Doctor Appointment

Years ago, I was sent to the doctor from work. My stress and anxiety were preventing me from working to my full potential. That is when I was diagnosed.

I have never – I mean NEVER – spoken to my doctor about my depression.

I decided it is time. I made an appointment. I will go in next week to talk to him about my depression. I have a lot of anxiety about the situation. I was placed on medication for my stress and anxiety disorder, but that did not help. So, I stopped taking them. A part of me is worried that it will be the same thing with the depression. Or, I will be considered this horrible mom because I have depression.

I’ve suffered this long silently. I thought I could keep going, but I can’t. It is seriously taking a toll on me – mentally and physically.

Anyone that is on Facebook has seen the “How Hard Has Aging Hit You” challenge – where you post your first profile picture with your most current profile picture. I seen a major difference – good and bad. But the bad is what caught my eye. I looked tired. I looked pale and washed out. My hair has no shine. I can see a big difference in just six short years.

So, I made the first step – I hope the right choice – to make a doctor’s appointment.

What Would Be Your Superpower?

I’m sure everyone has been asked this question at least once in your life: What would be your superpower?

Growing up we imagine having superpowers. One various questionnaires we are asked this question. I’ve even seen this question as an ice breaker for trainers and for first dates.

Sometimes choices are provided for you to choose from. The most common, of course, is flying. I have never chosen that option. I am scared of heights; so, flying does not appeal to me at all.

Another common choice is often invisibility. I’m pretty sure I already have that superpower. I have always been overlooked and forgotten about. Growing up, of course, I wanted to be invisible. I was tried of bullies. I just wanted to disappear and be left alone. Even as an adult, I think I occasionally still have that power. I know with my depression, I’ve asked myself millions of times: If I completed my suicide, how long would it take for someone to even notice?

I usually choose the mind reading option. When I was married, I really wanted that superpower. I knew ex was lying to me, but why? What was the truth? Maybe if I could have read his mind, I could have saved our marriage. Maybe I would have gotten the closure that I know I am never going to get. Maybe I would have caught serial cheater much quicker. But then you have to think about the negative part of reading minds. Would you be able to hear everyone’s thoughts all at once? Would you be able to control it? Would you really want to know what people are thinking?

Honestly, I would want the power to see the future. I know there would negative points to this power, but I think the good would outweigh the bad. For example, if I could have seen the future I could have prevented my dad from being on the road at 7am on November 30, 2018. He would have still been alive.

So, what brought on this random thought?

Yesterday, I was driving to work and there was this gorgeous dog (looked like a pit bull) in the road. He looked healthy. No collar. I assume someone dumped him there. I had to slam on my brakes not to hit him with my car. I told him to get out of the road and I went to work. On my way back home, I seen him again. This time he was laying in the middle of the road. My heart sank. I wish I’d knew that was going to be what happened to the poor dog. I would have got him into my car and took him to work with me. I would have brought him home.

So, what would be your superpower?

Blah

Blah.

I lack for a better word, unfortunately.

Meh.

I have been sick since my dad’s death. I think I’m better and then a day or two later, I’m sick again. Work is stressful.

Found out ex’s hours/days for his job are changing. So, that stresses me out. I refuse to give up my Sundays with my daughter just because his schedule changes (he was wanting her Saturday and Sunday).

I feel like no matter what I do, it is not good enough.

Money is stressing me out. Last month alone, I spent almost $400 just on new tires and a new battery for my car.

Every time I start to get some money saved up, something happens. I am drowning.

We are slowly approaching the one year mark since I’ve been on a date or even had sex. That is sad. I can’t find anyone that I’m interested in enough to go on a date with. So, I’m slowly convincing myself that I’m destined to be alone. What’s going to be sad is if my mother gets into a relationship before I do.

I know I need to focus on the good in life. I need to take it one minute at a time.

My daughter is the best thing in my life, but I haven’t had her much this past week with the holidays. Then, I was going into work early on Thursday. My daughter did not want to set around at work with me. I asked her if she wanted to go to ex’s early. She said sure. When I showed up to work, without her, the manager asked where my helper was. I explained where she was. Then, to make me feel even worse, the manager said: I wonder why she is always so eager to go over there.

Communication

I am naturally a loner. Growing up I became such an introvert. When my grandmother passed away, I was seven-years-old, I stopped communicating my emotions, needs, and wants to the people around me. I turned to food for my emotional support.

Through elementary and middle school, I had a small group of friends but in class or in any situation I barely spoke above a whisper. People took advantage of my quietness. They pushed me to where I was battling against my only means of support – food – and I had developed eating disorders. I needed somewhere else to turn to, so I started self-injuring.

