Good Riddance, 2006! (my year in review)

Seems every year I sit down to write my end of year blog, thinking that I will be glad to be rid of this year, that next year will be better, and somehow it always seems worse. This year has truly taken the cake. I can barely see the keyboard as type through tears remembering it all. But I think in order to really move on and leave things behind and appreciate our life as it is now, we must really look at where we’ve been….without further ado…. here is my 2006 in review

January 06′ –  Miss Crazie’s Dad had a heart attack and she came home for a visit. A visit that seemed to change everything for her and she made the decision to move back home to Ohio and boy was I glad to have her back. Little did I know how much I would need her and all my friends this year. Pickle was admitted to the hospital for nearly a week because of his seizures. After months of trying and starting to worry, Ni found out she was pregnant.

Feburary- Jedi turned 5, Steelers won Super Bowl XL, Had my eyebrow pierced, Eva’s baby shower, Mack passed away.

March – Jedi diagnosed with asthma, Got Pickle’s new birth certificate after adoption,  The BOYZ GONE WILD incident, realization of state of marriage, tried romantic night away thing to compensate, Beavis’ granddaughter is born, lump in my breast and cysts reappear in ovaries, Pickle’s 10th birthday party , the end of Matilda and I’s decade long “friendship”, Diva’s ear tube surgery.

April – Got to go to a Cav’s game, Ni & her daughter visit for Diva’s 3rd birthday, we almost lose my mother from A-Fib, two incidents that led me to realize how cold my husband really was  (looking back, I think this was what sealed my marriage’s fate), bad insomnia sets in, decide to make some changes, enrolled back in college, leveled the yard, put in patio, popped rib out in process, Ni finds out she’s having a boy!

May – Begin college classes, Cinco de Mayo celebration on new patio, got Diva potty trained, was put on meds, the first talk of separation, Diva’s first movie – Over the Hedge, Day out w/ Thomas, Aero’s game, druken phone calls by husband to my friends and sister, Memorial Day cook-out debacle.

June – Husband tries to sabotage my mid-terms, cysts get worse, put on hormones for 3 months, My best friend moves into her own place, my sister calling from jail, first discussion of separation with Husband ,Pickle diagnosed as cognitively disabled, Took kids to Zoo, Husband‘s drinking gets worse, Husband starts coming home later and later, Fight with Crazie, Lots of swimming with Beavis at her new place with the kids at the pool, Jedi graduates from Safety Town.

July – Family bike ride from hell, start marriage counseling, 4th of July from hell, Pickle diagnosed with urinary reflux, I tell Mom-in-law that I think it’s over, My Dad’s birthday from hell, Me running away to Beavis’, Jedi breaks his arm, Trip to Kentucky w/ kids, Husband‘s spectacular (heavy sarcasm) celebration of my birthday, the long drive to Virginia for Ni’s baby shower and the decisions I made during that time on my drive, surprise cake on my birthday when I arrive in VA and my 21st birthday lunch with Tessa and MACkenzie (wink), first time I’ve genuinely smiled in months.

August- Mammogram for lump in breast, Cpl. Joe Tomci’s funeral, 1st time Husband doesn’t come home at night, Biscuit visits – its sad when someone in your husband‘s family tells you to run, the lies start to pile up, get night job just to have some space only to have to quit because I can’t rely on husband to be home at night,  Jedi gets stitches in his lip, the “BJ” incident, husband leaves, husband comes back to “work things out” only to continue to go out all the time, severe migraines set in, Husband tells me he’s seen a lawyer.

September- Jedi’s stitches in head after Diva hits him with hammer to kill a spider (it’s funny now), Husband put on 30 day probationary period, Mega-depression sets in, Ni brings her baby boy into the world, Darryl deployed… again, Pass out from migraine/exhaustion/dehydration, Got my first job as a legal assistant, Chuck commits suicide, the weird infection, I see a divorce attorney.

October –  I file for divorce, the “choke hold” incident, husband arrested, restraining order, husband moves out, My 6th Anniversary visit to Kentucky, EX has a date with someone I suspect he cheated on me with, accepting it’s over, I start being myself again, I find my smile again, stop taking anti-depressent, dating again? – scary!, not ready.

November –  Best Friend, Beavis’ son killed … funeral, burial, talking all night on the phone with Trouble, Beavis says “Life’s too short…I’ve waited too long to be happy“. I set the first date-DATE with TROUBLE (Jer), the first court date for the boy who shot my Beavis’ son, a peaceful Thanksgiving.

December – Meet EX’s girlfriend, Met Jer’s Mom, Jer and I celebrate our one month “anniversary” by ending the wait(snicker), Quit smoking, Li’s accident, Jer gets a new job to be closer to me, EX loses his job, I completed 90 day probationary period with my job and get a raise, Had a very bittersweet Christmas, and now……I’m ready for New Years.

This year has been a rough one…

2007 – I’m waiting for ya, hoping you will be my power year…..bring it on!!!

