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.

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.

 

 

A Slight Break in the Darkness

Not going to lie, this week has been an emotional roller coaster. Ex proposing to girlfriend – even though I’ve expected it for years, I didn’t know how I’d handle it – has been a little rough. Tuesday, I was in tears. Left me feeling so confused and emotional. I started doing a little research – apparently, there are “stages” that one goes through in this situation. I looked through, and see it made more sense of how I’m feeling:

  1. Shock. My shock was that he actually did it. I mean after being with her for – let’s pretend they’ve never broken up – four years. “Us” being done for three years. Him telling me he is never getting married again. Him talking so negatively about girlfriend. Yes, I was shocked. Monday, when I found out, I didn’t feel any emotions – I was actually numb. That was my shock.
  2. Jealousy. Yes. Jealous she got a better proposal – I’m sure a nicer ring, haha. Jealous that he gets the “family” life and I am still fucking alone and single as hell. Jealous that ex’s life is moving forward and I feel stuck. Except it’s not like I’m stuck in concrete. I’m stuck in quicksand. I try to get out and I get pulled back down, deeper than before.
  3. Anger. I am angry. I don’t who I’m angry at though. I’m hiding my sadness with anger. I went to work today and someone asked where my daughter was. I said with ex. They were very surprised because apparently they seen girlfriend’s “big announcement” on social media, and was surprised they would want my daughter around. WHAT?! FUCK YOU!! Apparently, my daughter didn’t even see girlfriend last night. Ex and girlfriend hid in the bedroom all evening. I’m angry that I have to send my daughter over there. Why can’t she stay with me? At least when I have her we visit or play games, something!! My daughter asks me each time if she has to go over there. It is so heartbreaking.
  4. Relief. I am ready for this stage. Apparently in this stage you are relieved that you are no longer with ex. He is no longer your problem. I’m so afraid that I will not hit stage for weeks, months, or even years. I know it being the holidays is going to make this so much harder. I’m alone for the holidays. All I can do is cry. I tried talking to my mother about it, and she changed the subject. I tried talking to a friend about it, and she changed the subject – think because she seen I was fighting back tears. I mean, I get my ex is toxic. I GET THAT. So why am I not relieved that he is going to marry girlfriend?!? Because I am afraid he will no longer financially support our daughter. I suddenly feel like second best. I know I’m the one that filed for divorce. I know I’m the one that finally said “enough” when I found out ex was with me and girlfriend. So, why do I feel like I am trash? Why do I feel like I’m not good enough? Why do I feel like I did back during the divorce and after I stopped seeing ex three years ago? Why can’t I realize there is nothing wrong with me – it’s him. It’s always been him. NOT ME.
  5. Strength. This stage talks about after being petty and angry; after all the emotional roller coaster is over you realize you are stronger than you ever thought you could be. This will be true – I know what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. However, as I’ve said so many times before, I’m tired of proving how strong I really am.
  6. Appreciation. You’ll appreciation life and where you are in life.

Of course, depending on which site or article you read there are other stages, but these are the ones I came across the most.

Writing this has been through tear-blurred vision with some pauses for complete and utterly break-down, hard sobbing. I know ex is not good for me. I seen him today – he didn’t even acknowledge me – I looked at him and didn’t find him attractive. I was hurt that girlfriend’s youngest kid was wearing a shirt of ex’s that he’d given me back in high school. I hope my soul mate is out there. I just hate that I’m still alone. I was faithful to ex – he was the cheater. Why do I get punished for my faithfulness by still being single? Why is it the man that never wanted to get married again is now engaged? Why is it the man that never wanted more kids – especially daughters – because he didn’t want to deal with hormones is engaged to a woman with three daughters? Why is it the man I was married to was a workaholic during our marriage, now takes vacation days all of the time?

Online dating hasn’t really helped this week. I had a zombie appear. He is now blocked. I get getting busy and not replying for a few hours or even until the next day. BUT it has been 14 days. Boy, please. I know what happened. He found another chick and when that didn’t work out, or he got a piece of ass, and then decided to make sure I was still on the back burner. I am worth more than being some guy’s Plan B. *block*

Positive thing with work – I got a fourth job. I am so excited about this one. Great pay. Could really open some doors. It will probably be after the holidays before I get to sign my contract and everything, but I’m still very excited.

 

Drowning

Image result for failing at life meme

Well, my thought today is: I’m failing at life.

Everything is crashing around me.

