Posted in family, friendship, kids, Learning, Life, love, Musings, People, relationships

Fallout

Fallout: 2. A secondary and often lingering effect, result, or set of consequences.

THE-PAST (1)

 

I have been dealing, lately, with the next wave of fallout from my choice to end my relationship. It’s weird, because it’s been nearly a year now, and I often think that if I am not totally over it, I am pretty close. Then, something will happen- a song will come on the radio, my daughter will ask me an innocent question, and a wave of grief so startling will roll over me that it is nearly panic. It leaves me questioning my entire set of choices between now and then…which is, of course, ridiculous. Anyone with eyes can see I have been a million times happier since I finally put an end to all of the chaos and fighting, the drugs and the lies, the anger and upheaval.

I am proud of myself for trying so hard, out of real love, to make something difficult work. Sometimes I beat myself up for pouring so much into something that could never have worked, but I didn’t believe that while it was happening, and the truth is, I had to know that I did everything within my power before I walked away. I think before he and I were together, I really believed that if two people loved each other, that was all that really needed to be true for a relationship to work out. I had to learn that there is so much more to it than that- for two people to be happy and healthy together, they first need to be happy and healthy as individuals, and then they are charged with the very difficult task of somehow managing to maintain that, while figuring out how to build a life together. You can love the shit out of each other, and if one or both of you is a mess, or wanting a different version of the same thing, or can’t see eye to eye in certain critical ways, it just won’t work.

I am even more proud of myself for finally finding the strength to get out. It was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life, much harder than the familiar misery of staying together. I was used to hating who I was when I was with him. I was used to being angry, insecure, mean, erratic, volatile, and sad. But it was killing me. I don’t think that when he moved out the last time I really thought it would stick- how many times had we been down that road? But I kept holding out another day, then another and another, until finally I even started believing myself when I would say ” We are never getting back together.” (Credit: Taylor Swift, LOL)

I would not have it any other way, now. As I said in the beginning- I am so much happier now. I could not undo what has been done if I wanted to, anyway. What we were, for better or worse, is over. We couldn’t go back if we wanted to.

But Autumn is upon us- my first one alone in over seven years. I don’t know about you, but Autumn is the season for families, in my mind. Spring and Summer are fantastic times to be single, but the minute Autumn rolls around, I start looking around for my security blanket. In this case, I guess mine is a two hundred pound man. Who knew?

I woke up two days ago, thinking…maybe I am ready to start dating again. Maybe it is time. That night, I was at a meeting, watching the fire crackle in the hearth, and the candles flicker on the mantle, and I thought how nice it would be to go home and crawl in bed with someone…but not really someone. Him.  Yesterday, I was out with our daughter, and I picked up some food and headed to the beach. I pulled into the parking lot just as a song came on that reminded me of him, and some horrible times he put me through. I realized that the beach we were at just then was where he had been working a construction job when we first started dating, and I would bring him lunch, we would sit on the beach and flirt with each other.

We had no idea, then, that seven years down the road we would be this- more broken than we started out. A child between us that we both loved desperately. A mountain of bad choices  and broken promises trailing behind us. A bad taste in our mouths over each other, and two broken hearts. I sat in my car and cried facing forward so my daughter didn’t see me. And I realized that I wasn’t really ready to date, not yet. I am still in mourning for what I gave up, as hard as it was, and as sad as it was, it was still very significant to me, and it was a loss I felt, and still feel deeply.

I certainly will not go back. But I will honor my grief and myself until I am ready to move on.

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Posted in advice, aging, family, friendship, kids, Life, love, People, relationships

Not Your Mama’s Broken Heart…But it Sure Feels Like it.

broken_heart3I’ve been going through one of the hardest break-ups of my life, recently, and it isn’t even my own. It would be so much more bearable if it WAS, I think, because at least then I could be an active participant, rather than this spectator on the sidelines, watching helplessly as my beautiful daughter finds her way through this age old struggle. Everyone goes through it. Everyone one of us has loved and lost. It’s just part of life, I KNOW that…but what I didn’t know was how devastating it would be to watch your child go through it. Another thing I wasn’t prepared for was my own feeling of loss- I’m not sure if I should count myself as lucky or not that I really, sincerely LOVED my daughter’s ex. We ALL loved him. My MOTHER loved him, for Pete’s sake, and she has rarely been able to muster a crumb of enthusiasm for any guy I’ve ever dated.  That ought to tell you something.

