Take the Picture

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Hard to believe, I know. This year is going to be insanely hard not having my dad here. I still can’t believe he is gone. I guess I still expect to get a text or a call from him. I expect to drive to my parents’ house for Christmas and see my dad sitting in his chair watching some educational program. I have to keep telling myself, and reminding myself that dad is gone.

Ironically, when I got divorced I told myself in five years I will be better off. Things will work out for the better. Well, it is five years down the road. I’m still single. Not even chatting with anyone. I still struggle with money. My ex is engaged. My dad is gone. My family is falling apart. Maybe next year will be better…

Last night I did something very difficult. I went through my photos, including watching the slideshow that played at my dad’s funeral. I cried the whole time. He was so happy in every picture. He loved life. I spent hours putting the pictures together into a photo book – I am having it printed online as a hardback full color book. It is sized 5×7 and has over 40 pages. Some pages have one picture. Some pages have seven pictures. I wanted all the pictures of my dad. I want more pictures, there would never be enough pictures…

I noticed a pattern over the years. In the beginning of my marriage, there were more family pictures. As my marriage started going down hill, there were less pictures of my family. My ex hated driving to our families houses. Then after my divorce, I lied to my family for two years. They didn’t know I was still sleeping with my ex. I didn’t know I was still wanting to be with him.

The past three years, I have struggled with money. My car has been a piece of shit. My dad’s health was getting worse. All of these factors made it where we seen each other less and less. I was only driving down maybe three to five times a year. They never drove up to see us. This year, 2018, was a horrible year. Things never worked out like they were supposed to. I don’t have a single picture of my dad from 2018 – that I took. There is not a single picture of my dad with me nor my daughter from 2018.

So, my words of advice: Take the picture.

I don’t care if you are fighting or upset. I don’t care if you just rolled out of bed. I don’t care if you suffer from depression and haven’t brushed your hair in three days. I don’t care if you want to lose weight.

Doesn’t matter!!

Take the picture. Be in the moment. Don’t take for granted that you will get to see your loved ones next week, next month, or even next year. Because you never know.

This year it is going to be hard to take the picture. There is going to be a missing piece, forever – my dad. I don’t know what drama the holiday will bring – drama within my family or drama with my ex.

But, bottom line is we’re going to have to continue on. We’re going to have to turn to each other for support. We’re going to have to live life like my dad lived his – happy, compassionate, and always smiling. He was always ready to take the picture.

Torture

Past couple of days have been torture. I still cry when I think about what happened. I still cry when I see his pictures. I still cry when I think about everything he is going to miss in my life and my daughter’s life. But it’s like I am torturing myself now. I am thinking about things that I can not change. I am wishing I’d called more, texted more, visited more. Remember the series Quantum Leap? I’m wishing life was like that and Sam would leap into our life and keep my dad here. My mom posted something about she wished they’d took a sick day that day then dad would still be here. We all are torturing ourselves right now, I guess. Then I think, maybe things happened exactly how they were supposed to. If my dad hadn’t been the car that man hit, then he would have hit the car that rear-ended dad. So, the man would have killed someone else. He would have destroyed another family. Maybe that person just had a baby or recently married. So, maybe dad saved another person. Saved another family. My family are fighters. We are ready for the fight it is going to take to put this guy away. There are going to be multiple lawsuits dealing with insurance and money. Plus, there are going to two separate criminal charges. This fight is going to take up to three years. I know my family is ready for this heartbreaking challenge.

I found a necklace that I ordered for myself. My daughter told ex about a necklace that she wanted. Ex asked her if it was a gift for me. She said no. Ex told her that in that case it could wait. He said he would “maybe get it. Sometime. lol” That is not funny! How dare he behave like that! He apparently never even asked my daughter how she was during the entire time she was over there. WHAT A PIECE OF SHIT. He is a “good dad” to girlfriend’s kids. My daughter pays the price. She had to go to their basketball games all weekend, and she got none of her homework done. How can this be okay?

So, I bought her the necklace. I helped her with her homework.

Ex is fucking up. I am tired of cleaning up his mess with our daughter.

