The Day Has Come

This is the last Thursday night I spend being separated from my love by 600 miles. Tomorrow I hop on a plane after work and I fly to him. The next morning we are meeting his son for breakfast and then making the drive back to Indiana. It’s hard to believe that this day has finally come.

When I first “met” this guy I didn’t think it would turn into this. We lived 600 miles apart. I had traumatized children. He had traumatized children. We weren’t going to uproot their lives for our own. Eventually he made the decision that he wanted to move to where I was once his daughter graduated. She graduated two years ago.

Yes, our plans have shifted quite often. So often, in fact, that there were times I didn’t think he’d ever make the move. First the plan was to move up here shortly after T graduated and went off to college. Unfortunately, despite stellar grades the college she wanted to attend didn’t give her much in the way of financial aid and there was no way she was going to be able to afford to go away. So instead she planned to go to a local extension there in town. The countdown was going to begin anew. Two more years, he told me. Then August arrived and she went to college for less than a week before deciding she didn’t want to do that. She didn’t know what she wanted to do. Now all of the plans were up in the air. I couldn’t very well ask him to leave his daughter behind while she struggled to find a job and her place in this world. I would never have done so anyway. I love this kid and I want what’s best for her, even if it’s to my own detriment. I always told him I was willing to do long distance forever if that’s what it took.

August of 2019 she decides college is no longer in her future. It took her a while to get a job and then Covid-19 hit and closed everything down. Finally I went to see him after three months of being apart. Shortly after that visit he threw all planning into high gear. His newly revised plan was to be up in Indiana shortly after the holidays.

Of course, that didn’t go as planned either. He started advertising his business for sale. Made contact with the people who said they were definitely interested. One backed out and the other just ghosted him. He thought he had a buyer but that didn’t work out. Finally, in April he came to an agreement with someone. They closed on the deal in June and he’s been busy renovating the apartment above his garage for an Air BnB for most of the summer, with the exception of the three weeks he spent with me. And tomorrow I fly down so that we can drive back up here together.

I am both exhilarated and terrified. The three weeks we spent together this summer was the longest period of time we’ve ever had. And it was awesome! It flew by. Yes, we were on vacation for 10 days of it but we were not on vacation for 10 days of it, too! It was nice meeting him for lunch, having him take me to work, seeing him here when I got home.

So I suppose I’m mostly exhilarated. I have no reason to believe there will be any major problems. I love being around him and spending time with him. It will be amazing to be able to spend our weekends together. I can take him to the Farmer’s Market that I know he’s going to love. We can check out wineries up in Michigan. We can go up to the lake and walk around. We can go running and kayaking and biking together.

I’m also a little terrified. I worry that I’m too much of a slob for him. I worry that he’ll regret moving away from his kids and his family. I worry he’ll come to believe that I wasn’t worth it and he wishes he could take it all back.

This man has given up *everything* for me. He sold his business. He moved away from his two kids that still live in town. All of his siblings live in the area so he’s leaving all of them behind. I hope like hell that he is happy with me and that I am enough.

Mostly exhilarated though. This has been our goal for almost four years. Tonight is our last night 600 miles apart.

A Whole New Decade

Happy New Year! It’s 2020. Others say it’s the end of the decade. I say 2020 is actually the end. The new decade will begin next year in 2021. Sorry to rain on your parade. Nevertheless, isn’t this exciting? All those years watching the show 20/20 (which the mobster was on, btw) and thinking about how cool it would be when it finally was the year 2020. What would they call the show then?

I like to say that this will be the year of hindsight. The mobster says it’s the year of clarity. Yes, we are that obnoxious couple that laughs heartily at our own corny jokes.

I’d like to tell you I had an incredible New Year’s Eve. The fact is I don’t celebrate New Year’s Eve. I feel like it’s one of those holidays where everyone wants you to think it’s this amazing time and everyone is having fun. I’ve never really had an amazing New Year’s Eve. Most of the time it’s disappointing and at best, it’s okay.

I think one of my best New Year’s Eve celebrations was back when we lived in Olive Branch and had a fairly large group of friends. We went over to another couple’s house along with a few other couples and we played board games and ate delicious food. It was low key and lovely.

Two years ago I was with the mobster. We were at WinterFest up at Liberty University. That was another good night, but mainly because of who I was with.

Last night I fell asleep sitting up on the couch at around 11:30. I woke up around 3:30 and crawled into bed. No ball drop for me this year.

I also don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions. I know they are rarely achieved. I know they are mostly forgotten within the first few weeks of the new year. When I do make resolutions I like to keep them something easy, like moisturize more, floss more regularly. Sadly, I can’t even get the hang of the flossing thing.

I do, however, like the thought of choosing a word for the year. Anne wrote about it on her blog earlier this week.

I’m not sure if the outcome will be any different because there is still a goal but I like it. I’ve decided that my word for the year 2020 will not be hindsight, as I originally thought, but change.

I need change. The post I wrote the other day turned into a pity party. It’s very easy to fall into that pattern when I think back to all the time that has passed. It’s been four years since discard and I don’t have an amazing new life. I have an okay life.

I mean, the mobster is amazing. I definitely have a fantastic new partner in my life but that is not something I control, if that makes sense. If he up and leaves me that one fantastic part of my new life is over and done. I’m back to my life being “eh”. To be clear I don’t think he’s going to leave me any time soon, if ever, but unlike something such as going back to school or getting a new job, I have no control over the outcome of our relationship. It is dependent upon him and his desires as well.

I am thankful for my children. I am thankful for my mom. I realize I’m very lucky to have a mom who is willing to house me and my kids and dogs. I realize I’m fortunate that I’m not dealing with kids on drugs or who are suicidal. They haven’t shunned me in favor of their father as some have experienced. All three of them are healthy, despite Rock Star’s recent repeat trips to the Urgent Care and ER.

I suppose I could heed Clarence’s words in “It’s a Wonderful Life”: Remember, no man (or woman) who has friends is a failure. I do have many remarkable friendships. That’s one of the things that has impressed the mobster. I do, and I’m very grateful for that, even if so many of them are so very far away.

I don’t want to give the impression that I have nothing to live for; however, there is much room for improvement. I want to be independent again. I realize I wasn’t ever truly independent once I married Jerry Lee. His job was what allowed us to live the way we did. It was never me. I can (and will) take credit for the fact that I was in the background doing what needed to be done and never prevented him from making those moves that afforded us a better lifestyle, but I never made the money.

I would like to either live in my own house with my own things once again, or live with the mobster, and know that if he leaves me I’ll be okay and can afford to be out on my own.

