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A Beginning and an End

Welcome to 2013!

Let’s not talk too much about 2012, m’kay?

It wasn’t all bad, but… I went through a couple of heart breaks. I dealt with stress at work.

However, I realized I’m pretty good at the mom thing.

But I also realized I don’t need this blog the way I did in 2011…it started to feel more like work for me…I’ve taken my writing to different places and am doing different things with it on a personal level. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to share it…but it’s personal on a level that writing about my angst isn’t.

I started this blog because I needed the therapy it provided. It’s seen me through divorce, personal strife, professional strife, parenting disasters and questions…and although, I know I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing most days, I don’t need the therapy it provides, anymore…and it’s hard for me to write without a purpose…just chronicling my day isn’t something I’m good at…

So, in 2013, I’m walking away…I debated shutting it down completely, but I know that life could throw me a curveball in an instant, and I may need the comfort of this space again…until that day, I’m still around…I’m living life, raising those darned Benjamin Boys, and doing my thing…

For those who had the patience to follow the insanity, I adore you all…

I’m looking forward to what 2013 brings…hopefully, it brings me NOTHING that I need to blog about…

A Year Later…

A year ago today (my birthday, by the way), I started a new phase of my divorced, single mom life…we moved – new town, new home, new school…I can’t help but look back on the past year and marvel at how I’ve changed…

I’m better at the mom thing…by no means perfect, but better…

I can’t imagine living with another adult anymore…I’m used to my own space…not that I want to be single for the rest of my life, but I’m so used to being alone and doing (for the most part) what I want to do that it will be a big adjustment if that ever changes…

I’m more comfortable in my own skin…and growing more comfortable every day…

I know that I can handle whatever life throws at me…I still stress (a little)…and I’m a natural worrier but I’ve become less anxious…I don’t fret about the what-ifs…if something bad or crazy is going to happen, I have little say over it (assuming I’ve made good choices all along)…but I know that I can ride the wave of craziness and come out fine on the other side – maybe a little bruised and sore, but I know what I’m capable of…I know I can handle shit…and I know it’s ok to cry my eyes out while I’m taking care of things…

A year later, I got this!

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…

Fairy Godmothers & Knights in Shining Armor

Sometimes I think I suck as a mom…

I have felt weighed down for a couple of days…I don’t have a good explanation for why…I just have…feeling this way affects how I am with the boys – and I hate it…

I don’t want Aidan on my lap – hell, isn’t he too big for that shit now?

I don’t care about potty-training Sean – except diapers are expensive and that’s my only motivation…

I yell at them for small things…I leave the TV on too long…hell, I stayed in bed an hour longer than normal and left both boys to their own devices this morning…a 2 year old and a 6 year old – and I am very aware of how lucky I was that nothing bad happened…

I know you don’t have to have a lot of money to do fun things and keep kids busy…I don’t even want to take them to the park…

What kind of mom am I?

Most people give platitudes – you’re just tired (no shit)…it’s just a bad day (too many bad days)…it gets better (yeah, when?)…they tell me not to be so hard on myself (except I am solely responsible for raising these boys, and I can’t fuck it up)…they all mean well…but it doesn’t change how I feel…

A few weeks ago I was damn lucky and got a genuine break…shouldn’t I just be grateful for that?

I’m not the only single parent in the world…I’m not the only one who does it on my own…how do other people do it?

I cried in the shower today…I had managed to get poop, pee, drool, chocolate milk, peanut butter, and all other manners of crap all over myself, and I hadn’t cared enough to shower until Sean’s nap – I could have, I just didn’t care…

I stupidly wished someone would swoop in and save me, make it all better, fix it…

There are no such things as fairy godmothers or knights in shining armor…this is the life I chose, and I just have to deal with it…somehow, that doesn’t make me feel any better…

Escaping…For A Moment

I don’t know what happened to me today, but this was my grumpy day…my day to be overly sensitive for no real reason…my day to feel completely misunderstood, forgotten, and unappreciated…

Not sure what happened there, but I wasn’t good company…

It wasn’t until this afternoon, on my way to pick up the boys, that the whole day hit me full-force…I felt like I was carrying 50 extra pounds on my shoulders…I could literally feel the pressure building…I let the tears hit me (I had to relieve the pressure somehow)…but I decided not to think too much about what was causing it…

But I know…I don’t shrug things off easily…and the tension of constant parenting with little to no break is creeping in…there are no other options right now, and I can’t let myself dwell on something I have no control over…I have to be able to function…I almost slipped into a pity party, but that seemed pretty pointless…

Sometimes it’s easier to pretend everything is fine than deal with the emotions…so tonight, I’ve got the earbuds in, listening to music I like, just chillin’, trying to transport myself mentally to anywhere but here…there’s something to be said for escaping, even for a few minutes…

Leaps of Faith

Two posts in one day?!  Crazy, right?

