take 2: showing my scars

At the start of the new year, I wrote and cried and wrote and cried until I had shared almost every detail of ‘that’ night…the last night that my soon-to-be-ex and I were in the same bed. And it accidentally went live. I received immediate positive feedback and then took it down all within 30 minutes because it was so intimate, to me, that I couldn’t face knowing that everyone would know.

But…

Yesterday my ex thought it would be funny to pour salt into an open wound…he figuratively laughed at the emotional and physical pain that he put me through and did something so childish that it made me completely understand that I was married to someone cruel and with evil intentions. He deserves no respect or even acknowledgement that I once thought he was an amazing man. He’s a bad person with an unpure heart. So unlike the little lady that we created together.

So I’ve decided to take a second shot at exposing my most raw emotions about something that I would never want another woman to ever go through. In my perfect world, I would one day like to speak out about abuse but until then I’ll show my scars so that others may avoid the same pain I went through.

I never want anyone else to feel like I did – ashamed, embarrassed, self-conscious because of the bruises…What someone feels is ok to do to you – harm you physically – is not okay and not your fault. I wish I could have absorbed this earlier than when I finally did. A man that physically attacks a women is not a man – not a normal human being – it’s not ok and they are showing how weak THEY are NOT how weak you are.

So here’s take 2 at this post….

(written in January 2018)

At 37, I’ve realized a few things:

* who my friends really are
* that I need mentors and who they are
* that I screw up…a lot
* that I’m not a perfect mother
* that I’m a great mother and that’s all that matters
* that I can do better than the day before
* and that I am better than who I was before…

So here’s my story…

The night before Father’s Day 2017…I was physically attacked…

by someone that was overly intoxicated…

and I knew the person….

…I was married to him…

…and I still am unfortunately…for just a while longer…until the state of Florida rules on our case…

I’ve started this post so many times but it takes nerves of steel to finish this.

That night…

I left to go grocery shopping. My little men were at their dads house (thank the lord). My little lady had gone down for a late nap and needed to be up about 45 min after I left (I was gone about 2 hours total).

I arrived home, with food, about 2 hours later. My little lady was still in her room…crying out for momma and dada…yet dada hadn’t arrived, even though he had been there the whole time.

At this point, I start to realize how intoxicated my husband and his brother really were. My husband couldn’t even understand why I was upset that my daughter was still in her crib even though I asked him to get her up hours prior.

I get her up, make dinner for everyone, spend time with my daughter, my brother in law goes home, I put my daughter to bed, and then my husband stumbles in and says he’s tired and asks if I would join him in bed as soon as I put our daughter to bed.

…Background…

Two weeks prior I found out that he had cheated on me. My self esteem was low. So very low. So when my husband suggested that I meet him in bed…what do you think that meant to me……

…Back to the story…

Here is the honesty that will likely be taken down shortly after I have the nerve to post it…

I climb into bed…hoping for some love – any kind of love because I felt unloved at the time…and because I’m married and that’s what married people do…except I then fully realize just truly how drunk my husband was…

He wouldn’t wake up so I just lay there…

I start thinking crazy thoughts…what did I do to cause this…why doesn’t he want me in a sexual way…and so many other things…then I thought through his activity that day and night – he was acting so into me until about a day prior and he only recently had been overly involved in his phone, like when I first caught him in his lies about his affair…his phone…

So I grabbed his phone because he was soo intoxicated; his code was easy to crack and then I saw all of it…even the text asking her if she would hide money from me for him.

That’s who I married. Scumbag.

Then the rage in me took over and I had to confront the issue right then.

I woke him up, with his phone in my hand, asked him about the texts, and he lunged at me. I’ve never been lunged at and he had quite the weight on me so he scared me and I ran toward our bathroom. He cornered me while I was hunched over, sitting on the floor, with his phone in my lap, all the while only trying to get his phone from me, and I had it in my lap as I was crunched down trying to avoid whatever was coming my way. His knee went so hard into my lower back that I peed on the floor because of the pressure he put on me.

I fought so hard. So very hard. No one will ever understand. I grabbed his balls and yanked and pulled and yanked some more and it still didn’t stop him. That’s what scared me more than anything in my life. Everything that I had always been taught was to go for the balls…well it didn’t work…he was too numb by the alcohol to stop.

He punched every part of me trying to get to that phone. I was able to get away from him and tried to make it into our ‘toilet room’ but I couldn’t get the door closed before he got there and he had me between the door and the wall and he just kept pressing the door into me and thus into the wall.

All he wanted was that darn phone and it didn’t matter to him how he got it.

And this was all in under a span of probably 10 minutes or less.

