Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fuck this year

Welcome to the last day of one of the worst years of my life.  Fucking 2015.  I had such hopes that things would improve, I would find happiness, and everything would be ok.  What did I get?  A shitstorm of lies, attorney bills, and anxiety.  It's the middle of the afternoon and I'm still in my bathrobe.  The thought of getting cute and exiting the house makes me want to cry or punch someone in the face.  I think that means I'm going to stay in bed with my hair sticking straight up because I can.  I have no kids tonight and I found a piece of Sees Candies in a bag by my bed that I thought was empty from last night.  I took that as a sign I should write and get out all of this shit that still stuck in my head from this last year.
I don't feel like I'm a whiny, miserable person by nature.  I feel like I'm relentlessly happy.  The kind of person who would annoy me to death right now.  Normally I'd be waiving my bag containing a chocolate around in the air yelling "you see? it's going to be a GOOD day!" and then post something motivational on facebook about it and seeing the bright side.  Uggghhhh I'm so tired right now. I think my contacts are stuck to my eyeballs and the cat hair I can see from across the room is permanently stuck to the baseboards.  I started my day with seeing fat pics someone posted of me online and a call from a collections department that really depressed me.  I've never been so broke in my entire life.  At least I'm not the collections agent who has to deal with all of us assholes who can't pay our bills.  That chocolate was pretty good and boyfriend fed me lunch that he magically pulled out of the fridge downstairs and there's a cat on my lap.  I also happy to have a super comfy bed and robe.  So it's not so bad.  And there I go again being positive. 
Ok so fine, let's be positive.  Let's turn my miserable fuck this year post into things I should be grateful for and stop all of this laying in bed and feeling fat like a can of busted biscuits.  Boyfriend built me a recessed pantry in my kitchen for xmas.  As in bought wood and paint and created this thing and gave me a ton of counter space.  He also loves to cook and feeds me constantly, which is why I'm fat and not so cold this winter.  Plus he's a snuggle monster and super warm, so I mostly don't even need my winter socks at night in my ridiculously cold room.  His kitchen stuff is also way nicer than mine, so he threw all my crap in storage and pimped out my kitchen.  Then my daughter's dad and his fiance got him the nicest cutting board I've ever seen (totally made up or me being broke and presentless) and he plopped that in my kitchen too and when I made cream puffs and a cake for my daughter's 6th birthday a few days ago I thought I was trapped in a fairy world where I own nice things.  So fuck yeah for my kitchen, food, and being fat and warm with boyfriend.
I'm in desperate need of having my faith in relationships renewed, particularly marriage.  I'm dying here.  I used to have this huge romantic streak and there's a black stain in my heart where it used to reside.  It doesn't help being in the middle of a traumatic divorce where I'm contacted by my attorney regularly over terrible paperwork filed or demanding documentation or paperwork.  It's basically ruined most of my faith in men and marriage.  I feel incredibly used, lied to, and manipulated.  I can't tell you how hard it is to date someone while you're going through this.  Boyfriend doesn't give a fuck.  He's so sure about me and us that it makes me want to cry.  How do I know one day he won't change his mind like everyone else and leave?  I don't.  I never will.  Does he just want money or someone to be there for his kids like other people? Will he cheat on me?  Does he have a secret agenda that I don't know about yet?  Most days I wish I'd met him years ago before this happened to me.  Some days I feel like I'll never recover.  I look for relationships around me where people stay together through good and bad times and fight it out.  I want to see that love still exist. I want to hear of fidelity between people and not stupid excuses like they gained weight, she didn't want sex enough so I was justified, we weren't married so it didn't count, they won't know so it's ok.  It all makes me feel sick to my stomach.  Take it from someone who has been cheated on and walked out on...I don't care about the excuse.  None of it is valid.  What I can say is that I'm grateful to have someone try to convince me every single day that commitment is not a joke and that marriages can be forever, even if I'm unwilling to say I might get married again one day.
My relationship with God was tested and strengthened a lot this year.  I should be grateful for that.  My spiritual progress has been the greatest of anything in 2015.  It's easy to praise God when times are good and hard to have faith when they are bad.  I have held firm to my faith during these times and I am confident that the trials I have faced have not been for nothing.  I will not spend my life being punished over and over.  If I am suffering or have suffered, then it will be to bring hope to others who need it in their times of pain.  That much I am sure of.  And if there's one thing you know about me, I'm an open book.  I'm happy to share my life and myself with anyone who needs it to help them see that life will get better, you can survive any challenge ahead of you, and there is always a light waiting for you.  You have to look at God like the force in Star Wars: there is an energy that runs through everyone and everything, connecting it.  There will always be the light and the temptation of the dark, but in a battle of good vs evil, the good will always win.  Stay faithful even in times when the darkside seems to be winning.  These small victories are temporary because the light will always triumph.  I am grateful for my faith in God that brings me peace when I am panicked, allows me to laugh under stress, love my babies when my heart is breaking, stand tall when my world is crumbling, and find sleep when my mind is racing.
I have suffered with and pulled back from loneliness.  I spent so many hours this year sitting alone in my house after my kids were asleep feeling terrible about myself.  It's a hard thing to survive someone in your house making you feel worthless.  After a while you start to believe them.  I had a lot of other people in my ear speaking the contrary.  I think the sheer volumes of friends and family that fought beside me saved me from depression this year.  People who stopped by with food, sent me money to buy formula, and just showed up to give me a hug.  I had so many people make an effort to meet me on a night I had free, bring me a starbucks and tell me a story of their own to show me I wasn't alone, and make an effort to listen to what I was going through.  I even had a new coworker give me their number and insist I lean on them because they had been through a messy divorce and custody battle as well.  I remember looking to God begging for someone to tell me it was going to be ok and wanting a reason to believe them before this coworker showed up to do just that.  I am incredibly grateful for the army that stands behind me to give me love and support in my darkest times.  So fuck yeah for all of my family and friends who are there for me.
When the clock strikes midnight tonight and 2016 is upon me, I would like a refresh.  A system upgrade.  A new OS.  I want to replace the control panel in my mind with the newest technology.  I want two large glass cylinders, one for love and one for faith, that never are filled to capacity no matter how much I pour into them.  I want a large extinguisher that can put out any flames of panic, worry, or fear.  A large heating pad that melts all doubt and despair and a box of tissues to dry up all of the tears, whether they be happy or sad.  I need the largest, fuzziest blankie that always has room for one more person, adult or child, to snuggle in and feel safe, no matter who they are or how lost they feel.  Because at the end of the day, every person matters and every person is important.  While I can pray for every person who needs it, I would rather sit and listen to them and talk to them until the world seems manageable again.  This is what I want for 2016 and I will believe that it will be the greatest year I've ever seen.  

Friday, December 4, 2015

Break your heart right back

My friend once told me that she wanted the truth for me.   We joked about how everything she asks for seems to come to fruition.  Today is no different: I am burdened by an over abundance of the truth in the worst way.  I'm on the of those people who likes to give people the benefit of the doubt.  I think people are fundamentally good and the rules are in place for a reason and we should abide by them for the greater good.  I'm not an anarchist.  I don't believe issues with authority are endearing.  In fact, I have a very low tolerance for that crap.  I think people need to grow up and take responsibility for their actions and this world that we have all put together.  It's for better or worse, we are all stuck together with no option for divorce.
So what happens when you have someone in your life that you can't get rid of that violates all of the fundamental beliefs of who you are?  That's where I am.  I'm stuck.  I'm tied to someone who doesn't play by the rules and is a selfish monster.  My counselor likes to tell me that there's no coping mechanism to deal with crazy.  When you have a narcissist torturing you, you can't rely on them to do the right thing, be a good person, follow the rules, or take anyone into consideration but themselves.  I'm tied to the kind of person that I've spent my life either pretending didn't exist or trying to fix.  Instead it seems I'm getting my eyes opened instead.  What it's doing is producing massive amounts of anxiety because someone has challenged one of the fundamental truths of my world.  I have to accept that people are good, you aren't protected and can't protect your kids from evil, when given the chance, people don't take the high road and make the right decision.  And this isn't the monster in the mirror.  This monster is very real.  He takes food from the table.  He steals my sleep and fills my head with nightmares.  He steals my happy moments and fills them with dread.  He needs to be stopped.
I want to say that I have a great plan right now so my ears could be filled with cheers, but I don't.  I have no way out.  In fact, I don't even see a light at the end of the tunnel.  After six months and 10 thousand dollars, I have nearly lost all hope.  I see no end to this disaster.  There is no limit to his selfishness and the amount he wants to punish me and my family for whatever slight he's told himself occurred.  Do I trust the legal system to protect me?  I don't know anymore.
Everyone tries to distract me.  I'm so lucky to have so many wonderful friends and family members to hug me, encourage me, and talk to me about nothing to take my mind off of it.  There are days I don't recognize my own face in the mirror.  I've earned those worry lines on my face and the dark circles.  At the age of 35 I'm facing the possibility of losing my car because my dad can't help me pay for it anymore.  I'm granted the grace of visiting my sister simply because her family is willing to pay for a plane ticket.  The day when my credit card is maxed out and I am out of options is fast approaching.  I am a woman who has faith and believes in God, but it's hard to deny the numbers, especially with my bank account still empty waiting for a child support payment so I can go grocery shopping and get gas just to drive to work.  So put your hands on my shoulders and look into my eyes and tell me I will get through this.  That after six long months of suffering something will change.  That God is never late.  Once I finally have my head pushed under water, will He give me gills to breath?  I shouldn't be sitting at a tiny kindergarten table having a parent teach conference panicking because I can't deal with anyone because I'm so overwhelmed.  There is no music mindless enough or movie funny enough to clear my mind.  There is no form of math to crunch the numbers to make them magically work and give me any sense of relief.  Just more court dates.  Just more demands over and over again.  Nothing seems to be good enough.  All I can do is pray.
Dear God,
Please help me.  I'm so tired.  My chest hurts from all of this worry and I can't take much more.  I feel myself slowly giving up and I know I can't do that.  If falling apart is not an option, then I need the strength to carry on.  Please bring peace to my heart and calm my nerves because I cannot do it for myself any longer.  They say you are never late, so where are you today when I can't take anymore?  I have come to understand that my purpose in life is to help people by bringing them hope from my own experiences.  I've lived such a hard life with so many hardships.  I have also overcome so many health issues.  I am still here to tell the tale, and I tell it to as many people as come to me.  I am trying to walk the path that you have put infront of me. My faith remains unshaken.  I shouldn't question how bad it's going to get, but I can't help it.  I suppose if my mission is to help uplift women all over the world, then I would have to suffer at the hands of the worst monster any have ever seen.  I am certainly experiencing that now.  When I tell people about the lies, cheating, other babies, demands, and dangerous behavior, they can't believe that it's real.  They tell me it sounds like a movie.  I can only hope that means there is a happy ending.  For six months I've woken up each morning and drawn a breath into my tight chest and taken on the day.  Every night I'd laid down and closed my eyes and tried to block out the monsters screaming inside my head.  I need to know there will be an end to this.  I need to know that I will get through this to the other side.  The tunnel seems so long that I can't see the light.  After six long months, I need to know that the eye of the storm is passing over me.  I am in desperate need of hope today.  Last night I found myself thinking that this is how my life is now and that I'll never be free.  I'll never be happy again.  I can't slip into that oblivion.  I cannot believe that you have pulled me out of that hospital bed to torture me.  I will not believe that I survived a second pregnancy to suffer every day and not enjoy my children.  That cannot be my fate.  This cannot be how my story ends.  Please protect my family and keep us together.  Please restore my faculties so that I can believe that this is temporary. Calm my nerves and still my fears.  Show me the way to keep a roof over our heads and protect us from the evil that continues to try to hurt us.  As I have repeated many times throughout good times in bad in my life, I will repeat my favorite Baha'i  prayer from my childhood now: Is there any remover of difficulties, save God? Say: Praise be God, He is God. All are his servants and all abide by His bidding.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