Yesterday was my daughter’s band concert. Ex asked her if she was singing at the Christmas concert. – I don’t know if he thought she was in choir, or if he was trying to be funny. But it really annoyed my daughter.

The concert was hard. I’d invited my parents to come a few weeks ago. They were planning on coming. No one planned on dad being gone. I sat alone. Surrounded by all these couples and families. I fought back tears. Ex brought girlfriend and her kids. I fought back anger. Girlfriend texted my daughter during the concert. WHAT THE HELL? Why is she now trying to be friends with my daughter. Why didn’t she make an offer four years ago when ex was screwing both of us?!?

After the concert, we went out to eat. Of course, they were there too. Luckily, I didn’t have to look at them.

Guys

A different mood than yesterday’s post.

First, I had a dream about ex. I hate dreaming about him. Usually the dreams are sexual. Thankfully, this one was not. Instead, this dream we fought the entire time. We fought in a store. Then I went to help him paint “his” house – except it wasn’t his house, it was the house I grew up in. We fought while painting the house. We fought over the color of the paint, which was brown and a very bright blue (yes, I’m one of those that does dream in colors). We fought about my name.

What?

Legally, I still have ex’s last name. After the divorce, I tried to change back to my maiden name. I was told I did not have enough proof to do so. I have dealt with it. Oh well. I have the same last name as my daughter. If and when I get married again, I can change my name then.

If the dream, ex told me I did not deserve to have his last name.

I’m not sure what the dream means.

***

Online dating.

I hate online dating! It is so much like window shopping. I hate shopping. period.

It always sounds more fun than it really is. Can’t find anything in my size. Then get even more depressed because things do not fit. Everything is so expensive.

Yeah, online dating is the same way. Dating sounds so wonderful. Trying to find a relationship sounds wonderful. You scroll through all of these pictures. Find yourself looking for red flags. Wondering who is really single and who is a lying piece of shit. You find one that you think is attractive and so you message them. Then you get depressed because you get rejected.

So, yesterday…

I sent one message – again, I don’t like messaging first. Not a clue what I should say – but this guy reads my message, checks out my profile and then noting. Rejection.

Another guy messaged me. This one was an African American. Look I’m not opposed to dating black men I just never have before. This guy was attractive. He messaged me and asked if I dated black men. Told him I never had, but was not opposed to the idea. Next message he sent: You want to be mines.

Umm, no.

Had a zombie reappear. I will have to block him.

And, I messaged two other guys. Both had attractive pictures. Both are still in their twenties. Both messaged me back. Wow.

I don’t expect chatting with either of them to last too long. But, I am trying.

My daughter joked with me last night and told me my life was like a Hallmark Channel movie. Uh, no it’s not. If it was I would have a man in my life and everything would be picture perfect.

I’m not sure what my daughter sees to think my life is like a Hallmark Channel movie though.

“Hate” Post Cont.

**TRIGGER WARNING**

I wanted to continue writing on my post earlier, but I wanted to include a warning. So, I decided making a new post completely would be the best way to go about it. I know some of my thoughts could be triggering. So, no hard feelings if you cannot read this post.

Still thinking about being so stupid and sending that text to ex. I know I can’t change the past. Then feeling like everything I do is never “enough.”

Having rough thoughts last night and today. I want to shut down. I want to crawl into bed and sleep. I want to hide from the world. I want to cry. Honestly, I want to cut. I want to feel control of my emotions and of my pain. I want to see that bright red blood and know that I am alive. I want to know that I’m not just some empty shell of myself just going through the motions of life.

I look at my scars. I want to slice them open. I want to feel that physical rush instead of battling all of this emotional pain.

I can’t cut. I can’t burn. I have spent hundreds of dollars trying to slowly get my scars covered with tattoos. I am not going to destroy my tattoos. I don’t want to let my daughter see struggling. I don’t want her to look at me with disappointment.

I quit smoking fifteen years ago. I can’t pick that habit back up.

