Collateral Damage

When your kids are sad – and I don’t mean mad or annoyed – but downright sad, it breaks your heart in a way you can’t even explain. You feel like your whole body is lead. Just heavy and dull and blah. Your brain kinda fogs up and you can’t think straight.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk since my little She-ra (7 yr old) had a difficult time the other night when I dropped her off at Daddy’s (aka Grayheart’s) house. She didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to leave me, etc. She does this frequently. Not as much lately but I figure that coming off of the weekend with me was certainly not going to have her want to leave her cozy home to start the weekend with him. (My almost 4 yr old son, though, has no issues.)

So I always leave feeling crummy. She clings to me and cries and begs. And it sucks. 

She usually gets over it soon thereafter and Grayheart normally texts me to let me know all is good. 

But this time she took a bit longer to recover. She wailed to him how unfair this whole set up is. She wanted to be at her home. Not his

So he patiently listened to her as she complained that the divorce is the cause of him not being at home. And that she doesn’t understand it, doesn’t like it and wishes he’d just move back in. 

What do you say to that?! I mean, honestly, you respond with the typical explanation: how it’s this way for a reason, blah, blah, blah… but she’s right. Divorce sucks. She’s been put in a position where she has to split her time between the two adults she loves the absolute most. And since she’s 7, she remembers having an intact household. (Whereas my son doesn’t.)

So he talked her through it – and did a nice job, I must admit – and she recovered. But it’s moments like this that just pop out of nowhere – even a year and a half later – that throw you off. That even though they’re “ok” and “doing well”, kids are collateral damage. And that is depressing.

My friend, TheEuphoricIraqiSingleMom, brought up recently the topic of staying in a loveless marriage in regards to a friend of hers. I’ve thought about it before. How much would I be willing to sacrifice to make sure my kids had an intact, whole family? Could I ever get back with Grayheart just for the kids? Could I ever forgive what he’s done to me? Could I pretend I love him just to make sure I could be with my kids all the time? 

And the answer is, I can’t. I don’t see him the same. I don’t love him like I once did. He actually repulses me, in a way. I know I’d never get back with him but sometimes I’m disappointed in myself because it seems selfish. I know from a logical standpoint that I’m being silly, but that little voice loves to taunt me at times. Especially when I have a setback with my kids.

Anyway, darling daughter is fine now and hasn’t brought up any concerns…and seemed to have a lovely weekend with her father. So, I’m guessing this is normal.

Nonetheless, divorce sucks. 

xo

Athena

Thanksgiving = Success!

Thanksgiving was a success!

Captain joined us for dinner and he got along soooo well with my family (i.e. my mom, stepfather, sister, grandparents, stepsister, etc.)! My kids (3 & 6) really like him so it was nice to have my family see them in action.

And because Captain’s a gentleman, he brought over 5 lbs of Florida stone crabs, corn and a case of beer. 😉 Major brownie points scored!

  
 

Captain & kids husking corn together

 

Grayheart came by during dessert. They finally officially met. They shook hands hello then Grayheart went over to chat with the kids. He lasted about 15-20 minutes at the house and then said adios  to everyone. (He shook hands with Captain goodbye and said he’d see him down the road.)

Mom’s famous flan!

 
It was awkward but nothing went awry. It was weird having them both at my my mom’s house yet Grayheart was now an outsider. Made me feel kind of bad for him, to be honest. (Not that I should, I mean, Grayheart chose this life. Captain came aboard way after we separated.)

This was my motto on Thanksgiving!

Nonetheless, dinner was delicious, conversation flowed wonderfully and it really felt like a happy Thanksgiving with the people I love the most.

Makes me excited for Christmas! 🌲

xoxo

Today’s Motto:  

My Mother-in-law

My Mother-in-law’s birthday was last week but we didn’t connect until a few days later.  I don’t speak much with her but we have always had a good relationship.