1000 proof won't hide the truth

I've always thought it must be a terrible thing to be a liar.  To have to remember your story, think before you answer, pay attention who you are talking to, and remember your story.  I've seen people convince themselves the truth doesn't matter.  I've seen them lie to themselves so much for so long that they forget what's real and what's fake.  The thing is, the truth has a way of finding you eventually.  As someone who has been chronically lied to over the past few years, I find the truth a great blessing.  And while the truth may have set me free by giving me the opportunity to see things more clearly, it revealed the liar to be a much greater monster than I ever could've imagined.
I want to take a minute to thank the women of the world for acting like real women.  Thank you to those women who put their kids first.  Thank you to those of you who know how to support your fellow sisters, build each other up, stand your ground for what is right, and above all, bless those of you who tell stories with proof.  It's a hard thing to know who to trust these days.  I feel like I've been taken advantage of by one of the biggest con artists that I've ever come across.  Victim is just not a look that looks good one me, but I feel like it's been forced upon me for too long.  Do I feel better knowing that I was not the only one taken advantage of?  No, I do not.  I do feel good knowing that women can bond together and say, hey, this wasn't your fault.  You will be ok.  Your kids will recover from this.  Life goes on. I feel good knowing that children can be raised by people who believe in good, honesty, family, and rising above evil that has been done to them so their children are not being punished.  I'm telling you right now I'm bending over backwards to see the blessing in my tragic situation and I'm struggling.
Everything happens for a reason, right?  I'm supposed to learn something from this mess around me?  How about I've learned to value my female friendships.  Lord knows I'm still struggling with men, but I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love the women around me.  I am so incredibly blessed to have friends around this country that stand behind me, who I trust, rely upon, and confide in.  I know the value of being a good friend and I do my best to be one and appreciate those rock stars around me.  Those crazy bitches who are fighting cancer and call me the strongest person they know. Towers of strength who lose their houses and jobs and move across the country and almost lose their husbands too, but hold that shit together.  Women who selflessly give up their careers, dreams, goals, and ambitions for the good of their children.  And I'm the strongest person they know?  Ladies, thank you, but no.  I am only as strong as my support structure and I come with an army of steel behind me.  But that steel is built of love and determination.  Not lies, selfishness, and personal gain.  Didn't you know things like love, honesty, selflessness, and are what rule the world?
I feel like I'm always involved in some battle these days.  Someone always needs me.  There's some situation to be straightened out and I need to be level headed enough to give the right advice and stand in the right position.  I want to say it's stressful or I hate it, but I don't. Honestly I have great pride in the fact that so many people turn to me for help and advice.  I must be doing something right of that to happen.  I wonder if they knew all I was trying to do was be honest, fair, and do the right thing.  Literally treat others how I want to be treated.  Do I get an award for that?  It seems like what I get is a terrible past and present full of pain and suffering.  Does my future hold that too?  Is my purpose to bring hope to others through a lifetime of suffering?  I hope not.  I would like to think that a lot of my suffering is behind me, but that seems so incredibly naive and optimistic than I should be. It has always seemed to be my purpose to have the story to tell to uplift someone who needs it.
Not a day goes by that I don't get a text message from one of my beloved friends in need of advice.  What should I do about my ex?  Help me I had a miscarriage.  I'm suffering. I'm lost. I'm sick. I need help.  And I tell them I am always there for them and I love them no matter what.  And so they tell me and I continue to love them for their bravery in honesty and their willingness to do better, to persevere, to be forged through the flames of suffering to a stronger version of themselves.  Everyone needs a lifeline.  We all want someone to hold our hands through our scariest moments.  I can't help but wonder if there will come a time that someone will hold mine.
I don't have a problem with the truth. I accept the reality of my life and my bad decisions.  I seem to be constantly reminding people of what really happened.  No, you did cheat on that person. You did lie. You need to accept what happened and make it right.  Do you see how you are forcing this?  Why isn't it working out?  What are you not seeing?  Why does this happen over and over again?  And for me, well, I suppose I have this blog and my counselor.  Lately I've had a damn boyfriend of all things.  I say damn because it's absolutely ridiculous in this moment in my life to have a man there doing his best to hold my hand, take care of me, and promise me the world.  Seriously, like we are going to be together forever and let's get married and all of this crap that happens when you're young and innocent and you think that shit is possible.  Here I had screamed to the heavens that I would die alone if I had anything to do with it and he showed up anyway.  It's nothing against him. I believe that he's sincere in what he says to me.  Sometimes I go along with it and believe.  Other days I get lost in the sheer volume of times it's been said to me.  I've had more rings than I have fingers to wear them.  I've had 7 wedding dresses.  I've also spent over 10k in attorney fees for a divorce that's nowhere near over.  Can you blame me for not wanting white dresses and diamond rings anymore?  Do you see why it's hard to believe those promises?  I've had men look into my eyes and say the same words and mean it, then cheat on me.  I've been conned into getting married, pregnant right away, then abandoned and taken to court with no reason given and found out that man is nowhere close to who I thought he was.  How do you know the truth?
I can't turn into one of those people who does a background check on every man who tells me he loves me.  I can't question everyone's past and what they say is true.  I understand that everyone tells a slightly jaded version of their story, but flat out lying is something different.  I have always been good at reading people, so being taken advantage of the way I was is such a hard blow to me.  It makes trusting a new man very, very difficult because it calls into question my ability to decipher the truth.  I'm not sure what I know about people these days.  I can tell you that I love the idea of a family.  I loved being married to my daughter's father.  I look forward to family dinners, walks in the park, and family vacations.  I've gotten to a place where I've accepted it will never be mine and I will never be married again.  It almost hurts me to have it dangled in front of my face like this again.  Today, I am still tied to my ex and I couldn't get married again even if I wanted to and who knows how long that will go on.  For the first time I really do feel like damaged goods.  I feel old and used and thrown aside and I have trouble with that.  What I can tell you is I no longer believe that you only get to fall in love once in your life.  I've been shown that's possible again.  My heart did not die when my daughter's father left me.  It is still very much alive and well, just starved for attention.  I think what has died is my ability to believe in someone.  You can love someone and not think they'll stay with you and treat you right.  You can build a friendship and relationship and have a sadness reserved in the back of your mind wondering how bad it will hurt when they finally betray you and leave.  You can't plan weddings with those thoughts.  You can't promise someone your forever.
But if I am meant to love someone and have that family, then I can't repress that either. I have to be strong enough to let go of the control and let whatever will happen, happen.  My daughter's father was my very best friend and we had a beautiful little girl.  Yes, he broke my heart and I nearly died from it, but we were able to be friends again and he's a wonderful co-parent.  My ex showed up and took advantage of me and lied and got me pregnant and then left.  My son is the light of my life.  He was not an accident and he was meant to be here.  Now what?  This man shows up literally at my front door with his two little girls and is doing his best to love me and take care of me.  I'm actually happy with him in a way that I haven't been happy in years.  So I will either find a way to trust him or I will fulfill the destiny of being alone.  I'm not even wishing for one or the other at this point.  I'm ignoring my heart and my head.  Today I'm confused.  I'm sad, anxious, disappointed, hopeful, and scared.  I'm grateful for the truth.  I'm grateful for the people in my life.  I need to take a deep breath and pull myself out of this mess and up to higher ground.  I'm in desperate need of the warmth from the sun

