Divorce Sucks

Last night, just before bed, I was lounging on the couch watching an old episode of “Friends”. It was the one where Rachel tells Ross she’s pregnant and that he’s the father. At the end of the episode, they are at the OB/GYN office seeing the ultrasound of the baby together and Rachel can’t see the baby.

This, of course, got me reminiscing about when going for ultrasounds when I pregnant with Jedi and Diva. And just like that, I was a little set back. Moments like this come out of nowhere all the time. It’s strange to share such huge, life events with someone and then … to not. I wanted to be able to turn to him and share that happy memory.

This is why divorce sucks. Because even if you don’t love someone in that way anymore, you probably still have a great deal of love for your marriage. By that I mean the life you built together, the memories you shared together … the good ones anyways. And what do you do with that?

I have to say now, how incredibly blessed I am to have someone in my life who is gracious enough to allow me to cherish my memories, while not making it an issue of how much I love him. It was comforting to be able to turn to him and tell him how I felt and for him to give me a hug and say, “Awww, babe. I’m sorry.” Genuinely he understands the loss and the hurt and he allows me to process it. How horrible would it be to be with someone who was so insecure that they couldn’t even let you cherish your memories?

That’s another thing people don’t stop and consider enough when getting divorced. Sure, you know what you’re getting away from, but do you know what you’re getting into? Your whole life gets turned upside down. Nothing is ever the same. The legal process of divorce and the emotional process are two completely different things.

Having been through a divorce now and having hindsight, I want to offer a little advice for how to avoid it.

You do three things: 1)You love your spouse, 2) you love your marriage and; 3) you love your children. At some point or other, expect that there may be a time that you cannot love your spouse. In those times, love your marriage. Get out your pictures and think of all your memories. Love your memories, love the life you’ve built together. And if you can’t do either of those two, love your children, because as hard as divorce is on an adult, it’s even harder for a child to go through.

Of course this advice only works if both parties remember these three things and if they are at the top of their priority list.  If the only thing that matters to you or your spouse is yourself and how you feel and what you want … sorry, you’re screwed.  Sad, but true. If you cannot love and be concerned for another person more than yourself, you’re not ready to get married or be a parent. If you are involved with someone who cannot put you ahead of themselves. they are not ready to get married or have children. So don’t push the issue because if you do – you’ll end up divorced.

And trust me – divorce sucks.

I Am …

a mother

 

a daughter

 

a sister

 

a friend

 

a lover

 

a survivor

 

emotional

 

sarcastic

 

introspective

 

an ex

 

a student

 

self-employed

 

a home owner

 

forward

 

funny

 

caring

 

spiritual

 

compassionate

 

forgiving

 

now four-eyed

 

naughty

 

silly

 

young at heart

 

spiritual

 

HAPPY (finally!)

 

what I am.

The good, the bad and the ugly. 3/26/07

The GOOD:

I am gonna be the proud new momma to a …

 2007 Chevy Equinox. Part of the divorce process. Removing names on cars. I’ll be very happy…until I have to make that first payment anyways.

The BAD:

Well, it’s not bad, but it’s making life a little crazy with work and school, the kids are on Spring Break this week and it’s supposed to rain all week starting tomorrow. So, hello spring, good-bye sanity. lol

The UGLY:

I started having excruciating pain last night in my abdomen. Got so bad, I couldn’t sleep from 4:30 this morning on. I took myself into see the doctor and found out I not only have a urinary tract infection, but a bladder infection and I’m working on a kidney infection. It’s lovely, really.

Things I don’t understand 3/24/07

I can’t sleep because things keep running through my head. Things I can’t shut off. Things I can’t understand.

EXAMPLE:

1. How could he tell me for years that I tried to control him and change who he was and then he’s willing to stay with someone who tries to dictate the kind of relationship he is ALLOWED to have with his children and their mother? All I ever wanted was for him to be a father to them and a husband to me. The best that he could be, the best that I saw in him.

2. Why is he willing to turn his phone off to work things out with a woman he hardly knows, when he wouldn’t put his phone aside for a woman who gave all for him? Why wouldn’t he turn it off to make time to save his marriage or to save his family?

