What Is Best for the Child

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I did fear getting a divorce for so long because of my daughter. Growing up, I didn’t really know any children from divorced families. The one I did know, she already had a step-father and was adopted by the step-father. So, I never wanted my daughter to grow up in a broken home.

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I know – deep down – that divorcing my ex was the right decision. He brings out the worse in me, which affects my parenting for my daughter. For those two years after the divorce that I stayed with ex, I was still showing a horrible example for my daughter.

Teaching her what love looks like and how people that love you should treat you well is important. Even after I was finished with ex, I would still defend him. I would make excuses for him, because in my mind I was doing what was best for my daughter.

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I realized by making excuses for ex was really not the best thing for my child. I was teaching her that if someone loves you then they treat you horribly and like your feelings do not matter. Now, the best I can do is apologize to my daughter for ex’s behavior. I can’t fix it. I can not make excuses. I cannot change it. I do not regret he is her father – the two of us made her.

Honestly, I do not know if my ex would qualify to be a “narcissistic” individual. I hear and see that term used so much that I really do not want to misuse it. I do believe he definitely has narcissistic behaviors. I do know instead of communicating with me, he lies to me or he uses my daughter as a messenger.

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There are many examples of how ex will not co-parent with me. He teaches my daughter to lie to me. He undermines me. He tries to turn her against me.

He was supposed to be gone for another week on orders. Well, that fell through. So, guess who came back on Friday? *joy…*

I did ask ex about switching days – I get my daughter for Saturday and he get her for Sunday – because we’d already had plans for this weekend. Technically, I think I had the legal right not to let him have her at all this weekend, but I am not going to behave like that.

Well, ex sends my daughter a text saying that since he is getting her Sunday he is just going to ask me if he can keep her Sunday night and take her to school on Monday morning. My daughter and I have a great relationship. She tells me what ex says. She does try to keep me inform so I’m not completely blindsided, BUT she is a child. It is not her job or her responsibility to do that.

So, yesterday when ex came to pick up my daughter I was waiting for him to ask about taking her to school on Monday. He said nothing about it. He turned to leave and said “I’ll see you later.”

Really, he is going to leave without saying anything? He needs to communicate.

So, I ask “when are you bringing her back?”

He says, “Uhh, I was kind of hoping I could take her to school on Monday.”

Me: It’s up to her what she wants to do.

My daughter hates making decisions. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. She doesn’t want to cause dramas or fights. Her and I had already discussed her staying with ex Sunday night – so I knew her thoughts and feelings on the subject. I see my daughter’s anxiety starting up. I tell her to go get all of her stuff for school.

She goes back into the house to get all of her stuff.

Me: When were you going to ask about taking her to school?

Ex: Uhh… right now.

I want to scream at him. I know he think he is being cute and funny, but I no longer find him cute or funny. I find him challenging.

Me: Well you need to start communicating with me.

Ex: I sent her a text asking her about talking to you about me taking her to school on Monday.

Me: You need to ask me. Don’t expect her to do it.

Ex: I know.

Sure he knows, but he doesn’t care. We will have the same issue in the future. Nothing is going to change.

 

 

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Pick Your Battles

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A tough lesson is picking your battles. I know personally, after my divorce I was so angry. Even looking at my ex mad me angry. These cute things he used to do drove me crazy (and not the good crazy like I’m crazy about you. The bad crazy like I hate you with ever ounce of my being). You know, things like telling the same stories over and over, his laugh, his voice, actually him breathing even annoyed me.

I know I complain about my ex, especially on here. I need to let out steam – some things just get to me that I worry if I do not talk about them, and vent, then I am going to fall back to where I was three years ago – so bitter, angry, depressed, suicidal. I use this format to vent about my ex most times, because here no one knows me or him. If people don’t like what I write or get tired of hearing about ex then they can chose not to read or follow. Whereas, when I tired venting to friends, if they get tired of hearing about ex I would lose friends. I can’t vent to my family really, because my mom runs to ex or she takes his side. I can’t vent to my daughter, obviously.

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I do pick my battles. I stop and think about is it really worth getting into it with my ex over this. I bite my tongue and force myself to pause to make sure I’m not making more unnecessary drama for myself.

Now, some things are worth the battle. There are some things I still face. But somethings, I have given up on – most things to make ex see that he is screwing up being a father to our daughter, for example. I used to battle him on this. I would point out things. I would try to make him see, because I want my daughter to love and respect her father. But I have given up. Ex says he’s a good father – to girlfriend’s kids – because compared to their father’s yeah, he is a “good father” to them. He doesn’t do drugs. So, yeah, big improvement. I have a tad bit more expectations for what I think a “good father” should include.

I also have found that by picking my battles I am less stressed and angry about ex.

So, today’s post isn’t really about my ex. Instead, in a group for divorced moms I see and hear so much about every battle they go through. Some, yes are worth the fight. Others, no, these women are being so petty and childish.