My terror…the end of my marriage…the person I knew I had to protect my kids from…

The person that was supposed to be my ‘person’ for the rest of my life just ruined my perception of the perfect guy.

He turned my house upside down…because I had gotten away from him with the phone…

I called his brother to get him to come and pick him up because the other solution was the police…

My husband told me that if I called the police that he would tell them that I had attacked him about the affair and would show them the marks on his arm…

…the marks on his arm were from lifting his brothers truck and putting bigger tires on the truck earlier that day…

…but he didn’t care…he didn’t want to go to jail because he had been there before because of alcohol…

…I was scared out of my mind because I had never been in this position before and my daughter was in the other room…would the police believe him or me?? would they take my daughter?? where would she end up??…

…so I didn’t call the police…stupidest thing I ever didn’t do…

…I let his brother take him out of my house and then the craziest thing happened…

…my soon-to-be-ex-husband called my parents and told them that I needed help…so at ‘too-early o’clock’ my parents show up at my door as I was reeling from just being beaten and left by my husband…

…I talk until I can’t make any more sense…they leave…I lay in bed until my daughter wakes up and then I pack my stuff…two weeks worth…because I had no idea what was happening to my life…

…I showed up to my parents house on fathers day and slept, slept the whole day almost…until I got a phone call from my soon-to-be-ex’s mom apologizing profusely over and over again for her son and his actions…and at the end asking that my relationship with her not end…now that I look back – she only called because she didn’t want to lose the second grandchild that she has because of her sons stupid actions – that she enables. She lost the other relationship for very similar reasons…

…a tiger doesn’t change their stripes…

I even received a text from my soon-to-be-ex’s brother telling me that he feels bad for everything that his brother put me through and then he acknowledged that the kids and I are the victims in the whole thing…

Two weeks later, I seemed to forget the abuse that I suffered at this mans hands….for heaven’s sake – he had me pinned.to.the.ground…why did I need a more clear realization as to who this person was?? But I realize now that I hadn’t been removed from the situation long enough to understand the monster that I am/was married to.

Instead I wanted to try to work through this…what was I thinking?? Why would I put myself through this again? Why would I expose an abusive man to the three people (my children) that I would lay my life down for?

I tried to convince all of us that we should work it out. Thank the lord, my soon-to-be-ex was too selfish and embarrassed to try to work it out. I’m thankful for his stupidity.

Looking back, I can only imagine how my father felt knowing and watching all that was happening to me. I am his first-born…his daughter…his duplicate…yet he never showed his anger in front of me even though I’m sure it was there – he only showed his compassion…because that’s who he is…an amazing man and father. I’m so lucky.

Yet, at the time, I didn’t want to believe that this was the person that I had married, that I had fallen madly in love with. The person that cried during our vows…that promised to love and cherish me forever…this was the same person that left bruises everywhere including on my ass…

I will never forget showering each day in my parents bathroom during that first week…they had this massive bathroom with mirrors everywhere and all I saw was what my husband had done to me. The marks he left. And I cried every day.

I rushed through every shower, every drying-off, just so that I didn’t have to see what my husband had done to me…and then I saw it…the hand print on my ass. I saw multiple fingerprints…I don’t even remember when he left those but all I know is that I was crushed when I realized he had hit every part of me – the front and back.

I was mad, scared, embarrassed, everything. I didn’t want to tell a soul yet I wanted to tell everyone…so I found a balance which was telling my family and six close friends and that’s it. I didn’t trust anyone…I still have struggles with trust and I probably will for a while but the one comfort that I know is that I am in control of who is in my life so while it may take a while, if you gain my trust – you’re probably an amazing friend and will be so for the rest of our lives.

I thought my life was over. My husband was gone. My sons step-dad was gone. My daughters father had basically admitted that he couldn’t be a committed adult for her.

But you know what….

…my life hasn’t been better.

I’m so thankful that my soon-to-be-ex has left. He has chosen someone that thinks it’s fun to cyber stalk me and stalk me around the rink where our kids play hockey, and video tape my children…

Yet with that said – I’ve never been more at peace than I am now. A toxic part of my life is gone and everyone of us can feel it. He recently went on vacation and it was amazing because it was a vacation for me too!-a vacation from hearing from him.

I never realized the toxicity that he was until he left…and life is amazing now and so much better.

I wish him all of the happiness in the world because right now it’s obvious he isn’t in that place and when he’s happy, my life will be easier also. Please pray for me, him, our daughter, and my boys.

BUT WITH ALL OF THAT SAID…

I have an amazing life with amazing people in it. My small circle showed me what love really is in the aftermath that my soon-to-be-ex left. My life is better without my soon-to-be-ex and in fact my relationship with my boys father is better now as well. Coincidence?? I think not.

