Category Archives: Relationships

You Don’t Need A Cape, You Already Have Wings

I am here to tell you that you don’t need a cape, you already have wings…I am sitting in a silent house after a week-long spring break trip that I haven’t taken since “The Trip” back in April 2016. One would think that I would feel rested, recharged, rejuvenated. Well…. I was. Sort of.

Let me tell you about the flight home after an amazing trip with my two favorite teenage humans. Picture this, tribe… 3 solid hours of turbulence. I even considered if the pilot was on his maiden flight. This was enhanced by one terrified teenager who has a legit fear of flying and one teenager who does what all teenagers do best, slumped – passed out cold… the entire flight. Mix that in with several (and I mean SEVERAL) sick children who were projectile vomiting from the turbulence (Yep, you are absolutely correct – there is NO fresh air on an airplane) and the overwhelming and recycled stench of kiddy vomit… Is this real life? Yes. It was. It happened, and I lived through it this past weekend. Eventually, I ended up getting home and feeling like I needed a vacation all over again. Please do not get me wrong here… I am 100% grateful that I got this experience and quality time with my kids, and that I had the means to go on such a trip with them. I am blessed beyond measure, and I do not take one of those moments (or any for that matter) for granted.

Wait, wait, wait…. You’re wondering what I meant by “The Trip” that I mentioned above back in 2016. Ah. Yep, That. Well, I think its time to get over my paralyzing fears, stare it directly in the eye and decide today is the day that I keep looking forward, and quit looking back to see if the past is still there. It’s there. It hasn’t left. I can still feel it. I can still see it. I can still hear it. I can’t unsee it, unhear it or unfeel it. It’s now part of who I have become.

It was around this time three years ago (almost to the day) that my world completely fell of its axis. No, literally. My entire personal world that I lived in completely blew up. In an instant. It was the day I became a working single mom.

I’m not going to dig into any of the details, much of which even after three years are still very fresh to my heart and soul, and the cuts are still very deep and still bleed on occasion. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I was absolutely blind-sided and was not in any way, shape, or form ready for what was going to happen to my life. It was never something I had signed up for or wanted. EVER. After all, I had been the living fairytale. I married my high school sweetheart and at that point had spent 20 years of my then 36 years of life with him. We had been married for 13 years at that point and had two beautiful children. Was our life glitter, rainbows and unicorns? Absolutely not. Was it perfect? No way. But, it was MY version of perfect. It was my world. My life. My everything – – until it just wasn’t any longer. I came back from spring break with my kiddos (he did not join us on this trip) to my then hero, lover, best friend, my person, and love of my life… telling me he no longer wanted to be in our marriage. He wanted out, and he left me. MIND BLOWN. EARTH SHATTERED. To make it worse, I was told in public. In a bar. Yep. That happened.

Let’s take the 35,000 foot detour for a second, and get you caught up to speed – and get off the backstory train. I spent three long and painful years desperately trying to hold onto my marriage and save my family. I pleaded with God. I got angry. I got spiteful. I cried millions and millions of tears. I felt abandoned, hopeless, jaded – any feeling you can come up with – I assure you I felt them and I mastered them. I lost weight and shrunk faster than washing a 100% cotton shirt in scalding hot water and putting it in the dryer on high heat for an hour. Some days, I literally begged to die – because the pain inside of me was so much, so deep, so hard – I couldn’t stand another minute. Failure was not a word that was ever in my vocabulary – and here I was – the picture of failure right next to the word in good oleWebster’s.

Long story short, we divorced right before this past Christmas – and the holidays, well – let’s just say they were pretty much a blur. Kind of like when you squint and look at the lights on the tree. They are there, but you really can’t make out what it is, but you obviously know.

I have a point here, trust me – and stay with me because hopefully – there is someone out there just like me who was right where I was or is even now. I look at the day-to-day and I still hurt. I hurt when I look at my kids when we are now a party of 3 that used to be 4. I hurt when I go to bed in a king sized bed alone and hover on the far side of the bed – and wake up in the same position, barely had moved. I have good day and bad days.