(To all my friends and family…. particularly….my Beavis, Crazie, my sister, my cousins…Li, Ni and Biscuit, my dear friend, Kelli Jo…thank-you for seeing me through all of this. I don’t know where I would be without your love and support. I won’t forget. I love you guys! And to Jer, I don’t know where it goes from here, maybe I’m not ready to know yet, but….I can’t even type this without tears of happiness and gratitude filling my eyes….I will always be grateful to you. Thank-you for just being you, for just loving me for me, for restoring my faith and hope in love, thank-you for everything and for things you’ll never even know cause I could never find the words….I love you.

emotionally drained

this weekend was emotionally draining.
it started with friday’s conversation with Ex .

then saturday night there was another conversation between us. i called him to tell the kids good-night and then he started asking me if i was ok, that i had seemed down when i had dropped the kids off to him. i explained that it’s just part of the process. there are going to be these ups and downs. it’s not easy to be with someone for 8 years and then poof! their gone. he said he had hoped that Jer wouldn’t have been with me when i dropped the kids off, because he thought it would be cool to hang out for a while and just talk about all this shit, because,  nobody else can understand but us. there is some truth to that, but i don’t know if i can take much more of this. so, i said, well maybe we can hang for a little bit tomorrow, but since it’s your birthday i really don’t want to upset you or for it to be emotional. he started saying well maybe when i drop off the kids tomorrow we could do that, but he would rather do it at his place, since there is the whole restraining order, so i said i would pick up the kids and let them give him their presents, then he said well he was going to his mom’s and he would probably have company. mmmm, ok. this was a little confusing. he wanted to hang out but now us doing something as a family is on a time schedule with his girlfriend? thanks, but no thanks. seems i’m always gonna be squeezed in. used to be his job and his drinking were higher up on his list of priorities, and now it’s his girlfriend. you know, when you realize you are this far down on someone’s list of priorities….you just don’t even care to be on the list anyways. this is why i don’t see us ever being “friends”. i have expectations of my friends, this would be a one way street, i would be let down. this led to me explaining to him that it had been kinda hard to make amends with the conversation we had had friday because it was hard to understand him “love”ing someone else or that he could be a man that s* didn’t think he exsisted. what did that mean? what kind of man was he know? why could he save her, but not me, not his own family? he said he had just convinced himself that he couldn’t give me what i needed. i said that’s why i said maybe we should just seperate, i thought maybe some time apart would give us a different perspective, some clarity but you said you thought there was too much hurt between us and well, i believed you. then he said i had never been affectionate.

stop.

no, i’m not gonna let him do that and i told him so. when he was good to me and our family, i was good to him. there were months, long periods of time, that things stayed good…usually  when he wasn’t drinking like a fish. seems a lot of our bad times revolved around his drinking habits, and in his heart, he knows that. when it was good, i was affectionate, there was cuddling, there was sex. but yes, towards the end…. it was few and far between, just like him showing up and being an active part in the relationship or our family was few and far between in the end and i couldn’t spend my whole like with somebody feeling like i wasn’t good enough. exactly, he said. which i assume means that he felt he was never good enough for me. i don’t understand that. yes, i REACTED to him, when he did something fucked up, i did hold him accountable for it, but not forever. there was just always a new and improved fucked up incident being added to the mix.

it’s like this……there was this wall constructed between us, brick by brick, over the years. every fucked up incident, led to words, on both sides, which led to hurt, which led to emotional detachment… during good times, Ex could do fairly well at taking the bricks back out and just when we’d get to a point between us that it seemed we might actually be able to demolish the damn thing, he’d start feeling sorry for himself out of nowhere, would start drinking, would start saying/doing things, i would withdraw to protect myself, shift focus, this would hurt him, he would feel rejected, and so the bricks went back in.

yes, there were things that i would’ve done differently, yes, i did end up bitter. i wish i would’ve taken my guard down again and again and again, but it just seemed like, whenever i’d get to that point…he’d walk away.  one of the biggest reasons that i couldn’t let me guard down was because he never took responsibility for the things he did. not just the little things, everyday, but the big things. like maybe if he ignored them they would just go away or if he denied them, i would actually believe i made them up in my own head. he never was accountable. this is what our counselor spent months trying to get him to realize. instead of looking at what your wife is doing…you need to think about what you are doing. women, naturally, are reactors. i can tell you for a fact, i never did the things to him that he did to me….i wouldn’t do them to anybody. i never spit in his face, i never hit him, i never grabbed him by the throat, i never sat in a car with one of my friends drunk and called him fat and worthless and a bitch and a liar, while he drove me home, i never stole money from him, i never passed out drunk while i was responsible for our children, i never missed work because i had a hang over.  and for the times that i said, hey this hurt me, he said stop being dramatic or that happened a long time ago, let it go. but there were so many thing that he never validated, that he just pretended never happened, that i couldn’t put i behind me. and over and over again, he added more and more. then would expect our relationship to go from a 1 to a 10 overnight. it was like that with everything. i was 19 when i met him. he expected me to know how to be a homemaker, a cook, a mother, a perfect lover….immediately. he called me names when i didn’t meet his expectations, he would make fun of me to other people right in front me. so after that, what the hell makes you want to do those things for someone? and whats’ worse…is that the standards he applied to me, HE didn’t apply to himself. what is that?