3. Why will he make excuses for her and the things she says and does to him all because she’s insecure and jealous when he could never give me the benefit of the doubt? I was insecure about what might happen if he drank – she’s insecure about what might happen if he talks to me. (This is why you shouldn’t have an affair in my opinion. Well, one reason.) She’s jealous of the time and attention he pays to me – I was jealous of the time and attention he gave everything but me.

What’s the difference? Really?

It just seems this effort and this concern would have been better spent on his family.

He doesn’t like women with short hair – she has short hair.

He doesn’t like women who smoke – she smokes.

He doesn’t like women who don’t cook – she doesn’t cook.

He has always hated cats, we could never have one, he was allergic – she has a cat and he takes an allergy pill.

He said he wanted to have a place big enough for the kids to have their own space when he left – they share their time with their Dad and their space with her three children.

He always said he wanted to live close to family – now he’s moved 40 mins away to move in with her.

He always resented being responsible for me and the kids – yet now he’s responsible for her and her kids.

 

Maybe it shouldn’t matter to me and maybe it shouldn’t hurt … but it does. It hurts badly.

It just doesn’t make sense at all.

I just don’t get it.

There must be something in the air

Horoscope for Wednesday, March 21, 2007:

Everyone makes mistakes — and you should keep that in mind when someone who once wronged you reappears on the scene. You can choose to hold on to a grudge, or you can choose to let go of the past and give this person one more chance. Put yourself in his or her place, and be willing to listen to what he or she has to say. You’d be wise to be a bit cautious with this person, but the stars say that forgiveness is a wise course now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The ex hasn’t been himself the last couple of days. I’ve asked him on more than one occasion if he’s ok. He’s not. I can tell.

This morning … confirmation came.

He called, pretty early. He sounded … well, like himself. What I mean by that is, that he was not the guy who has had me tied up in knots for the years. And for the first time in a really long time, and maybe for the last time for all I know, he showed me his heart.

He apologized.

He apologized “for every nasty, hurtful thing” he had ever said to me.

He said, “You are the mother of my children and you loved me and you never deserved any of that, and I’m sorry. None of those things came from my heart. And I’m expecially sorry for the way things ended and what happened the night I had to leave. There was nothing honorable about it. And after everything … I should have given you enough respect to leave on a note that would allow us to be friends. Things have happened this week that put me on the receiving end of words like that and now I know firsthand that when someone you think loves you, treats you that way, it’s painful. So, I guess I’m getting what I deserve. I’m really sorry, Steph. I just need you to know that.

I was speechless.

And you know what’s weird? As much as I’ve hoped, and even prayed ,that he would get a taste of his own medicine … it hurt me that he’s been hurt in that way.

The back story:

Pickle has been out of sorts the last week or so. I ended up at the emergency room with him Monday morning. Ex left work and came up for about an hour. He hardly looked at me, hardly said a word to me and it felt, completely forced and unnatural. It hurt. Then we were discussing the kids baseball schedule and he made it sound like he couldn’t attend without his girlfriend holding his hand. I, in turn, went off and told him that he must have lost his damn mind if he thought it was acceptable to put his kids behind his girlfriend and I never thought I’d see the day that he’d do that.

He confessed this morning that SHE had a bad day the other day with her ex and took it out on him. Then when she realized what she had done, she started getting really insecure about him talking to me, because she thinks he’s gonna run back to me. This also led to her reaming his ass the other day for talking to me and then for going up to the ER, because I was there, which pissed him off. Or at least that’s the story of the day.

I broke down and cried and told him that I hoped he wouldn’t let her interfere with his relationship with his kids.

Don’t cry, Stephanie,” he says, “You’ve done enough of that.”

(sigh)

God….how I wish he could have had a real epiphany about the way he treated me long ago and that things had changed… for the kids sake.

It’s too late for me.

Misery Loves Company

Is it just me or is everybody becoming miserable? Or is it just that I notice it more, because I’m not? Don’t get me wrong, I get down. You can watch the news and get down but what I mean….I have stress, problems, issues…whatever you want to call them.

The difference?

