Life Story Part 5: The Children

It’s ironic to me that for a woman who had her tubes tied so she couldn’t have any more children, I sure do seem to keep inheriting kids. Is that the universe’s idea of a sick joke? To make me a mother to abandoned and motherless children?

My first child and my only biological child is currently seven. I struggle to be what I consider the right kind of mother: loving, kind yet disciplined. I try to be present, to take advantage of teaching moments but still be stern when the situation requires it. I try to guide her in life and to be a role model.

I don’t always succeed but she seems to be growing up okay for the most part. She’s not spoiled, she has her strengths and weaknesses but I’ve done okay with making sure she’s well-mannered, creative, with a mind of her own, but kind to others.

My second child is a stepchild and from my ex-husband’s first marriage. She’s thirteen and I’ve been part of her life since she was nine. When Brian and I separated, he lied to his own daughter, saying I was leaving him for another man, which was completely untrue. I was leaving him because he had turned into an utter dickhead who didn’t care at all about the relationship, being a loving husband to me or a proper father to our two children. She will always have a piece of my heart and while she is not speaking with me, nor does she want anything to do with me thanks to her father’s poor decision to make her choose sides, I love her anyway. I miss her daily and it’s a pain that will never go away. Losing a child that way creates an ache that will never be healed. But I made a promise that I would always be there for her and while I can’t be there in the way I’d like, I’m at least there in spirit.

The next child to come into my life is my eight year old son, who is biologically Jon’s from another marriage. He’s a sweet boy with shockingly bright copper red hair. He also has Aspergers and ADHD. The challenges with him are numerous and getting him to follow the rules has been problematic. Lately it’s been all I could do to make sure he got put on the right meds and is getting extra help in school.

Then there’s my other daughter, who just recently turned eighteen and graduated from high school. She is Jon’s oldest daughter from his first marriage and so much like him that we instantly clicked with each other. She came to visit for a week and we immediately offered for her to move in with us. She’ll be here in about a week and I’m so excited to be able to spend more time with her. Hopefully she’ll start college in the fall or spring.

With the exception of my biological child, all of these children have mothers who neglect and/or verbally abuse them. Every one of them gravitated to me for love and affection, understanding and for lessons in life.

So when I say this is the universe’s idea of a cruel joke, I’m not at all kidding. I didn’t want more children but the universe saw fit to make sure I had more, whether I wanted them or not. And despite the challenges, occasional pain, and frustration, being a mother to all these children has made me a better person and enriched my life in ways I never imagined.

Life Story Part 4: The Drama and the Departure

It’s funny how blind we become when we’re in a relationship. I suppose it’s all part and parcel of it really but we create this bubble and we stop looking for the cracks and flaws. The warning signs were all there but as long as I was inside the relationship bubble, I couldn’t see them.

My ex Brian and I are in the process of getting a divorce. And I use that phrase loosely because frankly, if I don’t do the filing, he sure as hell never will. There was so much drama before he left that I am almost afraid to file for divorce out of fear that it will start all over again. The last thirty days have worked to restore parts of me to myself. I’ve begun the long, slow process of healing. The last thing I want to do is unravel that. But I’ve never been one to let fear hold me back from doing the right thing or the hard things in life. So why do I hesitate? Am I really so traumatized by it all?

There was a solid 30 days of drama after I told Brian it was over. Brian is the first person who I yelled “Fuck you” at repeatedly. The loathing and hate was like a thick chalk stuck in the back of my throat. Brian seemed to be able to push my buttons as much as he wanted. He’s the first person I seriously considered physically harming. Some part of me that is still good managed to avoid crossing that line but it was so tempting.

At one point Brian looked at Jon and said, “What, are you ashamed to be with her?” Now Jon is 6’2″ of muscle and I thought he might just tear Brian apart, limb from limb during this period. Brian did everything he could to push both of us, and to push us apart.

In an effort to bring about some peace, I had Brian sit in a vehicle with me for three hours while we discussed everything. I gave him an opportunity to say whatever he wanted to say, to clear the air. I watched him go through the whole gamut of emotions, and at one point he cried and told me he still loved me, that if I said it he’d take me back, no questions asked. He asked to hold my hand one last time. I hoped I saw the beginning flickers of healing but the next day it was right back to where it had been – angst, verbal sparring and antagonism from him. Brian could not understand that once I was outside the bubble, there was no going back into it. I could not unsee the truth. All I could do was look at him with pity, which probably bothered him most of all.

The day he left was a mixture of pain and relief. Jon had stepped in as a complete barrier between Brian and I – physically, emotionally, and mentally. I would no longer communicate directly with Brian and all things had to go through Jon. Still Brian persisted in verbally and emotionally abusing me, with phone calls, long texts and emails. I lost the ability to work for seven long months. My ability to write was blocked entirely. If not for Jon, I would probably still be locked in a quagmire of remorse, guilt, fear, and indecision. Not to mention homeless.