In high school, I started to stand up for myself. I was still content with being quiet. I couldn’t share much with people – I was depressed; starving myself; injuring myself; smoking; attracted to males and females; and having suicidal thoughts. Again, people didn’t know how to take my quietness. My first fiance thought I was always mad at him because silence didn’t bother me. I had to tell him, I’m okay with just the thoughts in my head.

Throughout college I started to become more expressive towards people. Now, I am more friendly and outgoing. But I still find it difficult at times.

So, online dating is a major challenge. I finally got a match that responded. We traded a few messages. Complete opposites – he drinks, goes to bars; redneck/country type; no kids; and loves country music. Obviously, the conversation was forced and quickly died.

Yesterday, I decided to call my parents – I haven’t spoken to them in awhile. I hadn’t heard how my grandfather is doing – he has stage 4 cancer. So, I called. The conversation was short lived. They were in the middle of something. Apparently my grandfather is on oxygen now, and he had a blood transfusion. I got invited to my nephew’s party this weekend – can’t because I have to work – I told her I couldn’t and that I didn’t know anything about it. She said she was told my brother had already invited me. My mother told me that apparently my brother told her that we talk all of the time. Uhhh… no. He occasionally stalks me on social media. I didn’t receive any invitation. So, she said “well that’s not the story I was told.” I told her to believe which ever story she wants.

It does make me sad. I attempt to communicate. I attempt to socialize and I get turned down or dismissed. I guess with the online dating, they just are not the right guy for me. I figure conversations will feel natural with the right guy. Communicating with my family, guess it is what it is.

I do communicate to the most important people in my life – especially my daughter. I am able to communicate to my ex. Wish he could do the same, but it is a hit and miss situation with him.

Drop offs are Heartbreaking

When I got divorced, my daughter was seven. She had never been away from me. For the first four years of her life I was lucky to get to be a stay-at-home mom. I worked part-time at a photography studio. My ex-husband worked nights. I had our daughter on the same sleeping schedule as ex. I would keep her up until 4am (when he got off work) so she would sleep during the morning hours. I would go to work at 9am. I would work until 2pm then come home start cooking and let ex go back to bed for a couple of hours. Then he would head back to work at 4pm. When my daughter got a little older, she wouldn’t sleep through the day. I would bring her to work with me instead. Even after she started school, I was there as much as possible.

Really think that is one major reason I stayed with my ex after the divorce. I wanted time with my daughter. If the three of us where spending time together then I wasn’t missing out on important parts of her life.

I still remember the first night we had a drop off. My daughter cried so hard. I cried because she was crying. She wanted to either stay with me or for me to come with her.

I’ve been divorced for five years now. Three of those years I have been completely finished with ex. So, three years of drop offs. It does get easier. She is 12 now. So, I get texts or pictures from her while she is at her dad’s – sometimes. Before the deployment I had the issue of her not wanting to go with him, but she would go. The state I live in, kids have to be 14 before they can refuse time with either parent. In about a week’s time, ex will be back from deployment. I am not sure what drop off will be like this time. He has not told me anything as far as when he is getting back (I only know what my daughter tells me) or if he is expecting to get her on my days.

Now, I know what you are thinking: He is returning from deployment, it will not hurt for him to have her some extra days or during my time. First off, our divorce decree states I do not have to give extra days to make up loss time due to military. Second, I do not have a problem letting him have her during my time IF he approaches me respectfully and asks.

Honestly, I want him to take our daughter – just the two of them – and take her to do something fun. Spend some time with her. In reality I know what is going to happen. He is going to get our daughter and head to girlfriend’s house. Not pay attention to our kid, and as my daughter has put it “have some fun” with girlfriend. *Gross* (And by the way, my 12 year old should not be telling me about her dad and his girlfriend “having fun.”)

Motivation

Some days it is hard to find and to keep motivation. It is even harder when living with anxiety and depression.

However, I stayed motivated with my exercising this weekend. My daughter is at camp – she usually works out with me. I worked out alone and actually increased my workout length on Friday. Not to mention, I did a 40 second plank. A small accomplishment, but it is progress! I can actually tell a difference already.

So glad I kept the motivation needed for my exercising. I am proud of myself. However, there are other parts of my life that I see a lack of motivation.

Dating.