Miserable people thoughtlessly take their individual misery and shove it on to the next person. Even those who might already be dealing with their own shit.

Has anybody else noticed that the more miserable people become, the more they start to focus on other people? That they will point the finger at anyone and blame them for something they would never do, but that miserable person is doing all the time, because well, they’re miserable?

It’s like they know they have some karamiac shit storm on the horizon for all the b.s. they toss around at everyone else so… the solution? Fend it off, by blaming anyone, hell maybe even everyone else, of the same astrousities to avoid the responsibility, or worse, taking the time to evaluate THEMSELVES!

Hey, here’s a novel idea for everyone … instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing, take the time to look at yourself and worry about that.

I used to feel sorry for miserable people. Try to help them, save them. I used to make excuses for them. But not anymore. They have the ability to be just as responsible and accoutnable for themselves and their actions and words as they try to make everyone else.

I’m so sick of this shit. I’m sick of it all. I’m done taking it off people.

That is all.

Food for thought:

‘Those with whom we assemble,
we soon resemble.’

By: Guy Finley

This simple old saying hides a deep truth that can enlighten and empower every aspect of our lives:
Who we are —our very essence— is continually being trasformed by the company we keep.

Stated differently, when we keep the company of what is light and bright, our lives get lighter and brighter, And when we keep the company of what is dark and discouraging, ourlives cant’t help but be dragged downward.

This idea might sound a little simplistic at first, but its power soon becomes evident when we put it to use in the quest to realize our highest aspirations. The key lies in understanding that this principle is active on multiple levels at once. For instance, when referring to “the company we keep”, we of course mean the people we spend time with every day —family, friends, co-workers,etc. However, on a deeper and more important level, “company” can also refer to the thoughts and feelings moving within us in any given moment.

Have you ever been home alone in a fine mood, enjoying a meal perhaps, only to find yourself bored or depressed an hour later? That’s a perdect example of the effect of hanging out with the wrong interior friends. When we are unconscious to the operation of our minds, any indigent thought or feeling that passes through us has the power to strike up a confersation and drag us into its dark circle of influence.

But just as it’s possible for us to keep bad interior company that pulls us down, so is it possible to keep positive inner company that works to raise us up in any given moment we choose to remember it. This not only means that we can choose not to get dragged down when we are alone, but it also means that we can choose not to get dragged down when we find ourselves in the presence of negative people as well.

How encouraging! When life places us in a situation wher a run-in with someone is inevitable —perhaps at worke, with a family member, in a store — we can choose to keep the company of good and true inner friends who can help keep us from falling into negative states. And therein lies the key: when we remember that keeping the company of negative interior friends is a choice, instead of an obligation, we are free to keep the company of cpmpassion instead of andter, generosity instead of greed, and patience instead of anxiety.

Building on this idea, let’s look at four common types of people who can be identified by the four prevailing dark states that inhabit them. By learning to reconize and understand the interir workings of these four types of “toxic people” we gain important insight into what is dark and limiting inside of us. In this way, we begin the process of liberation from everything inside of us that stands in the way of knowing peace, happiness, success, and love that we long for.

1. Muckrakers: These negative spirits live to drag up old painful events and then revel in the anger, resentment, or bitterness that such unhappy memories hold. Stay away from any spirit, in others or yourself, that wants you to dive into some suffering over what happened in any past moment.

2.Mud Slingers: These malicious spirits pull themselves up by pulling others down. They love to gossip, criticize, judge and denigrate anyone who ever had the misfortune of spending time with them. The only loyalty these denizens of the unconscious worlds have is to their own pain, which they feed by involving everyone rhey can in their mud slinging.

3. Swamp Dwellers: There is a group of mired spirits that thrive on low vibrations and require a human instrument to play out their endless dark dissonance. Easily reconizable, these misfortunate forces serve up dreadful mental pictures of past and future events for the sake of the unnatruarl reactions they produce. Ifnore these corrupted spirits and they must take their eveil speculations elsewhere.

4. Life Haters: These dark spirits perpetuate their hold on the human soul by resisting the beautiful gifts of life. They trick us into commiserating wthi their complaining, cruelty, and irritation because without our unconscious consent, these chronically conflicted spirits can’ spread their poison.

