Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One Grain

(I know, I copied this post to both blogs, but I felt it was important to do so)
I went to therapy again today, and one of the things she helped me realize is that I wouldn't have left sooner because I was getting something out of that relationship that I wanted too.  Not saying for one second that I wanted or deserved the mental and emotional abuse (we chatted a little more about my history and she pointed out more instances that easily qualify under both of those headings - I'm not just repeating it for the drama.  I actually feel pretty uncomfortable about saying it still - that I fell for all of that - but that's where I'm coming to my point...)... I stayed as long as I wanted to.  She pointed out that if you look at a scale, and there's a mountain of crap on one side, and a mountain and a grain of good on the other, then you'll stay.  I realized what it was that I traded my emotional peace of mind in my marriage for was the opportunity to stay home with my children while they were small.  That's what I chose.  If I left earlier, I would have missed out on that.  I knew that the children were in minimal danger if I stayed, and that the risk of sending them to daycare to be raised by someone else and have them miss out on the foundation of stability and love that can only be provided by their mother was a risk I was not going to take.  It made it all worth it.  Sure, it was a hefty trade, and one I wasn't even consciously aware of until about a couple of years before the end.  Looking back I'm not even sure about the quality of my parenting considering it was a lot of survival mode, but I was there, and I loved them the best I could at the time.  I hope that counts in the long run for something.  And not for a second would I go back, knowing what I know now, and change it.  I'm a Mom first and forever, and there is nothing I wouldn't do for my children.  Staying after they were in school full time, and putting up with abuse that was obviously not going to end ever would have killed my spirit.  I left for my children too.  I'm sure they don't see it that way, but I did.  I couldn't continue having them live in a house where I was allowing me to be treated that way.  I definitely didn't want them to grow up thinking that any of that was normal or acceptable.  I also didn't want them growing up in shades of gray.  There is right and wrong, and I needed them to see the difference in the way their father and I choose to live our lives, rather than blending - or in other words me caving to keep the peace and going against what I believe to be best regarding values, morals, and religion.
I know that I'm an even better Mom now than I have ever been.  I hope they see that it's never to late to change, that you have to work hard to get what you want, that faith matters, that truth in word and action and emotion matters, that they matter, and that I matter.  And if they ever end up knowing what all happened between their father and me, that they see that it wasn't that I was too weak to leave - but that I was strong enough to withstand the 'mountain less-a-grain' for the opportunity to be with them.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Scrap That Happily Ever After... Time For a New Story

Maybe because it's all coming to an end that I've been thinking about the beginning of the end. 
And where is that beginning? 
Is it when in my naivety I missed the tell-tale signs that his character was lacking essential qualities needed for a lifetime of emotional safety right from the get-go?
Is it the first time I caught him in the act of living a double life?
Is it the first time that he admitted to me days later that the problem went far deeper than originally discovered?
The second time I caught him?
The third?
Or any one of the times that others confronted me with additional information?
And when I finally had the courage to say 'enough' when it happened yet again - was that when I left him?  Or had he left me a million years before?

Who left who?

Was it that he left me all those years ago, but it took me a dozen years to let him go?  To tell him 'no more'?  To find my voice and stand up for me? 
I'm trying to find the beginning so I can figure out the why, the how, and how never to be that girl again.  The girl who repeatedly sent the messages that 'it's ok to abuse me, I'll take it over and over again - just don't leave me alone', ' I'll hide all your secrets, I'll be loyal, then will I be worthy of your love and attention??', 'look at all the things I do wrong, at all the things I'm not, how in the world do I fix them all so you will be happy and love me, pick me to talk to, touch, and spend time with??'.
I'm hoping that with all the time that's gone by, the things I have learned and experienced, I'm a changed woman already.  I'm learning to be a woman that chooses my life rather than letting life always just happen to me while being quiet, patient, and polite.
I know what I want - I'm still working on believing I deserve it and then being brave enough not to settle for anything less, and creating a life for me that I love - with or without a man to share it with.  That's going to be hard because men are my weakness, along with the desire to be wanted, cherished, and loved.  Assuming of course that such a man who can and wants to fulfill those needs for me even exists.  I hope he does...??

Friday, March 11, 2011

Three Wishes

1 - that I was wealthy enough to be able to travel and see things that my kiddies and I have always wanted to see
2 - that their father would wake up tomorrow and feel that moving alone to Mexico forever is the best idea of his life and follow through with it.
3 - that my kids realize sooner than later what a lame sauce person their father is so they quit getting their hopes up and having him crush them over and over like he tends to do because the only person he thinks of is himself.

Favorite quote of the week - "This is our last conversation. We are not friends.  Goodbye Trevor."

