dusting yourself off

dust-yourselfBeing human, I have tripped and fallen multiple times lately, and I have failed to put it out there on my blog. So finally sitting down with my tail between my legs, I am taking the time to face my failures, the failures going on around me, and my successes.

Over the holiday was interesting. Wait, I should back up. I have mentioned my ex’s girl toy on this blog many times. He cheated on me with her. They have been together off and on since we were married. When I say off and on, I literally mean off and on. Not just a few times. I mean like bat shit crazy off and on. Like literally 8-10 times off and on. Every single time they get back together it’s a huge production. He sits me down and tells me how I need to support their relationship and try to be friends with her because she is the best thing for him and our kids and I should be thanking her. But always right before they get back together, our relationships starts to become very healthy. We stop playing the games, we do things together with the kids, and we start communicating like actual adults. And always, we have some type of plans with the kids and then when he does the sit down talk with me, he makes sure to say how he needs to cancel our plans because it is inappropriate for their relationship. For example, last year at Christmas, we planned on doing Christmas Eve and morning together. Went and bought Santa gifts together and the kids were so excited to be under one roof, knowing that we are just co-parents and nothing more. They got back together the day before and he canceled everything for Christmas, breaking my kids hearts and making me go out and purchase all new gifts myself. Well 6 months ago, his girl-toy reached out to me and apologized for coming into my kids lives so quickly each time and not being more careful with them. I explained to her my concerns and then she opened up to me about the awful abuse from him and her life with  him and how she finally has her addiction to him figured out and I was stupid and opened up to her with my own experiences with him. We had very similar stories, however I had a marriage of 12 years and two children with him. We met a few times and talked for 6 months. Well, around Christmas times again, we had plans for the kids and all of us being together. He once again canceled it and didn’t say why. I get a long message from this girl explaining herself and how much he has changed and that they are back together and she knows this time will be different. As I am reading this, I am dropping my kids off to him and she is outside with my ex. My kids immediately started crying. They know what it means when they are back together. They know that Dad spends all of his attention on her, there is always drama, and they don’t like how things change when she is around. I was about to send her a short and nice response, but when she turned around and did the ONE thing she told me she regretted and came IMMEDIATELY back into their lives, I was pretty unhappy about it. I felt like everything we shared was tossed out the window and her needs came first. I had to be reminded that I trust way too quickly and their addiction to each other outweighs my kids needs all over again. She sent me a few messages saying that she feels like I was a fraud and insincere with her all those months. I immediately realized that she is a lot like my ex and honestly, they deserve each other.

In between all of this, I met some guy online. I was really excited about him. We could talk easily and on our first date, I was not nervous but more excited. The date turned out to be a flop and it really devastated me. It discouraged me from dating.

This new year started out with drama but the past week or so, I started gaining control. I started realizing the grass will always be greener if I don’t change my attitude. I have been driving around a beater car and that hasn’t helped my self esteem but I wanted to be smart when making the decision to buy a car. I have had luxury cars in the past. My whole family drives luxury cars, and my ex and his girl both have luxury cars. So when I would be broken down on the side of the road, it was somewhat humiliating. Well, I finally was able to purchase my first nice car since my divorce. When I say nice car, I don’t mean luxury like everyone else. But it is a reliable car that I can take pride in. It was a smart purchase which makes me even more proud. I bawled like a baby on my way home from the dealership. I was so excited to surprise my kids. My kids and I have really gone through the depths of despair together, and we used to talk about the day that my hair would grow in, and we would have a new car. My kids and I sat in the garage in our new car and talked about those hard times and now realizing how far we have come. 2017 is just beginning. It’s up to me how my year will be. I know there will hard times, but I know I will get up and dust myself off and start running towards the finish line. Pain is inevitable in our lives, I know it’s something I am going to experience. The difference now is that I am not going to allow it to keep me down. I am going to find strength in each time I get up. I am going to teach my kids what to do when we fall. 2017 will be a year of excitement and taking control of my happiness. Cheers to each of you that read this novel. Let’s kick ass this year. When you fall, just get back up and keep going.

xoxo

 

pendulum

This week my emotions have been teeter-tottering. Thanksgiving is such a unique time. A time to reflect on what we have been given, worked for, taken advantage of, forgotten, pushed aside, or neglected. I feel like I have done a lot of feeling sorry for myself. Feeling sorry for my children. I haven’t been writing much of the positive, but more of the deep down dull pain that is aching inside of me. And I apologize to any of the readers that happen to stop by my page. I don’t want this to be a place that you come by and feel like your energy is drained by reading it.  Yes, I want it to be real and authentic, but not just negative and bitchy.