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fire of 1000 suns

I think I'm depressed.  Except I'm fat and I'm always skinny when I'm depressed, so maybe I'm just anxious with a side of bummed out.  It's possible.  The boyfriend asked me how to make me feel better when I'm depressed and it occurred to me that I have absolutely no idea.  It's something my little sister was always able to take care of.  Maybe call her?  I don't know.  I'm pretty sure it's something about the tone of her voice that fixes it.  This is me picturing him making a girly voice and still not feeling better.  Ugh I'm depressed.
Over the past year plus, I feel like I've had the holy fuck kicked out of me.  There are days when I wish the emotional terrorism was physical so at least some of it would heal.  Sometimes I feel like I get worse every day.  If it's possible to get PTSD from shit like that, then I absolutely do.  Never underestimate a long term, terrible relationship's ability to permanently fuck you up.  Not that I'm committed to being permanently damaged.  In fact, I have my moments where I think that I'll be ok again.  Me starting to cook again is a good sign on its own.  My ex wouldn't eat my cooking and made me feel like I didn't know what I was doing in the kitchen.  Me who had been cooking for my family since I was a teenager.  Me who fed all of my college friend repeatedly because they knew that there was always home cooked food at my house.  Me who makes Thanksgiving dinner ever year with so much pride and love.  I know how to make pie crust.  I can whip out a real lasagna.  My kids deserve healthy, home cooked food and I know how to make goddammit.
I need more anger in my day to day thoughts.  I feel too much sadness.  Too much uncertainty in how things will turn out.  And in the way of an emotionally abused person, I'm afraid of nothing.  I'm scared of what might happen instead of dealing with what is happening.  It's no way to live.  There are days that I dread what might happen so much that I don't want to get out of bed and clean my house.  I don't want to fold the laundry.  I don't want the sun to come up so I can hide.  But go ahead and make me angry and I jump up and start doing things.  Cross one thing off my list and I go for another.  I remember I have things I need to do, people need me, and I want to keep going.  Maybe I just can't be left alone in the dark too long.
I feel like a loser a lot of the time.  I hate that my dad has to make my car payment because I can't afford it.  I hate that I charge everything on credit because I don't have the cash to keep my life going.  It makes me sick to my stomach wondering what will happen to my house if I keep going down this path.  It's stupid to be concerned about my kids having to share a room because I have to rent one out.  I have this voice in my head screaming at me THIS ISN'T HOW THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. Well excuse me, accusatory asshole.  It's not like this was in my plans either.  I was supposed to be happily married with my two kids...one from my husband and one who is in love with her step father that dotes on her to the point of wearing a batman costume to read her bedtime stories because she's worth the effort.  Ah yes, I still have that picture.  The memory is still in my head of...better days?  Other days.  Another life, maybe.  I'm not sure what that was anymore.  People are so surprised that he left me and filed for divorce the way he did.  They ask me all the time what happened.  What did he want from me?  Why did he marry me and get me pregnant just to leave?  Didn't he love us?  Was it all an act?  I have no answers.  I'm just sad.  I'm sad for my kids, mostly.  This wasn't what I wanted for them.
It hurts me to hear my daughter talk about relationships.  She's so sure that when you get married and have a baby that the daddy leaves.  If you ask me, I'll say he at least cheats on you.  I've seen it that way for about 90% of the couples that I talk to.  Men who have affairs while their wives are pregnant or taking care of the baby.  Ah yes, life is hard with kids.  It's so hard not to hold things against innocent men who haven't done anything to you specifically.  But what are the odds that they fall into the 10% instead of the vast majority?
I think some of the issues I have with relationships are that I'm not sure what to think.  There are days I think that people don't change and your inclinations are your inclinations.  Then I think people can grow up and make mistakes then do better.  Other times I think that you act different ways with different people.  None of that goes together.  I know I always say I reserve the right to change my mind, but it can't be midday, every day.  Maybe men can feel insecure and look to other women for validation then realize that's a bad plan and move on.  Ok, even I'm laughing at that. I've never met a man that survived being pursued by a woman.  When I talk to men who cheated on their wives/gfs and the girl hit on them, they seriously act like I'm insane to suggest they say no.  I've had exes give their number to strange women just because they asked.  They even told me about it!  Ok, so maybe the crazy is local to them, but maybe not.
I'll tell you what I know.  I've only ever gotten STDs while I was married.  I was under the impression that I was only going to get to experience true love once in my life and I was wrong.  As it turns out, a woman who has been divorced three times with two kids from two different dads is still someone to fight over.  Through all the damage I've been through, my heart still wants to be open, trusting, and loving.  I don't believe
...
This entry was written the afternoon of 9/23/15 and was interrupted by a call from my attorney and the latest of many battles I'm having to face.  It filled me with such sadness that I forgot all about this entry.  I went to see my counselor a few days later and told him I was feeling depressed and felt so much anxiety and panic over this situation and he gave me a book to read and assured me I am going to get through this, just like everything else.  Ah the dark days.  They seem to stretch on forever, don't they?  I feel like I have more to say, but I'm not ready to write anything else just now.  Today is my son's first birthday and I'm picking up my daughter to go have dinner with my son and his father as well.  As it should be?  I don't know.  Most of the time I feel like I'm in a nightmare and I take these small gestures as good faith that things will be better one day, even if deep down I feel like they won't.  I feel like everything is fake and people get close to you just to hurt you more.  So now I'm off to birthday dinner and my ocean of sadness comes with me.  No matter how many shores I see or towels I grab, my fingers remain wrinkled and wet.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ballet shoes

I'm having a hard time looking at my pictures tonight.  Pictures of me and my daughter twirling in front of the restaurant where I married her father in hawaii.  Pictures of me and my little sister holding my baby while she's pregnant, who now lives on the opposite side of the country. Pictures of my newborn son on Santa's lap and with the Easter bunny.  Today it feels like the failures of my life.  Why do I miss everyone so much? Why does it feel like I can't hold on to anyone or anything right now? There is a real pain associated with nights that your babies don't spend with you. It's a suffering that only single parents understand and don't wish on anyone. 
I think about how all anyone really wants is to be loved.  You want someone to love you, accept you, and want to be with you.  Because fancy dinners out and plays are fun, but overrated.  I'd rather snuggle on the couch in my pjs and watch Netflix with leftover meatloaf any day.  I want to watch my kids on the baby monitor.  I want to be sure that you love me even after my shower with that stupid towel in my hair. 
I think part of my problem is that I've heard it all before.  I've been proposed to, promised the world, impressed, romanced, and given more rings than anyone needs.  And in the end, I always end up alone and somehow surprised.  I can tell you I've dated 200-300 men in my life.  I can tell you that I've had seven proper boyfriends, one of those merely at the suggestion of my counselor.  I've been proposed to seven times...some of those not from proper boyfriends.  I've been married and divorced three times.  I have two children from two different men.  I am having a very sad and lonely moment, which is ridiculous because I am the least lonely person I know.  If I've ever been alone, it's been by choice.  I am constantly pursued by men, most of whom who have no idea what they want from me.  Just that they want me. 
Since my last husband left, I feel like I've been hiding indoors from everyone.  I have little to no social life. In fact, I just barely had my first night off in nearly 11 months 1.5 weeks ago.  It was wonderful and terrible all at once.  When you baby is not with you, you feel like you can finally rest because the responsibility is gone and you feel like you are strangling from panic because you can't take care of someone that you are biologically programmed to care for.  It's the best of times and the worst of times.  When I finally decided to dress up and go to dinner, it was the worst.  I locked eyes with a man on the street who followed me into a restaurant and decided he could put his arm around me and insist he eat with me.  He had to know me. He had to see me again.  I disagreed.  I didn't owe him anything.  Not my number, not my time.  I haven't missed this and here it is again.  I am aware that I'm not allowed to complain about men who see me driving and chase me in their stupid trucks because they have to hear my voice.  I can't be upset when they follow me back to work from my walk.  I can't complain about them stopping me to talk in Target. 
And how do I believe anyone ever again?  How do I let someone convince me that they are in love with me again?  How do you let someone near your children when you've watched a man break your daughter's heart?  How do you have sex with someone who is not as emotionally damaged as you are and watch them move through passion and love to sex and hair pulling in the span of five minutes?  It makes you want to roll over and hide your face in the pillow.  Tech support, someone help me, Jesus, I'm going to cry.  Nooooooo you're not fixing this.  No tech support for you, little fembot.  We're going to reboot you.  The horror.  You can't fake it anymore.  Real love still exists, even if you thought it was gone forever and you can't hide from it.
So now what?  In the midst of heartbreak, an expensive divorce, more anxiety than I've ever felt in my life, and so much uncertainty about tomorrow that I can barely breath...comes faith.  Faith that you meet people for a reason.  Faith that people are given to you and taken away as they should be.  Everyone serves their purpose in your life.  Things break apart so better things can come together and you will be lead down the path you should walk if you are brave enough to fulfill your purpose in the world.  I'm so sad.  I'm so scared.  Where does the strength come from?  Where is the peace I'm desperately looking for?  All I can do today is put my faith in God and trust my heart and mind to give me the answer.
Dear God, please protect my family.  Please show me how to fix the damage inside of my heart.  Give me the strength and bravery to let good people into my life and trust them because they deserve it.  Show me how to not punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty.  Soften my heart against those who hurt me so that I can continue to do the right thing and put my children first.  Keep my family together.  Let me cry when I need to.  Let me ask for help when I feel alone.  Let me love without fear or expectation.  Help me serve my purpose in helping people become the best versions of themselves.  Help me be the protector that I'm meant to be.  Send guardian angels to protect my babies so that they may sleep soundly at night, whether they be at their dads' houses or my own.  Help their fathers be the best men they can be.  Watch over me tonight and take this sadness from my heart and replace it with the hope that I need to make it through one more day. 
I have too much to be grateful for to be feeling this way tonight.  I don't want the darkness anymore.  6 more hours until sunrise. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It's only condescending if you're stupid

