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It’s Not About Me…Until It Is

I’m sitting here, in this very moment, fidgeting with nervous energy…because I know that in less than 24 hours I will be speeding down the highway to Mississippi…I still find it strange that it’s a place I want to go…I spent so many years trying to get the hell out of there, and now I can’t wait to go back…strange…

Technically, this weekend getaway has very little to do with me…family is coming in from Germany, and I want to make sure the boys get to see them since visits are so rare…and even though it’s only been a month, my mother desperately misses the boys…and of course the boys adore going to Mississippi…so really, I’m performing a public service, of sorts…

Apparently, I’m a bit of an opportunist…Friday – mom, Saturday – BFF, Sunday – This Man…the weekend isn’t supposed to have anything to do with me…but I’m making damn sure to take care of myself, too…so it’s not really about me – until it is…

The Ex has been his usual self, which means nonexistent…and of course it still annoys me…until I realized that his idiocy isn’t actually directed at me…it’s directed at the boys…I was angry with him the other day, and felt like a truck hit me when I realized I was angry for the wrong reasons…I was angry because he’s an idiot…when in fact, I should be angry on the boys’ behalf…except they seem to be mentally moving away from him…they last about 30 seconds on the phone with him…and they’re done, moved on…in a way it’s very sad…but I’d rather them feel nothing instead of hurting all the time…

Realizing that I don’t need to be angry with him on my own behalf actually made the anger disappear…the boys aren’t upset (because they appear not to care), so why should I be?  Being upset with him isn’t going to change anything…and it makes me crazy…I’m glad I made this about the boys – instead of me.

Life is so much easier when it’s not all about me…

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The Flipside of Peace and Contentment

Normally I would never post to the same blog twice in the same day…but I had such a beautiful start to my day…and it deserved its own post

I should have stayed on the beach…my day went downhill the moment I left…at first it was nothing but minor aggravations – lunch plans I decided to change…wishy-washy potential buyers of Bubba who kept backing out (yeah, I’m selling Bubba)…and then there was tonight with The Ex…

I knew I hit a breaking point when I cried through both of the books I read to the boys at bedtime…I couldn’t even hide it…Aidan didn’t say anything – that’s not his style…he’ll say something in a few days…

Thanks to some tough love from This Man, I had to face some truths…some of which he doesn’t even know I realized…the biggest? I have spent every moment of the past 13 years trying to make The Ex something he’s not…I tried to make him work…I tried to make him a partner in our marriage…and now I’m trying to make him a good father…

I am so afraid of the boys not having a relationship with The Ex that I include him in family activities, even though I really don’t want to…and he perceives (incorrectly) that I want him around – and I’m always disappointed because he spends the entire time we’re together focused on me, not on the boys…

It’s torture to have him around, but I tell myself it’s for the boys, and I’ll just suffer through…tonight, I guess I felt like I had suffered enough…I started crying and I couldn’t stop…

I feel like a failure…I can’t get The Ex to focus on the boys…I can’t get him to stop flirting with me, talking about his girlfriend, or telling me that he still loves me (God, make it stop!)…

I tell myself I’m doing this for the boys…because they need their father…because they’re better off with both of us…

The reality, though? I don’t want to be wrong – about everything…even though I have been…I was the idiot who married him…and although I wouldn’t have had the boys without The Ex, I saddled them with him as their father…I’ve already done it all wrong…and my biggest fear is that one day they’ll look at me and blame me because they don’t have a relationship with him…

Intellectually I know that could happen anyway…I know that I will endure all sorts of blame and accusations – that’s what kids do, right? At least until they figure it out for themselves…

But I don’t want it to be true…I don’t want them to not have a father because of me…I’m afraid of giving up on The Ex for the wrong reasons…it would be very easy for me to stop trying so hard to force The Ex to be a dad, but I’m afraid that my real reasons would have nothing to do with the boys and everything to do with how I feel – and isn’t that wrong? It feels wrong…

And if I let him slip out of their lives, who do I replace him with? Who else can be a father-figure to them? Yes, single parents have been doing this succesfully for a long time, but even I have to admit that two decent parental figures are better than one frazzled, frustrated, worn-out parent…they deserve better, and I don’t have better to offer them…so I just keep pretending The Ex is what they need…