so, nothing has changed. it’s still all my fault. it’s still that he couldn’t give me what i wanted because i didn’t give him what he wanted. there’s no remorse, there’s no accountability. and that’s why it’s over. not because the fucked up shit happened, but because it will continue to happen when he doesn’t see what’s wrong with it.

after i got off the phone with him, i just called his mom and made arrangements to go over there before his family had their birthday thing for him so that the kids could give Ex his presents. and yesterday morning that’s what i did. it was good to see her. we both teared up a little bit when we hugged hello. i told her how much i’ve missed her and she said the same. she said it was weird, me not being around anymore and how hard all of this had been. we had coffee and she updated me on everything that was going on with everybody. i went upstairs and visited with grandma. i broke down and cried when i hugged her good-bye. which led to a conversation about me and Ex.  i just told her, that i loved her and everybody, no matter what, that i hoped there wouldn’t be any bad blood between the family and i. i told her i understood that they were Ex’s family, but that none of them had been there and really knew what had happened, that i wouldn’t bad mouth Ex to make my point to anyone, that it just is what it is and that we all have to move on, BUT it was hard to let go of my extended family when they had been a part of my life for so long. she told me how much she respected me for everything i’ve done and the amount of dignity i’ve had through everything, that i didn’t let it affect the way i mother Pickle or the other kids. that was nice to hear. then she went on to talk to me about how her and her husband had split up and gotten back together and how you just never know. nice sentiment. only difference is, the reason her and he split up was mostly because of her actions…from my understanding…and once she CHANGED her ways and her habits, they were able to have what they had always wanted. see the difference? (sigh)  but, i just nodded and gave her a big, long hug. told her i loved her, and i always would. \

this all led up to last night and my little emotional break down when Ex brought the kids home. he brought Jedi in first and as i was telling him hi and how much i missed him he looked at me and said “daddy has a new girlfriend, and it’s not you anymore.” it caught me off guard and it crushed me. yes, i knew it would happen, i’m aware of the situation…it’s bound to happen that Ex would move on, that’s not what hurt the most. what it was, was the fact that my five year old son would think that’s the way it should be. that when you’re done with someone you just move on to the next one. it hurts that he doesn’t understand. i wasn’t daddy’s fuckin’ girlfriend, i was his wife. i didn’t want things to be this way, i did everything in my power to save my marriage and my family, and all of this hurts me fuckin tremendously, but i hold it altogether and don’t run my mouth about it to my children, because my issues with Ex are mine, not theirs. no….i don’t want Jedi to know everything that went down or to understand it, but it just….hurt. i started crying. when Ex brought Diva in and saw i was crying, he asked why and i told him. he told Jedi he shouldn’t have said that to me and that was all i heard before i walked out of the room and into the kitchen. Ex followed me and turned me around and hugged me. he told me he was sorry that had happened. he thanked me for his birthday presents and told me he would call me later. then it was back to the car, his girlfriend’s car, that he was driving, with my kids in it, with her, after spending his birthday with her, with “our” extended family. yeh, it all just kinda hit me.

when he called later to tell the kids good-night, he asked if i was ok. i told him this was all a part of the process. he asked me if it made it any easy for me to think that, because he says, i say it all the time. he said that it seemed there were things i wanted to say that i wasn’t and i said that might be true. i spent 8 years always trying to be upfront with him and tell him where i was coming from and it got me absolutely nowhere, so where he is concerned….i keep a little quieter these days.

really, what is there to say?

nothing we could say to each other is gonna change anything. i could probably wait forever and never hear him say what i always needed to hear. and even if he did, it’s too late now. i’m finally with someone who treats me like a queen. not in a pampered kind of way, but he takes good care of my heart. i’m content with my life….school, work, kids, love, it’s all coming together..finally. yes, it’s sort of bittersweet because i wanted to share those things with Ex, but i tried that for 8 years and i always came up short and i can’t focus on that anymore. the shoulda, woulda, coulda, what-if stuff is done with. and hopefully, one day….we’ll get to a place where it doesn’t all hurt so much anymore.

Braces yourselves …

I actually had an adult conversation with EX today.

It went pretty well. We were discussing moving up our hearing date with the divorce and got into talking about how difficult the whole thing has been. He was talking about being conflicted about everything going on, because there is a lot. Not only are we grieving the loss of whatever it is we had, but we are both trying to balance out new lives, new budgets, new roles, responsibilities and relationships. I started to tell him to be cautious with the new girl. I told him that I liked her and that she seemed nice, but I was worried he might start a pattern over. That it seemed similar to how our relationship started. Me being in a bad place and seeing someone else in a bad place that wanted to help. That I didn’t want him to take her for granted or vice versa. He said it wasn’t like that, that she had her own stuff going on and that I should understand because isn’t it different with Jer?