Once upon a time there was a little valley girl who was born to live life on her own.  She spent the first 9 years of her life in a household with parents who fought constantly, a mother who openly did not like her, and a strong feeling that she didn't belong.  The next 8 years she spent in a broken home with no parental supervision to speak of.  She was told she was not wanted, threatened with being abandoned to the state, and spent most of her time caring for her little sister.  She made plenty of mistakes.  She focused her time on studying.  She spent weekends reading books to her sister at the public library.  She realized that without a parental force to teach her things, she would have to figure out how the world worked and what she thought of it on her own.  She learned that children are found by adults who will teach them what they need to know, love and loyalty are not related to blood relations, everyone starts on an even playing field with the same chances to succeed in life, and doing the right thing may not always get you exactly what you want, but it does let you sleep at night and be proud of who you see in the mirror.  18 years later, here I sit. 
I think relationships are hard because you put two autonomous beings together and expect them to get along.  Every person is under the assumption that the person they are with is like them.  If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that nobody is like me.  I get a lot of "if I were you, I would..." and "I don't know how you..." when people hear about my life.  I just smile and reassure them that if they were in my shoes, they would also do the right thing.  Call me an optimist.  I think you can tell the character of a person by what they accuse you of doing or thinking.  I rarely have to accuse anyone of anything.  All I have to do is sit back and watch them get jealous, greedy, selfish, deceitful, and narcissistic to see who they really are. And the wonderful thing about being me is that I don't have to respond to any of it.  I am not the hand of God or Karma and it is not my job to exact revenge or justice on anyone.  I can step back, watch someone show me who they are, and walk away knowing that they will get what they deserve in the end and so will I.  There is peace in that faith.  It's not a peace that I would trade for anything.
There is something funny about a man who is jealous of infidelity while you're pregnant and busy taking care of you child and then you suddenly get a positive test result for an STD.  You have to laugh about someone who makes almost twice your salary, yet demands you pay for things for their home for their own child.  Am I supposed to get angry?  Do you want me to yell and scream about how life is not fair then do something childish and stupid like slash his tires?  I have no desire to roll around in the mud or stand at the gates of hell with anyone.  For me, it's easy to do the right thing.
So many people want to argue over what "the right thing" is with me these days.  They talk about how people don't deserve grace, how I deserve revenge in some form, or how acting selfish or vindictive can be justified.  Let me tell you something about doing the right thing: It is not up for debate.  It does not exist in a moral vacuum.  There is no room for negotiation.  The right thing is the right thing, period.  It is always the answer, the solution, and the goal.  It is also a hard thing to do because it necessitates taking your personal feelings out of a situation.  You have to be able to listen to a situation as if a stranger was telling it and give impartial advice for your own life.  It's nearly impossible to do for yourself or anyone close to you in your life.  With my personality being as overly logical as it is, it seems to be my talent because I can emotionally disconnect most of the time.
I'm still talking to God a lot these days, but most of the crying has stopped and has been gone for the past few months.  I'm still praying for the same people, but in a different way, I suppose.  First and foremost, I pray for my children.  To keep them safe, happy, and together.  To protect me and my babies from those forces that wish to harm us.  I pray for my daughter's father, that he may continue to do well in his life to provide a happy, stable environment for her with his fiance.  I pray for their bond to be strong and their relationship healthy so that they can show her a healthy, happy marriage where I have not been able to.  I pray for my son's father, that he may find a place where he is able to do the right thing and make good decisions for his son.  I want him to establish a stable home and become a good father and role model.  I pray that he finds his way back to God and places his son above his job and learns to value love and family over money and possessions.  For me, I pray for strength to withstand the legal onslaught that is constantly upon me, I pray for calm as I run out of formula and am forced to spend money for my son at my ex's house when he tells me to my face he can afford it and knows I can't.  I pray for the wisdom to see that this is temporary and the sun will shine in my life again one day.  I pray happiness.  Little moments watching my darling babies play together and the ability to enjoy those seconds of laughter as they ring out in my kitchen between those cherub voices.  Gratefulness for the hours my children are with their fathers that I have some downtime for myself, which is such a rare commodity.  The ability to adjust my expectations so that I can enjoy the parts of my life worth living.
I have to have faith that things are working out how they should and I don't question it.  It's a hard thing to marry your best friend and be ridiculously happy for years, only to have it fall apart in your hand and be unable to stop it.  But the experience helped me to become a better person.  It also showed me what a good man my daughter's father is by how he treated me after, which was with love, respect, trust, and kindness.  It showed me that what happened was a tragedy and not any malicious act.  My beautiful daughter is proof of all of the love that has ever been shared between us.  Then my next husband, the handsome and successful man who swept me off my feet way too fast gave me the cherub that is my son.  And while I was lied to, cheated on, accused of everything imaginable, and am still being dragged through a horrifying court processional, I wonder why any of it took place.  Surely someone who has suffered as much as I had did not deserve such punishment.  Is this what was necessary to give me my son then set me free from someone who never really knew or loved me?  I don't know.  It seems so cruel now, but I have to believe it was by design.  And my son is truly the man who stole my heart.  There is no regret there.  He is worth all of the costs and abuse done and coming, without question.  It still leaves my heart heavy.
The future is such an uncertain thing for me.  I have bills piling up, no end in sight to my divorce, and it's very hard for me to trust men at this point, although that hasn't stopped everyone from pursuing me.  As usual, I remain standing still, watching what those do around me, doing my best to make good decisions for me and my children.  I don't feel like I'm perfect, but I am trying to not punish other people for someone else's mistakes.  It's a horrible thing to tell a man that you don't believe what they tell you because the last person lied to you so severely.  I still do it.  In my mid 30's, life is not simple for me or for most men who want to date me.  I love you's are not given easily, sex is not at the front of my mind, and I can't see a wedding dress in my future.  I tell myself I'm done with children and that's fine and that all I want to do is stay home and take care of my kids, but it's incomplete.  I think deep down I still want the thing I've always wanted.  That thing I nearly had and lost and I'm finally ready to admit it.
I want to be married to my best friend.  I want someone to text me to tell me what they had for lunch or send me some stupid meme just because.  I like attention.  I want someone to actually think I'm pretty and not if I gained or lost weight or got plastic surgery.  I want someone to think I'm good enough just like this, and not just good enough, but the best fucking thing they've ever seen in their life.  Not too smart or too pretty or too loud or too much.  I want someone to make dinner with and take turns doing the dishes and to pick up groceries on the way home.  I want milk and cookies and movies in bed.  Someone who wants to wash my back in the shower and have sex with me too because the kids are already in bed and we can.  I want to be worth a sitter for a special date.  I want $10 roses just because I like flowers and you saw them at the grocery store.  I want kisses in the middle of the street and dumb selfies that nobody else sees.  I want burgers at 2am and even stupid arguments that last all night and make you miss work the next day.  And if I can't have mad, crazy love and like that doesn't burn out, then I want to be alone.  Because I learned that shit really does exist in the world and it's not a one time deal and close enough is not fucking good enough.
I have one chance at this life.  There is only one today, I get to live this hour just once, and this moment right now to figure out how I feel and who I am and what I want and actually do something about it.  I am not promised tomorrow.  Nobody is.  I've lived through too much to make due or suffer through it or just ignore it. I'm done.  It's happy or bust.  It's alive or dead.  It's right or wrong.  No more excuses or gray area or any of that nonsense.  I'm too old and I'm too tired and I know better.  I always act in the best interest of my children, always.  I'm learning to add my name to that list and stop pretending that almost is ok.  Because it's not and it never will be again.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Devils and angels

