Feeling Normal Again

A week ago I vacated my apartment and moved with my cats into my friend J’s basement.  I am staying with her during the week and staying with kid(s) at my old house on the weekends until next Tuesday.  6 days until new life begins! How crazy is that, when there were days I thought I would never get thru the darkness, never have a chance at happiness. And now, it is all less than a week away.

But anyway. It has been wonderful to stay with J and her boyfriend and her crazy pug. I realized it has been the beginning of my transition to my New Life. I don’t live in my apartment and don’t share custody of my kids, but it was not a sudden break from them. I feel like living with her I have come to be at peace with all this suddenly. It didn’t hurt that J’s boyfriend has been cooking incredible meals! 🙂

It has also been nice to have adult conversations and drink wine at the fire pit. We have had a variety of conversations, and he and I didn’t always agree, but it never got heated like I am used to. How refreshing and normal. They are so happy together and I am thrilled for J.

I also felt like baking a dessert today, which I haven’t done in forever. I made these Smore’s cups. I wanted something easy but also J had limited ingredients lol. They turned out good but messy!

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Then when I was looking for a container to put them in, an avalanche of lids and containers spilled out of the cabinet. Why I felt like doing it I don’t know. Lord knows I will have plenty to organize next week! I didn’t throw anything away, just nested container sets and put stray lids in a basket, but it felt good. I did it as a thank you, mostly, but it was also a little soothing for me creating order from chaos and helping J with something she didn’t have time to do.

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Random things, but signs that I am starting to adjust to the end of my Old Life. I’m ready to feel normal again.

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On the Road to a New Normal

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Me and “the boys” huddled in the empty corner

In a few hours, most of my belongings will be making their way to their new home. I will be flying out at crack ass for unloading, then spending the weekend with My Girl…. If she still wants me after I become Ms. Cranky Exhausted Grouchypants from the too early flight and the stress of moving! 😜 I will be driving to stay, with “the boys,” at the end of the month.

It’s been an interesting day. Lots of emotions. Saw my therapist and she was so excited and supportive, and we made a treatment plan which allows me to be seen as far as four months out. She feels I have made great progress, but we haven’t even touched on the reason I was referred to her, my “sperm donor.” She can’t do phone calls or Skype, and since I will be coming back to see my kids, it should work out. She reminded me to stay in today, and realize many mistakes are still to be made, but many more successes too.

Then I had to deal with Probably Never Ex and he was such a pain in my butt! He was hovering over the movers making sure they didn’t wander through the house stealing things. Obnoxiously and loudly saying, “No, that doesn’t go.” after I had just told them what WAS going. I guess because I don’t have a clue as to what is mine or not.

I decided to stay in my apartment tonight because I have to leave around 3:30 a.m. and didn’t want to disturb J or her kids. I asked the movers to leave the chaise cushion to sleep on. Being here with just a few things reminds me of my first nights here after I left, only now the sadness isn’t the strongest emotion.

It truly is amazing how much things change in a short time. Now I am just a few weeks away from changing my life road and heading to a new normal.

We’ll see what happens….good or bad, but no regrets.

 

 

No More Stress, OK?

I told my friend J that after this move, I am done with stressful events for a long time. Yeah, if only it was that easy.

Next Wednesday my furniture in my apartment and old house are going to be loaded for their road trip. I have boxes every damn where, and even shipped some to myself already, but it doesn’t really seem like I am getting anywhere with packing! I’m trying to tell myself the boxes are just too small, but damn I have a lot of crap! I’m glad I gave myself a few days before my lease expires, otherwise I think I would be seriously fucked right about now getting everything done. I keep telling myself not everything needs to go now, some can go with me in my car or stay with J until she can help me bring it down. But still, it’s overwhelming. I haven’t even begun to do anything at the house. I just couldn’t.

Then I am stressing myself out by worrying that my kids aren’t upset enough. WTF is that about? I should be glad they are OK. They both said they are willing to figure it out as we go, so why can’t I believe them? Mom guilt, that’s why.

