Monthly Archives: October 2011

Stuff…Random Stuff…

Do you know I hit 100 posts the other day and didn’t even realize it?  I’ve been blogging since April 30 – that’s a LOT of talking…I wonder if I’ve changed at all…hmm, that’s something to contemplate later…I haven’t posted anything for a couple of days…at first I didn’t have anything to say…and then when I did, I couldn’t get my internet to work…now I’m just filled with random stuff…

*****

I found a place to live!!!!!!!!  It’s quiet and safe and the right size and has a balcony off the master bedroom…a spot that, if I do it right, will be MINE…I have no intention of sharing it with the boys…mostly because I’m that mom who would be a nervous wreck that they would fall – even though they wouldn’t…

When Mom #2, who doubts EVERYTHING, knew I would take it in the first 5 minutes, I knew my instincts were right…there will be some adjustments, and probably some whining – from all three of us – but it’s going to be our new place…closer to work, closer to friends, and hopefully a little less wear and tear on me…

*****

The Ex was caught in a pack of lies over the weekend by his girlfriend…and myself…because for the first time in 6 months, we talked…I don’t know if she called just to get info to use on him…I don’t know if she called to stir up trouble (I don’t think so)…but I discovered I’ve been lied to for several months…about things that don’t matter…things that didn’t have to turn in to lies…

And somehow, as it has been since February 13, 2011, it was my fault that they fought…wow.

*****

My children love my Separated-At-Birth Sister…adore her…and her children adore mine…and she cooks so well it makes her house smell divine…damn, I miss home-cooking…makes me so tired of living out of paper bags and drive thru…yes, I recognize it’s my own fault…and thanks to her, I had a couple extra hours to myself this weekend – that, my friends, is priceless…

*****

I’m back to being completely worn down again…it’s lack of exercise, lack of good, healthy food, and the addition of new stress…I find myself grinding my teeth while I’m driving or just sitting quietly anywhere…once I get lost in thought, there I go, grinding my teeth…

Some of the stress will alleviate itself once the move is done…and I’m finally taking a vacation, too…I’m not going anywhere, but I’ll have my days free from children and work…

*****

I realized that I miss intimacy…I’m not talking sex (that’s definitely a conversation for another day)…I’m talking about pure intimacy…simple, small stuff that we all take for granted when there’s someone with us…quick hugs, pecks on the cheek, curling up on the couch…leaning on someone, wrapping your arms around each other for no other reason than just because…

I don’t want it with The Ex…but I do miss it…

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I Don’t Like It When…

I don’t like it when I yell at my boys for no real reason other than I’m frustrated…

I don’t like it when I start feeling sorry for myself for no good reason…

I don’t like it when I let myself think about the bad instead of focusing on the positive…

I don’t like it when I eat cheeseburgers because they’re easier than anything else…

I don’t like it when I stay up late when I know I need sleep…

I don’t like it when I dwell on the past instead of dreaming of the future…

I don’t like it when I let the quiet close in on me…

I don’t like it when good ideas feel impossible…

I don’t like it when I stop avoiding the things that bother me…

I don’t like it when I avoid the things that need to be dealt with…

I don’t like it when I let my anxiety and worries take over and guide my decisions…

I don’t like it when I hold the people I love to an impossibly high standard…

I don’t like it when I lower my standards for people who don’t care about me…

I don’t like it when I wish for things I don’t have instead of being grateful for what I do have…

I don’t like it when I neglect myself because I forget that I’m worth caring about…

I don’t like it when I have to be reminded that I’m not screwing up my children…

I don’t like it when I’m mopey.

The Difference A Day Makes…

I always feel kind of bad when I unload in my blog…because people who genuinely care about me read it and then worry more…and usually within hours, I feel better…

Yesterday, I had a very dark cloud over my head…it followed me, rained on me, and generally just brought me down…

This morning, I woke up feeling pretty crappy…I wasn’t overly pleasant with the boys…I felt horribly guilty when Sean ran, fell, hit his head, and then started crying – even though there’s no way I could have prevented it…

It’s amazing the difference a day can make in life…

I had a business meeting over lunch today – which is always fun, but I genuinely like this chick, so it was even better…and while we’re chatting, she mentions she has a condo that she rents out…I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure she could sense my excitement…I’m not that person who should go to the car lot alone, because I have NO poker face…

The more we talked about her condo, the better it sounded…she showed me pictures on her phone…she told me, honestly, about the damage that had been created by her last tenant and what she’s done to fix it…and Saturday, I will view it and find out if it’s going to work for me…