This is such a confusing time in my life.  I feel like everything in my life is an extreme and I can't calm down.  I have always thought that the universe shows you what you need to see when you need to see it.  This is God at work.  If you ask me what I need to feel better, I can't tell you.  So instead of praying to God and asking for what I need, I'm listening.  I'm paying attention to everything going on around me and standing very still.  I know my vices: I am too controlling, I take action too fast, I have no patience, I can't listen to good advice.  Through this disaster of a divorce, all I have to hold onto is myself.  I'm still in there somewhere, aren't?  I don't think a few years of emotional damage and banish me forever.  I've been thinking a lot about who I am and what I stand for and how I can continue to be a better person and have the most positive impact around me.
I forgot that I stand for love.  Do you remember me single?  I used to travel the country and visit men and fall in love.  Is there any better feeling than loving someone?  Have you ever watched a man look at you and just lose his damn mind?  I think your heart is yours to throw away.  Aren't we here to fall in love with the wrong people and ruin our lives over and over again?  Have I watched Moonstruck one too many times?  Why can't I believe it anymore?  It's time to send in the troops to make me believe again.
I've been very surprised that not a single man has come up to me and tried to have a casual affair with me.  Really?  What a departure from the last time my husband left me.  Whatever lesson I was meant to learn that time stuck because I'm not doing it again. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I could have cold, shallow sex with anyone right now. It's not in me.  Whatever ocean of sadness shows in my eyes seems to trigger the protective vibe in men around me.  Men who want to be near me, help me around the house, cheer me up with little drinks, take my trash out, hold my baby, and remind me that I'm worth being around.  I heard myself telling someone that I can't really cook the other day.  I have long regarded myself as a good cook and always been proud of that fact.  What has happened to me that I don't think that anymore? Is this the product of someone refusing to eat my cooking and making me feel bad about myself every day? Maybe having someone only think I'm useful for sex has damaged my ability to just have sex and not care anymore.  Maybe that's what happens when you have sex with someone you do care about and they don't return the sentiment. 
One lesson that I'm leaning the hard way is that you have no control over what other people do or say in their own lives or towards you.  I'm tired of feeling like I'm the victim of someone else's decisions.  I am not subject to only defensive responses.  You can't make someone stay with you if they don't want to.  You can't force someone to care.  You can't make them do the right thing.  People don't have to listen to you, period.  A grown man can make the decision to do anything he wants in his life and that's that, regardless of whether or not you agree.  I only have control over my own actions, decisions, and responses.  I'm learning separation.  I don't need to feel responsible for so much all of the time when not everything is something I can control.
I feel like someone is on a mission to restore my faith in men.  There are so many people in the world.   When someone is in front of me showing me the worst, the best follows them.  Someone makes me feel like I don't even deserve eye contact and then I get the text asking telling me I'm something special.  I feel insecure about being divorced three times with two kids from two different kids, and then someone grabs my hand in public and looks into my eyes and I know it doesn't matter.  I hear the rain falling while I'm in bed and someone lets me know they hear it too.  As I continue to sell all of my things to buy food, my friends continue to take me to dinner, pay for mani/pedis, buy me groceries, and help me watch my babies.  I have never been through such a humbling experience.  I have never felt so much love and support.  I have also never been so scared, had so much anxiety, or been so uncertain.  It is the very worst and the very best, all in front of me at once. So I stand still and take it all in. 
I can't stop you from hurting me.  I can't stop you from falling in love with me.  I don't know how to teach you right from wrong.  I'm not responsible for your decisions.  I am far from perfect.  Where did all of these boundaries drawn in the sand come from in my life?  When are the waves coming to wash them all away and let me return to being me again?  I'm not afraid of anything in this world.  My home is safe because I'm in it.  It's ok to give my heart away, even if I always get it back.  Once upon a time I was happy.  I was free, unafraid, and my world was governed by love.  It will be again one day.  Someday. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rise of the Siren

I've always liked the idea of an alter ego.  In high school I used to dye a little piece of my hair a different color and I named him George.  He wasn't bad or evil.  It was just a funny idea to imagine that a part of me wasn't like all of the rest.  There was something else brewing.  Soon the persona turned into a super hero.  I called her Panterwoman.  She wore black and was always sure someone was in need of savings.  Those were the college years.  The next one was Hazard.  When I felt like I was being overrun with emotions that I couldn't handle, I would joke that Hazard would come out to play to protect me.  I was so hurt by my daughter's father leaving me that I needed someone to break that physical/emotional bond for me.  I needed someone to push me past my comfort zone and limits and prove I could survive.  Today, after yet another failed relationship, I find myself looking in the mirror at another very different creature. 
At this point in my life, it has become clear to me that if I had to name the great love of my life, it would have to me the marriage to my daughter's father.  That fact makes me very sad.  When he left, I was sure that there was something better out there for me and I was going to find it.  The problem with that situation is that when he left, a part of me died that was never reborn.  It is a very hard thing in this world to find another person that lines up with you: your interests match, food, music, you laugh at each other's jokes, and you also like to see them naked.  I'm of the opinion that this is extremely rare and most people don't experience it their whole lives.  When you find someone like that and you have sex with them, it ends up being this mythical thing called making love.  And it ruins your whole world.  It's like a drug.  You will throw your life away for that person and not give a flying fuck what anyone thinks about it. I lived on that high for years.  Dare I say it was such a powerful experience that we still talk to each other daily because of the aftershock of that bond we once shared.  While there is nothing romantic or sexual between us now (I seriously can't even remember what it was like to kiss/have sex with him), I never hesitate to say how much I love him because my heart remains full.
When he left, he killed my fairytale.  I understood then that happily ever after doesn't exist and people don't die of broken hearts.  But I still believed in marriage, love, relationships, and monogamy.  I thought they were possible.  I became committed to becoming the best version of myself thinking that I would be deserving of being a partner in someone else's life again.  I wanted someone to think I was worth the effort and love me for me and be there for me and my kids.  My mission was getting to know men. I interviewed, dated, and slept with them all, didn't I?  I wanted to know what was out there and I did my very best to pick the best one I could find.  And he left me too.  The foundations of who I am and what I think about relationships is cracking.
I have no desire to talk to 200 men.  I have no desire to sleep with any of them.  Instead of watching men, I've started watching couples.  I've reviewed all of the information I know about all of the couples I know.  How they treat each other, how they treat me, how happy they really are.  At the age of 35, I've been around long enough to see long term relationships in my friends.  I've seen kids, marriages, divorces, affairs, and anything in between.  I'm one of those people who takes things at face value.  I don't project my issues onto you, I don't force you into some labeled box, and I don't make excuses for people's behavior.  You are who you are and I don't judge that or try and change it. I like to think it's what makes me a good friend and listener.  But hindsight is 50/50, and I have something to tell you about Hazard: that bitch was scared.  Even at the height of her wrath, she always operated under the "first do no harm" rule.  You had to get me good and angry to unless anything on your head, and it was still for your own good.  You'd laugh if you knew the hours of my life I wasted trying to talk men into not saying "those things" and not doing "those things" and to please reconsider and go back to their girlfriends/fiances/wives.  They probably just went and had sex with someone else. 
When I take a good look at the relationships around me, the vast majority of them are unhappy, particularly if they have children.  Of all of the men in relationships I know, 90% of them have said or done inappropriate to me.  Thank God I can exclude my sisters' boyfriends and husbands from the 90%.  It's the only thing that has not made me hate all men, I'm pretty sure.  And I'm talking my boyfriend's mom's boyfriend.  My father-in-law.  My good friend's dad.  Men who have no fucking business talking to me, let alone making an inappropriate suggestion.  There are the husbands who get drunk and call me and tell me they wish they met me in college.  The ones who have moments of weakness and admit that they wish it was me they went home to because life would "easier".  Do you want to know what I'm tired of?  Spending so much time worrying about whether or not I'm being nice to these men and helping them back to the correct bed when nobody is worrying about me.  I'm really sorry that you proposed to your fiance a month before you met me, but if you can fall in love with me when you are supposed to that the most in love with her that anyone can be, then something is fucking wrong. And I'm not here to help you fix it.
I do know some happy couples who don't have kids.  In fact, i am under the assumption that if I do not have any more children, I could probably find a man and keep him for quite a few years.  Oh it's just so easy to be happy when life is good, isn't it?  But someone else's kids are someone else's responsibility and that divide protects you.  I'm so sick of women telling me it's sad when a little bit of infidelity ruins a family. I can't stand seeing these "happy" families where I know the husband goes out and cheats on his wife while she's home with their kids.  It's everywhere.  If you want to be grateful for a husband who puts himself first and has abandoned you, go right ahead.  It's not my job to tell you you're kidding yourself. 
So I've decided to stop fighting.  It's not my responsibility to protect you or your family.  I don't want the blood of your failed marriage on my hands because I couldn't convince you to act like a decent human being.  I don't think people are monogamous creatures.  I don't think the inclination is to protect each other.  I think people are selfish and they look out for themselves.  I think they use each other for what they need when it's convenient.  I've been told I'm so easy to fall in love with because I'm genuine and you can get to the core of who I am very quickly.  Because I'm a good person and mother, it makes me appealing.  I'm not being this way to attract your men, in case you were wondering.  And trust me when I tell you that I'm nothing but up front and honest with them about how I feel about their actions around me.  But there will be no more crying.  No more nights of conversation helping them figure out how to make themselves happy and be a better person. 
It's the song of the beautiful siren that lures sailor to their deaths.  This one sings of loneliness.  They say once you see the truth, you can't pretend any longer.  I agree completely.  I can never imagine a situation where another great and powerful love finds me and lasts because I don't think it exists any longer.  I'm not Hazard any longer because I'm not scared.  Whatever hope resided in my heart is now gone.  Everyone comments how calm my eyes are and it's because I've accepted the truth.  Maybe you still believe in love and passion and promises.  You can pray to God to protect you as you come forward to dash your brains out on the rocks at my feet.  He did not protect me.  The eternal rhythm of the salty waves washes your blood from my hands.  The Siren sings on.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Suga, suga

