Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Pursuit of Life

I'm lying to myself and everyone else if I try to say this journey is about anyone but me. A jack-of-all-trades, I'm that person who has tried many things leading to the same conclusion; this is not the word to describe me. The problem is, I know what I want to do, and I think I always have, but I don't seem to know how. 

The day-to-day mundane life of a repiticious job is not for me. Sitting idly makes me miserable, which in turn makes sharing my company annoying for most people. I'm honestly just not happy. Not in this life and clearly not in my previous life either, but I'm the only one who can fix it. Trying to find happiness in another person is a mistake I'm done making. 

I've always given myself to other people; tried to fill in the void other people have. In truth, the void is within myself. Maybe I've always known, maybe I'm just now figuring it out; I'm not sure. 

It doesn't take away from the love I have for the people in my life, but it does give me more of an understanding of what I need to do for myself. Having two kids in tow makes everything a little more difficult to obtain, but nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. 

I was seven or eight the first time I remember seeing the mountains; the Smokie Mountains of Tennessee. I thought, 'Someday I want to live here.' I was very lucky to get a chance to travel so much as a child. Because my parents divorced when I was 11, I enjoyed two vacations a year. I realize as an adult, I don't want to live in Tennessee. What I really want is to travel the world. Where I live doesn't matter, as long as I don't become idle. 

I've been stuck in idle the majority of my adult life, and I'm tired of it. It's time to do something about it. 

Leaving my 'stuff' behind helped me cut ties from material possessions. I don't need any of it. Everything I have makes me comfortable, but at the end of the day, it doesn't make me happy, and being happy is more important than having stuff. 

Several years ago, after both my husband and I had lost our jobs, we spent months researching how to move away and survive the world as minimalists with children. We had a fantastic plan laid out that only we knew about, and then he got his dream job working for the bookstore. It changed everything. Looking back, I wish we would have stayed the course. I wonder how things would have turned out if we had? I can't continue living a life of what ifs. They keep me up at night, and keep my mind wandering during the day. 

There is an answer to all this mindlessness. I intend to do something about it. It makes me sad that I don't have a partner to share it with, but that was a choice I made and I have to live with it. I am not one, I am three, so I'm not alone. I'm going to give these kids a different kind of chance. There is a world out there waiting to be discovered. Now is the time to get busy living. I'm tired of watching my life pass me by. There is more to it than just this. 


Monday, June 10, 2013

Children of Divorce

When my parents divorced, so many years ago, I remember being devastated. My world was literally torn in two. I didn't enjoy going to my father's house. He was very strict. No so unusual for the time; the leather strap hanging from the microwave cart was quite a deterrent.

I know his heart was broken. I understand how that feels now more than ever. I also understand how hard it is to put focus on others while being strangled by sorrow and grief. 

When there are children involved, it is immensely important to remember, they didn't ask to be a part of this, but the pain is just as real for them. I have to say, as someone who's experienced both sides, for me, it's harder as an adult, but that doesn't diminish the pain I felt as a child. It was harder to understand, making ignorance bliss.

So many people forget the pain their children must be feeling while they are trying to hurt their ex, or are preoccupied with new potential dates, or both. 

Every mean word you say to or about your child's other parent will resonate with them. Every new person they see you with will be remembered. And, whether you like it or not, one day they will most like find out what caused the marriage to end. 

I suppose how they feel about it will depend on how much they still hurt. 

I promised myself and my children many years ago I will always be honest with them. Without honesty, how can we as parents expect them to be honest with us? I would much rather my children come to me when something is happening than for them to learn the hard way. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Here Without You

If you can't handle me at my worst, you sure in the hell don't deserve me at my best. 

We all have bad days. How those bad days effect us on our good day depends on us. My last post was an example of a bad day, but today is a new day. I strive to move forward and find the happiness I know is within myself. I don't rely on anyone or anything to help me find it. I'm still checking doors from the hallway, but each day the light is a little brighter. Two steps forward, one step back ... It's still progress!

The people who knew me a year ago still tell me how strong I am, although most days I don't feel so strong. I have to gather the strength to live and be happy, if not for myself, for my children. I'm lucky to have those people to remind me. I'm also very lucky that, even though some of them are thankful I did what I did, they also understand my anguish and the fight I have within myself almost daily. 

Maybe the bad days got to be too much for me to handle. I had to walk away. I had to protect my children; more specifically, my son, who is so much different than he was a year ago. His spirit is bright again. He smiles, laughs, and acts goofy just like a twelve year old should. 

Something is missing, and the three of us together get by however we can, although we all know it isn't the same anymore. The one who made us laugh the most hides away in the foothills. 

The help he's getting may be working. I certainly hope so, anyway. I wouldn't know because from my perspective he's still hiding when there are people in this world who love him for who he really is. The real him, not the lie he has created for everyone else to believe. 

