Tag Archives: marriage

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

So, I Am Single

So, I’m single and that matters…..why? 

I used to ask myself that, A LOT.  Why did it matter to me that I was single?  Was it the world who set the precedent that at some point in my life I should be married?  Or at least dating someone and be working toward a committed relationship?  Or did I truly, truly, way deep down long for a relationship?  That was a tough question for me to answer.

For the longest time I continuously prayed to be in a relationship. I thought there was something WRONG with me. Now, after how many years?…. I finally get it.  Oh,I still pray about it.  But I pray with fervent prayers, prayers of hope and joy and belief and excitement.  My prayers from yesteryears were full of tears and anguish and discouragement.  “Why God Why?”  I would ask over and over and over.  He must’ve wiped His brow every time I got out of bed knowing He was going to hear from me today with my tear streaked cheeks and pitiful tone.

Today, I’m different. 

Sure I would love to have a companion, BUT my life is pretty awesome as it is.  I spend my time with my son and my bestest girlfriends, I volunteer and do all the things I love to do that make me feel good about me.  I spend time in my yard, my garden, my sewing room.  I enjoy watching a movie, going for walks around the nearby park and having girlfriends over for Girls Nights.  I’ve changed my focus to being complete in me, right where I am.  And if God chooses to bless me with a mate, I’m eager to say hi at the sight of him.  

Til then.  It’s me and my singleness. 

xoxo

Your God-girl

Tracy

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

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 Mom Rollercoaster

The mom rollercoaster…….

It is Sunday. As I do music in my ears.. Coffee in my mug. Writing. Today’s. Song is David Gray “This Year’s Love.”  It’s a beautiful lament about someone he loves and the hope it sticks. Not really relevant to this blog but I would be lying if I didn’t say it is definitely hitting some things for me.

Maybe a blog for another time. Today is about my daughter. This extra time while what we both needed has also given us time to have some deep conversations.

Hard conversations.

Painful conversations.

About her Dad and I.

I naturally assumed she was too little to remember the constant fights. I wrongly assumed that even after we left because they weren’t as frequent that would make it easier on her.

I naturally assumed because we didn’t do it in front of her she didn’t notice.

Since I used the word assumed several times. If you are assuming I was wrong you are correct.

My daughter writes. Tons of stories. Her characters are off shoots of her friends and herself. Bits and pieces. Some truths, some exaggerations. Like all storytellers do.

Last night she was telling me about one of her new characters and it opened up a conversation about how much her Dad and I fought.

She point blank asked me why I never shut  him down. It goes without saying I started to cry. 

I asked her if she thought I enjoyed arguing in general. She said no you are incredibly kind Mom.

I said right. I asked if she had ever heard of the path of least resistance.

She said no.

I explained to her. Sometimes it is easier to just let things go then fight back. Other times you have to yell to be heard. For me there felt like there was never a right way.

I can’t tell her – your Dad was emotionally abusive. I can’t tell her I would start to have panic attacks at 4pm everyday because that is when he came home.

I can’t tell her how I had to ask him permission to even change the color of our living room curtains.

Instead…

I told her she is my favorite person. I love her more than anything. I am not perfect, I mess up and I am sorry that she was ever made to feel anyway by seeing her Dad and I fight. But not to feel she couldn’t continue to ask me about things. To not feel we couldn’t continue to talk about things. She needs to know she may not always like the answers and I may not give them to her.

I am not going to lie to you Mommas my heart hurts a little from this. I tried really hard to bubble wrap her from some of this and it appears I forgot the tape.

All I can do is keep talking.

 Keep telling her I love her.

 Keep on keeping on.

This Mom thing is quite the ride,a rollercoaster, but it’s my favorite of all of them.

Be safe

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

And Just Like That…Gone

And just like that she was gone.

I have wrote before about another woman spending time with my kids.   Now I am not sure what is worse… a new woman spending time with my kids or when that new woman just unexpectedly walks out of their lives. This woman came into my ex husbands life about five years ago. And immediately she was thrown into mine and my children’s lives. She wanted to be involved in every aspect of their lives. And now 5 years later, their step mom walked back out.

I always knew she would eventually just walk out. I believe it was just a gut feeling… I can admit now that I was never a fan of hers… never.   Yes, for years I bite my tongue in front of my kids. I put up with her lack of boundaries for myself or my children. I lived with the constant disrespect that she showed to me and my kids for years. And I did this because I knew my kids loved her…

Instead of of participating in any engagement with her, I set up numerous boundaries over the years. I had to set up these boundaries to survive.   I know many of my friends that have great relationships with their ex spouse and their new partner, but this was not the case with us. We could not co parent due to this woman being involved. And its not the story of the jealous ex wife, this woman had no limitations.

