If You Want Me To

Something odd. Since I’ve been taking medication for depression, I’ve had a different vibe with my ex-husband.

For example, he came to drop our daughter off the other day and he stayed and talked for almost thirty minutes. This has happened a couple of times. Each time, I find myself inching towards the door ready to end the conversation, but he continues to talk.

Another situation, our daughter has raised chickens for the past five years to show. I’ve always been the one raising the chickens at my house. I am tired of having chickens. I asked ex if he wanted to raise chickens this year. His response, “If you want me to.” I’m thinking “what the hell?” I told him that it did not matter either way, but I was done raising chickens. He said he would go ahead and raise them this year. The whole time I’m thinking “isn’t there someone you should be talking to?” I mean, he lives at girlfriend’s house. You would think he would say “let me discuss this with girlfriend.”

Maybe I’m overthinking it all – as usual. Maybe this is what co-parenting is supposed to be like. It’s just completely odd and not something I’m used to.

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Focusing on the Positive

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So, yesterday was a very, very rough day. I think the fact that ex is now engaged finally absorbed in. I cried a bit. I pretty much ate my feelings, and probably everything else around. I think I gained 50lbs yesterday, alone. I don’t know why I needed to eat like that. I just needed to numb the feelings and thoughts about ex. So, mindless eating and then the discomfort of eating so much gave me the physical pain instead of the emotional pain. I’m stressed of what the future is going to bring. A friend asked if girlfriend – Okay, I know they are now “engaged” so she is not “girlfriend” but you know what, I’m sticking with calling her girlfriend – would take over finances and military benefits. Man, I hope not. I’m afraid my daughter is going to get the short end of the stick in this situation.

Luckily, there were a few good things to focus on. My daughter brought home progress reports. Her lowest grade is a 95%. It’s funny, at the beginning of the school year, she was so worried about taking AP courses – in both of her AP courses she has over a 100%. Last night, she had a Beta Club ceremony where she got welcomed into the organization. That is a major accomplishment. I was so proud of her. Me, being a mom and a photographer, took several photographs. Also me, being me, I decided to share that moment with ex. I sent him two pictures, since he is out of state again. One was of our daughter with her certificate and the other was of the entire group. He responded very quickly, “that’s cool.” Stupidly, I expected him to be more excited – Awesome! Tell her great job! – or to even send her a message, or better yet call her, to tell her congratulations.

Getting Tired of Being the Bigger Person

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So, ex and I have been divorced for five years. We have been completely finished for three years. I have forced myself to stop being his secretary, making excuses for him, defending his behavior, and honestly stop loving him.

We have one child, who is very busy. I take pictures of her schedule and send them to ex. I typically don’t remind him again after I send the schedule once, but if he asks I usually do answer about dates/times.

Well, Thursday, ex picked our daughter up from school. Apparently she gave him a new schedule for games and practices. They seen me Thursday night, not a word about it. Ex seen me Friday night, not a word. It wasn’t until yesterday I asked my daughter when her next practice was.

She said “dad has the schedule.”

When did he get it?

Thursday.

Do you still have it?

No, dad left it at girlfriend’s house.

***

So, now I’m annoyed. She should have waited to give me the schedule. He should grow the hell up and coparent with me.

I send ex a text:

me: not cool not sending me the game schedule. I always send you pictures of the schedules.

ex: I gave the schedule back to her. I know I gave it back to her.

***

I’m seriously not getting into this with him. He is the adult and he is blaming our child. To make it worse, he did take a picture of the schedule and has it on his phone, but yet still would not send it to me. (I know because he sent the picture to our daughter, but not to me).

I finally get a schedule by contacting other moms.

But I am so mad at ex. He is so childish, selfish, and a complete asshole. I want to treat him how he treats me. I want to “forget” to send schedules. I want to avoid contacting him, but I don’t want to make our daughter be the messager. I’m tired of being the bigger person. I am tired of expecting him to treat me with respect and like a person.

I could be a horrible ex wife. I could make him miserable. But, what would that accomplish? What message would that send to my daughter? Besides, my personality and character would not allow me to continue to behave like that; I would start to feel guilty and ashamed of myself.

I can’t get him to get his head out of his own ass to see how he is behaving, and I hate that. I hate that the man I spent so much of my life with, have a child with, and is bound to each other for the rest of this life behaves the way he does; treats me the way he does; and sets that type of example for our daughter.