When looking at it by the “days” or “moments – I have felt like I haven’t moved an inch much less a mile. However, when I look back at the last three years as a “whole” – Tribe, let me tell you – I have moved mountains I didn’t think could be moved. I have traveled so far that I can’t see where I started even though I know it exists. I have grown, stretched myself, and learned more about myself and have undoubtedly proved myself wrong every single step of the way. I have survived 100% of my worst days. TRUE STORY!

I am alive to tell the tale. To not only myself, but to my two beautiful children and any one of you that are reading this. I have cried myself to sleep. I have eaten completely alone in a restaurant. I have gone to a wedding solo. I have wondered how I can make it another day. However, I have smiled. I have laughed. I have found strength in the deepest places I never knew existed. Hell, all of this brought me here to all of YOUright here and now. I am walking side by side with you. Our arms are linked, and we are in lock step. I am one of you. We’re a tribe and let me tell you – we’re strong. We’re not going anywhere and despite what you feel (or don’t feel) inside – we got this, and not only do we – we’ll do it twice and take pictures to prove it. (Insert “Amen” here!)

Humor me and consider this for a few moments. I want you to look in the mirror. I don’t want you to worry about the bags under your eyes from the lack of sleep you got last night because your child was up sick all night or because your teenager had their first heartbreak. Don’t look at the extra curves that may surround your waistline because you have been working so hard to provide, you haven’t gotten the chance to get to the gym. It’s not necessary to look at the dry shampoo residue in your hair. What I want you to do is look past the refection staring back at you, and for God’s sake, don’t judge the woman staring back. Only you know what storms she has been through. Only you know where she has been, and where she is going. You’re the only one who has lived her life. You’re the expert of the person you see in the mirror. No one knows her better than you.

Every single day is a new opportunity to start again. Reinvent yourself. Try something new. Spread your wings. I encourage you to do so, even when you’re paralyzed in fear, or have no idea where to even start. If you want to lay in bed all day, hide from the world, and pretend that you are non-existent; go ahead, do it for a day or two. But remember, you don’t live there. You don’t belong there anyway – and it’s not a destination. Here’s why…

If I have learned anything, it’s this. You have smaller humans that are watching your every move. Your attitudes, your composure, your strength, and endurance. They are building their character traits based on your examples. We’re helping shape who they become. Albeit – there is this saying but man oh man is it a good one…. Show your daughters how to be treated by a man and show your sons how to treat a woman. You’re showing them this tribe… and guess what… you’re doing an amazing job. No matter what yesterday’s mascara has to say about it.

Keep chugging the lattes. Keep being that laundry warrior. Be who you need yourself to be for you and for them. We’re all here to cheer you on along the way, and to pick you up and carry you when you feel like you can’t. That’s what tribes do.

Until we meet again…

Jenn

How Do I Pick Out Curtains?

Who knew of all the different types of curtains that are available these days… seriously.. .All I know is that now I am picking out these things all by myself. I had rented a house with a million windows and all I needed was curtains. ughh… seems easy doesn’t it.

I spent months in the divorce process and then its final. Where do you start? What do you do with your life now? So many questions running through your head.. For months I had lived in a bubble, just getting through the day and not thinking anything else. What do you do first after your divorce? Many you have never worked or even lived by yourself, but now at age 40 you are on your own. You get to pick out your own curtains or your own furniture. You don’t have to ask anyone’s opinion, which can be exciting and scary at the same time. Or the other side is now you have no one to ask the easy questions too.. I did not know of all the small decisions I would need to make by myself.

I had lived in a bubble for so long. Going through all the emotions and then when the divorce process starts It takes over your life. And once its final, you have to stop and think what do I do now. I think we all get ahead of ourselves and want to build this new life so fast. I think the best advice I can give anyone that is starting over after divorce is to take it slow and learn about yourself. It’s hard for me to remember the days or months right after my divorce, I think I was in such a bubble or daze throughout the process that it’s hard to remember all the changes. It was being on constant autopilot and no time to process the changes that I was going through. We all want to put our kids first and make sure they are happy, however its so important that we are learning to be happy also.

