Tag Archives: divorce

Changing My Name-Born a Malo, Always a Malo

Changing My Name-Born a Malo, Always a Malo….

There are many things in this world we all take for granted. The roof over our heads, the cars we drive, and now more than ever, our health. But have you ever sat down and thought about your name and what it stands for? I have been thinking about this every day for endless months.

Most women I know get married and take on a new married name, the one of their husbands. For the most part that’s what you do unless you have a strong reason to keep your maiden name. I was no different and followed the typical protocol. I got married, changed my name and never thought much about it. I had two beautiful kids and they took this married name too. Like I said, you don’t think anything about it ,until of course, things don’t work as planned. Then torture sets in. What the hell is the right thing to do now? And believe me it’s not about what people think of me or what they think I should do, I shipped that yacht out years ago.

The struggle of being a Mom with two kids trying to protect them from any extra uncomfortable feelings is real. When your parents get divorced it plain fucking sucks. I don’t care what anyone says children of divorce are bad-ass and have way more shit to deal with than most kids. Unless you lived it or living it you just don’t understand. As you can tell this was the one and only reason I wanted to keep my married name. Our three musketeer unit could always be as one. I tried like hell to do that and keep it that way for them but I just never felt right, ever. Whether it be saying my name out loud or signing it, there were times I was like who is this person? There are absolutely no characteristics of the old me and the new me, not one thing is alike other than I am a Mom of two of the greatest kids on the planet. I have 99% changed. Then 2020 set in like a mad truck.

There was no normal anymore and this year was nothing any of us could have predicted. However,it brought a lot of us closer and reminded us about things we forgot about because we were all too damn busy. My kids and I were hiking almost every day with our dogs, having dinner at the table and this was the spring time when normally we didn’t have an extra 5 minutes in a day. At that point my decision was made and my kids understood. This wasn’t about me as a Mom but me as a human being. So I filed the paperwork and I paid to return to me.It was not easy getting here.

So today I am me the person I was born to be, the little Malo girl living in downtown Monson. A smidge older & hopefully still kinda little. The girl that waters the gazebo plants,jamming to music every morning with the biggest smile and an occasional twirl. Being a Malo means the absolute world to me. Malo’s are genuine, loyal, good- hearted humans. Didn’t say we were normal or not crazy cause that would be a lie but most of us would do anything for anyone.

I will NEVER take for granted signing my name, saying my name out loud and there would need to be an act of God to ever change it again. In one of my favorite lyrics to a song “I’m proud of who I am…No more monsters, I can breathe again”. I am amazingly proud just being me and being able to live this wonderful life I was given. So tonight I sign off sitting on my garage steps looking at the pink sky with a glass of wine.

Ya’ll better watch out because the Sara Malo in me is way more fun than ever!

~S

A Mother’s Guilt

A mother’s guilt..It is Halloween 2020.

My ex-husband has the kids today, so I’m childless on one of the most child-centric days of the year. While that can sometimes be a very good thing, today I’m feeling the loss and pain of what could have been. So I really should not have been surprised by the onslaught of emotion that a seemingly simple phrase brought on. 

After I got out of the shower, my beagle Dolly decided that she was bored and antagonized me to play with her for a little bit. She swiped at my feet with her paws and lowered her head and the front of her body to the ground, sticking her butt and tail up into the air, while looking up at me with those big brown eyes. I knew she was spoiling for a fight. She and I usually wrestle and play fight with each other a couple of times a week, so I’m very familiar with the signs of her wanting to “get into it” with me. Even though I had just gotten out of the shower and was wearing nothing but a towel, I decided to get on the floor and indulge her for a bit. We did what we typically do; I tapped her paw and she snapped her jaws in my direction (don’t worry, she doesn’t bite me when we do this). Then I tapped her other paw and her head snapped in that direction. This went on for a few minutes until she and I were grappling with each other as much as a human and a dog possibly can. At one point, I grabbed her and held her tight, feeling her warm, soft fur against my cheek, and said to her, “What if I don’t want to fight?” Without warning, the floodgates opened and I started full-on ugly crying (to my complete and utter shock). My entire body heaved, pressing into my shocked dog and the hardwood floor. Dolly slinked out from underneath me, completely scared out of her wits and unsure of what the heck just happened. She flattened herself and belly-crawled under the bed while my entire body racked with powerful sobs that I just could not control. I yelled in a sort of primal frenzy, “What if I don’t want to fight anymore?!”

