i disappeared for a little

I’m back!

I took a breath, a breather, a break, a whatever you want to call it, without even realizing it, from blogging, after the first of 2018. It wasn’t intentional and I tried with everything that I had in me to finish a post but I just couldn’t. I would almost complete a post and then realize by the end of it that I was rambling and the post wasn’t even worth it because my soon-to-be-ex wasn’t worth the time or energy that I had just put into the post.

I have 24 drafts sitting and waiting to be finished and published but I just haven’t had the energy because I did something at the first of the year that helped me really push past my anger toward my Irish Idiot.

I wrote a blog post that detailed the most horrendous part of my marriage – the part that sealed the deal on the destruction of our marriage. Some of you read it because I scheduled it to go live recently and forgot about it and then chickened out with the amount of transparency that I showed, so I pulled it offline. I may republish it one day but for now it’s sitting in my “published” inbox, marked as private.

It was such a painful moment in my life last year and I thought that I was brave enough to share in the hopes that it might encourage someone, that was going through similar things, to not put up with the same garbage that I had and to move on. Instead, it accomplished something else.

I felt a sense of peace.

With every phase of this divorce, the more and more I keep ‘moving on’ and at the same time I have also realized how ‘unmoved on’ I was in the phase before. And that’s ok. There is no right or wrong way to move through a divorce emotionally. Sometimes, you’ll fly through the first four Stages of Grief only to hit a snag, sit across the table from this person and slide back into the anger stage. Or you’ll see your husband with a woman that offers half of what you determine is your value and you slide into the stage of depression.

Survive. Just survive.

The only goal with divorce, is to simply survive it and don’t feel like you need to meet any certain time table.

My pivotal moment in my divorce was actually putting pen to paper and reliving the night that my marriage ended. Getting it all out there, even to no one, did so much good. I still have moments of complete anger like when I saw him recently and after a brief heated exchange of words between the two of us, I made a note that he was so weak of a human being that he couldn’t even bring himself to apologize to me for what he had done to me and what he had done to the kids. His response reminded me of how much of a loser I was/am really married to…he told me that I should “give him a reason to get him to say sorry.”

I was in awe that he is so detached from reality and morality that he thinks it’s ok to do some of the harmful things he did, expect me not to be upset with him or hurt by him, and then urgently wait on bended knee for an apology that any other human being with any sense of right and wrong would have done months ago. But my special guy feels that I should ‘put him in the mood’ to feel apologetic. Sorry, not going to happen, and now I could care less about the apology because he obviously doesn’t understand the significance of humbling oneself to utter the phrase “I’m sorry” when you do something wrong.

And that’s when I realized just who he really is. I will never get an apology for the hurt and harm he caused. If I expect this then I will be forever angry because it’s something that he can’t mentally do. His mother taught him that when put into a ‘corner’, his defense was to never admit that he is wrong and to run from responsibility because she will always clean up his messes. So he’s never had to say sorry.

I married someone that has no capability to feel; to truly be in love; no ability to seek to cope with the ‘unfun’ times in life or to be mature or to treat someone else with respect or to put someone else’s needs before their own…and I’ve accepted all of this. And because of this, I have so much more peace than I’ve had since this divorce started.

So when I say I’ve started many posts and not had the energy to finish them, it’s because he has become so irrelevant to me and my life now. I don’t care anymore. I’ll never understand but I also know that he’ll never be happy in his life because he can’t do anything that I mentioned earlier.

I know that I would have a miserable existence if I had no capability to feel or feel compassion for others or to never experience love again or not to be able to put someone else’s needs first. It would be awful. And I’m thankful that the toxicity that was in my life is gone.

Sometimes I’m still human though.

I still have my moments of anger…I still have my moments of weakness…I still am not a perfect ex-wife to him…but I do have my dignity again because I know now that he would never have been good enough for me. He wouldn’t have been able to give his all like I had been doing for him. And that’s ok. I will find that person one day.