The other day I seen a comment where a woman had went to the child’s school to eat lunch with the child. Her ex had packed the child’s lunch for the day. She took pictures of the sandwich. Her first complaint was there was no ice pack and ex had packed a ham sandwich. The next complaint was there was a small patch of mold on the bottom slice of the sandwich.  She wanted advice on what to do? What to say? She was so angry. I read through the comments. Hundreds and hundreds of comments. All of them saying they would take ex to court. He was trying to hurt the child by feeding that moldy bread. They could call police and child services because what kind of food is available in the house if that is what the child is being served that for lunch. They would take that sandwich and force feed it to ex. They would be blowing up ex’s phone. These comments went on and on.

I typed a comment:

The ice pack is no big deal. Most lunch boxes are insulated, so the sandwich will be fine. The mold is not a big deal. Maybe it was dark, or bad lighting, when he made the sandwich and did not notice the mold. Maybe they were in a rush and he did not really look at the bread. I’m sure there were other items in the lunch box that the child could have eaten without eating the sandwich and not starve the rest of the day. Or, since you were there to eat lunch with the child, why not just buy a tray from the cafeteria for the child to eat. I really doubt her ex did it on purpose.

I submitted my comment. Then, I paused. It’s like, I am the only one thinking this way. These women are like an angry mob with pitchforks and torches. Do I really want to have to defend myself and my opinion. Nope. I deleted my comment and moved on with my life. Again, picking my battles. I have defended my opinion before with that group, but this situation wasn’t worth it. Seriously.

I used to enjoy being a part of that support group, because it was a support group. I found them after my divorce had been finalized and I’d been divorced for several years. I wished I’d found them before my divorce. I think I would have been more prepared for divorce and the paperwork – that is where I have learned a lot about the legal jargon and what I wished I’d put in my decree.

But really, they are no longer the support I want. I am divorced. I am going through this post divorced life one day at a time. I know I will have questions in the future. I know I will want and need advice from someone that has lived through it – and I don’t have any divorced friends. I really don’t need advice with dating – don’t need advice when you don’t go on any dates ha-ha. But seriously, I know what red flags to look for. So, really I don’t need that support now. Maybe staying with that particular group is really holding me back from continuing to heal. I mean I hear all of these petty and angry posts. That isn’t going to help me. I can’t really offer advice, because my opinion isn’t “popular” or “what they are looking for.”

 

Quitclaim Deed

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So, until my divorce I was never actually on my own. I went from living at my parents’ house to living in a dorm at university to living in an apartment with ex and us eventually buying a house and getting married. I feel I learned a lot on my own, and what I didn’t know I’ve learned on the way. Especially with divorce. Unfortunately, a lot that I’d learned about divorce was after my divorce was already said and done. Another example is the quitclaim deed for the house.

Five years ago, I bought my own house. I was still legally married. I was excited and nervous. I had never lived alone. I had been through the house buying situation before, since ex and I had bought a house together. But this was different because instead of buying a house to continue to grow a family this house was now part of a broken family.

Sitting in the conference room, ex by my side, I signed a stack of paperwork. The first order of business was a Quitclaim deed for ex’s house. Then we moved onto the paperwork for my house. I froze. Ex’s name was on my paperwork. I stated over and over that we were getting a divorce. This was not going to be his house. He was never going to live there. Where was the quitclaim deed for him to sign?!? It made no sense that I had to sign one for his house – losing all rights to it before the divorce was finalized – and he did not have to sign on for my house.

Our divorce really wasn’t messy. It took eleven months only because 1. my first lawyer ran off with my money, so I had to find another lawyer and start again. 2. I think ex thought I was bluffing about the divorce. It took him almost six months before he got a lawyer. The major issue was child support and ex refusing to pay. Everything else was agreed upon.

The whole time I feared if I fought too hard or too much he would want my house. After the divorce was finalized, I still fear ex would be petty and come after my house.

I have lived in the fear of ex trying to take my house for five long years. That fear is finally over!

Last month, ex sold his house so he could move in with girlfriend. I received a call from the title company telling me I had to come in a sign a quitclaim deed for ex’s house. Um, what happened to the one I signed five years ago? Apparently, they had it, but since I was still married to ex at the time, it did not count. What?!? Sounds like I should have had a cut in profit with him selling the house then.

So, I asked about them working up a quitclaim deed for ex to sign for my house. It took a couple of weeks to get ex in there to sign. Then it took a few more weeks before I had the extra money to spare to pay for it and have it recorded legally. But, after yesterday, ex is no longer on my house’s paperwork. One less fear and stress that comes with divorce.

Expected Rainbows and Song Birds

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Six years ago I filed for divorce. I have went back and forth wandering if I made a big mistake by filing. Wondering what is wrong with me. Wondering why ex wasn’t content being with me. After our divorce was finalized five years ago, I stayed with ex. I still believed I had made a big mistake. We didn’t live together anymore. So, if we did fight then we could be away from each other. I was dating my ex again. Our relationship was the best it’d been in years.