It's almost done...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Non Traditional Gratitude

Thank you for reaffirming to me on at least a weekly basis that leaving you was THE best decision of my life.  Trust me that I will be buying our son a car so that he can drive himself and his sister back and forth between our homes so that I have to see you even less than I already do.  It's a 4 year count down and will be worth every penny :)

ps - you can add our Real Estate Lawyer to the rapidly growing list of people who have actually called you a fool behind your back, just so you know.  I'm sure you don't care, but it makes my day :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Preparing for the Storm

Hindsight is 20/20 they say.
The further away I get from the toxic mess that was my marriage and the tragic person I used to be, the better I see how truly messed up the whole situation was.
I've had recent exposure to more of his emotional abuse lately, and having been away from it for a while it comes as a startling surprise that abuse is exactly what I was exposed to, and unfortunatly it's not all past tense.
I know I'm not the same person I used to be, but am I strong enough now to deal with more devestating blows from him?  You see, it all unravelled for me two years ago and I've been working damn hard to rebuild since then.  His hardest times only just coming around the bend as real life consequences start kicking in.  He can see them clearer now than he ever has and he's looking for someone to blame... and I'm his go-to girl. 
I know for a fact that he will lash out in my direction again more than once and in all his classic ways, and I'm afraid.  I have that same knot in my stomach of ugly anticipation, feel the blood draining from my face, my hands start shaking, my heart pounding, and am fighting with all that I have not to run or buckle. 
I need help.  I'm stronger now than I have ever been, but I need support and tools, because I feel fragile when I'm dealing with him.  I'm going to finally see a therapist next week, because this is my time to stand up for me.  I just need help in finding my voice.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Battle with a Different Kind of Cancer

Divorce, I've decided, compares on many levels to an awful illness.  It sucks the life from you, you never know when it's going to end, you have to go around and try to function best you can day to day anyways, and it's never far from your mind.  Plus. at least for me, I'm journeying to find wholeness, taking better care of myself, slowing down and enjoying the little things more, seeing all the petty little things people get all bunched up about as..well... petty.  I want to raise awareness to everyone on what to avoid at all costs, and become an abused person advocate.  It's cause for friends and family to celebrate when free of the source of sickness, stress, and negativity.  Support groups become a place to share and let your guard down.  And once in a while, medication helps ;)  Prayers are said, and if you're lucky, really lucky, you can walk away free of any lasting scars.  I'm still battling, not able to see the promised end from where I stand today.  I'm exhausted in every way, but the days keep coming and what other option is there than to face them, one at a time.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Not So Merry

I love Christmas.
At least I know I used to.  And I'm really trying to this year as well.
But for some reason I'm 75% happy and 25% not, and that 25% is starting to irk me.
It's hard around the holidays.  It's like another little reminder that there used to be someone and now there isn't.  I know my kids feel it too.  They wish we were all together.  I don't, but mostly because I know that I'm not wanted where ever he is.  And that feels kinda crappy sometimes, not gonna lie.  That he would rather be alone on Christmas Eve, calling his kids twice because I know he misses them, that he would rather do that than be with me 365 days a year.
I've had a little break through though.  I was chatting last night while I wrapped gifts with my best friend and more than once I said things out loud that have been clattering around in my brain that I thought were simple truths about myself.  She was quick to be vocal about how the way I see me is not the way that others see me.  So as I laid in bed I thought again as I often do about what is my 'self talk' - the things I say to myself so often that I believe them and I caught one.  Caught one because it has been so subtle and quiet, but repetitive enough for me to not even realize I've been saying it at all.  In fact, it's been around for so many years that it has definitely become a part of how I view myself, and I didn't even realize it.  I know when it started and who put it there, but that doesn't matter nearly so much as how do I change it?
You can't change what you don't own so here it is:
People don't actually like you, they're just pretending to your face.
And: You think you're special but you're not. 
Seriously - how in the world did I not recognize these going on in my head everyday??  They were so much a part of me that I didn't even see how damaging they were, and probably will continue to be as I try to change.
This is why I didn't try for the man I thought was out of my league and settled for a guy that paid attention to me.
This is why I down play every compliment ever given to me.
This is why I don't have many long-time friends, because I believe that they grow to get to know me, don't like what they see or realize that I'm totally average and boring and leave.
This is why I stayed in an abusive relationship for 10 years.
This is why I have a hard time believing that people who are not related to me (because if you're related you have to love each other, even if you make each other crazy) actually like me and care about me - I seriously believe that they are faking just to be nice, or put on a show, or are using me for something.  Seriously.
I've always said and meant it when I say I like me, I just don't think other people do.
Could I think of myself as special?
Could I trust someone else to like me as a person?  And almost the entire person, if not all??
Completely foreign to me.... but something I obviously need to think and study on so I don't repeat mistakes of my past OR pass them on, heaven forbid!
It's been an eye-opening thought process, and I'm feeling very vulnerable and a little emotional.  I'm not sure where to go from here, but since I newly discovered I'm smart and a survivor, I'm sure I'll figure it out in time.  Life's a journey.