Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dating in a Post Divorce World

I'm not sure where I stand with dating at the moment. It seemed exhausting for a while, so I just didn't. Then I would talk to certain men and let them in little by little. It's never ended well. Not even under the most positive of circumstances. There has always been an animosity that staled. Whether it was intended or not. I've dealt with cowards, those afraid of confrontation (just another term for cowards), those afraid to grow (cowards again) and it's a wonder how many dysfunctional people are out there, yet somehow still... function. They go to work, pay their taxes, their bills, maintain their vehicles, help children with homework, sports, but can't manage to maintain any healthy adult relationships. It's almost scary. So again... I'm shelving it. Against the advice of a couple relationships "gurus", I'm not interested in putting myself out there again. Maybe out of fear of getting hurt. I really couldn't say at the moment. But I can say, that the last guy? The last guy hurt me deep in my soul and even admitting that publicly, here, is almost cathartic. I don't want to relive the details, but I do want to move on. I want to continue on my personal journey of self improvement. I know that it begins and ends with me. I feel blessed to have the beautiful children in my life that were bestowed upon me. I am blessed to have employment that I am good at and friends and family that, despite my own challenges, still allow me to motivate them. So, for now, once again, I am off the "market". I hate that term. But really, can you guys just leave me alone for a minute? I need to heal.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Letting Go, Part 2

"This is what you have to deal with."

Those were the words Adam used with me when he finally realized what I knew a long time ago. X was never going to change. X, like anyone, would only change if he wanted to. I think X tries, but he falls short. A lot. Removing myself emotionally from it all and dealing with it logically, has helped me navigate these murky post-divorce waters. Don't get me wrong, it still hurts. The pain I see in my children's eyes, or the future I can forecast when they will realize that he found other things more important, the questions that I can only answer with an honesty ("Do you love my dad?") that an 8 year old can understand without breaking her already fragile heart, all these things hurt. Not the betrayal or the abuse. I dealt with that a long time ago and in all honesty, I know those were his problems and not mine. I know that they stem from his issues. I know, with absolute certainty, that when it comes down to him cheating on me and abusing me, that those decisions were on him and they were not my fault. My fault was in staying much longer than I should have. Especially for reasons that no longer matter. What I have to do now is face that "this is what I have to deal with." And that's what I am doing. Accepting that some things may never change and that those too cannot be my problem. I, of course, will be the best parent I can be. Pick up his slack where he has lacked all this time. That was certainly my fault. Allowing that type of person in my life. So I say this to anyone who enters any sort of relationship, be it casual or serious, really sit down and evaluate what kind of people you want around you. Not just for any future children you may or may not have (or already have), but really, for yourself. Surround yourself with those who will nurture your spirit, encourage you to grow, challenge you for the better and bring positive contributions to your life. At this point, that is what I have done and I am happy with my circle. It's dynamic, I will not hesitate to cut someone out that is a poison in my life, but those that sit at the table of my life at this moment have earned a spot there because they were caring, trustworthy and the people I strive to be like. This was all in the power of letting go... and it is mine again. My power, my life.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Letting Go, Part 1

It's been a painful, drawn out process. I was ready to let go, and did, years ago. But then, he happened. My ex-boyfriend, who became my best friend, who vowed to hold my hand throughout this divorce that wasn't as painful as he made it out to be. His was bad. Mine didn't have to be nor was it, because in the end, both my ex-husband and I were very happy that it was over. Probably me a little more than him, because I wanted it to be over way longer than he did. 

But, my so-called bff, had very strong opinions that I listened to and that was where I went wrong. At the end of the day, it was my life, my family and he was not going to be a part of any of the fall out. Me and my children were. We have been. I almost lost them because I listened to him. I believed (and still do) that my ex-husband was causing damage to our children by his lack of boundaries with the people he brought around them. Regardless, he was going to do it anyway and I knew that. My "best friend", I'll call him Adam, ridiculed me allowing my children to speak to their father. He ridiculed the method (video-conferencing), because dad was out of State. Exactly where I want him. So I allowed it to influence me and allowed the manipulation to almost cause me to lose my children. 

