two lessons i’ve learned during the ‘big d’ #2

Almost 12 months ago, I found out that my ex was cheating on me and at the time, I felt like the world stopped and wouldn’t start again. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t figure out what to do, I couldn’t see what was really standing in front of me – a pathetic excuse for a man.

Today though, I see this man in a slightly different light. I’m actually thankful that he did what he did. I hate his actions and choices and don’t condone them but I have chosen to forgive him for things he did to me and for how his actions affected my kids. I can’t say that I don’t have moments where I have to talk myself down from huge amounts of anger that I have toward his continued poor choices, but I’ve had to make the decision to let God deal with him and also to make the choice to allow God to grow positive things in my life by just letting a lot of things go. (And please don’t think that it’s easy to do this…I have to make a conscious decision to do this every darn day.)

And what a difference 12 months can make.

life lessons during divorce_for blog post

Lesson #1: I had to grow my little Mommy and Me Gang.

My kids have grown so much, emotionally, in a positive way. I didn’t fully realize the negative impact my soon-to-be-ex really had on them and shame on me for not realizing it. I’ve really beaten myself up over some of the things that they’ve shared with me now, that they felt they just ‘had to deal with’ because they knew I loved their stepdad.

Now though, my little family of four is so solid and I can honestly say that had I been with my ex still, I think my family-unit with my three kids would have suffered even more because they were silently struggling with my ex. Now that he’s gone, I’ve watched my second son really open up to me about everything that he’s feeling because he feels supported and heard; I’ve watched my oldest son learn empathy, sympathy, and how to care for others; and my little lady…well, she’s learning how to drive her brothers insane but that’s what two-year old little sisters are supposed to do.

I’ve learned how to connect with them and we have this weird gang-like mentality – that to get past one of us, you have to get past all of us. And without my ex making his poor choices, I wouldn’t have had that. I didn’t have this before my ex and I got together but I’ve had the last 10-12 months to build that relationship and it’s the most incredible experience. They are fully aware that they come first, before any man in my life, or anything else.

As my best friend told me a looooong time ago, give yourself time, if you’re getting divorced, to build a bond with your kids that is impenetrable. I didn’t…I thought I had, but I didn’t give it enough time before being in a serious relationship and it prevented me from seeing exactly what they were experiencing because we weren’t impenetrable yet and they just wanted me to be happy so they avoided sharing how they were feeling about my ex…sadly, I don’t think that they felt that they had a choice. Today, they know that they get to pull the kill-switch if they have issues with someone that I am dating.

My advice – wait until you are on solid ground with the kiddos before you introduce a serious relationship to the kids. I would even recommend waiting until your relationship is solid with your kids before jumping into a serious relationship yourself.

Lesson #2: Don’t expect your relationships to change until you change your habits.

Basically, if you don’t change anything, you’ll find yourself in the same types of relationships over and over and over…until you change something.

I like to serve others and make them happy. It’s who I am and it makes me happy to know that I was the one that put a smile on someone else’s face. The only problem with that is that I’ve only focused on being the support for someone else I’m in a relationship with instead of making sure that my needs were also being met. In a way – I needed to learn how to serve myself.

About nine months before I found out that my ex had been cheating on me, I left my job, my career, of 17 years so that I could help him with his business and support our household needs while he built his business. While it was the dumbest decision I could have agreed to, in the end I think I may end up thanking him. I’m working my tail off to build my own business so that I can create and maintain the same lifestyle that my kids have always been used to and so that I get to use my brain every day doing the things that I love – being creative and being there for them as their mother and support system.

Had I not left my job, I wouldn’t have been in a situation that forced me out of my comfort zone to create my own little world in which I allowed myself to fully do things my way. I had to make myself become a little selfish and to choose to do things that I’ve always wanted to do but was never given the chance to do because my spouse didn’t want to do them…like make my kids Matzo Ball soup whenever they wanted or choose a restaurant other than Ale House if I was going out to eat for dinner. (It’s the little things that make me happy.)

I’ve really had to self-reflect over and over and truly learn what I’m worth and how strong I really can be and I’ve learned how to serve myself. It may sound extremely selfish but I needed to be forced to do that because otherwise, I likely would end up with another man that took and took and took from me, because I like to serve, without the guy giving back to me or serving me. And I’m not high-maintenance…I promise. I don’t expect much more than thoughtful attention, learning my coffee order, and giving me the time I need to watch any of The Real Housewives.