I just cannot find anyone to have a conversation with online. Obviously if I cannot have a conversation with them online then I do not want to go on a date with them either. I just keep thinking about the serial cheater and what he did to me – I hate that I allowed myself to be played. I hate that I ignored the red flags. I hate that I didn’t mean anything to him, and I started falling in love with him. I hate that he is probably still being a serial cheater, and I am so leery that I don’t even attempt to hold a conversation with anyone on those dating sites. What if the guys are married, engaged, or even just in a relationship and just trying to use me for “fun?” I have built my walls up again – even higher, and thicker this time. I want to date. I want to be in a relationship. I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want to be played. I don’t have the motivation to look for Mr. Right. I secretly hope the man of my dreams will find me, and it will be like something in a movie. A kind stranger. A new neighbor. A hot guy checking me out in the supermarket. Then I have to tell myself to wake up that is probably not ever going to happen.

The final area of my life right now needing motivation is work. I work part-time as a photographer (I have other jobs, but the photography job is the one lacking motivation right now.) Someone was unhappy with their child’s picture for a pageant book. Okay, if they had said something then I would had re-shot the pictures. (It was a free session. Just head and shoulders picture. Takes a couple of minutes. The picture is cute. The child is around six-years-old. It is a sweet picture. I stand by my work. I did give the child directions – sit up, look here. If it was my daughter’s picture, I would be pleased) Instead, the business was sent a nasty message on social media by the father (who was not even present during the session). Bashing me as a photographer. The owner also threw me under the bus (Which I was taking those pictures that day because the owner could not be there. I was helping her out! In the past year, I have shot about eight months because the owner could not be there). So, the pageant is later this week. Honestly, I am just ready for the drama to be over with. I made that comment to my friend – about ready to be finished with the pageant already -, who is also the business’ office manager, which apparently was a big mistake. So, now she’s wanting to find another photographer to take my place to cover the three-day pageant because once again the owner cannot be there. Really, a different photographer? I have worked there for over twelve years. Now, everyone is so quick to toss me aside? Maybe I’m being too sensitive, but I definitely took the entire situation personally. If it was a bad picture, or even not a good picture, I would have said let’s redo this picture. If the mom would have said anything to show she was not happy with the picture I would have said let’s redo this picture. The mom said it was a cute picture. The pageant direction said it was a sweet picture. I am just hurt by the situation. I know what I am doing. Not only was my photograph skills attacked in this situation, but also my personality.

I talk with the kids when they come in for these pageant pictures. They are nervous. I talk to them about their dresses for the pageant, or they pets. I get them to relax. My focus is on the kids. I will say “hi” to the parents or ask them if that is how they want the child’s hair for the picture (in front of the shoulders or behind), but really the children are my focus. The owner is the complete opposite. She will tell her life story and want to know the parents’ life story as well. Sorry, I am a quiet person. I am the type that will listen and only add to the conversation as needed if I do not know you. In a place of business, personal matters are not appropriate in my opinion.

Another difference between the owner and myself is her daughter does pageants, so that is something she can talk to the parents about. Once again, I don’t have this common bond with the parents. I am not a pageant mom. My daughter is not a pageant kid. She did pageants when she was younger. Actually won some money (back when she was a toddler). She hates pageants now. She would rather stick to sports, school, and tumbling. I don’t have the experience or the wisdom to share with the pageant moms. I don’t fit in. I don’t even wear makeup. I may wear makeup twice a year, if that. I figure if I can pull off the no makeup look then I should embrace it. I get mistaken to be years younger anyway, so it works for me. My hair is a wild mane. I have long ringlets that have a mind of their own. Growing up, I HATED my hair. I wanted straight hair. Now, I embrace my wild hair. I actually love my ringlets. I dye my hair bright blood red or a purplish-red and black for a two tone look. I have multiple tattoos that are visible. I don’t think these pageant moms would want my “advice” on the pageant world. Now, if I was showing them the pictures and trying to get them to buy – that is a different story! I can talk about photographs all day long! And I can sell anything!! I can read people. I had one job years ago where I had to talk a mom into switching classrooms for her child due to the child’s progression and best interest. The entire center agreed it needed to be done, but others had tried talking to the mom and she refused. I had a witness with me during the conversation. It took me ten minutes and the mom agreed.

So, yes my personality is different. I have been through situations during my life that makes me guarded. I figure strangers don’t want to be my “friend” they just want me to take their pictures.

Definitely need some positive thoughts and motivation.

Where does my loyalty remain after the divorce?

When I was married, I was loyal to my husband – 100%. I don’t mean just being with him and no one else (sexually and romantically); I mean during issues with family. I took my husband’s side every time. I stood up for him. I protected him.

Who gets my loyalty now that I am divorced? Obviously my child gets my loyalty 100%.