Take time to really learn about what you now want. Some days will really suck, you learn you need to do things all by yourself. You might have never picked out your own curtains, so this is new to you you and it might take you a day to make that decision or it might take you months…either way, it doesn’t matter because you did it. Some days you might want to lay in your robe until 2pm and do nothing, and you can… You can take the time and do what you need. Start figuring out what you want in your life for you.

You might make one decision by yourself and you should celebrate. Something that seems so small might be your biggest accomplishment. Take the wins!!

Snarkydivorcedgal (www.snarkydivorcedgal.com)

Relationship Goals

Relationship Goals..A million moons ago before I was married, divorced, and a Mom.

I dated. A little more than I’d care to admit.

Lots of blind dates.

One of my very first blind dates was with a listener from my radio station.

Typically I didn’t date guys who listened to me on the radio, because it always felt to me like I was not going to be the person they listened to.

But he wore me down.

On said date he asked me what I wanted in life.

I answered a relationship like my Mom and Dad.

He did not ask me out for a second date.

However, the answer is still accurate.

My parents met in high school. I was born shortly after they graduated with a laundry list of health problems.

I can’t imagine being teenagers and going through what they did.

But they did and are still together forty seven plus years later.

So what is it about their relationship I covet?

Let’s start with they will tell you they’re best friends.

How they have always treated each other as equals. Or in my Dad’s case he will tell you that my Mom is in charge.

That even though they are opposite in a lot of things they have learned to compromise. With maybe a battle or two in between.

Don’t be afraid to know what you want Mommas.

That date wasn’t so great anyway.

<3 Caprise

New To Online Dating

I was texting Lilly as I sat in my car in the Starbucks parking lot. The wind was howling outside, and I was waiting to meet the newest guy I met through an online dating app, for a quick coffee. While I hate the process, I decided to dabble in the exercise for the sake of experience.  After all, I did some research and uncovered that 75% of current relationships were started online so there may be something to it.

Me: Where are you?

Lilly: Home cooking

Me: Okay, I’m at the Starbucks parking lot meeting Joe. I’m not sure how his height is going to be, but I need to just get it over with and see.

Lilly: What Starbucks are you at?

Me: The one by my house. Lol

Lilly: lol

Me: Call me in 20 minutes. If I pick up, ask me for a ride and I’ll let him know I need to leave.

Lilly: Ok

 From her quick response, I immediately knew she was preoccupied and would mess it up in one way or another but that’s when I saw him speed up in his white Jeep Cherokee so I didn’t have time to call her to clarify details. I was immediately grateful for the two vodka nips I picked up and guzzled before I decided to meet him at Starbucks. He hopped out his car and I when say hopped out, that’s exactly what I mean. He needed to hop to reach the ground. Ok here we go…

I got out of my car and smiled brightly. We gave a friendly side hug before we ran in to get out of the cold. The café was warm and empty. As we stood in line, he chatted animatedly about many things all at once. I was gorgeous; my hair smelled good like strawberry; it was freezing outside; he just took a shower at the gym and he knew exactly what coffee he wanted to order.

My initial impression (because we were at eye level) was he had soft kind eyes and small features. His lips were large but slightly chapped. His hat was faced backwards and was most likely the smallest hat he could find in an adult size but it was still too big. I felt the urge to tap it off his head and throw it across the counter. I could feel my anxiety rising. Why am I being mean?

“How can I help you?”, a visibly irritated female barista asked as I stood at the menu board with a confused look on my face. My look wasn’t about whether I wanted a tall or venti coffee. I was thinking about the little person standing behind me and imagined him excitedly assessing my ass. I wanted to kick him away.