Well, yes it is, because #1- he’s not coming out of a marriage and #2- he doesn’t have kids. I’m not rescuing him. I’m not trying to help him in anyway.  My point was the similarity of EX coming out of his first marriage and getting immediately involved with me and him coming out of our marriage and getting immediately involved with her. It is similar in that way. Not that she is like me or anything like that, I don’t know her, I couldn’t say, but it is similar.

He told me that something had happened between them, that neither one of them was ready for, he said she didn’t think a guy like him existed and they fell in love. That was kinda hard to take to be honest. knowing somebody you tried to share your life with is moving on, is one thing, but to hear that it is, love … a little different. This is where your mind starts spinning … you start to ask questions and think about things that might not even be rational.

It occurred to me that his office Christmas party was tonight and that he would be going with her. Do you know that I actually bought myself a hot little number to wear to this thing tonight months ago? To look good for him? Do you know what it felt like to take it back? It was like that dress held so many more things and I just had nothing to do with it anymore. (sigh) I started thinking about how he probably wouldn’t even have this job if i hadn’t have encouraged him to go to that 2nd interview. What would’ve happened then?Iif he hadn’t have met certain people through that job and had their influences fueling the fire, would we be here now? Would he not have started staying out all hours of the night drinking with his boss and coworkers? If he hadn’t have had so much pressure put on him by his job, would he have drank so much? Would he have ignored his family the way he did? Or was it all inevitable? Honestly, he did those things before this job. Then I  wonder what kind of guy he is that she thought didn’t exist. Couldn’t have been the guy who was around towards the end of our marriage, cause those guys are a dime a dozen. I guess part of me wonders if it’s actually possible that he can be with her, what he could never be with me and why is that? Why couldn’t he be this stand up guy for his me? For our children? for our family? It doesn’t make sense. I mean, wouldn’t he have had more motivation be that guy to save his own family? Which leads me to wonder if it is just a smokescreen?

This is what led to me telling him that it concerned me that she could have read most everything on my blog and have just brushed it aside and got involved with him so quickly. I didn’t understand that. He said she had formed her own opinion about that. And I said, I know and that’s what concerns me. She has kids, she really should address it. He seemed to start getting annoyed and I just said “Look, I’m not trying to criticize either one of you. If you or even she were one of my friends, I’d say hey…this needs to be addressed seriously.” I’m trying to be a friend and maybe it’s hard for him to hear that right now, but I have to say it and that’s all I can do. He said they had talked about it. I told him that I hoped that he didn’t tell her I was full of shit and that she hadn’t just accepted it. That would be highly irresponsible on both ends. I don’t know what he said or what she said about it, but … the truth is, it concerns me. Mostly because when I got involved with him, he blamed everything on his ex, the reasons he drank, the reasons he was so horrible to her, was all because SHE made him miserable. It was a lie, but all i could see was what i wanted to see. i ignored the obvious, which is, like he is so fond of saying, “it takes two.” I just think If he doesn’t really deal with this, all of it, he will continue to self-destruct just because he never made amends or took responsibility enough to put the burden down so that he can REALLY move on. that’s the change i haven’t seen and that’s why i worry. You know if you can’t see that you did something wrong then you can’t change it, and if you don’t change it you’re bound to repeat it.

I told him that I wanted him to be happy and in a healthy relationship, but in order to do that, he was going to have to be honest with himself and her about what has gone down and how he’s feeling about this whole process. I told him that I was fortunate to be with someone who lets me grieve this loss, without making it about him, without feeling like he isn’t good enough, or feeling that maybe I want EX back and that I hoped he and she could do the same for each other, but it would be hard since she is going through her own divorce and he needs to be aware of her feelings in that regard as well. They both have kids to think about too. I don’t want him to get hurt, I don’t want her to get hurt and I sure as hell don’t want any of the kids to get hurt.

Yep, It’s official.

I’m a mother. I feel the need to protect and nurture everyone.

God help me.

In other news, got to have lunch with my girlfriend downtown today after having to go to court (for work). It’s really great to be able to do things again and be myself again. My girlfriend was even saying how I’m back to acting like myself and how much she’s missed seeing me smile, and hearing me laugh.  She talked about how much she liked Jer and how happy she was for me. That made me feel good. That someone else sees it and appreciates it as much as I do.

I’m happy for me too.

Things are going well. I’m almost done with another quarter at school. Looks like I’ll be graduating this summer. Work is going well. Things are picking upa nd moving forward. It’s very rewarding work that I feel good about doing. The kids are doing well. Despite the typical ornery behavior stuff here and there, they are much more settled and happy. That does my heart well.

And my love life, well…. it’s the icing on the cake. Jer is a great guy with an awesome heart.

