I want to thank you…
Last week I dipped my toe in the pool and shared with you all the reality of my marriage.
Believe it or not I am a pretty private person. So even though every week I share pieces of me here. I have people in my life who are still trying to piece together if I’m married. No. Or dating… I will say this. Maybe lol.
But that’s not what this is about. It’s about the aftermath of putting such a big piece of me on a platter.
Full disclosure last week I read every last comment on my post right before I had to pick up my daughter, I got in my car and sobbed. Heavy, shaking sobs. First my heart was breaking that so many women understood. Second, my heart was breaking because complete strangers understood when the people I loved and trusted had not.
I can not put into words how much I appreciate all the messages and kind words.
I didn’t share my story for support, I shared it in hopes of letting other people know they’re not alone. I shared it to show it can happen to anyone. I shared it because it’s important to share it.
Again and again and again.
Even though its incredibly hard to admit it happened. I have always been a strong person I still am. But even strong people can get hurt.
I was asked by someone who I care about immensely after they read it, two things:
Why I let this happen
If I am bitter
It’s like I’ve said. Sometimes you get so far in, you believe all the words. You don’t know what to do.
Becoming a Mom dug me out. I don’t make that a secret. G deserved to see what a happy Mom looked like.
Am I bitter? No. Am I guarded and private and quirky as all get out? Oh my goodness yes.
I strongly feel I just chose poorly. I also know I don’t make it easy for people to know me. I still believe in being married and someday maybe again.
But I have very high walls.
I also still live with the worry my ex will somehow see these. Which shouldn’t matter. But I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t tell you, he still makes me nervous. What he might do.
My hope is that someday I won’t.
My last and final share here is I am happy. It’s taken a while and things aren’t perfect but the fact that I can share any of this. The fact it’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, means I am finally taking me back. And you Mommas have helped me.
There’s a trick to the “graceful exit…” It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over-and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.
Admittedly, letting go has never been a thing I am good at. In fact, it is sort of the resounding story of my life that I hold on tightly until I injure myself. It’s like holding onto a rope and the desire of whatever is on the other end is stronger than you are. The rope is cutting into your hands, but you keep holding on. You feel the pain, but you can’t see the extent of the damage until the other side pulls so hard that you have no choice but to let go. Then, you are left staring at your hands, maybe crying, and subsequently having to clean and heal the wounds without whatever was on the other end. This metaphor applies to so many things in my life. I sometimes wonder if I will ever learn.
I had this life altering moment seven years ago. It did not seem life altering at the time, but since then year after year it makes more sense. I was on vacation with a girlfriend. It was just the two of us and after years of mothering two young children, one with special needs, half on my own, it was a very liberating trip. I felt a freedom I had not felt since my teenage years. One morning we were seated at brunch with this older couple. I say older, I was thirty at the time and they were probably late forties, early fifties. We made small talk. We did not get into life stories. I think we disclosed our marital status (all of us being married), children (all of us having children), etc. We did not delve into anything very personal, and there was no way it could have been construed as a heavy conversation, with all of our outlooks being the lighthearted that only comes from having no responsibilities for a time. We parted after having a lovely time.
The next day I was out and about on my own and I ran into this couple. The wife approached me, and the husband hung back a little. She seemed serious and maybe a little nervous, but I could tell she was grounded in his presence. It was very sweet actually. She gave me a hug and then she said something to the effect of the following: “I have something I want to tell you, but I don’t want you to think I’m crazy.”
I shook my head, giving her a look that I hope conveyed, “no you go right ahead.” However, there was a little unease associated with these people being virtual strangers.
She continued, “I was up half of the night last night because God put on my heart that I needed to pray for you.” She looked at me, making sure it was okay to go on. I’m not sure what she saw on my face, but inside I was somewhat incredulous. I mean, I had met her once for less than an hour. She said, “I just got the impression you need to hear that you need to let it go.”
I was somewhat dumbfounded. Now, looking back, I should have made a joke of what was obviously not really one, and asked, “Did he tell you what exactly?” Instead my eyes welled up with tears a little, at someone being so caring towards me. I hugged her, thanked her, and I have never seen her again.