Joe saved the day by ordering a fancy long latte that he obviously drank regularly. To save myself from further irritation, I said, “I’ll have the same in decaf.” Last thing I need is to be up all night with this damn coffee

While he waited for his fancy latte, I walked away and found two chairs in the corner that we could sit in. I was thinking Lilly had about 10 more minutes to call me and ask me for a ride.

I sat down and waited for him to join me. He picked up our two coffees and as he walked toward me to sit down with a huge smile, I fought the urge to push him out the way and run out to my car before anyone came in and recognized me. I imagined what they would say. I saw Nadia today talking to a little person.  She must have been interviewing him for a job! That’s so nice! That’s a good alibi. I thought. Let me cross my leg and put my professional voice on.

Joe takes his seat, hands me his coffee and exclaims how happy he is that I didn’t catfish him. He can’t believe I look just like my pictures. I smile a big toothy smile but a small part of me wonders if there is a hidden camera somewhere capturing my knee shaking as I resist the chance to point out that although his face looks the same as the selfies he sent me, the camera must have added an enlargement detail.

He is good at keeping the conversation geared toward himself and I’m forced to sit through understanding the Keto diet, how he lost 20 pounds in one month by following it and why certain political policies are not bad. My phone finally rings. I’m thrilled to grab it out of my jacket and see Lilly’s name.

Me: Hi!

Lilly: Hey how’s it going?!

Me: Oh really, What time? You need a ride?

Lilly: No! I’m cooking now (ugh I knew she would forget the code)

Me: Yes, don’t worry. I’ll be there soon!

Lilly: Well I’m still cooking. The food won’t be done for another hour!

Me: Ok, bye see you soon!

I hung up before she could talk anymore and ruin my cover. I looked up with a look of disappointment.

“Is everything okay?” The poor fellow eyes me with concern.

“Oh yes that was my best friend. She is going to need a ride later to her mom’s house so I will need to go get her soon.”

“Oh, that’s too bad I was going to invite you to my house and make you some wings in the air fryer. You would love it!”

“Aww, maybe next time! Well at least I have a few more minutes to finish our coffee.”

The next 5 minutes I noticed his knuckles were hairy, his teeth were tiny like they belonged in a 7-year old’s mouth and the first two were pointed toward each other. His size 5 sneaker dangled daintily as he easily crossed his leg while he broke down the latest recipe that he was planning to cook under the Keto diet guidelines (It’s a lifestyle).

Long story short, I got through my pretend job interview by being slightly buzzed, bored and determined to follow through on this coffee date. I gave him a breakdown on why I am not ready for a relationship and how basically I’m just meeting people to hang out with sometimes. He seemed to accept that and understand my explanation for not wanting to make immediate next day plans, but I could tell he would text me later that day.

I gave him a kiss on the cheek and a hug goodbye then breathed a sigh of relief that I had gotten through it without running into anyone or crying. As I drove toward Lilly’s house to eat and hopefully drink a glass of wine, I laughed out loud at the absurd circumstances in my life that brought me to Joe and our “interview” at Starbucks. Dating is going to be brutal. I dread the day that I find someone that I’m attracted to only to watch him take a call from his friend giving him a way out.

I guess the trick to this bullshit is to keep laughing because if I don’t find humor in it, the alternative may be to get stuck in my own mind, become bitter and lose the opportunity to meet someone that just may be what I need in this stage of my life…Nothing is permanent after all. At the very least, I’m inspiring stories and that alone is worth the 30 minutes in Starbucks looking at small teeth as I conversated with an entertaining character.

Update: He text me later that night and the next day and made it clear he was not happy that he noticed I was still logged on to the dating app. Needless to say, I politely wished him well.

~Lyn Melody

Back In The Pool

Going back in the pool.

I have gently alluded to what I’m about to write about in a few blogs.

It’s a tricky thing when you write a blog like this. On one hand I know by sharing there is a chance I may help someone or make someone laugh. On the other hand I am putting a piece of me and sometimes someone else out in the universe.

That is hard enough to do normally but when you are a person who like me is incredibly guarded… let’s just say every week when I submit these I’m surprised by what I share.