I was completely taken aback by the force of the anger, pain, and fear that were coursing through me. The enormity of those words hit me like a ton of bricks. The weight of the truth behind them was just too much to bear in that moment, and I felt lost, hopeless, and frightened. I was completely taken aback by the force of the anger, pain, and fear that were coursing through me. The enormity of those words hit me like a ton of bricks. The weight of the truth behind them was just too much to bear in that moment, and I felt lost, hopeless, and frightened. For the past  six years, I have known one disappointment after another. First, my father was taken from us way too soon. He had a wretched bout with cancer and there was nothing that could be done to help him by the time we found out. I’ll always regret some things about this time in my life, and the fact that I did not spend more time with him weighs on me more heavily than anything else. Four months after his passing, my husband and father to my three children told me that he wasn’t happy and wanted a new life. Without delving into the history too much, he and I still do not see eye-to-eye to this day, and practice a dynamic that I like to characterize as counter-parenting. Literally every decision is a fight, and it’s very difficult to draw on reserves of energy that are running dry. Just yesterday, we got into a disagreement about something involving the kids; it was more proof that we will just never get along (not that I don’t want to). 

As a result of the divorce, I had to leave the home I loved (my dream home, a beautiful house that this Jersey City girl could have never envisioned herself having for her own) and start all over in a much smaller space.  Add to that the pressures of a new position at my job as a teacher, disputes involving bills, the typical “joys” of parenting teens and tweens; the result is that I always feel like I am engaged in some sort of back and forth with someone.

And obviously, it’s taking a toll.

In general, I don’t put a lot of faith in spirituality, or messages from beyond. But somehow, a thought was planted in my head just moments after I questioned what if I don’t want to fight anymore. In response, I heard the words, “But you have to.”

It was that simple. I knew that the voice (or whatever it was) was talking about my kids. I’m the one in their corner, the one person consistently in their lives on a daily basis. I’ll always be one of the primary people who are willing to fight for them, whether they want me to or not. We work so hard to keep our lives as normal as possible, and there is just no way that I can give up. I can’t let them down any more than they have already been, even though they assure me that they’re fine and are worried about me. And that makes me feel even more guilty. Whether it should or shouldn’t, I can’t say. But for whatever reason, I stopped crying as soon as I heard, “But you have to” in my head.

I wiped my tears, picked my sorry self up off the floor, grabbed a tissue, and coaxed the dog back out from under the bed.  Walking over to the coffee maker, I said, “It’s okay.  I got this.”  Maybe it was the thought of a warm, rich cup of coffee that began to soothe my soul; regardless, I started to feel more in control.  It really is going to be okay.

While it is daunting to know that you have a huge responsibility to your kids, there is a certain power that comes with that. Even though there are very few moments when I feel like I have everything under control, my purpose in life is clear. And that gives me a strength that propels me forward and influences everything I do.

There is nothing greater than a mother’s love except for a mother’s guilt. But if that sense of guilt drives me forward and gives me strength, then it will all be worth it. And for the days that strength is in short supply, there’s coffee.

~Danielle

Things I Dread-Part 2

Things I dread…It is Saturday. I’m debating another soda and a snack. No music as I just finished recording my radio shows.As much as I love music. Sometimes the quiet of our house is what I want.

Like now.

Since getting divorced there are topics I’m not a fan of talking to my ex husband about.It gets uncomfortable. It gets awkward. Like money. As I shared.Or say, dating.

There is a lot of history behind the why.

At the core even though we are not together I still want to be cognizant of how me dating will impact him and my daughter.So to be honest. I don’t tell either of them. I can hear the collective in take here.

I have a really good friend whose Mom got remarried while we were in college. It was a complete surprise. I kinda like that.There are certain pieces of my life that sometimes I don’t want the whole world to know about. At least not yet.