4 years ago tomorrow, I looked at my husband and told him I wanted a divorce. I was so cold and distant at that point, that it didn’t hurt me to say. I started abusing drugs just so I could say it and not feel pain. The drugs did their job. I would give ANYTHING to go back to that day and change things. I don’t necessarily mean that I regret us getting divorced, but I absolutely 110% regret what I did and how I did it. Thanksgiving was usually such a fun time for my little and big family. We would wake up and go play frisbee football in the cold with all of our friends and family, and go back get our food ready, get dressed up and meet back up later for the day. After our feast, we would go around to all the stores and have a crazy shopping experience. This was such a fun time, and I obliterated it.  Did this come from out of the blue, no. Was my ex innocent and didn’t deserve my actions? HELL NO. But man, do I regret the choices I made in order to have the guts to do it.  Thinking back to that day hurts so much. And I can’t blame anyone but myself. But I no matter what, I know that the only way to describe it was I felt like a kicked puppy dog that finally didn’t want to go home.

Fast forward after many awful days and nights. My addiction taking over my every day life.  My happiness, my spunk for life. Losing every inch of dignity I had on top of my health and physical traits such as my beautiful skin and hair. To finding recovery, picking myself up after falling over and over. Learning to find contentment in living alone when my kids weren’t there to distract my thoughts. Selling our beautiful home where we made many memories onto making a new home with new memories. Losing my family car that I loved to an awful automobile accident to losing my pride and driving an old beater.. Not being able to be in the same room as my ex, to now just being told how my ex and I are the poster family for divorces. I can honestly say there is nothing more painful yet more riveting to share and experience. My life has not been easy the past four years. In fact, I truly don’t know how I am alive today. But this Thanksgiving, I have done a 160 turn and as much as I hurt from not having my two beautiful kids with me this year and have them spending the holiday with their dad in another state, I am here and waiting for them the minute that they come home. I am not homeless. I am not waking up to needing that next fix trying to numb the pain away. Instead, I am facing this day, I am waking up to go play frisbee football, then making sweet potatoes and dressing up so I can go spend the day with my family that still is there for me and that have loved me through it all.

This Thanksgiving, I have much to be grateful for. Though, the pain hasn’t left and the memories of this day haunt me, I am not hiding from it. I am facing this day.

xoxo

this too shall pass, or will it?

I feel like I’ve sat down to write this EXACT post, and you know, maybe I have. I am just too lazy to look up my history titles.

I’ve been experiencing a lot of pain and sadness. A girl I became close to ended her life a few weeks ago and just as I am trying to accept the reality of that, I find out a good family friend’s wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer and only has a very short time to live. It has been devastating to me and having such a hard time imagining what they are going through at this time. Then I woke up to an awful text message from an old friend. She told me of our mutual friends passing the night before from an accidental overdose. I haven’t had the time to even process everything. One thing after another. It’s all too painful. I’ve sat at work just staring out the window acknowledging how unfair this all is. Each one of these tragedies is too much to handle. My friend that overdosed was clean for a year and doing so well and just in a weak moment, all those years of getting himself clean are over. His son no longer has a father. My other friend is losing his wife before his eyes. Too many families losing their loved ones.

After talking to my dad and telling him how negative I was feeling, I mentioned to him how hard it is to go about life and trying to enjoy it when you know that in a blink of an eye, it can be over for anyone of us. He reminded me that is why we have to appreciate  and enjoy it. You can’t let the anxiety of knowing it could end tomorrow change that, but that we need to appreciate our relationships and really hold on to our experiences differently then we would have not realizing how fragile life is.

My divorce has really messed me up. It still hurts today just as much as it did a couple of years ago. I am accepting of it more, but still replay what I could have done different over and over in my head. Sometimes I forget that it is not normal to be cheated on repetitively throughout your marriage. I keep thinking that if I wouldn’t have made my mistakes that we could have still been together, and I have to mentally hit myself upside the head and remind myself that even if I would have done what I did to hurt the end of our marriage, that no healthy relationship has affair after affair and not be terribly affected by it. It’s not normal to be told of a new girlfriend your husband has had year after year. But as long as he is sorry, then I guess I can move on right? I kept thinking if I worked harder at being a wife, it would get better. It didn’t. But I stayed with him over and over again, stayed faithful until I became the wife I never wanted to be. Funny how life works eh?