Four years ago, I was blindsided. I went over to ex’s house and there was another woman sitting on the couch next to him. Her kids were sitting in the floor playing with my daughter. I honestly did not know what to do or say. I left. I went to the store and tried to focus on what I needed from the store. Ex called me and asked if I was okay. I asked him if he was seeing that woman. He told me yes. How could I have missed the signs?

Worse part is, I continued to see him. My ex is like a drug. I know he is bad for me, but I was addicted. I had to go back. I could not live without him. I did not know how to live without him. I continued to sleep with him. I knew he had a girlfriend. Apparently, she would not have sex with him so that was what I was for.

In my head, I excused his behavior. We had been together since high school. Maybe if I let him see what else was out there then he would realize that he still loved me. I lower my self worth. I made myself more “available” for him. I did oral for ex all of the time – even though I hated doing oral on him.

I was happy to see that chick out of the picture. But I was more aware of signs after her. I noticed ex’s behavior for a few weeks and asked him if he was seeing someone else. He lied to my face and said no.

Now, here’s the thing about my ex, he has a specific facial expression that he makes when he lies. I have seen that expression millions of times. He thinks he is fooling me – even now he still lies to me.

He told me she was just a friend that needed help fixing her dishwasher. I should have seen everything wrong with that lie. You don’t want ex fixing anything. He gets angry and throws things and then usually breaks things even more. I continued to stay with ex. I needed him. I loved him. I needed him to love me.

I actually did not know about girlfriend until three-years-old. That means they were together for an entire year while he was still with me.

One day, my daughter started crying. I asked what was wrong. She said “dad told me not to tell you.” What?!? I find out that ex had taken my daughter to this woman’s house for sex and then told my daughter not to tell me. He lied to me. He was teaching my daughter to lie to me. I was pissed off beyond words.

When I confronted ex about, now current girlfriend, and if they were sleeping together he got the biggest shit-eating grin on his face. I do remember sleeping with him again after that, why I do not know. I needed that drug. I seriously thought I did not deserve better. I felt like I was doing the right thing for my family. I cried and hated myself every single time we had sex. I felt cheap and dirty.

I wanted to know about this woman. She had stolen my man. She was around my daughter. I wanted to know her.

Ex would not tell me much about her.

Even after I completely broke things off with ex, he would not tell me about this woman. He would not allow me to meet her. He was sneaking her over at night and then pushing her out of the house before our daughter would wake up. My daughter caught them and ex told her she was making things up.

I wanted – still want – a good co-parenting support for my daughter. I wanted ex and girlfriend and I to be civil and be able to hang out with each other for my daughter’s sake.

Honestly, I really did want to be friends. Even though I hated ex and did not trust him. I was more angry at him than at girlfriend. I mean, he was with me and telling me he loved me yet still shopping around – just like during our marriage.

I don’t know who to really be mad at in this situation. I mean, I was angry at myself for being so stupid and continuing to sleep with him and let him treat me like a crazy person. I was angry at him for not having the balls to talk to me like an adult. I was angry at him for using me. I was angry at him for not being faithful. I was angry at girlfriend for messing with another woman’s man. I was angry at both of them for trying to replace me in my daughter’s life. I was angry at both of them for not wanting to set up a successful co-parenting/support system.

I don’t know who is to blame, really. I blamed myself for a long time. Some days, I still blame myself. I blame ex. I know you cannot steal a man that does not want to be taken. I know he was always looking for someone else. I blamed girlfriend for messing around with someone else’s man. I know it was like a game for both of them. For me, it wasn’t.

I tried meeting girlfriend – the first time she would not get out of OUR bed and meet me. The next time she made out with ex in front of me. I mean, I don’t know if it was like to prove to me that she won and I lost. It was gross. I wanted to tell her that he cheated on her with me. Actually, I still want to tell her.

Back then, I really did feel like she won and I lost. Now, I look at the “prize” and think what a shitty thing to win in a horrible mind game. She can have him. I am done with that drug.

Just like with anything addictive, I think about what-if. I used to smoke cigarettes. That was a very hard habit to break. Now, the smoke makes me sick to my stomach. I used to self-injury. I do think about falling back into old habits, but I have to remember that I am a role model for my daughter. Same thing with ex. I think a part of me – deep, deep down – does still love him. I’m not sure if I actually love “him” or do I love the idea of being in a relationship and having a man in my life.

It has been one challenge after another. I have hit rock bottom during some of those challenges. I stayed angry at both of them and myself for so long. I have remained bitter. I still think ex plays mind games with me. I still think he gets off on making my life hell.

I know his opinion of girlfriend and her kids. I know he has told me she is easy and has been around. I know they have broken up multiple times and he still goes back – maybe she is his drug. I know he has told our daughter he is only with girlfriend because her kids need a dad.