And, as someone who listens very carefully to her intuition, I was amazed at how excited I am…maybe because she used the two best words to describe it – safe and quiet…

Without even viewing it (and knowing intellectually it could be all wrong for me – even though my gut tells me it won’t be), I immediately felt a weight lift off my shoulders…to everyone who said to be patient and that it would happen when it was supposed to happen (advice I have often given to others), you’re right…as I was sitting there, talking to her, I sort of stepped away from myself and saw from the outside how perfectly this was working out – with no real effort on my part…when something is meant to happen, it’s easy…when something is supposed to happen, doors seem to open out of no where…

I still have plenty to do and to worry about and to stress over…but…by Saturday afternoon, the biggest hurdle will probably have been crossed…

My faith has been restored in the decisions that I’m making…I needed a sign that I was on the right path, and I would have had to be deaf, dumb, and blind to have missed this one…

 

Frustrated

There are times when I feel like I spend my life frustrated…sometimes it’s because my expectations are either too high or not fully thought out…sometimes its because I’m looking for easy – and that almost never happens…

On the one hand, I’m that person who believes that anything in life worth having is worth working hard for – meaning that very little comes easy, and I wouldn’t trust it if it did…on the other hand, I have been told, and want to believe, that if you’re on the path you should be, doors will often open that you don’t expect…

All I want to do is move…I want to get out of this house (it goes on the market in the next day or so…know anyone who just can’t wait to live in a little town called Crestview, FL?)…I want to move closer to work…I want to pay a little less each month – because I’m freaking drowning over here, and something’s got to give…but silly me, I also want to feel safe wherever I live and have enough space for 2 rowdy little boys to be, well, rowdy little boys…apparently, I’m asking for a miracle…

I’m filled with doubts – can this space hold most of our stuff? I don’t have a lot of stuff but I think the beds, couch, and kitchen table are essential items, and dammit, wherever I live should be able to hold at least that…Is this area safe?  Would we ever actually leave during the day, and how would I feel if I brought them home to this late at night??

Is this the right place for us?  I’m a big believer that you know when something feels right – and when it doesn’t…and I should wait for it to feel right…but I’m feeling pressured from my own deadline – November 1.  Why November 1? Because 8 days later, I’ll be in Anaheim, CA for 5 days…and right after that it’s balls to the wall until February at work…this is the perfect time…except the perfect place isn’t materializing…and I’m filled with self-doubt…

I’m making a major decision which affects my children…and I need to get it right…this isn’t something I can half-ass or just make work…the safety of the boys (and my perception of their safety) is too important…which is why I found myself driving around town this afternoon after looking at yet another really crappy option, lost in thought, mentally panicking…I was almost back at work when I realized I hadn’t returned the key to the rental company…

I’ve made plenty of decisions for our family in the past few months, but none like this…I’m uprooting Aidan from his school, I’m taking Sean away from a daycare that adores him, to do what? Put them in some crap hole-in-the-wall just so I can get away from my own personal demons?  Am I being selfish?  Couldn’t I just toughen up a little, tighten the belt a little more, and deal with it?

Intellectually, I know the answers…but if I screw up this decision, what does that say about everything else that comes after?  I’m responsible for this family, for two little boys who are looking to me to keep everything right in their world…I just want a safe, decent, affordable home…how can that be so damn hard?

My Mom Calls It Purging

That probably sounds pretty bad…let me explain…

Every six months or so, my mom used to go through her house, and if she hadn’t touched it, thought about it, or used it in the past 6 months, she got rid of it…whatever “it” was…I never had that luxury…I was married to a pack rat…a serious, serious pack rat…I often teased The Ex that if I died first, he’d end up on that show Hoarders

Well, he’s gone and I need to move…let the purging begin…

I want a clean slate…I want to start our new life fresh…this is a small step in the right direction…I made two separate trips to the Goodwill store to drop off donations today…the curb in front of my house looks like a rummage sale with all the stuff waiting to be picked up tomorrow…and my house feels a little bit bigger with less stuff in it…

I’m not that person who needs or wants a lot of stuff…I always look at it as that much more that I have to dust, clean, or otherwise keep up with…I’m also not a very sentimental person…I don’t keep cards for years (well, apparently I did because I still had all the cards The Ex had and didn’t take with him – gone now)…I don’t need cheap crap from souvenir shops when I travel…actually, pictures are more important to me than anything…which is strange because I don’t take a lot of them…