And then…

…when I least expected it, someone really important entered in my life. And because I was more solid within my own expectations of myself and my behavior, I knew what I was willing to allow into my life and into my kids lives and how much I would allow myself to serve without being served in return.

The beginning of a new relationship is fun and exciting and you want to do everything for that person to not only impress them but to make them happy. My fatal flaw in relationships is that I have always misinterpreted the happiness that I feel, after serving someone, as happiness, that the person I’m with, is returning to me.

The reality is that the happiness that I felt in past relationships, in the beginning, I had created on my own and that’s not healthy. You should be with someone that gives as much as you give.

And with this guy, I have this. Had I not learned to focus on making myself a priority and how to appreciate ‘how I’m wired’, I could easily have gotten lost in a new relationship. I appreciate my quirks now and won’t let myself be in a relationship unless that person appreciates them as well.

Thanks to my ex, I was forced to take a hard look at myself and the personality traits (from the people I was with) that I had been allowing in my life. I wasn’t questioning myself about what I had done wrong in my marriage, because no one should take blame for my divorce except the cheater and abuser, but I was quizzing myself about the type of person I would ever again allow in my life or my kids lives. And I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process.

My advice – reflect upon your past in order to know what behavior contributed to the divorce and then work your tail off in order to not repeat that behavior, whether that is allowing it in your life or determining that it’s your behavior that needs to change.

The key, though, is to give yourself time to make these changes and not to rush things or allow others to tell you what your timeline should be. You’ll know when you are ready for your next step in life.

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!
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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!

my next chapter – the intro

“God only gives you as much as you can handle.”

We all know the phrase, “God only gives you as much as you can handle.” I truly feel that this is such a falsehood to believe on so many levels.

Here me out.

I recently sent an email to my divorce attorneys telling them whether or not I was willing to accept the pathetic excuse of documentation that my soon-to-be-ex submitted and go to mediation or pursue the documentation further. I put a lot of thought into the email and by the end of it, I realized just how tired of this garbage I truly am. He’s exhausted me and I just want out. I just want to be done with him and be done with this marriage.

Reflecting over the past year, I realize that I have been through some tough stuff…some horrible garbage, and I’m kind of proud of myself for still having a smile on my face each day.

So to my point – God didn’t turn and look at me one day and say, “I think I’m going to put Staci through misery and make her experience horrible things from her husband because there’s some lesson I want her to learn and because I know she can handle it.” Heck no. God didn’t purposely dish this {insert poop emoji} out to me.

Through my beliefs, I know that God knew what my husband would do to me this year but I truly believe that he looked at me and said, “someone in your life is going to make some bad choices that will negatively affect you and the kids, but I will make you tough enough and I will be there for you through each step and I’ll help you make lemonade out of lemons.”

I think that the phrase should be changed from “God only gives you as much as you can handle” to “God will give you enough strength to handle what is happening in your life.” God isn’t punishing me for something…he’s helping me through something that a bad person chose to do to me and the kids. And in that knowledge I can take comfort.

I’m so thankful for my faith because without it, I honestly think I would be in a deep, deep depression. But instead, the kids are thriving, I have the hope of love again one day whenever I’m ready for a relationship, life is actually better now than when we were together, and I’m almost financially back on my feet. I can feel how close I am…

The Start of my Next Chapter

The career that I left, multifamily property management, to help my husband market his business, was a rare find and was in a unique niche…one that is hard to find, for the most part, unless you are able to move to the northeast, Texas, or the west coast and I am not able to move, for family reasons. So my hunt for a new, permanent, career has been tough. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been told, “You’re overqualified” or the advice I’ve been given, “dumb down your resume” – both of these are just as heart wrenching as being rejected for a job that you really wanted.

Taking brave steps

So while I’m still searching for the perfect fit for me and the kids, I’ve started working on something that I dabbled with when I left my career – my own consulting business.

My heart belongs in marketing and working with people and I’ve come to master the art of diagnosing customer service issues as well as having a thorough understanding of increasing a small business’ marketing footprint online. And while I love to offer advice and tell people what they can be doing better, I’ve realized that it’s somewhat challenging to market my own business so this is my newest goal – the intro to ‘my next chapter’ so-to-speak.

Blogging has helped me hone my digital marketing skills and truly opened my eyes to the vast number of people out there trying to do the same thing that I’m trying to do – balance the kids and home-life with a job to be financially beneficial to everyone.