I am such a lucky girl…..no I’m blessed. Truly, I am. And the funny thing is, all the crap that I’ve been through, that i thought would destroy me….has only made this all the more sweeter.

Ohio goes smoke-free

If Ohio can do it, any state in the country can do it
Smoking in Ohio is about to undergo a major change.
Starting Thursday, December 7, 2006, forget about smoking in Ohio bars, restaurants, bingo halls and private clubs. Even the last bastions of smoke-filled heaven, bowling alleys, will be off-limits for smokers. Ashtrays have effectively been outlawed.
This is the thrust of one of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the nation, approved by voters last month, making Ohio the first state in the Midwest to go smoke-free and the first tobacco-producing state to enact such a ban.
But the practical effect of the new law may reach far beyond Ohio. Supporters of smoking prohibitions in the workplace and entertainment facilities see the vote in Ohio as a possible tipping point, an indication that years of resistance to smoking restrictions in the so-called Heartland have been futile and that other states may follow.
‘If Ohio can do it, any state in the country can do it,’ said Shelly Kiser of the American Lung Association of Ohio. ‘This movement is not going to stop here.’
While that is only a prediction, there is growing evidence that the decade’s old anti-smoking campaign has gained new footing nationwide. Seventeen states {ndash}mostly in the northeast and west– currently have smoking bans, and three more were added as a result of public votes last month in Arizona, Nevada and Ohio.
Some restaurant and bowling alley owners in Ohio said they were stunned by the statewide smoking ban. Individual cities in Ohio, including Columbus, had already enacted their own smoking bans, but a statewide ban surprised opponents.
‘I never thought I’d see the day,’ said Vickie Thompson, co-owner with her husband Ralph of Brown’s Grill and Bowling Lanes in Cleveland. The six-lane bowling alley has been in continuous operation since 1912 and is one of the oldest in the nation.
‘I figure 60 percent of our customers smoke,’ said Thompson, adding she is not sure how to accommodate the smokers. ‘I expect there to be a little bit of fall-off (in business) but what are you going to do? It’s not as if you can go down the street. We’re all in this together.’
The statewide leveling of the playing field pleases John Carlson, general manager of the Columbus Square Bowling Palace, a 24/7 operation of 64 lanes that promotes itself as the ‘Country Club of Ohio Bowling Centers.’ Carlson’s operation has labored under but adjusted to a nearly two-year old smoking ban in Columbus.
‘Our league bowlers really took it in stride,’ Carlson said. ‘After the 10th frame you saw guys put on their footies and go outside to the patio to smoke.’
To accommodate bowlers during the winter months, Carlson said, he set up smoking tents with heaters.
‘Never thought I’d see a smoke-less bowling alley,’ said Carlson, who has worked at Columbus Square for more than 20 years.

As some of you already know, I’ve been a social smoker for years. When I go out to the bars with my friends and have some drinks, I smoke. Some of you also know that as the situation here at home escalated, I started smoking more and more and more. Within the last couple months, I worked my way up to going through a pack a week.

When this vote became a legal reality a month ago, I promised myself I would quit. Really what choice do I have? I cut down from 5 a day to 4, then 3, then 2, then half in the morning and half at night and finally….Monday night I lit one up, took a couple puffs, snuffed it out, tossed it and haven’t had another one since. C’mon be proud of me. I always got a lecture every time I lit one about how bad it was for me and now, nobody has anything to say. I should get a blue ribbon or something……

Anyways,

I really need to thank Jer for getting me through this (smile). When I told him I was gonna quit, I explained how hard it was going to be because I have a, well, an oral fixation. I was really worried about stuffing my face with food in order to kill the preoccupation of wanting a cigarette in my mouth. So the solution became, don’t ask me how,  that at least once a day, he lets me bite him. lol. The poor guy has BRUISES, all over his arms. lol. It’s become a joke between us. One I’m sure nobody else will understand, but it’s ours and I like it. I think Jer, despite all his squirming and yelling, likes it to.

It’s an amazing, beautiful thing.

I was just thinking to myself last night how it’s been awhile since I’ve had any flare-ups with my ovarian cyst  / endometriosis stuff  and the mind-numbing pain. I actually was beginning to think, or hope, that maybe all the problems I had had were all stress related. Stress can do really messed up things to you physically, no doubt. Then this morning, I went and worked out, and by the time I got home, I was in pain. Really bad, pain. Tears in my eyes, I wanna pull hair out of my head pain. And in the middle of this, I found myself apologizing to Jer that I was in pain and being “whiny”. He was appauled. Told me to not ever apologize for things I can’t control. Jer tells me all the time that I apologize all the time, for things I shouldn’t be apologizing for. He’s even threatened to put a rubber band on my wrist and snap the hell out it everytime I say it. He was like, “You know what, jsut don’t apologize…ever, for anything, even if you are wrong….just so y ou stop doing it for awhile.” He says just by me doing that, he knows what my marriage was like and it kills. And you know what bothers me? I still I don’t even realize that extent of the eggshells I was walking on for EX and how bent out of shape I’ve gotten mentally/emotionally and Jer is having an ephiphany over it?

