Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?

Growing up, we watched Sesame Street. There was a song that went something like:

Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?

In your neighborhood?

In your neighborhood?

Say, who are the people in your neighborhood?

The people that you meet each day.

Nowhere there do I see that your ex-husband should be the people in your neighborhood. ๐Ÿ˜‘

I nearly had a heart attack when my 9 year old daughter mentioned something about Daddy checking out a house for sale in the next cul-de-sac. They toured an open house on my block!!

Made me sick to my stomach. Want to throw up, queasy, oh hell no, kind of sick.

Sometimes I ask myself how it can be fair that you can still have to see someone you cannot stand on such a frequent basis? If Grayheart could just consistently be nice or normal (or just consistent) then I wouldn’t have to want to punch him in his smug face so often.

Don’t exes want to avoid each other? I don’t want to see him more often than I have to! No one loves their kids enough to want to move 5 houses away. Just leave me alone, dude.

So I asked him about it. Claims they stopped by on a whim just for fun while they happened to drive by. That there’s no way he could even afford a house in the neighborhood. I’m calling bullshit. He can’t afford it is right. But that it was a chance thing? Nope. I think he’s just trying to mind-f*ck me. Make me crazy.

And it’s almost working. Almost.

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Happy Divorce Anniversary to Me

I completely missed that a little over a year ago I officially divorced from Grayheart. So happy anniversary to me for that milestone!

It’s been over 3 and a half years since we separated. And as I reflect, I’ve noticed a few things.

  1. I no longer have the “need” or even desire to understand what went wrong. I no longer dissect it or try to make sense of it. He is a selfish man, I married the wrong person, and I now know better.
  2. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I think I was still a good wife but there are many things I could have done better. I am a better partner now. I appreciate things that truly matter. Little things count.
  3. Nothing lasts forever and there’s a sort of comfort you have the first time around that leaves you after a divorce. You no longer sit comfortably thinking you can’t be dethroned. Someone can vow to love you forever but they won’t stick around if you’re no longer lovable. Anyone can be replaced. Sounds negative but I feel like it’s just a more realistic point of view. And it pretty much applies to all in life.
  4. I’m fiercer and less willing to put up with anything I think is beneath me. I refuse to fall into old patterns in relationships.
  5. My bond with my kids is even stronger than I thought possible. I grateful for every moment with them since I now see them less than I would have if I’d had an intact household.
  6. It’s not fair but I have to put in more effort than my ex does when it comes to the kids. I do more and that’s just the way it is. It’s draining at times but whining that life isn’t fair just doesn’t help.
  7. The things that drove me crazy about my ex still annoy the hell out of me. But I don’t have to deal with him in my face every day. I’m free from his darkness.
  8. I no longer feel like I need to be connected somehow to Grayheart. We are not really friends. We are family, I guess? It’s reminiscent of an annoying cousin you care for and would be there for if they need you, but you don’t really talk to often. Every now and then he and I have a good quality conversation, especially about the kids. But I prefer not to be around him.
  9. His life has not drastically improved since we parted. He’s in debt. His weight has fluctuated. He’s changed jobs. He’s no longer friends with the “divorce is awesome” crew that encouraged the single life. He is no longer with Raggedy (she moved to Maryland). He has the kids to truly be proud of but that’s because I take care of everything. He’s screwed up everything around him.
  10. I have moments of frustration and sadness for my children but I haven’t cried about my divorce since the day it was officially confirmed. I think I poured out everything left at that moment. There is magic that happens within the 2 to 3 year mark. You really do heal. If you do it the right way. I faced it, received wonderful counseling, and managed to co-parent well through the worst of it. And somewhere along the way, I found a magnificent man as a partner.

So happy anniversary to me. I won’t “celebrate” it because I no longer define myself by it. It’s old news and I’m too busy moving straight ahead! I wish those of you going through a divorce a ton of strength and faith through the process. It does get better.

xo Athena

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

Grayheart & Kids in Disneyย 

For the last several years, my family and I have done the Disney World marathon weekend since we are annual pass holders. I even went last year even though Grayheart and I were estranged.  (I did my first half marathon last year.)