My MIL is an interesting woman. She suffers from panic disorders, anxiety and depression. She’s witnessed the death of two husbands and has a really screwed up family. She’s overweight, a chain smoker, always has some sort of ailment, etc. I feel her sons (Grayheart included) are often too hard on her and don’t understand or sympathize with her.

I’m not her daughter so I can’t attest to how good of a mom she was to her sons while raising them. They harbor resentment even though they all have a relationship with her. I think they’re often too abrasive with her given how sensitive she is… but it’s not my business.

Mother memeShe’s not the most active grandmother but she cares for my rugrats and checks up on them every so often. She remembers birthdays and always send Christmas gifts. She usually visits once a year from up North. She’s always been kind to me so I don’t have any complaints.

I feel like she’s only capable of so much given her history and disorders. I haven’t really spoken to her more than maybe twice in the last year.  I know she cares. She’s just different.

So we caught up on the family and she asked how I was. I replied I was doing well and that Grayheart and I were doing a nice job handling the kids throughout the divorce. And then I let it slip that his girlfriend, Raggedy Ann, had met the kids and all was fine.

She had no idea he had a girlfriend.

They’ve been together over a year now.

I didn’t get into any details with her about it. But I sure as hell made sure she knew this was the woman that was an active participant in the destruction of our marriage.

So I’m taking it that Grayheart is still a bit embarrassed about his rough beginnings with Raggedy. And doesn’t want to be judged for it.

Fucker.

But as meaningless as it is, part of me felt good that he’s kept this part of his life semi-compartmentalized. I had a small and temporary feeling of superiority. Silly, I know. But sometimes it’s these little things that make you feel better.

I’m finally putting my mother-in-law’s bday card in the mail now. Better late than never.

xo

When you almost run into your ex-husband’s mistress turned girlfriend 

I had a bit of an awkward situation last night.

Normally, my arrangement with Grayheart is that I drop off the kids to him and he brings them back to me. We’ve read in a few books that it’s easier on kids to not feel like they’re being “taken” from their parent’s house by the other parent.

Last night we switched it up because I was coming home from dinner and thought it’d be easier to pick them up on my way home. I asked him to bathe our youngest (He-man, my 3 yr old son) so I didn’t have to deal with it when I got home. 

Somehow he misunderstood. So when I arrived, little He-man had not been bathed. I was visibly annoyed so Grayheart offered to bathe him quickly. I waited in the living room. She-ra, my 6 yr old daughter, then exclaims “Mami! Why don’t you meet Raggedy Ann! I want to introduce you to her! She’s upstairs!”

WHAT THE FUCK?!

So I calmly, coolly and tauntingly said out loud “Why yes! Why doesn’t she come down so we can meet?”

  
Grayheart bolted over and pleaded with me to please not put She-ra in the middle of the situation and drop it.

I took a look at my innocent daughter who was excited for introductions and decided to drop it. I said I would meet her at another time since she was probably in the bathroom.

I was pissed!

I don’t know what I would’ve done. A million things went through my mind.

  1. She’s a freaking wimp. No one would ever have me hiding.
  2. I’m glad the bitch is scared of me.
  3. I’m going to punch her once in the face. Just one knock out.
  4. Do I smile and pretend to be pleased to meet her in front of the kids?
  5. Do I threaten to kick her ass at a later time?
  6. Do I call her a whore or a skank?
  7. Should I roundhouse kick her?
  8. Which eye should I spit in?
  9. Do I thank her for taking him off my hands and congratulate her for having my sloppy seconds? He’s your problem now, bitch!
  10. Do I run up the stairs and further I intimidate her?
  11. Should I walk out the door and wait in the car? (Hell no!)
  12. I’m going to take my sweet ass time in his house and walk around like o own the place.

Once I quickly recovered from my shock, I hissed at him “You have your fucking girlfriend here?!” 

You know what his response was? To put it back on me! “You never asked.”, he said deadpan. (So typical for him to immediately respond with a way to blame me when backed into a corner.) And then he realized how dumb he sounded and apologized. I never go inside his house and, of course, this time I did. He didn’t think and didn’t know what to do. 