However, in this case I have a blessing and strong encouragement so away we go.

So I’m dating again.

Not plural.

Just one person. He was a surprise and the more I get to know him the more I want to know him. I have broken a lot of rules for him and let me just say he is the most patient human.

He also likes to get me to get outside of my comfort zone.

For example eating at a restaurant I normally wouldn’t choose like…

Hooters.

Are you laughing yet?

Maybe rolling your eyes.

Or perhaps raising your fist in solidarity?

Here’s the thing while in college, I had a handful of friends who made quite a living off of working at Hooters. But I just could never see myself eating there.

Until a few weeks ago.

Him: Wanna get dinner tonight?

Me: Yes please

Him: How do you feel about wings?

Me: Love ‘em

Him: See ya at Hooters at 630

Me: (in a squeak…) ok

Him: You will be fine, seriously the food is good.

Me: Sure

I met him in the parking lot and he gave me his normal bear hug and kiss on my forehead. Held my hand and away we went.

As soon as the young ladies at the host stand said Welcome to Hooters… my face. So red.

Here’s the thing.

A couple actually… Hooters now (I’m going to go out on a limb) is decidedly different than the Hooters from my college days. Let’s start with the outfits, there were men working there, families (!) eating there and yes Mommas the wings were really good.

So much so, that when I left with my person I said I would come back, and I would.

But this isn’t really about Hooters.

It’s about stepping outside your comfort zone. It is easy to not try new things because you’re afraid or you believe it may be a certain way. Like for example- dating.

I am not going to tell you dating as a single parent is rough. You know.

I am not going to tell you dating as a woman of a certain age isn’t scary. You know that too.

I am not going to tell you that it’s a lot to put yourself out there after being made to feel like a failure by someone who didn’t deserve you. You know.

What I will tell you …

I am learning there is someone in my life who makes me feel more beautiful at 47 than I ever did at 25. Who asks about my day. Wants to know my G. Can tell when I’m sad. Surprises me. Supports my dreams. Sends me music.

Makes me teary as I write this- because for the first time in a long time I am not afraid to talk about a future. I can actually see it.

And yes, makes me want to break more rules.

I still have a life jacket near the edge of the proverbial pool,but I don’t know Mommas, kinda glad I got some wings at Hooters.

 

<3 Caprise

Forgive Them

Forgive them.

WHAT?!

You want me to ‘Forgive’ after what they’ve done to me?  YES.

After all they said?  YES.

After all she did?  YES.

After how mean he was?  YES.

After all their lies?  YES.   YES.   YES.

That’s right.  Do it.

  • We all make mistakes
  • They just don’t know any better
  • A big wrong is the same as a little wrong
  • You don’t write other peoples rules
  • You are not that special

So.  Now with that in mind.  Think of a time when you were wrong.  You yelled at your kid, you blamed somebody for something, you backed up instead of going forward & hit a car, you said something you shouldn’t have said, yadda yadda yadda.   Were you forgiven?

Oh wait…. You’ll justify all your wrongs.  You have reasons all lined up to back you up.  You even have people who agree with you, who you’re going to turn to for that justification.  YET you’re ready to condemn them. With no justification.  The ones who did YOU wrong, hurt you, ignored you.  Them. The ones you are to forgive.  You’re ready to throw them into the fire.  And you have no interest in their stories or apologies.  It was bad in your eyes and you must walk away.  OK.  Forgive them.

When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you invite them over for tea, it doesn’t mean what they did was ok. When you forgive someone, it is for you.  It is for your freedom.  For your soul growth & your sanity.  When you forgive them, they no longer have a hold on you, they no longer have space in your head and they no longer cause you any upset.

When you don’t….. upset, resentment and blame build up in YOU.  Your heart is the one that hurts.  Your soul is the one that is thwarted.  Your life is the one that is impacted.

Is it time to forgive someone?

Find peace as you release.

 

xoxo,

Tracy

Your God girl

It’s Over..But It’s Not

You think it will be over…but it’s not.

