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

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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.

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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):

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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

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

that time again

On Friday I got the same semi- annual phone call from my ex. Whenever he doesn’t get right to the point, I know he is trying to tell me something. After trying to butter me up with discussing how great our kids were, he threw it out. He was back together with the same girl that broke up my marriage. The same girl that caused so many problems in my life. It’s as almost as if they are addicted to one another. They have broke up and got back together going on 9 times. As much as it shouldn’t hurt me, it does. I can’t lie. The pain is still there and real. It’s as almost as if it takes away my breath when he tells me they are making it work again. What goes through my mind is dropping off my kids to them. Watching them play house with MY kids. Her taking over. I think about my son walking in on them having sex on the kitchen counter during the middle of dinner time. I think about all the photos that get posted on social media of them in their swimsuits with her perfect 5 star body, with her arms around my kids as if she gave birth to them. I think about all the weekends that will go out of town to fun places to wow my kids while I am sitting at home alone and feeling inadequate worrying about bills to pay on my apartment. I think about the kids coming home after being with them for the weekend, with bags of new clothes and shoes, and my kids telling me all about their fun filled weekend and what all they did. This is why it takes my breath away. A lot of it is selfish, but some of it is because I know my sweethearts are being used as toys and pawns. Also because I know the things they are seeing during those times are unhealthy. That they aren’t given the attention they deserve. And they get close to this girl and the next month, she is gone. 

It makes me wonder when it’s my turn. After losing my hair from getting Diffuse Alopecia, I put on some weight and luckily my hair is coming back, but it has completely changed how I look and most of all, how I feel about myself. I’ve been given many trials and have been overcoming them one by one, but I feel like in some ways they are SO far ahead of me. When will I find some happiness where my ex looks at me and starts to ask himself, “did I make a mistake?” I know that isn’t healthy and I shouldn’t care about that, but truth is, I do. I want him to miss me and wonder what he could have done differently to save our family.

He is a narcissist and more than likely he will never feel those ways, but I want it to happen. I want to at least feel like I am confident enough that I know he wishes it even without having proof. I want to look thin and feel beautiful. I want a man to want me and think I am a catch. All these things are ridiculous but it’s my feelings right now.

I feel like he looks at me and pitty’s me. Thinks, “thank god I didn’t stay with her.” He looks at his girlfriend now and thinks how lucky he is. I couldn’t handle anymore of his abuse and I KNOW that, but why do I still have these feelings? Is it from not being healthy emotionally? 

These are the things I do know… I am sober. I have cleaned up my life so much. I put my kiddos first before anything. I do the best I can to be a better person every single day. I am lucky to have a second chance. I am lucky to be coming out from the dark past I had. But these are feelings that follow me. What keeps me going is reminding myself of all the changes I’ve made and where I have come from. I guess that will keep me going till something changes for the better. So next time when I get the phone call from my ex, it won’t take my breath away. It won’t hurt. It will not affect me, because it won’t matter.

XoXo

making peace with your past

I was reading an article about not feeling adequate and came across this passage:

Make peace with your past and present so you can have a bright future

Making peace with your past and embracing your present is sometimes a difficult thing to do, yet they are very important. You can never be fully satisfied when there are still negative feelings from the past lingering around you. If you make peace with your past and embrace your present, your journey towards your goal will be more satisfying and peaceful.

Making peace with my past is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Is this hard for anyone else? Anything that is a reminder of my choices that really screwed up my life, is like a kick in my sensitive gut. It helps if I am in the process of making some much better choices and actually feeling the benefits of doing so, but what about the days where I am struggling to just finish the day?  Looking back to my past at all is what murders my spirit or my smile for the day. Then I stop and ask myself, “are you still in that place? Are you making better choices? ” The answers to those questions, help me to keep going but the pain still is under there somewhere. It’s still roaming around in my brain. I am a pretty forgiving person, but for some reason when it comes to forgiving myself, it doesn’t happen very easily.  As compassionate I am with everyone else, I am pretty sure self compassion is the most important thing we need to keep on staying sober and healthy.

Embracing the present comes with making peace with your past. I deserve to finish the chapter of my past and move on to the next with a clear conscience and positive outlook. It is hard to start a new day with that heartache following you around from yesterday. There’s got to be a reason we lay down to rest and the sun comes back up in the morning. Maybe every night that we watch the sun set, we should let go of the pain and the mistakes we made, and as the sun rises start fresh and start new. Breath in, breath out. We are worth it. We are not our past, we are not our mistakes. Embrace who you are today in this moment.

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