However, in talking to my daughter I’ve realized by not sharing that part of my life with her, she thinks I am missing out or worse and I am really trying to be careful here, thinks that means….I might get back together with her Dad. Which means if I tell her.I have to tell him. Which is hard. 

I have not dated a whole lot.

When I first got divorced I was in a pretty long relationship. The person I was with was someone I had known a good chunk of my life, so it was easy and he respected my decision to keep him separate from my daughter.I’d find out later because he wasn’t ready to be in her life. If at all.

A letter from my ex husband asking for a second chance prompted the topic of me dating. It was awkward as you can imagine.

But I wanted him to understand a few things… our daughter was still my priority, I was in a different place in my life and as horrible as this sounds. We were not getting back together.

I have dated a bit. And have someone but with everything going on my someone hasn’t come up a lot. But at least now I can talk about him to my ex husband. My daughter has met him. Which is huge. 

Again I can hear the intake. There is no manual for this and sometimes you think you’re doing the right thing, only to have the person you think you’re protecting tell you they need to know more about your life.

I get so wrapped up in protecting her. I leave her out.

Now that she is a teenager we have started having some serious talks about things I dreaded her knowing.It’s not all rainbows and lollipops but at least we talk to each other.How lucky am I that we can? That she wants to?

Now for me to work it being less weird with her Dad.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas.

💚 Caprise

Yup, Nope! Not Today

Yup, Nope! Not today..

It is Sunday afternoon I am drinking Diet Pepsi and literally slammed a snack size bag of Cheetos and Oreos. No music. I am listening to my daughter visit with her Dad. I am trying to be calm but if you read what I ate I think you know the level of anxiety he brings.

He is always late for his visits. When he does get here, he stands outside our front porch until somebody lets him in. Today I gave him some updates and reminded him of some appointments and how much everything cost. To which he says “oh … I forgot your check”.I say that’s ok.

It’s not.

But as I mentioned before he hasn’t helped me hardly at all. I don’t trust him to start. It’s hard not to be angry at how little he helps with everything. I texted him asking for our daughter’s dental office number the other day and four hours later he responds with the number and ” I thought your parents handled that.”

When I ask why he doesn’t ZOOM or visit more with our daughter he says because he’s waiting on her. Yup, Nope!

I really try, I  do. I want to get along for our daughter.But he knows what buttons to push and he says he will try but when push comes to shove… yup, nope. That’s Midwest for no. He doesn’t come through.

Which is why we are here.

He didn’t when we were married either. That’s how we got here.

When I was pregnant and we were getting ready for our daughter he didn’t help. Imagine me almost nine month pregnant getting her room ready. Getting the inside and outside of our house ready.I had a hard delivery so we had to stay in the hospital. I reminded him to please clean out your car before you pick us up. 

He didn’t.

It was so bad the nurse wouldn’t let us get in until he cleaned it up.

If you ask him he was always too…

Tired

Busy

I never did enough.

There are always two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

This is hard.

This is frustrating.

But this is what it is.

And at the end of the day it’s not about me.It’s about our daughter.She’s what matters. So I can continue to try through all of it. No matter how hard it is. And it is.

Let’s be honest, no one gets married to get divorced.All we can is try our best. We have some pretty important people counting on us.

Be safe

Much love Mommas

💚Caprise

A List Of Things I Dread -#1

A List of Things I Dread

Number 1:

First Happy New Year Mamas!

We made it….

Thank goodness.

It’s Sunday night and I have sufficiently procrastinated. My new co- writer by my side, although my furry sidekick is asleep. I’m munching on Starburst Sour gummies. Ever since my solo trip to California and being introduced to a sour gummy candy bar provided for the musicians, I always have some on hand.

Music today NEEDTOBREATHE: Banks.

It calms me down.

Tomorrow I go back to work which is not a worry but at some point next week I need to talk to my ex husband about our daughter.

Specifically that she will be going to a therapist. 

AND that he will have to pay half.

Money is a tough topic anyway.

With anyone, but someone who you aren’t married to anymore.

Who when you were married kept a spreadsheet of the money he did give you.

Ugh

Here’s the thing. If he can’t or won’t help I can figure it out. I always do. The deal is he is supposed to help.

Which he sporadically does. 