So like I said above, there has been a lot of sadness surrounding me lately. As I step out of my body emotionally and look back at myself I am reminded at how important life is. I may have lost my marriage, but I didn’t lose my relationship with myself nor my kids. In fact, I am getting closer to both myself and my kids more than I think was ever possible before. When you are in a toxic relationship, it’s impossible to appreciate and love yourself and the other relationships close to you. So the pain is still there, but I am having a field day with being reminded of what is important with the life that I still do have and the blessings that are looking back at me daily.

xoxo

gears have shifted

I haven’t spent much time blogging lately. I don’t know if it’s that life has just been busy and I’ve got caught up with that, or if I have purposely just stayed away or maybe a little of both. It seems like after getting divorced and going through a really challenging time, I started to make my way back up in life and there was a sense of a natural high that I was on. Life felt good. My hair was growing back, my kids and I were closer than ever, I was sober, my divorce and custody battle was behind me, I had a great job, have a great place to live, and it was my time to start voicing  it. Life has not changed for me, all of those things are still there and going great, but it’s almost as if the natural high is not as high, so to speak. As Summer of 2016 came to an end, it seemed as if so did the adrenaline of my new life. I am still moving forward and in a positive direction, but the only way I can describe it is as if I am in my new car driving and the gears shifted down a gear, just a changed a little bit. I am tired, and I know this is how life goes for everyone. It’s important that we all acknowledge it, doesn’t mean anything is wrong with me, but sometimes we have to push a little harder to stay afloat.

With the leaves falling on the ground and we start wearing sweaters and our cute boots, school is in session, and we have the stress of homework, and the sun goes down earlier in the day, things seem to be changing within me. I haven’t been working out at the gym at lunch like I was, I am having the desire to take a nap after work rather than have a fun activity to do with the kids. I finally agreed to my first real date this week. I’ve been putting this guy off for months and finally forced myself to go meet him for coffee. I didn’t really think much of it until the morning of. I started feeling nervous and thinking about what the conversation would be like and how awkward it would be right at first. I never remembering feeling this way years ago when I was single. Boy things change. He seemed to be really nice, but he talked a lot about his animosity for the church we grew up in and that to me was kind of a red flag in a way because it was almost a little obsessive. He talked a lot about his past dates, which made me realize he is a damn pro at this, when I am close to being a virgin! lol. After the date was finished, I walked to my car thinking “yessss, I did it. I officially dipped my toe in the ocean of dating.” But soon after my happiness flatlined and I was on a phone call with a friend and I told her of my date, after telling her the guys name, she told me she had been out with him a few years ago and that all he cared about was getting her into bed and she would hope I would never go out with him again. So, after that I’ve not known what to think. Why can’t dating be easier? Why can’t I just easily run into an old friend that is newly divorced and fall in love and that’s that? I am dreading keeping this up. I honestly keep looking around at all the couples around me and think, “how did they do this? I am so envious that they found one another.”

For now, I need to count my blessings that I might still be single and life seems to have shifted a gear or two, I am still heading in the right direction and I have my two best friends a long for the ride. Even if I do  pull over and nap along the way:)

 

Shifting Gears
A woman with her hand on the shifter in a modern car. Fisheye lens used for exaggerated perspective.

xoxo

rise

Bv7xw-XCcAAjvWm

When I heard this song, I immediately received chills and it hit me to my core. Every word spoke to me.

“Rise”

I won’t just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can’t write my story
I’m beyond the archetype

I won’t just conform
No matter how you shake my core
‘Cause my roots they run deep, oh

Oh, ye of so little faith
Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in my veins
I know it, I know it
And I will not negotiate
I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it
I will transform

When, when the fire’s at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They’re whispering, “You’re out of time”
But still I rise

This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in
Think again
Don’t be surprised
I will still rise

I must stay conscious
Through the madness and chaos
So I call on my angels
They say

Oh, ye of so little faith
Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in your veins
You know it, you know it
And you will not negotiate
Just fight it, just fight it
And be transformed

‘Cause when, when the fire’s at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They’re whispering, “You’re out of time”
But still I rise

This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in
Think again
Don’t be surprised
I will still rise

Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Oh, oh, oh, oh
You know it, you know it
Still rise
Just fight it, just fight it
Don’t be surprised
I will still rise