But, since I’m purging there are other things that will soon depart from my life…my grandmother’s china and antique hutch…when my grandfather gave it to me as a wedding gift, I wanted it because I thought that married people should have china…and to have something that had been so important to my grandmother seemed significant…now I look at it and think about how I never needed it…never used it…and it represents something to me that I don’t want to be reminded of…both the china and the hutch will go back to either my mom or my aunt – whichever is able to physically claim it…but it will stay in the family, because it should…just not with me…please don’t make me look at it anymore…it doesn’t represent happiness or family or anything like that to me…it’s empty promises…

My next big project – and it needs to happen this month, I’ve decided – is to finally scatter my dad’s ashes…I don’t want to move him again…and I don’t want him to live in my bedroom anymore (talk about an awkward conversation with some one some day in the future…”um, yeah, that’s my dad in the corner…don’t worry, he won’t bother you…” No thanks) He’s been with me through almost my entire marriage…not quite, but almost…once my mom met The Step it seemed a little strange for her to keep him…so he came to me…but now, I need a fresh start…and some things need to be laid to rest…my dad is one of them…

My mom doesn’t want me to go by myself…but I want it done before I move to the next place…but I’m not sure how to ask someone to go with me…”Yeah, would you like to go with me to the cemetery where my great-grandmother was buried?  I’m going to scatter my dad’s ashes there because he loved her like a grandmother (or mom, considering his age in relation to hers).”  Not exactly a fun-filled trip…well, knowing me, I’ll be making inappropriate jokes in an effort not to cry…but I don’t see many people jumping at the chance for that particular road trip…

But I know it’s the right thing to do…it’s not like I can ever forget him…and quite frankly, he gets forgotten in my room anyway…you don’t even want to know how infrequently I dust the little hutch where he lives…

With everything that is removed from this house, I feel a little lighter…with every thing I do that keeps me moving forward, I feel a little freer (more free?)…I think purging is the perfect word for it.

 

Forgiveness

Ok, wow, really long post…only the really determined will make it through. It’s okay if you’re not that determined.

I am a typical Scorpio…given to extremes, stubborn to a fault, loyal beyond all measure, but once I’m done with you, I’m done.

I have often said that I can forgive, but I can’t forget…which is why once you lose my trust (if you ever even had it), you can’t get it back…I might not have anymore animosity towards you, but I’ll never give you my trust again…

I’ve never had to really forgive anyone before…I’ve never been so angry, hurt, upset, damaged by someone’s actions that it required forgiveness on my part…not real forgiveness…not the kind that you have to agonize over but once you decide to do it, you feel the weight of it leave you…until today…

Today, I mentally forgave The Ex…and once the time comes, I will try to legally forgive him, too…

The worst time of my life, the lowest point I’ve ever been at, was the eight weeks after I told The Ex I wanted a divorce…I’ve dealt with the death of my father…was there when the decision was made to take him off life support…was there when he took his last breath…and it was somehow easier than those weeks with The Ex…

In those eight weeks, I came as close to being abused as I hope I ever come again…mostly emotional and mental…when I think back on some of those episodes, I feel very shaky inside…scared…like the Boogeyman’s going to jump out at me…I tend not to think too much about it…the last time was by far the mildest of everything, but it was bigger and there were witnesses to the aftermath…I had no choice but to call the authorities…I’m glad I had no choice…I think if I had been alone, I would have kept my mouth shut, cleaned my house, and attempted to put back the pieces by myself…and I would be the worse for it today…

For the first time, The Ex had to suffer the consequences of his emotional, impulsive actions…and that’s really what it was, I think…they’re the worst possible traits in a person, in my opinion – both emotional and impulsive…when I see it in another person, I run screaming from it…I’m terrified of that combination…because it’s never meant good things for me…but none of what he did was the plan of a criminal or a bad person…it was childish, willful, horrible, gut-wrenching…and I’m the one who felt guilty about it…the day I gave up guilt over The Ex was one of the first times I had felt good since February 13

Everything that’s happened between us has changed me in different ways…I think it’s made me stronger on some levels…I know it’s made me feel more vulnerable…it definitely made me question myself…and question love…the recurring thought that ran through my head was, “How do you do something like this to someone you love?  How can you say you love them and actually mean it?”…I naturally put up walls between myself and the world…I can’t even begin to describe how thick they are now…