Though at least they aren’t dwelling on it like Probably Never Ex is. I can barely stand to talk to him for even a minute lately. Between the negativity and passive aggressive comments, I could scream.

At least his sloth-like lawyer has shown signs of life. Though she told Probably Never Ex that she reached out to my attorney weeks ago. I figured it was a lie to placate him for sitting on my offer for three months. Lo and behold, my lawyer sent me a copy of their counter offer….dated May 2! I seriously do not know how his attorney can maintain a practice!

My cashed out retirement funds are just about gone, so there’s more stress. Though I did apply to an employment agency and the recruiter called me immediately and said marketing is hot right now, and scheduled a meeting for next Friday afternoon. She said she is confident she can place me quickly, so that’s a bit of good news, and brings hope.

I also applied for a credit card through my bank and was approved, so now I have a little more ability to stay afloat, barely, but still, above water is better than below!

I told J I will be so happy when June is here and I am officially in my new life, but I will probably sleep all month from the exhaustion of it all.

Just please God, no more stress right now, ok?

Ripping the Second Bandaid Off

I just told my children I am moving. They didn’t seem as upset as when I told them I was leaving their father. Still, tears all around.

My daughter didn’t say anything other than she was going in their room and my son asked how far away it is. Then they both went to different rooms. I am still on the couch crying.

But…. now I only have to tell their father, and I already know how that will go. I don’t really care what he threatens to do because if I am willing to come back to see them he can’t keep them from me. That’s all I care about.

There is no school tomorrow due to a Nor’easter coming, and I hope that we can process and begin to pick up the pieces. I know it will take time.

I feel relieved but very sad.

Day 125 of 90

It’s hard to count days when they all blur together. I have to look at a calendar on the wall for way too long, and thank God for the “command center” on my phone that tells me the time, date and day because honestly I really have no idea. I don’t know how people just choose not to work. I feel lazy, bored, non-productive, blah, and of course still on the emotional rollercoaster ride from Hell.

As this post is titled, it is now 35 days past the day my divorce should have been granted after a 90-day waiting period. I last heard from my lawyer on February 5, saying she had contacted his lawyer to request a response regarding the divorce grant and our settlement proposal. She didn’t get a response which is typical for his lawyer, and please provide a $400 addition to the retainer. Sigh. And Almost Ex seems to be back in denial and doesn’t mention anything at all. If I bring it up he informs me I am being hateful.

Job hunt is discouraging. I have applied to 13 jobs, both in a physical location and working remotely, and have only had one response. I think they see my state and immediately disregard me without reading further, because I clearly didn’t read the ad that they want local applicants. So today I found an ad that is nearly identical to what I previously did, and so I changed it up and said thank you for reviewing my resume, I am relocating in May, I don’t expect to receive relocation assistance, and would work remotely until May if it was a viable option. It is also in the town I am moving to, so no commute as I am anxious about the greater traffic and not having experience driving in big cities. My friend J says that as moving day gets closer more opportunities may arise….I hope so. Nothing to do but keep trying I guess.

I was going to tell my kids this past weekend, and then changed my mind. Lost my nerve is more like it. But, that is ok because I had three dates I was going to tell them I was leaving their father before I finally told myself a date no matter what. That is what I do; plan, agonize, decide, and talk myself out of it until I can’t stand it anymore, so I feel like at least I am trying to take this step and not passively waiting. And honestly it isn’t so much telling my children that scares me, it’s telling their father because of the hate and ugliness he will throw at me. I still fear his response…I can’t wait until I don’t care what he thinks.

But some good has come of this. My daughter went to counseling with me and was honest and willing to talk with me in the room. It hurt a bit, but I hope that it helped some. I am doing the best I can, and only want a better relationship with her.

I have also found great support in my friend J, and I have helped her as well. We have similar stories, but she is divorced now. She and My Girl are in the same boat with feeling helpless to know what to do for M (J’s friend) and me as we go through our respective divorces. J and I have known each other a long time, but now we are becoming close friends. There is no judgement on either side and it is a relief to have a safe space to vent our frustrations and anxieties of this process.