Typically, one of us would do a race while we have the kids do a kids race.

  
This year, the Disney marathon weekend fell on Grayheart’s weekend with the kids. He invited me to join them. I thought about it. And declined. (I’m not that crazy again.)

And then I panicked thinking he would be alone in Disney world with our 3 yr old son and 6 yr old daughter. 

So I told him that I actually preferred that there be another adult with them. Raggedy Ann.

Yup, I actually asked that the woman who was a part of my breakup with my husband to attend Disney World with my kids.

Why? Because another set of eyes would ensure my kids would be properly watched, cared for, help with bathroom breaks and be the even number for any rides. 

And so she joined them this past weekend for it. And I was okay.

  
I didn’t overthink it. Because if I allowed myself to, I’d probably get worked up and upset for no reason.

Instead, I’m grateful my kids had fun and  back in one piece, safe and sound.

 

Disney Kids Race

 
I’m doing good, friends. I’m really coming to peace with my new life. I’m not fully there yet but I’m getting there. ๐Ÿ™‚

XO

PS –  It was glorious, though, hearing Grayheart remark that he has no idea how I did it by myself last month because it was exhausting even with two adults watching over them.

Heh! 

Christmas with the kidsย 

The two week Christmas break from school for the kids (my 3 yr old son & 6 yr old daughter) was split with the first week being with my ex, Grayheart, while the second week was spent with me. 

That first week I traveled to Colorado and came back Christmas Eve. (Captain headed out of town to visit his family for Christmas.) The kids did dinner that evening with me and my family; what we call Noche Buena. Grayheart picked the kids up late that night and they stayed over at his house. They woke Christmas morning at his home. They called me over and I got to watch them open presents there. (Raggedy was out of town visiting her own family.)  

My princess of power

 
Then I took the kids home with me while Grayheart followed behind and had them open gifts at my house. We had a really nice time all together as a family. It was nostalgically nice. Grayheart was pleasant, we chatted in a friendly manner and none of it felt fake. I then took the kids (on my own) to abuela’s house (aka my mom) to then do gift exchanges there. 

 

My little He-man


   
The kids went back to Grayheart’s house late afternoon. Captain drove back and met me at my home so we could celebrate Christmas evening together. We exchanged gifts* and then watched Star Wars at the movies! (Which was amaze-balls!) 

Captain celebrating his new GoPro

 

All things considered, it was a wonderful Christmas! There was lots of positive energy, everyone was cheerful and we did a great job sharing our children. 

*I’m going to gush a second…Captain was amazing! He got me a few books he thought I’d love, a mani/pedi certificate to use on a day he is working, salsa lessons for us to do together, paintball day and archery lessons! He’s paid such close attention to me…it had me in tears. It’s been so long since I’ve been loved like this. And I don’t quite think I’ve ever been loved better.

  
Hope you all enjoyed the holidays! 

(Please excuse the mess in my home! Eek!)

๐Ÿ˜˜

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐ŸŒฒ

xoxo

Today’s Motto:  

Tenth Anniversary

Today is my 10th anniversary. 

The traditional gift for your tenth anniversary is aluminum. He can have this foil ball as my present to his dumb ass.

Grayheart and I were discussing some things over the phone about the kids. He looked at the calendar and remarked, “Oh! Happy anniversary!”

He thought he was funny.

So I responded, “Yes! I’m so glad we made it to ten years!” in a completely fake sugary sweet cheerleader voice. 

He didn’t think it was funny anymore.

Asshole.

  
What do I feel today?

Strangely nothing. 

But I sure as hell haven’t forgotten he started screwing Raggedy Ann on our anniversary last year. 

But no pain. No sadness. Just nothing

So tonight I’m celebrating my freedom with one of my best friends that’s known me a hella long time.

Here’s to Throwback Thursday! 

Salud! ๐Ÿท๐Ÿธ๐Ÿบ

XO