I’ve spent a lot of time angry at The Ex…to the point that most days I can’t even speak to him without glaring or snapping…I’ve watched him make really bad choices…and now he’s struggling in a way I can’t even imagine…I can’t help him…not without going back to the dynamic we had in our marriage (I took care of everything and he let me)…and I don’t want to…he’s got to figure out how to make it on his own…and sometimes you have to start at the bottom…

But, I do have the chance to forgive him…and to ask that he be forgiven legally…that the charges be dropped…when he first mentioned it to me, I wasn’t sure…I was tempted but I didn’t know if I was considering it out of guilt (again)…I talked to my mom today…and as I was finally talking through it, I knew I had to forgive him…

What I want more than anything is to be free of everything from my marriage…I want to get out of this house…I want to move to another city…if I could afford it (and I can’t), I’d replace every dish, every pot, every piece of furniture, EVERYTHING…I want a clean slate with the boys…and I’m working on some of that…selling the house, moving closer to work…I still have to take all our crap with me, but I don’t have to hang on to the negative emotions…I decided to forgive him…and the moment I made that decision, I felt lighter…I had freed myself from something leftover from our marriage…

Real forgiveness is both hard and easy…hard to decide to do it, and easy to follow through once you’ve realized it’s the right thing to do…

The Adventures of the Benjamin Boys

Sean’s Daycare: “Ms. Mitchell, we are so sorry.  Another little boy wanted the toy Sean was playing with and pushed him.  There’s a red mark on his face.”

Me: “Where?  Oh, right here next to the scratch his big brother gave him the other day?  Or over here next to the bug bite on the side of his head? Or could it be next to the scratch that he gave himself while he was playing with his trains?”

I think he’s made of rubber…he falls, bounces back up, and never cries…but don’t piss him off, then you can’t make him stop.

*****

Aidan: “Chloe kisses me every day! She says she loves me, but I tell her I don’t love her back.”

Me: “What does she say to that?”

Aidan: “Awwwww!”

Aidan: “I told her she’s not my girlfriend.  Peyton is my girlfriend.  But Peyton doesn’t kiss me.  Peyton says I don’t love her. And Chloe won’t stop kissing me!”

Me: “Where does she kiss you?”

Aidan: “The playground.”

Me: “Um, ok.  Does she kiss you on the cheek?”

Aidan: “No! She kisses me on the lips for a loooooooooong time, like this! [insert long kissing noises here]”

Me: “What do you think of that?”

Aidan: “She’s NOT my girlfriend! Peyton is my girlfriend, but Peyton doesn’t kiss me. [Shakes his head in disgust.] Women!”

He’s six and his love life is more complicated than mine.

*****

Aidan: “Mo-um! Sean won’t stop hitting me!”

Me: “Sean, stop hitting your brother! Aidan, stop whining about it!”

Sean: “Aidan.”

Aidan: “But Mommmmmmmmmmmmm, he’s hitting me again!”

Me: “Sean, stop it right NOW!”

Aidan: “Oooh, Sean, you got SERVED!”

And yet, he won’t move over to the other side of the backseat.  Aidan insists on sitting in the middle, next to his brother, where he can be poked, prodded, hit, and a million other things that a typical 2 year old will do to antagonize his brother.  I guess some people have to learn the hard way.

 

Separated at Birth or Serial Killer?

So I think I met a sister I never knew I had today…all I wanted to do was find child care for Sean so that when we move, I know where he’s going to be…when all the traditional options for daycare didn’t pan out – if it’s going to cost me DOUBLE to put the boys in daycare and after-school care, then there’s no savings to moving closer to work – I started looking at less traditional methods.

After a lot of long talks with myself about intuition and trusting my gut, I went to Craigslist…and yes, I know, EVERYONE knows a horror story about Craigslist…but if it didn’t work for the majority of people, it would never have lasted this long, right?  And I’m a pretty good judge of people (The Ex, notwithstanding) and I know when my instinct tells me something isn’t right…

So I combed the childcare posts, literally letting my gut guide me on which one’s to even respond to for more information…I bypassed a LOT of them…surprisingly, the ones that sounded the most professional were the people who either never got back to me or took forever….really?!  I came across two that gave a cell phone number and an offer to text or call – since I don’t like talking to people I don’t know, I was more than willing to text them…both responded, but only one was friendly…

Ok, don’t get me wrong, I know the crazy psycho-killers pretend to be really nice before they chop your head off…I get it…but even through text, I got a good vibe…we chatted about all sorts of things for more than an hour…that was last week…this week, I made a point to find out where she lives and go meet her…

And I think we were separated at birth (but don’t tell our mothers)…she’s a year older than me, we’re both Scorpios (read: stereotypical Scorpios), and we have way too much in common…and it wasn’t one of those freaky, scary movie scenes, where I say everything about myself, and she just responds with, “Me too!”  I was the one saying, “Me too!!” the whole time.  I even liked her dogs!