That meeting set the stage for the coming years of my life where I would let go of just about everything that passed through my mind as possibilities that day. There were three things that stood out. I’ve let go of all but one. When I tell you those things were traumatic to release, I could not be more serious. I felt like a walking wound for a very long time. Everything hurt me. Things that were not designed to intentionally hurt me did. I was like the metaphor. I had no idea what holding on tightly was doing to me, but when I let go, it became painfully obvious.
The first one was my marriage. I would say that it was a marriage that I had outgrown, but that is an oversimplification. The fact of the matter is that when we got married I was nineteen. I had no clue who I was or what would be my needs in a relationship. I am thirty-seven and I am just now figuring it out, slowly. But suffice it to say the ways in which we were incompatible impacted me greatly. They impacted my self esteem and self worth. They made me stop trying and become complacent. They made me bad at a thing I felt so confidently good at in the beginning, relationships.
After that cruise I left my husband. The cruise was in November, I left him right after the new year in 2013. I got my own place, I furnished it, and then I went back to him. I was scared. Scared I was making the wrong decision and scared of how people would see me, and just scared. Honestly though, I was not afraid of losing him. For me, sadly it was never about love. In retrospect, after surviving actually leaving and being divorced, I can say that as hard as I thought it was going to be then, it was even harder. We separated one more time before it actually stuck. Again, I was scared. And I let things weaken my resolve. However, I don’t regret any of that because I know I tried again and again. I know the ultimate decision was the right one. It was right for him and it was definitely right for me. However, to get to the place where I now know that fact took about eight hundred and twelve baths, seven thousand bottles of wine, losing some friends and probably alienating others, twenty million text messages with my completely amazing friends, and too many tears to count. I did things that hurt myself and set the healing process back, but I wouldn’t change those either. They have all taught me and some have been practices in letting go.
The second thing was the person I thought was the love of my life. I could write a book on the details of our decades long relationship, but I have turned the page on all of that. I have successfully let it go. I know the timing of this is questionable, but the truth of the matter is that it was an affair of the heart. He was not at all the cause of my marriage ending and he was not the cause of my marriage being a bad fit. I saw him a couple of times over the years and we spoke intermittently. We never did anything physical while I was married, but as soon as my divorce was final it was a door I either had to walk through or close. The truth is that I romanticized a person who could never have been what I needed. It was a traumatic end, but it was an end.
And now I’m finally at a place where I have let go. The wounds on my hands are now scarred over. The skin there is tougher than it was before. I will try not to use that as a means of holding on to things longer than I should. I hope when my kids are ready to fly the coop I am able to let them go gracefully. I hope I have learned. At least, I hope I have learned to let go of the things that take more than they give me. But I will say, the art of letting go is a continuous process, but God knew what I needed to hear that day. And he’s whispered it to my heart many days since.
Stronger Than Yesterday,
Have you ever heard the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results…. Well that was my life up until three months ago.
I tried several dating websites/apps and always, always hoped for the best. As a joke I like to share with my friends and family, I’m a gluten for punishment.
A breakdown of events that led up to dates or lack of dates. I would pick a dating app and then go through the routine of setting up my profile. I would come up with my username, something cute of course, my profession, age, and a few words to describe what I’m looking for and a little more about myself. I would then proceed to look at the profiles of men that matched up with things in my profile. After a short time, I would receive a message from a man who would want to know more about me.
This is where it gets challenging, more often than not, most of the men I would message back and forth were not from where they said they lived. You guessed it, I was being cat-fished. A few if those men claimed to be in the military and they asked for money. I knew right away what was happening, so needless to say, they were blocked.
I wasn’t asking for much in a match, a man who had reliable transportation, stable housing, and stable income. A man who has his sh*t together. The last man I dated, from December of last year to February of this year, claimed to have his life together. That was further from the truth. He was not even divorced and while he was with me, he was already on to his next victim. I was heartbroken of course. More so because I gave him the benefit of the doubt, I trusted him.