It was only a matter of time before my nerves had enough, but you're still with me in my dreams. It gets hard, but it won't take away my love. 


Friday, June 7, 2013

Unnamed Ramble



I can’t decide whether putting my story out there for the world to see is therapeutic, or if I’m causing more damage to my psyche by reliving it in my head. Writing in my journal certainly helps, but those aren’t the thoughts I want to share. I’ve been contemplating this the past couple days, while I my head racing and the depression tries to pull me back.

What no one seems to understand, why would I still care about the well-being of a man who broke my heart over and over for so long. The honest answer is, I don’t know. Even more than a year after leaving him, I’m still the one who feels bad. He doesn’t. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself. It shouldn’t matter to me whether he does or doesn’t, but old habits are hard to break. I’ve never been the kind of person who can just walk away and never look back.

I fight with myself whether I should have walked away. I wonder whether things could have been better. Maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance. What’s another eleven years? Could Washington have been the change that we both needed, and I just didn’t give it enough of a chance? If it was, how long was I supposed to wait for his anxiety and anger to subside?

These are the questions I ask myself every day. I know the answers, and the people I love help remind me. I wonder how many other people feel the same way I do about another person. Did he really just settle every time we “worked things out?”

Does it even matter???

I think sometimes it’s the loneliness that gets to me the most. I miss the person I thought I loved, not the one I’ve uncovered over the past year, not the coward that chose to run instead of fight for his family, his daughter. Sometimes I wonder if I really know anyone. Will I ever be able to trust anyone? Do all relationships go through something like what I went through, at least to some extent? He always tried to tell me it was normal, but how could someone who never experienced normal even know what that means?

Divorce from a sociopath has been the most difficult task in my life. I still feel like he is attacking me without words or communication. He’s in my mind, and I’m not sure anymore if the damage is even reversible.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beautiful Liar



How much should one person have to deal with throughout a relationship? When does love stop being enough? Can two people truly be together if they can’t be honest with each other?

In 2007, Blueturtle met someone else, so we separated for a second time. Unlike the first separation, it was not an assumption there was another woman. it was reality. We were living in the apartment I had rented in 2005, and he was dating another woman right in front of me. A woman he said was his kindred spirit. I quickly went to work drafting our disillusionment papers. I wanted him out! Within a month he was so deep down the rabbit hole, he walked away from his steady job, and his only means of getting out. According to him, this woman had accepted his marriage proposal.

What he doesn’t know, I eventually became quite close to her, and she shared her side of the story with me. He was doing what pathological liars do best. She said his stories just never seemed to add up, and sometimes it seemed he rehearsed his rants. Looking back, I was just too na├»ve to see through the bullshit.

His lies were so elaborate there was no way he could have ever proved them. He tried everything to get her back after she saw through him. He even went as far as to tell her he had received an inheritance from his Uncle; a brown stone in Boston. He sold it, and had over a quarter million dollars in the bank.  This was after she told him he was crazy and scared her.

I look back and think how foolish I was to keep him around after having all this information. He told her in an email he had settled on me because I had a small child. She tried contacting me once while they were dating, but I ignored the text. I was too caught up in my own truth to try to relate to hers. Maybe having more information while we were separated (but living together) would have made a difference, but if I’m being honest with myself, it probably wouldn’t have. I just carried this information around with me, and let it eat at me from the inside.

We both decided, although we liked each other very much, if I was going to be with him, I couldn’t be friends with her. I would have had to keep it secret, so I said good bye.

I reconnected with her after my divorce papers were filed. She was scared to talk to me until she saw proof of Blueturtle’s absence. We spend some time together, and she helped me a lot, but our time together has ended. I think maybe it was too much for her, or she was trying to make up for wronging me, but I never blamed her. He lied to me, but I think his lies went far deeper with her. As far as she knew, he had been trying to divorce me for over a year. He had her fooled, everyone he worked with fooled, but in the end, I was the biggest fool. I knew so many truths about him, but I still chose to stay by his side for five more years.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Peace

As I lay here, surrounded by darkness, another day is behind me. I hope for peaceful dreams, and to wake up tomorrow to the beautiful, smiling faces of my children. 

Today I let the sun warm my skin while I watched the kids splash in the pool. I hugged them both and told them how much I love them. 

I am finally finding a bit of peace in my life. Friends, family, and my babies -- love in all facets of my life. 

To live my life through love, I will have lived my life completely. 

The Cycle of Despair



Depression is a devious cycle, and something I’ve dealt with since puberty. It sneaks up on me when I least expect, like an old friend I really just don’t want to see. The feeling of sadness for no particular reason is very difficult to explain to someone who has never experienced it before.