I've woken up. He is no longer in my life and my ex-husband always will be, though less and less each time which makes healing that much easier. Adam would ridicule this post too. He would ridicule most things I did and would call me, "Nuts." Something very painful to hear since mental illness is prevalent in my family (though, fortunately the more serious afflictions have seemed to have passed me over). When I told him that it hurt for him to call me that and why, he just continued to dig at me and made it even more painful calling me "schizophrenic". At one time, he even compared me to "Octo-mom". A woman who had 8 children (at once) and didn't seem to have it all together. Maybe I kept him around out of neediness. I felt it necessary to cling to something "normal." But there is nothing normal about divorce. Each one is different and even if it is the best thing for you and your spouse (we never really should have gotten married), it's solely up to you to tread those waters. Family and friends can be supportive, but when someone becomes judgmental and negative in an already negative situation, it was time for me to let that person go. It may be around a year since we've talked. Maybe in November. I don't remember anymore. I just know that I never want to see or hear from him again. I allowed his influence to cause more damage to my children, for them to almost be yanked out of my home, for law enforcement to treat me like a criminal and for the so-called justice system or family court system, paint me in a very bad light. As if I were the worst parent ever and I know I'm not. I know that I love my children unconditionally and that I work very hard for them and put them first. Something my ex does not. But that's just something I have to deal with and that's what I will talk with in my next entry. I'll talk about letting go of anger and healing. Until then...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

He Strikes Again

I realized something yesterday, with the help of someone, that I married a weak man. I've been told a lot that I'm a strong woman. I never really saw it that way, but in comparison to him, I guess I am. Mental and emotional strength, in the end, will beat out physical strength. That he is. He is a lot stronger than me physically. At 6'2 and still well over 300 lbs., now taking boxing lessons, he is definitely a lot stronger than me and may be even able to kill me. He can easily overpower me and as was witnessed recently by my cousin and my father (and recorded), his volatile behavior is extremely dangerous. 

He is powerless, but he doesn't realize it. He doesn't see that he can no longer tell me what to do, that he no longer has any bearing on my opinions, my thoughts and that I took my power back. He attempts to insult me, he is abusive with his language, with his screaming, his yelling, his tangents. He is a weak man. Instead of solving the problem, he resorts to abuse. He is not about problem solving. Therefore, I am not about communicating, or attempting to, because it will get me nowhere. 

We were to have a meeting on July 18th with my father there in a public place as I will not be alone with him. Ever. That meeting will not happen now. Not after his most recent attack and it was only over the phone. He had the opportunity, but chose to behave like an animal and he squandered that opportunity.

But when stress strikes, he will not be able to handle it. And stress will strike with my kids. When they don't listen, when my son has a seizure, he will attack. I just hope it won't be my kids. Or his wife's kids. And I can't do anything about it, because the court system says he has to be in their lives. Only, he doesn't want to be. He was comfortable teleconferencing with them, not making any effort in seeing them and then blaming me for his failures. I never stopped him. In fact, each time my son had a seizure, I would let him know. His response? "Keep me up to date." No, "I'll be right there. What hospital is he in? Who is his doctor? May I speak with his doctor?" Nothing. This is not a man who cares about his children. When our daughter was in the hospital with pneumonia and she wanted him to come, he didn't. Always with excuses. That he's working, that he's tired, that it's too far. The sad part is that if we were in the same neighborhood, the same excuses would exist. And no one who matters sees it. 

The only thing I can do right now is enjoy my children and trust that they will be looked after. Not by him or his wife, but by God and His Son and His angels. Yes, I believe in all that and so do my babies. 

But in the meantime, I'm working my ass off to pay for an attorney that I can't afford and hopefully end this once and for all.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Letter To My Ex

Dear Ex:

It is no secret that I don't like you. In fact, no, I never really did. We did share some funny moments in the 9 years that we were together, unfortunately, the damage that your family caused you definitely spilled over in to our marriage. At this point, however, it no longer matters. I know you feel that you were abused by me, and maybe you were. I know for certain that I was abused by you for many, many years and it did begin, though you don't remember this part, 2 weeks into our 10 year marriage.

I know that our divorce has been full of contention for the past 4 years of being separated. I admitted to my wrong doings and yes, marrying you was one of them. I know that that makes you feel as if I am not taking responsibility, but I am. You are who you are, you are who you always have been and you will continue to be. The fact that I married you, while not really knowing you, staying married to you and then having children with you, whatever my reasons were, no longer matter either.

What does matter is that you are the father of my two children and I hope nothing more for you to be an active part of their lives. No, I don't feel that you are the best father you can be. I feel that you can be so much more. However, it is not up to me to make you that person, it is up to you and solely you.