I finally learned after several, several, failed attempts, to always listen to my gut and intuition. Going through the process of crying and moving on, my friends would listen and give me words of encouragement. “It happens when you’re not looking for it ” “It” being that magical feeling of being in love and having that love reciprocated. I would nod in agreement and then go into skeptic mode.
I like to think I’m a hopeless skeptic romantic.
Fast forward to June of this year, I reconnected with an old friend. We went to high school together and briefly dated in 2010. I’m not sure what the future holds, but one thing is for sure, he is the most honest, caring, thoughtful, and genuine man I have ever known. We have so much fun when we are together and more importantly, according to my gut feelings and intuition he is the real deal.
I am living proof that being tenacious works. Never ever giving up what you want when it comes to love. It is important to remember that the light at the end of the tunnel may be dim, but with supportive, encouraging friends that light eventually gets brighter. Dating is hard, especially when life is crazy and hectic, but to know you are enough and worth so much makes dating less stressful.
I dread October. As a person who loves warm weather I let my Fall loving friends believe it’s because I’m not a fan of the:
There’s a bit of truth to that, but really it’s because October and this week actually marks when my divorce was final. I was the one that made the choice to leave my marriage, but it doesn’t mean it hurts any less.
I never dreamed of a big wedding. Or even being married. Being a Mom yes. Always, but I never believed someone would love me enough to be with me in a partnership. That I would get the dress and cake and honeymoon. I think my family was just as surprised as I was when it happened.
I was proposed to during a fight. Which could have been a cute story, except he later admitted he was trying to make me stop crying.
We had a destination wedding and rumor was- on the flight over my ex sister-in law tried to talk my ex husband out of it among other things. Our best man wore shorts.
So many flags. Those are the ones I’m ok sharing. But when something happens you never thought would, you hold on, you fight for it.
Even when maybe you shouldn’t.
If you read my blogs you already know why my marriage ended. Sometimes you marry the wrong person because at the time they seem like the right person. Even when everything and everyone says that’s not the case.
As I’ve mentioned before I come from parents who are still married. Both sets of grandparents married until someone passed. I saw partnerships and loving your best friend. So much love. Even now. I wanted that. I still do.
Mr. Rogers said “ there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to Love once you’ve heard their story.” Except my ex husband. He heard my story and wanted to change it and me. So rather than grow together- we grew apart.
I tried. Counseling. Time apart. Time together. More counseling. But when someone has excuses for everything, who can’t say they’re sorry, who meets your tears with anger.
You can stay.
Or you can go.
I had a little person and I needed to show her what I knew. A marriage can be an amazing, love filled partnership between two best friends.
My heart still hurts I don’t have that.
This week is hard for me.
Especially October 12th.
That’s the day.
I became a single Mom with a two and half year old. I went from a little house with a big yard we loved to an apartment with a deck. We made it work. We created traditions. Like celebrating Halloween at our local Y. G is twelve now and costume planning has already started.
October is a hard month. If I tell you it’s because of my distaste for Pumpkin Spice Lattes that’s true, but it’s more than that. Now you know.
But as I always tell you Mommas and will remind you and myself… we are magical, strong, and amazing. I mean we’re Moms!
Going to a counselor was the best thing I did throughout my divorce. I had always kept my feelings and thoughts to myself for years. Growing up I was always shy.. I didn’t like groups of people and I hated speaking in front of people. I dreaded college classes that talked about our hobbies or what we liked to do. I was just never any good at talking about myself. And I had poor self esteem and confidence throughout my younger years.
I had never really given much thought to going to a counselor.. I kinda thought counselors were for crazy people and they couldn’t help me with my problems. And then that day, I walked into a counselor’s office and spilled everything about my life. I struggled with my decision to get divorced for years. In a matter of 60 minutes, I felt like a heavy weight had been taken off me.. I will never forget when she said “ it’s ok to say you do not love your husband”. And that’s all I needed to hear… How could hearing that make everything that clear to me. It was now so clear. My life seemed clear. I was smiling. I knew what my future was and I felt like I had the strength to get there. It was just being able to openly talk to someone without any judgement and not feeling guilty for my decision.