And here’s the thing: it is fine. 

Because again I will figure it out.

I always do.

But what it is how he makes me feel. 

How he has always made me feel.

That he forgets when we met he was unemployed, a college drop out. I was working three jobs trying to pay off my two degrees.

I found him a job, put him through college.

When I left he wrote me a check let me fill up a U- haul and told me I made this choice.

He wouldn’t divorce me for years. So I couldn’t get aid or insurance. 

When he would come pick our daughter he would walk in my apartment and sit down and talk to me about his job and how much money he was making. The women he was dating. 

Finally one day at the urging of my friends I told him he can’t keep doing that.

The fight that followed was so bad that after that every time he came to my apartment my neighbors would make sure they were around.

Flash forward we have been officially divorced for nine years.

But I have had similar incidents. An unfortunate phone call from the lobby of my workplace. A co-worker walking in on him yelling at me.

Veiled threats about taking me to court knowing financially I can’t fight him. 

To the point I now own a house with my parents. They are my buffer.

My anchor. My shield.

All of this is I’ve held onto and I am not even sure I should put it here.

But everyone thinks they know the choices you make. 

Sometimes you let them believe it, it’s easier.

Two years ago I confronted him about an incident with my daughter he lied about, the next thing I know he has a lawyer.

All I want.

All I have ever wanted is a co-existence that is best for my daughter.

I want to be able to just say hey…and have a discussion.

Instead I have to worry.

Should I have asked first.

Do I just pay for it?

I mean the guy on our divorce agreement changed half of college tuition to state college… to save money. 

Will this make things bad again. Especially now that we seem to be at a place of calm. 

So… I am dreading this.

Asking for money.

For help.

Even though he is supposed to.

So this as a single Mom is something I dread.

Talking about money.

In the coming weeks I will add to the list.

Send good juju.

 

Be safe.

Much love Mamas.

💚Caprise

Making It Full Circle

Full circle… that what I would call the last 5 years.  On December 5, it was exactly 5 years since my divorce was finalized in court.  And I feel like my ex-husband and I have come full circle in those 5 years.  Well, I think most of it was just in the last year.  

What is more crazy to think about is that on December 5, 2020… my ex husband and I were having a conversation on going in “together” to buy our children Christmas gifts.  Years ago, we would not even discuss Christmas.  Everything was separate and there was not even a discussion about gifts.  He would have never had a conversation with me about what to get the kids or even asked for ideas.  And today, we are going to sit down and actually discuss ideas and split costs for our kids Christmas gifts.

Actually, the divorce was the easy part of the last five years.  No one prepares you for all the challenges after the divorce is finalized  I have wrote many times about how co parenting did not work for us, how I had to set up numerous boundaries, and how important it was to stay out of the drama…    

In the beginning, we said we would remain friends and always put the kids first, then over the next few years our relationship changed for the worse.  We did not have much communication, it was very tense, many wasted hours spent in mediation and court, stressful situations with our children, etc…the list goes on.  

I have always wanted to have a good co-parenting relationship with ex-husband.  It was what I had envisioned when we went through our divorce.  Unfortunately, my ex-husband had additional influences in his life, which prevented us from having any sort of co-parenting relationship.  I spend the next four years, developing amazing self control.  

I would have not made it through those years without building my self control and learning to let things go.  Its amazing… that I did not lose my shit daily on the crazy requests… 

So instead of fueling the fire, I learned to stay calm and let things go.  I developed insanely strict boundaries. I would only respond to any communication regarding the children and I stuck to the facts. 

I also learned that as my kids got older, I would initiate them to be involved in decisions and speak their minds with both parents present.   I would refuse to be the middle person between them and their dad.  I wanted them to learn to speak up for themselves.  I would always offer support and input, if needed.  And for some reason, my kids tend to feel more comfortable coming to me.  

In addition, the best advice that I ever received was from a friend..she said, “  When it is your time with your kids, be with them.  Do not worry about that they are doing on their dad’s time.”  I kept to what was important, which was the time that I spend with them.  I did not get involved in any outside drama that did not include myself.  

And as much as I wanted to blurt out my opinions and comments to my children regarding their father, I always kept them to myself or my close friends..  

