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A Break In The Monotony

I felt an emotional moodiness creep up on me today…I think it’s been working up to this point for days…everything feels too close, too restrictive…I want space – which is impossible to have…my emotions are at the surface…and on the drive home, I could feel myself going inward – to try and figure out why

Part of the moodiness is a desire for something different…some intangible thing (that I have no name for)…and it makes me cranky…

When I realized I was overly cranky with the boys, I decided to go against my nature and get out of my head a little…so we had a little adventure tonight…

Sean is rocking the big boy underwear at daycare now…which means he comes home in them…

Sitting in the pick-up line to get Aidan, I hear, “Mommy, I gotta poop.”

Aw, hell no…

“Can you hold it?  Just squeeze, baby…”  Yes, I explained to a two year old how to “hold it.”

“O…..k….Mommy…” Clearly, he was trying to squeeze.

We stopped at Burger King on the way home to use their potty because he really had to go…the thought that this was just the beginning of a loan road of potty training came and went in my mind…I walked him into the bathroom, and he immediately said, “Noooooooooooooo!”

I refuse to force him to use the bathroom, further traumatizing him, so we left Burger King.  But of course, by the time we got home, there was a little mess to deal with.

This was a moment I could feel that moodiness and crankiness closing in on me.

Idea time…I got the boys their baths and into their pajamas…and we went to Sonic for dinner.  We sat in the car, ate our greasy junk food (my stomach is hating me right now), and ordered our dessert to go.  The car was off, the windows were down, and it was almost like a picnic…better than a restaurant – where they tend to get cranky…even better than the McDonald’s Play Place – where I tend to get cranky…

It was emotional eating at it’s best…but for one night, we broke up the monotony of our lives…we had a small adventure…and for brief moment, I kept the emotions at bay…

Bittersweet Weekend

It was great – because it happened…it sucked – because it ended…

I saw everyone I wanted to see this weekend…and I was completely content…until I wasn’t because I was impatient to get to see the next person…have I ever mentioned that I’m not a patient person?

The weekend didn’t really go like I planned at all…torrential downpours and stressful lives will do that…but when I put my silly disappointment to the side, it was exactly what it needed to be – a chance to spend time with people I love beyond belief…

And while I was filled with frantic energy on Friday – gotta get there, let’s get there, are we there yet?, Saturday and Sunday were peaceful because I still had time…it was Monday that hurt…I’m never ready to leave…a part of me goes missing when I leave…a part of my internal puzzle…I’m not complete anymore – functional, yes, but incomplete…

The reality is that only one thing stands in the way of my own happiness…a J-O-B…if I had one of those, I’d be back there in a heartbeat…the one I have right now isn’t one you walk away from without a damn good reason…and in this economy, you don’t ever walk away from a job without another one waiting (hell, you don’t do that in any economy)…

I cried for the first hour that I drove back…for multiple reasons – and they all know who they are…and then I did what I always do…I set it to the side because I have to be able to function…and wallowing in my own self pity and misery aren’t conducive to that, thankyouverymuch!

So I’m back at it…tomorrow is another day…I’m learning to find peace with myself, by myself…I’m reminding myself that those darling children don’t really need to be sold to the gypsies, although, I am often tempted…and I’ll look forward to the next opportunity to complete my puzzle – even if it’s just for a few minutes…

Pity Party Over & Lessons Learned

The pity party and the lessons are actually two completely separate things, but if I hadn’t called it quits to the pity party, I never would have had space in my head to learn the lessons…

I had an absolute pity party for about a week…most of it was in my head…some of it was not

Was I completely justified in my feelings?  Hell yeah…should I have given into them?  Probably not…the reality is that there are times when I will…I have to accept that…and not be ashamed of it…this is hard…it was hard under normal circumstances…it’s even harder now…but if my choices are the life I have now or the life I had over a year ago, I’ll take this any day…

I really did have a moment when I wondered why I even bothered trying to make my life different…I considered, for a fleeting moment, simply accepting my life as it is…wow, that was freaking depressing…

So, after a ridiculous amount of tears last night when I went to bed, I did what I usually do…I decided to put it to the side…tamp down the feelings…and move on…