For years, I learned to let her be involved in school activities, conferences, religion class, field trips, sporting events, etc. And when I mean involved, I mean from the point of walking into my kindergartener’s classroom and introducing herself as their mom. From volunteering for field trips before I was even included. For volunteering for my daughters summer mission trip, which It did not know about until I attended the meeting. I would just back away and let her do it.   Arguing with my ex, was just useless… and I could not live my life with constant fighting or arguments. I knew the older my kids got, the more they would realize that she pushed herself on them all the time.

Yes, I still believe she did help my children in many ways. And I believe that she loved them…. However one day she just walked out. And I mean she just packed up her stuff and left for good.   My girls are teenagers now, so they had become less close to her over the last couple of years. Like all teenagers, they wanted their space and independence. She had a hard time with that and did not let them make their own decisions. In return, it caused a lot of arguments and tense situations at their dad’s house. And as they got older, they noticed the disrespect that she showed me….

However, my son is still young and impressionable. He was very close to her the last couple years. Since he was the youngest, they would spend a lot of time together.   He respected her and lover her… And he still has a hard time talking about her…. I remind him that she loved him and that she did a lot for him. I still want him to talk about the fun times with her and remember her for that.

I try to be as positive as I can in the situation with my son, without telling him my true feelings and anger towards what she did to them.

As for me, I have a lot of anger built up because I put up with this woman for 5 years. I put up with her pushing herself into their lives. I tolerated her obsession to be included in everything that included the kids. And then she just decided to leave their lives.

And as a mom, I just wanted to protect my children from everything. I always said my greatest fear would be that she would just walk out of their lives, and she did.   I knew I would have to be the one to help pick up their broken hearts. And I let her be involved in their lives, because as much as she paid no respect to myself or boundaries, she was still their step mom.

But the next time, I will not be as tolerating…

-Snarky

http://www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/

What I Believed

I was reading Noelle’s Blog the other day called ”What Do You Believe” and I was going to comment at the bottom but wasn’t sure if you’d see it.  Go to the Blog & read it,  It’s a really GOOD one!!!  It’ll open your mind.

It reminded me of my first marriage. In the beginning, I did not really, really, really see the effect his outbursts were having on me.  Mainly because whenever he did go off on a tangent, I’d remove myself.  I’d go for a walk or sit outside or visit a girlfriend.

BUT they were still there.  And YES, they had an effect on me….BUT I stayed because, well, after all…I did love this man….and it’s what I saw growing up, so I THOUGHT.. ok.… this is my journey.  Live with it.  Be his helper, his partner, his friend.  OK….  Yes…..  To a point.

NOT to the point of destruction.  Not to the point of holes in walls.  BUT mind you…I didn’t really GET it… I’m talking REALLY TRULY GET IT…. until….

I went to a girlfriends house and saw a conversation between her and her husband, that I thought should have been an explosive one (based on what I believed about bad situations).  They spoke lovingly and kindly and respectfully to each other.  They held each other’s hands and explained and listened and kissed afterwards.  I had NO idea this type of talking in the middle-of-an-upset existed.  I thought it was okay to scream and yell and throw things.

NOT!  Not today.

Until that day I went to my girlfriends house and saw a new way…. I did not know what I Did Not Know.  I only knew What I Believed.

So, getting too the root of what we believe, will take some work.  Some rigor.  Some soul searching.  And some looking at some ugly stuff we may not want to see.  

But it is SOOOOooooo worth it.

Go.  Search.  Look.  Find.

xoxo,

Your God girl

Tracy

It’s Not Over

One of my favorite Lenny Kravitz songs has a refrain of “ and it’s not over ‘til it’s over.”

It’s playing on loop in my head as I sit anxiously waiting for my ex husband to leave. It is Father’s Day as I write this and he is having a social distance visit with our daughter.

Only the second one he’s had since our state when on virtual lockdown. As with the first, because I reached out. It was her birthday and rather than focus on that, he focused on Father’s Day. Pushed me for times so he could plan his day.

In my head- I am thinking you haven’t seen your child in two months. Drop everything! It’s her birthday! But that right there, has always been one of our problems. For me she has always come first.

For him, if it fit in his day.

We have been divorced for eight years. Seperated for even longer. My hope was we could co-parent. Get along. I am still waiting.

Not even ten minutes after stepping on our front porch he was yelling at me. When I pointed it out, he raised his voice more. I reminded him he was here to see our daughter. This isn’t about us, it’s about her.

Yet here I sit almost a decade later and it is still about us.

It is not over.

I live in fear. I hesitate to type that. But it’s my reality. When I speak up, he does what he can to turn my world upside down. He will make casual comments about when our daughter can legally make the decision to live where she wants.

When I speak up I am helicopter Mom. A tiger Mom. Overprotective. Overdramatic.

Granted you are only hearing my side.

But when we were married this was the guy who kept a spreadsheet of how much money he gave me, made me ask for permission to adjust the color of bathroom towels, let his friends tease me and joined in.

I endured it because there were glimmers and I really thought us being parents might make it better.

It made it worse. Now I didn’t give him any attention. He would get mad when I fell asleep with her when she was little but wouldn’t offer to help.