Josh wandered into my life about a year ago. I believe he wandered into my daughters life a little before that…according to her, she wanted to make sure they were really “together-together” before she introduced him to me. When I finally did meet him, I was prepared to despise him. I wanted to- I even tried to- stay ambivalent, keep him at arms length. But he was so damn personable! He didn’t mind talking to me, even though I was technically the enemy, as the mother of the girl he was making out with all the time. I’m not going to lie, that part made me want to puke, and I tried to pretend they were like characters from a Disney movie, sweet and chaste. But I’m not completely stupid. I just wound up liking him in spite of all that.

I liked him because he sang along to “Bennie and the Jets” with us the first time I gave him a ride in my car. I liked him because he went with us to the pumpkin patch in October, and he wanted to know if he could pick out a pumpkin, too. I liked him because he was sweet to my two year old. I liked that he brought out the happy kid inside my surly teenage daughter, and I got to see her play again. I liked that he walked my dog for me, and helped with the dishes, and even took out the garbage for me from time to time. I loved that he looked out for my daughter- he had his dad drop him off at my house every morning at six thirty so that he could walk her to school, even though he didn’t have to be at school himself until nine.  One time, when they were fighting, my daughter locked him out of the house. When I went to let him in, I heard him start to say something to her, then he sighed, and said “I just can’t be mean to you.”

I guess I knew that they would break up. I mean, they are KIDS, really, really, young kids…the odds of them staying together were super slim. But it does happen from time to time, right? The thing is, I SAW them together. I saw the way they laughed, and the way they treated each other with such tenderness, and I don’t care how old you are, love is love. Those two REALLY loved each other. They would fight, and break up, then the next day it was like nothing happened. I stopped paying attention.

But the last time they broke up, it stuck. Josh went off the grid. They had a pretty serious situation, and I guess he was just done. That happens, doesn’t it? You get used to someone putting up with something, and then, one day, they just won’t anymore. I know I’ve certainly stood where my daughter found herself standing. It HURTS. And it damn near killed me to watch.  I’m not going to lie, I stepped over the line, and I tried to reach out to him, myself- he had just disappeared, and I was worried. I realize now there was probably more to the story that I didn’t know…but this boy was like a kid to me by the end, and he practically lived at my house. He didn’t want to talk to me, either. He just said he was too hurt, and he didn’t want to ever feel the way he felt, ever again. I had to leave it be.

Aisley has had her good days and her bad over the last month or so. She is learning all about the void left behind when someone you love is no longer there. She is learning all about the old cliche “Don’t know what you got until it’s gone.”. She is learning what it is like to have to really look at your behavior and not like what you see. I am not saying this is all her fault, don’t get me wrong. I am just saying she is going through what everyone of us goes through when a relationship ends before we want it to. And it is HARD, HARD, HARD for me to see. I know there is nothing I can do.

Josh came by for a second yesterday to pick up something of his. Aisley made me promise to stay inside so that she could talk to him. Of course, I agreed. Of course, I totally reneged, and had to poke my head out. He smiled and ran up to give me a hug. He came in real quick to say hi to the baby (who was not ready to be nice to him, I guess. She misses him, too.). I left them alone after that. In just a few minutes, Aisley was back inside. I asked if she was okay, she said she was. She said “I actually feel a lot better, mom.” Which made me happy.

I guess now I’ll have to start getting over it, too.

Posted in humor, Life, love, People, random, relationships, Uncategorized

Breaking Up: It Really IS Hard to do.

That song, old as it may be, knows of what it speaks. I know- you would think a woman rapidly approaching an age so advanced she no longer feels great about blurting it out (even though I still look GOOD, thank you) would already be aware of this, right? Well, as I may have mentioned here, or maybe in my REAL blog (just kidding, this one is real, too), I am a super late bloomer. I was too busy doing drugs in bathroom stalls all across the west coast to form many mature, enduring bonds. So this is pretty much the first time I have gone this far into something with another, fully invested, human being. And it has utterly failed. Which really sucks.

Argh! I am writing this to cheer myself up and be funny, and instead those last few sentences sent me running for another roll of toilet paper to sop up my face with. As you can tell, I am a little emotional. I guess that is normal, but what do I know? I know I could have probably been over it and on with my life if I had just pulled the plug way back when I first realized we weren’t going to make it. Shit, I could have been happily married after an average length engagement by now, if I would have done that. That’s okay, though. Some of the things I would have missed out on if I had were totally worth all the rest of this suckage.