One of my best friends put it best when she said, “Why would Brian ever leave? You take care of him – he’s got it made. Who’s taking care of you?” Nothing could have summed up our relationship better. Jon had said at one point, “You’re his doormat” and he was right too.

I give to others – it’s who I am and I don’t know how to be anything else. My whole life I’ve tried to surround myself with people who don’t abuse that or use it, who won’t take it for granted. Giving to others lifts me up – it makes me happy. It makes me forget all the ugliness in life. And I tried to do that in my relationship, only to have it used against me once again.

The strangest part is that at the height of the drama, I was falling in love. I didn’t think that was even possible. All the therapists and such say you should take a year to recover from a divorce, to grieve and regroup but instead I’m doing it inside of a relationship. Is that a mistake? Only time will tell. But we seem to be navigating it with flying colors honestly. He counsels me, I counsel him and we simply let each other vent when we need to. There’s plenty of baggage and triggers but nothing we can’t handle. We’re helping each other through it. And that might be the best path for both of us. But it certainly isn’t for everyone.

Jon likes to joke that we’re “demi-Gods”. It’s not arrogance, it’s simply that we both are above average intelligence and ability. We stick out like sore thumbs around most people. It doesn’t make us necessarily better, just different, and on another level. I do NOT recommend this path for others. There are times I question my own decision but in the end it is just instinct.

I need Jon like I need the air I breathe. I’ve always been drawn to him and I’ve fought against that current for four years, consciously and unconsciously. Now, having experienced him in all his incredible glory, I could no more deny myself him than I could stop breathing. It’s almost a helpless kind of thing, once the door was opened, there was no closing it again. Once I kissed him, my fate with him was sealed. Once he touched me, our lives were entwined. I cannot imagine my life without him in it and the thought scares me. I know I will never experience a love like this again. This is one of those epic love stories you see in the movies, only it’s as real as it gets.

We’re two people who have walked a similar path. We’ve both been hurt, abused, and struggled. We’ve overcome it and come together like puzzle pieces. When he tells me I’m amazing, I know he means it and believes it. It’s not just fodder for my ego or to boost me. He looks at me with this wide-eyed wonder like he just can’t believe the gift he’s been given. He chokes up when he talks about how grateful he is to be able to cherish me, to love me, and to feel the gifts of my love.

For my part, no one has ever made me feel both fragile and strong at the same time. He makes me feel like the finest crystal – perfectly shaped but completely fragile. He holds me and I can feel that he will never let me fall, that I won’t shatter. I have a picture from early on in our relationship where I’m cuddled up against his chest, and he is literally almost entirely wrapped around me, with his hand gently holding my head. Our eyes are closed and the expression of bliss and love between us is a visible thing. That picture moves me to tears every time.

It may prove to be a mistake but I would rather experience an epic love like this than be afraid of it. Isn’t life all about experiences anyway?

Memories

It’s a lazy Sunday, the kids are off playing outside and I can’t seem to stop frickin’ blogging! It’s like someone opened a fire hydrant and all these thoughts keep bursting out of my fingers. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m reading other people’s blogs too.

For example, I visited my newest follower, A Worried Student, and found a post talking about memories from childhood. Well, how could I possibly resist such a delicious and perfect topic? Never one to pass up a good opportunity, here I am.

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Life Story Part 3: The Relationship

I’m in the midst of a divorce. I’ve torn my life apart and am in the process of rebuilding it from the ground up. I’m also in a new relationship with a man I’ve known for four years. My new boyfriend is my soon-to-be ex-husband’s best friend of 25 years. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect subtitle to a Jerry Springer show, I don’t know what does!

It wasn’t something we set out to do. I don’t think either of us even saw it coming. I suppose the signs were there but we chose not to see them. We were both married to other people. We both respected that. But when my relationship began to crumble and I sought him out for advice and to cope, that’s when my future changed.

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Life Story Part 2: The Best Friend

Four years ago I moved to Texas to begin a new life. I created a new business, used all of my savings to create a home for my then three-year old daughter and I. I created a safe little bubble for us to live in and for nine months that went really well. Then friends began bugging me to date. At the time, I thought, “Sure, why not?” After all, it had been over two years since my last relationship, I’d grown a lot and was in a place where I was happy with my life. I was comfortable being alone. So I started an Eharmony profile.

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Returning to My Roots

Hello Blog, my old friend. It’s been far too long. How long has it been since I created a personal blog for therapeutic purposes? I think the last one was 2005, which would make it about 10 years. I stopped blogging because frankly it started to feel narcissistic and I got tired of talking about myself. Now, I find myself needing it again. There’s some really dark shit inside of me and I need a place to put it, a place to release it. An anonymous place, where I can be free to say what I want – good, bad or indifferent without there being consequences. I also need a place where I can write and get that mental exercise in. I’m a writer, I need to be writing but I need a clean place in my mind to write from.

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