“You can’t buy a book bag but you can buy a $52 steak?”

Unfortunately, this is a typical question that occurs to me after I hang up from another wasted phone call.

Getting out isn’t something that you just do. It takes planning and replanning, then planning some more. It takes an ability to think like your abuser, anticipating reprehensible actions and successfully countering them-emotionally, physically, spiritually, and legally.

Leaving is dangerous…sometimes for years, because the danger can, and typically does, morph from physical to mental, emotional, financial…you get the idea.

I’m coming up on 13 years of building this soft, sensitive, productive human in the face of a storm that does not know how to exit. Abuse morphs. Control is sought on whatever level an abuser can find. Money is all there is left for him. My support system has neutralized that.

Let me be uber-specific:

My loved ones housed and fed my child and I for 5 years. If not for them, I would not have been able to get out of an abusive marriage, finish school, and get a job. My parents have filled every physical and financial gap I’ve had from then until right now. We are blessed that we have men (and women, but that’s another topic) in our lives that stand up when called upon. They have presented themselves as rock solid father figures and protectors-something my child deserves.

My best friend was home base when I ran. The safe shelter she gave my baby and I for those first 2 months can never be repaid….have you ever had to hide from an abuser? It pisses you off and makes you want to fight, but you can’t because you’re living for your child and every move you make, or don’t make, affects their life.

When the day arrived, another friend was there with her expertise and to help with the heavy lifting when I went back for whatever I could get-which wasn’t much. Have you ever had to sneak into your own home to take back some of your premarital belongings and leave a list of everything you “took?” Ever play by the rules only to get burned in the end? Maddening, isn’t it?

One of my favorite people on this planet paid tuition when I didn’t have it. They also stepped forward and coached teams and showed love to a child that was not their own. Those people are God’s soldiers and their above-and-beyond actions never go unnoticed by me.

Never.

Jesus Christ Himself has kept me out of jail by not letting me follow through on everything that man deserves. My friends have balanced and supported me emotionally enough to keep me between the lines when bordering on a breakdown.

All parties above have one thing in common; a love for me and my daughter. They share a basic understanding of the importance of doing right by a child and setting them up for success.

It takes a village. In a never ending hurricane, it takes a scrappy one, and I am thankful for mine. I am a survivor raising a warrior. Because of her, I will not fail.

Mental health matters.
Josie

The Last Time

I am a few weeks away from taking a solo trip to California. The last time I took a trip by myself G was almost 2 and a half and it was to New Orleans to spend some time with my best friend.

It was also a chance for me to decide if I was ready to leave my husband.The writing had been on the wall for a long time. Even leading up to our wedding. But as I had come off an extremely abusive relationship, my soon to be husband seemed like the change. A new start I needed.

Except he wasn’t.

There were so many flags.

Some I still can’t talk about because I’m ashamed I let those things happen to me a second time. I let someone once again hurt me. I still remember being out with a group of friends and my ex. He sat in the corner his arms crossed and sulked the whole night. These were women who had been in my life for years. Suddenly he was making me question them and myself. Were we too much? Was I?

Or being put with his friends, all of them by the way college drop outs with extremely high IQ’s teasing me,a woman with two BA’s about loving pop culture as much as I did. He didn’t defend me. He joined in. My BA was a waste. I was just a glorified babysitter. His sister at dinner questioning why I ate like I did.

There’s so much I could unpack here, but it’s already been buzzing in my brain with this trip coming up.

You put up with a lot when you think you have no choice. When you think you deserve it. When you are afraid of change. When you are afraid of being alone or failing.That trip was the balm I needed. The reminder I was absolutely not all the things I let him tell me I was.

Leaving was hard. He absolutely did not make it easy and he actually didn’t grant me a divorce for several years. Even now he reminds me what he thinks of me. I think you know it’s not good.

As a result I hid from a lot of people I care about because I was so ashamed I let this happen to me. I am ashamed to say… I still do.

I pride myself on being a strong, independent person.