Some of the things going through my head that I catch myself thinking are pretty understandable- things like: “What if this is actually the best you can do? What if this is really a great relationship and you are just a total fucking bitch and you are throwing it all away?” or “What if you just can’t be happy, period?” Luckily, though, I realize that these are trick questions posed to me by my own frightened heart. This is not the best I can do, it is not a great relationship, I AM a total fucking bitch, because I am miserable, and anything that makes you feel that way is okay to throw away. I know I am easily capable of happiness, because even in the midst of all this heartache, I have moments of it every day. The less weighted down I am by all of this turmoil, the easier it will be for me to laugh again.

Some other things I wonder about are, does it take this long for other people to split up? I mean, we have basically been in the process of parting, seriously, for the better part of the past year. Before that, even, I knew we were headed that way. I guess I just always thought that people had enough, broke up, divided up their stuff, and parted ways. Now that I am going through it, I realize it takes a long time to really throw the towel in. It has to hurt pretty bad, for pretty long, to finally admit you have lost. Even then, when you pretty much know that sticking around is probably going to destroy you, it is still hard and sad to say goodbye. I don’t know why I need to know if that is normal or not- all I need to know is that it is what is happening in my life, and I am dealing with it the best I can.

Some of the more amusing thoughts I have noted scampering through my twisted little mind are these:

“I guess this means I am going to have to start being fussy about how I look all the time, now.”

“What if he finds someone faster than me? And what if she is prettier than me? And younger? (etc., etc.)” Then I realize what I am thinking, and that I don’t want to even date anyone for a good, long time…and also, how much of a bummer it will be for the next girl, when she realizes what she is dealing with. Maybe she’ll get lucky, and be too dumb to see through the nonsense. Maybe, just maybe, he won’t fool around on her. Maybe I should just stay out of his imaginary future relationships, though.

My very favorite candid thought so far, though, has got to have been this: “What if the next guy I’m with has a smaller penis?” I seriously contemplated this, and came to the conclusion that…well, that would really suck. I don’t know what else I can say about that. Except, REALLY? THAT is what you are worrying about?

Well…it’s one of the things. But at least it was a funny thing. Anyway, I am doing the best I can, and sometimes I feel more like posting than other times. I don’t want to bring the whole blogosphere down with my sad little life, so lots of times, I write in my handy-dandy notebook (thanks, Blue’s Clues, for that) instead. But I am always writing.

When I’m not, you know… thinking about the next ( hopefully enormous), penis I might encounter. Have a fabulous day!

Posted in beauty, inner peace, Life, love, People

The Joy of Everything

courtesy of Tony Ludovico

It occurred to me today that there is one thing I value in myself above almost any other thing. It is the ability I have retained since childhood to feel extremely joyful over the most mundane little happenings. The excitement I have about living my life, and where things may go, and what the future holds for me.

Right now, although I am in a sad situation (the end of a long relationship, the feelings of sorrow that I couldn’t pull it off ) I find myself so excited, at the same time, about what is going to happen next. I am scared, yes, that things may be a little harder around here- I won’t have the same income, I won’t have another parent to take over when I am tapped out…but the possibilities of where my life can go are really limitless.

Look, when you are in a bad relationship, when it has gotten to the point where you feel the tension in your body when his car pulls up in front, and every word you exchange with one another is less than charitable or kind, it feels like a weight on your back. That weight has been removed, and, aside from the sadness, I feel incredible.

My dreams have roared to life again. I am making plans and seeing paths I just couldn’t see before, I was so mired in all the negativity and obsession over what was going on with us. Now, I have let go, and all of this beautiful, amazing stuff has rushed in to fill up the enormous space that relationship had taken up. I can breathe freely, now.

Even as I write this, I feel a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, because I’m so, so sad that this is the truth. I would’ve chosen us over anything, and did, for so long. I wanted it to work. It just couldn’t. I just don’t think that love should be that hard, not all the time.

What I see is that our relationship was like a  tumor (God, this is a really insulting analogy, and I’m sorry, I just can’t think of anything more appropriate right now.) blocking the blood flow to some vital organ. Now that it’s been removed, I feel alive again. I mean, you know, when I’m not sobbing uncontrollably. Jesus. I sound so bipolar right now, I hope my shrink doesn’t get a hold of this.

So, here it is. I am sad. I am so happy. I am scared. I am excited. When I am not crying, I am laughing. I am mourning one thing, while beginning something better. I feel peaceful, all of the time. I am not lonely. I am sleeping soundly. I think all of this means that I am healing.

There are moments tinged with sadness. The rest of the time, I am aware of the joy of everything.

That’s all.

Posted in family, inner peace, kids, Life, love, People

Inevitable Sadness

I guess it was stupid of me to think that I could feel ONLY good about what is happening here, within the walls of this house. The fact of the matter is, a long and important relationship that I cherished and worked at and tried my very hardest to salvage is ending, and it would be weird as hell if it didn’t hurt  to let it go.