I’ve got stuff on my mind…gotta get it out, I guess…

I admitted to BBFF today that my mind has been unnervingly blank lately…I can’t handle the things that stress me out…because I don’t think I have any control over any of it…so I’ve just stopped thinking about it…

That probably sounds sort of healthy, but it doesn’t seem healthy…because instead of focusing on other things and thinking about other things, I’m literally (and I do mean LITERALLY) thinking about nothing…there aren’t even crickets in my head, it’s so quiet…

But I think I’ve taken a leap of faith (of sorts) that I’ll figure things out as they come up…instead of worrying and stressing about things I have no control over and can’t seem to do anything about, I’ll just try to make the best decision I possibly can when the issue comes up…that almost sounds like I’ve grown up a little…but I think it’s more that my brain and heart can NOT take anymore…it’s a self-preservation thing

Why is it so quiet in my head?  If I refuse to let myself think about the things that bother me, stress me, scare me, and keep me up at night, why can’t I turn around and focus on something else, something positive?  And I think I have the answer, and it’s sort of depressing…I don’t feel like I have any control over my life right now…I can’t do anything to fix the problems…or at least I feel like I can’t…so I feel hopeless…how do I plan for a better future if I can’t figure out the present?

If I can take a leap of faith that I can stop worrying, why can’t I take the leap that it’s ok to plan for the future?

When I figure out the answer to that question, maybe that’s when I can start to move forward again…

Facing The Giants

I thought of my blog title while talking to Big Brother today…yeah, this blogging thing is an illness sometimes…he and I were having a very serious conversation about my no-good, really bad day on Friday…

I really did pay attention to his advice, but being the eloquent guy he is, that phrase stuck with me…

I was bemoaning some of the issues I’ve been going through…and as always he reminded me that I am so much more than my problems…he promised, as someone who has been there, that I will make it to the other side and these days will be just a blip on my radar…

He chided me on burying my head in the sand on some of the issues in my life…he told me to face the giants, and know that having to tell someone things they don’t want to hear is not the end of the world…

Y’all, I hate confrontation…even when I’m right, but especially when I could be wrong…it’s the fear of an argument that I may not be able to refute…it’s the fear (yes, fear) of being yelled at and of disapproval…

I consider myself fairly intelligent, but I don’t always think fast on my feet…especially in a heated moment, or at least what I fear might be heated…so instead of having a moment of not knowing how to respond to something negative, I prefer to just avoid it…I’m a total ostrich…

The big problem with that? Most of the time the confrontation I fear never materializes…and as Big Brother always reminds me, if I do what I know is right, the confrontation doesn’t really matter…

/sigh…I guess I gotta start facing those damn giants…

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…

Happy or Less Stressed?

My mom mentioned today that I seem much happier than a year ago…and asked me if I’m happier overall…I don’t really know…I know I’m adjusting to my new life…I know that I’m a less stressed…not because the stress has gone away…I think I’m just handling it better…

I noticed today that I’m a little less intense about things, especially relationships…normally, I’m the type of girl who thinks if you like me, you should be in constant contact with me…I came across this quote in a blog that I adore reading (you know who you are!):

“If he’s not calling you, it’s because you are not on his mind. If he creates expectations for you, and then doesn’t follow through on little things, he will do same for big things. Be aware of this and realize that he’s okay with disappointing you. Don’t be with someone who doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do.  If he’s choosing not to make a simple effort that would put you at ease and bring harmony to a recurring fight, then he doesn’t respect your feelings and needs. “Busy” is another word for “asshole.” “Asshole” is another word for the guy you’re dating. You deserve a fucking phone call.”    ―      Greg Behrendt

And I agree with about 90% of it…the part that I don’t think I agree with anymore is the very first line…there’s someone on my mind a lot…but I can’t always call him…I’ve got a busy life, he’s got a busy life…not calling isn’t a sign that I don’t care or that he doesn’t care…

But feeling this way is new for me…Music Man didn’t call me for 2 weeks, and I was fine…BBFF calls when he can, I call when I can…it’s ok…a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t feel that way…a couple of weeks ago, a serious lack of contact sent me into turmoil…I wonder what’s changed?

Which brings me back to my mother’s observation today…I don’t necessarily feel happy…I still feel like there are too many obstacles in my path…too many things that I want to be doing that I can’t yet…but I’m not unhappy either…

And that leads me to something else…do I seem different?  Different than the beginning of this blog (for those brave souls who have stuck with me since the beginning)? Different over the past year?  Past several years? Have I changed at all?  It’s hard to see change in yourself sometimes, but outsiders looking in often see something we never see in ourselves…so I guess I’m just curious…what changes does anyone see in me?  Do I seem to be happy, less stressed, or just the same as always?

Quietly Freaking Out?

I’m pretty used to feeling stressed…stress from work (temporary, thank God)…chronic stress during my marriage (there was a reason I got a divorce, you know)…but I think I’m experiencing a different type of stress…and the only real indication I have is all of the cheeseburgers I keep eating…

No word vomit in my life…my mind is pretty calm…nothing crazy or majorly negative happening – woohoo, by the way!  Is it the pending move? Is it the fact that finding daycare sucks? Is it that I have to pack up the house and get it moved almost by myself?  Probably…

But it’s strange to show all the signs of stress – sleeplessness, emotional eating, yadda yadda yadda, but no crazy mood swings, no outbursts, no…word vomit…I really am in a pretty decent mood most of the time…is this a sign of maturity?  Am I growing up?

So, because I have to analyze and over-analyze everything – am I just quietly freaking out?  Will the desire for cheeseburgers (and sweet tea, don’t forget the sweet tea!) end once I get the move taken care of?  And then that begs the question, what else will occur that drives me to cheeseburgers (and sweet tea)?

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