Having that person that you could be completely honest with about your feelings and not feel judged was empowering. If would have not been completely open with her, then I would probably be still contemplating my decision. It takes strength and courage to lay everything out there and not know what you are going to get in return.
I continued to see her weekly through my divorce process and after. I still see her occasionally to check in. If I am feeling lost or struggling with something in my life, then I still see her to work through it. And every time it helps.
Without going to a counselor, I would probably still be struggling with many areas of my life. Yes, your friends and family are great to vent to about your problems and struggles.
But a couple things to think about relying on your friends… sometimes your friends can’t help you make the decisions. They can give you their perspective. And some friends can’t give you the honest answer you need.
Many times friends can’t give you the tools to follow thru on the decision. And sometimes we are just not as honest with our friends as a counselor. I know I wasn’t… And lastly no one wants to be the friend that always has problems…
If you are struggling with your life, marriage, divorce, relationship, then go talk to a counselor. People waste so much time in life contemplating decisions and trying to work past struggles on their own. I just feel that why waste time.. why waste more time in life struggling by yourself when a counselor can help you get through it.
No one should feel guilty or ashamed of needing extra support in their life. No one is perfect and we all face difficulties. If it makes you stronger, happier, and more content, then keep doing it!
The closer I get to five decades the more I find myself appreciating not flowers, candy and fancy restaurants but when someone gives me their time.
I’ve noticed lately when someone takes a few minutes out of their day to connect with me, it means so much more than a dozen roses ever could.
Don’t get me wrong I still appreciate big gestures. They’re just not nearly as important.
What’s important is someone taking the time. It seems like a small thing but it really has such a huge impact.
A five minute phone call
A three word text
I feel like somewhere along the way I had been misguided into thinking a shiny piece of jewelry would right a lot of wrongs. I blame Lifetime. Lol. What matters to me is time.
Here’s the thing I don’t even need a lot of it, but someone who takes a few minutes out of their day to let you know they’re thinking of you. That is someone that cares about you.
Time is a valuable commodity. We are all very aware of that. So when someone gives me theirs, it’s huge.
If someone cares about you, they should.
With all the technology we have it is easy to let someone know they are on your brain.
That goes for friends too. Mom life is a busy life. We all know. But man can I just say how much I appreciate my girls who at our collective kid’s bedtime start up the group chat?
Or the random meme that gets sent.
I have one friend who even sends letters!
Ok, she’s a bit of an overachiever lol.
But I can’t tell you much it means to have the WORST week at work and I’ll see one of her colorful envelopes.
Time is precious. If you have given me yours, even in the smallest increment it’s had a huge impact on me.
My hope for you Mommas is time. Whether it’s downtime, alone time, time with your family or a special someone, or funny text between you and a good friend . We all deserve that.
The madness we survive….I spent almost two years of my life buried in a very deep dark hole trying to fight depression and suicidal thoughts on my own. I stared death in the face. Just the two of us sitting in silence, looking back at one another on three different occasions. Luckily I found the strength to walk away from him.
I laid in bed more days than I was out. I went through days without even remembering how. Cried more tears than a body could produce. Sent calls to voicemail more than I could count. It was a silent fight. Because until I wrote and made it public, no one had a clue.
It changes a person. It changes their heart, their mind, their soul. And you don’t go back. You don’t go back to who you used to be. Those scars, whether physical or emotional, they are there forever. The bruises heal. The aches go away. But the scars…they stay forever. You never forget the suicide attempts. You never forget the places, or the dates. You never forget the meaning of all those songs, or the smells that remind you of when. Even when you try and forget…you still remember.
It becomes a part of your story. Whether it’s a short chapter or a very long one, it’s a part of your book. Some chose to be ashamed of that chapter but I chose to use it to reach out to others. A reminder that they aren’t alone, that their feelings are validated, and most importantly, that they can come out of it. That there is hope. There is a light at the end of that seemingly endless tunnel.