So, I turn to food. A horrible coping technique. Instead of starving myself, I binge. I do emotional eating. I eat until I forget my emotions. I hate being hungry. I starved myself growing up. The hunger pains never stop, you just learn to live with them. I hate reliving those memories.

I want to lose weight. I need to lose weight. But in order to do that, I have to control my eating. I have to stop being an emotional eater.

So, that means I need to think of another way to deal with my emotions.

Right now, I am seriously trying. This blog is one way – a healthy way – to express what I am feeling without being judged and badmouthed. I am using music right now too.

Currently, two songs are on repeat. Wolf in Sheep’s clothing – Set It Off. The Haunting – Set It Off.

One thing, a healthy option, that has really helped is my dog. I know my parents got the dog for my daughter, but he is my buddy. He is my shadow when my daughter is not home. He makes me have to function when I just want to disappear. I have to get up and go outside to take him out or take him for a walk.

When I think if I just kill myself and no one would miss me, I know if no one else misses me my dog and daughter will both be effected.

Hate

So, yesterday left me with this feeling of hate. I hate myself. I hate my life. I hate my ex. I hate his girlfriend. I hate raising a child in a broken home. I hate being broke. I hate being alone. I hate it all.

My daughter loves to go swimming. She decided she did want to go with ex and girlfriend to their “family get together.”

I cried.

I lost. I tried to be this fun parent, but how can I compete?

I know my kid loves to go swimming. I can’t swim. So, taking her to the pool is a horrible experience. I’m stuck sitting by the side of the pool, or wading in water that I can actually touch the ground. I’m too fat to do any slides or inner tubes.

I hate giving up my time with my daughter. But, it is not in my personality or character to be the type of ex-wife that keeps her children from their dad.

But, come on, one hour. I can swallow my pride, my hurt, my loneliness, all of my emotions and let my daughter go swimming for one hour.

Things never work like that with ex. One hour turns into two.

About the time he is supposed to bring her home, I get a text from him asking to keep her an additional hour so she can swim longer.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?

Guys, I hate myself for what I did after that…

I let her swim for another hour. BUT I TEXTED EX MY FEELINGS!! WTF was I thinking?!?!

He sent me a text saying thank for. I said I didn’t do it for him. I did it because our daughter loves to go swimming. I was angry that he asked for my daughter for “family time” and took my only family on my day! I was angry that he tells my daughter that I yell at him. I hate that I still care about a man that doesn’t give a shit about me.

What?!?!

Did I text that?

Did I hit send?

Really?!?! WTH, Stormie? Why would you do something so bloody stupid?!?!

He responses that I do yell at him and if I had a problem with our daughter swimming then I shouldn’t have let her go.

ARRRGGHHHHHHH.

I HATE MY EX-HUSBAND!!

Then, found out a event I was pricing tickets for to take my daughter and me to, ex beat me to it. He bought all of them tickets. Really?!?

 

 

Lost My Cool with Ex

I messaged my ex this morning to find out what time he was bringing my daughter home. ┬áNo response. About twenty minutes later I try calling him. He would not answer. About forty minutes after my text, he texts me and says it’ll be about an hour. I decide to go to the store. It’s been almost two months since I’ve actually been shopping. We were extremely low on food.

I hate spending money. Everything is so expensive. Then the store only has two cashiers available. I spent more time standing in line then actually shopping. It is finally my turn and some random stranger comes up and starts grabbing items out of my cart. WTH? I get this person was trying to be kind, BUT don’t touch my stuff. Don’t invade my space.

Really put me in a bad mood by the time I get out of the store; I’m already annoyed. Then my daughter calls me. Not five minutes later ex calls me. I tell both of I am heading home now. They are both calling to figure out where I am, because for once I’m the one that is late for drop off/pick up.

I get home, and ex is sitting in my driveway with girlfriend and her kids and my daughter. I’m still annoyed. I get out of the car and start grabbing bags. My ex approaches and is just standing there.

I knew something was up.

****

me: What, dude?

ex: Can I have her back at 5pm?

me: Uh, why?

ex: Because we are going swimming.

me: Who the hell is “we?”

ex: Girlfriend’s family got a hotel, and we’re having a family get together.