I’ve been so wrong about so much…and this is the one thing I wish I could get right…

A Simple Concept

Nothing much to say (for once), but I figured I would share the revelation I had today…it made perfect sense once it finally dawned on me…

Ok, back-story first (because I’m an explainer, remember?)…as I’ve said a million times, I want what I want when I want it…just part of who I am…not a patient person…but as it often happens in life, I’ve been forced to be patient…

Anyway, I find out today that what I thought was going to happen, what I want to happen, what should happen…well, it might not happen…so I did what I’ve for my almost 32 years on the planet (like the not-so-subtle hint that it’s almost my birthday?)…I sulked. Yes, I admit it, I’m a sulker…

And that’s when it hit me…I’m the only one around, why sulk?  Who’s it for?  I’m certainly not getting any sympathy from my children who aren’t paying attention and could care less anyway…the person directly affected by my disappointment isn’t here to notice my sulking and cheer me up…

So, on this issue at least, I’m done sulking…because there’s no point…

Such a simple concept…and it only took almost 32 years to sink in…

Working On It

BBFF said something to me today that has sort of blown my mind a little…he said, “I seriously think you need to let go of the old life and move forward with a new outlook.  Instead of saying ‘I never had this so I don’t want this’  why not say ‘I never had this so I can now enjoy something new’.”

That was in response to my complaint that there are so many things I’ve never experienced (that I think I should have), that I’m afraid to want something I can’t have – or that I won’t be able to hold on to it (whatever “it” is) and will be disappointed again…

I’m not sure how to process what he said and how to change my mindset…

I’m working on the small things right now…not counting tonight, I’ve been on the treadmill most nights this week…I’ve eaten MUCH healthier all week…I haven’t had a sweet tea in a few days, and I’ve had a lot more water…I’ve gone to bed at a fairly decent time the past few nights…all of this is because I know if I’m taking care of myself in these ways, then I’m going to feel better overall…

I’m a worrier…and now that I’m able to admit to the world (and myself) that I’m angry and hurt, I have to admit part of what I’m worrying about is a fear of not improving my own life, not moving ahead, of ultimately being rejected…intellectually I know this isn’t true, but there’s this thought of “what if all of this was for nothing, and I am in no way better off without The Ex than I was with him?”

So how I do change my outlook?  How do I start looking on this life as some sort of adventure that’s mine to create and make what I want of it? If I can answer that, then half the battle is already won…

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve got:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a ring I bought for myself last weekend…I adore butterflies…and I realized today that it was the most visual reminder to myself that I need to become more butterfly-like and less moth-like…

Hiding Out and Anger

After yesterday’s post, of course my mind didn’t just shut it all off and go, “Whew! Glad that’s off my chest – now on to bigger and better things!” Of course not…I’m a thinker…a dweller…an obsesser…and my mind can’t seem to stop…

I realized part of the problem is not just that I’m not taking care of myself the way that I should…I’m hiding out…even though I know better, I’m using the excuse that I can’t get hurt by anyone if I just fade into the background…if I just mold myself to the people around me…well, that’s bullshit and I know it…knowing and doing are two different things…

I’ve also had to admit to myself that I’m carrying around a lot of anger…a LOT of anger…there was no denying it anymore when I got into Aidan’s face this morning and yelled like a crazy person about some minor transgression that didn’t require that kind of response…and then I stayed angry for most of the morning…

Poor Aidan…yes, he’s a typical six year old with the typical lack of impulse…but what tends to set me on edge is any negative similarities he has with The Ex…which isn’t Aidan’s fault…and I used to be the level-headed parent…the one who discussed issues most of the time and only raised her voice when it was necessary – making it much more effective…now, I’m a yeller…and while its sometimes unavoidable, not as often as I’ve been doing it…

I’ve taken to listening to hard rock again when I’m driving to and from work…45 minutes of blaring guitars, pounding drums, and screaming vocals…all set to the highest volume I can stand…just so I can drown out the crap in my head…and pretend that I don’t care, that I don’t hurt, and that I haven’t been let down – again…

I Knew It Wouldn’t End Well

I usually listen to my instincts, my gut…but every once in a while, I decide to be more hopeful and give the benefit of the doubt…even when I know I shouldn’t..