Work and Money. Even though I work multiple jobs – hours this time of year are short because of the holidays and winter hours. Or, I have to cut hours for one job to get hours for another job. All of which hurts my bank account. Money is crazy tight – haven’t gotten a child support check for a couple of weeks; and yes, the weekly child support isn’t much, but every little cent helps. I thought I was getting my head above water last week. I cancelled insurance to save some money, and I talked to someone about getting a tax break for my property tax – turns out I was supposed to have been getting this break for several years but my paperwork “got lost” on their end. I honestly didn’t think must about it. I thought the break was just for one year. Of course, they are not going to back pay me all that money – I wish they would. Yesterday, I opened the refrigerator and it left a little on the warm side. Things were still cold. I don’t want to – I CAN’T AFFORD TO – replace that refrigerator right now. I shouldn’t have to replace it already. I bought it about two years ago. Yes, it was a cheaper one, but it should work longer than two bloody years!! I’m counting down the months until I get my car completely paid for – that will be extra money each month when I don’t have car payments – but I still have about ten months to go.

Dating/Relationships. I’m still having mixed feelings about ex. I actually had a dream about him. In my dream, he called me to bitch at me that I left him blue-balling. (A phrase that ex used often during our marriage. I’ve always hated that phrase.) I woke up so angry. Mainly, angry at myself. Why am I still dreaming about him?!?

I suck at dating. I haven’t even had a conversation with anyone in days. In fact, we’re slowly inching closer and closer to a year mark since I’ve been on a date!!

Parenting. Now, typically I know I am a kick-ass mom. I take care of my kid. I help her with school work. I drive her to her millions of activities. Just, last night, with everything that was happening I felt like I couldn’t even do that right. I had two loads of clothes that were needing to be washed. Before I went to pick her up from practice I had the first load in the washer. The second load was lying in the floor so I could throw it in the wash when I got back. When we got home, I put the first load in the dryer and started the second load in the washer. Well, apparently, my daughter and a friend decided they wanted to wear their new cheer shirts to match at school today. That shirt accidentally got thrown into the washer, too. I guess it was sitting by all of her bags for school, which was close to the second load of clothes and I just assumed it went with the pile of clothes. I forgot to check the clothes after that. My daughter waited until the very last minute to find her clothes for school. Yep, that shirt is still chilling out in the washer. Parenting fail.

Single Parent Struggles

Image result for parents meme

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

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

Image result for single parents meme

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

Today is a different story…

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

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

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

NOT ONE RESPONSE!

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

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

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

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

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

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Woman, back up. Know your role!

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

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

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

Second issue: while on the phone with ex:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Being on Your Own

Someone asked how comfortable people are being on their own post divorce and how comfortable they were during their marriage. The responses were about half and half. Yes, I’m comfortable with living on my own. /No, I’m not comfortable.

Yes, I was comfortable being independent during my marriage./ No, I was not very independent during my marriage.

No matter how long your were married, it is probably going to take some adjusting to your new life.

When I was married, my ex worked nights and slept during the day. If I had to go to the store, majority of the time I went with my daughter while ex slept. I did not drive out of town. If I did, I knew the exact path and did not venture any from it. It took years for me to be comfortable to drive on the interstate without my anxiety paralyzing me. Being in town alone was the same story, if there were too many people I started having a panic attack.

That is why I stayed with him for so long. I could not function – or so I thought – on my own.

It takes a lot of adjusting living alone.

Silence.

The silence when my daughter was with ex drove me insane. I found myself either listening to the TV shows that she watched or sitting in the dark staring at the wall for hours.

Become comfortable with the silence. Give yourself a chance to reflect, relax, and even enjoy moments of silence. More than likely you are always going, always trying to survive. Take a moment. Breath. Relax.

Money.

One positive thing I will say about my ex is he was a workaholic. He always volunteered for overtime. He was always working. He also allowed me to be a stay at home mom for five years. Granted we didn’t have as much money as he is making now, but we survived. We were young. We were comfortable.

This is one area I cannot give any advice. I live paycheck to paycheck. I have entertained the idea of having a sugar daddy just to save money in case something breaks.

I see this being an issue for several divorced individuals.

Do what you have to. You start making choices and changes in your life. Things you thought you needed, you realize you can not afford. You start deciding what you actually need compared to what you just want. My daughter is cared for. I am still wearing the same clothes that I have for almost a decade. They are worn. I cannot justify buying new ones.

Social life.

This is another area where I struggle. I did not have friends while I was married. I never had a girls’ night or a mommy and me group to hang out with. I took care of my daughter, the house, and my husband during my marriage. I sat at home while he would go to drill each month. After he finished on base, he would go out drinking. I remember seeing one receipt where he spent six dollars for a beer and left the waitress a fifteen dollar tip. I was so crushed. I could only imagine what flirting took place.