But who comes next? My family or my ex?

Yesterday, my child went to camp for a few days. My car isn’t the greatest vehicle out there. I’d asked my parents if they would like to come with us and give us a ride. Of course they could have said “no.” Honestly, I was surprised when they did not decline the request! Even yesterday when they were supposed to arrive, I was surprised they came. There have been many times we have planned something or I needed help with something and they refused or back out at the last minute. I was happy when they showed up. The car trip was pleasant. They got to see and visit with my daughter on the way to camp. The trip back wasn’t too bad either. They plan on coming back up and making the trip to pick up my child, too.

So, where’s the issue? Where does the question of loyalty come into play?

Hours later, I was scrolling on social media. I seen a post my mom made about taking her granddaughter to camp that day. My mom still has my ex as a friend on social media. I knew what drama was going to happen. I prepared myself.

My ex makes the comment on social media about how if he’d known my parents were the ones “having” to take my daughter to camp he would have found someone else. My mom said, Why? I’m her grandmother. I didn’t mind doing it. He says if they had been busy or had to go out of their way, he could have done something by finding someone else because he knew it was a long trip. This continues back and forth for a bit before I decide I better step in. I make the comment telling him if there is an issue then he can talk to ME about it, and not on social media.

First let me say, ex has never drove my daughter to camp. He has never offered to give me money for gas to take her to camp. The “someone else” would had either been his girlfriend or his mother. So, what is the difference between me asking – and going with – my parents, and him asking his girlfriend or parents? His opportunity to make me look bad? To look like a bad mother? A lazy person?

Second, I do not think I was in the wrong to ask MY parents for a ride. It is my family. It is my business. My ex is not even in the country; he is deployed. If my parents had been busy or didn’t want to – trust me – they would have said something – my parents are NOT shy. They speak their mind, no matter if its what I want to hear or not.

Then I get a message from my mom saying she’d sent ex a private message. She copied and pasted the message to him for me to see. I was so irritate. She talked about her disappointment in him. He is spending money on others instead of his own child. It’s been months since he’d sent a child support check.

I called her. I asked her why? Why send that? Why cause more drama for me?

She said she is entitled to her own opinion, and I cannot tell her what she can and cannot say to my ex.

True. She is an adult. But what is it going to accomplish by sending that message?

She thinks that message is going to be a wake up call for ex. She thinks it is going to make him want to give us more in child support.

Here’s the question of loyalty coming into play.

I told my mom that ex is deployed, he will send a check sometime. He sends a few weeks at a time about every six to eight weeks. It works. Should I get more child support? Absolutely. BUT, I make it work. I know if I seriously need something for my daughter, ex will give me money. He pays for her sports. He pays for her school clothes.

My mom’s response? She told me to stop defending him. She told me to stop being a pushover. Stop being so nice. Don’t be scared of him.

I’m not scared of my ex-husband.

Am I too nice? Am I a pushover? Perhaps. My reason? My daughter.

There is no reason to have hate toward ex. There is no reason to fight and have drama. If I ask for money for her, he will probably give it to me. He may complain, but he will give it to me – most of the time. Yes, more child support each week would help so much. But, I make it work. I keep my bills paid. I make sure my child has food and shelter. She is loved and cared for.

I want to be the bigger person. I don’t care about the money. I want to be a role model for my child. I don’t want her to have to choose between parents. I don’t want her to feel like she has to hate either of us. She knows ex has money, and I struggle with money. I don’t want her to feel like it is her fault or anything.

My conversation with my mom continued on. I gave her my reasoning. I told her why I was upset about the message, but also told her I get why she sent it. I said if getting my daughter from camp is going to be an issue, then don’t worry about it. She then told me I was acting just like my ex.

Ouch. Name calling? Eh. I do online dating. I’ve been called worse, and spoken to a lot worse than that.

So, who gets my loyalty? My family or my ex? I still don’t know.

I just know, I’m too old for drama. I just want to be a great mom for my daughter, and for people not to present obstacles in my everyday life.

Facebook Worthy

I go on Facebook daily, most days. May spend a few minutes skimming through my news feed. Occasionally there will be interesting postings. Some I just have to scroll past without liking or making a comment. Then there’s the one’s that actually cut deep into a wound that is trying to heal.

The posts and pictures of my friends getting married, celebrating anniversaries, and being pregnant.

