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!

the power of a word

If I’ve ever talked to you in detail about my blog, one of the things that I’ve told you is that I try to write my posts as much in advance as possible. I may edit it later, a little, based on any new events that have occurred but for the most part I try to have them written in advance so that I’m able to focus on as many other things as possible.

One of the other things that I do, when I have them written in advance, is read them and reread them and mull over whether or not to have them go live. I think through the weight of every word that I type over and over and sometimes I feel that I’ve been too rough on my ex and his family and sometimes I don’t.

My intent behind this blog is to be ‘real’ about what I’m going through, or have gone through, with the hope that something will strike a cord with someone or something will be helpful or motivational.

The thing that really stinks is that I’m sharing a lot of deep, emotional moments that, in reality, are much worse…I’ve just decided not to take it as far as I could.

Putting it all out there

Social media can be your best friend or your #1 enemy. To cope with the garbage that I’m being put through, I’ve decided to be as transparent as possible via social media/my blog. Some may see it as me airing my dirty laundry; some may see it as pathetic; some may see it as a cry for attention; or some may see it as a source of strength because they don’t feel so alone in their journey.

So far, I’ve received nothing but positive feedback, except from my soon-to-be-ex because in his family, you hide the ‘crazy’ which is how his mother has been able to hide all of the faults that these boys have. They aren’t used to this thing called the internet and the freedom of speech. I’ve never once lied about anything in my posts and the posts generally focus on how I’m feeling, which is a very personal thing.

I don’t know how they feel when they read my blog and it probably doesn’t feel good…it probably hurts to read how their actions have caused another person to be in emotional pain. But then again, I’ve blocked them and all of their family from every avenue of social media that I’m on so if they are reading my blog, it means that they are actively seeking out my words…the words that my ex says hurts. If it bothers them, they can just avoid reading it. It’s as simple as that.

The one thing that I’ve done is avoid making fun of physical traits or making false statements about them, knowing that one – it could be challenged in court and two – my kids may read this one day. I want them to see that I was able to pull myself out of a very painful place and was able to replace desperation with confidence and joy. I’m not perfect, I know this, and you may be able to think of one of my particular posts off of the top of your head when you think I didn’t hit this goal, but I’m trying really hard.

Recently though, I was shown the down side to being so public with my feelings. I was told that I was a ‘fat ass’ by someone that makes her living off of training women to get into shape. In addition, I was told that I was pathetic, insecure and a bad mom. And I’ve never met this woman. And this woman is dating my husband, or so I believe (in other words, she hasn’t denied it and he denied he even knew her at first).

Now I have to be honest, I did take a stab. I’m not proud of it. I’ve lost the love of my life. I walked away from a career that paid for everything, including my husband’s life (which she also made fun of). I AM insecure sometimes because I am not where I thought I would be in life. I would like to lose weight. And I would like to have not taken the first shot. But I did and then the ‘crazy’ came out.

What I intended to be as a warning to another mother about the dangers of having a child (that my kids play hockey with) in my ex’s family’s presence and about what she was getting herself into, which I shouldn’t have done, spiraled into a woman that enjoyed body-shaming and ability-shaming another mother that does a darn good job being an awesome mom to three kids. She was so intense with her attacks on me, I had to block her from one social media outlet, so she jumped to another and I had to block her there too. I can’t even read what she wrote because the first two that I read were vicious and she went to a whole new level of bizarre.

This is all while I’m laying next to my daughter that is sick and she kept sitting up listening to the dinging from the notifications on my phone that didn’t stop until after midnight (and it continued even when I ignored it).

I should have kept my mouth shut. I didn’t need to say a word. Yet what ensued could have been enough to push someone over the edge. She was brutal.

The Silver Lining

It dawned on me tonight, that someone that had friend requested me a few weeks ago, was this woman in disguise. She apparently is so enamored with my husband that she friend requested me from an account that was a little fishy to begin with. This person’s request came to me with a request to talk about her tough divorce which pulled on my heart strings. I just wanted to help.

But now, because of the fact that I had to go to every social media outlet that I’m connected to in order to block her, I put two and two together, who this person really was. I’m not sure if I’m disgusted more by her or by him.