Just as harmful viruses require a human host to exist and thrive, so do negative states require the unconscious consent of human beings to carry out their dark mission. For what power does a negative thought have other than the power to convince a person to do its bidding? The answer is none!

When we begin to consciously withdraw our consent to associate with toxic people, and the toxic thoughts and feelings inside of us, we leave them with no place to thrive. Our real inner work is to sweep clean the places in ourselves where such creatures reside, which in turn brightens our life and the lives of everyone around us.

Begin today, this very moment, to withdraw any permission you have unknowingly granted these dark spirits to be in your life. Do not judge yourself, or those around you in whom these misdirected forces are active, but instead come awake and refuse to spend one more moment of your life lending your precious life force to their dark purposes.

This powerful, positive action will change your life. As you begin to refuse to consort with what is dark, you’ll find that you befin to attract what is light, bright , and cheerful. Your relationships will deepen, your professional life will take on new vigor and freshness, and the whole of your days will begin to resemble the radiant Life that you have deliberately chose as your conscious companion.

Guy Finley is the best-selling author of “Let Go and Live in the Now” ( Red/Weiser Conari) and 30 other works on self-transformation and higher success. For more information visit http://www.guyfinley.org

All Rights Reserved © 1998-2006 Guy Finley & Life of Learning Foundation
Permission to Reprint Granted With Author Credit

Article found in Voice of Choices July 2006 issue

Good weekend

I’m having a really good weekend if I do say so myself.

Pickle had a friend stay the night Friday. I’m friends with Pickle’s friend’s Mom so she sat and chatted with me for awhile when she dropped off his sleeping bag and what not. As soon as she walked in the house, her face lit up and she said, “Wow. Your house, and you…. just seem so happy. It feels like home. Feels a lot different than the last time I was here.” That made me feel good. Of course, the kids had a lot of fun. We had pizza and made cupcakes. There was lots of giggling about farts and burps. I don’t care how old you are, it never stops being funny. Made me think about having my cousin Ni spend the night when we were little and how we would stay up telling stories about Mr. Diaherra and Mrs. Poop and their little boy, Turd and we would laugh and laugh. My Dad would come in and say in a very stern voice, “Time to sleep, girls.” and we’d muster our laughs until he left the room and then one of us would whisper, “fart” and the giggling would resume.

Ahh..yes, the good old days.

Anyway, Jer and I made a BIG breakfast Saturday morning. Everybody was in a really good mood. The kids kept saying, “This is the best day ever.” It was really sweet. Then the boys went to stay the night with ex-mom-in-law last night and the Diva went to my parents. I went out with boyfriend and an old friend and some new friends I’ve made recently. Had some drinks, did some dancing – on a stage for an added bonus. Ate a meal at 3 a.m. Basically, I acted my age. Ok, maybe a little younger.

Then I came home got in my jammies, slept til noon today. Got up and watched a B movie with the boyfriend (Ha- I have a boyfriend) and decided it was a pajama day. I am trying not to do much. I did some laundry and dishes and picked up a little first, but then it was just lounging. There was a big tickle/wrestling match. The girls (Me & Diva) vs. The boy (Jer).

And now it’s actually nice enough to sit out on my patio with my laptop and write a blog, while the kids run around around the yard. Exciting stuff. Spring is around the corner and I couldn’t be happier about that.

I’m very content.

What Jedi has to say 3/9/07

I’ve been having some problems with Jedi as of late so I made arrangements to spend the day alone with him and kinda figure out what’s been going on.

I know one of the problems is that he’s not getting enough sleep. He’s been having a lot of nightmares lately, actually night terrors is what the doctor has coined them. I’ll hear him in the middle of the night screaming and crying. I can’t wake him up immediately when this happens because it makes it worse. What I try to do is sit next to his bed and kinda coax him out of it. I start talking to him softly and just tell him he’s dreaming. he says he has bad dreams about stuff at his Dad’s girlfriend’s house. one of his bad dreams is about a man breaking into the house and killing his dad while he’s sleeping. That even creeped me out just hearing him say it. Another is about him playing a game under the covers and then he starts choking and he can’t breathe. I asked him if he had ever had a bad dream about me. He said that once he dreamt that I left him in the store and he was lost. I asked him if that had ever happened. he said no and I explained that dreams aren’t real, even if they feel real, and just because we dream something doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen.