Those kids have dads. They see their dads. He needs to be a dad to his own daughter.

Ex has brought girlfriend and her kids to my house. They do not get out of the car. But he would never tell me where she lived. I thought it was important that I know because my daughter was over there so much.

Before I met girlfriend I imagined what she was like. I pictured a cute blonde and very thin. Not knowing where she lived or what the house looked like, I pictured his cute, picture perfect house with a white picket fence.

Things are not how I pictured. Ex always gave me hell about my weight. Ironically, since girlfriend has been with ex she has gained a ton of weight. I have heard her speak before. Her conversation bored the living hell out of me. Honestly, all I heard was “blah blah blah.” I wonder if girlfriend and I tried conversing again if I would be less bitter this time – that last time was three years ago.

I would see ex hold her hand and kiss her. I would feel so jealous. I would hate them both. I would hear about everything they did together and with the kids. Again, I would feel angry because ex never did that with my daughter or me.

I know every relationship has a honeymoon phase.

I know things are never as they appear. I know it is easy to make the relationship look happy and both parties to hide the truth.

Ex moved in with girlfriend. I told him he had to tell me where she lived. Our paperwork states I have to have current phone number and address for ex at all times.

I finally got girlfriend’s address.

Ex is currently on orders across the country. My daughter’s belongings are at girlfriend’s house. Last night, she needed something that could not wait. I told her to call her dad to make sure girlfriend was home – since my daughter does not have a key to the house – and I would drive her over there to get her things.

My daughter led me to girlfriend’s house. I pulled up to this house. I expected this gorgeous home, white picket fence, birds singing, and a rainbow above it. Instead, I wasn’t impressed. The house was nothing special. The yard was neglected. The cars – most of them were ex’s – but the one’s that were girlfriend’s were dented. There was no white picket fence. No gorgeous rainbow plastered in the sky above the house. Honestly, if I did not know who lived there and just judging by the house and surroundings I would guess an old woman. If I was taking my daughter trick-or-treating, it would be a house that I would probably just pass by – that would be the house that would give out the popcorn ball or that gross candy in the black or orange wrapper.

I wander what happened with ex and girlfriend when he called to tell her that I was bringing my daughter over.

I did not get out of the car – there was no point. I went there to let my daughter get some things, and that’s what I did.

Hopefully another step in the right direction. Proof that I am still continuing to heal.

***

Oh, update on the 24 year-old with online dating… Yeah, he did not make the cut. I had to block him. He last longer than most. Good conversation. But he was way too needy, and clingy. Maybe that’s why he was looking for an older woman, to mother him. Ha, sorry, I’m the wrong chick for that. But, maybe looking for a younger guy would not be completely insane. I mean, age is just a number, right?

Daydreaming

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I have always been a daydreamer. Growing up I would daydream to escape. I would imagine moving to a different school where I wasn’t picked on and bullied. I would imagine having a group of friends that I could depend on and do things with.

When I started dating my ex-husband, I would try to imagine what life would be like – what I actually wanted our marriage to be like together. I would daydream to keep myself company on the nights that he was working or during the times he was deployed. I would also find myself daydreaming during times he was there – I would get lost inside my own head even during sex. I would trick myself to believe it was great. I would daydream about this wonderful sexual experience with my ex.

Even now, I find myself imagining a life I wish I had – especially when I’m trying to fall asleep at night. Don’t get me wrong. I love my daughter. I love my life. But, I still find myself wanting, wishing, and dreaming for more – a new relationship, a better car, when I no longer struggle with money, a day ex and I can co-parent like I want us to for our daughter.

Then I feel like I am failing, because 1. I’m not “content” with what I have since I am daydreaming; 2. I’m not achieving what I “wish” to have. This makes my energy and motivation fly right out the window. All I want to do is sleep. Crawl under the covers and disappear until everything is how I “wish” it would be.

This weekend, I stayed in the moment. I enjoyed my weekend. Ex is deployed for a week or two. I have my daughter the whole time. We watched movies, talked, drew pictures. We laughed. I don’t want to daydream my life away. She is growing up so fast.

At work, I stay in the moment. I want to do the best I can. I enjoy my job.

But, later today I will find myself still daydreaming.

 

 

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.

“Home” and Dating in your 30’s

Last night, my daughter played in the band at her first football game. It was great – brought back memories, I was in band too. Funny thing, they played the same songs we played when I first started marching. Her hair was down – usually it is in a ponytail since her hair is down to her waist. After the game, she made a comment that she wished she’d put her hair in a pony tail but she’d left a pony tail holder at home. She was with ex the night before. So, I am not sure if she was referring to girlfriend’s house as “home” or she meant my house as “home.”