Single Parent Struggles

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First off, parenting is a hard job – I don’t care what your story is, parenting is hard, even in the best of situations.

Being a single parent makes this hard job even more challenging.

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With my ex working out of state and my family living a few hours away, I typically am able to juggle schedules and get my daughter everywhere she needs to be without too many issues. I plan ahead and I do what I need to so she doesn’t miss out on anything.

Today is a different story…

Found out I’m having to take pictures tonight. The number of teams and individuals keeps increasing. Not to mention, my daughter has stunting practice and tumbling (on opposite sides of town) during time frame that I am needed to take pictures.

Worse case scenario, I could quickly step away and get my daughter from stunting take her to tumbling and drive back to take pictures. BUT… that is extra gas that I really can’t afford to waste. There is the possibility of stunting not ending on time and running late. What if I get stuck in traffic trying to get back to take pictures. What if I lose too much natural light during this time frame of driving my daughter every where and cannot take the pictures. Thus, me losing money and the business losing money because I did not do my job.

So, I tried asking other cheer moms if they could drive my daughter from stunting to tumbling. We have a group chat set up on Facebook – all the moms and the coach is added to that group. I sent a message to the group asking for help – explaining the situation.

NOT ONE RESPONSE!

I know who viewed the message – Facebook is kind enough to show you when someone views. Nine moms and the cheer coach viewed it – which wasn’t everyone on the squad – and not a single response.

I was so annoyed. I don’t ask people for any help – most of the time. Now, occasionally, I do need help. And I cannot get any help?!?

I was going through my contacts thinking of anyone and everyone I could ask.

Most of the squad is in my daughter’s tumbling class as well, so for most of them it wouldn’t have been an extra time or out of their way. One mom I know she couldn’t because she is out of state. Three others – that I am sure would have helped – hadn’t viewed the message. Another one, I know she can’t because she has to work too.

I finally thought of someone – her daughter is a cheerleader and in tumbling, but she doesn’t use Facebook. I texted her asking if her daughter was going to tumbling tomorrow night because I was needing someone to give my daughter a ride. She messaged me back saying that her daughter did not want to go to tumbling because she was too tired after stunting and she hurt herself last week in tumbling. BUT the mom said she would gladly give my daughter a ride – even though her daughter was not going to tumbling too.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

I’ve known this woman and her husband since my daughter was three-years-old. They helped coach her t-ball team. Our daughter’s had kindergarten together. They are a great couple that are always offering to help me – they know I am divorced and my family don’t live around here.

So, I’m excited that someone was willing to help me.

Still annoyed that no one else was willing to help. I get I’m not popular – being a loner doesn’t bother me. I don’t pretend to be something I’m not. I do not fit in with the cheer moms.

Oh well, I’ll let it go. There’s other issues to focus on other than why I’m not accepted by a group of cheer moms. ha-ha.

One issue: the cheer coach. This woman is becoming a pain in my ass.

Since my daughter is a cheerleader they have to dress up for specific weeks/days (homecoming, pep rally, red ribbon week, etc). My daughter has clothes, but not the clothes needed for dress up days (like camouflage, flannel, specific characters, blah, blah, blah). My daughter also is stuck living in three houses – so, sometimes clothes she needs isn’t at the house that she is at, which me not knowing where girlfriend lives means I cannot take my daughter to her house to get clothes or items that she’ll need (and ex moving in with girlfriend means most of my daughter’s stuff is slowly making its’ way to girlfriend’s house).

My daughter told the coach that she didn’t have flannel for today’s dress up day. The coach’s response: I seem to hear often about clothes you don’t have. (We’ve had this issue before. The coach commented that it seems like my daughter never has any clothes).

Woman, back up. Know your role!

I told my daughter to either quit mentioning anything to the coach or next time the coach sasses tell the coach she can sass me. The coach never says a word to me…

My daughter lives between three houses. BUT guess what, I still get her what she needs. I talked to ex last night and explained what was going on. He transferred some money to me so I could take my daughter to the store and buy clothes for this dress up week – if the cheerleaders do not dress up then they get detention – which is stupid, but why cause drama for my kid. (Anyway, we did find a very cute flannel shirt with lace that my daughter will wear more than once – so, it was worth spending money on) So, got that issue taken care of.