****

Okay, by this time I am really annoyed! Why do I have to give up my time for girlfriend’s family?!?

I chew ex out for waiting until the last minute to talk to me about this plan. Of course my daughter wants to go swimming. But I am the time that has to plan. I have to be in control of my day.

I’ve always hated the “fly by the seat of your pants” characteristic of my ex. I would fool myself and think that it was wonderful because we were complete opposites. Maybe like ying-yang. I tried to make it a positive. It’s not. It’s a negative. He is worse now because girlfriend is the exact same way.

I told ex it was low putting me in that position of being the bad guy if I don’t let my kid go swimming. It is shitty of him to ask for me to give up my time with her for him to take her to be with girlfriend’s family.

Fine, whatever.

I’m so mad that he didn’t even ask if I had plans. Just automatically wanted to come get her, without offering me additional time.

My kid decided she didn’t want to go because they would only swim for maybe an hour, not worth it. So, ex was mad at my daughter for changing her mind because he got “yelled at” for no reason.

I did not yell or scream. I did speak harshly, but never yelled.

Got to hear about my daughter’s time at their house… apparently they got more dogs and they are not housebroken. Plus, the Christmas tree fell over. My daughter had to pick it all up. I asked where was everyone else? Ex was at the store buying girlfriend a new Christmas tree – aww, how thoughtful. I’ve been asking him since September to come and look at my heat in my house. I can’t even get that from him!! Girlfriend and her kids were sitting on the couch. Are you kidding me?!?

Am I being unreasonable?

He wants me to give up my time so she can be treated like Cinderella?

Text From Ex’s Girlfriend

Yesterday morning, ex’s girlfriend sends a text to my daughter.

Now, keep in mind this woman has been around my child for the past four years. She refused to put a picture of my daughter in her office with ex and her children. She doesn’t buy my daughter anything when she buys her kids something; whereas, ex always buys her kids something. My daughter sent her a friend request, which girlfriend still has not accepted.

Get the picture?

So, she sends my daughter a text, which means ex gave another person my daughter’s phone number without her permission. That did annoy my daughter. She read the text to me. Girlfriend asked for my daughter’s opinion for the best Christmas movie to watch while they put up the Christmas tree.

My daughter loves Christmas. She would watch Christmas movies everyday and keep a tree up all year, if I let her.

A part of me was glad girlfriend was FINALLY including my daughter. Low doing it by text when she was with me. The texting better not become a problem. I mean really, the question could have waited until ex picked my daughter up.

Not to mention, the damage is done. My daughter is a smart kid. She rolled her eyes when she read the text and asked why is girlfriend being nice now. Excellent question!! What is she up to? She trying to become “mom?” She stepping into that step-mother role?

I also have girlfriend’s number. A small part of me wanted to text girlfriend and say thank you for including my child. Another part wanted to go into mamma shark mode, and text her to ask why is she texting my kid?

So, guess I will try to take the high road and do what is best for my kid. Be supportive.

***

Alright, I must repel guys. I’m very convinced that I really do. Finally had one message me. We exchanged a few messages and then silence. Boy, I’m not going to message you.

Same with another one. We had a great conversation going until he asked what happened with my last relationship – which would have been the serial cheater. I responded. He read my message and then silence.

So, apparently guys find me attractive. It’s my personality or my past that runs them off… hmmm…

Thanksgiving Week

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.

This week has been busy for me. My daughter didn’t have to go to school on Tuesday, since she’d scored so well on exams. So, we’d planned on going to the movies – on Tuesday’s during the day movies are only $5 (so $3 cheaper than they normally are) and you get free popcorn. I still had to work on Tuesday, plus I started my new job on Monday. Lots of work. I met the deadline – a day ahead of schedule, yay. The new job is going to be challenging, but I really think I’m going to love it. It is as a content writer. Actually, if this new job works out like I’m hoping it will, my plan is to quit the one job. The one that seems to always involve technical issues. If you are late then you get fined $20. My internet at the house is not good enough for the job, so I have to drive to another location. So, I think if the content writer job pans out then it would make sense for me to quit this job. That would help save some gas, plus I would get more sleep and not be spread so thin. I’ll continue to think about it. May also wait another six months – extra money would be wonderful, and I could try build my savings and checking accounts back up. You’re supposed to have enough saved up to live on for 3-6 months. I used to have that, then everything kept happening and I kept having to replace appliances or parts on the car. Always something. That is what is worrying me right now, I have money in my account – so I’m questioning myself: What bill did I not pay? Why do I have money in my account? (It’s so rare.)