I would like to work at a job that pays me enough to live on. I realize that for what I make my car payment is way too expensive. We bought it less than a year before my life blew up. We took the longest loan with the smallest payment because we planned to use big chunks of his bonus check each year to pay it off. While the loan may have been for six years we planned to have it paid off in two or three. Nonetheless, it ended up being a $365 payment each month. That was fine when I was living on almost ten grand a month. Not so much when my entire paycheck for the 2 week period was somewhere between $550-$650.

I know this is long and rambling but my point is even dismissing my car payment I don’t have much to live on after the bills are paid. Once that is done and over I’ll have $640/month. Even paying off all of my credit cards still only nets me around $900/month. I have no rent or utilities to pay right now, so finding a place of my own with what I make would take every bit of that and probably more. My job does not pay me enough money to live on. Period. That needs to change.

I’ve mulled over career choices. I don’t know if going back to school for my Masters or a different degree is a viable option or not. I’ve given thought to going back to be a nurse, a forensic accountant, a teacher, a social worker, and a school guidance counselor. I’ve eliminated two of those.

Maybe 2020 will see me back in school. Maybe I’ll find something that pays more that doesn’t require a degree. Who knows. I just know it’s time for a change.

I need to lose weight. This isn’t the, “Oh, I want to fit back into my size 2 jeans,” kind of needing to lose weight. For the record, I was never a size 2, even at my thinnest. No, this is more of a, “I hate the way I look and feel and my blood pressure is out of control,” kind of needing to lose weight.

It’s the blood pressure thing more than anything. I used to have terrific blood pressure. I remember one time having my blood pressure taken and then the nurse took it a second time. Then she asked me if I was an endurance athlete because my blood pressure was so low. Even then I had to reply, “Do I look like I’m any kind of an athlete?”

I don’t remember for certain when it started to climb but I do know at my last exam before the discard it was higher than normal. But, the divorce diet led to a 20-25 pound weight loss and the next time I went in, which was December of 2015, my blood pressure was perfect. It’s definitely a weight thing.

My health is primary but I also hate the way I look anymore and the fact that I’m outgrowing the majority of my clothes.

The mobster would love to see me drink more water and less diet Coke. More change.

I still have running a marathon on my bucket list. Kinda tough to do when you don’t even run a mile.

I think about all the things I believe I would like to do- learn to play hockey, learn to knit and crochet. Wow- that was a shorter list than I thought. Still, those are things I could learn to do, even at my age.

Even in my current situation there can be financial change. Taking charge and making a huge effort to pay off everything I owe. Considering where I once was it’s not a lot. Considering how much I make it is a lot.

The big change I hope to see is finally having Jerry Lee garnished and finally taking him back to court for the court fees he owes. I’d like to have all of that behind me once and for all. No more need to text him to ask about payments. No more wondering when this would finally all be over. No more being frustrated over the shit he is allowed to get away with. No more having to do with hundreds, if not thousands, less whenever he decides he needs the money more than I do.

Anyway, that’s my word of the year- change. We’ll see if anything does change.

In the meantime I have managed to accomplish some things.

  1. I got Picasso into counseling. He had an appointment within a day after I finally reached someone at the counseling center.

    2. Rock Star has her sophomore year paid for. Yes, it’s due to loans but it’s paid for. And she will be applying to nursing school this upcoming semester.

    3. I got a new position in my department and I finally got to move over to my new desk. I don’t make much more than I did before but it’s a step up instead of a step down.

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping for some well-deserved change in the upcoming year.

Radical Acceptance- One More Try

I admit I began feeling a little mopey while writing about this so-called radical acceptance earlier. I’ve thought about it some more and I’m going to give it another try.

I still think radical acceptance is about finally acknowledging and accepting that the life you once had is no longer. It’s a completely different looking life that you are leading. You lean into it instead of fighting against it with everything you’ve got.

It’s easy to feel sorry for myself. My God, I’m 50 years old and I am living with my mother. I don’t have a bedroom of my own. I own almost nothing anymore. My standard of living has decreased by probably 75%. But you know what? Everyone has a sob story. I’m not the only person who has lost everything thanks to a divorce. So what to do now?

Years ago Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” In many ways losing everything has freed me. You learn very quickly what’s important and what’s not when you’re forced to leave almost everything behind. The good news is I don’t have anything left to lose. I’m not chained to the bullshit. I can speak my mind. If they want to fire me at my job who cares? I can replace that job easily. At about $30,000/year it’s not like it’s the job of a lifetime. I will never be thinking, “Oh my goodness! I’ll never find anything this good again!” 

I can lament all that was lost or I can celebrate the freedom to recreate my life. For the first time in a very long time I get to be in charge of my life. I don’t have to move because someone else got a job. If I want to move to New Orleans I can find a job and move there. If I want to stay here for the rest of my life I can. If I want to go back to school to get my Masters I don’t have anyone discouraging me from doing so. All these decisions are mine to make now. No one else.

I’m not sure that’s what Janis had in mind when she sang that but that’s how I choose to look at it. This is my life and I’ll live it the way I want to.

I can focus on everything that was lost- my home, my pool, my furniture. Pretty much everything I’ve ever owned. I can dwell on how I moved back to my home town, in with my mother, completely defeated. Or, I can celebrate how I survived that hell. I didn’t just survive it. I rocked it. I got shit done.

I was 46 years old when I realized my life as I knew it was going to radically change. I had been a stay at home mom for 15 years at that point. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. I knew I would end up on aid and that we would pretty much be living in poverty. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: If it weren’t for my mom, my kids and I would have been out on the streets, or living in our car or in subsidized housing somewhere.

Even knowing how badly life was going to suck I continued to put one foot in front of the other. I continued to do the things that needed to be done. I interviewed lawyers and filed for divorce. I fired my first lawyer and hired my second lawyer. I continued to take care of my kids.

Later, after moving back to Indiana, I continued to do what needed to be done. I got my kids enrolled in a new school system. I applied for Medicaid and free lunches and textbooks for my kids. I took a seasonal job at Target, unloading trucks and stocking shelves that had me getting up anywhere from 1:30 to 3:30 in the morning. And then I took another seasonal job at Kohl’s where I worked from noon until 6 or 8 pm. That’s right. I worked two jobs while he worked none. Do you know why? Because it needed to be done. I had two choices. I could cry and bitch about it, or I could do something about it. I chose to do something about it. Yes, it meant I fell asleep sitting up many a nights. It meant I relied on my mom to get my kids where they needed to be. It meant that there were days my feet and back hurt so badly after working both jobs that I limped out to my car at the end of the night. It meant I woke up at ungodly hours and I worked 21 straight days before finally getting a day off. But I did it. I did that. Chumpy little me. A stay at home mom for 15 years with no great job prospects.

