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.

 

Good Timing

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I needed to see this today. I’m feeling very blah, not sleeping, irritable and impatient with my kids, and lost. Much like I felt in the days before I told them I was leaving, once I finally made up my mind to do it and stop torturing myself.

I feel like every step forward has been preceeded by 100 steps backwards.

Even my gratitude journal is struggling with entries like “I woke up!” or “I didn’t hear from Harpy!”

The job hunt is frustrating.  I have applied to eight jobs in the new city, and only one responded, but ultimately they don’t want to wait until May to fill the position. I applied to edit 50 word product descriptions for Best Buy as a telecommuting agent, and was denied because I am not skilled enough! That was annoying, with 25 years of experience I am not skilled enough???! What???!!! I have some other freelance apps in but they are difficult to win, but I will keep trying.

I know, things take time. Even my divorce journey. But lately it seems that it takes forever to get to a good place, and then I am back in the darkness really quickly.

I can’t wait for the end of this darkness.

Just STFU Ok????

So now every day I have to hear in person or read via text about how displeased Almost Ex is that I am not working. Today was a reminder that there is such a thing as an unemployment benefit: “If you’re having trouble finding work you ought to see if you can at least get unemployment compensation.” Thanks Almost Ex, I had no idea that still existed! I love the “at least” part.  Not.

I think I will call him Harpy from now on since he is constantly harping on something involving my life.

Saturday he reminded me he is worried for our children’s well-being because I haven’t found a job. I said they will be fine.  He got mad as usual.  He was fishing to find out how I am paying my bills! It doesn’t make sense to me how they are harmed if I am still able to pay my bills and am supporting myself and mostly happier.

Then today he had to tell me to seek unemployment. Which of course I did not drop everything to look into since he told me to. But I am smart enough to know I didn’t need to look into it.  I resigned. It doesn’t matter I didn’t finish my two weeks. I live in an at-will state, either party can end the work relationship at any time for any reason. Later I did look at the eligibility…. And lo and behold, you generally are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits if you resign, unless you were told resign or be fired, and I wasn’t, and I have no proof only a hunch that I was going to be, or if I can prove that the environment was persistently and degeneratively hostile (or some such weird wording). Well, seeing as my supervisor was only hostile to me and she is a member of the firm’s founding family, I really don’t think I could prove I deserve the benefit. Whatever.

So Harpy, STFU about it OK? If you can’t STFU, you ought to at least complain to your sucky attorney that she is costing us too much money by sitting on her ass picking her nose and ignoring correspondence from my attorney! If you could worry about her and getting this divorce finalized instead of what I am doing that you don’t like it would be very greatly appreciated. K thx buh bye.

Sent with Love

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There’s a page I follow on Facebook that talks about signs from the afterlife, and if you are open and believe you will see them. One day they talked about heart shapes, but it was old news to me as I have found heart shaped rocks, marks in waxed paper, even in a blob of chocolate sauce. This leaf was found on “my side” of the driveway at my old house when I dropped my son off for the bus. I am just two minutes away but in a different school district. “Just another thing to deal with” as Almost Ex says.

This sign, sent with love from Heaven, was much needed as my daughter is still being ugly acting. No matter what I do to correct the behavior she just keeps on like I didn’t say a word. Frustrating to say the least. I have told both of them I am doing the best I can and they could do a lot worse, and at least they still have their mother. The thing is, they don’t get it. They haven’t lost anyone close to them yet. So I felt like my mom was saying, “I know, it’s hard but you are a good mom, you learned from the best.” said with a smirk.

I think she is trying very hard to send me signs right now, to reassure me, to give me love the only way she can.

And I just derailed myself. Lost my thought, had to do some mindless chores to calm myself. The random moments of loss are the killer ones. It’s been 19 1/2 years, I should be used to it by now. But that’s the thing about grief, you get used to its constant presence, and then it comes in a different way and knocks you on your ass. You never get to be fully free from it.

It’s what I use to cheer myself, it’s my pain barometer of sorts. July 23, 1999 was the worst day of my life, and there is nothing else that will ever be as bad as losing my young mother. I somehow made it through that darkness, and I will make it through whatever else comes my way. I made it through because I had something happy to look forward to.