My daughter did some volunteer work this week. It was wonderful seeing her do that.

I had a “first experience” this week: I hit a deer with my car. I was on my way into work. Of course, the one morning my daughter is in the car with me, I hit a deer. It was 3am and there were three deer in the road. I seen the first one and missed it. Then the other two ran into the road. I tried to dodge them, which my reaction did keep the deer from completely rolling over my car. Instead of hitting it right in the middle of the car, I caught it with the front corner. As soon as I hit it, my daughter started crying. It had hit on her side. I was worried she was injured. No, she was upset that I killed a deer. Luckily the damage is barely anything. The front next to the headlight is caved in. Some dings and dents and missing paint on the front bumper and my door – where the hooves hit. I talked to my insurance. I have a $250 deductible. Yikes. I found a guy that can fix it for $65. Yay!

This morning, driving on the same road at the same time – and my daughter in the car again – I was so worried I would see another deer. No, guess deer avoid roads on black Friday. Works for me!!

My daughter asked if I told ex about hitting a deer, I said “no.” Here’s the thing: If it had been worse – if one of us had been injured or if my car was not drive-able, then yes I would have told ex. Other than that, it is none of his business. He is not going to help pay for the damages, so why tell him? I told her she could tell him about it if she wanted to, I didn’t care. She chose not to tell him either, which she’ll be back with him for a couple of days she might change her mind.

Apparently, girlfriend does not cook. When we (ex and I) were together, I would cook us a Thanksgiving meal – we could eat on leftovers forever – and we would go to both families to have Thanksgiving – the families did not like each other, so we never had a holiday where we did not have to split between the two families (guess just preparing for the divorce. ha-ha). But since ex has been with her, for Thanksgiving they go to the mountain – where he popped the question – and pay for a meal at the lodge; $20 a person. Yikes! Oh well, I guess. As long as he still has money to support our daughter, I don’t care where else his money goes. But my daughter sent me a video of the ring – my little spy. lol. The ring is stupidly big. I knew it would be. But what I loved was in the video – my daughter took the video while in the car so no one would notice – ex and girlfriend were kind of “holding hands.” Ex just had his hand laying there. Girlfriend had hers just laying on top of his. Does anyone watch “Everybody Loves Raymond”? You know the episode where they’re talking about his hand holding is like holding a dead fish? That’s what it reminded me of. I remember holding hands with ex. When our relationship was new, we actually did hold hands. There was effort from both of us. We played and teased with our fingers. Then it did turn into his hand was just plopped there, no effort. Yeah. Not jealous. I want the relationship where there is effort. The teasing and playing. I want to be the cute, little elderly couple that still hold hands.

Anyway, so how Thanksgiving works since our divorce: ex takes all of them to the lodge and then we meet up and I head to see my family. Ex was late yesterday – nothing new, but still annoying. My daughter was so excited to see me. I got to hear about all the pie she ate at the lodge.

We got to my parents’ house and it was the typical situation it always is. My folks didn’t talk to me nor my daughter. My mom played sick the entire time (and I know what you are thinking – maybe she really was sick. Doubt it. That is how she behaves EVERY TIME I’m there). So, my dad focused on her the whole time. She laid on the couch. So, there was no place to sit (their living room has one chair and one couch, and the chair is dad’s chair). I figured they would ask about my new job; what happened to my car; how’s life; SOMETHING!!! No. I tried to talk to them. I got dismissed. Forget it. So, the kids and grandkids went to another room and played video games. I am so proud of my daughter though. Her personality shined through. She did not let them discourage her. She kept the same energy and was herself the whole time.