I know I somehow pulled this off because my daughter, who is now 16, brings it up all the time.  Of course, now having two teenage girls, they have lots of normal venting about their father.  

So, After all those challenges, that I had to experience and muddle through… we have made it a full circle…  

Blame it on covid, but we have even had to celebrate a few kids birthdays and milestones together.  Honestly, it took me a while to actually feel comfortable doing this…I have had my guard up for quire awhile and I still keep my boundaries in place. 

I am grateful that we have made it full circle…I believe that it does take time to get through all the muck after a divorce and the challenges will continue.. however being able to make it full circle, gives me hope.  

-Snarky

 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Holidays Are Hard

Holidays are hard…I am writing this in a crunch. I am listening to Taylor Swift, a Diet Pepsi that is so flat it’s not worth it is nearby, as is my daughter’s Christmas list.

I have been writing these blogs for almost two years. The first one I wrote as a regular contributor was right around this time and it was about the holidays and that pang. That pang you get as a parent who shares holidays with a former spouse.

Holidays are hard.

Let’s be honest they suck.

That dance you do. My least favorite dance by the way.

I wrote that blog from my perspective.

I didn’t stop to think about my daughter’s Dad. More importantly I didn’t stop to think about my daughter.

We have been attending this “dance” for almost eleven years. One year Santa didn’t come until the day after Christmas. She has had to wait. Ask me to share lists. Some people think she gets two things isn’t that great.

Is it?

So I asked her. How she feels about things. What she wants. She’s thirteen now. 

Well I should first tell you…Last year she put her foot down and told us how it was going to be. She wanted to wake up Christmas morning here, then go to her Dad’s. Then come home. She told me she was mad we waited so long to ask. I said well you were little…

That kind of smoothed things over. 

This year we now have COVID to contend with. Our state has actually mandated no gatherings with people outside of the home. So I asked her…now what? How are you feeling about things?

Meh she says.

What does that mean?

Mom, I can’t get upset about things I can’t control, remember? No point.

Wow. You are much calmer about this than I am. 

I know. She laughs.

I still worry that Christmas is never what it should be or Thanksgiving or Easter…

I will always feel that pang when she goes. I will always worry she is not getting the holidays she deserves.

The older she gets we are talking and making the holidays more hers. As they always should have been as I meant them to be. But as you know there’s no playbook for this. What you think is right maybe isn’t. So you try to make each moment, each holiday,better.

I am thankful for such a great kid in spite of me figuring this out as I go.

And maybe figuring it out wrong.

 

Be safe Mommas and much love.

💚Caprise

The Day

The day…

I am not listening to music. I just finished a very watered down iced latte that I picked up on my way home from work.

This week was the week

Full disclosure I am really bad with dates.

I ALWAYS remember my daughter’s birthday but if there isn’t a calendar reminder for it I won’t remember. (Her birthday being the exclusion)

AND

Except of course the day my divorce was final.

Which was exactly nine years ago. The exact date and time I can tell you as well.

I even remember what I was wearing.

So when I got up on Monday because it was on the 12th… I was already sad. 

I had a good solid cry in the shower.

I put on one of my favorite, comfiest outfits. I took time getting myself ready for work.

On my drive in I listened to one of my favorite songs and willed myself not to cry again.

Here’s the thing. I don’t get sad on this day because I miss my ex husband. Leaving him was healthy for me. It was the right thing. You either grow together or you grow apart. The reality is when someone constantly makes you feel like who you are is not enough… How can you grow?

As a person? Or with them?

I am sad on this day because I am a natural caregiver. I like to take care of people. I am an incredibly independent person but I have parents who have been married almost fifty years. They have family meals. They dressed up together for Halloween. Valentines Day, Birthday, Holidays everyday…. They showed us what it was like to be married to someone you liked, loved and was your partner in crime.

That is what I wanted.

I still do sometimes. But I worry. Always, if I can’t make someone like my ex husband happy. Maybe I can’t make anyone happy.

Maybe I’m the reason.

I know that I’m part but not all.

But no one gets married to get divorced and as someone who honestly never thought they would get married. To have my marriage fall apart.

It hurts.

