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.