I think I'm finally ready to understand the difference between a man wanting to be with me and just wanting me or wanting something from me.  There is some bullshit going on in the world and I need to figure out what it is, or at least begin to finally get my hands around it, because I don't want to be in competition for most marriages with Larry King and Elizabeth Taylor.  And while everyone likes to make jokes about my personal life and I take it with a smile, it's depressing too.  Oh, let's see who she marries next! Yeah, maybe not.
First of all, for all the men who are not single, I would just like to say that any woman over 30 realizes that you are not leaving your wife/gf/family for us.  I have no idea why you waste your time with me most of the time.  Well, I take that back.  Maybe I do.  When I think about it, I'm the perfect mistress: I like sex, I'm fun to hang out with, I don't want you to move in with me, but I love it when you do stuff for me.  I'm a double scoop of affirmation on a waffle cone, with a side of cleavage and a super girlie laugh.  I love living on my own, I really do. I love doing what I want, when I want.  It's a hard thing for me to give those things up.  I don't want to give you a drawer in my bathroom, I don't want to be distracted from being happy with my kids.  I certainly don't like you causing drama in my life when I should be focused on something important, like myself.  I'm very, very hard to pin down into a relationship.  I prefer to live like I have split personality disorder, with my kids on one side and my guys on the other with no bleed in.  But I have this whole moral compass problem when it comes to being a mistress.  You see, I've been on the other end of that too many times and I know how it feels.  I have no desire to hurt anyone, particularly a woman just trying to make her relationship work and take care of her kids.  Instead, I do what I've always done: I do my best to talk them out of doing it and help them become a better person.  Because fuck my life, I was made to help people.
When you do get me into a relationship, it becomes a struggle for me to remember myself. I'm so unwilling when it comes to getting into that situation because I'm an all or nothing person.  I seriously need buy in from my kids, my sisters, and my best friend.  I will literally drag you around the country before I marry you to make sure everyone likes you because, well, I have terrible taste in men, and more importantly, because of the kind of wife I am.  I love to love someone. What makes me happy is taking care of someone completely. It's really easy to be taken advantage of in that situation.  I guess I depend on the other person to love me and take care of me because I don't do it for myself any longer.  As a wife, you can expect me to have sex with you every time we are alone for longer than 5 mins, have me cook you dinner 5x a week, do all the laundry, and probably most of the cooking as well. Don't forget, I do it anyway as a single mom.  I greatly appreciate everyone anyone does for me, so it's not hard to keep me happy in a relationship.  All you have to do is be nice to me.
I was thinking about this yesterday, so I talked to my first ex husband.  You know, the guy who hit me.  First, it was his birthday, so it was a good excuse for me to say hi.  Second, he was the first in the line of three to lose their mind around me and I figured 11 years was enough time for some perspective to set in.  So buddy, you spent a long time in your car, ended up a Dr (good for you), have not managed a long term relationship, and are convinced it's not going to happen, as well as  not having kids.  He told me it took YEARS for him to recover from his mental breakdown in my presence.  Heavy sigh.  Well, I asked, didn't I?  I hate to say that three nervous breakdowns in a row are not a coincidence and I'm the common denominator, but come on.  I had asked #2 the same thing and he gave me a similar answer.  There was nothing that could've been done and being away from me was the only answer.
There's no way to communicate the heartbreak that comes along with thinking these things.  Do you know how it feels to have people you love tell you that being around you is bad for them?  Do you know how it feels to think that your best efforts at loving someone hurts them?  I hate that.  I find myself back at the conclusion that I am not meant to be with anyone.  For someone to operates on a daily basis thinking the main goal of interactions is to make sure you don't hurt anyone and do the right thing, this is really hard for me to swallow.  And I don't want to hear the good old "oh you haven't met the right one yet!" Please.  I'm 35 and I've met hundreds.  The three I married were so different from each other that I was SURE this last one wouldn't end up saying and doing some of the things he's done.  So many people have given me warm hugs and assured me it's not my fault.  I'm a good person. It's not you, it's not YOU.  I think it is.  I don't think people are made to expect whatever it is that I do to them.
My whole life people have told me that I'm something different.  There is something about me that makes men act strange about me.  Yoga pants, dresses, jeans, covered in baby food, no make-up, and with another guy. It makes no difference.  The guys I hang out with comment on it when they see it.  Like, wtf he didn't even think we were together!  Or, since when do they bring your food to you?  How about, where do those conversations even come from?  And I just smile and laugh and shrug it off.  I don't know what the guy taking my order wants from me.  The kid at Costco has no idea why he's chasing me around to put groceries in my cart for me.  I don't even think my daughter's best friend's dad knows exactly why he has to spend time with me.  Because I'm there? I don't think so.  I'm not asking for anything. I'm not flirting.  I'm not playing the victim or making promises.  It's all insanity as far as I'm concerned.  Look at me: I'm 35, steadily filling in with gray hair, covered in stretch marks, 15 lbs over weight, I say exactly what's on my mind with zero fucks given, and I haven't a damn thing to lose anymore.  Why me?  Go chase after some 22 year old who is willing to suck your dick for a diamond.  Cause I'm not interested.  To be perfectly honest, I think I lost interest 7 engagement rings ago when my boyfriend slept with someone else because he was too much of a pussy to just break up with me.
I think instead of trying to figure out why, I need to figure out how.  I don't want to complain about being tired and confused anymore.  I am not ever going to understand why people act crazy around me.  I need to figure out how to move forward without letting it bother me anymore.  I don't want to be married ever again.  And it's not actually because of what happened to me in my past three marriages.  It's because of what I've seen happen in the vast majority of marriages I've seen over the last 15 years.  I don't think people understand love and commitment.  I can name 30 relationships off the top of my head that involved infidelity in some form and they stayed together.  I'm sorry, but that's gross.  I don't judge them.  They can do whatever works for them, honestly.  I just don't want to participate.  The majority of it the other party didn't know or just looked the other way for the sake of her family.  Really?  Oh it's been 10 years and I only messed up 3 times.  Good for you, I guess.  At least I can say that wasn't me.  I'd rather have my name changed 7 times in 11 years than be with someone who looks outside their relationship instead of trying to fix what they have.
I've said it over and over: you can be in a relationship or not.  Just make a fucking choice and stick with it.  And motherfucker, don't pick me to be your dirty little secret.  I wish just once I could sit some of these women down and explain what they are actually worth.  But you can't open someone's eyes and you can't make them see what you see either.  And I have a serious problem, because I loved being married to #2.  That tells me that it's not contrary to my nature.  It means that I haven't been able to maintain it.  Now that I have kids to protect from failed relationships, I feel like it removes the luxury of me trying again.  I miss having sex, snuggling at night, and having someone around to help me with things, I do.  I hate being so broke that people have to buy formula for my baby.  I hate not being able to just buy groceries and I have to sell things on ebay for money for water toys for summer for my babies.  But I can't go hook up with some dude and move him in to help with the bills so I can make ends meet either.  That shows my kids that people have a monetary value and it also shows them that people are temporary, because that man will eventually leave when he figures out that whatever he wanted from me is not something he can keep.  I've always had a low regard for my emotional state when it comes to sacrifice for the good of my kids. I'm sure none of this comes as a surprise.
So I'm left with an internal tug of war, aren't I? How do I walk around and convince myself that I'm better off on my own when I seem to have such a pull over men to come and be near me.  It's all fun and games to be flirty and silly until I get attached to someone and hurt, right?  And honestly, I don't know if I can take that anymore.  I've been single for six weeks and I haven't gone home with anyone.  That's scandalous behavior for me right there.  I can't do it.  I've been so traumatized by watching my daughter be hurt by her ex step-father, that I literally can't let another man touch me.  I don't know what to do with that.  I'm too scared for my kids to let anyone get close to me.  What do I do with that?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Hazard effect