Honestly, I wanted to ask. I secretly hoped she meant my house was “home.” But I kept my mouth shut. I could not question her. What if she did mean girlfriend’s house as “home?” Then shouldn’t I be happy that she feels comfortable enough to refer to that house as “home?” Should I be hurt if she doesn’t refer to my house as “home?” Maybe I’m being oversensitive.

I did ask her about her room at girlfriend’s house. I want to support my daughter and her life with ex. I want her to feel like she can tell me anything. I don’t want her to think that she has to hide her feelings – good or bad – just because it has to do with ex and girlfriend. I really don’t want any more surprises like the church conversation.

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I have decided I suck at dating and flirting. I don’t know if I was ever very successful at flirting. I mean, in high school I also had a boyfriend and guy’s were interested. But, let’s face it, they were probably only interested because there were rumors about me being easy and ex calling me “condom queen” did not help. FYI, I never had sex in high school.

Then I started dating ex our senior year. I didn’t have to flirt with anyone except for him. Now, honestly, I think occasionally I do still catch myself flirting with ex. Maybe it is just habit? Maybe deep down I still love him?

I had two guys message me – well that were not scammers – yesterday. One, I have tried chatting with this guy and I have blocked him over and over and over. He continues to make a new profile and messages me again. He doesn’t work. He drinks and does drugs socially. He is a porn addict. The second guy, we exchanged messages. He told me about his likes. I responded. Guess it wasn’t the response he wanted because he told me I don’t sound very enthusiastic. hmm… no, I didn’t. Honestly, I wasn’t. I mean he likes spending time with friends and family. He goes bowling and plays golf. WTH am I supposed to say to that? “OMG, THAT’S GREAT! TELL ME MORE, PLEASE!!”

I’m socially awkward. I laugh at weird moments. I text “lol” when I don’t know what else to say. I don’t share or open up too much right away. I’m afraid of how I may come across if I do start talking/texting. For example, there was one guy I’d asked for a picture to make sure it was the same person and he asked if I wanted a picture of his face or penis. I joked “typical male, always looking for the opportunity to show IT off.” He blocked me. Hmm… guess I need to work on my joking/ flirting skills.

I also don’t know how to catch their attention if I message first. I mean, what you see is what you get. Figure if my pictures or profile doesn’t catch your attention then I’m not going to waste my time. So usually I send the lame message “Hello. How are you?” Or, if they have something interesting in their profile I’m respond to it.

Wish dating was easy like when I was a teenager. Now, I have to worry about liars, cheaters. I have to think about what is best for my daughter. I have to worry about my safety. I have to be paranoid of STDs and pregnancy. Dating in your 30’s is not fun.

Divorce and Healing

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I see and hear a lot of “get over it” or “just move on already” from others after someone gets divorced. I know friends and family got tired of hearing from me about my divorce. I, honestly, forced myself to stop talking about it and my feelings. I had to lie and keep secrets because I was still with my ex. We were divorced and I was still spending the day with me and sleeping with him.

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The truth was, I was stuck in the first stage: Shock and Denial. I wanted to avoid our divorce. I wanted to avoid I knew he was dating other women. I blamed myself for the divorce. Maybe if I did this he would love me again. Maybe if we had more sex and I did oral more he would want to stay with me. I cried. ALL. THE. TIME. I could not function.

The anger stage caused me to have to leave work and go to the doctor. I was diagnosed with anxiety and stress disorder. I started having horrible anxiety attacks all the time, which I have always had social anxiety but this was different. I would be brought down to my knees.

I was ashamed of myself. How could I be so stupid to stay with my ex. I knew he was seeing other women and just like during my marriage I ignored it. I loved him. I wanted him to love me too.

Everything made me angry. I was so short tempered, which is so out of character for me. I am actually the most patient person you will ever meet, but this stage made me angry. I could not control my temper. I was embarrassed by my actions after the fact, but if the moment I could not help myself.

I hit rock bottom a couple of years ago. Ex had taken my daughter out of state for a long vacation. I did not get to text or call her during that time. When they returned, it was my day to take her home. Ex had bought her a new video game. She did not want to leave. She wanted to stay and play the game and ex was about to bring girlfriend over. I remember leaving his house – I do not remember driving home. I remember writing a note – do not remember what I wrote. Then I remember swallowing handfuls of pills.

I stayed in the depression stage for several months. I would think I was getting better and then something would knock me back on my ass. I would see ex and girlfriend kissing. I would hear about what he bought her or where he took her and wonder why was he not like that with me.

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So I bounced back and forth between stages. I remember still having ex as a Facebook friend and seeing them ring in the new year by kissing and posting it on Facebook. He never kissed me for New Year’s. My heart would break a little more.

I had no one to talk to. I wanted to cry. I wanted to talk about my feelings, but I would hear “move on.” Or “you should have left him years ago.” My favorite, “you can do so much better than him.” These comments did not help. I was still in love with this man and now I’m hearing that I need to move on. Where was my support?!?