Not someone who had panic attacks when the clocks strikes 430 because that means my husband will be home and the house needs to look a certain way.

Not someone who cared so much about how I looked.

He hated my hair a certain way.

Tattoos.

Certain clothes.

Even food I ate.

Not someone who can’t decorate my current house in a certain shade of green because that was the only color he allowed me to decorate in.

I am still not the best at a lot of things.

Loud noises can be too much. Specifically any kind of sounds in a kitchen. Maybe another blog…

I tend to go inside myself rather than ask for help.

I take a long time to trust someone.

I cut my hair off, am covered in tattoos and piercings.

I have become a homebody.

But at the end of the day I don’t think my ex is a bad person – I mean I have G. Except he is maybe not a husband person, at least not for someone like me. Obviously.

We are still trying to figure out co-parenting. It goes without saying it’s a huge work in progress.

About 70% he’s a pretty good Dad. 30% I do genuinely want to throat punch him.

Last but not least if I have learned anything.

If someone loves me, they love me.

They have my back.

I am stronger than I think I am.

I will always put G first and make sure she always knows it’s beautiful to be yourself and anyone who doesn’t think do absolutely doesn’t deserve you.

I’m looking forward to a trip this time just to go be.

Not figure anything out.

Just be.

 

Hugs Mommas

<3 Caprise

I Am Not Broken

I am not broken.

This past holiday weekend a blow up with my daughter over me wanting to see what she was watching on her iPad resulted in her sharing she feels responsible for her Dad and I not getting along.

I meant to write about how happy I am it’s Spring and how much I love the beautiful weather and I am.

I can not adequately put into words how good it is for my soul to wear sandals and open windows and feel the breeze.

But as much as I want to celebrate the new season my heart hurts that my daughter feels any kind of responsibility for things between her Dad and I.

I think I did things backwards with G.

But let’s be honest, there is no guide when you get divorced. Maybe I did things just right and she’s just hitting the age where she can see it.

Or maybe after nine years I’m worn out from trying to hide it.

Either way my heart sank when she said she doesn’t like knowing her  Dad and I don’t like each other.

She feels like I’m hurt, broken.

I stopped her.

For starters while I’m not her Dad’s biggest fan. I don’t not like him. But he makes some not great choices and G usually tends to be in the vicinity when he does.

I also let her know she is my sun, my moon, and my stars. Being her Mom actually fixed me. Being her Mom is the best thing in the world. She is the best thing in my world.

Not being with her Dad, while it’s not where I’d thought I’d be.

I’m happy.

And Mommas my heart is sinking that she thinks me being alone, not getting along with her Dad means I’m not happy.

This would be about the time I throw in a fun quote or try to lighten the mood.

I’m tapped.

I’m alone on Easter.

The only store that’s open already put their Easter candy away, and somehow I have to get in my daughter’s head and heart absolutely nothing between her Dad and I is her fault.

I thought I had.

Aww Mommas… this is a toughie

<3 Caprise

Co-Dependency: Sitting in the Suck and Gratitude

Co-Dependency: Sitting in the Suck and Gratitude

What a difference a year can make. One year ago today, I was living with my husband of 10 years and our two children in a nice house. We had great neighbors, good careers and while our marriage was struggling, I thought we’d see it through. The first five years of our marriage were great, but the second five – things started spiraling. Addiction and alcoholism… he always said he wanted to get help. He’d go to counseling for awhile, but eventually, things would get busy and it would get pushed to the back burner, and then *shocking*, another relapse. I thought we could get back to where we were the first five years of our marriage. I always hoped that we would.

Until one day in the spring of 2018. Everything changed in an instant, and there was no fixing it – no more hope. I’d always said that domestic violence was my no-go. You don’t come back from that – put your hands on me once, and it’ll be the last time. I meant it.