I really hate to say this, but I'm starting to think that men and women really can't be friends. Or at least they can't be friends with me.  How long have I been a single mom now officially? One month?  These days I stress about my ugly, expensive divorce.  I wonder how I'm going to afford formula and food. I have feelings of loneliness and inadequacy.  I do not, I repeat, do not dream about the next man in my life.  Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let me explain.
There was this terrible joke about me the last time I was single.  My friends used to say that I could ruin a relationship in three days or less.  Yes, that's right, people used to JOKE that if a man spent anywhere from 1 to 3 nights with me--and I'm not talking about sex.  I'm talking about just hanging out with me.  As in, we are in the same room...then he would fall in love with me (or his brain would cease to function) and ruin whatever relationship he happened to be in, be it dating, engaged, or married.  I would like to point out that I wasn't trying to do this anyone.  It's not like it was a personal goal of mine to ruin everyone's shit because I didn't have anyone special in my life.  I liked to think of myself as a horrified spectator, watching a car crash and unable to stop it.  There's a reason why nobody is allowed to know where I live and very few people know my children.  Seeing me with my kids is my with my guard down.  For whatever reason, watching me with my babies is a huge turn on and cause for men to lose their minds. 
I could go on and on listing examples of men that this happened to over the years I was single.  Maybe this is proof that I don't understand men at all. I always thought having a kid would be bad, like they wouldn't want to have anything to do with me.  But it wasn't.  They would beg me to let them take me and my daughter to lunch or to chuck e cheese or some nonsense.  This wasn't about sex.  They would promise to buy me a house and let me have the master bedroom closet.  Aurora would have her own room with pink walls and a tiny chandelier in her bathroom.  They wanted my ring size.  They were all of a sudden ready to do whatever it took to claim me.  And I think that was the right word. They all seemed to want me.  Or whatever it was they thought I was or represented.  Because let's be honest, anyone who hangs out with another person 1-3 times does not know who they are. Yes, they probably spent anywhere from 4 months to 4 years trying to convince me to marry them.  Some of them became single, some didn't.  I wanted nothing to do with any of them. 
I don't understand it.  I think about quite a few of them these days, plus of course the new ones that have been showing up.  Maybe I had blocked it out since I became unavailable.  Maybe I just didn't want to remember all of that drama that was stirred up around me.  I really liked being in a real relationship and having someone really claim me and say they wanted to keep me forever.  Because these men...they don't mean it.  Maybe they think they are in love, but they can't be. It just doesn't make sense.  Some days I think the same thing happened to the last guy I married, but I let him run with it because he was single.  But he did tell me he loved me after one month and we had only seen each other a handful of times.  I think about it and it scares me, honestly.  What do they want from me?  There is this one single guy who is 10 years younger than me who put me in his phone with my last name as "wifey" four years ago and still has no idea what my last name is (although I guess it changes frequently enough pffff).  He calls me to remind me he loves me and we will be together one day.  He offers to fly me and the kids to wherever and asks if I'm ready to be with him yet.  That's a no, buddy.  Fuck. 
Am I doing something to ask for this?  It can only happen so many times before you start thinking that it's you.  And this has happened my whole life.  And I realize there are women who walk around and feel unnoticed and unloved and would kill for some attention.  But you don't want this.  This is not normal or healthy or good for anyone.  There are definitely days that I wish I could be a crazy cat lady that nobody ever gave a second thought.  Then there are days I wish I could just be friends with some dude who thought I was cool and wanted to hang around me and the kids with some sex on the side.  Sounds good to me.  Well, it sounds good to plenty of men apparently, they just happen to NOT BE SINGLE.  And here's the thing: I love my female friends.  I never, ever want any of them to be afraid to leave their men alone with me.  I'm starting to feel like they should be.  As in someone introduces me to their husband and I start to panic.  I don't want to be Facebook friends, don't EVER message me, as far as you're concerned I don't own a phone, and yes our kids can hang out if and only if your wife is also present.  Because I've seen too many men fall down this rabbit hole already and I'm not losing a friendship with it or messing up someone my kid is friends with because you either don't have control over your penis or your brain.  As my sister said, you just can't trust men to decide what is or isn't appropriate.  That's sad, man.  It really is.
People are people to me and I treat them all the same.  I talk with them, listen to what they have to say, make jokes, and just act like a decent human being.  I don't dress super sexy, there's no cleavage these days, no make-up, and I'm usually rockin my dead mommy dark circles.  I work, make dinner, play with my kids, clean up, then go to bed.  There is nothing magically delicious about me or my life at the moment.  I understand that relationships and kids are hard.  I'm probably just new and interesting and something different than what they have at home.  Hey her house is clean!  She cooks!  Look what a good mom she is and she loves my kids too!  Can I get in on that?  NO YOU CAN'T ASSHOLE. GO HOME.  Or at least that's how I think about it in my head.  And there are always exceptions.  I've had a boy bff since I was 19 and I love him, his wife, and their two babies to death.  There has never been anything inappropriate in my mind between us and I can't imagine that changing.  Two of my friends have husbands who I became friends with while I was married and of course nothing even remotely inappropriate has passed between us in the past, but I'd be lying if I said I haven't started worrying about it.  Please don't let anything weird happen now that I'm single.  I can't handle it and I really, REALLY love their wives.  As in they are part of my go-to crowd of girl friends.  And they have done nothing to deserve suspicion, that's the worst part. It's my fucking colored past that is scaring me because I've already had one dad in my neighborhood lose his damn cool now that there's no man in my house.  My daughter's best friend's dad, which kills me. 
And here's the thing: I like these men.  I genuinely like them as people and I want to spend time with them.  But as friends.  I don't want sex or dirty comments or special treatment.  Just be normal.  Maybe that isn't normal.  Maybe I was only allowed to know them as a married person.  It hardly seems fair, but who said life is fair?  Do they think I like having men hang around me that want to sleep with me, but can't?  Do they think I like them telling me what has been wrong with every other man, but is right about them?  Oh by the way, you have terrible taste in men because you should've picked ME.  Uh, you're not available.  But I could BE available.  Even if you were, I wouldn't care.  Go home. GO HOME.
Maybe I look good on paper.  Maybe they see the love in my eyes when I'm home with my babies and they want to be close to that.  They could feel bad for the single mom and want to step in to make it all better.  I have no idea.  I do know that when any of them finally get me, they don't last long.  I lead a very hard and lonely life.  Every day is the same...work, kids, cleaning, sleep.  I love it when someone brings over pizza and a movie.  But if you don't, then I'll make dinner.  I'm grateful when someone takes my trash out. But I can do that myself too once you're gone.  I think that men don't understand that I need someone to get to know me and accept me for who I am, not what you think I am or what it means to be with me.  It doesn't mean anything, especially when as soon as you get me, you're making plans to leave.  Is it really a surprise that I'm not interested in another relationship?  Yes it's lonely living this life, but I've been more lonely living with someone who couldn't stand the sight of me because they probably never really got to know me in the first place.  You can't construct fantasies about people and then be mad at them when they don't know the part they are supposed to play.
I thought I had more control of this Hazard shit than I actually do.  I forgot that I was given this nickname by a man who met me once and said that after one dinner he couldn't get me out of his head.  He said I'm the kind of woman that men throw their entire lives away for.  What kind of woman is that? Because I don't want to be her anymore.  Don't you see? It's not for me.  It's not ME they want or that they see.  I don't know what it is, but something has to change here.  I don't want to live this nightmare anymore.  I just want to be left alone.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Elitist [last name redacted]

I went through my fire safe lately and found a stack of social security cards, passports, and driver licenses that would depress anyone.  How many times can a person change their name in 10 years? I'm up to about 6 and I'm starting to think people are beginning to recognize me.  I'm done with all of this bullshit.  Married, divorced, separated, single.  How many hyphens or mismatched last names on letters, official documents, or even my kids do I need?  I don't want it anymore.  I'm dropping my last name completely and I'll be using my middle name if I must declare anything at all.  You think I'm joking, but I'm not.  Madonna, Cher, Ke$sha, you friendly local cocktail waitress named Kimberly, and me.  No last name. Fuck it.  If you want to see a last name, you're going to have to get me out of my shirt and read it in Farsi on my back.  I'm not so friendly these days, so good luck with that shit.
I feel like I'm frozen these days.  I don't even know what music to listent to.  I feel so different this time.  Last time I think I had sex with someone else maybe 3 days after the divorce was filed. I'm pretty sure I would have a full blown panic attack if anyone came physically near me right now.  All I seem to want to do is hide.  I want to be by myself, completely.  The amount that I'm unwilling to let anyone near me scares even me right now.  I don't want new friends, I don't dream of another man, prince charming is dead, and I spit on his corpse as I walked by.  I can't seem to exhale.  Maybe I've been living under such a large amount of anxiety for so long that I don't know how to let go even a little bit.  I will never, ever forget the feeling of being so scared watching my husband yell and scream and punch furniture, pack his bags, and threaten to leave while I was 8 months pregnant. I was frozen with fear in every possible way.  I'm sitting in a house I can't afford trying to put food on the table by selling my jewelry on ebay.  I can't unclench my fists for fear if I let go I'll never pick myself back up again.  I can't make sense of erratic behavior.  I can't protect my babies from this.  All of the promises, broken, made again, then broken again, weigh heavily on me.  The sound of my daughters cries from her own feelings of betrayal keep me up at night.  I can't let go.  Change the locks and change the house alarm.  I'm not safe.  What am I so afraid of?
I'm a type A personality. I need to be able to control things to feel secure.  I know this.  I have learned that I can't protect my children from other people.  I've learned that when I invite people into my life, I cannot trust them to be good people and put my kids first just because I do.  Other people can hurt my kids and it can be my fault. I don't know how to handle that right now.  I can't control what other people do, but can I be held accountable for their actions?  No.  How do I protect my kids from being hurt like this?  I don't bring other people into their lives. Now how do I build the barricade around us once again, but still let the sun get inside?  I have a lot to figure out. I get so angry when people want to talk about the next man that will enter my life.  Why does there have to be another man?  Can't I just be left alone?  Why am I not complete or my family not enough unless I have someone else in my house?  Maybe I am not meant to be married or in a relationship.  Is that a possibility?  We are all spoon-fed this bullshit fairytale where little girls are rescued by men and taken care of and live happily ever after.  When does the little girl decide she's a woman on all her own and realize that being left twice in a row is quite enough and she'd like to raise her kids in peace.  Because in that story I heard, prince charming never broke her little girl's heart.  She never had to look at divorce papers so sloppy and disrespectful her name wasn't even spelled correctly.  And you know what? She never wants to do either of those things again.
There was a time when I knew things were just things.  All I cared about was my kids.  I was willing to burn it all to the ground and start over because I had my priorities straight.  I think it's harder this time when I have a little girl who cries because she doesn't want to stay in the home her step-father broke.  She asks me to protect her and her brother from him.  She tells me it's my job.  And it is.  It would seem to terribly selfish to present the possibility of this happening to us again.  I feel so trapped, like I'm locked inside looking out.  And I don't want out.  I see my old life out there.  Do I miss it?  Friends and brunch, dancing and weekends visiting friends.  The game has changed now, hasn't it?  I was so lucky in my last divorce.  I had a dad who was competent, logical, and would do anything for his daughter once he got warmed up.  I still trust him immensely with my babies and I know he would kill for them.  Why did I start thinking that is what everyone is like?  I'm so stupid.  I can't stop shaking my head at myself and my idiodic behavior.  Not all people are logical and put their kids first.  In fact, I think that is a vast minority.
So what do I do now?  I'm here in my house with a mountain of legal paperwork waiting for me to complete.  I have nowhere to go. No secret desires in my heart to confess.  Just to run and hide.  I need to find myself again.  There was once a woman who took care of herself: exercised, ate healthy, put on face cream every night, made sure the few things she had were clean and organized, and was happy enough to play in the sand with her kid with nothing but a few packed sandwiches and water bottles brought from home.  I'm right back where I started.  What happens if I take half the time I spent dealing with anxiety and abuse and focus that on doing something healthy and kind for myself?  Instead of crying and feeling alone, what if I read a book?  Can I do my nails or leave conditioner in my hair?  Maybe instead of wondering why someone treats me badly, I can listen to music and do squats and lunges.  Not to impress some man in my bikini, but so I can keep up with my little girl while she run along the sand and I swing my baby boy in the air along the way.  This is such a long path.  I need to remember how to get back on it and walk slowly again.
Do you want to know the difference between prince charming and a real hero?  Prince charming shows up and makes a big show. Everyone admires his smile and his white horse and his shiny sword.  He makes a big fuss and every claps and then he disappears.  A real hero needs no fanfare.  She works slowly and steadily to make progress.  She asks for help and accepts it gratefully.  When she reaches her goal, she thanks everyone who supported her and shares her success with them.  The ground she reaches is solid, not the peak of a mountain with the threat of falling down the other side, but a long, solid plateau.  One she can walk on for a distance with her head held high with her kids on each side.
One day my children will know the story of my life.  They will know what I went through raising them.  All of my mistakes and accomplishments will be laid out for them when my life is over.  Lord knows I make plenty of mistakes, but I want my children to know that everything I did was for them.  That when someone tried to knock me off my path and left me for dead, that I got back up and kept my slow pace towards my goal.  I missed work to cry my eyes out, I looked up to the sky and screamed "why?" at God, I went to the beach and watched and waves crash and tried to listen for an answer.  I drank nothing but water to make sure you had juice boxes in your lunch, I ate cereal and cans of soup every night after you went to bed to make sure you had chocolate chip muffins and frozen gogurts.  I worked from home to save gas so that you could have your special soy formula.  I put my pride aside and took money and giftcards from people I had no business asking for help.
These days are not forever.  Money comes and goes.  Children grow up and hurts pass.  I want my kids to remember days of endless laughter and hugs.  Toys break and little ones grow out of expensive clothes.  Maybe I can't buy fancy things, but I can sit and listen to little stories and share a cup of hot chocolate every night.  I can put my phone down and read my babies books.  I can tuck my baby under my pjs and snuggle and feel his soft breath as he sleeps knowing he is secure and loved.  There is no address associated to that.  There is no meal that is necessary for those moments.  I have to admit, I really enjoyed those few months I was able to go grocery shopping and just buy what I wanted.  It was amazing to know I could buy as much gas as I wanted to.  I've never been able to eat out as much as I wanted before.  It must be amazing to live that way.  I had the briefest taste of the other side.  Now I need to go back to normal and remember who I am again.
1 Corinthians 7:15 "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart.  A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace." I am looking to these words for truth.  I am looking for peace.  Today, I am alone again, abandoned once more.  God, I am here, looking to you for guideance and protection.  Please see my family.  Please keep us together.  Please protect us from those who look to hurt us.  Guide me.  Show me the way to keep food on our table and a roof over our heads.  My children deserve a happy mother filled with love and peace, not one who lives in fear or anxiety.  Please help me.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Full circle