I finally did find some support. I joined online dating. I found two guys I remember chatting with that really did help me. One, (I have talked about him before — think I named him Chris) understand the depression and the suicide attempt. He had attempted suicide as well after a person he was close to completed suicide. Chris understand the feeling of regret after the divorce. Did I make a mistake divorcing my ex? Chris told me about the same feelings he’d had after his divorce. The second guy help with my anxiety and getting back into the dating world. (Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve ever named this guy. For today’s post, I will call him Zack). Zack suffered from extreme anxiety. He could not even drive a car because his anxiety was so bad. Together we talked about our anxiety. We talked to each other about our experiences with online dating. He was dating multiple women at the same time and I would quiz him on which one (their likes, stories about them) so he would not confuse them. He would talk to me about what few guys I would be chatting with. It was nice to get a guy’s point of view on things. We mainly talked about music and The Walking Dead.

I am currently working on acceptance, new relationships, new strengths… the upward steps now. I feel like I am “me” again. I honestly do not remember the last time I actually cried. I do remember my last anxiety attack – February of this year because I had sex with the serial cheater, I will never forget that attack.

I can talk to ex without feeling angry. I know I will never get the closure I wanted or deserve. Actually, I make him nervous – I think. Last night we were talking – he’d forgotten our daughter’s school pictures at tumbling on Tuesday night. They have been in my car ever since, waiting for him to remember them – so my daughter hinted about the pictures. You see the ah-ha moment cross over ex’s face that he’d forgotten them.

ex: shit. I left them in the floor. Hopefully the teacher picked them up and they are still at tumbling.

me: or your wonderful ex-wife picked them up and has them right now.

**Ex smiled and did an awkward laugh.**

ex: Thank you.

I know I am accepting more and more of ex and girlfriend. Actually, my daughter and I were talking the other day. Since ex is moving into girlfriend’s house what do I call that house now? Used to it was ex’s house and girlfriend’s house. Now, since they will be living together, do I still refer to it as her house? his house? their house? my daughter’s second house/ home? My daughter decided we should do a mash up of their names for the house:

For example: Brad + Angelina = Brangelina./ Ben + Jennifer = Bennifer.

We tossed around a few ideas and got a good chuckle out of them. But I think that is a step in the right direction. I am healing. It is a very slow process. But I see it happening.

I don’t have to talk about ex. Actually, in real life I rarely talk about, or to, him.

Hmm… now if only my dating life would improve. I haven’t been on a date since April of this year. I seriously can not find anyone that I am interested in long enough to actually meet in person. I get bad vibes from so many of the guys online these days.

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I want to find someone, but after everything I’ve been through I don’t want to settle.

I Still Think About Him

Image result for still think about him meme

This time last year, I reactivated my online dating accounts, again.

I was done taking a second break from online dating.

I had taken a year-long break to continue healing. It was time to try online dating again.

I had forgiven myself for sleeping with – well, let’s be honest – a stranger. I thought of it as a life lesson, and really it was what I needed to stop loving ex. What’s the saying? “The best way to get over a man is to get under a new one.”

So, after a year away from online dating drama, I decided to try again.

I really did not expect too much when I reactivated my online dating accounts. But, a year ago, I got a message from a guy that was going to give me another major life lesson.

I know what red flags I ignored with this guy – trust me, I have replayed every conversation we’d ever had over and over in my head. But at the time, I over looked all of the red flags, because I really thought I was being way too jaded. Yes, I had been hurt by the guy that slept with me, asked me to be his girlfriend, and then ghosted. Why take out that anger and paranoia on the next guy?

A year ago, I received a message from “Rick.” He did not send the typical message “hey babe” or “hi sexy.” He sent a message: “Hi. How are you?”

Wow. Great grammar! It definitely caught my eye.

I over looked the fact that his profile name was a single letter, “R,” and that he only had one profile picture. He did tell me his first name, and he sent me additional pictures of himself on request.

The first weekend that we started talking was a drill weekend. He was military. He was real military – he talked just like ex. A lot of his mannerisms were so much like ex – think that was another reason I overlooked so many red flags. I might have still been in love with ex, and this guy reminded me of ex.

At first, we just chatted casually. I was looking for just someone to chat with – not to date; not to have a relationship with; just someone to chat with. I let my guard down and started opening up to this guy – again, since he reminded me so much of ex it felt right, familiar, and comfortable.

He quickly wanted to video chat. It was refreshing to have a guy that wanted to video chat and talk on the phone – not hide behind text messages. He lived in another state, but his kids and military base were in the same state as I.

We arranged to meet in person after chatting for three months. He drove 3.5 hours to come see me. I thought this is amazing! A guy willing to drive 3.5 hours – one way – to come hang out with me has to be pretty special, right?!? I mean, why would a guy waste that much time if he was just wanting sex?