Then I pushed for a show cause hearing to get the support my kids and I needed and deserved. And then I hired an expert witness to counter his PTSD bullshit and I kept going through all of it.

I did all of that, and I did it without someone by my side telling me how wonderful I was and how I deserved to be happy. I had many days where I would cry all the way to Target, wipe my tears and go to work; then come back home, pick up my daughter, take her to school, get ready for my full-time job, and cry all the way to that job as well. Once again, I would wipe my tears, put a smile on my face and go to work. The biggest compliment I ever received was a co-worker telling me she would never have known I was going through all of that because I was always so sweet and cheerful, always had a smile on my face.

Radical acceptance means saying goodbye to your old life and embracing this new one. It means celebrating all that you have accomplished instead of focusing on what was lost.

I did so many things he never had to do, things I don’t think he has the balls to do. I raised our kids with no help from him while working two jobs for a while. He can’t say he’s ever done that. He can’t even say he worked and raised his kids because all of their care fell on me. He never took a single day off because a kid was sick. He never had to tell his boss he couldn’t go in early, or that he wouldn’t be available to go out to dinner with the bigwigs from corporate at the last minute. Because I was there, making sure everything went smoothly for him.

Today I no longer work two jobs but I donate plasma twice a week so that my kids can have a nice Christmas without me stressing out over it. Is it fair? Probably not. Is it anywhere close to what my life was like five years ago? Oh God no. But you know what? Christmas will be paid for and I won’t be running up any credit cards or worrying about how far my paycheck will stretch. I am free to concentrate on the fun parts of Christmas. Ultimately, fair or not, I’m getting it done. I could cry (and believe me, I did a lot of crying in the early days) or I can choose to celebrate the badass I am.

Am I where I want to be? No, I’m not. But again, I can cry and gnash my teeth over my poor paying job, or I can do something about it. Radical acceptance, to me, means accepting that it’s not going to be handed to me. It doesn’t mean lying down and playing dead; it doesn’t mean I accept this as though it’s my fate. If I want a change I need to go after it. Maybe that means going back to school. Maybe it means getting a different job.

It’s so easy to get sucked into that cycle of feeling sorry for yourself. Look at all that I’ve lost. Look at what I’ll never have again. At some point though it’s necessary to give thanks for what you do have.

I have two great kids who love me. There are those out there who have been cheated on and discarded and their children have turned against them as well. I have been fortunate in that my two have remained steadfastly loyal. They demonstrate on a regular basis how much they love me and how important I am to them.

I realize he does not value the same things I value and yet I still feel fortunate to be able to say I am a large part of their lives. They talk to me and tell me things, I get to laugh with them and make new memories with them. I get to be with them and be a part of their lives.

I have a mother who has gone above and beyond for me. She’ll take Picasso his lunch if he’s forgotten it. She’ll get him where he needs to be after school. She’s provided a home for us these last three years. When I was working 12+ hour days she would take Rock Star to work or pick her up so I could sleep. I am truly fortunate; I know many others do not have the luxury of going back home.

Divorcing Jerry Lee meant that I was free to pursue a relationship with the mobster. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know I happen to think this man hangs the moon. He is a much, much better partner than Jerry Lee ever was.

No matter how sorry I’m feeling for myself every time I talk to him I’m filled with happiness, and am so overjoyed he is in my life. That other stuff doesn’t matter nearly as much. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I would rather live in a one bedroom apartment with him than in a mansion with Jerry Lee.

If I were still with Jerry Lee, living in my big ol’ house with my brand new furniture, and my luxury pool, I never would have met the mobster. I’d never have experienced all the wonderful weekends we’ve spent together. I wouldn’t know the joy of Athens or Columbus or Chilicothe. I never would have known a man would actually rinse your jeans out for you when you shit yourself on a bike ride. I wouldn’t have my cute little glitter jingle bell elf slippers. I wouldn’t have been kayaking or visited wineries or gone geocaching or known anything about Pokemon Go. I would have missed out on a lot.

I have amazing friends, both near and far. So many people rallied around while this was happening. And moving back to my hometown has allowed me to spend more time with my oldest friends.

I once wrote about going to Holland when you thought you were going to go to Italy. Radical acceptance is a lot like going to Holland. My hometown isn’t a horrible place. It has lots of great things. It has wine walks and Jeff Dunham shows and cool movie theaters. It’s close to Chicago and Lake Michigan. It’s just not what I had planned.

I won’t ever live in another 4000 sq. ft. home unless something very unexpected happens. I don’t think I even want another house that big. But that doesn’t mean I won’t ever have a home. Hopefully one day the mobster and I will share a home. It will be quaint and charming and homey. It will be a haven for us and our combined six kids when they choose to visit. Except for Picasso. I’m pretty sure he’s going to live with me forever.

My job isn’t horrible. It doesn’t pay very well but it has a few other perks, and it turns out I’m pretty decent at what I do. Like I said earlier, I can always get another job. Right now I’m lazy. I haven’t looked because I haven’t had to.

I may not be able to buy my kids all the creature comforts that I once could but a little hard work won’t kill them. I’m extremely proud of my daughter and how hard she already works. She sets a goal and she goes for it. She got a job at age 16 and has been working ever since.

Plus, if the mobster and I were to ever marry I feel like I’m contributing equally to the relationship. It’s not him going out to work and providing for the family while I stay at home and do nothing (at least that’s how Jerry Lee viewed it). He’s self-employed so I always figure at least I can bring insurance to the table.

I can’t say that I’m all the way there, or even that I won’t backslide now and again, but I do feel like I’m further than I’ve ever been before.

Wise Advice From Sophia

I wrote this year about June 10th passing with barely a notice from me. Sophia commented and something she said really resonated with me. It turns out she was in an automobile accident 19 years ago and it has fundamentally changed her life. This is the comment that grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go: I had to throw out every plan, schedule, routine, hope and dream and make a new one for the new life I had to live. Most importantly I had to stop thinking of how it was before so I could be happy where I’m at, because that was the worst of all.

I struggle with that to this day. I try hard to let it go. I try to focus solely on my own life and the things I can control, instead of thinking about CF and all the horrible things he has done and put us through. I try to count my blessings and be thankful for the good things in my life.

Yet, I vacillate between daydreaming of karma and justice, and resigning myself to eating a giant shit sundae by dropping the rope and doing my best to let all the injustices pass me by. I can’t control it so I may as well accept it.