No matter who you are or what you are going through, you can do so much more than survive. Prove to yourself and everyone else out there that you can thrive. I know in my life, I felt like I was succeeding if I survived and yes, I thank the good Lord that I survived through some of the hardest darkest times in my life, but until this year I didn’t know what thriving was.  I can type in this post and honestly say that I have learned what is and what it feels like to thrive. I am doing more than living. I am being pro-active in living. I am laughing. I am holding these kids tighter. I am choosing to enjoy life regardless of the realities that still are there that hurt and bring pain. My life is far from perfect. I have worries financially, emotionally, and physically. But I am purposely choosing every day to do more than live but press through the hardships and truly enjoy my life and my kids.  I am trying so hard to not stay in the regret that I have from the years that I hurt no only my family but myself from the mistakes I made. I hate that I didn’t enjoy the kids when they were smaller like I am now. But thank God that I pulled back the reigns on how fast life was moving and how I was distracted and purposely trying to distract and numb myself because my every day life was too painful to feel. I took control rather than giving my control away to my addiction, to my ex husband, to my eating disorder, and to all the people in my life that judged me, and all my inadequacies and guilt. I am not getting any younger, my kids are growing like weeds. I can’t take those years back. But all I can do is begin today. Fight like hell to do it differently. It’s my time. I won’t just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive.
XoXo

anniversary

July 19th 2003 was the date I got married to my ex husband. That day was filled with so much excitement and hope. I woke up that morning with no doubt in my body that I was doing the right thing. I felt like the decision I was making that day was the best decision of my life. I was so calm and ready for this new chapter in my life. I honestly felt like he was my prince charming.  A lot of the time there is red flags. Everyone that knew us didn’t see any, that I know of. Our dating and engagement time was filled with flowers being sent to my office, vacations, lots of laughing, and not a care in the world. He would always say to me, “we can get through anything.” Boy did things change fast after we got married.

But this day 13 years ago was a beautiful day. It really hurts to look back on. I wish it didn’t. I wish I could look past it, but I can’t. Not yet anyway.  I often wonder if he even thinks about when we got married when he see’s what the date is today. I often wonder if he wishes things would have been different. I guess all of that doesn’t really matter anymore, but I still wonder.

Life is crazy. Our lives are filled with all different kind of anniversaries, memories, and stuff we wish we could block out. I guess all we can do is look at it for what it is and appreciate where we are today. I know I am grateful for the person I am becoming and grateful for my good memories, they shape who we are and why we do what we do.

For now I am signing out and going and making a new anniversary for myself. A date to remember my commitment to myself and learning to let go and move on.

506456

 

XoXo

obliterate

ob·lit·er·ate

əˈblidəˌrāt/
verb
  1. destroy utterly; wipe out.

This weekend was supposed to be full of fun events and spent with family coming from out of town. Instead I spent most of it physically there with them, but emotionally in a deep dark hole somewhere in the ground. The pain was just too much to take this time. I’ve been divorced for quite a while but the words that came out of his mouth hasn’t been this deadly since our divorce started. His narcissism always comes out to play in ways when we co-parent our kids, but hasn’t been directed at me in a very long time.

To give you a sweet and short back story, what sent him off was when he sent me a message saying that one of my family members that was coming from out of town “creeped him out” and wanted me to make sure our kids stay away from him. Now I can respect his feelings, but he can’t control what I do with our kids during my time. I told him that I appreciate and respect his concerns, but I’ve never thought of this family member that way but I always keep an eye on our children and they are never with anyone alone. After that, I started receiving message after message demeaning everything about me. When he talks about Brayden and Danielle, they are my niece and nephew that my mom and dad basically raised because my sister got divorced and wasn’t in a very good place during those years while the kids were small. When I went through my addiction during our divorce, I have always admitted I wasn’t in a good place and I dated a man that wasn’t good for me or good for my children. I never cheated on my husband with him, but my ex can’t fathom that I left him because he had cheated on me multiple times and his actions made me lose who I was. I don’t blame him for everything, God only knows I am far from perfect, but those things hurt me and made me not want to continue to move forward in our marriage. I felt like I didn’t have any other choice. I stayed for 10 years through too many girlfriends he had on the side, and the emotional abuse had taken it’s toll. I had my faults that definitely didn’t help our marriage, but let’s just say I didn’t cheat on him nor did I abuse him. While we were married, he wanted me to be a stay at home mom, during that time I started my own boutique, worked as a marketing assistant to many companies, etc..  but with him, it was never good enough. I was never good enough. Since I got clean and sober in November of 2014, I continue to spend all of my energy on my relationship with my kids. I completely became the mother my kids deserve to have. When I was married, I always thought I was a good mom, but until I went through all of the crap I have, I realized how distracted I was from them-  from my marriage, social media, and basically trying to keep up with all the mothers in the neighborhood. When I got clean, I gave them all of me. They are my happy place. We do everything together. We are best friends, but I always try to be their mother first. My ex has always been a good dad, but I always felt it was out of show. I believe he absolutely loves our children, but he loves himself more. Especially during our divorce, he fought for them in court, but the minute he got 50/50 custody, things started to change. He started drinking and going out with friends even during his time with the kids. I have always picked up his slack.. not for him, but for my kids because I want to be with them. But I hate helping him out. He has completely ignored our divorce decree and had his girlfriends sleep over while the kids are in his home. I’ve always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and honestly I hate contention, which he uses to his advantage. The kids cry almost every single time they know it’s time to go to dad’s house. He has broken up with his girlfriend 10 times and there is no consistency for them. Which is one of the huge reasons I don’t date yet, he dates enough for both of us:) I apologize, this “short and sweet” back story has turned into a novel. To get to the point.. below are the messages I received on Saturday night as I was driving to my family event (caution: many typos and cussing.  He must have been drinking):