But I know ex could sense my annoyance with the cheer coach when I was on the phone with him. He offered to kick her ass for me. (See, my ex is a tool, but he has his good moments. ha-ha)… aww… he is still willing to fight women for me lol

Second issue: while on the phone with ex:

ex: I’m just letting you know that we are going to **different state** for a week.

me: Who? (my mind immediately thought he was taking my daughter, girlfriend, her kids)

ex: The base. Guess I should have worded that better, huh?

Okay. This issue is not that big of a deal. I just may run into another situation like today where I cannot be in two places at the same time. But, I will cross that bridge if, and when, I get to it.

Then, I seen a post from a married mom complaining that she feels like a single mom. Then all of these other married women agreed and knew how she felt.

I wanted to comment and say I will try places with any one of you!! They are married to a man that makes enough to support the entire family while they are all stay at home moms. They spend their days at home – some of them, their children are school age. They complain that when the husband gets home he doesn’t help cook or clean. He plays with the kids and watches TV — uh, that’s because he has worked all day. Hell, get the cooking and cleaning done while he is at work – or leave it for tomorrow, who cares – and enjoy your family. Spend time with the husband, and the kids. Be thankful that you have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. Be thankful that you have a husband and a family. Don’t compare yourself to a struggling single parent. Don’t complain on social media and then expect changes at home – communication!! Talk to your spouse. If you need help, tell them. The husband may not even think about it. May not realize it.

 

 

Rough Night

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Last night I’m really not sure what happened. I guess I got inside my head too much. It was a rough night, which led to crying a couple of times including crying myself to sleep.

My daughter had a game last night. I did not know ex was going to the game. He never communicates with me. IF he wants to tell me or ask me something, he will relay the message through my daughter. Well, he’d messaged her that he was going to the game, but she didn’t have her phone with her.

He gets to the game. Of course he sits no where close to me. I’m used to it. I don’t think that part bothered me. I mean, I don’t want to be his friend. I want to co-parent. But I don’t want to be friends. I don’t want him to ask about my life – which right now feels like I am drowning. I really don’t want to hear about his life – which I hear about it from my daughter because that is part of her life.

Besides, I know what happens when he is around, he stays glued to his phone – messaging girlfriend, gaming, social media, or looking at girlfriend’s kids’ social media.

Anyway, about halfway through the game, I get a text. It is from ex. He is asking me if my daughter is going home with him or me after the game. I respond that I don’t know. I knew the day before she wanted to stay the night with me, but I didn’t know he was going to be at the game (the week before it was after 8:30pm before he showed up to pick her up). He says that it is her choice. I didn’t respond. (Don’t know if it was childish of me or if it was the mature thing to do by not responding. I could see that leading to a fight or something.) I just think to myself, of course it is HER choice. Plus, if he is already at the game then I assumed she would just go with him – makes sense, right?

So, why is he messaging me this? Why not wait until after the game – when we are face to face – if he REALLY needs to ask? Or, better yet, why not have asked me EARLIER – earlier in the day? earlier in the week? just earlier?

Do you know why? Because it is ex’s game. It is his way of still making me feel like shit. It is the slow, emotional abuse that I have dealt with for almost two decades from him.

**I will say, my daughter did a wonderful job cheering at the game last night! I really hope she makes the squad next year. I do enjoy watching her cheer.**

After the game, I followed my daughter back into the school to help her carry her ten bags.

Ex follows me.

He asks where were we going. I explained to him I was going to help her carry all of her stuff.

Well, one of her friends wanted her to walk to the other side of the building to the friend’s locker – because the girl did not want to walk alone. The building was already dark. I said that was fine.

So, ex and I are standing in the hallway, alone, waiting.

He asks “so how’s your week been?”

Again – I don’t want to be friends. I tried that before. I tried being his friend when we were no longer a couple. It about killed me. He judged me for sleeping with someone else (after only knowing them for less than two weeks). He has told my daughter that exes do not have to talk, or care about each other.

I just quickly respond “fine.”

Once my daughter gets back we head out into the parking lot. At this point I still do not know what the plan is.

My daughter hates to make decisions – she doesn’t want to make anyone mad.

So, when I asked what are we doing, ex looks at my daughter and says why don’t you just come with me. She said she still needed to stop at home – my house – to pick up something for school tomorrow. He said okay.

That hurt.

I don’t know why, but it really did sting.