I worked part time, was a Mom and was trying to be everything to him. 

Not enough.

I have put a lot of this behind me. When I left he wouldn’t give me anything and I didn’t ask. I still don’t.

I have struggled a lot and I’m thankful my daughter never figured that out. 

I put our life back together.

I think that is the part that is hard for him I didn’t fail.

And I can put all the fights and hurt away until he’s standing on my porch yelling at me like he is allowed to.

Which he is not.

I have become really good at putting my hand out and calmly saying please don’t raise your voice at me.

I almost always cry later. Not for the reasons you think or maybe I do.

I just want him to move on. Let me go. Focus on being civil for the sake of the one thing we did right.

I didn’t do any of this to hurt him. 

I did it because he was hurting me.

 

Hope you are safe.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Dreams Of Growing Old With Someone

Dreams of growing old with someone I felt was the love of my life- catapulted me into a 2 decade marriage.  At a young age, I had no idea how little I knew and I had no understanding of what intimate, long lasting love was in a marriage.  I only knew that I wanted him to be the axis of my life.  He was everything I wanted to build my life around and so I did.

We were quickly blessed with a sweet little boy, and somehow, I now had 2 people to devote my time and love towards.  As the years went by, the deep love between my former spouse and I quickly turned to lies and hurt.  So many mistakes were made and we managed to devastate our little boy time and again.  As the marriage began to fade at a rapid pace, God gave us an unexpected miracle of a little girl.  Her existence became known only one day after an agreement for a divorce. We struggled even more to hold our marriage together, to give our children the opportunity of a family.  Our lives were impacted by military combat, frequent absences of their father and we were a lonely military family, away from our loved ones.  There was no village to help and rarely time together as husband and wife.

The years continued to go by and our children were our only joy. We managed to create a team effort, absent of real intimacy, void of trust.  We built a lovely home, strong careers and we ran a regimented home that kept the ship more than afloat.  As the years passed, I longed for another child, and I still deeply loved my husband.  And, so, one morning I learned I was pregnant and my entire life felt completely right again.

And then it wasn’t.

The marriage continued to break apart and was put back together time and again; more combat deployments and a diagnosis of Autism with our youngest son. We picked ourselves up from the many pains and crisis’ over the years, packed our belongings and departed the military life after 20 years.  We needed normalcy and time as a family.

Two short years later, it ended in divorce.  Abruptly.  And we waged an emotional war on each other that I can clearly see now is shameful and did detrimental harm to our children.  It eroded our emotional health, finances and family relationships.  We embedded distrust, anger and hatred in our family.

Fast forward 4 years, we have just begun to be civil and really try and co parent our last remaining child that lives at home.  Are we friends?  I wouldn’t go that far. But, I would say that we are doing everything right in the best interest of our children, and our grandchildren.  We face the challenges that all of our children are dealing with because of their traumas and because we were too consumed by our own pain to think clearly.  Some of those traumas were from the military life we had together and others from the turbulent divorce.

Recently, my former spouse gave me the courtesy of letting me know he is remarrying.  I was grateful because it gave me the chance to brace myself for impact with our children.  His courtesy was an opportunity for me to see that our family is moving on in healthy ways and we can help our children prepare for more changes.  I know my children will struggle with this, but it is my prayer and hope that they will see that we are still a family.  It will take more time for them to accept the finality of the divorce; that the last shred of hope is absolutely gone.  Four years is but a drop in the bucket compared to 25 years.

I hope my children’s father finds in his new marriage all that we lacked in ours.  I want that for him; to see him happy and to grow old with a wonderful person by his side.  I can only hope that our children will embrace their father’s new life and that they know in their hearts that he does love them.  And that, his “moving on” from the marriage he shared with me is not about “moving on” from his relationship with our children.

I hated to love him after the marriage fell apart.  And, it felt good to love to hate him for so long.  But now, I feel peace and contentment in what we had, what was lost and what we have since found as civil people that deeply love the children we were given.  From our teenage marriage and ongoing brokenness, we created two sons, a daughter and were given the blessings of a daughter in law and 3 grandsons.

I’ll forever be grateful for the good times we shared and for the years we tried to give it our best.  We were teenagers when we married and we taught each other so much about life.  But, my most amazing lesson is that through so much devastation, former partners can find common ground when you share a deep love for the same people.

I’ll always have many regrets.  And, there was a phase where I swore I regretted the entire marriage.  But, since the dust has settled and there is a mutual effort of building trust and respect, I now remember that there were good times.  And, we did do some things right.  We made beautiful children that still deserve both of their parents involvement and support.  And if that means that our family grows through remarriage, then that’s what it means.  I think there is never too many people to love our children and grandchildren.

So, the dream of growing old is different now.  There is no sitting on the porch swing next to my children’s father, grey haired with our grandbabies at our feet.  But, I do dream of more laughter and smiles, and our children taking the next step forward in healing after all they have been through in their lives.

– Carmen 
Not Just Nearly Learn happiness, But Really Learn happiness