Honestly, I don’t know why I bother with going to their house. I only go maybe 3-5 times a year (usually Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and if something else comes up). You would think they would be more willing to visit with us while we are there since it is so rare. Oh well, guess I will make the trip next month and then not have to worry about it for a few more months.

Sad those are my feelings about visiting family – especially with the holidays right here. But, seriously, that is the reason I deal with so many mental issues. That is the reason I felt I did not deserve better with ex or anyone else. Any attention was wonderful – positive or negative; attention is attention.

I refuse to make my daughter feel that way!

Ever since the divorce, I have always taken my daughter to the movies on Thanksgiving. So, lucky kid got to go to the movies three times this week (twice with me, and ex took all of them to the movies).

She started crying last night because she did not want to go back to ex and girlfriend today. I hate that! I would love to have her 24/7. But, I have to be the good parent. I tried to think of positive things about her going over there.

She asked me to talk to ex if he would bring her back on Saturday evening instead of Sunday morning.

…Shit…

Wonder how he is going to respond to that request…

I did get to do something awesome at work – the photography job – the other day. Had a man bring in a picture of his mother that was photographed in Germany during the war. Beautiful picture. Dramatic lighting. He wanted to recreate the picture – the lighting and everything. It was a fun shoot. I was in love with the lighting and effects. This man – probably in his 70’s – posed like you would not believe. I did not have to say “look this way” or “turn like this,” he posed. Pose after pose after pose. It was fun.

So, online dating: I actually started talking to someone again. Nothing to really report, yet. His pictures are okay looking. He hasn’t been a complete ass, yet. We’ll see what happens. Not having really high hopes, but it is nice to chat with someone.

My mom both something on social media the other day about wanting more grandchildren. Yeah, I would love to have another child. BUT I am not raising a child alone. I want to find a great man.

 

 

Less Jealous… For Now.

My daughter came home yesterday from time with ex. She said she seen the engagement ring – that it was insanely big with multiple diamonds (Yes, I didn’t expect anything less) – and she seen their engagement announcement picture. It was ex’s military name badge with girlfriend’s hand with the ring on it and said: He stole my heart. I stole his name. My daughter said apparently their wedding bands are coming in the mail this week. Uh-oh. So, does that mean they are getting married right away? Um, red flag? lol. I’m still worried what will happen with ex supporting our daughter financially when they get married. I’m worried that girlfriend is going to weasel her way in and get all of the military benefits and my daughter will get nothing.

Ex didn’t tell my daughter about the engagement. Apparently, he didn’t tell his parents either. So, his mom was so angry when she found out through social media without it actually coming from ex. So, is ex ashamed? Why wouldn’t he want to tell anyone?

Apparently, ex’s parents don’t like girlfriend as much as I thought. I also think it is insane because girlfriend has not helped ex move things out of his house – everything had to be gone by last weekend. She has not got her kid’s stuff out of my daughter’s room at her house. Does that mean she really doesn’t want them to move in? Or, she just doesn’t want my daughter there? Oh, and girlfriend would not go over to help ex pack stuff, but she sent her friend over there to help. Um, a spy? Another red flag, guys.

What is worse, ex always buys stuff for girlfriend’s kids. Well, the other day when he popped the question, girlfriend bought her kids shirts and bought my daughter NOTHING. Really?!? This is the STEP-MOTHER ex wants for our daughter?!?!

The best story though, ex’s mom gave girlfriend some of her old bras. Then posted publicly asking her if the bras fit well. LMAO. LOVE IT! Was very grossed out that before they have sex, he sees his mom’s bras… eww. But seriously, I laughed way too hard by that situation.

I’m realizing there are red flags. That their relationship is not picture perfect. I don’t want a relationship like that. If that is what ex is settling for, then good for him. I demand more from my relationship. I’m feeling a lot less jealous and angry after hearing all of this. Now, I’m more focused on how is my daughter being treated over there and what will happen with ex’s support for my daughter. I will fight to make sure my daughter gets what she needs.