Marketing a new business is tough…sometimes marketing an existing business is tough…and not in the respect that it’s hard to understand how to do, but if there isn’t a marketing plan in place or the time present, the marketing avenues that someone has in front of them can be extremely overwhelming. Not only do you have to create the product for your customers to buy, you have to find the customers and share what you are selling to the world.

That is what can be overwhelming and where I’m trying to step in to help those that would rather focus on designing kids clothes, writing their novel, creating a relaxing environment for their clients in their new salon, or want to draw customers into their brand new restaurant. They get to create their product and offer their services and I get to help them refine techniques currently in place, within their business, so that once we find the customers the business is ready for them. Then I get to help find their customers through social media and their online presence as well as provide tips to ‘market-on-foot’ (more traditional avenues).

So while I try to figure out what my future career path is and what will fully support my newly defined ‘Fab-Four’, I’m working toward helping others…Helping others reach new heights with their business. (And it may help me reach my dream of working for myself for the years to come.)

Should you know anyone that is struggling with marketing their business, send them my way. I will forever owe you one!

Contact Take Charge Marketing!

Take Charge Marketing (click to go to the website)
Email: takechargemarketing2016@gmail.com

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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!

all i want for christmas is my divorce

I have a unique perspective with this divorce because I’ve been through this before. While I’m on the other side of the table this time, and never wanted this divorce and even took a cheating husband back, I still know what is involved emotionally, financially and legally through this process. I absolutely HATE that I know all of this, but this is my reality.

My husband is making very poor choices through this divorce process and is being ill-advised, and where ever that advice is coming from, this process has been made doubly difficult because of it, simply because he won’t just stand behind his own feelings and he relies too often on everyone else’s opinions.

Whereas you would think that I would be the one making things challenging, he is the one that can’t turn anything in on time (literally months behind me) and continues to fight agreeing to a timesharing agreement for my daughter all because he refuses to not drink for four days per month.

I just don’t get it.

You would think that he was the one fighting the divorce rather than the one that started this process based on the issues that he is drawing into this. He was the one that cheated, he was the one that left bruises, he was the one that ran away, he was the one that filed for divorce.

With that said, I’ve written an open-ended letter to my soon-to-be-ex, not necessarily hoping that he’ll read it, but rather that others that are going through a divorce or considering divorce, won’t make the same mistakes that he is making.

Dear You-Know-Who,

I loved you with everything that I had. I even loved you after I found out that you had ‘fallen deeply in love’ with a woman that has no issue joining in to ruin a family and even after you did things to me that I have yet to be able to utter to another soul. I should have seen your character in choosing such a person to be with, but I didn’t, because I was blinded by my love for you.

Now though, I have seen another side, a nasty, disgusting side that saddens me.

I can’t believe that I ever fell for you. If I knew then what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have stayed very long. How you only care about money and how much everyone else can give to you without you having to work hard for it, is sad and I really hope that our daughter learns her work ethic from me and not your family. Trying to find a shortcut does nothing but prolong the inevitable of having to really work hard for what you have.

Which brings me to the point of this letter.

You were the one that wanted this divorce…do you remember? Do you remember me asking for more counseling and you laughing at me? Do you remember being so cold and heartless? I remember every word you said, every action you took, every heartless thing you’ve done.

After some of the things that you’ve chosen to do, say or participate in, I’ve lost all respect for you, and to me, that is so much worse than if I only hated you.

I just want you to stand on your own two feet…to follow through with the things that we talk about when it’s just us talking. But then your family, throws their bad advice in the mix and you back out of what you had previously agreed to – and the things that we had agreed upon were in the best interests of our daughter and it would have ended this bitterness so much faster.

For some reason, you can’t see how selfish your family is being. They don’t want the best for you – they want the best for them.

Stand up for what YOU know is right…stand up for what YOU think is worth it…stand up for what YOU know will end this battle. Stop letting others influence your decisions. YOU are the only one that has to live with me in your life for at least the next 16 years. YOU are the only one that can stop the madness. YOU are the only one that can lead this to a calm resolution because YOU are the one that started this process.

Your family only wants you for themselves – all for what you can do for them, the things you can fix, the business that you started that they can take over and tell you how to run, to share the daughter that we are raising. And you fail to see that they are so selfish that they continue to feed your delusions of right and wrong, so that you can maintain the ‘victim’ mentality, when you were the one that made all of these poor decisions.

And now…now you want the courts to feel sorry for you too. You’ve painted such a sad picture of your life and financial outlook yet we both know that I’ll be able to poke tons of holes through all of it.