It is still very difficult to look back on past memories and see pictures of my house, my pool, my furniture. It’s hard to see me back in Utah, celebrating our return, hanging out with friends, having a great time, completely oblivious to the carnage that was happening. It’s still painful when I see those stupid, inspirational signs, like the ones I hung up all around my kitchen and throughout my home. It is still very hard to hear certain songs or to look back at everything my kids lost due to their father’s poor choices. Some of those memories bring on a shot-in-the-gut, stabbed-in-the-heart, heart-in-my-throat, shortness of breath type pain.

It’s been almost four years since I found out my life as I knew it was over. Four years since that message popped up on my phone, letting me know I wasn’t crazy. Letting me know that my husband of twenty years was spending his weekends with Harley, instead of visiting his mom and his best friend like he claimed.

It’s been three years since that fateful day he completely immolated my life and the lives of my children. I remember only too clearly getting that text, letting me know he had lost his job and he wouldn’t be sending me anymore money. And then silence. No need to let me know what was going on.

I have tried writing this post a few times but I always seem to get stuck. An earlier version focused on why I thought it was so difficult to move on.

No surprises here- it’s a combo of CF never tiring of fucking with me and not doing what the court order tells him to do, not being financially secure on my own, and still mourning the life I left behind.

As I wrote about CF in an earlier version:

It’s always something; I can never settle down into a comfortable, boring existence. He’s always in the background doing something. It’s been over a year and I still don’t have child support modified. He still has not paid the legal fees he owes. And he’s now decided to modify spousal support. Each time I think I’ve finally got that sonofabitch up against the rope I’m told, nope, he gets away with doing what he’s doing. It’s exhausting.

I would love to no longer have to deal with him. I would be ecstatic if the man paid what he was legally required to pay on a timely, consistent basis. But that’s not happening. So, I keep fighting the good fight. I keep insisting upon holding him accountable. That’s a choice I’m making because God knows I could throw up my hands and just say, “Do whatever you want, Jackass! I’m not coming after you anymore. I’m not going to fight anymore. Pay whatever you want, whenever you want to.”

I can try to minimize his effects as much possible. I can be miserly. I can refuse to spend a penny. I can figure out how to survive on the whole $200 I have left over each month. I can make sure I’m never looking to the current month’s support payment to pay for the current month’s expenses.

Eventually I am going to have to find another job or I’m going to have to get a fantastic promotion at my current job. I do realize I cannot rely upon him. He has absolutely no respect for the court order. I will spend the rest of my life chasing after him.

In many ways that pisses me off. If I decide to forgo any of that money I want it to be because I decided to tell him to fuck off, not because I’ve finally given up fighting him on it.

The above also plays into point #2, which is not being financially secure. A day or two after I wrote my post about almost missing June 10th I  realized three years had passed and I had not made the progress I had hoped for. As I was voicing these concerns to the mobster he commented that I couldn’t expect to be where CF was in only three years, maybe not ever.

Here’s the thing- I don’t expect to ever make as much money as CF does. I do think I should expect to be able to make enough money to support myself and my kids in my own home. I’d like to make enough money to live in a house of my own and still have enough money after paying bills to go out with friends, travel, see the mobster, buy things for my kids, go out to dinner, help my daughter with college, go on a vacation or spend a weekend away.

Again, I know I’m going to have to find a new job or get a fantastic promotion because $14/hour is not going to do it for me. Not without CF’s financial aid.

Point #1 and Point #2 are small fries compared to Point #3- mourning what I have given up.

When I tried writing this the first time I focused on the fact that I don’t mourn him. I don’t miss him. I don’t want him back.

I don’t mourn the house or the new furniture. Sure, there are days when I’m looking around for something I’ll think to myself, “Damn! Why did I get rid of that?” But it’s not like I tell myself that if only I could move into another 4000 sq. ft. home with brand new furniture and a pool and a hot tub and a game room, everything would be great.

Because I didn’t focus on the man, or the house, or any of the other tangible elements I could delude myself into believing I had let go of that old life.

It wasn’t until many paragraphs into it when I wrote:

In many ways I am still mourning and grieving everything that was taken from me. Mostly I mourn what was taken away from my kids.

I know I should let it go. I’m sure that my kids have already done so. It wasn’t that long ago that Rock Star told me not to worry about it; she loves her college and her sorority and she realizes she wouldn’t have any of that if her father and I remained married and/or we hadn’t moved. Picasso seems to have a great group of friends and he has no interest in moving out of Indiana.

Maybe that’s the downfall of being the grownup. I know what they lost, and for me I didn’t get to replace it. My husband cheated and left, and we were forced to move out of our home. That was the end of my normal life as a mom. I became a working mom and was no longer around for my kids like I was. There was no more hockey, no more gymnastics, no more kids ringing my doorbell and staying at my house for hours on end. There was no more car pooling, no more driving kids to practice and games/meets. It just all evaporated and was replaced with… nothing.

I re-read it and realized, “Holy shit! I’m not mourning what was taken away from my kids! I’m mourning what was taken away from me!” Talk about your epiphany! This was exactly what Sophia was talking about!

Don’t get me wrong. I do definitely mourn the fact that my kids had to leave behind not one life, but two. What has me stuck though is everything I left behind. My kids are doing fairly well, all things considered.

It was a double whammy, really. Hell, some could consider it to be a triple whammy. I still mourn the life I left behind in Utah when CF convinced me we had this great chance to start all over in Virginia. More money. Bigger house. A pool, finally. Job satisfaction for him. A fresh start away from where he began his affair with Harley. I barely had a chance to catch my breath and begin to acclimate to life in this smallish southern town before I found out the last twenty years of my life had been a lie. This whole move had been a setup. My husband was cheating. This time there would be no reconciliation. I was heading full steam ahead towards a divorce. I was suddenly on my own- cut off financially and left to deal with the kids, the pets, the house all by myself. And then the following year I was forced from my home and had to uproot myself and my kids once again.

That’s what has me stuck. Money and memories. Financial insecurity.

I’d like to say that knowing that I am finally on my way. I have a plan. I’m embracing all the new aspects of life today. That would be a lie. When you are financially insecure your life is in turmoil.

I can say, however, I am slowly letting go of what was. It’s gone; it’s over. I’ll never get it back. Time to stick it in a scrapbook. Log it as a chapter in my life. Instead I am doing my damnedest to look ahead, to believe that eventually I will be self sufficient and that everything will work out in the end.

Sophia, your words resonated. Now to put everything into action… hmmm… easier said than done.