I opened myself up to someone who I knew didn’t really want to be cordial, to be polite, to be decent (and no, it wasn’t Almost Ex)…I knew it, but I told myself that I was being too cynical and too untrusting…sometimes I hate it when I’m right…

Now I feel like I was hit by a truck…and that was the goal, I think.

I’m too tired to play tough…I’m too tired to see the bright side…

Tonight was supposed to be a night to blog about my boys who made me smile so much tonight…tonight was supposed to be a night when I went to bed and actually slept…

And now I feel like I’ve been sucker-punched…and I know I’m being vague, and I’m pretty sure the 2 or 3 people who actually read this are dying to know what happened, and I will probably get a message or call…but this isn’t about what caused me to be upset…it’s the fact that I allowed myself to enter the situation…that I knew the situation wasn’t going to end well…I actually said, “I wonder how this will bite me in the ass.” And I went down that road anyway…

And if you’ve ever been where I am right now, you know why I went down the road…and why it hurts so much that I was right about how it would end…even though I really wanted to be wrong…

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Just Shut Up!

I wasn’t even planning on blogging tonight.  I had a decent day.  Work was busy (yay!), the boys were well-behaved this afternoon (YAY!), and something I listed on Craigslist finally sold (BIG YAY!).  Life was good – what’s to blog about?  Actually, that’s probably the worst attitude to have because I shouldn’t just post something when I’m at one extreme or another…knowing that I have “normal” days might make me seem less neurotic…

But I’m confused about something, and I’m wondering if I’m the exception to the rule, or if I’m naive…or if I’m right to cock my head to the side, squint, and say, “WTF?”

My mama taught me that if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, you shouldn’t say anything.  Thumper taught me that, too…And let me be clear, as far as I know, no one is saying anything about me (and if they are, I don’t want to know)…but I keep finding out that there are people in the world who have no problems disparaging people, places, ideas, whatever, just because they can.  And I don’t get it.

I don’t understand what random negativity gains people.  Yes, I have had a moment of frustration when I’m sure I’ve said something less-than-flattering about someone else.  But I’ve never sought out another person solely to be negative about anything.  Isn’t that tiring?  Even when I purposefully have to say something negative, my management training from years ago kicks in – say something positive, talk about the negative (sometimes referred to as “opportunities”), and then end with something positive.

With the craziness in my own personal life, I’ve made the conscious decision NOT to be negative (even when I really, REALLY want to)…negativity always comes back to haunt you.  Why bring that on yourself? 

Venting (in my book) doesn’t count.  Venting your frustrations to someone who cares about you but is not directly involved is healthy (at least, that’s how I justify it to myself).  If I didn’t vent sometimes, I’d probably explode.  But even a good vent shouldn’t be filled with meanness (is that a word?)…

So I guess I would love to understand…why?   What purpose does pure, unadulterated negativity serve?

Bogged Down and Plowing Ahead

I just wrote a blog post that I will probably never publish.  It felt good but it goes against my rule in my very first post.

I vented in a way that I can’t vent to Almost Ex.  I probably could but it would just start an argument. I didn’t realize how angry I am about what’s been happening lately.

Frankly, I’m hurt and I’m lonely.  But I have no regrets about my decision to get divorced.  In fact, the past few weeks have solidified my feelings.

This wasn’t what I wanted to talk about tonight.  I was coasting along just fine today – not spectacular, but not stick-your-head-in-the-oven bad, either.

I’m getting bogged down in the minutia…when what I want to do is dream big.  My Big Brother-from-another-mother keeps encouraging me, and he’s right.  I do want better for my boys.  I want better for myself.  My dreams of travelling, having adventures (with and without my boys), and experiencing the world won’t ever come true if I don’t set some pretty high goals (and then go after them and achieve them).

But how do you accomplish the big things when the small things become all-encompassing?  I want to go back to school, I want to freelance, I want to do more…but when I get home, I can’t get past figuring out what’s for dinner.  Some nights it’s all I can do to get the boys bathed and tucked into bed.  As Big Brother recently said, I’m running on adrenaline, sugar, and caffeine.  At what point will I crack?

That’s my fear, I think…I fear cracking and not being able to put the pieces back together.  I don’t know how to just stop and relax.  Or put my worries to the side and focus on the big, bad goals and dreams.  I just put my head down and keep on plowing ahead. What do I do when that’s not enough?

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