I have advice for you and I hope you listen, because I’ve been through this before. You seem to be using a ton of energy on things that don’t matter. Every decision that you make needs to be something that you want, not that someone else is advising you that you should want. The anger that you expend each time that you don’t hear what you want to hear isn’t worth it and in the end will be for nothing.

Zero-Emotion Divorce: Thanks Florida.

The divorce process in Florida has become so clinical that you really need to have every T crossed and every I dotted if you want to claim something that I paid for four years ago (aka my vehicle, amongst other things), should be half yours. I recommend that you really ask yourself if it’s worth it to argue that the things that I paid for prior to our marriage should be yours.

If you notice, I skipped all of that nonsense, because it’s not worth it. I just want out of this marriage at this point, with each of us getting what we walked in with, splitting the marital assets, and what we decide is financially fair considering I left a 17-year career to support you less than 12 months before you walked out on me, and I just want to know that my daughter will be safe when she is with you.

And that’s it. If we could come to a conclusion on those things, it could be over. It’s all I want for Christmas.

You were the one that wanted out but you’re fighting so much for stuff that I paid for…is that all I was to you – a dollar sign? You’re very unlikely to win so the fact that you are fighting so hard for ‘things’ is beyond me. Use this energy for building your business instead of going after things that you’ve never had the right to claim as yours.

Work with me to end this, not against me. It seems that your pride is getting in the way and you are letting others influence your decisions instead of just standing on your own two feet and making a decision that will end this quickly and in the best interest of our daughter.

You’re wanting to battle over the most ridiculous things…harder than fighting for your daughter or building your business/finding a job that would provide you with a schedule that would allow you to spend more time with her. But instead you want to do everything you can to try to hurt me. Well, in case you didn’t know, you’ve already achieved that…you can stop trying now because you are now irrelevant to my life.

I’ve moved on with my life and just want this done. Clear your head and really ask yourself if this battle, that you are creating, is really worth it. Will it do anything but prolong what you’ve wanted all along? Will it do anything to build our relationship as adults that are trying to raise a daughter together? Will you be setting an example that you’ll be proud of your daughter watching?

More advice is just to do what’s right from the beginning. It will cost A LOT less and end A LOT sooner, if you can put aside your emotion, pride and greed and seek out a resolution instead of causing more issues each week.

The reason that I can offer all of this advice is because I’ve been in your shoes before. Although, I wasn’t fighting to take money from the man that I was divorcing. I wasn’t lying about my income or assets that I had. In the end, my ex and I came to an agreement on both our ‘stuff’ and our parenting plan because we both just put aside our anger and we put it all out there and came to an agreement that best suited the boys and settled the issues with our ‘stuff’.

And if I had done that sooner, the divorce decree could have been signed sooner.

Pride gets in the way so often, but, you can make the choice to set it aside and realize that divorce is a horrible thing and no one will get exactly what they want but there has to be some kind of resolution. If both parties can be honest and calm and make decisions that are ethical and fair, the process can fly by much faster and MUCH cheaper.

So with that said, you may take my advice, and you may not, but just know I’ve done this before and I can offer advice based on what I did wrong so that both of us can walk away sooner from this disaster of a marriage.

Clear your head, have a cup of coffee instead of a beer and then get to work asking yourself, ‘is it really worth it to fight for the shell of a Jeep in the garage that she paid for?”.  Life really can be that simple as soon as you realize that ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter, only souls, and our daughters’ is magical and pure and doesn’t need to be put through all of the ‘garbage’.

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!

my mother is my hero

Each year, months are designated to support different types of cancer to raise awareness and funding for research.

My two favorites are September and October.

September focuses on Childhood Cancers, some of the most underfunded cancers that need more attention and financial support. October focuses on Breast Cancer awareness, which receives a ton of attention and millions and billions of dollars in funding. It hasn’t always been that way and I’m hoping that with the increased attention that Childhood Cancer has been getting in recent years that one day we can say that Childhood Cancer and Breast Cancer BOTH receive millions and billions of dollars in funding each year.

Until then I’ll keep promoting both.

It’s Personal.

What I CAN say is that Breast Cancer is a personal issue for me…really for my mother.

I will never forget getting the phone call from my dad to tell me that my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It wasn’t something readily discussed 17 years ago so it was not only a shock to my emotions but also to my brain. What was this? What caused this? What will this mean for my mom? For my parents? Will she live? How are the different stages defined? What kind of breast cancer is this? What will my mom go through? What will my dad go through? Will my sister and I get this too? There’s how many types of breast cancer??