I woke up this morning in a different frame of mind…not better – but different…

Sean was still sick…he graduated to vomiting…so off to the doctor we went…and I learned a series of lessons today:

  • When a toddler has diarrhea, there are never enough diapers or wipes.
  • When a toddler has diarrhea, you will run out of both – while you’re out in public.
  • People in a waiting room will wonder why you brought the bright, sweet toddler to the doctor because he’s so damn active – until he pukes all over himself, and then they will wonder no more.
  • When said toddler pukes all over himself, you will forget everything in life except the need to find something to clean it up with – including the credit card, phone, and wallet that were in your hand.
  • While desperately seeking paper towels, a sponge, anything, you will frantically try the handle of the ladies room.  And glare at the woman who had the audacity to be using it first.
  • Later, that sweet, pathetic little toddler, who has managed to make a complete recovery will be excited to take a drive in the car.
  • A few moments later, he will also be a screaming mess because you’re making him wait in the car line to pick up his big brother.
  • He will still be pissed moments later, even though you’ve promised him a drink from Sonic.  He doesn’t give a shit.  You made him wait – everyone must suffer the consequences.
  • The sickly toddler will perk up when he realizes you’re going to the library.  He will find a DVD.  He will wait patiently while Brother finds a book.  He will promptly have a bout of diarrhea that smells horrific enough to clear an entire room.
  • He will happily wander the library with the mess in his diaper, moving it ALL around – and I mean, ALL around in the diaper.  His brother will follow him around, holding his nose, and loudly saying, “Ewww, Sean, you have di-uh-RE-UH!”  There will be NO use of the library voice at this moment.
  • You will quickly check out, run to the car, and discover all you have is a pair of Pull-Ups and Boogie Wipes (designed for noses, not asses).
  • You will make do.  You will also get poo on his shirt.  You will drive home with a half naked toddler who feels muuuuuuuuch better.

I swear, there are some life lessons I could do without.

Filters

I had the privilege to see a lovely Facebook friend of mine today…she’s going through a rough period, and I was happy to see her out and about…as we were talking, she characterized my blog posts as fairly blunt…I chuckled…I couldn’t help it…I admitted, for the first time, that no, I’m not blunt when I write these posts – I actually filter myself a great deal…

I started wondering what would happen if I removed the filter…what would happen if I just didn’t care and let it all hang out? The good, the bad, the ugly…would people think less of me? Would the persona I present to the world have less meaning?  What if I, and others, don’t like the person behind the filter?  What would I say with no filter?

This evening was rough…Friday’s always are…if I have no firm, set plans for the boys, I dread the weekends…when I’m broker than broke, I dread the weekends – I start to feel nauseous and the worry creeps in – what do I do if they need something? how will I keep them occupied? what if an emergency comes up?…if I had the luxury, I would have kept working long after closing time just to avoid starting the weekend…

The Ex and I had a slight confrontation this afternoon…I’ve decided to use the state’s help in getting some amount of child support…he actually had the audacity to ask me if I would call them and ask them to drop it…wait, what?  He’s scared of going to jail, having his wages garnished, whatever…I’m scared of not being able to take care of my children! His fears are not my damn problem!

With that in my head, I drove to pick up Sean while The Ex picked up Aidan…he didn’t offer (don’t be silly)…I told him that Aidan had been missing him, would he please go pick him up? So, on my way to get Sean, I’m sitting at a red light, and I see a movement out of my rearview mirror…I looked closer, and the driver, a man, was sitting next to a little boy, about Aidan’s age, playing, pretending to arm wrestle…they were clearly having a wonderful time…it was sweet…it was touching…I started to cry…that’s what Aidan should have, damn it!  That’s what both Aidan and Sean deserve

Made it home, The Ex was five minutes behind me…Aidan came running in and I sent him back out to help The Ex bring in the groceries he buys each week…I’m trying to teach Aidan to help, to be responsible…The Ex comes in, talks about crap the boys shouldn’t need to hear about (as usual), and wants to know:

My answer is always, “Fine.”