Today I gave myself something to look forward to and distract myself from the pain of my daughter’s moods and the limbo of my divorce. I applied to be a contract delivery driver for a flower shop and deliver flowers for Valentine’s Day!

It’s not a lot of money, but it is still income. Although I have some disbursement funds I didn’t expect to have, I am trying to “pretend” I don’t have them and am being very frugal so I don’t spend them too quickly. So this delivery money will help me with groceries, gas, or a furniture payment…little things, but less I will need to pull from my disbursement.

But it will also help me have a purpose for a few days. It will make me happy to help people know they are loved, to give them flowers that were sent with love from their people who are still here.

Love heals.

 

No Excuse

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Amen to that. And they come so randomly, after you think things are getting better and you are moving on, after you think you are healing. And when these hurtful words come, we tend to make excuses for the person, that he was having a hard day, that she was hormonal, that it’s a teenage thing. But really, hurtful words are inappropriate expressions of hurt and anger, and there is no excuse for being hateful to anyone, especially the people you most care about.

Today I was happy, I had a long but short weekend with My Girl, and I saw my therapist before I got my kids back. And then they get in the car and start bickering and being mean, and ignore my pleas to be kind to each other or be quiet if they can’t be nice, which is normal on Change Residence Day. Usually they settle after a few hours.

They were watching a show On Demand. At 10:15 I told them they couldn’t watch all of it because it is a school night and already later than I like them to be up. A asked for 5 more minutes and M didn’t say anything so I said fine. Then he got ready for bed and she turned the TV on in their bedroom. I said no, TV was not going to be on in the bedroom. She began to argue and say she is getting ready for bed, she didn’t want to watch in the family room and it wouldn’t bother A.  I said turn it off and she said no. I took her phone for talking back. She turned her tablet on. I took that too. Then she called me a stupid piece of shit and I slapped her. I am not proud of it, but I was spanked as a child and it is needed sometimes. Today’s youth is so damn entitled.

She laughed at me and said wow, it hit her ear, did I want to make her deaf? And then said she didn’t say that about me. Then she heard me crying in my room and told me to get a tissue!

I was so hurt and surprised that my own child could say something so hurtful. She has said hurtful things to me before but never like that. Those four words cut me to my soul, and no, I will not forgive it as a normal teenage thing. Because I had been spanked as a child, I was afraid to talk to my mother like that, teenager or not! I will not raise my daughter to think she can get away with childish and inappropriate language, though that is going to be hard these next four years with a childish and inappropriate president.

If she can be so ugly over not being allowed to watch tv, what in the hell will she say when I tell her I am moving out of state and in love with a woman? God. How will I bear it? I’m finding comfort in the quote “no one ever died from a divorce.” But it sure feels like I could!

I told Almost Ex and asked him to try to help me punish her and limit friend activities for at least a month. I said limit because I can’t control what he does, and because he doesn’t like to “deal with her” I expect she won’t be grounded long with him. It will be a long damn time before I allow her to do anything! His phone was off so I won’t know what he thinks until tomorrow.   He used to say I made excuses for them. I wonder now if he will say that this is my fault too? I don’t care what he thinks but I do care what he tells our children.

Four words that tore out my heart, that shattered the progress I felt we had made, that made me sob. Four words from my firstborn, that I had to have help to have, that I love more than anything and would gladly offer my life to save hers, just four words to crush me and bring back the guilt and sadness and take me 100 steps backward.

Maybe one day it will be a joke like at the end of the movie “Bad Moms” when one of the real life moms of the actresses says her daughter called her a bitch and they laughed.

But until that day, I have to try to shake it off and hope that it is just normal teenager stuff and that we will be ok eventually.

I wish my skin was thicker.

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.

Random Update

So… The feeling I had that I was going to get fired?  And the early release from my two weeks? Yeah, heard that four people were let go today… All but one were office staff. So perhaps I would have been one of five….

So trust your instincts people.  Or your angels. 🙂