It was like he was gloating about the fact that my daughter CHOSE to go with him over going with me. And he was still going to bring her to my house for a few minutes, but she couldn’t ride with me.

Like I said, I don’t know why but it brought on the tears. (I’m used to pick ups/drop offs. This is nothing new. I knew she was going to go with me. Maybe I secretly hoped she could still come home with me…)

I took the longest route home. I cried the entire drive home.

I got to my house – ex, of course, was already there. I knew he would beat me there. I’d hoped that he would have stopped at his house, or stopped to get gas. Something. So I would not have to see him right away again.

I get out of my car. He is still sitting in his car with the windows down. He is playing a game on his phone with my daughter. Neither acknowledge me. I go into the house and get my daughter’s stuff. I bring it outside. They are still glued to the phone. Again, I go back into the house and get my dog so he could go outside. I walk to the end of the driveway and back. They are still sitting there, in his car, playing a game.

I want to scream: GET OUT OF THE CAR! GET HER STUFF! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE! I DON’T WANT YOU HERE!

I feel like he is still mocking me. He is staying there – playing and laughing with my daughter – and I am invisible.

I don’t scream. I don’t cry – I’m choking back tears by now. I don’t say anything.

My daughter gets out of the car to get her belongings. She said she wants to go inside to change out of her uniform.

After several minutes, I go back into the house. I ask her about her day – any homework – things of that nature. She is crying. She said she wanted to stay with me but he asked her why don’t she just go with him tonight.

I hate seeing my daughter cry.

Again, I am fighting back the sting of tears.

I am trying to be supportive. I tell her it is okay. She has her phone. She can text or call me. She will see me Sunday.

We go back outside and ex is finally out of his car. He is playing with the neighbor’s dog. So, I just stay out there and visit with my daughter some more.

It took a long time last night before I convinced myself to go to bed – and I am feeling my decision of procrastinating bedtime, trust me! But I know myself. I go to bed and my mind starts racing. I start thinking about things. I stress. I get inside my mind. I get upset.

**UPDATE**

So, yesterday’s post I wrote about not knowing how to respond to guys while online dating. I have decided I am awkward when it comes to dating. I was with ex for 15 years. I had a couple of dates, then I fell for the serial cheater for seven months. I still am very new to dating as an adult. I have a darker sense of humor. I am obviously jaded. My personality is different. I am awkward.

Guy #4 from yesterday’s post did message me again. Didn’t comment about my response. Instead asked how my day was? Then WRUD? (Hate that. WRITE LIKE A GROWN ASS MAN). You want my attention, then take the few seconds to SPELL OUT THE WORDS…

Yeah, that’s why I’m single.

I hate the WRUD message. What am I going to say? The truth? I’m alone at my house… HELL NO! That is like a welcome sign for these creeps to come and find you. Tell them that I’m sitting around watching TV and painting? I don’t know him, it’s none of his business what I am actually doing. So, my response: Not much.

I don’t dare ask what they are doing — you get nasty messages like: I’m laying in bed. I’m about to take a shower. I’m thinking of you and touching myself.

Gag.

I don’t want to know. I don’t care. This guy has not caught my attention. He is the one that had the body hair and I decided I was too shallow to message because of it.

Two more guys messaged me.

The first one sent a message asking are you a morning person or a night person.

Night.

He apologized that that was a lame intro. I said it was refreshing to how I am usually greeted on that site.

He said yeah lots of disrespect.

**enter my dating awkwardness**

I’m thinking: yeah, this guy gets it. He understands what I’m talking about.

I said, yeah, I’ve been trying online dating long enough I’m used to it.

**In my mind, that means I am used to the disrespect. I am used to the dick pix. I am used to the cheating men**

He twists it around and says he is not the guy for me. He can not disrespect a woman.

I am completely confused.

He thought I was looking for someone to disrespect me.

I’m NOT looking for a man to treat me like shit. Why would anyone even think that?!?

**bye, dude**

Second guy sends me a message: Hey.

He has one picture – and it is not of himself. I ask “married?” He sees the message and choices not to respond. (That’s a “yes.”

