in the first holiday season since my divorce I get to spend it with my daughter. I am not sure how I would have survived this holiday alone. But, I don’t know how I’m going to survive next year, or the next. It seems that no matter how great my life is, as soon as December hits all I want to do is lay in bed, pull the covers over my head and not get out until January 1st. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.  I have self-diagnosed myself as having PTSD. I believe that as soon as December hits I morph into a confused, naïve, shy twelve year old girl who’s life is about to change the course forever.

I feel guilty when so many people are gushing and shouting from the rooftop how magical this holiday season is. I feel like a scrooge and I want to tell these people to fuck off. I can’t even muster up the energy to listen to Christmas songs in my car. I bit the bullet one day while my daughter and I were in the car and I asked her if she wanted to listen to any Christmas songs and by the grace of God she didn’t want to.

Whew, got out of that one.

What’s strange is that as miserable as I have felt all month, on the actual anniversary of my mother’s passing, I didn’t feel anything. Nothing! And this was the 30th year she has not been in my life. Isn’t that weird?

I  guess the beauty of life is that in order to truly enjoy the good moments, we need the bad in order to feel true happiness and be grateful for those amazing moments.  As I have come to realize life is a roller coaster. And when push comes to shove, I’ll take the bad because I know how good the good can be.