I thought Thanksgiving would be hard without him. I left on Thursday morning and drove, just me and the girls, to my late grandparents home up in Oakhurst. My family was all there- my mom and stepdad, my cousin Heidi whom I adore and look up to, and her husband Tom, who I also adore, her kids…my two uncles and various other folks. Thanksgiving was WONDERFUL. I didn’t have one moment where it felt weird or bad or lonely or anything. It was the first time I’d been home for the holiday in five years- all the time Devon and I had been together- and I can’t believe I missed it.

As a matter of fact, the entire time I was gone was like that- I spent the night with my sister in Fresno, and for the first time ever, we got to hang out, just her and I, with our kids, and do NOTHING. All of that pressure that comes with worrying that your significant other is okay, not bored, wanting to leave- it was gone, and it was wonderful. I am pretty sure that it doesn’t have to be that way, but in this relationship, it was always that way. if it wasn’t him wanting to leave my family, it was me wanting to leave his. Not that I don’t love his family, because I really, really do. I think it always had more to do with us not wanting to keep up the charade of happiness and harmony that made it hard…I don’t know.

To be honest, I sort of dreaded coming home to him and that familiar hostility more than anything. He hasn’t said much to me since the break up. I mostly have just left him alone, knowing there is nothing I can say that he wants to hear.

Yesterday, I left the baby with him and took the kids up to San Francisco for the day because I promised them (Aisley and her boyfriend) that I would. At the last second, and old friend of mine asked if I’d meet him for breakfast, and since it was on the way, I said yes. He ended up riding along with us for the day, and I had a fantastic time. I was so glad he came, since the kids didn’t want me tagging along with them, making gagging sounds every time they kissed (which is WAY more than necessary, in my opinion.) He just recently ended a ten year relationship, and is still trying to figure it all out- he’s dating a lot, or rather, he was, and now he’s sort of started seeing only one girl that he really likes, but you can tell he’s still a little wobbly- trying to get his land legs, as it were.

I spent a lot of time talking about my situation, which is how you could tell it wasn’t a date- we both talked pretty constantly about our big, significant, failed relationships. But we had a great time, and being with him, who paid for my breakfast and had an all-day conversation with me, full of actual WORDS…well, it gave me hope. And it reminded me of how much I like to laugh, and flirt (innocently), and be heard. I came home thinking I would be okay. Better than okay. Better than ever before, maybe.

Then I got a letter from Devon, via Facebook (?), late, late at night. I read it twice, and then I replied, and that’s when the tears started. Just writing about it is starting them up again. He told me that he is hurting, and I could tell that he is angry and resentful and scared. I think it is finally sinking in that I am not bluffing this time.

The idea that he is hurting and feeling afraid, and that I am the source of this, it’s pretty unbearable for me. I understand that it’s a lot more complicated than that, but in a nutshell, in it’s simplest form, I am hurting him. I HATE that. I’ve said it here before, that I still love him, so it makes sense that it hurts me terribly to cause him pain. So many times I’ve felt like I could see the little kid in him, right beneath his grown up face, and a part of me is fiercely protective of that, even now.

But the fact remains that I want out. The truth I can see, through all of the heartache, is that there is nothing left of our relationship to save. It’s gone. And I am just not going to pretend. The letter I wrote back to him is not what he was wanting from me, which is going to cause him more pain, and I am really, really sad and sorry about that. At the bottom of it all, I feel like I am really making the best decision, not only for me but for both of us- that he deserves to be happy just as much as I do, and we can’t be happy together. Hopefully, he will see this eventually, too.

I am only responsible for myself, though, really, and trying to be in charge of his happiness is part of the reason we wound up here. I think if I would have let things run their course naturally, we would have broken up the first year.

Ah, I don’t know where to go from there. I guess I will just end here by saying this- I will let the tears come when they need to, and I will be enormously loving and gentle with myself, knowing that continued joy is ahead. I will pray for him, myself, and our children, and practice turning it back over to God when I start wanting to fix it.

Have a great day.

Posted in family, inner peace, Life, love, People

Keeping My Hands Off!

Today, the second day of my solo stab at life (it’s super hard to feel single when the guy you’ve been with for the past five years is, like, in the living room.) I have had to have several stern talks with myself about flip-flopping, minding my own business, leaving things alone and keeping my grubby little hands OFF OF IT.