I see several people make a comment about how they lost friends after the divorce. Remember it is quality not quantity. But definitely make time to stay in contact with your true friends.

Relationships.

Third area that I struggle with… relationships. I have been divorced for five years. I have been done with my ex for about three years. I seriously did not think I would still be single by this time! I decided to do online dating. I thought I could easily find a man. Well… little did I know online dating is full of married men and creeps.

I do want a relationship. I do want to get married again. I don’t know if either will ever happen.

I took about a two week break from online dating. I decided to get back on there yesterday. Immediately, a couple of twenty-one year olds message me – ha!! A married man messages me – NO!! And a gamer messages me – nothing in common.

I guess I am going to continue to give online dating a try. I mean, I want a relationship so I have to make an effort, right? Really doubt Mr. Right is going to knock on my door. I have to go out and try to find him.

Or maybe decide I really just want fwb. Ugh… Sounds fun. But, can I do that? My anxiety, depression, and trust issues – is fwb a good choice for me?

I do miss having a relationship. I miss having an adult to talk to and share with. I miss being married to my best friend.

Identity.

Final thought. After your divorce, it is hard to find your identity. I was always known as ex’s wife, or my daughter’s mom. Never known by my name. Never known for me.

Figure out who you are. Figure out your likes and dislikes. Find yourself.

One step forward, Two steps back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, the failure continues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling stuck.

Ever look at your life and think this is not what I pictured for myself?

Even though I could not imagine a future past the age of thirty with my ex-husband, I didn’t imagine going through life alone.

Even though I was madly in love with my ex during and after the divorce, and was still faithful to only him for two years after the divorce, I really believed the man of my dreams would walk into my life. We would be able to build a life together: live together, have kids, share adventures. I didn’t imagine five years down the road, I would still be waiting for this dream man.

I have been divorced for five years and now I’m feeling stuck. I continue to go onto the dating sites. I don’t really try. Most guys are scams or just wanting a hook up. I haven’t been on a date since April. I want to date – ideally, I want to be in a relationship – but I don’t find anyone on those sites interesting.

I think its hitting me a little harder right now because money is super tight. I am budgeting on a very small amount of money – I have maybe $100 to my name until the end of the month. I do miss the double income house lifestyle of when I was married.

My ex is about to return from his deployment. My daughter will start going back to his house, and I will sit at home alone with the dog. I am not really used to having “kid free” time; and not dating anyone, I’m not sure what to do with that time right now.

Seeing other couples also makes it hard. I saw one couple celebrating their 15 year anniversary and posting it to social media. Congratulations to them, but a comment she made on the post about ‘they were still together only because they were not quitters’ kind of stung. I am not a quitter. I am not divorced because I gave up on my marriage or gave up on this dream I had for my little family. Another post that really hit hard was a pregnancy announcement. I am happy for her. She is in her second marriage. Her child from her first marriage is a year older than mine. So, I’m hoping there is still a chance for me to have that true love, an amazing husband, more kids, a great life.

However, until then… I’m feeling stuck.

Parenting. Am I doing it right?

I’m sure all parents wished their children came with handbooks, right?

Today’s society is slowly getting closer to that wish. There’s an app to help parents decide if a baby’s cry means hunger, hurt, distress, etc. On social media, there are so many mom groups for other moms to ask questions and get advice.

I want a great relationship with my daughter. I want to raise her to be a strong, confident woman. During, and after, my divorce I worried about being able to parent her in a broken home.

I never worried about when to feed her, change her, what to do when she was sick because that came naturally to me. I was a nervous having a baby, but I knew I would be able to care for her.

I worried about being able to correctly teach her right from wrong; how to be a friend when you are an only child; how to care about others; how to love yourself.

I must be doing something right. This weekend, I have been taking pictures of a pageant. Long hours – 13 hours on the first day then another five hours yesterday. Tonight is the final night. However, my daughter has been at a friend’s house so she would not have to sit around the entire time. I was still taking pictures around 10:30pm last night. I get a text from her telling me “good night” and “I love you.” I responded. I mentioned I was still at the pageant. The next message from her completely melted my heart; she told me to “be careful.” To have a pre-teen to consider someone else and to care about someone getting home safely is amazing.

Some days I wonder if I am raising her right. After last night, I got my answer for another day. I must be doing something right.

Motivation

Some days it is hard to find and to keep motivation. It is even harder when living with anxiety and depression.

However, I stayed motivated with my exercising this weekend. My daughter is at camp – she usually works out with me. I worked out alone and actually increased my workout length on Friday. Not to mention, I did a 40 second plank. A small accomplishment, but it is progress! I can actually tell a difference already.