A lot to digest. A lot to understand. But I wasn’t the one that went through this. My mother was. She was the one that had to fight this disease and beat it.

When I heard.

I had just turned 20. I had just moved out and was living in my first apartment. Life was fun and carefree…life didn’t have speedbumps…but my mom’s life was getting ready to. My dad, my sister and my mom lived this every day and I have struggled with a touch of guilt for not being there for my parents and my sister every day like I would have been if I had been living at home. I know though, that there’s nothing that I could have done differently had I been living at home as well.

It was my mom’s battle to fight. Not mine. Not my dad’s. Not my sister’s. And I know we would have each taken it on so that she wouldn’t have to fight it, but we couldn’t. We could be there for her to make her laugh or show her that we needed her to hang around a lot longer or to show her that life keeps moving and she had to be the referee for the rest of her life, between my sister and I (politics + family + different views = mom’s refereeing). We couldn’t take the pain away and as much as we wanted to help, we didn’t have a clue what she was going through.

The fact that my mom can’t eat red jello to this day just shows how powerful a memory can be. The red in the chemo pumped into her each month took away something as small, yet as normal as being able to eat what she wanted, when she wanted. And it’s not that she loved red jello…or red koolaid…or red anything…it’s just that this disease that she didn’t invite into her body by recklessly smoking or drinking or anything else, caused her to reject even simple things, red things, reminders of the taste that the chemo leaves in your mouth or the weakness that it causes.

She was robbed of the small things and the big things.

Things like feeling like a woman, a wife, a mom. Things like her hair…and in case you ever wanted to know (lol), Dennis women have fabulous hair and skin. We don’t even have to really take care of it much more than the once a day wash and rinse and it turns out fabulous…because of my mother’s (and grandmother’s) gene’s.

Yet, my mother had to face the fact that she had to shave her head. She had to lose her hair. But thankfully, her loving husband, my father, was there with her when she discovered that it was coming out, on vacation, and he shaved it for her so that she could wear some amazing wigs that she searched for, researched about, paid top dollar for, and had cut similar to her hair style.

One of my favorite memories of my mom at that time, is that one day she informed us that she had been told that many times when hair grows back after falling out from chemo, it will come back in completely different than before.

And so the prophecy was fulfilled. Her hair came back in kinky curly…the same hair that she had wanted my sister and I to have for our entire childhood (and the perms that just went bad…really bad), she received. I was kind of excited that what she had always wanted for us, she received (and not for payback, I promise :)).

And as always, she made the best of every situation…she was super excited about the curly hair and she swore that she was going to go ‘au naturale’ and not ever dye her hair again.

Six weeks later (and she’ll probably tell me I’m wrong on the length of time), she died her hair back to her ‘natural color’ (aka – the color she really liked at the time). And it was fabulous because I saw a spark in her again because she, then, really felt like she was ‘herself’ again.

Fast forward six months…just six months…and she found out that she had another form of cancer that had been caused by the follow up drugs used to help keep her breast cancer at bay. How hypocritical is that?? We’ll treat your chemo and keep it away by giving you drugs that may cause more cancer in a different part of your body??

So more surgery but luckily no more chemo.

Then regular visits to her doctors to see if everything was gone. Every six months, she kept her Dr. appointments and would sit with baited breath to make sure that the cancer was still absent from her body.

And it stayed like that for a long time!!

Strength.

Fast forward years, and years, and breast cancer walks, and more breast cancer walks and fundraisers, and then more years…and then they found more in the other breast.

This is strength. She defined strength in this moment.

She barely told a soul. She accepted it quickly and quietly and made decisions swiftly and with a confidence that I hadn’t seen the first time. She went in, had the other breast removed; had reconstruction done; recovered; worked through her recovery; held my daughter through her recovery…and showed me what strength is. Showed her granddaughter what strength is. Showed everyone how tough and amazing she really is.

Doing what you need to do, to get things done that you want to get done, for the people that you live for…that’s strength…that’s my mom…a Breast Cancer fighter and survivor.

She gives me strength like no other woman ever could. I hope to set the same kind of example for my daughter one day (except I’ll pray to skip the cancer part :)).

Love you Mom!

Donate to something today…My favorites are:

Chicago Marathon Fundraiser for Camp Sunshine – Rachel N. Jones

Camp Sunshine – Benefitting Family with children with life threatening diseases

Breast Cancer Fundraising – Susan G. Komen

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!