Winning Vs. Losing, Or What I Learned From Michelle Kwan

The fabulous Dolly over on The Queen Is In wrote a provocative post last week. She mentioned someone on Twitter who questioned whether or not she stayed because she couldn’t stand to see the OW win. Dolly admitted she, too, wondered if part of why she stayed was because she didn’t want to see the OW win. Several other people commented that they didn’t want to see the OW in their situations win either. I couldn’t really chime in because as you must know if you read my blog, in my situation the OW did win. She got my husband. They are married now. I was effectively cast out and replaced.

Plus, as I kept thinking up a response it kept getting longer and longer so I decided to do what I do best and turn it into a post.

I can understand not wanting to lose your spouse to another person. I felt that way the first time I discovered what was going on. White hot rage that he had been playing me for a fool all summer long while he sweet talked that bitch. She knew I existed. She knew my kids existed. She didn’t give a shit. She wanted what was mine.

I wanted her gone! I wanted to win. I wanted her broken and destroyed. I wanted her to know that he loved me and he would never leave no matter what plans they may have had; I wanted to show her that all I had to do was snap my fingers and tell him I wanted us to work out and she would be gone without a second thought. I wanted her to know I was better than her and that she wouldn’t win.

I demanded he end things with her. I wanted to see it in black and white. His story was that he called her instead and ended things. He said she cried when he told her he could never leave me. I loved that. I felt great satisfaction in hearing she cried, that she felt discarded. She had been messing around with my husband for more than three months at that point and I wanted to banish her from our lives forever. I wanted her to know how insignificant she was to him.

I told him I had contacted her husband and when he told me to leave them alone and let them concentrate on repairing their marriage while we did the same I hissed at him, “Do not beg for mercy for your whore!” He backed off. I felt powerful. In control. Victorious.

So I definitely get it. I did not want her to win. And yet, I remember when our anniversary rolled around and the reality of everything hit me. I was “celebrating” my anniversary with a man who cheated on me.

About two months later I followed it up with this jewel:

One day I was talking to a dear friend who is wise beyond measure. I referred to the whore as a homewrecker. She pointed out to me that she wasn’t a homewrecker; my family was intact and I had won. I had to think about that. I don’t always feel like I’ve won. It sucks knowing your husband was declaring his love for someone else, someone he considered his soul mate. How do you feel like you’ve won when the prize is a lying, cheating sonofabitch? I’m being melodramatic here. I don’t feel that way now. I’m actually pretty pleased with my life right now. But still it’s that phrasing. Kinda like our marriage is better than ever. You know how I hate that one! I don’t think there are any winners or losers in the aftermath of an affair. Sure, he’s with me. He picked me. He’s a lot nicer. A lot more attentive. But he still lied and cheated. And that’s not a great prize to win.

Much like Katniss who won The Hunger Games only to find herself having to fight for her life once again in an ultimate showdown, I found myself in round two of fighting for my marriage a short two years later; sadly, I didn’t realize there was a round two until it was too late.

So this time I lost and she won. But did she really? What did she win?

She won a man who cheats. She won a man who, when times get tough, seeks out others instead of turning to his partner. She won a man who abandoned his children. Maybe she sees that as the ultimate sacrifice and a sign of how incredibly special she is. Most people see it as an act of cowardice. She won a man who can never be happy. She won a man who, according to his court testimony, can’t drive, can’t be around loud noises, and can’t be in public places with big crowds. She won an alcoholic. She won a man who is always the smartest guy in the room and who demands all the attention and adulation. She won a man she can never rely on when things are tough because for him every small problem is a giant problem; she’ll have to be the strong one all the time because he can’t handle it. She won a man who can’t take criticism and who will demand she is happy and appreciative all the time.

My mother likes to remind me that people can be different with different people. She has tales of her own with my father. As a child growing up I remember him spending a lot of time helping my grandpa out on the farm. Once he remarried though he didn’t spend nearly as much time out on the farm. As my mother said once, “It’s amazing that as his father ages he doesn’t need his son’s help nearly as much as he did when he was younger.”

I, on the other hand, don’t believe in personality transplants. I think my stepmom has something on my dad and that’s why their marriage has lasted 30+ years. And following that logic if she had something on him she could effectively control him.

Even if my ex-husband is a completely different person with Harley what is important is how he was with me.

When I “lost” to Harley, I lost a man who rarely used my name when speaking to me. I lost a man who didn’t want to hold my hand in public (although he thought it was hilarious to grope me). I lost a man who told me on many occasions, “Only one of us can be crazy or unhappy at a time, and that person is always me.” I lost a man who took it as a personal insult if I was unhappy or sad or dared to complain about anything. I lost a man who shut himself off in the basement or bedroom, and then dared to justify his behavior with Harley because I “treated him like a wallet and a handyman.” I lost a man who didn’t really want to go on family vacations or outings with us. A man who didn’t bother to go to parent-teacher conferences with me most of the time (I think he attended two). A man who didn’t really seem to care about being a husband or a father when it came time for the day to day activities. I lost a man who didn’t want to socialize with me and friends together. I lost a man who had no interest in hearing my stories from my life before him, and who didn’t really seem to show much interest in my life outside of him when we were married.

More importantly, “losing” him to Harley led me to finding the mobster. It’s no secret that I would have probably stayed until the bitter end. Her swooping in with her “big win” allowed me to find a love I couldn’t even begin to imagine. Yes, I may have “lost” to the OW but do you want to know what I’ve won?

I’m with a man who thinks I’m funny. He genuinely laughs at my jokes.

He thinks I’m adorable. Seriously. I’ll do something and he’ll say, “You are so cute the way you…”.

He butters my roll for me without me even asking. He makes me breakfast. He wants to please me. He sends me flowers and chocolate covered strawberries.

He greets me every morning with, “Hi, Beautiful,”  “Hi, Cutie,” or, “Hi, Babydoll”.

He appreciates the things I do for him instead of merely tolerating them. He has thanked me over and over again for his “Box ‘O Love” and the surprise party I threw for him. He thanks me every time I drive the entire way to see him.

He thinks I’m smart and beautiful.

He listens to me. He listens to all my crazy stories, both present and in the past. I can tell him anything. And I do. He tells me to never apologize for complaining; he wants to hear everything. We’re partners and he wants to hear the good and the bad. He likes to hear about my day. I work in a bank, for crying out loud, and he treats it like I’m doing amazing and interesting work every day. Hell, I believe he even listened to me explaining Candy Crush to him in detail.

He doesn’t tell me only one of us can be crazy at once and it’s always him. In fact, he calms me down when I’m freaking out and he’s willing to take over if I need him to.