The reality is that my head was pounding because I barely ate today (the downside of keeping myself extremely busy and productive)…I was freaking out because I have just a few dollars between now and payday…I don’t want to go anywhere this weekend because it will use up more gas, and I’m trying to conserve gas until payday, but I cannot be trapped in the house with the boys all weekend – we’ll all go crazy…the only thought that runs through my mind when The Ex is near is, “Go away, go away, goawaygoaway!”

He left to pick up a pizza for the boys and I went upstairs and cried again…I had a pity party…I wanted to be in Mississippi more than anything in that moment…I wanted my mom…I wanted BFF…I wanted This Man…I wanted anything other than what I have here…here is unbearable sometimes…here sucks…here is hard…and I don’t always know how to make it better…I can’t figure out how to fix it…I can’t make it better…I spend every moment of every day worrying…or pretending that I’m not worrying…

I came downstairs, I pulled something together to eat…and the headache dissipated…I started to feel less freaked out…The Ex came…he left…I breathed easier…

This Man called…and I started to smile again…we didn’t talk about anything heavy…I purposely don’t talk about my own feelings much…it’s too hard…it brings people down…it’s not what I want to be associated with or how I want to be remembered…when you can’t see someone too often, the last thing you want is for them to only think of the negative stuff when they think of you…

I got Sean to bed…I let Aidan stay up late (I figured if I can’t afford special little treats or go out much this weekend, I can at least offer him some special treats at home)…and I worked out…I immediately felt more normal again…I felt like I did several days ago…I felt like the Michaela that the world knows…

And I started thinking about filters again…

Walls All Around Me

I’m a person with walls…not sure how long I’ve been that way…probably my whole life…

Originally my walls were designed to keep people at a distance – because I trust no one…I think I even kept some of those walls up while I was married…sad but true…

Only one person has actually walked right through my walls, like they weren’t even there…and at the time, he acknowledged them, knew they were there, told me to drop them…with This Man, I made a conscious decision to take a chance and let him in…but he was already halfway through by the time I decided to let him in…funny how that works…

I have different walls now…it’s not about trust anymore – even though I still don’t trust people, as a general rule…they’re more of a shield now…

I’m tired of hurting or worrying or stressing…in an act of self-preservation, I slam up a wall between me and whatever is causing me pain…

What I realized today is once the wall is in place, it’s really hard to feel anything…and when the negative feelings manage to worm their way through a crack in my wall, it hurts worse than before…so basically all my stupid walls are doing is numbing me to a reality I just don’t want to deal with…

I know it’s not healthy…but I’m so tired of wanting what I can’t have…I’m tired of worrying all the time…I’m tired of hurting…at least this way I can function a little…

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…

Some Days Are Better Than Others…This Wasn’t One of Them

I don’t know how I managed to keep my game face on today, but I did…I wanted to cry at 10am, and it was 10pm before I let it go…

The hits kept coming all day…typical stuff, random stuff, stuff that probably isn’t that big a deal, but felt bigger because of my mood…

I should probably discuss the details, get it out of my system…but I don’t want to…some stuff doesn’t have to live on the internet forever…and it doesn’t really matter…I believe the technical term is “same shit, different day.”

There are rare moments, today was one of them, when I wonder if I wouldn’t have been better off staying married…sometimes it just seems too hard…sometimes the number of changes and adjustments are too many and too overwhelming…my heart immediately rejects that notion, though…because I want something better than I had in my marriage…and before someone who doesn’t know offers a lecture, I worked damn hard on my marriage for years before I was strong enough to walk away…

I want something I didn’t believe in when I was married…I want the freaking fairy tale…I want the man who gets me and doesn’t run screaming…I want to have someone I trust enough to lean on…I want the man who understands I don’t lean easily but makes me…I want to be romanced…I want to be loved…I want to be brought back down to earth when I get too nuts and I want to be lifted up when I get too down…

I got sucked into an episode of Say Yes to the Dress…that didn’t help…but I know if I ever get remarried, I will get the freaking fairy tale dress, and I dare anyone to try and tell me no…

On the bright side (because there’s always a bright side), I did not emotionally eat my way through this day…

A Good Cry

I have a few friends who firmly believe in the validity of having a good cry…be shocked, those friends are female…right now I believe in the necessity of it, too…except…