The first time we met up, we only got to spend about thirty minutes together. We ended up making out – not my proudest moment, I know. But I felt comfortable with this guy. We’d been chatting – video chatting, texting, and talking on the phone – for three months. Two weeks later, we arranged to meet up again. I wanted to have sex – I hadn’t had sex in 18 months. I am the one that asked – my heart about pounded out of my chest. I was so scared, nervous, and worried that I would be turned down. He, of course, did not reject me.

We met at a hotel – I did not want anyone at my house. The sex was AMAZING! However, I ended up having a horrible anxiety attack. He did not run for the hills. He stayed. He called and made sure I made it home safely.

I felt like this guy had potential.

I still ignored the red flags, because I had convinced myself that he is making an effort. In one month, we’d met up six times. That is a lot of traveling – most of those times we didn’t even have sex. We would just hang out and talk. He was the type of guy that would hold a door open for you and then would slap your ass as you walked through the door.

I fell in love with him. I told him I loved him. I wasted seven months on him. Still ignoring the red flags.

What red flags did I ignore?

  • profile had one picture (which it was a full body picture, and he was wearing a hat and sunglasses. I later found out it was a much older picture of him, too.)
  • username was a single letter
  • he refused to add each other on Facebook
  • he would disappear for several days at a time and then reappear as if nothing had happened
  • he continued to tell me that he did not have a girlfriend
  • he never called me by my name
  • he refused to have a relationship, or even give us any type of title – dating, bf/gf, fwb.
  • he continued to repeat that he had never cheated on anyone
  • he talked about other women (even after we’d just had sex, he would talk about other women!)
  • He would not tell me his last name for a very long time (it was about four months of us chatting before he told me his name, which I’d already knew his last name – I’d already found him on social media. I just wanted verification from him.)

Why did I ignore all of these red flags, plus more?

  • I thought he had potential.
  • I was tired of online dating drama, so I was settling.
  • He reminded me of ex – the man I thought was my soulmate.
  • It was nice to have someone to chat with again.
  • THE SEX WAS AMAZING, and he made me feel good about my performance in bed.
  • He made me smile.

In May of this year, he was at AT for two weeks. We’d planned on meeting after the two weeks were up. I was going to introduce him to my daughter.

We’d planned on meeting on Sunday. On Friday, I had a feeling that something was not right. I could not ignore the feeling. This feeling was too strong. In two days, this man was going to meet the most important person in my life and I had a weird feeling about him.

I’d searched for him on social media before – his profile was extremely private. He did not have a picture of himself on his profile. He had a common name – there were SEVERAL guys with the same name. I found him after a few months of us chatting – so I knew his full name (even middle name). I did not disclose this information with him though.

This day, though, I continued to search. He had slipped up and posted something publicly. I could see it without being on his friends list. I looked at the comments and there it was – a red flag that I could not ignore:

A woman made the comment in response to a meme he’d posted. She said “lol. that’s my man! love you, babe!”

I clicked on her profile. Her profile picture was a picture of her with RICK.

It was an older picture. He had changed his hair style and facial hair. He had gained weight. But it was HIM.

I screenshot the picture. I texted him and asked him to call me when he got a chance.

A part of me still wishes I’d waited for his call. I wish I could have heard his voice and his reaction. But, I could not wait. I had to ask right then. I sent another text:

****

me: fuck it. I’m going to just ask right now. Are you seeing anyone else?

him: no, why?

me: you are dating or having a relationship with any other females?

him: no, why?

me: hmm… funny, because I found a picture of you with a woman.

him: I haven’t taken any pictures with any women. Are you even sure it is me?

me: it sure as hell looks like you.

him: it must be a very old picture, if it is even me.

****

Okay. I was getting nowhere with him. I messaged the woman.

****

me: hi. you don’t know me, but I have a very strange question: is that your boyfriend in your profile picture?

her: who are you? why do you want to know?

me: is his name Rick?

her: how long have you been sleeping together?

****

Our conversation continued for several minutes. I told her how long I’d been seeing him. She told me they had been together for three years. They were engaged. I was not the first chick he had cheated on her with. I apologized to her; I did not know he was with anyone. She said no hard feelings towards me.

I sent her screenshots of my conversation with him to prove it was Rick I was chatting with – I had his picture and his phone number. I showed her screenshots of him telling me he did not have a girlfriend and he was not seeing anyone else.

Then, I sent him screenshots of conversation between her and I. I told him “look I made a friend.”

I did not he hear from him after that.

I did continue to hear from her for the next several hours. She told me he was ignoring her; she was also trying to text and call him.

About six hours later, I receive a message from her. She said that he apologized to her for cheating. He said he wasn’t going to do it again. Said that he had told me that he did not want a relationship, or to even see me. Said he was not interested in me, but he was afraid that I would kill myself if he rejected me.

WHAT?!? THAT ASSHOLE LED ME ON AND THEN SPUN THE SITUATION AROUND TO MAKE ME LOOK LIKE A CHARITY CASE!