You see, I am a resolver. I have been steering the ship of our relationship with all of my might since just about the beginning…and all of my best efforts still got us right here, on the rocks, falling apart. It is incredibly hard for me to say my piece, then walk away. But I understand, somehow, that all of my fixing of everything kind of brought us here. All of my forgiveness and hoping and trying to smooth things over set a precedent that no person, no matter how foolish, would walk away from. In short, I lay right down and said- “Yes, please, wipe your feet on me, man. I LOVE it. To prove to you how much I love it, I will let you do it again and again and again.”

Now listen, I am not blaming him, not at all. As the disgraceful human beings we all are, it’s very hard to resist what is given so freely to us. Sometimes we don’t even know that we are hurting someone else (especially if they allow it) and sometimes we can’t even see what is happening, or that it’s fucked up.

So right now, my job is to leave it alone. Yes, it breaks my heart to think of him alone on Thanksgiving while I am off with my family. Yes, it kills me that his car LITERALLY caught on fire today, and now he is just totally screwed. I want to comfort him, tell him, of course, that I still love him, figure out a way to fix it all. But my job right now is to let him sweat it out, hurt, feel shitty, suffer- whatever he has to do to GET IT. And it is awful.

But he is a grown man, and it’s not my job to fix him. It’s not even my job to decide if he is broken. I am giving all of this back to him, and back to God, because I am TIRED. If he can’t be who I need, and get there on his own, then he just isn’t the right guy for me. It’s incredibly sad, and scary and upsetting because I have never, ever stopped loving him. I love him more now than I did when it was all crazy and lustful and frantic all the time. I love him because I see how he tends to our daughter, how tender he is, and how perfectly he knows how to listen to her- in a way that I have  never mastered. I love him for a million little reasons I couldn’t even explain right now.

But I hate the way WE are. I hate the silence, the nit-picking, the distance between us that I, for the life of me, don’t know how to bridge. I hate the lies and the meanness, the absence, the inconsideration. And I can’t be happy this way. Simple as that.

So I figured this- if I end it all, just pull the plug on this thing, one of two things will happen. Either I will realize that I should have done this a million years ago and I’ll be fine, or he’ll suddenly realize that I am serious as hell, use his time alone to get it together, and we’ll work it out down the road. I’m not holding my breath on that last one, but stranger things have happened.

In the meantime, I am surrounded by people who love me, support me, want nothing but the best for me. I will be busy and happy and go to bed at night knowing I did the very best I could, here. My conscious, and my hands, are clean.

Posted in family, inner peace, kids, Life, love, People

Seeing Beyond The Separation

I don’t know the right words to describe what I am going to attempt to describe here, anyway, so bear with me. You know how there are moments in your life where you are aware that it’s all different now? Like, something happens, and it may not even be a big thing, or at least it may be way in the aftermath of a whole bunch of big things, and you have settled down, and you are driving your car down the same old road and this feeling of…change, I guess, just sets itself down upon you?

Well, I am in such a place right now. I have been trying to deny the urge to write about it all morning, hoping it would just go away, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. So, here I sit.

Last night, the switch got tripped. It wasn’t my fault, let me assure you. I was in bed at eight thirty, fast asleep. Then I was awake again at ten, and the person who is SUPPOSED to be sleeping in bed beside me was nowhere to be found. Nowhere in the house, either. This went on for most of the night and into the morning. Was he out cheating on me again, or getting high with his friends? I don’t know. But the worst part is that I didn’t even feel like wasting my time worrying about it. I mean, been there, done that, you know. To me, the most troubling thing of all was my weariness of it all- like, I’m not mad, but fuck you, buddy. I’m tired, I need my rest. Go live this life of yours elsewhere.

Remember when I said ( I think it may have been my last post) that I wasn’t leaving? Well, that part remains true- I am not going anywhere. But he can’t live here anymore. I just need and deserve so much more. I feel so bad for Camryn, because she loves her daddy so much, but you know what? If  he really is as devoted to her as he seems, he will continue to be that no matter where he is living.

The funny thing is, normally, I can’t imagine myself beyond the pain of the separation- I get all caught up in the idea of loneliness, financial ruin, fear of being incapable of doing all this alone. But this time, I saw beyond it, in my head, and it was just like anything else- a situation you get accustomed to, that becomes better, with time, than anything that we could accomplish together. I saw my way into the peace that lies on the other side of what has become a long, sad train wreck.

Because the truth is, I don’t think we’ve really been together in a long, long time. Our lives have been steadily more separate despite all our half hearted  efforts to pull them back together. And when there is this much indifference, what, really, is there left to do?

There’s a life out there to be lived that is more than just us getting by, going through the motions. Today, I’m going to start easing back into it. It’s the next right thing to do.