**bye**

 

 

Kindness mistaken for Weakness

Ex had my daughter over the majority of the weekend. Saturday, she had a volunteer activity for a couple of hours, so I went to see her and take pictures. I visited with her. Decided to talk to ex. I talked to him about some of the things going on at girlfriend’s house. Yes, I know, I have no control over it, BUT if I can make him realize there are issues than maybe something will happen. For example, band-aids should not be stored on a high shelf above the stove. His response was that he didn’t even know where the band-aids were and if there was an emergency than our daughter could wake him and girlfriend up. I talked to him about me keeping her on Thursday nights, to make sure homework is done and she gets to bed at a decent hour. He shrugged and said whatever our daughter wants to do. I bit my tongue about the situation of our daughter almost being late to school because he has to sit around and put girlfriend’s kids on the bus while she sits in the house. Figure I’d just hold that for another day if the situation continues.

My daughter had a friend spend the weekend. Ex continued to sleep at girlfriend’s house even though there was a friend there. Apparently he did not tell the girl’s parents where they would be. Personally, I would have been angry not knowing that my daughter was at a stranger’s house and I not know about it. He also drove the girls to our hometown – a few hours away – to visit his parents. Again, really? This friend will probably never get to spend the night again with my daughter.

Anyway, I called ex on Saturday evening to ask what time he would bring our daughter home. He said the friend was staying that night also. I decided to be nice and try to let my daughter have some more fun. I gave up some of my time so she could let her friend stay longer and maybe do something fun. I told ex to have her home by 1p.m., if it looked like it would be later than to call or text me.

Sunday, 1p.m. comes and goes still no sign of my daughter. I call ex. There are out of town. Really? I ask him, didn’t I say just to call or text me if you were going to be later than 1p.m.? He said, I forgot because he is so tired. What?!? Bullshit. He’s a selfish ass. He mistakes my act of kindness for weakness. Shouldn’t do that.

I give him extra time to try to save what little of their relationship they might have. I give him extra time to try to be a good dad to his own child.

So, should I be selfish about my time? I want to do what is best for my daughter. However, each day that goes by I’m really starting to think what is best for her is to not to be around ex and girlfriend. My daughter even asked me yesterday if ex was breaking any laws by spending the night at girlfriend’s house with her there.

Sadly, no.

I had never met anyone who was divorced. I was completely clueless going into my divorce. I didn’t have anything put into our paperwork about no overnight guests of the opposite sex, or first right of refusal. I wish I could go back in time and apply what I know now.

My divorce was an example of during my kindness, I was weak. I was in love with him. I didn’t want a messy divorce. I wanted us back together. I wanted him to love me.

One step forward, Two steps back

One step forward, and two steps back… That’s how I feel my healing progress is going.

Tuesday I felt so successful – I’d talked to ex about girlfriend not having a picture of my daughter (you can go and read my post titled “Success.”), and explained to ex that it hurt my daughter’s feelings that girlfriend did not have a picture. I even offered to buy a frame and a picture to give to girlfriend.

Then yesterday, all my success came crashing down around me. I found myself worrying what the hell did I do wrong? Why does ex get rewarded and I get punished?

I was loyal during our marriage. He cheated. Now, I’m single with no prospects of even getting a date, much less having a relationship. He has been with girlfriend off and on for three years. Granted, I don’t want their relationship (I was with ex for fifteen years, so I do know how he is), but at least he has someone to spend time with, have sex with, and to be with.

Girlfriend’s birthday was Tuesday. He told my daughter he felt horrible and that he was a “bad boyfriend” because he did not send girlfriend flowers to work. WHAT?!? In the fifteen years I was with him, I NEVER received flowers at work. Hell, I really don’t remember too many gifts for my birthday (which money spent was not important. I didn’t want gifts. I wanted his time. I wanted his attention. I wanted him to put his damn phone down – from texting other women – and be with me). Plus, he took my daughter to the store and made her help him pick girlfriend out some gifts – apparently spent well over $100 (again, my daughter complained because ex doesn’t spend that much on my daughter for her birthday). My daughter complained to me that she had to find the correct perfume because ex doesn’t know what girlfriend likes.

I heard all of this from my daughter. So, honestly there was some hurt (Okay, a lot of hurt — is girlfriend that much better than I am? If so, then what the hell is wrong with me? I get I have dealt with abuse and have depression as a result of the abuse. So, does that mean no one is able to love and care for someone with a past consisting of abuse? Does that mean if you have anxiety and depression then you are not worth the love and affection of others?). He feels guilty for being a bad boyfriend, but no remorse for being a bad husband or father? Seriously??