He tells me that I give wonderful advice and I’ve been so good for him and I always think things through and know just what to say.

He ran out to Wal-Mart when we were together for my daughter’s Family Weekend and bought me shampoo and conditioner because I hadn’t brought any and the hotel didn’t have any in the room. My mom told me later she was amazed that he was willing to do that and asked me if I could ever imagine CF doing that for me. Considering he grudgingly made me a lemonade when I was pregnant with his child after three miscarriages I’m going to say, “Probably not.”

He accompanied me to a wedding all the way out in Utah AND met a ton of my friends while out there. Some people would have found that to be much like a lamb being led to slaughter, but he was amazing. He was a bit nervous but he was genuinely pleased to finally be able to meet my friends.

He likes to socialize and have fun. He’s always up for adventure. My daughter has labeled him “the happiest person [she] knows.”

He lifts me up. He wants to be a full-time partner to me.

He’s more supportive and attentive to my kids than their own dad was.

And he’s funny. He makes me laugh and we have the best time when we’re together.

He picks flowers for me from the side of the road. He creates chalk signs for me when I come to visit and he buys balloons and decorates for me. He’s willing to drive 10.5 hours to see me. He sends me song lyrics and creates picture books of our adventures together. He gets me a cup of coffee when we’re together.

He’s also never cheated on me and never lied to me. He has been patient and understanding, especially in the beginning when I was a skittish mess. He is the most amazing man and I never would have met him if I hadn’t lost my husband to Harley.

Years ago I remember an interview the lovely, talented and graceful Michelle Kwan did. It was right after the Olympics, where she had been expected to take the gold, only to have someone snatch it out from under her. The interviewer asked her how she dealt with losing the gold medal. I still remember her response all these years later. I didn’t lose the gold. I won the silver.

Wow- talk about reframing a situation. Michelle didn’t lose anything. She won something that very people even have the opportunity to compete for. What does that have to do with infidelity and Harley and losing CF to her, you may be asking?

It’s simple. I don’t look at it as losing my husband to Harley. I look at it as “winning” the mobster and finally being in a relationship where I am valued, cherished and loved.

Life Is Good

I was browsing through some recent pictures recently. I’m not sure what I was looking at but this feeling of peace came over me. It suddenly hit me- I’m happy. I’m content. Despite CF’s ongoing antics (more on that later), and despite my precarious financial situation I’m happy.

I have my family around me. Just last week my niece and my mom went on the Wine Walk with me. That’s something I never would have experienced still married to CF. We go out to dinner to celebrate birthdays and big events- my kids and myself, my mom, my brother and his family. We travel for other events like graduations together as well. My daughter’s relationship with her cousin is more like that of sisters instead of cousins. Both of my kids get to finish growing up around their grandmother, uncle, aunt, and cousins. Had CF and I remained married those are things they wouldn’t have had. We would never have moved back to this area.

The mobster and I are doing great over a year into our relationship. If we’ve both been wearing masks then they are staying firmly in place. We still talk several times a day. We still laugh. We still get together as often as possible. In fact, he’s coming to Rock Star’s Family Weekend with me this weekend. He is truly the best thing that’s ever happened to me. He used to always say, “Except for your kids,” in the early days, and I would reply, “My kids don’t count. They didn’t happen to me; I made them!” I tell him everything. He calms me down when I’m freaking out, and I like to think I calm him down when he’s freaking out. He’s funny, sweet, romantic, and loving. He even butters my biscuits for me.  He is the love of my life.

I’m reconnecting with friends, both old and new. I try to be conscious about reaching out.  I know I tend to get in a rut and expect others to reach out but I’m doing more of the reaching nowadays. My best friend and I discovered SnapChat (not like we didn’t know it existed before) and now we SnapChat every day. We love playing with the filters.

I still like my job. It doesn’t happen to pay me over $100,000 a year but I like it. The day goes by quickly and I feel like I’m actually doing something. I fight fraud, dammit! I’m actually not bad at it.

My two dogs are still alive and kicking.

My kids are doing well. They are my greatest achievement.

Picasso had to take the bus to school the first two weeks of school and ended up reconnecting with an old friend from middle school. He began cello lessons and despite bellyaching about them the first day he really likes them. He still spends way too much time on his Xbox but overall, he seems pretty happy. He likes his classes a lot better this year and aside from English, where he conveniently forgot to do his summer assignment, he has good grades. Hopefully, he will have enough time to improve his English grade. He also made the decision to cut about 6 inches off his hair. He said he didn’t want to look like teenage Jesus. Unfortunately, he now thinks he looks like a 1960s woman. My mom told him she didn’t know what the big deal was because he used to look like a 1970s woman. I think he simply looks adorable.

Rock Star is loving college. She just went through sorority recruitment and accepted a bid from her top choice. I’m ecstatic for her. She is very happy down there. For that I am grateful. After the last three years she deserves some happiness. I happened to take a look at her Instagram page today at lunch and she had posted a picture of her and all her new sorority sisters. The messages she received in response were heartwarming. All these new sisters of hers reaching out and welcoming her home. My heart swelled with happiness and my eyes almost overflowed with joy.

In other exciting news, with my daughter off to college I have moved from the couch to an actual bed. It’s very cozy with three dogs but it will undoubtedly be nice come winter with three furry bodies snuggled up to me.

That is it for me. Just a short little update letting everyone know I am happy.

Holland

Welcome to Part 2!

I will never again be a full-time stay at home mom to my kids and that’s okay. In this new life my kids see me going off to work. They see me paying bills and being a role model. They see me having to juggle things and weigh whether or not it’s worth it to take time off. Both of my kids are older now, and while I think teenagers especially need parental influence and supervision, they will be fine without me standing at the ready 24/7 to take them wherever they want to go. We will always have the many memories from when I was able to stay at home with them.

My old home with its granite countertops and 4000 square feet of living space is a thing of the past. In this new life I get to focus on what truly matters- and that’s not a house. For now I am living with my mom. With Rock Star off to college I actually have a room and a bed to call my own (at least while she’s at school). Picasso gets to spend a lot of quality time with his Nana. She’s willing to do my laundry and willing to cook most nights.

When I do finally go looking for a house I don’t need 4 or 5 bedrooms. I don’t need 4000 square feet. This time, on my own, I’m looking for quirky and charming, with a low mortgage payment. Honestly, I look at the $300,000+ homes in my area and I am appalled at how little you get for so much money. Most of it is location, and since I don’t have to worry much longer about school districts I can move anywhere I choose.

