Time and Healing

**TRIGGER WARNING**

Everyone hears the saying: Time heals everything.

I know when I first got divorced, or right after dad’s death everyone told me “to give it time. You will heal over time.”

In the moment, you want to scream and cry. You want to call bullshit.

When I got divorced, I believed my world had completely crashed around me. I thought I was making the biggest mistake of my life. I had regrets about divorcing my ex for YEARS!!

I fell into a deep depression. I was physically ill for a few months. I did not function. I finally hit rock bottom and downed all the pills I could find in my house.

I knew I needed help, but ironically there was no one there to help me. I was so scared to go to the doctor. My biggest fear was they would take away my daughter.

I want to say the saying is true. If you’d asked me a couple of years ago if I should have divorced my ex I would have said I’m not sure. Today, I know I made the right choice. I know a part of me still cares about him – not sure if it is because he is the father of my child; he was my first; I’d been with him for 15 years. Another part of me is so happy when I do not have to deal with him.

I know over time it will get easier. I’m hoping the same is true with my dad’s death.

The guy that killed my dad has a court date coming up soon. They are going to see if there is enough evidence to take him to trial for killing dad. Another fear of mine – dad and the entire family will not get justice.

I know there is no set time frame.

Just like with online dating, the first few times I got stood up or ghosted I was so hurt. Now, you ghost me and I block you. No second chances.

Time also makes you wiser. I have learned many life lessons throughout my life, especially over the past six years.

One lesson I learned from was about my depression. I did not want the same thing to happen again, so I talked to my doctor this time.

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Hard Day

It’s been really tough the past couple of days. I really miss my dad. I look at pictures and relive the day of his death over and over. I have fought back tears for two days. I feel so alone. I want to talk about him. There’s no one to talk to. If I talk to my mom about him she starts crying. I want a sign that he is still around and watching over us.

I just think about everything I should have done and said. I think about everything he is going to miss in my life and my daughter’s life. Small things like never getting a text from him again, or never talking with him. To bigger things like when I get married, he won’t be there. I won’t have him to walk me down the aisle. I will never get to have a daughter/dad dance. I didn’t get to at my first wedding either. I always told myself I would dance with my dad at my next wedding.

I was chatting with a couple of people about ghosting – and other “joys” of online dating. One sent me a song – Make Him Wait. I started to listen to the song and had to turn it off. It talked about making the date wait at the door to meet your dad. Another part talked about dad walking you down the aisle on your wedding day.

I’m sure the tough days are normal. I am stretched so thin these days. I am working several hours with all three jobs. Sleep is a joke these days.

I switched medication for my depression. The first medication made me so tired. So, the doctor switched me to something to give me more energy. I guess I’m still adjusting to it. I sleep maybe three hours and then I’m up.

Loneliness

The other day my mom called me. She was watching the news and there was a car accident where I lived. So, she was calling to make sure it wasn’t me in the accident.

During our conversation, I could tell when her mood changed. It went from talking about good and pleasant things to depression and loneliness.

She asked me “how do you deal with the loneliness?”

Keep in mind that my mom married my dad when she was 16. She’d been with him for 35 years. This “loneliness” is a brand new life for her.

I remember dealing with the loneliness when I first stopped seeing my ex-husband. Days that he had our daughter, I spent hours staring at a wall. Sitting in the dark. Crying. Not functioning. Completely lost.

Everyone expected me to be fine. I was the one that filed for divorce. I should have been fine with the outcome. The loneliness.

I knew my mom wanted an answer. I did my best. I responded “You learn to live with the new normal.” Dad is never coming back. As hard as it is to think about, it is true. We can not go back into time and prevent his death.

That was the best I could describe it. I understand she is lonely. I understand she lost her soul mate. I never imaged that I would be the one having to comfort and give my mom knowledge about hard life lessons.

Now, I’m not going to lie… the loneliness is hard. But the truth is you adapt. You seriously do learn how to live in the new normal. You find things to keep your self busy. You find people to talk to. You enjoy your time with yourself.

The truth is, I’m not lonely anymore. I enjoy my me time. I would like to be in a relationship, but I’m not trying very hard to find one. I don’t mind being alone.

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.

Funeral

My dad’s funeral is going to be Tuesday.

Typing those words is so insane. I still can not believe my dad is gone. I can not believe I will never seen his smile or get to chat with him ever again.

Friday, when I went with my brother to get the things out of the car, I asked my brother if he thought it would be a closed casket. I seen the damage to the car. I could only imagine what condition my dad’s body was in. My brother figured it would be an open casket.

I found out yesterday, dad’s funeral has to be a close casket. I fell apart again. I try to stop crying, but I can’t. I did remember to eat yesterday. I haven’t slept more than a couple of hours. I’m still working and still taking my daughter to all of her activities. I want to keep functioning.

I have welcomed hugs from anyone willing to let me cry on their shoulder.

Since the funeral is closed casket, we are going to have a slideshow. I am so heartbroken. I do not have a single photo of my dad from 2018. Not one!

We always do a family photo on Mother’s Day. Well, this year I went to the ER on Mother’s Day. So, we did not do a photo. I was so tired and didn’t feel well. Then, we usually do a picture on Thanksgiving. I didn’t even get to tell my dad goodbye or give him a hug. He was so focused on mom. I have the regret of not telling him goodbye. I took for granted that I would see him on Christmas. Earlier last month, I deleted all the texts in my phone. I do that every few months to clear up space. I didn’t know I was deleting the last messages I will ever receive from my dad. I regret that so much.

I think about everything my dad is going to miss – My daughter turning 13 in a few weeks, for example. I break down again.

I invited ex to the funeral. I don’t know if that was the right choice or not, but I may fall apart. I may need help with our daughter. If he will be there and be supportive then I want him there. My dad did not like ex, but my dad would want my daughter and me to be happy and okay. I also know, if it was one of ex’s parents I would be at the funeral for him and my daughter.

Missing My Dad

I’m still in shock that he is gone. I haven’t really stopped crying. I forgot to eat for 24 hours. When I finally ate, I got so sick. I had my ex to help me tell our daughter. All three of us cried in the parking lot.

I took off work yesterday to go down to be with my mom and siblings. I went to get all the personal stuff out of the car. I threw up. I completely broke down seeing the sight of the car, and all his blood.

He was killed on impact. One driver hit him head on (police said this driver tested positive for drugs) and another driver (who was following way too close) ran into the back of the car. I’m glad he did not suffer.

I hate that Thanksgiving was the last time I will ever get to see my dad. And that visit wasn’t that good. I wish I could go back and hug him and tell him how much I love him.

People are asking me what they can do to help. I don’t know. I want my dad back. I want to talk to him again. I want a box of tissues and a hug from anyone, honestly!!

I am walking a fine line of how much do I allow myself to grief and how strong do I have to be for my daughter and the family. I forced myself to cook dinner last night. Neither of us ate more than a few bites. I almost wonder if it would be tacky if I asked all these people asking what they can do to help, if I asked them to bring food/dishes over that I could just heat in the microwave.

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.