The interesting part is that I really haven’t hidden anything from anyone. If you’ve read more than two of my blog posts, you’ve figured out that I’m pretty open with my life and how I’m feeling and if I run into you, you’ll find out that you can ask me anything and it won’t bother me. I don’t think there’s much more to my personal social media than my public social media.

Lesson Learned

Some lessons I’ve learned from this:

* Shut your mouth. The new love in their lives believes every lie that they ever told you and that you believed. There’s no changing their thoughts and they just want to be in love.

* Your ex will repeat every darn mistake he/she ever made with you, unless they’ve done some really amazing soul searching. Just sit back and wait. They may seem ‘in love’ now but you’ll be able to smirk one day when old habits shine through.

* Be careful with your words. For every handful of kind people that you run across on social media, there will always be that one that will hit you to your core. Be prepared for this ahead of time and either have something motivational to read or a friend to contact like I was able to do. Talk yourself through it and rise above it.

* Be prepared that five days out of seven, you’ll feel on top of the world. You’ll feel that you’ve moved past the pain. And then something will trigger a memory that will make you sad, long for the past, or angry. You’ll get through this moment, this memory. Focus on the reasons that you’re glad that your life has taken this new turn. Focus on the terrible things that your ex has done and why you’re glad you don’t have to deal with it anymore. Exercise, sing, dance, call a friend, just don’t sit and stew in it.

* Don’t beat yourself up for not being who other people think you should be or where other people feel you should be in your coping process. Cope cleanly, not quickly. Cope in your time, just make sure that you are putting one foot in front of the other. If you cope too quickly, you may not have enough time to fully process the ‘death of your marriage’.

* If someone makes fun of you or digs deep to try to hurt you, it’s obvious that they have just as many issues that they are working through. In my case, I saw that she was just as insecure as I am when she couldn’t stand not having the last word…she apparently needed to know that she had stung me in order to feel better about herself because of all of the attempts that she made to seek out trying to contact me after I kept shutting her down each time.

This realization makes me sad because she could potentially be in my daughter’s life…someone that thinks its fun to destroy a woman in every obvious soft area – our parenting skills (we’re all paranoid that we’re not doing it right), our appearance, and our careers. It breaks my heart that she’s around women struggling with some of these same issues on a daily basis at the gym she works at – I really hope she’s not destroying them too. But I know that this relationship won’t last either and I have to hold on to that.

And finally, I just want to repeat again…just shut up. Don’t open your mouth and take that dig that you probably have the perfect opportunity to take. It won’t feel good afterward and you never know what the response will be. It’s just not worth it. Weigh out every word that you share unless you want to tell me how wonderful I am – feel free to dish that out. 🙂

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 viewership!

who i was meant to be with

17.

Seventeen years ago I met a man that I agreed to marry.

I can honestly say that I was too young to get married at age 24…maybe I should say I was too immature. But who’s to say who’s mature and who’s immature at that age because from the outside looking in, I had it all going for me in the ‘maturity department’. I had a dream, full-time job that I loved and that paid for our lives (his income was extra). I owned my own home. I had a car almost paid off. I had little debt. BUT looking back, I never should have been given the ‘license to get married’.

My parents marriage looked easy…but only because I focused on the marriage that I remembered from about age 13 and on…and by that age they had been married for 18 years and at that point married couples tend to have an ‘ebb and flow’. I thought my marriage would be easy, or at least easier than what I went through.

But then you add in-laws (that aren’t easy – really tortuous) and then add in disease within your own family, throw in a dose of kids and a spouse that didn’t add physically what he didn’t add financially and then you have a whole lot of resentment.

And I had no idea how to deal with it. And to be honest, I can clear my conscience by saying that because of the disease, there is nothing that I could have done (and we tried a lot of things) that could have saved my first marriage.

A New(ish) Love.

Then a rekindling of a romance that was older than my first marriage started after I filed for divorce from my first husband and it was on! The butterflies, the sweet-talk, the hours of conversation, the romantic texts, the first time that anyone said ‘I love you’, the late night calls, the calls just to say ‘I love you’, the excitement before you see them the weekend that you don’t have the kids, the giddiness in choosing the perfect outfit…the excitement of a new love.