I decided just the two of us would go to the library and we got some books to read together about being scared of the dark, bad dreams, what to do if you get lost, a book about feelings, and a book called “dinosaur divorce”. Afterwards, I told him I would take him anywhere he wanted for lunch. He picked Burger King. As we sat eating lunch together, he got all teary eyed and told me that one of the things that hurts his feelings and that he worries about daddy, is that he thinks if his dad marries his girlfriend that he will be her kids’ daddy and not his and then he will only have a mom. I think i genuinely felt my heart break in that moment.  I put him on my lap and held him while he cried and told him that daddy would always be his daddy no matter what and I would always be his mom. He said, just like I’ll be your son even when I’m grown up?  Yep, just like that. Then he said, “but mommy why does daddy want to live with her and her kids if he didn’t want to live with us?” I told him that me and daddy didn’t get along anymore and that it wasn’t his fault, that me and daddy didn’t want to fight anymore, because it made everyone sad, and even though we don’t all live together as a family anymore, we’re still a family and daddy still loves him just as much as he did when he lived with us.

These conversations, this underlying angst that he’s feeling, is exactly why I held on as long as I did. This is exactly why I didn’t want to get divorced?  This is what I’ve been afraid of, especially with Jedi.  He picks up on things emotionally that most kids wouldn’t. He’s a very sensitive guy. Just like he’s brought up the fact that he has to sleep on the floor when he goes to daddy’s house and her kids sleep in a bed. Personally, yeh – I think that’s fucked up, but still I defend EX and say, well daddy is just moving in there and it’s gonna take awhile but, once he gets all moved in – you’ll have your own bed.

But really shouldn’t that have been the top priority? For the kids to feel comfortable and taken care of in the new situation their being exposed to?  But then of course there are her kids, why should their lives and house and rooms be turned upside down so soon after their own family’s split? But are my kids less important? Who exactly is looking out for their best interest? I can see where Jedi might get this idea. It’s not so far-fetched or dramatic. but what the hell can i do about it? That’s what really sucks. I can’t protect my babies.  I tried talking to EX about the bed situation before and he acted like I was making it up. It becomes about him and his ego. He just seems so oblivious to anybody else’s feelings. All he did was ask why they haven’t said anything to him about it. He started making excuses about how he’s trying to get set up. That’s so far beyond the point. The point is that your kids are having some feelings that are valid no matter what you think. but, just like I’ve told EX 100x … all I can do is make him aware and then ultimately it’s up to him what he does with the information.

After Jedi went to school, I decided to call Ex. I asked him if he had asked Pickle if it was ok for him to propose marriage. He laughed and said no. I explained what Pickle had told his counselor and then I told him about what Jedi has said to me. He says that Pickle had asked them if they were going to get married and when he asked him if he thought they should, Pickle said sure and then Jedi asked him if he married her if he would still be his dad and he told him yes, of course and that he would always be his dad. I was a bit relieved to hear that he had already comforted him on this, but still feeling really bad for my little guy. I went on to tell him that i hoped that if he got to the point that he was going to propose to her that he would at least tell me out of respect before I heard it from the kids or anybody else. Not that he needs my permission or opinion or that I would care one way or the other, but just so I’m prepared when my kids come at me with stuff like this.

All of this is so overwhleming to me, so I can only imagine what it feels like to the kids. If i’m honest… I’ll admit, I wonder the same things sometime. Why can he have the happy little family with her and her kids when he couldn’t with us? Why was it that he flat out resented having us to be responsible for and then he just takes it on again? I mean, really, it doesn’t make much sense.

It hurts. It hurts bad. And while I’ve never voiced any of this around my children, and I never will tell them how I really feel so that the hurt doesn’t trickle down on them and they can form their own opinions…I’m starting to see that the truth always comes out and kids are a lot smarter than we think.