Survived Christmas

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Yesterday was the first Christmas without my dad. It did not feel like Christmas, at all.

On Christmas eve, my daughter was with ex. I tried to keep my mind busy with social media – horrible idea. I cried so much. Christmas morning I cried even more.

Ex brought my daughter home on time – a Christmas miracle.

She’d forgot her memorial necklace at girlfriend’s house. So, I had to drive her over there. This was the second time I’d ever been there. First time during the day. I am not impressed by the house. It looked even worse in the sunlight.

But, I still hate that ex gets a relationship and I am single.

I drove to my parents’ house. Almost got into a wreck. Another driver was texting and came into my lane of traffic. I swerved and they corrected themselves.

Christmas at my parents’ house just felt like any other day. That magic and Christmas spirit was gone. Christmas was dad’s favorite holiday.

We ate. Opened gifts. Visited. But, dad was missing.

We went to the cemetery. That was the first time I’d been there since the funeral. I really did not know what to expect. Tears? Anger? Joy?

I felt a calming over me at my dad’s grave. My daughter and I placed some more flowers – even though all of the flowers from the funeral were still there and looking amazing. We also placed a Santa Claus there for dad. We took pictures – all of us. I wished I lived closer so I could visit his grave more often…

We went to my grandfather’s house afterwards. He has stage 4 cancer. He doesn’t remember much. It was another obstacle of the day.

We got home and played a board game.

Then, almost bedtime and my daughter completely breaks down. She regrets not getting to tell my dad goodbye. Regrets not making her deviled eggs for him. She regrets not spending more time with him. She can’t remember his voice, or his laugh. She can’t remember too many memories of him.

I want her to grieve. I want her to keep my dad’s memory alive. But, I want her to be happy. I want to find the words to comfort her. The words are not there, because I share her regrets and feelings. I tried my best to comfort her. I told her stories of my dad. I told her to go ahead and talk to him; he is listening.

Believe in ghosts or not. My dad is around us. The other day, I went to the store and items fell of the shelves without anyone touching them. Multiple times. Then yesterday, middle child and I both see him walk through the kitchen.

Processing: fears, pain

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Yesterday, well last night, I found out ex got engaged. My daughter and I talked about it a lot last night. She is angry, bitter, hurt, sad. I asked her if she was happy. She said no.

We both knew it was coming. Ex moved in with girlfriend a couple of weeks of go – when exactly, I don’t even remember. But funny thing, he told our daughter the bad thing about moving in with girlfriend full-time is he has no where to go when he doesn’t want to be around girlfriend. I asked our daughter why wouldn’t ex want to be around girlfriend. Apparently, she gets annoying to ex and there are some days he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her.

My daughter said she had seen pictures of rings on ex’s phone. So, she knew it was coming, but she was still hurt that ex did not tell her. She said yesterday before school she asked him to bring her lunch – fast food – and he hesitated and told her that he would be out of town – he knew what his plans were. WHY COULDN’T HE HAD JUST TAKEN FIVE MINUTES AND TALK TO OUR DAUGHTER?!? What, was he scared of what our daughter would say? If he thinks he is making a mistake then maybe he shouldn’t have asked girlfriend to marry him.

I’m bitter that girlfriend got a better proposal than I did – why? I really don’t know. I mean, ex isn’t a “better” person now. So, I really don’t know why I’m a little hurt about that. I’m very hurt that he would avoid our daughter’s feelings and talking to her.

One thing that really does hurt is I’m. Still. Single.

This really brings me to tears! I was faithful during our marriage. I was faithful to him after our divorce. I have tried to date. I have been ghosted, stood up, catfished, lied to, and yet I still can not find anyone to date, much less actually have a relationship with.

Why does ex get everything? A new wife. Kids. An easy job. Lots of money.

As stupid as it sounds, I think I’m being punished.

Yes, I’m bitter. I’m sad. I’m scared.