I feel it necessary to pen this letter for my sake. To make certain things clear. Contrary to what the judge we recently saw stated, not only am I not "extremely jealous" of your new wife, I'm not even a little jealous. It doesn't hurt to see you with someone and as I told you while we were married, if you ever were to find someone, it wouldn't matter to me and it still doesn't. What does still matter is what I also said, "The more people to love my children, the better." Unfortunately, for whatever reasons your new wife may have, I feel that she doesn't love my children. I'm not sure if she is motivated by money, loneliness, or what, but again, that doesn't matter. I do know, that both of you, mainly you, failed, as is your pattern, to be honest with me from the gate. You and I had agreed that our children would not meet your significant other until certain previously made agreements between you and I had been met. These agreements were in place as a protection for our children. That is all this has ever been about. My babies. And you know that I love them more than anything in the world, even if they are half you. They are all them and they are beautiful children. Nothing pains me more than to see them suffer and I know they do. My sole purpose in life is to make them happy, provide for them and make sure that they become successful, self-sufficient, kind adults. It is not to accommodate anyone or anything above that. My children have and always will come first. I know that that is where we disagree. I know that you were raised that children were to be seen and not heard. But you see, dear Ex, I was not. And my children have a voice. I am that voice. I had hoped for their father to be that voice also. That is where I failed. I chose a father for my children that I didn't have to choose.

There are so many "I should haves" and "I shouldn't haves" that no longer matter at this point also. But please know that no matter how damaged you are, no matter how much damage you caused me that yes, again, I permitted you to cause me, I forgive you. Whatever damage you have caused our children, I hope that you salvage before it is too late. But mostly, I want you to know that I understand why you are who you are. I don't agree with it, nor do I feel that it is okay and I apologize for my part in your journey. I apologize that I allowed certain people to influence things that were none of their business. Things that were between me and you. But mostly, I just wanted to say, please, go. Be happy. And let me be happy too.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Domestic Violence

This post will be a lot more serious than my last one 6 months ago. A lot has transpired since then and I am still a victim of domestic violence as early as last night. When I say that, people think, "Oh, what happened? Did he hit you?" No. Not physically. Domestic violence, to those of you that believe it involves only hitting is actually defined as any type of abuse (whether it be physical, emotional, verbal, mental/psychological, fiscal, sexual, etc) by a spouse, former spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, even an adult child. A lot of times, as in my case, most of the above. My ex-husband verbally and emotionally attacked me for 2 hours until it ended in a fit of emails, maybe a minute apart each. 

He said I was a "child trapped in a 38 year old body". I'm 37, but that's beside the point. He said I'm a monster, I'm sick, selfish and he should make me suffer by taking money out of the kids' child support when he has to spend money to see them. He called me an abuser, insanely trivial, petty, "the nastiest person to come home to... lazy, a terror to live with... a liar." Psychopath, irrational, Hitler and in one of his final emails at 10:51 P.M. he said, "I can keep calling you nasty, lazy, a liar, selfish, etc. because they are all true." He said I bring out the worst in people, that I don't know what abuse is, evil, and that I caused all this. He was blaming me for his going ape on me. He said I "killed all the good with my insanity."

I had to endure this behavior with my ex-husband starting 2 weeks into our marriage. Because of the religion I was practicing at the time, I believed I was stuck and not able to leave him because he behaved in such a manner. So I endured it for 9 years. Then one day, after he got mad at me and started arguing with me, my 3 year old daughter jumped on him as he was laying face down on the floor. He swung around, hit her across the belly with his forearm and threw her to the ground. He is 6'2" and weighs 320 lbs. He blamed me for hitting her. My daughter had lied there, winded and crying. I removed her and my son from the room, I came back out to the living room where he still was, got in his face and said, "If you ever touch my child again, I will kill you."  I walked away, shut our bedroom door and heard a bang. I opened the door and he had kicked a gaping hole in our bedroom door. I called my parents and told them what happened. My father's advice was, "Don't call the police, we don't want 'X' to get arrested." Scared, I did what I was told, but I was still worried about my daughter's well-being and my dad told me to take her to the hospital, but at that point, my father already had me worried about my husband being arrested and I was too afraid to go to the hospital. I needed guidance at the time. I was and still am a battered woman who couldn't think straight after years of abuse and with no support system. The difference now, is that I have some footing and regardless of his threats of not paying child support, suing me for whatever reason, calling me names, raising his voice, yelling, arguing for the sake of arguing, he has no control over me.