I had never felt it like I did with Erik. We would text all night…he would call me in the middle of the night when a rough night as an EMT happened, I would call to get his advice about how to fix something on my car, we would make each other laugh about the stupid things his brothers had done or why my boys would decide to stay up talking about Power Rangers for an hour after I told them to go to sleep.

Erik got me, understood me, we made each other laugh, we were there for each other when we needed to cry. When his dad decided to haunt me (he passed away in 2008), he would tell me how to stop the ‘haunting’; when I needed to give him another perspective other than the “I’m going to throw my gloves down and fight” perspective, he would call me. When I had a late flight home, I knew I could call him and he’d pick up, because he was working late too. He had faith in my skills and gave me the leeway to grow his business and I did it to great heights. We both love country music, we both understand that it’s fun to sit on the patio, around the fire pit and do nothing else…just sit. I didn’t have to fill empty air with him – he understood me. We were great.

Then…no new(ish) love.

Until we weren’t. Until he thought that the grass was greener on the other side.

Now his ‘perfect’ life is defined as living with his felon-brother and complaining non-stop about how much he has to work. Poor guy – he left a great life with a capable wife to live with his brother and be under his mother’s control because she has the money (or at least used to). Can you hear the sarcasm in my words?? 🙂

With all of that said, I still honestly believe that I was meant to be with this man. Maybe I feel that way because I am still so close to the situation, but if his family weren’t influencing him, I truly believe that we would still have a chance.

But then reality sets in. He doesn’t deserve what he threw away. He doesn’t deserve a marriage worth working for because he doesn’t have the guts and strength to fight for love or for someone that gave her all. He doesn’t deserve kids that loved him so much that it’s now painful for them to see him, that he has scarred them. He doesn’t deserve a life with me. He doesn’t deserve me.

For heaven’s sake, he didn’t even offer any help during the prep for Hurricane Irma or the cleanup after Hurricane Irma. I had to ask him for help to move the piece of junk Jeep that I bought and he was ‘improving’ so that I could get my car in the garage. Stand-up guy, right?!?

But that’s not who I was with for years before his family moved to town. I was with a man that was suited to be an EMT, a man that cared so much about people and how they were feeling, how they were doing, that it scarred him to see people in such distress one night after a car accident that he responded to, that he wasn’t sure he could continue in this field. I even pushed him to go back to school to become a nurse because he was that perfectly suited to be in that field. He was just that caring and had such a huge heart for others.

Within one or two months after his mom and brothers moved to town, he forgot who he was without them. He changed his whole persona to please them and meet the view that they had of him…to make his mommy happy, not his wife. He threw me to the wayside.

Stinks that he chose his mom and his adulterous life over his own wife and kids.

My New Love Life…whenever that happens…

It’s going to be hard to start dating again, because right now, I still believe he is the man I was supposed to be with for the rest of my life. Twelve months from now I may tell you something different but until then it still hurts to not walk hand in hand down the sidewalk of life with him. It’s still painful to plan for the future without him. But I have to and I have to keep moving.

Thankfully, God has given me so many wonderful things to focus on. I can’t even begin to tell you the strength he has given me through amazing people in my life. From my family, to my extended blood-related family, to my hockey family, to my work friends, to my oldest friends, to my best friends, to my neighbors and to my new friends that I’ve found during this tough time, God has shown me that my life is truly rich, no matter what the balance in my bank account is.

My ‘Staci 3.0’ has truly shown me who I was meant to be with, God and Me. And that’s it. If others want to join me on my journey, then join but this is my journey to own and enjoy. Jump on when you want and jump off when you want – that’s your choice. All I know is that I’m on this roller coaster ride whether I like it or not so I’ve decided to enjoy the dips, the climbs, the fast downs, the spins, the upside down loops…all because I know I’m on it for the thrill and that my God will keep me safely in my seat. When he’s ready for it to come to a stop and he wants to show me what’s at the end of the ride, I’ll be there but until then, I’ll just sit back and relax (or at least try to).

And until then, I’ll just enjoy being with me – the person I was meant to be with for the rest of my life.