She asked about if they get married, if girlfriend could try to adopt her and keep her from me. Nope. I got you girl. I’m not the emotional mess I was during our divorce, nor three years ago when ex crashed my world around me by using me and girlfriend. My anxiety and depression are more in control. I am ready to face whatever I need to just to make sure my daughter is cared for.

Ex Military Spouse and Veteran’s Day

The other day, I came across a post from another ex military spouse. She talked about how she used to post about her veteran and was so proud on Veteran’s Day, but this year she didn’t post anything on social media.

I’d never actually thought about it, until after I read her post. I realized I did the same thing!

My intentions were to think about it and post my thoughts the next day, which would have been last Monday. Well, that was the day ex asked girlfriend to marry him. I have put this post on hold for almost a week, because I did not want my anger to cloud my logic. I did not want to be angry at ex and write about being proud of our soldiers.

I was with my ex for a total of fifteen years. He was in the military almost that entire time. He joined the military right out of high school. Then 9/11 happened. I remember being pregnant and a newly-wed and him being deployed. I watched the news every day. Stressing if he would come back home.

I support our soldiers. I could not do it – don’t have it in my personality. I have several friends and family members that are members of the military. I hate that so many scammers give military soldiers such a bad name. Or, even worse, that divorce is so common with military members.

It is challenging being married to a military guy. Long distance. Deployments. The unknown. Must be flexible. It takes work.

Now, the rest will be only related to mine and ex’s personal experiences.

Deployments were ex’s vacation. He would volunteer to go. He would not have to parent. He would get to travel. He would chill by the pool or at the mall. He would cheat. His first deployment, I was pregnant – about five months pregnant at that time – and we were on the phone and he was rambling on, and he said that he wished there were more women deployed with his unit for him to look at. He brought back pictures of the trip. One picture was of a woman sunbathing. Every deployment was another chance for him to cheat. The deployment before I filed for divorce he tried to sleep with the woman. She did not sleep with him. Only because she had a boyfriend – not because he was married. They bought each other gifts. She even sent gifts to him to the house.

I have thought about sending her a message. Thanking her. Thanking her for not sleeping with a married man. Thanking her for being another nail in the coffin of my marriage. I never have spoken to her. Hell, thank her for shedding a little more light on my ex’s behavior.

I’m kind of surprised ex was interested in her. I know I’m not “gorgeous” but I am so much prettier than that woman. She had no curves. Tom boy. No makeup. But, then after the divorce, ex went in the complete opposite direction with women. High maintenance. Tons of makeup. Both of the girlfriends I have seen were the same – both fit that description.

Okay, so I’m rambling….

When I was married, I posted about how proud I was of ex for being in the military and for serving. After I finished with him, three years ago, I stopped posting. I still support our troops. But I think a part of me felt like if I continued posting my support then maybe I was still wanting him. Maybe I was trying to “play a part” and lie to myself. Would others see the posts and think I was still hung up on my ex?

Honestly, I’m not sure. Ex blames me for the amount of time he has been on deployments.

I never expected ex to still be in the military. I had figured after his first contract was up he would get out. And each time he would reenlist without talking to me – we were married each time. He even reenlisted early one time, and never talked to me about it.

I’m glad he stayed in the military – for selfish reasons – for our daughter. She gets great insurance and benefits being a child of a military member. I am proud of our troops. But am I “proud” of my ex? No.

I think when I was married, I forced myself to be proud because what a horrible person I would be not being supportive of my military spouse. Even though I knew what was going on during deployments, others didn’t.

I really believe that is why I used to post on Veterans Day – to keep this illusion that I had this wonderful marriage. To fool myself and others. To play the role I was supposed to.

I think I stopped positing my “pride” for my ex as a veteran, because I just remember all the cheating, lying, and fights because of the military and ex. I remember the fear of him threatening to divorce me and take full-custody of our daughter. We had only been married for two years when he first threatened divorce. I seriously believed him. I thought that since he was military the judge would rule in favor of him. He would get everything. I would lose my daughter forever.