The day that I started reining my anger in, or in all actuality feeling nothing toward him but annoyance, was the day I realized just how miserable he really is and I don’t want my life to be like that and I’m thankful he didn’t take more of my years than what he did. When I see him, I can see the anger seething out of his pores…what I did to him, I’ll never know, nor do I care because I remained a steadfast faithful wife to him through everything. He has convinced a weak girl to cyber stalk and bully me and that’s ok. Annoying, yes and a little frightening, but I can’t do anything about it unless I want to waste more energy on them that they don’t deserve. If he wants to continue spending that amount of time on me than more power to him…I get it, I am kind of worth it. 🙂

Some Advice

I think that at this moment in my divorce, if I had any advice to give to anyone going through something similar, it would be to stop thinking that they did something wrong and instead focus on who your soon-to-be-ex really is. Strip away what you wanted them to be; strip away what they told you they were or would be; strip away the dreams you had for them/you/the ‘we’ and focus on the person that is left. What do their actions tell you? What are their motivations? What kind of life are they living right now? And for that last question don’t focus on what is on social media…

You know them, or at least you know their faults. Now someone else has to deal with those faults…and between you and I – my ex’s new girlfriend has her hands full because zebras never change their stripes. And it’s the little things that make me smile when I want to get angry because it was so easy for him to move on. Like when he found someone so weak that she agreed to cyber stalk me from the moment that they first started dating. What kind of woman would volunteer for that or agree to chasing me around the hockey rink video recording me and my kids? A crazy one…and that’s what he chose. More power to him. I just know that I will honestly feel bad for him (yet I’ll smile a little) when she goes all crazy on him when he breaks up with her too.

Focus on the true being that your ex is and take comfort that you get to say good riddance.

I still get anxious every time that I see my ex’s name pop up on my phone, but now I wait a while to read whatever the communication is (and that’s if my daughter hasn’t cleared out my notifications), because he doesn’t deserve my immediate attention. He never gave me his so why should I do it for him? There’s nothing telling me that I have to get back to him within a certain time frame so I do it when I’m emotionally ready to respond. I remind myself that I am the one in charge of me – he no longer has any control over me or my life. If he doesn’t like my response, then I’m sorry, not sorry. This is who I am and he gets to deal with that. It is no longer my job to accommodate his moods or temper.

And THAT’S the most freeing feeling I’ve had in a while.

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the two jars

A few years ago, a beautiful friend explained to me how she made the tough decision to ease her doggie-child’s suffering and put her to sleep. She kept two jars – one for good days and one for bad days – and would then put a bead in the appropriate jar depending on how the day went for the dog. When there was an abundance of beads in the “tough day” jar, she knew she needed to make a tough decision.

She was telling me this story at the perfect time because I had been so engrossed in reliving every tough moment of each day during my divorce, with anyone that would listen, that it seemed that every day was getting worse by the minute.  So I decided to employ her tool and pulled two jars and beads out of my craft bins.

I found out two interesting things: I was forced to reflect on every moment of the day not just the bad days and that my days really weren’t as bad as they seemed. I discovered that I was making the once or twice-a-day bad moments much bigger than they really were.

At the time, being a single mom to two boys that had activities out the wazoo was really hard and dealing with my ex was at the pinnacle of rough. When I started using a tough-day jar and an awesome-day jar, I realized that my boys were really cool and much more entertaining and fun than they were draining and that my friendships were helping me focus on other things than just my ex’s tantrum of the day.

What I had previously thought was the toughest day ever because my oldest threw a huge fit about doing homework was really only a blip on my radar because I started seeing the awesome-day jar fill up much faster than I expected. Having that visual reminder of really how great my days were, kept me going and with a better attitude.
Since then I’ve used this technique for a few different things like losing weight (which I did) and trying to decide if I needed to change jobs (which I did). It’s become so engrained in my head to first ask myself “was it really that bad or was it something small” that I now do it subconsciously in my head with almost every tough moment that I run into.

Earlier this week, my oldest acted like big brothers do sometimes and picked on his little brother so epic-ly that I threatened that he wasn’t going to leave the house EVER again. (And then I thought about what life would be like with a 38 yr old son in my house and realized that may not be the best punishment.)

Then two days later, this same 9 yr old woke up early, got his brother and 3 yr old cousin up, got his cousin dressed, apparently taught his cousin how to wipe himself (I can only hope they washed their hands) and then was getting things set up to feed the three of them breakfast when he woke me up. If you knew this kid, you’d know this is completely different from his norm of “please do everything for me” attitude. He later told me the reason he did that was because he knew he had extra punishments and because it was almost Mothers Day. That morning has put me on cloud nine so much that my mental awesome-day jar is likely to be full for weeks. That full jar will help me keep my head out of the “sucky-day” blues for a while to come.

So my challenge to you, especially single parents, is that when there are tough moments, try not to focus on just that one event. Look at the day in full, at the end of the day, to reflect and keep the good stuff at the front of your memory and the bad stuff at the back. Try the jar idea or make a list…anything that will draw you out of that one rough moment and help you focus on all of the wonderful moments in your life.