I started this blog right before my last husband left me.  I was so scared.  I remember driving down the street in my car, literally shaking with fright, with my baby in the backseat as we drove to a little condo I was renting.  It came to pass that the little condo would serve as a family home for me for several years, one that I cried upon leaving.  One that my daughter still asks for.  Not my big fancy house that she was born in, but the little condo that held endless tea parties, muffin baking, hottub trips, mommy daughter meals, so many snuggles, and even more laughs.  Why did I give that all up again?  Ah yes, my son.
As my daugther grew older, she really wanted a sibling.  I felt incredibly guilty over the fact that I wasn't able to hold onto her father long enough to give her one.  I had even jokingly suggested we have another through the miracle of modern medicine.  Ok, I wasn't really joking. I wanted that baby.  The solution seemed clear to both me and my counselor: I would get my heart healthy, tear down those walls, and be in a relationship again.  My baby girl would get her sibiling because this mama wasn't giving up.  So out I went.  I dated and I dated some more. I was pretty sure it was a hopeless pursuit, until prince charming showed up, extremely excited to get married and have a baby right away.  We are talking NOW.  And everyone loved him and supported it.  I had suffered so much. I deserved it, right?  I foolishly let my heart be swept away and we were married and I was pregnant in the blink of an eye.  I can honestly say I've never had anyone treat me so badly.  The details of any abuse I suffered are not important at this point.  Today I'm holding divorce papers filed 10 days ago riddled with mistakes.  Our wedding date is wrong, my name is misspelled, the separation date is months before we actually separated.  Did I ever really know this person?  I guess I was fooled like everyone else.
My son is now 8 months old and he is the light of my life.  He is his sister's true love.  Every time I see them together I know in my heart I did the right thing.  He has brought so much joy and love into my life that I can honestly say it is worth everything I have suffered and still suffer at the hands of his father.  I look in the mirror these days and I struggle to recognize my own face.  The cirlces beneath my eyes are so dark.  I have started to get grey hair.  Even attempting to get dressed up for family photos with my kids, my eyes look defeated.  How sad to let someone kick me so hard that they extinguish the spark that lived behind my eyes.  It can't go down like that.  It just can't.  My kids deserve better.  So today I sit here, unsure of how to pay my mortgage in three days, no money to buy food and formula for my children, and I look to God for guideance.  Why is this happening to me?  Again.  The word echos in my mind.  Am I not sitting in a house that was bought for my baby while I was pregnant that I am about to lose because my husband walked out on me when they were about 8-9 months old?  I am.
My friends and family have been bringing me food and sending me money to help me with the essentials.  I've been selling all of my jewelry in jewelry stores, consignment shops, and ebay crying ridiculous selfish tears.  My hands shake as I try to call my realtor to list my house on the market and then hang up.  Five years ago I knew that the only thing that matters in life is having my children.  Nothing has changed.  Nothing.  It does not matter what anyone does to me, how I am treated, what is said to whom, or what I have to sell.  If I can keep a roof over my babies' heads and food on the table, then everything is ok.  It doesn't matter what roof or what table.  I want to tell you the extent of the damage is here, done to me.  But it's not.  My daughter has been suffering as well.  Having her step-father move out in the middle of the night and not say goodbye, return 5 days later to apologize and promise he wouldn't do that again, then repeat the process 4 days later is more than I can tolerate.  She doesn't deserve those tears.
There are people in the world who put themselves and their needs first and there are people who understand that children and their best interests always come first.  I can safely say that I belong to the latter category.  When my daughter sat holding my hand and cried her eyes out telling me that we were lied to and I have to protect my babies from this monster, I listened very closely to her.  She told me this house was bought for our family and that family has been broken.  The mommy and babies left behind do not belong here any longer and she wants to move.  Ok, little one.  I need to be stronger now than I was these past 10 months and I'm so sorry for that.  A strong woman would've let him leave in August when his bags were packed at the door, even if I was heavily pregnant and scared.  I should've cut it off then.  Instead I've undergone so much pain and anxiety and now I know she has too.  There will be no forgiving myself for selfishly trying to keep him around when I should've let him go and saved my children from suffering.  But I can't take it back now, can I?
I've gotten several calls and texts from people I love telling me that they look up to me and that I'm the strongest person I know.  Do you want to know what I think?  I think you are only as strong as the people you surround yourself with.  Today, in one of the darkest hours of my life, I believe that more than ever.  Is this what happened as a result of my last divorce?  Did I build in a safety net that stretches across this country?  Listen to me when I tell you that I was not pushed off of the cliff into darkness again.  I am still there, dangling, holding on with one hand while my fingers are being stomped on.  I may be scared and I may be crying and I may even be angry, but I am not alone.  Far below me in the darkness, I hear the screams and shouts of so many people encouraging me to fight back and succeed.
I have been a mother for 5.5 years.  I've only been married to a father for 1.5 of those years.  This is not a new dance for me.  I know how to do this.  In fact, I've been doing it largely on my own since my son was born. I need to believe that there is a way to survive this and we will be ok.  There will be no swan dive into darkness.  There is no controlled fall. I am not feeling destructive and Hazard is gone for good.  Through everything I have learned that no matter how anyone treats you, there is no excuse to do the wrong thing.  I will continue to take the high road, I will find my footing, and I will succeed.  In the battle between good and evil, good will always prevail.  Every time I cry for help, someone comes to encourage me and pull me towards the light.  When I feel the anxiety take over my senses, God brings calm to my heart.  I will not be pushed off my path to God by what is being done to me.  I am stronger than that.  We are stronger than that, because I know that when I walk, I walk with an army and at the head of that is God Himself. Blades of steel are perfected in flames.  My daughter needs a new hero. It's going to be me.