I can replace all the “things” that I once owned. Hopefully, this time around I will be pickier about what I choose to purchase. I can always shop yard sales, consignment stores, and Goodwill/Salvation Army.

In my new life I am closer to family. We are able to get together for birthdays, Mother’s Day, and other special events.

In my old life I was married to CF. He spent most of his life in his bedroom, watching TV. There were frequent tantrums, freak outs, and crying episodes when things weren’t going his way. He didn’t like PDA, although strangely enough that didn’t stop him from groping me in public. Almost every picture we took together he looks like he’s in a hostage situation. He didn’t support me; hell, I don’t think he ever really knew me. His big contribution was his paycheck, and he liked to lord that over me, even when I was working as well. He didn’t usually participate in family events. He dreaded the holidays. He pretty much sucked the joy out of life.

In my new life I’m with the mobster, and that is probably the best thing in this new life. I finally have someone who is sane and normal. He doesn’t freak out over the little things. He doesn’t look like he’s being coerced into posing with me every time we take a picture together. He supports me; he tells me I’m wonderful and that I can do anything. He cares about my kids and is willing to help out with them where he can. He loves the holidays and loves being a family man. He is joyful and funny. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Infidelity and divorce is a game changer. It forever changes “normal”. What I’m about to say doesn’t happen overnight; it takes a while for this message to finally sink in. For me it’s taken damn near three years. In many ways this is an exciting new chapter. You can write whatever story you want. Yes, there are humps. There are fucking mountains! There are challenges. Ultimately though you are the author of your own destiny. You have a chance to do anything you want to do.

Did you want to go back to school but your spouse always discouraged it? Now you can. Did you want to take dance lessons but didn’t think you could because it would take time away from the family, or your spouse just didn’t want to? Now you can. Did you want to have cereal for dinner, or tell the kids to fend for themselves while you watch Netflix and munch on popcorn, but you always needed to make dinner for the spouse? Now you can. Did you always love Indian food but your spouse hated it so you never made it? Now you can make it as often as you’d like. Did your spouse discourage outside relationships? Now you’re free of that; rediscover those friendships. Did your spouse always insist on watching something, or mock what you wanted to watch? Now you don’t ever have to listen to that person complain about it again. I will say this much for having your life upended: You are now able to take the time to figure out what makes you tick. What do you like? What do you want to do?

Have you ever seen that story about going to Holland? It was written by Emily Perl Kingsley, a mother of a special needs child. In it, she’s trying to explain what it’s like when you give birth to and raise a child with special needs. She compares it to planning a grand vacation to Italy. She talks about how you research before you go. You read up on all the tourist sites, everything there is to do there. You plan out what you want to see when you are there. You investigate the culture and the food. You might even learn a few phrases of Italian before you go. You immerse yourself in all things Italy. And then the big day comes and the flight attendant says, “Welcome to Holland!” You are stunned! This was not the plan. You were going to Italy! But alas, the plans changed and you are now in Holland and you can’t go to Italy. Holland is where you will remain. So now you buy a different guidebook, and you learn different phrases, and you will eat different foods and encounter people you never would have met if you had gone to Italy.

I think that’s a wonderful analogy. We didn’t plan this. We had something completely different in mind for our lives. We got married, had babies, maybe accumulated a few pets, bought a house, maybe moved around the country, and planned on spending the rest of our lives with this person we married. We thought we knew our destination. Italy! But instead our plans detoured. Our spouse cheated. The house had to be sold. Maybe we had to move out of town or out of the state. Friends were lost. Family was lost. The spouse is gone- off with the affair partner. And now we are in Holland.

Here is the important part. As the author says in her essay, “The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It’s just a different place.”

I suppose in those early days we could argue about how horrible and disgusting this whole process is. But she goes on to say, “But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around… and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills… and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.”

I will never be back to my old normal again. I don’t have a large home with granite countertops and a pool and brand new furniture. I don’t have my air hockey table or foosball table anymore. I can no longer spend whatever I want. I don’t volunteer for PTA, or play Bunko. My friends are scattered all over. I’m no longer a stay at home mom with plenty of down time. Instead I am trying to develop a new normal; I will try to appreciate all the things that Holland brings into my life. Being in control of my own life. Not having to worry about what CF wants. Having a wonderful new man in my life who appreciates me. A whole new life and adventure. Focusing on different things. Trying to advance at my job and take any new opportunities that come my way. Maybe I’ll even go back to school to get my Masters or to develop a career in the medical field. Just because I don’t earn much now doesn’t mean I can’t earn more in the future. I won’t volunteer in PTA but that doesn’t mean volunteering is off the table forever; it will just look different.

Yes, you will mourn, she cautions. She writes of how everyone is busy coming and going from Italy, bragging about the wonderful time and all the fantastic things they’re doing. “And for the rest of your life, you will say, ‘Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.’ And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.”

That is so true. Even once you make your peace with it you are still reminded of what you’ve lost. Every time I hear “The Best Day of My Life” I want to cry. It reminds me of the lip dub Rock Star’s school did. There she was, a brand new freshman, on the gymnastics team, and she was doing back handsprings and a full in the video. She was amazing, and so happy. When I hear “Steal My Girl” it reminds me of the days she and I would sing along in the car on our way home from practice. When I see pictures of those long ago days- Picasso surrounded by his friends, Picasso dressed in full hockey gear, or Rock Star posing with her teammates or best friend, it reminds me of all that was lost. I still have the real estate app on my phone from when we were house hunting in Virginia. I can’t take it off and yet it pains me to even look.

The trick is to stop focusing on the pain and to focus on the new, to focus on what is waiting. As the author reminds us, “…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

I won’t ever be one of those people who says that divorce is a good thing. It’s painful, even when cheating is not the reason for the split. It destroys families. It does a number on the cheated on person. That’s not to say, however, that good can’t come out of it. I believe it can. I believe that there is a life worth living out there. You just have to take the initiative and go for it. Sometimes we love the lives we had and we think we’ll never have anything close to that again. After it’s all been smashed to smithereens we find out that the old life was an illusion; it was never what we thought we had. And this new life- it’s real. It’s ours. We discover that this new, authentic life is the one we were supposed to be living. This new life in Holland can be awesome if you only let go of the dream of Italy.

My Darling Daughter

My daughter is leaving in a few days. I might throw up a few posts here and there about her and all her wonderfulness in her honor.