A few fears:

What if they get married on “our” wedding date. I may throw up if that happens. So, ex doesn’t pay a lot with child support. I’ve never taken him back to court even though he is making so much more, because when I say our kid needs something he will bitch and moan, but he will give me the money for it. Since he got this job on the base, he is making so much more, he has started giving extra every two weeks. He knows the courts would order him to pay more child support, so this is a why to keep me “content.” What if that extra money stops? What if anytime our daughter needs something, he has to go through girlfriend first?

What if their marriage doesn’t last? My daughter has already lived through one divorce; them breaking up multiple times; and moving into girlfriend’s house. What would another divorce do to her? Girlfriend has already been married twice before. So, a divorce in their future is not a wild leap, seriously. Ex is a challenge to live with – and they don’t even live together all the time. He lives out of state most of the week and just comes in on weekends. Hmm, I want them to have to live together full-time and see this isn’t some joke, a fun little sleep-over, or high school dating.

This morning, I woke up and ex being engaged was the first thought that popped into my head. I think yesterday’s feelings and actions – not being sad or really mad, just annoyed by his behavior of not telling our daughter – were from shock. I think today I am processing it and real feelings are coming out now. I am teary-eyed. I am scared and hurt. I’m trying to figure out why though. I think I still love ex – or at least the idea of him that I’ve forced myself to have for so many years. I’m afraid of the future – the money; he already chooses them over our daughter – I fear it will be worse now. What if he adopts the kids? What if he gets killed? Will girlfriend get the benefits? Will everything still go to our daughter?

I know this is a topic I am going to write about a lot. I need to process. I need to understand my feelings. I need to understand the best way to support my daughter.

Doesn’t help that physically I’ve been in pain for a couple of days. I’m going to blame the insane weather… But my c-section scar is about to kill me. Not sure what the deal is.

Well, My Nightmare Happened

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For years, I’ve worried about how would I feel if, and when, ex gets engaged to girlfriend. Would I be happy? angry? sad? How would I find out? How would my daughter feel? Would she get to be there to watch the proposal? Every Christmas, New Year’s, and birthdays I’ve tried to prepare myself for ex to ask girlfriend to marry him.

They moved in together a week or so ago. Apparently, today he popped the question. I was surprised that I was not sad. I don’t know if I am happy or not, because how it happened actually was horrible.

I picked my daughter up from practice. She was on social media and said “dad got married today.”

I asked “married or engaged?”

She said, “I guess engaged.”

When did that happen?

I guess today.

Oh, how do you know?

Girlfriend’s kid posted something on social media.

***

By this time, my daughter is fighting back tears. She said ex didn’t tell her. He didn’t pack her lunch today. And girlfriend will not accept her friend request on social media.

So, I call ex.

***

Hello, why didn’t you pack our daughter lunch for school today?

I didn’t know I needed to.

She doesn’t eat chili.

Well, sorry.

Oh, did you get engaged today?

Yes.

Did you say anything to our daughter?

No, because it just happened today.

You can’t tell me you didn’t know beforehand to at least give her a heads up.

I was going to tell her later.

Girlfriend’s kid posted it. Our daughter’s feelings are hurt.

***

He talked to our daughter for maybe two minutes on the phone. All she said was “okay.”

She hands me the phone back.

***

Me: What?

Oh, I guess she’s done talking to me.

She handed me the phone back.

Well, I told her why I didn’t tell her beforehand and I apologized.

Yeah, sorry doesn’t mean much coming from you.

***

By this time, I am angry. I am bitter. He took girlfriend to a mountain overlook to propose. (Yes, he told me). Now, my feelings are hurt.

I said, “awe, at least she got a better proposal than I did. Congratulations.”

***

When ex proposed to me, many many years ago, we were sitting in the car. We were sitting in the parking lot about to go into a restaurant. He pulled out a ring box and tossed it at me and said “here.”

I’ve talked to my daughter. She is hurt. She is mad. She said she is not happy about the situation.

She said when she gets engaged she is not telling him.

My heart broke. That is what my ex is teaching our daughter? Great…

I told her before I get engaged, if it ever happens – I can’t even find someone to date – the guy will have to get permission from my daughter first.

I told her that at least she’ll get a part in the wedding. She’s like, yeah everybody gets a part even if it’s just being a guest to witness the wedding. So, my daughter is bitter.