So that’s where I am at….trying to be calm in the monotony of my days. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. But at least I am still waking up to have a day at all.

 

The Times They Are a Changing

“It is paradoxical that what truly makes life sing for us is change, and yet change is what we most dread and fear….Welcoming life instead of resisting it, hating it, or fearing it might be our single greatest source of power in coping with it.” ~ “You Don’t Have to Suffer” by Judy Tatelbaum

Today is the last day of Barack Obama’s presidency. Tomorrow will bring significant changes to life as we Americans know it. Many, including Almost Ex, are excited that Obama is finally out of the White House. I am sorry to see him go. I feel that almost every president has had some great ideas, and some that sounded good in theory but were not in practice, and that they did the best they could for the American people. I think Trump will only do what is best for him and the people who cater to him and stroke his ego. I am scared for what will change for me and My Girl and other LGBTQ people. I am scared for what will change for my children, my daughter especially. I am scared for what will change in our world relationships. There will be huge change and likely most of it will not be positive, and there is nothing I can do about it but hope and pray that we make it through.

At least I can control my decisions and reactions. 19 days into 2017 and I am trying (and succeeding I think) to be kinder to myself, to just breathe, and trust that this emotional rollercoaster ride will eventually stop. I have been spending a lot of time “at rest,” watching tv, scrapbooking, coloring, or sleeping. I have done minimal chores and refused to allow the Critical Voices to chime in about it. It’s been 9 years since I haven’t had to work, I need this time off.

Today marks a week since I was told I didn’t need to stay 2 weeks, and except for kid stuff over the weekend, I didn’t do anything outside my apartment! Almost Ex would have said, “Ok, it’s been a week, it’s time to beat the bushes and find a job, we have a mortgage you know!” Oh wait, my bad, he would have never allowed me to resign without a new job waiting in the first place!

I think I am finally changing to not caring what people think about my decisions, and that is a relief. Coworkers were surprised that I didn’t have a plan, that I just “needed to make some significant changes to be happy.” A few were blatantly fake and fished with “sorry to hear you are leaving us” comments, but I didn’t provide any additional details. I didn’t care what they thought of me. All I cared about was that I had decided to leave and wouldn’t need to come up with a more positive way of saying I was fired.

Turns out that was a good decision since four people were laid off that Friday.

It’s a little harder to change how I react to Almost Ex, but I am taking baby steps. It’s all I can do. He is so negative and I try to limit contact with him. Life has decided to throw in another curve ball and his parents are extremely forgetful, like early onset Alzheimer’s forgetful, and his mom has breast cancer. I feel bad that this happened, but there is nothing I can do about it. But to Almost Ex, it is “one more thing to deal with in his shitty life.” Well at least he has a life to live, and both his parents are alive, shitty circumstances or not. I am reading “You Don’t Have to Suffer” by Judy Tatelbaum, and basically she says you can either look at life as a challenge or an obstacle, that you can either choose to accept that life has painful moments and enjoy it in spite of the pain, or choose to focus on the misery you feel and create suffering for yourself. I have realized I am tired of suffering but Almost Ex is not.

Our daughter turned 15 last week, and wanted all four of us to go out for dinner. He told her he didn’t think I would be comfortable, but she could ask. Really Almost Ex???? Of course I said yes, for her. We weren’t on the road five minutes and he starts updating me on how shitty his life is, and his mom, and his brother isn’t helping at all, and he is so busy at work and can’t help her as much, and our son’s basketball schedule isn’t convenient…..I barely responded and of course he didn’t seem to notice.

Then he asked me about the sandwich fundraiser for our daughter’s volleyball team. I hadn’t bothered to take it to work since the sandwiches weren’t coming until after my planned last day, but did ask a friend who had bought before. I didn’t want to get into it and ruin the day for M, but he wouldn’t let up and kept asking why didn’t I take it to work, did I get in trouble, did I just skip a month or what? So finally I said I resigned and they are made after my last day! He replied, “Oh that’s just great.” But left it at that. Then we proceeded on with the slightly awkward, very negative dinner. M seemed happy though, and that made me happy.