I thought I did everything right and it still wasn’t enough. And now years later he is still so incredibly angry at me.

So every Fall on a certain day I just want the day to be over before it starts.

Then I take a deep breath and focus on all the positives that have come out of one of the hardest decisions I made.

It’s silly to think hard decisions are ever easy. 

But they make you stronger.

In my case if I’m being honest. Better and I feel guilty for saying this.

Yes, happier.

I didn’t fail because I’m divorced.

It doesn’t mean I’m not lovable or likable.

Hopefully at some point this day will be one I don’t remember. Or at least one that won’t hurt as much.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas 

<3 Caprise 

I Missed Your Birthday

I missed your birthday.

You were at your dads, I’m supposed to “get used to it” and learn to share you but I don’t think I ever will. 

I had you last year, it’s only fair your dad has you this year. I get it. I do, but I’m your mommy I’m supposed to be there for the big deals and yeah,I’m throwing a party for you on a different day but it’s not the same. You’re only two you’re not going to know the difference, but I do. I feel it every child exchange, every missed birthday, every missed milestone. 

I want to be there, I do, but I need to share you and it’s the hardest thing mommy’s ever done. I have practice, I learned how to share your brother and sister but its never gotten easier and now I’m seeing the results of sharing as you kids get older.

Things aren’t always easy, you guys struggle with the back and forth, and I know that and I feel guilty but its necessary. You have a Dad and he has a right to see you as much as I do. We are in this together, you’re lucky to have a Dad so involved in your life and I love and respect that, but I’m also selfish and want you to myself. 

I want you to know I fought for our family. I fought hard but I fought alone. I was fighting for a fantasy. You deserve better than that. You deserve a real family and I know now we are a family, a family I created with you children. I have spent my life fighting for a “real” family and it’s taken me years to discover I had one all along. Once your brother was placed in my arms we were a family of two, then your sister and you came along and made us a complete family of 4. Now we all have each other to rely on and yes you have two large extended families to rely on, but it’s the special little family we have that means the world to me. 

In our little world its just us for a few days at a time and I love those special moments. I may have missed this birthday but there’s plenty more I will get to share with you and I’m learning to be okay with that. 

Serendipity

The Power Of Candy Corn

The power of candy corn…

It’s actually Saturday while I write this. No music too early, but a big cup of coffee. My even bigger shaggy dog is hanging out with me and my teen is in our easy chair. The last few days we have not been far from each other.

This morning she did something she hadn’t for a while. We had a cuddle with before we got up.When she was little. I didn’t need an alarm clock because she would climb into bed with me and snuggle in. I usually could convince her to sleep a little longer. At some point a little voice would say “Mama time to get up I’m hungry.” And our weekends would start.

With everything going on in the world like a lot of people- our world, her world has been turned upside down.She has handled better than most adults, but it has once again changed her relationship with her Dad.

I could tell you  all the things. But the important thing is her and helping her feel safe, loved and secure.No matter how uncomfortable it makes me.And dealing with her Dad makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

I will break out in hives.

I will get inside my head.

Get sick to my stomach.

The laundry list of all the reasons is long. But at the top a few years ago is him taking her out of state without me knowing and manipulating the situation so my daughter lied to me. Took the blame. That night I had gone out with friends, I had a few cocktails. Then after a series of frantic phone calls found out she was three states away. I stopped going out with my friends on the weekends she stayed with him after that.

So when it comes to talking to my daughter about her Dad. It’s tricky. I never want to be that parent, but I also know she struggles with why we aren’t together. 

With that she and I have started a new ritual. Every Friday night she and I lay on someone’s bed with a bag of our favorite candy between us and talk. About whatever she wants.This week the candy was candy corn and the topic was why her Dad wasn’t visiting.  When I talked to him about it I got three different answers. When I talked to her about it I asked her what she wanted. What she needed.She told me a phone call would be good.

It is still tough diffusing him. Protecting her, but it’s my job as her Mom.

I told you last week I made her a promise.

As I wrap this up it’s afternoon and her Dad is with her at the park. A long overdue visit thanks to a talk over a bag of candy corn.

Be safe

Much love Mommas 

<3 Caprise