I wanted to share with everyone a conversation we had during our week together. I was telling her that I was about at the end of my budget for her. That girl can shop! She tells me, “Mom, only four more years and then I can start buying you things.” She wasn’t just talking about buying me a candy bar or a gift card. She was seriously telling me that after she graduates from nursing school she was willing to take care of me and buy me all the things I can no longer afford. I was very touched but told her it was my job to take care of her, and that when she started a family of her own she wouldn’t want to be burdened by taking care of her mother, who should be able to stand on her own two feet.

She is seriously thinking of being a traveling nurse once she graduates, and at this point in time she has offered to have me live with her, travel with her. I’m honored that she feels that way and wants to spend so much time with me.

Alas, I do have another child and I’m not sure I would be allowed to bring him. Sure, he’d be in college by the time she graduated but I don’t think I could really set him loose at that point with no home base. Plus, there’s the mobster. I do love that man. I don’t think he’d be very happy to sell his house and business to move up to where I am and then have me turn around 3 years later and take off to travel the world with my daughter. Although….

… with all expenses paid I should have enough money that I could fly back several times a month to see him. And he could serve as a home base for Picasso. They could play video games together. I wouldn’t even be missed. Houston, I think I’ve solved the problem!

Just kidding.

 

August 10th

It’s been three years since my life as I knew it was destroyed. Or, more specifically, it’s been three years today since I got the message from The Saint letting me know that my husband had not, in fact, been spending weekends with his dear sweet mommy, but rather was spending them with Harley.

I will admit the date has not clubbed me over the head like it did the first year. I actually had to keep track this time around. Oh hey, August 10th! That’s kinda significant. When is it again? I know, right after the 9th and right before the 11th, but I keep losing track of time.

Last year I brought a cake into work to celebrate my freedom. The date still had a place of prominence in my life; I didn’t have to think hard at all to remember it. It was front and center although I put a positive spin on it.

Maybe next year it will pass right on by without me noticing at all. It seems kinda strange to think that a date that has affected my life so greatly would pass by without a second glance from me but it seems that’s about where I am.

Has it really been three years? Wow! In that time I have started writing this blog, sold off what I could of my possessions and left the other 95% behind, moved out of my home, moved back to my old city, saw my house foreclosed on, started working full-time, met the mobster, was able to quit my second job, got my daughter through her last two years of high school, kicked the ex’s ass in court, and will soon be taking my daughter down to college. My life is still not where I would like it to be financially. I HATE depending upon CF for money. I’m still in a much better place than I was three years ago.

I think Janis Joplin had a point when she sang: Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose….

I emerged from my divorce with my two kids, my three dogs, and my car. Almost everything else was lost. I make a fraction of what I used to live on. But, I AM free. Free to start a new life. Free to make my own plans. Free to do what *I* want to do. Free of him and all his baggage, all his lies, all his shit. Free to finally be with someone who genuinely loves me.

I won’t thank him, but I am thankful that he left me. I would have never left; I would have stayed until the very end, convincing myself that life in the gilded cage was perfectly fine and all that I desired. So here’s to three years of freedom. Three years since I got my second chance at life. Now that is worth celebrating!

The Pitfalls of Pain Shopping

You’re in for a treat. I knew before I even began that this was going to be long; this here is Part 1 of 5. You know what that means though, right? Five straight days of posts from me!

Hi, I’m Sam. I am a survivor.  I am a fighter. I am fearless. I am kickass. I know my worth. I don’t believe a bit of the bullshit that comes out of cheaters’ mouths, excusing their affairs. I believe there is no excuse for cheating on your partner. I believe the most important question isn’t, “How can I save this marriage?” or “What did I do wrong?”, but “What’s important to me in a marriage?” and  “What is acceptable to me?” I don’t do hurt; I do pissed off. I firmly believe in no contact. I know that cheaters are masters at image management. I know they suck.

I am also not immune to curiosity. I “investigate” social media on occasion. I have recently been pain shopping. I am a dumbass.

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I could easily blame this on my mom. She is the one who informed me CF and Harley had gotten married. I could have comfortably lived my life not knowing that. Who could resist sneaking a peak at the happy couple? Certainly not me!

It started with their wedding picture and making snarky remarks about the “happy couple” to friends. Harley looks terrible. She really does. Her wedding picture is maybe one step up from her most recent mugshot.

When she was chasing after my husband and finally landed him she was thinner than me. I’ll admit I was jealous. People complimented her on it. Now she looks like a beached whale. Seriously. I am not someone who usually picks on someone for their weight because God knows I’m not some size 2. But she has to have a good 30-40 pounds on me.

You’d think that would be enough. Yep, there they are. You’ve seen them. Let’s move on from this train wreck. Yes, he actually married the whore; true love won. Move along!

You would be wrong.

Rock Star announced recently that her dad had contacted her, asked her where she was going to school and if she needed anything. I guess he can afford to act like the big shot because he’s got almost an extra thousand dollars in his pocket each month now. He ended up sending her $200 so she could buy her laptop and then ordered the rest of her bedding for her and is having it sent here. What a hero! Cut off support for her the very moment she graduates and then swoop in to save her. What. A. Stand. Up. Guy.

This gets me to thinking about the possibility that he may become a part of her life once again. He and the whore may sneak up to campus and spend weekends with her. He might invite her down to his house so she can live like she used to. He could offer up the use of the pool in their neighborhood. See how nice and luxurious life could be with us?

I’m trying to wrap my mind around this possibility. It does not happen. I have come to the conclusion that I could accept her having a relationship with him. He is her father. But her? Over my dead body. I will not have that whore weaseling her way into my kids’ lives.

The other very real fear is that as he worms his way back into Rock Star’s life he could easily start to share his own version of what happened with her. His version, of course, is that I’m an evil, horrible person who deserved everything he did to me. I didn’t take care of him. I never loved him. We weren’t good for one another. I’m just a bitter, angry person who refuses to thank him for setting me free from the burden of being his wife.

I would like to think that Rock Star is smarter than that and that our bond is deeper than that. But money talks; you hear stories everyday of children who go with the parent that has the deepest pockets.

This is the background story to my pain shopping. Why I chose my next move I am not sure. I suppose I thought I could handle it; I thought I was prepared for anything and figured I could use it as snark in another post.

Oh, there will be snark. But there is also fury and anger and indignation. There has even been some doubt. Doubt that I was a good wife. Doubt that I was a good partner to him. Doubt that I treated him right.

Don’t do what I did! Stay off the social media! No contact is the way to peace and light. Checking up on them is pain shopping. It’s looking for ways to make you doubt yourself; you compare your behind the scenes to their highlight reel and come away feeling like crap in most cases. They are masters at image management; they will never admit when things go to shit. It’s all posed fantasy. I repeat: Do not do what I did!