When I was married, my ex-husband did not have Facebook. My mom is actually the one who talked me into joining the social media site. Since he didn’t have Facebook, I didn’t post pictures of us or our daughter because there was no one to tag. I was still being protective of my daughter, so I didn’t post pictures of her in the beginning. (Now, that is all that covers my wall are photos and posts of her, when I do post.) I did post occasionally of my ex, but I didn’t air my dirty laundry on there. Plus, I didn’t have a cell phone or even a digital camera; so, it was more of a hassle posting at all at first.

Ex finally joined Facebook because a chick he was trying to sleep with talked him into it. That caused a fight between us because I did not have my relationship status as “married” – I didn’t have my relationship status filled out. I figured people that were Facebook friends knew I was married. I wasn’t looking for anyone else; so why did I have to advertise that I was married?

Anyway, I was scrolling through my news feed. I am happy for them. I seen a couple of friends celebrating 15 years of marriage. I seen another friend celebrating her first year of marriage of her second marriage. I seen a few pregnancy announcements. I one that really broke through was a video of her – she is pregnant, due in a month – and she was showing the baby kicking.

I had to fight back tears. Nothing against her, or anyone else, but pain that I may not get to experience these “Facebook worthy” moments ever again was a little too much right then.

Yours, Mine, Ours… and Hers/His?

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Yesterday was Father’s Day, so obviously I’m sure everyone’s social media was bombarded with posts and tags for all the father’s in everyone’s life. I pretty much stayed off of mine all day, of course it is still the story today.

So, what’s the issue? Being tagged and wording. Now, this I understand is a TOUGH situation. I have briefly been through it, and I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t handle how I would now if given the opportunity.

Let me explain my experience. After my divorce, ex and I were still together. During that time he was still seeing someone else, but did not talk to me. When I found out I said I was done. She wanted him; she could have him. BUT, I am still the mother of my child. I tried keeping ex as Facebook friends. It was horrible. They posted pictures of them together – kissing – or during family activities. I was so heartbroken. It brought me to tears, or on the verge of throwing up. I didn’t understand why ex was getting this family and I was alone. I wanted more children – he didn’t – and now he has a girlfriend with three children. So, what hurt the most? When ex posted pictures of our daughter – by herself – and tagged girlfriend. I was destroyed. My child is my pride and joy. She is my entire world. And here he is taking that from me and pawning her off onto a woman that I could not stand or trust. A couple of years ago, he posted a picture of our daughter and tagged girlfriend for Mother’s Day weekend. I was crushed. I tried talking to him about it. I tried to get him to see it from my point of view – how would he feel if I tagged another man, which even to this day has never happened. So, I have never gotten to experience ex’s reaction. So, instead I got the response “if you don’t like it, unfriend me.” I did. Out of sight, out of mind. I know they still tag each other with her pictures. I know he still paints a picture that I don’t – and never did – exist. Oh well, that’s the reality of divorce.

Ideally, I would like for the three of us – myself, ex, and girlfriend – to get along. To have that support system. To do activities together and to tag each other in pictures, because what is important is my child. We are not there. We are no where close to being there. I am not sure if we will ever get there.

The next issue is the choice of wording. I typically write “my” child, because she is mine. Especially right now – with him being deployed – I have her 100% of the time. I also use “my” because ex and I are not together. We are not friends on social media. If I am in his company, I will say “our” child.

I seen a screenshot of an ex’s wife posting Happy Father’s Day, and thanking him for being a wonderful father to our children. Supposedly, the couple does not have children together. Biological mom said the children in the picture were hers and ex’s, not stepmother and ex’s. Biological mom was so mad of the wording. She screenshot the post and needed to vent about it.

Years ago, I probably would have felt the same way – pretty much guarantee I would have felt the same way. Now, I know my daughter loves me. I know I am mom. I am important to her. Even if ex and girlfriend would like me out of the picture, I am in it. Can not erase the fact that we have a child together. I just want acknowledgement. If girlfriend wants to claim my child as a bonus child – step child, if they ever get married. Great! Care for her and love her like she is your own child. I do know the dynamic and what happens when I am not around – my child is old enough and does tell me if something is bothering her.

So, despite the feelings of the adults in the situation, think about what is best for the children. If it is in the child’s best interest to not be friends on social media – Please don’t!! If you and your ex are able to get along and each of you are in a relationship, and all of the adults are supportive of the children then do activities together. Whatever works for your child. Remember, if it is not working right now – or is not what you want – keep striving to make it better for your child.

My Next Chapter

Thank you for stumbling onto this blog. This blog has been a thought I’ve had for several years, but I continued to put it off. I wanted to get my story out there, but I wanted to make sure I had the experiences to share. I am now four-and-a-half years post divorce. I feel it is time to put my thoughts on paper – uh, online. Enjoy!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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