Even as much pain as I have coursing through my abdomen right now, I’m grateful. It’s moments like these when I realize just how bad things were with EX and how grateful I am to be away from it. How grateful I am to be with someone who sincerely cares for my well being. Someone who is capable of being empathatetic and selfless. It’s like that with everything lately. Instead of having days, weeks, months where I get lost in bitterness, resentment and anger, I only have moments. I allow myself to have the moments and then I move on. I can’t dwell anymore. Because as I look back, I can see how everything that ever happened…happened for a reason. Even all the bad, horrible bullshit…lead to….well, this, where I am now. If I had never met EX, I would’ve never met PICKLE, there would be no JEDI and no DIVA.  In fact, this kinda plays into the ovaries situation. Had I not have had kids as early on with EX as I did, my enometriosis might have been so bad that I might not have been able to have kids. They are the smile in my heart. I can’t imagine life without my kids. If I had never taken PICKLE on the way I did, I wouldn’t have found a career in law that I am eager and passionate about. I wouldn’t have taken the initative to go back to school and finish my degree. I wouldn’t have a job and a boss that I adore. Even EX putting his hands on me, if that hadn’t have happened, he’d probably still be here, the kids and I would still be miserable and life would be way too much to take. Who knows, something worse might have happened. Maybe if he hadn’t have done that and things hadn’t gone down the way they had, maybe he would’ve kept drinking the way he was and gotten behind the wheel of a car and killed himself, or someone else. If I hadn’t had the experiences that I did with EX, I wouldn’t nearly appreciate Jer as much as I do.

It’s weird how now I can look back on almost everything and see how it all lead to this.

I can remember saying just a few months ago to someone that I wish I could see the big picture, I wish I knew what God’s plan was for me. I knew there was a big canvas….but I felt trapped in some dark corner of it and felt like God was just stalling with the brush in his hand. But, it wasn’t like that. Turns out he was mixing colors, for hues I hadn’t ever imagined. And now I’m starting to see the masterpiece.

It’s an amazing, beautiful thing.

I met her

I met her tonight.

He called me beforehand and told me that she would be with him when he came to pick up the kids. I decided between then and the time that they arrived that I was going to go out and meet her. If it were anybody else new coming around under any other circumstances, I would meet them, that’s my personality…outgoing, friendly, so why should this be any different?

It seemed as if she was trying to avoid me. Maybe because she was worried about how I would act. Actually, if I stop and think about it…considering the “stories” that I’m sure ex has probably told her, I probably wouldn’t want to meet me either. But when we finally made eye contact I said “Hi, I’m Stephanie.” and shook her hand. I told her it was nice to meet her. I told her that I had heard good things about her from the kids and that I appreciated that, that it made me worry less. She said that my daughter looked just like me and I said “Well, thanks….that is a good thing, right?” and we laughed. I think we made some jokes about the weather or the kids or something ….
I couldn’t say for sure, because I kinda went blank for a minute. She seemed nice. She seemed like a genuine person. I won’t worry about the kids so much having met her. But all I could think was, ‘i hope he doesn’t break her heart.’ and it made me a little sad. I don’t want what I think is gonna happen to happen. I don’t want him to say the things he said to me that she won’t even see coming or understand why he’s saying them. God, BELIEVE ME I want to be wrong. I want it to be different. Not just for the kids, but for his sake too. But it’s just all too familiar. I’m wanna hope against everything screaming inside of me that maybe, just maybe, he can start over with a clean slate and not make the same mistakes. Not because he’s this horrible spawn of Satan or anything, but because he really hasn’t changed, ya know? He’s gone for the first girl to cross his path…which is fine, she’s a nice girl, the kids already like her and I could deal with her, maybe even be friends with her. But taking into consideration the events of the last week, I’d have to say he’s not being himself with her for whatever reason and that’s just setting up for bad news for both of them.

I snapped back to reality when my ex made some comment about how we weren’t allowed to be laughing together or something. You think he would’ve said something….anything else. I just said it was nice to have met her and asked if he could bring the kids home so I could do homework.
He called me later and asked me if I would get together any DVDs I didn’t want. I went through them and put them in a box. Then I ended up practically having to heave them out on the porch at him because he was doing the whole dramatic bit about staying away from the door because Jer was here. C’mon! Grow up, already. Wasn’t he the one who supposedly “needed” to meet him if he was gonna be around the kids and now, he’s acting all queer about it?
I just don’t get it.

Honestly, I think if ex could stop with all the dramatics, games and bullshit, the four of us could probably get along pretty well. I can pretty much get along with anybody and Jer and ex have quite a bit in common as far as interests are concerned. I just wish things could be cool like that. I mean, we’re all adults. The way I see it, the better things are between us, the easier things are for the kids anyways.