Except, I can’t…I need to…I almost want to…I have a lot of pent-up emotions…stress, disappointment, residual tension from other people, you name it…I can feel the tears, but I can’t let go of them…

I don’t know if it’s because of some control factor…or if it’s because my dad taught me not to cry too much…”Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!” As an adult, I see the irony of that statement…and as a kid, I hated it…but I do feel like I need a “reason” to cry…I guess emotional release just isn’t one of them…

Nothing much is going on…but it has been a long week of work and travel…and it was a good week…its the same stresses that are always there, but today, for whatever reason, my emotions have come right to the surface…I wish I could just let go of them…

The Ex watched the boys while I was out of town, and I’m guessing it was a long 5 days, because he was ready to go very shortly after we met up with one another…and something about that bothered me…not that he was leaving quickly or that he was leaving at all…but I don’t think I was ready to step back in the role of single parent…not that not being ready matters…you do what you have to do…but I didn’t feel good, I was tired, and I was overly emotional…thankfully the boys decided to behave themselves…

BBFF said something a few weeks ago that got my attention…he said that instead of being someone who wants to prove to the world that I can handle it all on my own, I am finally in the mindset of having a relationship with someone who can be a partner…he’s probably right (he usually is)…too bad I can’t just twitch my nose and make that happen…even though if twitching my nose made things happen, I’ve got a few things on my list that would take priority over a relationship…

I left the stresses and pressures of real life behind for a few days and had the luxury of concentrating solely on work…I came home to the exact same pressures and stresses…and I guess I wasn’t prepared…I wish that whole crying thing worked…

Leaping

I have this image of me just jumping, leaping into different parts of life…not asking, “What if” but instead having a Nike moment and just doing it…

As in all things, there are parameters – if the answer to the “What if” question is that it could harm my children, myself, or someone I love, then the answer is no…but if the answer is that I might get hurt (emotionally) or that I might fail, then I’ve got to find the will to make sure the answer is yes…not maybe, not sometime in the future, but yes…

Signs are everywhere, when you’re looking for them, and although the new fad on Facebook of posting quotes as pictures is, at times, almost annoying, it’s also full of wisdom…but in the past few days, the ones that have caught by attention have been about fear, courage, bravery, living life…

How do I become the person I’m meant to be if I’m afraid all the time?  Fear is powerful…it doesn’t make me act irrationally as it does for some – it paralyzes me…and I can’t live my life afraid…afraid of snakes, afraid of bugs, afraid of rodents – ok, sure, that’s still allowed…but afraid of living life because it might not turn out how I want it to?  I can’t accept that anymore…

I am constantly telling people I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the experiences I’ve had in the past…it’s true for everyone, and on some level, we all know it…so why am I holding myself back from experiences just because at some point there might be pain?  At the end of the day, as long as I’m still proud of who I am, that’s all that matters…right?

I’m not naive enough to think it will be easy to decide not to be afraid…and there will be plenty of times I’ll have to remind myself of this little revelation…but if I really do want to live my life out loud and spread my wings and (insert metaphor here) then I’ve got no other choice…

Trying To Relax

If I don’t remember to relax, my head might explode!  I almost said I was learning to relax, but that implies that I don’t know what to do…I know what to do…implementation is the key.

I like to work, and I work a lot…I work hard, I just don’t play hard (yet).  If I see something that needs to be done, I do it. Everytime. No matter what.  But I’m going to make myself sick if I keep that up!  After 8 hours of sleep (what a luxury!), I shouldn’t wake up exhausted…but that’s exactly what’s been happening. 

Not relaxing is also leading to me freaking out, venting, and letting my emotions come right to the surface.  Be shocked, most of my emotions aren’t exactly positive right now. 

So, I’m working on the whole relaxing thing…for the past couple of nights, I haven’t answered emails late at night, talked to Almost Ex, or cleaned like a crazy woman…

I’ve read a book…I’ve listened to music…I’ve talked to my friends and my mom…I’ve gone to bed early…I’m a much more sane person…and I’m learning to live in a house that looks like a bomb went off. 

The next step is to buy a bottle of White Zinfandel so I can have a glass and reeeeally relax.

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