Then Sunday we were at our son’s basketball game and M was sitting between us. He texted me and asked if there is anything in the works for my situation. I replied I am looking. He verbally replied that it seems to him it would have been smarter to wait it out so they would fire me and then I could get unemployment. I replied that I didn’t want to. He said something about there should have been a conversation and I said I will be fine. Then he informs me that my not working stresses him out and he worries about the well-being of his children. Oh. Ok, so?

What I wanted to say was that I would try selling myself or drugs until I could move in with my Sugar Mama and she would support all of us. What I actually said was, again, I am looking and it will be fine. Before I would have gotten defensive and engaged in an argument, concerned with what he thought. Now I have changed and simply don’t have the need for his approval anymore. It annoyed me that he implied my not working is going to harm our children’s well-being, but then I got over it. He is choosing to make himself suffer by worrying about things I do or don’t do and I can’t control that. Life happens and you get through it.

I have one more thing to tell him. He won’t like it. My kids may not like it. I have agonized over it enough. I am not happy here, and I am moving to be with My Girl and start a new chapter, start a new path to happiness. My residence will change, my career may change, my sexuality changed. But what hasn’t and will not change is the person I am. I am still a kind, empathetic, nurturing, creative, sarcastic, beach bum at heart, emotional woman who is trying to live a happy life in spite of the difficulties that arise.

There has been a lot of talk about having a word for 2017. Mine is “change.” I now think of life as a challenge and am changing how I deal with negativity. Life is too short and I want to stop suffering. Only I can make that change, and only I can decide the best way to do it.

Things are Starting to Align

Tuesday night after my kids left I had a random “WTF am I doing” moment, and cried a bit. Then I ate half a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. I would have eaten all of it if I had not eaten the first half Monday night. Regardless, I felt a little better after.

Yesterday I felt peaceful,  which was a relief.  I honestly don’t know when the last time was that I wasn’t in the future predicting how Almost Ex or kids would react to things, or stressed by my job even though I resigned last Friday. It was wonderful.  I had talked to my lawyer and she agreed that we keep moving out of the discussion right now as he could try to make things difficult and his non-responding lawyer is doing that herself!

Then today I was annoyed and hurt and a bit lost.  Almost Ex called and asked you know it’s Daughter’s birthday???? Oh. Is it?  I truly had no idea that I had to force myself to remember the day I pushed a six pound being out of a marble hole. Geez. So I said of course,  I called her earlier and sang happy birthday! And he says Oh.  I was surprised he didn’t say he “was only trying to help geez”  like he always does and tell me I am hateful.  So there was the annoyed.

Then Boss comes in and says she has a handle on my tasks and though I was willing to work until next week, I was free to pack up my belongings and “call it a day” today.  Oh. So I was let go from my resignation I guess. I started to finish a simple task,  and also wanted to alert the marketing team at another firm I was working with for a proposal and then she deactivated my email. Before I had even started to pack. So then I said OK then,  F it, I am not helping her anymore and just started cleaning out. That hurt. I had no intention of sending a nasty email about the situation or stealing information or whatever.  I had never had my resignation shortened so I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. And there’s the lost. I have never quit a job without another lined up… And yes I have unexpected funds available to live on so income isn’t a concern yet, and I am looking, it’s just odd to not have anything “to do” for an unknown amount of time. But things happen for a reason.  Maybe one of my applications is my dream job and they are going to want me to interview immediately! Or maybe I just need more time to “be.” Who knows. It doesn’t matter and I can’t control what happens, only how I react to it.

I am hoping to not get into it with Almost Ex today. We’ll see. If he puts 2+2 together, I am OK with it because then it can be dealt with sooner. Knowing how it goes down is better than anticipating!!!

And now I have nothing to stay for…. No marriage, no job, no family that care other than my kids and they will be with me as much as possible until they can decide for themselves where they go.

The pieces leading to my New Life are finally starting to align. I will get there. I will be happy again. This all sucks but it will still never be as awful as losing my mother. If I can get through that I can get through anything.

Here’s to hope.