People deal with things differently. People love differently. People heal differently. But the crucial point to all this is that that person, that person that hurts so deeply, is still a person. They are someone’s mother, a sister, a best friend. That person deserves to know that their life matters, even when they think it doesn’t. That person was me! If that person is you, read all that over again, and know that when you get through all that pain, you will be stronger than you’ve ever been.
If it’s not you…remember that all it takes is your hand reaching down to help us up. An offer to sit in the dark with, to hold their hand, and wipe their tears. A non-judgmental, real, friendship. Be that friend. It matters.
One of the craziest journeys I have been on so far has to be choosing to be single. I was single by accident for a year before I chose to be single on purpose for another year before dating.
I made this decision to help in the process of bettering myself, and it has helped a lot.
Not only have I become comfortable being single it has also helped to weed out “guy friends”.
Some people never desire anything more than the thing or person they cant have.
So many of these friends found out I was single on purpose, and it went from a feeling of casual friends to feeling I had a target on my head. I’ve had to weed some of these friends out because the way they went about expressing their sudden strong interest in me was in no way appropriate and showed me how little respect they had for me.
Most of them would make inappropriate comments, one went as far as smacking me in the rear at work. It really opened my eyes to the fact of If I had not marked myself and my standards down over the years, I wouldn’t of ended up with the guys I had because I would have seen the red flags from miles away. Yes, whom I’ve dated Is 100% my fault.
For years I was pretty upset over what others have done to me, especially people that I have dated. Now i’m looking at everything with fresh eyes, I am the one who let them treat me like that, I’m the one who continuously held the door open to low quality men.
So for now I am still choosing to stay single, I am enjoying working on myself, and elevating myself. I will not have to save the person I want to be with, nor will they have to save me. That person when the time is right will understand what mutual respect is and what a healthy relationship looks like.
I am absolutely thrilled with my journey, even when the growing pains can get a little rough.
Happy and Thriving,
This past weekend my Mom’s family had a get together. My uncle who has lived in England for decades was visiting. Emails were sent out and somehow my Mom’s siblings of which there are seven, (there were nine but my aunt and uncle passed away several years ago) and children and grandchildren all converged on my favorite uncle’s property for food and a visit.
It was pretty fantastic. My daughter who is an only child had my cousins kids who are close to her age and ironically have similar interests to hang around with, throw in one of my considerably younger cousins who took it upon herself to dote on them all and a lesson in driving a tractor… my kid was in heaven.
For me it was about being with my family. July which is thankfully over, was full of one thing after another. All out of my control and increasingly worse than the other. Normally I pray for July to last all summer, I prayed for August to get here instead.
Needless to say July wore me out.
That suitcase I told you all to push back under the bed a few weeks ago in another blog. I started to get it out. Thought about opening it.
Then the family get together happened. The suitcase was peeking out under the bed.
Then a moment happened. There were several actually, but this one has stuck.
My uncle the one visiting from across the pond who the last time I saw him I was married, came and sat down next down to me.
He started it off with “I was surprised to hear about your divorce”.
I instantly tensed up.
He continued… “but emotional abuse is hard. It gets in your head. Being slagged on day in and day out. You start to believe it,even when it’s not true. Words hurt. I don’t care what anyone says. They stick with you. No one deserves that.
You seem happy and life is treating you well and that is what you deserve”.
Even now as I write this I don’t think I can explain how much that meant. How much that conversation, that moment meant.
Because, sadly my reality over the years is most people just have not understood.
When your marriage fails it’s hard enough, but I never want to be the person who bad mouths my ex husband. Regardless of what happened during our marriage because he is still my daughter’s Dad.
But there were hurts.
There are still hurts.
I hope some day they will be less.
I hope some day I look in the mirror and I don’t second guess what I see. I don’t second guess what I say. I don’t doubt who I am. I continue to get back to being the badass I like to trick
everyone into believing I am.
I also want you to remember who you are Mommas. Grab those magic moments.
Look in the mirror and roar.
Love the sound of your voice.
Believe in who you are.
You are someone’s Momma and that means you are a magical badass.