It continued to get worse. I found out that ex and my mom have been calling and texting each other. Really? My mom hated ex during our entire relationship, and now they’re friends. What the hell did I miss? Once again, why am I being punished? Ex was abusive in our relationship. We did not go visit families, he refused. Now, he is all about his family, and girlfriend’s family. Now, he is all about my family, too? My family doesn’t even call or attempt to visit me. I have to make the effort. Then it ends up being a horrible situation.

No, the failure continues.

Ex pays half of the state minimum child support that was based on his income five years ago. I agreed to it because I thought he would help out when our daughter needed something extra. Ex is full time military now. He makes good money. I have not taken him back to court to change child support. I should, I know. But I am not after his money (despite what people say and think). But it hurts that I struggle every month and he has money to burn. He complains that he has to buy our daughter stuff – school supplies, clothes. He complains to our daughter even! However, he gladly spends money on girlfriend and her three kids.

Next bit of jealously… Ex bought a third – yes a THIRD – vehicle. Seriously? I have a piece of shit car that I can’t rely on. It is definitely my money pit. Why am I being punished? Why is the universe mocking me? What life lesson do I need to learn to get over all of this hurdles?

My night ended with ex picking up my daughter from my house… in his new vehicle… with his girlfriend. Really? I am not allowed to know where she lives, but he constantly brings her to my house. I really just want to know where she lives because ex sleeps there with my daughter all of the time. What if something happens and I have to get my daughter? I don’t have a clue where to go.

After a day like that, I have to ask myself why am I being punished? When will the universe give me a break?

Then the thought of maybe I should have not failed my suicide attempt years ago. I try to be positive and I know my daughter needs me. But this divorced, single mom life sucks and is difficult.

I knew it would be hard. I had no idea that five years later it would still be this much of a struggle.

Success

Even though I am the one that filed for divorce, the divorce was not my choice. I knew in the back of my mind that was the direction my marriage was heading. I didn’t want to admit it. I wanted to continue to try. Even after I filed, I stayed with my ex.

He was cheating on current girlfriend with me; I’m pretty sure he cheated on me with her (I’d seen a social media post from her to him that makes me think this. However, my daughter has said that they both told her that they hated each other a few years ago). I was angry at ex and at girlfriend. I wanted to give her a chance, but they both refused to let me meet the woman that took my ex and was now in the life of my daughter. I lost respect and hope for girlfriend when the first time I tried to meet her, she couldn’t get her ass out of what was “our” bed (we were still seeing each other even). Then the last little bit of respect was lost for her when I ran into them at the fair, I went up and said “hi.” She walked away. Instead, she and ex sat on a bench and made out.

They have been together off and on for three years. I will admit it has not been pretty. I remember one time, my car broke down in ex’s drive way when I was dropping off my daughter. It was during the summer, and that day just so happened to be in the triple digits. Of course, ex and I tried replacing the battery. We did a couple of different things – the most common and easiest to fix issues, hoping that it was a quick and easy fix so I could leave. The car still would not start. After almost two hours, we were burning up and drenched in sweat. Girlfriend pulls into his drive. They hugged, kissed, and exchanged “I love you”. I wanted to puke. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. Honestly, I wanted to leave. I wanted her to leave. I wanted my car to be fixed. She started to get back into her car to leave, and ex called her back over to come and look at my car. No! I didn’t want her there. I wanted my car fixed so I could get away from the both of them. She comes over and sticks her head under the hood, “did you check the battery?” I’m thinking OF COURSE WE DID THAT. IT’S BEEN TWO HOURS. WHY WOULDN’T WE CHECK THE BATTERY?!? He explained to her everything we’ve tried. She’s like “I don’t know what it could be.” By this time I lost it. “It’s none of her damn business!” I screamed at ex. Of course girlfriend took that as her cue to leave. (It ended up being the starter. So, it took a while before I got to leave.) But ex and I got into it that he can show girlfriend anything he damn well pleases.

Yes, I know that story I was out of line. I was hurt. I was immature. I hated that ex had someone and was rubbing it in my face. I was still head over heels in love with that man. It was horrible! It was like reopening a wound and pouring salt into it and then punching me in the gut. Have some respect. Ex hurt me. Why continue to hurt me?

The point of the story is to show how far I have came. I have healed. My daughter made a comment about ex’s girlfriend not having a picture of her in her office. I offered to buy a frame and a picture for my daughter to give to girlfriend. My daughter said no – I think it was really because my daughter did not want to hurt my feelings.