So glad I kept the motivation needed for my exercising. I am proud of myself. However, there are other parts of my life that I see a lack of motivation.

Dating.

I just cannot find anyone to have a conversation with online. Obviously if I cannot have a conversation with them online then I do not want to go on a date with them either. I just keep thinking about the serial cheater and what he did to me – I hate that I allowed myself to be played. I hate that I ignored the red flags. I hate that I didn’t mean anything to him, and I started falling in love with him. I hate that he is probably still being a serial cheater, and I am so leery that I don’t even attempt to hold a conversation with anyone on those dating sites. What if the guys are married, engaged, or even just in a relationship and just trying to use me for “fun?” I have built my walls up again – even higher, and thicker this time. I want to date. I want to be in a relationship. I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want to be played. I don’t have the motivation to look for Mr. Right. I secretly hope the man of my dreams will find me, and it will be like something in a movie. A kind stranger. A new neighbor. A hot guy checking me out in the supermarket. Then I have to tell myself to wake up that is probably not ever going to happen.

The final area of my life right now needing motivation is work. I work part-time as a photographer (I have other jobs, but the photography job is the one lacking motivation right now.) Someone was unhappy with their child’s picture for a pageant book. Okay, if they had said something then I would had re-shot the pictures. (It was a free session. Just head and shoulders picture. Takes a couple of minutes. The picture is cute. The child is around six-years-old. It is a sweet picture. I stand by my work. I did give the child directions – sit up, look here. If it was my daughter’s picture, I would be pleased) Instead, the business was sent a nasty message on social media by the father (who was not even present during the session). Bashing me as a photographer. The owner also threw me under the bus (Which I was taking those pictures that day because the owner could not be there. I was helping her out! In the past year, I have shot about eight months because the owner could not be there). So, the pageant is later this week. Honestly, I am just ready for the drama to be over with. I made that comment to my friend – about ready to be finished with the pageant already -, who is also the business’ office manager, which apparently was a big mistake. So, now she’s wanting to find another photographer to take my place to cover the three-day pageant because once again the owner cannot be there. Really, a different photographer? I have worked there for over twelve years. Now, everyone is so quick to toss me aside? Maybe I’m being too sensitive, but I definitely took the entire situation personally. If it was a bad picture, or even not a good picture, I would have said let’s redo this picture. If the mom would have said anything to show she was not happy with the picture I would have said let’s redo this picture. The mom said it was a cute picture. The pageant direction said it was a sweet picture. I am just hurt by the situation. I know what I am doing. Not only was my photograph skills attacked in this situation, but also my personality.

I talk with the kids when they come in for these pageant pictures. They are nervous. I talk to them about their dresses for the pageant, or they pets. I get them to relax. My focus is on the kids. I will say “hi” to the parents or ask them if that is how they want the child’s hair for the picture (in front of the shoulders or behind), but really the children are my focus. The owner is the complete opposite. She will tell her life story and want to know the parents’ life story as well. Sorry, I am a quiet person. I am the type that will listen and only add to the conversation as needed if I do not know you. In a place of business, personal matters are not appropriate in my opinion.

Another difference between the owner and myself is her daughter does pageants, so that is something she can talk to the parents about. Once again, I don’t have this common bond with the parents. I am not a pageant mom. My daughter is not a pageant kid. She did pageants when she was younger. Actually won some money (back when she was a toddler). She hates pageants now. She would rather stick to sports, school, and tumbling. I don’t have the experience or the wisdom to share with the pageant moms. I don’t fit in. I don’t even wear makeup. I may wear makeup twice a year, if that. I figure if I can pull off the no makeup look then I should embrace it. I get mistaken to be years younger anyway, so it works for me. My hair is a wild mane. I have long ringlets that have a mind of their own. Growing up, I HATED my hair. I wanted straight hair. Now, I embrace my wild hair. I actually love my ringlets. I dye my hair bright blood red or a purplish-red and black for a two tone look. I have multiple tattoos that are visible. I don’t think these pageant moms would want my “advice” on the pageant world. Now, if I was showing them the pictures and trying to get them to buy – that is a different story! I can talk about photographs all day long! And I can sell anything!! I can read people. I had one job years ago where I had to talk a mom into switching classrooms for her child due to the child’s progression and best interest. The entire center agreed it needed to be done, but others had tried talking to the mom and she refused. I had a witness with me during the conversation. It took me ten minutes and the mom agreed.

So, yes my personality is different. I have been through situations during my life that makes me guarded. I figure strangers don’t want to be my “friend” they just want me to take their pictures.

Definitely need some positive thoughts and motivation.