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):

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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

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hello, my name is doris

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Have any of you seen this movie? Last night after my kids went with their dad, I rented it on Amazon and sat down with my cheese and crackers and thought I would just get some useless entertainment. By the end, I had an extra shot of anxiety pulsing through all my veins.

Let me explain. Doris is an older adorable lady played by Sally Field. She has spent most of her life taking care of her mother, never getting out and really living a life of her own, just to find herself with a crush on a younger man in her office. She starts getting out of her comfort zone by becoming friends with him and his friends. She takes every little nice comment he says to her as a come on, while they look at her almost like an art piece.

When I was going through my divorce, I started seeing a man. As I look back, it was a very toxic relationship because I was deep into my addiction and he was the source that fed it. However, during the course of our almost 2 year relationship, I thought I truly loved him. I felt a sense of intimacy that I had been truly lacking for years in my marriage. We both were addicts and it gave us a bond that was awful and ugly, but very real. We always talked about staying together and getting healthy. I think we both wanted that ultimately, but I was stupid and naive. Now that I have got myself out of this black hole that I was in, that wasn’t really living at all. He gave me what I wanted at the time. He took away my pain or covered it up and kept me distracted as I went through the most difficult time in my life. There was no way in hell I could have ever gone through with the divorce if I wasn’t completely numb. I know that is super unhealthy to say, but I believe it to be true. I tried for 12 years. I really wish I could have, I wouldn’t have had to go through hell on earth detour and maybe, I would be in a much different place today if I would have done things differently. But I am here today, sober, away from the every day abuse, standing on my own two feet, alive, healthy, and thriving, with a lot of life’s lessons stored throughout my body. So onto where I was going with this.. After I got away from my boyfriend and got sober, I haven’t been with anyone else. I have really learned to live alone with my kids. I haven’t had an ounce of intimacy. I haven’t even had interest in anyone specific. And throughout this time my fear has grown bigger and bigger into getting comfortable with my life and being too apprehensive or picky or whatever the case may be to ever be with anyone else. I have watched so many people get married, divorced, start dating, find love again, and get re-married and I am still in the same place. I’ve tried telling myself that this is my time to get healthy and give my kids everything I got, and I believe that to be true, but what if it’s also just an excuse cause I don’t know how to look myself in the mirror and say “no one wants me.”?

I have played around with online dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble. I do them because I have no commitment to anyone, I can just “see” what’s out there. With Tinder, I only put my pictures from 5 years ago where my hair was long and beautiful, I was thinner, life was very different for me then. There is hardly ever a time with Tinder that if I swipe right (meaning I am interested in their profile and pic, that they don’t match up with me (meaning they are interested in me back). But with Bumble I threw in more recent pictures, as hard as it was. I felt like I wasn’t being honest with the person I am today, which is why I felt it was time to be more honest. I only get 10% matches. This is very hard for me to admit to. They aren’t interested in the new me. My hair is short and growing out after losing it with my health scares, and I don’t feel like I used to. It’s like a stab in the heart every time. It hurts so bad and takes the self-esteem that I’ve been slowly back building and it bulldozes it back down to nothing. I have to be honest, I am not used to having interest from other men. So every time this happens, I am reminded of my fear and how I might be stuck alone forever. Maybe I am not what other men want and especially the single men. I am not a spring chicken anymore. Things are changing for me every day. And I am dealing with all these new emotions while being sober. It’s challenging cause the pain is real and it hits deep. I even found myself missing my ex husband and ex boyfriend. This is something I don’t want to feel.

So yes, this movie was entertaining, but it scared the living hell out of me. I can honestly say, I sometimes feel like I am the Doris in my life right now. The men that used to find me attractive and give me attention, do not anymore. I don’t want to wake up 10 years from now and find myself very lonely, comfortable, and not ready to put myself out there and watching others live their lives, like I am doing currently. I keep telling myself AGE AND STAGE. I am just at a different stage in life and that will change. Am I lying to myself?

XoXo

my recovery

re·cov·er·y
rəˈkəv(ə)rē/
noun
1.
a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
“signs of recovery in the housing market”
synonyms: recuperation, convalescence More
2.
the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
“a team of salvage experts to ensure the recovery of family possessions”
synonyms: retrieval, regaining, repossession, getting back, reclamation, recouping, redemption, recuperation