Made him look like the hero – yes, he had cheated, but he was keeping some poor, depressed chick from hurting herself because she couldn’t have him. HA! What an ass…

I was so mad. I was more mad at myself than at him. I had ignored red flags. I had let myself fall in love with this guy.

I still think about him. I still think about the red flags that I did ignore – I want to learn from my mistakes.

I find myself wondering if he ever felt any remorse for what he did to me. I find myself wondering if he really did stay faithful, or if he found another victim. I blocked both of them on social media, apps, and on my phone.

I worry that one day I am going to come across his profile on the dating sites again. What would my reaction be? Would I be able to bring myself to just block him without saying anything? Would he try to contact me?

I miss the conversations and the attention from a guy, but what I really miss is the sex.

He made me more jaded. He made me have even less trust in guys. He made me hate myself again.

Happy Halloween

Yesterday, I felt so bad for my daughter. She is in Junior High. They have a lot of homework each night. It is difficult, at times – nothing like what I did in school. It is all on the computer, which I get that is how society is today but come on! My wifi doesn’t work. So, we went to a second location. That wifi would not stay connected to her computer. She asked if we could just go to the school and sit in the parking lot. I told her no because I did not want a cop knocking on my window wondering why I was sitting in the school parking lot at night for hours. Finally, found a location for her to do her homework with good internet connection. She was working on algebra. I looked up a website to kind of quickly teach myself how to do it so I could teach her how to do it. She was catching on really quickly. So, I stepped away – I wanted her to be able to do the problems by herself because at school she would have to do them alone (plus she was not able to ask any classmates because they had all copied off of each other and my daughter said she did not feel right copying work). She was on the school website answering math problems and then I noticed she started going back to previous problems and changing every one of her answers. Wait!! She said no, what I’d told her was wrong. Okay. She finished the assignment. Since it is online the computer grades it right away. The grade popped up on the screen – very low grade – and my daughter breaks into tears. My daughter is a straight A student – has been since kindergarten. She works very hard for her grades. I told her to review the problems – turned out what I’d taught her was correct, but when she second guessed it gave her the wrong answer. While, luckily the teacher gives two chances when working on assignments. I told my daughter to just ask the teacher to open her second chance and do the assignment again, since she knows how to do it. So, during class today she should be able to redo the assignment. She was very disappointed in herself and in the situation because today the class is going to have a Halloween party.

Ex is on vacation this week. I thought it was to finish packing up his house. Apparently, girlfriend took this week off too. So, they are just goofing off all week. My daughter invited ex to watch her at tumbling last night. He hesitated and said he had a lot of work to do at the house, but he would try to be there. He did come. We really did not speak to each other. He sat there and texted – I assume girlfriend. I did catch him more than once looking at me – kind of creeped me out. My daughter had school pictures, so I brought ex’s his copies of the pictures. He laid them on the floor. When he left – he left before we did – he was still glued to his phone. He left the pictures laying in the floor, which I did not even notice. It wasn’t until my daughter walked over and seen something under ex’s chair. So, I’m waiting to see how long it takes for him to realize he forgot the pictures.

So, Happy Halloween!

Halloween is defiantly my favorite holiday. If I had the money, my house would be decorated and I would create a haunted house. I would make everything over the top. Well, I don’t have money so I just enjoy the spirit of the holiday.

In the past, trick or treating consisted of ex sitting in the car and my daughter and I going to the houses. After girlfriend entered the picture, it was her and her kids that ex would sit in the car and wait for.

The first Halloween that they were officially together was hard for me. It was technically ex’s day. I wanted to tag along. I did not want to miss out on my daughter trick or treating – they grow out of it so fast. I walked with girlfriend’s kids and my daughter while ex and girlfriend walked behind me. Girlfriend was dressed like a “sexy nerd” and had insane high heels. How I managed to keep from busting out laughing when she tripped in her heels on the sidewalk, I don’t know. The past couple of years, girlfriend hasn’t gone trick or treating with us any more. She will send her youngest with ex. Ex and that kid will trick or treat with my daughter and me. Then quickly after, ex will have to leave to go pick up another one of girlfriend’s kids.

The first year – two years ago – I was shocked that ex would quickly leave us and never even call or text to make sure we were okay or at least to make sure we made it home safely. Last year, I didn’t even bother with ex. He did meet up with us for maybe thirty minutes, but that was all.

This year is going to be bittersweet. My daughter is too old for trick or treating – her word, not mine. ha-ha. I told her it was up to her. I would take her trick or treating or we could just buy some candy and watch scary movies. So, today we are starting a new tradition – scary movie night to celebrate Halloween. She did dress up for school. She even asked if we could do a photo shoot after school of her in her costume and makeup.

I’m going to miss taking her trick or treating, but watching movies and having fun at home is going to be wonderful.