Sadly, my depression combined with Blueturtle’s rage anger made for quite a toxic environment. We fed like vampires off each others emotions; the more depressed I was, the angrier he became, and vice versa. It would have been so simple just to seek help, but we didn’t.

The true source of my depression stemmed from a combination of postpartum and losing my job, our primary source of income. I happily traded the job that made me miserable for more time with my daughter, who was only five months old at the time. I stayed home for the first year with my son, and it killed me to leave my daughter every day. Some days, when I got home from work, she seemed to be mad at me.

I think being home caused some resentment from my spouse, although he always said it made him feel less than adequate as a man not providing for his family. Ironically, he doesn’t seem to care to provide for his daughter now. I’m certain he’s trying to find a way to get out of paying child support. Time will tell. It bothers me more to hear my daughter say, “I miss Daddy.”

Being involved in such a volatile relationship has provided me with the opportunity to heal from all my past wounds. I have finally found a way to cope with the depression, and stop letting it take over my life. That doesn’t mean I don’t still have bad days. Sometimes the only thing I want to do is sleep, or cry, or both. Most of my days, however, I can find a smile.

A few things that have helped me…

·         Antidepressants – I can’t stand the idea of being dependent on a chemical, but sometimes people just need the extra help. I’m glad a gave in.
·         Therapy – Finding someone to talk to wasn’t easy. The first few times were terrible. The woman listened to me talk while she wrote on her tablet. Could it have been more stereotypical? I did finally find a very good therapist, albeit expensive, and she’s been wonderful.
·         WRITING!! – This blog isn’t just about getting my story out there. It’s very therapeutic! I have multiple journals and means for expression. The blog is definitely a spirit booster. I’ve been blown away by how many people have already read my posts. I can only hope to help just one person, if only just to smile, then I will have accomplished what I set out to do.
·         Staying positive – Even on my worst days, I look for the positive in things. No matter how bad you think the situation is, there is always a silver lining. Always. I will admit, sometimes I need help figuring out what it is, but that’s what my friends are for.
·         Spirituality – I am not a religious person at all. I can’t honestly say I believe there is a deity, but I’m not an atheist either. I follow the Buddhism the closest, but I don’t consider myself a Buddhist either. I believe everything is equality good and evil. What matters is how we choose, as individuals, to behave every day. There is no evil in love, so love is my religion.
·         Staying active – This one can be tough for me. I’m naturally lazy. I try to do something, even if it’s small, every day. Today I spent most of the day at the pool with my kids. They had a good time, and the sun felt wonderful on my skin. I even met some of my new neighbors.
·         Don’t take anything personally – Another difficult task for me, but it’s getting much easier. What other people think of me doesn’t matter. I can only control my own thoughts and actions. If someone attacks me or says something hurtful, I wonder what is wrong and how I can help, because what others say to me is only a reflection of them.
·         Don’t make assumptions – It’s hard to do, but never assume to know what someone else is thinking or what their motivation is.
·         Let go of the past – Because it’s just that, the past. It can’t be changed. It can only serve as a lesson.
·         Turn off the TV – Everything we see on the news is so depressing! The talking heads remind us how terrible everything is, and drive fear into us. I can’t tell you how much better I feel ignoring it all. I still love certain shows and film, but I don’t miss TV… not even a little bit.

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” ~ Dr. Seuss

Monday, June 3, 2013

The New Meat Market



Online dating has become something of a metropolis. Although I met my ex-husband online, it’s nothing like it was eleven years ago. Or, maybe it is, only more common.

I’m not sure if people know how to socialize the way we once did. It’s ridiculous, really. We all sit in front of our screens, have a little bit of interaction with each other via text or social networking, and then don’t need to actually see each other. Why would we? Everyone already knows everything, so there’s nothing left to talk about.

I’m not a bar person; never have been. Going out for an occasional drink, or to see a live band is fun, but making it a nightly or even a weekly outing just isn’t for me. I would rather do other things. Oh, and I have kids to take care of. Despite the craziness they cause, I still love to spend time with them and I’ve never been one to find a sitter much.

These men, what can I say!? Maybe I’ve become a little sheltered, but I really don’t want to see a picture of your penis, especially if I haven’t even met you!! Just stop it.

I think because I’ve become acutely cognizant of the people I encounter, it’s easier to weed out the bad eggs. This method certainly offers a wider variety of men than traditional dating, but the downfall is, most of them are just looking for sex. And, it’s not just men who are looking for sex, so when the code words “movie and cuddle” aren’t reciprocated, they just find someone who will.

Being picky isn’t a bad thing; quality over quantity, in all facets of life! Like buying a home or a car, a relationship is something I want to last, so why settle on something I know won’t. I can take care of my kids and myself, so I’ll be single until I meet a man who deserves me.

Wisdom is a beautiful thing!


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