I mean really, there isn’t any rule anywhere that says we all have to dislike each other and be catty is there?

He treats me like a piece of shit.

I think Jer said it perfectly when he said that my ex doesn’t know the difference between treatment of someone he “cares” about and a turd in the lawn. Yep, that about says it all. Not that this is really anything new, but it’s still horribly offensive and it gets old. Maybe this is why hes had to get a new wife every 8 years. For the record, he does apologize. But, so what? This is also typical ex behavior. He’ll treat me exactly the way he wants to and then he will call and apologize and I’m supposed to forget it happened at all?

No. Not anymore.

I don’t care if he had a couple of self-pity days, I don’t care if they were the absolute worst days of his life, you just don’t treat people like that.

I just don’t get it.
What the hell is this about?

I thought maybe ex is upset that another man is getting time with “his family” but you know what? He never gave a shit before. Personally, I think it speaks volumes that a man who doesn’t have any kids is better at acting as a male role model for children than their own father. What he really should be disappointed about is himself. If ex had said he wanted to go see a movie with us, I would’ve gone. But that’s not what he did. That’s not ever what he does. He does nothing and then bitches when things don’t work out the way he “imagined” them in his fantasy world. I’m sure he’s telling everyone his little sob story and their just adding fuel to the fire. I can just hear him now… “Oh, I wanted to take the kids to see that movie and she took the kids with some other guy.” Yeh, boofuckinhoo. Jer knows the kids wanted to see this movie and took the initiative to make it happen, while all “Daddy” could do was sit back, bitch, moan and point fingers.
Whatever.

I just can’t figure out why this wacky, dramatic, emotional roller coaster ride continues. It’s him,  I know, but it’s annoying as all hell to deal with. This is why I’m divorcing him. I’m tired of him always being miserable and me thinking I should fix it, or that I even can. I just want it over and done with.

I am partly worried that he’s drinking again. In fact, that would explain a lot beause alcohol has this up and down effect on him. Jer seems to think that maybe he didn’t think it would turn out like this, maybe he didn’t really think I’d go through with the divorce and that he’s starting to see the consequences of his actions, but really, is that it? I don’t think so. I don’t think he wants me. I don’t think he ever did. We’ll probably never know because ex doesn’t have the capacity to have a sincere, honest conversation. If he did, we might not be here. Hell, he might be able to talk to his “girlfriend” about what’s plaguing him, rather than bottling it up and self-destructing.

Plus, isn’t this what HE wanted?
Wasn’t it him that when I asked him if he really wanted a divorce or if we should just separate and go to counseling, get some distance from the situation, that he said his heart had been broken when he spent the night in jail and he thought there was too much hurt between us for him. FOR HIM? Are you kidding me? All that statement says to me is “I have way too much pride to admit that I really fucked up and have let things get way out of control, so I’m gonna blame you and be done with it, cause it’s way easier than actually TRYING”.
And his heart was broken?

Listen, how about my heart was broken when you hit me in the stomach when I was pregnant, not once, but three times, and I never told anyone how bad it really was, because you swore it would never happen again and I forgave you, and then 5 years later, after everything I did and sacrificed to TRY and make you happy, after taking in Pickle like my own child, and helping make all your dreams come true, I get rewarded by you getting drunk one night and coming across the room at me for NO REASON to put your hand around my throat and hurt me so bad that I ended up not being able to turn my head the next day and had to go to the hospital? Yeh, you’re damn straight I let them take you to jail. I told you if you ever put your hands on me again that I would put your ass in handcuffs and that was a promise I not only kept to you, but to myself and my children. I’m not gonna break out any god damn violin for you. Don’t tell me about a broken heart. Don’t tell me about hurt.
Save it. Own up. Be a man.

Another thing that bothering me with all of this shit is this other chick. Not because she’s ex’s new, well whatever the hell she is, but because this woman is an educated professional. She has a brain. She’s apparently a nurse. So, what the hell is she doing with him? I know somebody at his work is reading this? Is it her? How does she reconcile this shit in her head? How does she unconscionably pursue a man who SHE KNOWS put his hands on a woman like that. I mean, this was only a month and a half ago. She’s not ignorant enough to believe there’s any excuse for that. Hell, anybody whose been reading this, has to know better. Wouldn’t they tell her? Warn her? Where are these people’s conscience. What if it was you this happened to? Even if it was YOUR friend? Your sister? Your Mom?
I mean, WTF?
My guess?
I’m beginning to realize in re-reading my entries that they’ve been an item for awhile. He is still putting up the fake front he does at work, with her ( and probably everyone else) behind the scenes, but I have faith that the facade will crash and burn fast enough. Why? Because it is, what it is….a facade. They’ll all see. (Karma is a bitch and she’s coming, that I can assure you.)