Same favorite color, same favorite stores, same philosophies on parenting (not all – but only because we didn’t have time to discuss them all), same laugh – that’s terrifying, same personality (to a certain extent)…we started talking about school – I went to college, she didn’t get the chance because she got pregnant – but we both love to learn…we both love to write…we’re both addicted to Facebook…we’re both tech geeks (her’s is more with equipment, mine is more on what that equipment can do)…we talked about shopping…we remembered, eventually, to talk about our children…

I told her that I considered asking her if she was a serial killer…she even gets my humor…oh yeah, and we’re both sarcastic as hell…

So now I have to decide – is liking her a good enough reason to leave a small child in her care?

Are You Sure?

As I was loading the boys into the car this afternoon, the strangest thought crossed my mind…”Who left me in charge?!”

For a brief moment, it was like I was on the outside looking in, and I just thought, “Are you sure this is my life? How did I get to this point? What the hell am I doing?”

Was it because Aidan had thrown his daily afternoon fit, and I still don’t have the right Mean Mom look yet to stop that in its tracks?  Was it just a moment when the full reality of being a single mom actually hit me?  I usually don’t think too hard about my life during the day while I’m trying to get through from moment to moment…that what this blog is for, thank you very much. But that was a moment when my introspective self collided with my just-gettin’-by self, and it was strange.

I wasn’t upset before or after the thought crossed my mind…I’m still not…this isn’t about me not being able to handle my life…actually, I think it stems from be finally starting to take a little bit of control back…

I’ve accepted a lot of help from my family over the past few weeks – for which I am extremely grateful…however…when someone else is spending the money, their opinion carries a lot of weight…and today, I got to thinking about the past few weeks and the next few weeks ahead – the move, the new school/daycare, eventually the new car…and I realized I was waiting for someone else to make the decisions (whatever those decisions might be)…I was waiting for someone to tell me when it was ok to do what…

And I realized that’s crazy! Yes, I am accepting a LOT of help…and after years of struggling with no help, yeah, I’m finally ok with taking help…but that doesn’t mean this isn’t still my life…and I’ve waited in some sort of holding pattern for the past few weeks, waiting on…hell, I don’t know…but back to waiting.  I’m done waiting…

I don’t know who the hell left me in charge, and I’m not sure they aren’t crazy…but if I’m the one in charge, then we’re doing it MY way.

A Love Letter To My Treadmill

My dearest ‘mill,

I know you’re angry with me…it’s been so long since we spent time together.  I know, I know, you feel like I neglected you, that I’ve ignored you.  I promise I thought about you…I never forgot you.  I missed you everyday.

Like all relationships, the beginning was the sweetest…getting to know one another, seeing each other every day, all those great walks…it was a wonderful time in our lives.  It’s when we moved to the next level that it became harder to keep the same intensity…that’s not your fault, I know! I’m the one who insisted on running again…you tried to warn me…every time I nearly tripped and fell, I know that was your way of telling me to slow down before I hurt myself…I didn’t appreciate what you were trying to do for me…I’m so sorry…I should have listened to you.

And then, and I know this is no excuse, I got sick…that cold kicked my ass…the nagging cough that followed was horrible…I knew I couldn’t run like that.  I know, I can hear you now…of course I could have walked…but you know I have a mental block about just walking when I could be running…and the busy nights.  I felt you staring at me all those nights I was on the computer working…you felt neglected then, too, didn’t you? Oh, ‘mill, I’m so sorry…

Tonight was good, right?  Like old times?  Before the craziness of me trying to run…I’ve had to admit that my knees can’t handle it anymore…it’s my own fault…I never went to a doctor when I blew my knee out…maybe I’ll never run again…but with you, I’ll walk hundreds of miles…

I have a favor, beloved…will you help me get race-ready again?  I can’t run, but I know I can walk faster than most people…with your help, I can be a racer again…it will mean a lot of time together…I promise, I won’t just disappear on you again…if I have to take a break, I will give you an explanation first…please say you forgive me…

Love,
Michaela

**Yeah, I know, I’m a nut.**

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