I am realizing that being in recovery is something that can look very different from person to person. My recovery is my own and something that is very personal to me. Just like above in the definition says “returning to a normal state of health, mind, and strength.” That word “returning” gives me a sense of heartache. I know what that entails. It sounds like such a simple word, but the act of returning is anything BUT simple. It’s grueling and painful. It’s scary and emotional. Returning to a healthy state is so challenging, that so many people go right back to the lifestyle they have tried sprinting away from to begin with. It’s a song and dance cycle that can take years off of people’s lives. Not just the addict, but the loved ones that stand by and are affected so deeply. I attempted this cycle numerous times. I think all addicts go through something similar to this to an extent. After the cat and mouse game of using begins to take it’s toll and you want or hope for a change. You try to do it yourself by cutting back all on your own. Obviously, there is denial all through this phase. After you fail repetitively, looking in the mirror and feeling defeated- you know it’s finally time to be vulnerable and ask for help. Getting help is different for everyone. Also, some people don’t go down this avenue, they get pushed into getting help through getting arrested and going to jail. But somehow someway, we all get to the point where we can’t lie to ourselves anymore and it’s time to return to health; sobriety. If you are really lucky and among the very small percentage you can get the help you need the first chance you get. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. We all have different paths and reasons we get to this point.
After a few different bouts of sobriety and returning to health as stated in the definition above first I have had to experience a new low. I have felt deeper pain then the time before. I’ve seen darker days. I’ve cried more, pushed my family away more, lived with depression on a level I didn’t even know was possible. Everything was magnified. I couldn’t live another day like that. Getting to the place and state of recovery that I am currently has been harder than the time before. It’s a lot of work and will continue to be. There were many dark days but with my hard work has come happiness. The weight that I have been carrying for years has been lifted. The cloud following me has disappeared. The sun is shining brighter. My kids laughter is louder. Food smells better. I run faster. Colors are brighter. My smile is bigger. Movies are more entertaining. I love harder. Sugar tastes sweeter. Recovery is a daily choice and very different for everyone, but recovery for me has made my life worth living again and with that, I’ll take the good with the bad. It’s worth it. To whom is still struggling, I get it. It’s not easy, but don’t give up. Keep up that fight. Take one step in front of the other and take baby steps. You are worth it. Your life is worth it.

XoXo

saying no

One of the major things that comes with getting healthy physically, is getting healthy emotionally which comes with learning boundaries. I had a hell of a time physically but I am doing pretty good and solid at the moment with that. But emotionally is another ball game. Wait, not just another ball game, a completely different sport all together!  It makes so much sense as to why I got to the low places because of how unhealthy I was with myself. I am so forgiving of others and no matter how much it hurts my life at the moment, no way in hell will I ever turn down someone if they ask me for a favor because I can’t imagine doing something like that. I want everyone to like me. Ya this is a total illness in itself and a battle I will be working on for the rest of my natural life. I get SO frustrated with people complaining about their lives, yet do nothing to change it– but here I am doing the same thing.

This week was a clear reminder of why I need to change. My children are what keeps me going, as most mothers say. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them. I was taken to court numerous times during my divorce to fight over custody. At the end of this long very exhausting “I want to kill myself” battle, we agreed on 50/50. At the time, I had the guilt from knowing that I wasn’t completely clean at the time which made me cave a bit to my ex. But at the time, my experience with him was that he was a great dad, just not a great husband. Little did I know the direction it would go afterwards. Since I’ve gotten my shit together and started really making some drastic changes, he has slowly reversed and switched me spots. I never thought I would see the day that he would not only start drinking, but becoming an alcoholic. I really believed that women and sex were his addiction and drug, but he chose to add onto that with alcohol (I guess that only makes sense). He is a true narcissist in every way. I love the man for many reasons, but being a selfish pig wasn’t one of them. Him being a narcissist is definitely why I wanted a divorce. Not even so much the affairs, but the criticizing and demeaning behavior on a daily basis. The reason I am explaining this is because of these things, he will never admit to his own issues, just focus on mine. So he keeps up with the perfect dad persona, but it doesn’t work after the many nights he has asked to switch nights but never really ended up taking him the nights we switched for. Or the early morning calls to drop off the kids so I could get them ready for school. Also I think it works in his favor that after he got 50/50 custody, his child support became minimal. So every time he makes that call, I agree to take my kids. I am their mother, why would I say no? Regardless what I have going, they come first and I can’t imagine them around anyone else. However, after a while I realize I am being completely taken advantage of. On his days during the week I realize that I have them every day, feed them breakfast, lunch, dinner- then all he does is take them home to bed. My bank account, time, energy, and dignity is out the window by Sunday. He scares the hell out of me, so I continue to do it but then complain all day. Who do I sound like now? Those people I talked about earlier that bug me because they don’t do anything to change their situation, right? So getting clean isn’t just about being physically clean. It means honoring yourself, standing up for yourself, loving yourself enough to make sure you are taken care of.  If I don’t, who will? My ex? Ya I don’t think so. lol I think we all do this to a degree…. not saying no to our neighbors, maybe to the guys that take advantage of us because we want love so much, or to our kids just taking so much and we aren’t willing to say enough, it’s time for me now. There is boundaries in all things, and this is definitely one of them.

XoXo

haunting

My dreams are being haunted. They are being haunted by what was my reality a few years ago. Yes, there is a sense of relief when I wake up and realize I am not in that place anymore, however I really hurt my life and everything and everyone involved in it. I wish it was just a bad dream but it’s not. I really did hurt people that I love and care about. I changed everything about my life. Yes I need to be forgiven and forgive myself, but that pain was real and still is. There isn’t a damn thing I can do about it now besides continue living a good and authentic life now. Be a better mom, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, co-worker, employee, ex-wife, and law abiding citizen. Will that ever make up for it? Is that enough? Will I be able to sleep peacefully without being haunted by this? I am ready to let it go but I am not sure if it will ever be forgotten. I have specific memories of getting caught. The look on my boss’s face when he let me go. The way I felt when I forgot to pick up my kids again from school. Lying when being caught red handed. Taking a drug test, knowing it was positive. Walking into court fighting for custody. The look on my dad’s face when he asked me if I was still using. Disappointing my kids when I couldn’t spend time with them cause I was too busy not staying sick. The thoughts and memories don’t stop racing through my head while trying to sleep. Thank God when I wake up, I look over and see my precious kids lying next to me knowing it isn’t my reality anymore, but if it’s possible, how do I let it go- how many more nightmares do I have to wake from?