So, last night I spoke to ex about it. I asked him if girlfriend liked my daughter. He said “yeah.” – I was hoping for “yes, she loves her.” “Yes, she enjoys having her around.” Something more reassuring than “yeah.” I explained the comment my daughter had made. Ex told me the excuse that they don’t print pictures. First off, ex buys pictures of my daughter from sports and school – so he has pictures, but he doesn’t give them to girlfriend. Secondly, ex has pictures of her kids hanging up in his house.¬† He said he didn’t realize how my daughter felt. Don’t know if me bringing it up will make any difference, but at least I made an effort for my daughter.

I am proud of myself. I can see how far I have came. I can see I have healed.

 

Acceptance

One tough lesson of divorce is acceptance. Acceptance of your marriage being over. Acceptance of not being with your ex for the rest of your life. Acceptance of having to date as an adult. Acceptance of a new life you never actually planned for. Acceptance of new people being around your children.

There is also the fact that my daughter wants to be accepted. She continues to try to stay involved when with her dad, his girlfriend, and her kids.

I knew she wanted her dad to accept her. Until yesterday, I didn’t realize how much she wanted acceptance from girlfriend, too.

Saturday, ex took all of them out of state – girlfriend actually went too. I got blamed for the fact that they could not spend the night up there, which I’m used to getting blamed for a lot since I’m “the crazy ex-wife.” Funny thing is, I actually thought they were going to spend the night up there. I was trying to accept the fact that my daughter would be sharing a hotel room with ex and girlfriend in the same bed.

Yesterday, my daughter was showing me pictures and telling me about her trip. She had fun, but then would mention ex was not around. He would disappear to be with girlfriend.

Then out of the blue, my daughter says¬† girlfriend doesn’t have a picture of my daughter in her office. She said, girlfriend has pictures of her kids and of ex, but not my daughter.

I understand my daughter is not girlfriend’s daughter. But I try to think about my daughter’s point of view. I completely understand the hurt. Ex and girlfriend have been on again and off again for three years. Ex has pictures of her kids hanging up in his house, and on his phone.

I don’t think I should address the situation with ex. I don’t know how to handle it. I don’t want it to seem like I am tossing my daughter to the side and saying another woman can step into my place. But, I want my daughter to be happy and to be cared for.

I know if I was with someone for three years, you better believe his kids would be my kids. I would have pictures of them. I would brag about them. I would love them.

So, does girlfriend not like my daughter? Is she afraid of what would happen if she accepts my daughter?

Old family vs. New family

This is something I do not have a lot of experience in – actually no first hand experience at all. The old family vs the new family. The dynamic of family when it comes to biological children and step-children.

My parents are still married. As a child, all of my friend’s parents were still married, too. Except for one, but her step-father adopted her. So, he was the only dad she knew. In college, I met a woman – she had an awesome family dynamic!! She was on her second marriage – it was also her husband’s second marriage – they both had children from previous relationships and with each other, plus her husband had adopted his step-children during his first marriage and after his divorce he got full custody. The wonderful thing about their family is you can not tell who is a biological child, step child, or bonus child (except by their looks). They are all her children. She is there for all of them. It is a wonderful balance, and I know it has to be hard at times – together they have seven girls. But she is able to make time for each of them. She spends time with all of them as a group, but also individually.

As I said I do not have any first hand experience in this – since my divorce I haven’t had a real relationship with anyone with children. The longest relationship was with the serial cheater, and of course the children (mine nor his) were ever introduced to each other.

I would like to think that I would be able to treat all of the children as if they were my own. But I wonder, would mine want some extra time with me? I figured she would. I would think she would still want that time with her mother, and I would gladly give it to her. She is about to turn thirteen; pretty soon she will be too old to hang out with her mom.

My daughter was seven when I got divorced. However, for two years after our divorce ex and I were still together. Giving myself and my daughter false hope. Of course she wanted her parents to get back together. Every kid wants their parents to be together especially when they are young and don’t know the details, which is fine. I did not want her to know her father was a lying, cheating, abusive person. That is her dad, I wanted her to love and respect him. And I expected him to do the same in return.