But, sincerely, I’m worried for her. The kids already like her, and really, I think that’s great, if she’s good to them, then I’m good with her. I’m not the psycho, jealous type. I’m not gonna hate her just to hate her. I don’t know this girl. I’m not mad at her. BUT what is bothering me is this …. Here’s another woman with a brain that will fall for his act. Not only that but, it upsets me horribly that even one more child would be subjected to him or thinking that what he’s gonna do to their mother, or them, is what a man does. It’s crap. I know I did it all because once I got involved, I wanted to help Pickle and I wanted to help ex and I thought he would love me more for it in the end. I fell for the victim act, hook line and sink er’ and once the gig was up, I had too much pride to let anyone know that they had been right about him all along. What’s worse is that as a woman, I want to tell her. I want to warn her. But as a woman, I also know she’s probably wouldn’t hear me and would think I’m just trying to be hateful. And I don’t hate my ex. I care and love him very much. Always will. I want the best for him, but he’s still in self-destructive mode, I know it. I can tell and I just don’t want ANYONE else to be hurt in the process. There’s been enough hurt.
(sigh)
I don’t even know her and I can say she deserves better and so do her kids.
So do my kids.
So do I.
This shit has got to stop.
(steps off soapbox)

this is what i’m tired of.

I’m online last night and started chatting with my ex, James. He starts asking me about Jer and how things are going. I say Jer is everything wonderful about anyone who came before and everything that was missing and then the lecture ensues. Slow down, take my time, take a step back, how much do I really know about this guy, Im gonna get too serious too fast and then he’ll reveal his true colors, Im going to get hurt, I am hurt, I am vulnerable, I have a lot to lose, I need to protect myself, I’m not thinking clearly.
(sigh)

I get it. People have watched me go through a lot. People want to protect me. People have their beliefs and their opinions. Truly, I respect and appreciate that. But I’m frustrated as hell. I feel like Im damned if i do and Im damned if I don’t. If I do move forward with Jer, Im gonna be happy and people will question me and him and it. The above conversations will continue and nothing but time will prove anything different. If I don’t continue with Jer because I let my past dictate my decision making, I’ll lose the best thing that ever happened to me. I could wait forever and not find him, or this, again.

He is so good to me. He is so good to my kids. and I just wish people would be happy for me.
I understand that my Ex just left psychically a little over a month ago, but he was gone long before that. I know I only filed for divorce two months ago, but my marriage was over long before that and I’ve been alone WAY longer. I wasn’t looking for this. It’s not the right time and I don’t know if I’m ready. But as my best friend said it is never really too soon to be happy. Do I have to question this wonderful man because of the horrible wrongs of another? Can I hope and trust, without people feeling the need to CORRECT me for it???

I hear people talking, but I guess I’m done listening. Mayybe they see that as naive, but my eyes are wide open. I know what I know and that’s the best I can do.
SO, what is a girl to do in this situation?                         Find an ex-girlfriend!
That’s right. I did it. I found Jer’s ex on Myspace and sent her a message. I know, I know, but he told me he understood why I did it and that he actually respected me for doing it. SO take that, haters.

This is what i wrote:
Hi R*,
I know you don’t know me and this might seem kinda strange, but I’m hoping as a mother that you will understand where I’m coming from and take the time to respond in a cordial manner.
My name is Stephanie and what we have in common is Jer. I met him about a month ago and things have really taken off between the two of us. Which you probably don’t care about…lol, I understand.
Anyways… I’m writing you to ask you…. well, in more or less words, what the hell is wrong with him? I mean that in the nicest way. Seriously though, I can’t find a thing wrong with him and THAT freaks me out. I keep waiting for him to do something weird that will set me off, but after a month, I still can’t find a thing about him that bothers me. Plus, I am a mother and I know you have a son. I was just wondering, in his relationship with you, how was he with your son? Was there anything that concerned you about him in that respect?
I know this is weird, but I just had to ask.
And yes, I did tell him I was going to write you, so I’m not doing this behind his back or trying to start shit. I’m a laid back girl who has been through a lot of shit and I’m just trying to protect myself and my children.
I’d really appreciate your response.
and almost immediately she wrote back…..
even if you didn’t ask him first i would understand you asking me. when you are a mom your kids are more important then anything. but there is really nothing wrong with him, he was great to N* . he played with him. he would watch him sometimes for me to go out and everything. when we first moved in together i had a bit of a problem with him being so friendly with his ex, Jenny, and i thought oh great this is going to ruin everything but i realized she is just a good friend to him and i accepted that. i never thought you could be friends with an ex but Jer is a different kind of guy. i still feel like i can call him just to say hi, how are you doing (and i am seeing someone so please don’t think i would ever call him other then to be friendly) but as far as you and him go, let your guard down. he is really a great guy. and really good with kids. he was really good to back me up with my son when i would tell him something and my son loved him. the reason we broke up was completely my fault. i was just scared and i could not let my guard down for some reason. i am very happy that he found someone that is good to him and i hope you guys do good by each other. and if you ever want to know anything or have any questions please feel free to email me again.