To summarize my amazing life:

* I don’t need physically and emotionally destructive people in my life.
* I’m overly cautious about any person with a red flag similar to my ex’s…
* I am keeping my ‘circle’ small.
* I have taken huge, positive, steps toward improving the relationships in my life.
* My friends have stepped into my life in huge ways.
* My family has been there in even bigger ways.
* My kids are amazingly funny.
* Their funniness feeds off of each other.
* My boys father really isn’t as bad at I thought…annoying to me, yes…but not harmful.
* My daughter is two and doesn’t know when to speak up about her father’s blood alcohol level – I will always fight to make sure that she’s being taken care of safely.
* My daughter is perfect. My boys are perfect.
* That’s all I need.
* I WILL BE OK.
* I AM BETTER WITHOUT HIM.

Let me say…leaving an abusive relationship is sooooooooo much harder than it seems to those not in the relationship.

Until you have a clean, clear, extensive break – it’s hard to realize and deal with the garbage that the ‘bad guy (person)’ put into the relationship. But once you do…there is a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders and then all you have to do is…

FORGIVE A PERSON THAT ISN’T ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS.

I’m so thankful for who I’ve become, those that have helped me realize and remember who I am, and the strength that I’ve had to find within myself. I hope others can do the same, in their own time.

~Much love to all.

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and readership!
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5 steps to take when bouncing back from divorce

Divorce can destroy every shred of self esteem that you might have. Divorce is horrible, gut wrenching, expensive, and horrible (yes, I said that twice for impact). Every day can be a struggle to pick yourself up and brush yourself off but you have to do it, especially if you have kids, because they don’t care what mean thing your ex said to you last night – they just want their favorite shoes found ASAP!

You have to find it within yourself to function. Some days it’s harder than others but you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. If you don’t, it’s easy to slide backward into a pool of despair and depression.

Someone asked me recently how I keep my head above water during the craziness that I’m having to deal with. In all honesty, I don’t have a clue. Some days I feel like I’m going to drown and other days I feel like I’m enjoying a nice ride on a beautiful boat above the water. I just keep moving; I just keep swimming; I just keep smiling; I just keep focusing on what I do have instead of thinking about all of the bad stuff in my life right now.

There have been a few key things that I’ve found necessary to do each day in order to ‘jump out of the water and into my beautiful boat’ instead of drown. These are five ways that I’ve found help me to keep my head above water when I’m feeling like I might drown in the ‘Divorce Ocean’:

1. Fake it till you make it – and Smile…always. (you might have to fake the smile too)

This is probably the most important way to keep your head above water. Plaster that smile on your face, take a break from complaining about your ex every once in a while…trust me, your friends and family get it – your ex is a moron. Provide updates but no one wants to be around a debbie-downer that whines 24/7.

Some days, you’ll need to paint on a smile and pretend like all is good in the world. When you do this, you’ll realize that there really are good things happening all around you and the more you see the positive, the more positive that you’ll become. It’s basically a sales technique that you’re using on yourself.

And it works. The bigger the smile that you have, the more you’ll believe it and when you start believing it, you start believing in yourself and you can rebuild that self-confidence and then you won’t have to fake it any longer.

2. Wait 24 hours before responding.

This one I have yet to perfect but I’m getting there. I always have a hard time thinking of the perfect response to people that are rude or hateful, except for when it comes to my ex, E, and you’re probably the same way too. It’s because we know what will sting, we know what will hurt and because we’ve been hurt it’s easy to want to hurt them in return.

But it accomplishes nothing except probably make the situation worse.

My ex-sister-in-law gave me some of the best advice…wait 24 hours before I respond to my ex.

Unless your attorney tells you differently, there is likely nothing saying that you have to respond to your ex within a certain time frame. While I don’t adhere to this as much now as I used to, it was very powerful to do when I was at the point in the divorce when I was really angry. It forced me to calm down first and see his communication for what it really was, which was usually just to upset me. Now, I respond when I’m ready, when I’ve had the time to take a deep breath, remind myself how much better my life is without a loser in it, and deal with whatever the issue is.

And the icing on the cake, or at least it was for me, is that this was the last shred of control that I took from him. By not allowing him to draw me into his craziness and drama, I took back the control he had over me…and it feels amazing. He can no longer demand anything from me anymore. I only have to do what a judge signs off on and until that happens, I have pushed for everything to be done through the attorneys. And my life couldn’t be better. He can’t tell me when and where or how to do things anymore…and by the responses that I’ve seen lately, he doesn’t like the loss of power, which makes me feel that much stronger.