When ex started seeing girlfriend – we were still together – so he would sneak around. He would tell my daughter to lie to me. He would take my daughter to girlfriend’s house and then tell her not to tell me about it, not to even mention that he was seeing anyone. Of course, I would catch him in his lies. But I was seeing him except these kids – three girls – as his own, which hurt for two reasons: 1. During our marriage he never wanted more children. He told me he didn’t want to take a chance of the second child being a girl too. He would be the only male in the house and he did not want to have to deal with that much drama and that many hormones. 2. He was stepping up to be girlfriend’s kids’ father (they have fathers. they see they fathers on a regular schedule), but my daughter was getting left in the background. I tried telling him that he was messing up. Asked him to spend time with just his daughter. Him and girlfriend are not married. I think there is nothing wrong with him spending time with just his child.

This past week – ex returned from his deployment last Monday – it has been one piece of drama after another. Time after time, ex has been choosing girlfriend and her kids over his own. Yesterday was another example.

My daughter had cheer last night for a football game. He took my daughter and girlfriend’s kids to a water park an hour away yesterday. Great it is summer take the kids to go swimming, but plan your schedule accordingly. He got back just in time to drop my daughter off so she could warm up with the rest of the squad. She did not have time to shower after the water park, which her eyes looked so painful from the chlorine. I got there thirty minutes before she was supposed to perform – she needed help with her hair and bow. I did not see ex. I called him. He was getting pizza to take to girlfriend’s house. He said he would be back in a few minutes. Okay, fine. So I fixed my daughter’s hair. Took some pictures of her and some of her friends on the squad. I found a seat in the bleachers to wait for her performance. The day before I had told ex that she performed at 6pm. They did, it was a minute before 6pm and they started introducing the football team, the cheerleaders, and then the girls performed. My daughter did an awesome job. The whole time ex is no where to be found. The cheerleaders came off the field, my daughter asks me from the field “where is he?” I told her “I don’t know.” I don’t know what time he actually got to the football field parking lot, but I do know he missed the performance. I do know he sat in his truck with girlfriend’s kids instead of coming into the stadium. He was sitting in the parking lot spending time with him. He finally came into the stadium at 6:23. Really? I watched from my seat, my daughter go up to him and tell him that he missed her perform. I watched him shrug it off as if it was not a big deal. I know to him it was not a big deal. It was a big deal to my daughter. Yes, she has been cheering since third grade, but this is the first year they had to try out to actually make the squad. He avoided me. He sat and talked and laughed with girlfriend’s kids (girlfriend was not there), and he watched the football game.

After the game was over I gave my daughter a hug – I will not see her this weekend, she will be with ex. I asked ex what happened, why did he miss it. He said I don’t know, sorry. I wanted to say “sorry” doesn’t mean anything from you anymore. His “sorry” is as empty as all of his promises. The beauty of divorce I can leave. I can brush off the fact that he is a selfish ass. However, we still have a child together. We still have to co-parent.

After the game I decided to grab something to eat in town. Ironically, ex was at the same place getting food for my daughter – since he, girlfriend, and her kids were going to eat pizza – my daughter does not like pizza. I sent her a text playing around saying “I see you.” She came over and visited with me while I waited for my order to finish. She was upset. I asked her what was wrong. Apparently ex had promised her some ice cream, but when she asked for real food and a milkshake with her meal, ex refused. I was annoyed with ex. He was going to give her ice cream, but refused to after she asked for real food first? He knows she doesn’t eat pizza, what was he expecting her to eat? Selfishness. 100% selfishness.

I worry about my daughter over the weekend. Apparently he is taking her and girlfriend’s kids out of state. I just hope my kid has fun. I hope she is safe. I wish ex would understand that just because he and I are not still a couple, he still has to father his child. I wish he would find a healthy balance with his old family and his new family.

I find myself wondering how is ex going to react and behave if and when I find a man that is willing to step up and show my daughter how a father should behave. How will ex react when my daughter has a positive male role model in her life?

She has already told me that she plans on calling the new man “dad.” — I am not even dating anyone!! She is already thinking about it.

I know it is her choice – if and when I have that positive male in our lives – to call the new man “dad” but how will have effect ex. I know I would be hurt if she called girlfriend “mom” only because I do not think she is a positive female role model. She is just as selfish as ex. I think if there was a positive female in the “step mom” position I would be okay with my daughter calling her “mom.” Honestly, I would love to have that positive relationship where all the adults got along and could be present, speak with one another, and enjoy being around the children.