I have been at war with this man since the day I finally left him in March 2009. Actually, I kicked him out of our home with no way of being able to pay the rent the next month and by April, was living in an okay apartment in a not so great area of a major metropolitan city. I broke that lease when I acquired a job out of State and have been in my adopted State going on 3 years now, but the abuse has not relented. This latest episode, I believe, was brought on by the fact that he's getting married again and now there is a push from this woman, whom I don't know and has failed to respect my children and myself, to acquire my children. You see, she is someone who relies on the government and since I have a disabled child (who doesn't receive benefits), I'm convinced she wants him because to her, that would be more cash. There are a lot of ugly facts to this story. A man who not only abused me and our children, but neglected and abandoned them and in the end, never cared about them. Does it hurt me? No. Not that part anymore. I've dealt with it and am working to maintain and raise well-adjusted children (so far so good). What hurts, is that he still gets away with treating me this way because no one, not my father nor his family have stood up to him, man to man and told him to back off.

So what am I doing about it? Well, since this is public and still pending, I am keeping my intentions under wraps. Rest assured, however, that I am handling to end this abuse once and for all. Legally, of course. My point of this post is to give some insight to those who have suffered, know someone who has dealt with, or is currently going through a domestic violence situation. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself, even if you have to do it alone. It sucks and it's scary, but you can do it. You are worth far more than any ugly words anyone will spew at you. Make plans to walk away. Do what you have to, legally speaking, to end it. Reach out for assistance. It is out there. Here is a place to start. The National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). My only advice is, if you are accessing this information from a home computer or somewhere your perpetrator can view your history, make sure you delete your tracks. You wouldn't want to trigger an attack. To this day, I never tell "X" what my plans are to deal with his abuse. That is none of his business. Though he no longer has me in his grip, I do not trust him, and it's liable to set off another attack and I don't know when and if it will ever be one that will go too far. I've just been lucky that his motivation has never really been there, but now he has someone pushing him, so it can only mean more problems for me. I'm being proactive and staying ahead of him and trying to take care of our safety and health first and foremost and writing about it helps. If he ever sees this (highly unlikely) it will anger him and set him off again and I'll probably receive more threats via email that I will "pay for what I have done'. Yes, he's told me that too, for three years already he keeps threatening that and he wonders why I've blocked him from texting and calling. He's one of those that "will stab you and ask you why you're bleeding" types. If anything were to happen to me though, it's out there. I've made it public and I'm not afraid to talk about it anymore. I'm not afraid to discuss my actions that brought an intelligent, well-educated woman to this point. It can happen to anyone and it does. So please, if you're reading this, I hope it is of some use to you and helps you do the right thing. Domestic violence must be stopped and it begins with you.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!

My "bestie" gave me a ridiculously hard time when I blogged regularly and after over a year of not blogging (for lack of time, dedication, whatever you want to call it), I am back and could care less what he thinks. Now that is liberating. Always do what makes you happy, especially if it's not hurting anyone. I have spoken in the past of the cathartic effect writing has on me. Also, on the first day of this New Year, I have no kids. They are with my ex-husband out of State. I am preparing to go get them the day after tomorrow. Hence, I now have a little time to take advantage of doing one of the things I love the most: writing. So what's new in this not-so-newly single mom's life as of today? Read on...

  • I can officially and unapologetically say I am a runner now. I ran my first race and also skipped my first race in 2013. I'm currently preparing for my 2nd race that takes place next month.
  • I also gave on-line dating a try. More on that later. The jury is still out...
  • I will be running my office solo starting tomorrow. I am so not scared either and am welcoming the challenge. I can finally get that office the way I want it. Let's see how things turn out when I get a partner again. 
  • My son, who among many things is epileptic, had one seizure last year. That is AMAZEBALLS! Let's keep the streak going!
  • My daughter is now a first grader and a blossoming reader. This mama could not be more proud. Patting myself on the back for limiting TV time and encouraging play and books over video games and movies! Try it people. The results pay off!
  • Finally, on a deeply personal note, when it comes to religion, let's just say I am a very spiritual person that believes in a higher power. Religion is something I'm still figuring out. I have a lot of growing to do in that aspect and am looking forward to what 2014 has to bring!
Happy New Year to anyone who happens to stumble across this! I'm hoping I can do this more regularly because I do love it!