3. Find a ‘win’ each day.

My brother-in-law recommended that I do this early on in this divorce and it’s helped me focus on the positive in my life. I really do have so many good things happening in my life and in the kids lives which makes it hard to focus on the negative.

Even if your ‘win’ for the day is that you never had to raise your voice at the kids, or it’s that you were down a pound or that you didn’t get upset when your ex told you that he was going to show up at your son’s game and take your daughter, or that you got a job…find your ‘win’ each day. Small or big, it will help you put your left foot in front of your right and keep moving forward, in a positive direction.

4. Remember their flaws…and that you don’t have to deal with them anymore.

Each time that I see my ex, E, I smile. And it’s not because I think he’s hot (he’s not). I’m smiling because I’m imagining every flaw he has tattooed on his face for everyone to see.

It’s a reminder for me as to what someone else now has to deal with that I don’t. I don’t have to listen to E, whine about his family. I don’t have to listen to him complain that he has to actually work to make money, instead of having it handed to him. I don’t have to deal with his drinking. I don’t have to deal with his family that drinks all of the time. I don’t have to deal with his family’s violent tendencies. I don’t have to clean up after him anymore. I don’t have to pay for his life anymore. I don’t have to I don’t have to worry if he’s able to keep a job. I don’t have to deal with him. A.N.Y.M.O.R.E.

And for that I smile, when I see these flaws, and others, ‘written’ on his forehead, and I can get through a conversation with him.

5. Get moviSELRES_8d64a360-745b-49d2-ab43-cdd6e4aa398aSELRES_31bb2481-6764-498e-a48b-412e81d7f0e4SELRES_31bb2481-6764-498e-a48b-412e81d7f0e4SELRES_8d64a360-745b-49d2-ab43-cdd6e4aa398ang. Make things happen. Get out of the house.

Do anything except for ‘sitting in your own stink’. My parents used to say this to me, when I was a kid, to basically tell me that I needed to function more than stay in the house all day. During divorce you can’t ‘sit in your own stink’. It’s too easy to replay everything in your head and become depressed…and life like that is just no fun.

Instead, get a job, go workout, go for a walk, visit the kids at school, have lunch with a friend, sit at the local coffee shop and journal…just get out of the house, for more than 10 minutes. Smell the fresh air, people watch, spend time with other people talking about other things happening in your life and find out what is new in their life…you’ll soon realize how much good is out there waiting for you to experience all of it. And you’ll be able to put your divorce in perspective and realize just how manageable it really is.

Keep smiling and keep swimming…you’ll get through this, I promise!

 

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it but the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website. Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. Thank you for your trust and readership!

toxic mil’s

Think you’re alone in having an anxiety attack before your MIL arrives to town?? You’re not. There’s thousands of us out there and, I swear to you with everything that I have, I refuse to become that person when my boys marry.

Right in front of your face.

Why is it so hard to face facts when it comes to emotional connections? Why does the heart tell you different things than what your brain says?

My heart and my brain play this tug of war every day and some days one wins and I’m not an emotional mess and some days the other wins and I keep asking myself, “Why me?”. It’s tough. I’m just thankful that my brain is usually the one that wins out and my heart has been winning less often lately.

Then there’s days like August 21…his birthday.

My Irish Idiot’s birthday.

It stung so much that we weren’t celebrating together. I had a huge party in the planning stages before I found out that he cheated on me. I missed him so much, even though my brain told me that he doesn’t deserve even one tear. But my heart won on this day.

I’m not quite sure why I am in the place that I’m in, considering that I’ve done nothing to deserve being deserted, cheated on and lied to, and more, by my Irish Idiot and his sad family, especially considering I took a cheating husband back after I found out what he had done and wanted to move toward repairing our marriage.

It’s right in front of my face that I should shut these toxic people out of my life immediately, yet in my heart of hearts, I just want my husband back. The husband that was here before his toxic family came to town. It’s a battle between my heart and my brain, continually, and probably will be until I start to see some justice for what he’s done to me and the kids.

All about ‘ME’.

My soon-to-be-ex continues to not take responsibility for his actions and none of his family has shown one ounce of care toward the situation that their son/brother has put me in. All they care about is how this will affect them…how often they will see MY daughter…how much my Irish Idiot will have to pay me (aka his mother because they can’t stand on their own two feet). No one can look at this from a place of clear perspective to really reflect upon what’s happened and who’s been hurt by them, including innocent children.

Reality…unfortunately.