Fast forward to today. The kids and I moved. I don’t think he knows where we are. I hope not, anyway. Through some investigations, I found out that he told some of his coworkers that he was going to put a tracking device on my car. I found pictures of other women on a flash drive. Did I mention that I was really sick for months, requiring hospitalization, a home health care nurse, specialists… and three specialists now believe that he was poisoning me? POISONING ME.  After countless tests they all told me, “there’s no medical reason why you were so sick”, and have all come to the same conclusion. Looking back, it makes sense but boy, is that a bitter pill to swallow. (If The Lifetime Channel would like rights to my story, have them give me a call).

I’ve come to realize that I had no idea who he really was, or rather, who he became. Ten years of marriage. TEN YEARS.

At the time, I didn’t realize how bad things were. I didn’t realize how much I was walking on eggshells for fear of “triggering” him to drink. I took on all the responsibility of the household – bills, cooking, cleaning, shopping, working two jobs, pick up and drop off of the kids… all so he wasn’t stressed. I put my needs on the backburner. As though it was my fault when he drank… my responsibility to maintain his sobriety.

Amazingly, it’s actually easier being a single mom of two kids than being a single mom of two kids and one grown man-child. I don’t worry about holes being punched in the wall when he’s drunk, I don’t worry about having to clean up a bathroom floor covered in pee because he was too wasted to hit the toilet. I don’t have a near panic-attack when he doesn’t answer his phone and has the kids. It was so bad, but it got bad slowly, and like a frog in boiling water, I just hung in there. I trusted that if he just got to the right therapist… if he just got the right treatment, it would be okay. We’d be okay. The thing is though, that I wanted it more than him. He never wanted it. Our insurance would have covered treatment – inpatient and outpatient – 100%. I made the calls, the referrals. He never really wanted it… he’d go for a bit to appease me… I just didn’t see it.

Regardless, I have so much to be thankful for.  I have a solid, amazing support system -my friends rushed from their workplaces to the scene that spring day, and have never left my side. They’ve attended court dates and hearings, they’ve cried with me and have sworn like sailors with me. They’ve given gift cards and wine and took my kids when I was exhausted. My extended and immediate family is incredible. The kids and I are in an apartment and the bills are a challenge, but I can pay them. I’m not getting child support and I don’t ever expect to, but for now – we’re safe. We’ve been protected, I’m sure of that. I had an incredible divorce attorney who kept me focused from his attacks against my integrity and character.  The prosecutor and victim advocate in the criminal case were both phenomenal. I am so thankful.

Sitting in the suck is so important. Probably not the most eloquent term, but that’s sure what it felt like. Many nights I would literally sit on my couch and allow the waves of grief and loneliness to settle in. Grief over the loss of my marriage, the loss of my (our) future plans, the loss of my children growing up in a home with two parents. Grief over the loss of their innocence – they were so young, and they saw and heard way too much. In those moments, it would have been easier to just sit and scroll mindlessly on my phone, to drink a bunch of wine or to somehow occupy and distract myself. But… I knew I had to feel it. In order to get past it, I had to sit in the suck and feel the grief and pain, and allow processing to happen. This will not control my future, and the only way through the pain is the hard way – to feel it.

The kids and I have all benefitted enormously from counseling. EMDR therapy is incredible – I’ve been able to break through the co-dependency and see it for what it really is. I can relive the events that happened that awful spring day without the physiological symptoms welling up. The importance of a support system and the importance of therapy cannot be underscored. If you’ve been through trauma, if your kids have been through trauma – get to a good therapist. It might not be the first one you meet – my first therapist said I was “fine”… I just had “hope”, even though I told her I don’t feel “fine”. It wasn’t “fine” for someone to allow themselves to be controlled and shoulder every responsibility for the household. The second therapist agreed with me, and we delved deeper, and EMDR was a good option. It’s cliché, but truly, there is no shame in seeking help.

The past year has been incredibly hard, but I can see light now. The kids are doing great. I love our new town and the people. The divorce and criminal cases are both resolved, the protection order case will be soon. And while I don’t know if I’ll ever be with anyone again, I’m doing my best to heal, move forward, and set a good example for my kids. We’re going to thrive… there is no other option.

-Elaine