I was seething. But I held myself together and waited patiently in the living room for the kids. 

  
It was awkward, to say the least. But then it got me thinking… I will meet her eventually. She’s around my kids and our paths will cross. How do I handle that first time we do meet?

I hate Grayheart for giving me this headache. How am I supposed to treat a woman that was complicit in the breakup of our marriage? (Yes, I know I’m better off. Yes, I know it’s him that I’m to hold responsible. Yes, I know we had issues before her.) But, realistically, she is a weasel and disrespected me and my family. I can’t just let her think I’m a doormat and okay with that kind of crap! 

I know I’ll get over it and eventually have no feelings towards her. But this is now. And I don’t think I’m a big enough person at this point to turn the other cheek.
Suggestions are welcome! I’d love to hear how you may have handled it if you’ve ever been in the situation! Did I do the right thing last night?

As a slightly funny thing, as I was waiting in the foyer, I noticed her flip flops by the front mat. I was going to kick them outside the front door since it was raining and they’d get soaked. Yes. Total third grade behavior but it was that kind of moment. As I started to, Grayheart walked out and I quickly acted like nothing happened and was unable to fully complete my immature stunt. Hmpf! 

Today’s mantra: Take it easy. You leave to the Caribbean tomorrow for your bff’s wedding. Let it go! (And how awesome there is a rainbow today?!)

  

Déjà vu – Sadness returns. Ugh. 

I have been in a funk. Excuse me as I rant.

I go up, I go down. 

I’m on a down right now.

   

I feel as if I have been reliving the announcement of the separation as exactly a year ago. The rainy, dreary weather is the same, my kids are back in school, anxiety and depression are sitting on each of my shoulders, and my trip to Paris is right around the corner. 

It feels like déjà vu. I wake up and I can’t believe this is my life. I’d rather be sleeping than facing the sadness that surrounds me. The weather matches my mood and I can’t seem to get out of it.   

I do not want to be back with Grayheart. I do not feel the same way towards him. He is a different man now and I’m not even sure I ever really knew him.

At this second, I’m not even mad. I’m just sad; like my soul is sad. Give me a squeeze and I’ll burst into tears at any given second. I’m that sensitive. I feel like I’m trying to jog while underwater.Last year I was even scheduled to go to Paris with Grayheart and run the Paris to Versailles race. I cancelled the trip three days before we were scheduled to leave because I couldn’t bear the thought of having him next to me in such a romantic city after he told me he was miserable.

So here I am planning to go on a new and improved version of the trip. But I keep having that sinking feeling in my gut. I have little desire to shop or pack for my trip. I have an emptiness and nausea that I can’t get rid of no matter how hard I try. 

I am also a shadow of the person I have been over the last several months. I was feeling so strong and happy and carefree. And now I’m moody and sullen.  

  
 I think I’m sabotaging my relationship with Captain. I’ve been pessimistic about it all, needy and just not as fun to be with. We’ve also been apart most of the month due to his work and travel. I keep focusing on our differences (eg. kids vs no kids, he works a lot, he is not close to his family, he’s kind of shy, etc.). And I know that all but the kids thing is totally me just having major insecurities and over-scrutinizing insignificant details. I am so traumatized by Grayheart leaving me that I keep waiting and watching for signs to tell me this guy will leave me, too. Ugh.

 

I hope I snap out of this. Quickly. I am not typically a depressed person and it’s very upsetting to me that I’m acting so strangely.

  
Today’s Mantra: This is normal and part of the healing process. (Right?!)

xo

Blogging 101 Assignment #4 – My Dream Reader

I joined a Blogging 101 course and assignment #4 was to put together a post for your dream reader.  It’s difficult to call this my dream reader…  Let’s just say I found the appropriate audience.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Dear Grayheart,

Fuck you.

Hope you’re miserable the rest of your life.

Warm regards,

Your soon-to-be ex wife

(Too much????)