But…I guess that’s who they are. That’s who his mom raised…must be the morals that she has because they all act in the same manner toward women and she was the parent that was the main influence in their lives. Her kids, that have been so reckless with their lives (excluding the one that wants nothing to do with the older three) that they have destroyed others emotionally, financially and otherwise, and they don’t care. They show no remorse. They treat me as though I shouldn’t be upset. And if anyone has a right to be upset right now, it’s me.

But I’m treated as though I should be as emotionless as they are. That I should be able to walk away from the love of my life with ease. Sorry – YOU (In-Laws), you are the ones that are not normal. It’s not normal to rip someone’s life apart and then blame them for it.

It’s sad what this woman has done to these men that are now almost all in their 40’s (or darn close to it). If I had three children that couldn’t take care of themselves and couldn’t hold steady relationships or jobs, I would cry myself to sleep and question what I had done wrong.

But not my special MIL.

Nope…she has only said sorry to me once for her sons actions and it’s because she knows how much he messed up that night and she didn’t want to lose the second relationship (out of two) with a grandchild, because her sons are emotionally destructive to themselves and others.

And now, instead of doing what anyone else would consider as ‘the right thing’ to do, by trying to avoid destroying a woman, that has already been destroyed enough by her own son, that did so much for her son, she’s chosen a dark path…the unjust path. The path to help her son get what she thinks he deserves…only what SHE wants. She’s just as selfish as the boys she has raised. And just as big of a bully because she thinks she can bully her way into her granddaughters life by paying enough to an attorney to try to shut her own granddaughters mother out.

What you should have done, if you cared enough about your granddaughter, was to shake your son into his right mind, kick him out of your house, make him stand on his own two feet, force him to realize that when a man marries a woman, the new wife is more important than the mother, and tell him that he needs to fix what he’s done wrong. Because it’s the right thing to do. Because that’s what the little redhead needs. Refuse to allow a third son to become another ’emotional-support-child’ to help you through life.

But then again…not my special MIL.

None of that was ever done. Nope – she told me in the middle of my drama that they don’t talk about things. No one discusses issues. Heartfelt, deep, meaningful, conversations are never had. So why do I think that things would be different for my situation?? Because I thought she cared. Because she told me that she loved me, cared about me…all empty statements. Because I thought that she loved her granddaughter enough to step outside of herself and tell her son that he needed to fix this, for her granddaughter.

History has a way of repeating itself though. I don’t know a ton of details because they always glossed over everything (and that should have been a big clue to me) but they were the ‘victims’ of losing the first granddaughter apparently. According to them, the relationship is strained because of every reason that the other ex-wife has done. Not them. They’ve done nothing wrong, if you ask them. Nothing. I can only imagine that will be the same story that they tell about me in 10 years. “Poor, poor Erik. Staci’s so horrible.”

Never willing to take responsibility for their actions. It’s really sad.

Word to the wise to whoever the next McDonnell wife is…good luck. You’re truly on your own. They change afterward. They’ll give you a month, maybe two. Then they expect you to become their mom…someone who is emotionless, someone that knows that he treats women with disrespect but is expected to suck it up ‘like mom did’, and someone that will always take a backseat to the MIL…you’ll always be second.

If I knew what I now know, I honestly don’t think that I would have lasted six months into the dating relationship.

…AND there…

…you have read the emotions behind a divorce, just a small snapshot of what one feels on a daily, sometimes less, basis. It’s draining. It’s not fun. This is what you do in your spare time (9:00 pm – bedtime) thinking about because you’re raising little ones in the meantime.

I’m just thankful that this is the first that I’ve felt this emotion in weeks. It just means that I’m realizing who I was married to, who the family is, who they really are, and who I’m now embarrassed to say that I share a last name with.

I’ve started to accept that I was married to a man that I was deeply in love with but that he was more deeply in love with himself and his mother than me. I know this sounds sick but I’m really not trying to turn this in that direction. It’s just that it’s a weird…really weird…situation. Someone that leans on his own mother at 39 years old more than his own wife…that is weird…and all she did was encourage this behavior.

This stuff called ‘extended family’ is tough. If you can honestly say ‘I love her like my own mother’, please understand that you have a special relationship with your mother-in-law. From two marriages, I’ve learned that boys have a hard time leaving their mothers. And I think that this is caused, this feeling of guilt (or whatever it is), is drilled into them from birth. I have yet to have a man in my life, (other than my father and brother in law) that has truly ‘left’ the umbilical cord at home and can stand on their own two feet. When I do, that’s when I’ll truly know that I’ve found a man instead of a boy.

At this point, I can only use what I’ve experienced to enrich my sons lives, the good and bad. I’ll help them to grow to be good men, with great ethics and outstanding morals.