IMG_3551IMG_3552IMG_3553IMG_3554

As you notice, I do not respond. Within the hour of the abuse, he turns around and asks for the kids and I to come out to a game that he is at. It blows my mind that he thinks that I would even consider it. But then again this is a narcissist for you. I continue to not respond and I get message after message at night and during the next day, till I finally let him know the kids are great. Later after I wrote that he said, “good to know.” I always go back and forth on what to say to him, but I have learned for 14-15 years that no matter what I say, he will come back with 10 responses. It doesn’t matter what I respond with. I have to remind myself, I am not dealing with an emotionally healthy person. I can’t have a normal conversation with this man, which is ultimately why we aren’t married today.

During all of this time, I receive an email from his on and off again girlfriend that he cheated on me with. I can never tell her angle or what her reasoning is for reaching out to me is. She basically tells me that they broke up and she is sorry for coming in and out of the kids lives again and she loses herself every time she is with my ex. I completely ignore it. It’s all just a little much and I don’t want to get involved, nor should I have to.

After this, I am sitting watching my niece take this lady on a tour of her home (we had a huge family/friend get together for my nephew that is going away for 2 years on an LDS mission) and as she is pointing out people in the family picture, I hear her say “This is my aunt (she is talking about me), she doesn’t look like this anymore because she has lost her hair and it’s just growing back in.” Almost as if she is explaining why I am not as pretty as I used to be. Which was hard enough to hear, but during the time I am thinking “why the hell is she even saying this or explaining anything to this woman I don’t even know?” and the lady responds to her, “oh from drugs??” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Who told her that? Why is she talking about me and knows anything about my ugly past? I wanted to stop her there and say “Just so you know, that’s me and I am proud of where I am today. I might not look like that anymore, but I am healthier now more than I ever was that picture” But instead I sheepishly turned away and walked in another room as my tears started streaming down my face. I felt violated and completely broken down. I couldn’t take the judgement, the ignorance, the abuse any longer. It was a big reminder that I am flawed, I have made many mistakes, and I have had to pay for them. But I don’t want to not be known for that. When my ex said that everyone looks at me and says, “what the hell happened to her?” that was like a stab to the heart. Everyone wants to feel like their ex misses them and thinks they are beautiful. I don’t feel beautiful, I know I look different, but I am overcoming so much and I am trying to get myself back. I feel like I am getting there but then this events happen and it shoves me back down on the ground. I start to walk tall, and then thrown back on my hands and knees. God, why now??? You know how hard I am trying. You know how much I’ve changed.  Ultimately, I know the answer. I know that I need to keep getting back up, brush off the hate, and remind myself of the ignorance of these people. The insecurities that my ex has for saying such awful things. But does it make me feel any better? Not really. It hurts. I tossed and turned most of the night emotionally distraught. I don’t want to give away any more of my power or give him or anyone else any more tears.

I guess the moral of this post is this, we all have the ignorant, judgmental, and/or narcissistic people in our lives that probably cheer every time we fall. Or actually are the ones that push us to the ground. But how many times are we going to stay down and keep our heads facing the pavement? It might feel impossible and we might ask ourselves, what’s the point of getting back up, we are just going to end up back down facing the ground.. But the way I view it is this, when you do fall down again, you are not in the same spot you were when you fell previously, you have walked or even crawled another lap before you fell. You are that much farther in this “marathon” of life. Keep moving, don’t stay down. Do not stay defeated. One day, we will look back and see how far we really have come. We will be able to look back and see where we first started and during all of the hell and hard times, that we continued moving, no matter how slow or defeated we felt and where we ended up.

From the wise words of Dory in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

XoXo