Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

I was so sad to hear of the passing of Robin Williams. It’s a real tragedy that such talent has now left us. It’s equally tragic that the manner of his death was indicative of his drowning in sorrow and despair.

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So many people have such strong feelings of suicide. People all over Facebook are debating and arguing over his suicide. Sometimes, I just wish people would shut the fuck up. It’s okay to have an opinion but sometimes your opinion is best left unsaid. There is a time and a place for everything. Speaking out against the selfishness of suicide right after someone does it is soooo unclassy.

I have an opinion just like all the other assholes out here… I just choose to keep it mostly to myself as opposed to, say, typing it all out on Robin Williams’  loved ones’ Twitter or Instagram or Facebook accounts. What a bunch of dicks those people who did that are. Seriously.

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So, I’m not going to say what my exact opinion was of this tragic incident. But I do want to share with you my fears about suicide as it pertains to people in my life with bipolar disorder.

This is my worst fear. It is something I have worried about for years and years. I have acquaintances who have had to walk that path of being a casualty of suicide. It’s so devastating and life changing. It can thrust the ones left behind into a dark abyss of depression.

As the parent and former spouse and close friend of bipolar people… as someone who has seen what the extreme depths of depression can do to an average ordinary person… I have a great phobia of any one of these past or present people suddenly deciding to take their own life. What’s even scarier for me is that there is probably nothing I can do to stop it if they choose that path at some point.

My ex-husband will call me a damn liar, I’m sure, but I worried about that constantly during my separation with him. I felt I was fueling his psychotic behavior by continuing to speak with him. He was so distraught and desperate. He was being completely irrational. My solution – wrong as it was – was to stop being emotional around him. To just stop my end of the madness in hopes that it would stop his.

It didn’t. He just became even more irrational and ended up thinking I was a complete bitch. Looking back, I wish I had done things differently. But there’s nothing I can do about that now. I am just so glad that he has found someone that makes him happy again. I am so glad he never hurt himself and that he was able t find his light again.

My son has the disorder worse than my ex-husband does, so I really fear for his life as he gets older and the disease progresses unmedicated. I worry that he will go out and do something irreversibly wrong and then think that he has no way out. I worry that as he gets older and his bipolar episodes become more prevalent that he will sink into deep depressions that will be hard to lift him out from.

One of my best friends also has bipolar disorder. I actually didn’t even speak with her for about a year because her disorder became so bad that she became delusional. It was safer for her and me for me to stay away. Her husband actually had to have her committed to a mental ward (which is actually very hard to do when people are over the age of 18 – he had to get a court order) due to hallucinations and delusional actions.

This friend would get so depressed that she wouldn’t leave her house for months. I would ask her to go do things and she would say yes and then cancel at the last minute. Or, she would cry at the thought of leaving the home. It was a major low depression doing that.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Magnet, SVP05-0126
I saw an interview with Robin Williams in the mid ’90’s. He had admitted to being bipolar. I remember it well because my ex-husband was diagnosed at around the same time I came across the interview.

Even after all the bullshit I went through with my ex-husband, I would never want him to die. And I especially would not want him to commit suicide and leave my children without their funnest parent. Ever.

I worry constantly about my son. He has had friends and people he went to school with who have committed suicide. I am thankful that his opinion is genuinely one of disbelief that they did this. However, I know from past experiences with him that he could very well make a bad decision like that in his future. It terrifies me.

I am thankful that my friend has a husband who has lived with and cared for his wife since she was 15 years old and couldn’t imagine his life without her… the good and the bad. He is obviously a saint and deserves every good thing in life. I couldn’t hack it and got oyt of the situation. He stands strong like a warrior through it all to make sure my friend remains safe. I still worry about her, though. He can’t be there 24/7. She is another one that could make an irrational split second decision that would forever change all who know her.

This is my worst fear. I’m sure that the devastation I can only imagine would happen is actually probably 10 times worse for the loved ones that have actually been victims of the aftermath of suicide.

I wish I could shield each of these people that I know, who suffer from the debilitating effects of the major depressive state that they swing down to after having a manic episode, from any suicidal thoughts for the rest of their lives. I know I can’t shield them from it. All I can do is be there if they need me. Sometimes, it’s the being there that can make all the difference for some people… for others, I can’t be so sure that anything could stop them.

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PEACE!!!

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I can’t believe how many emails, messages, and comments were left for me after my last post on my face plant after divorcing my husband of almost 20 years. I am so moved by all of your stories of strength and equally embarrassing face plants. I feel surrounded by so many strong and beautiful souls! 🙂

I also received so many questions… I tried to reply to everyone but some questions kept coming up over and over again so I didn’t answer them all. I just mulled them over and decided to post my answers to reach as many of you in one shot as I could. Hopefully, I don’t offend anyone. (Screw that… I’m sure I will…)

The most often asked question was for me to tell my story. I will give you the short version here for time’s sake:

I met my ex-husband when I was 14 years old. We dated for four years through high school and I was married to him shortly after high school. I was 4 months pregnant at the time. I should have known what I was getting into… he cheated on me all through high school and had a major affair just 2 months prior to getting married. 😐

(I KNOW!!!!)

So, anyway… we went on… had two children, lived our super stressful lives… Along the way, we moved several times. We were never really stable but I thought we were happy. We ran a business together that was extremely stressful for me but was what he wanted and he was good at it and loved it. We had a stable home, two great kids, a dog, a cat, a boat, and two cars. Living the dream…

Then, one day, 11 years later, he decided he didn’t love me anymore. A month later, he left me. Another month later, much to my relief, he came home. We revamped our lives, moved again, and started over. Five years later, he began another affair while I was at my mother’s bedside as she passed away from breast cancer. The affair lasted a year. I was in shock when he confessed and didn’t know what in the fuck to do. I let him stay. I stayed. (I was so stupid.) We continued on and tried to rebuild.

In 2007, my son graduated high school. I saw pictures of myself at his graduation party. I was the fattest I have ever been and I looked miserable. And I was. I started reading self help books and blogs online. I started losing some weight. I started to care about myself again. I began educating myself on how to take care of me. I began seeing everything in a different light. The only redeeming reason that I could think of to stay in my marriage at that point was our family (HIS family… not mine… as I later realized…).

By the beginning of 2008, I began to start freaking myself out. I knew the signs now of the precursors of my ex-husband’s infidelity. He began showing signs of it again. Little things. Not taking his meds for his bipolar disorder, taking me for granted, being selfish with our finances, treating me like I was always the bad guy… I assumed that pretty soon he would start another affair. He wasn’t yet. And I know it was wrong to assume… but I did. I talked myself into it. I just knew I was in for it… I was convinced.

By the time he had a heart attack in the Spring, I was done… I knew that I was just done… When I look back now, I realize I was done when he confessed to the second affair. I just was not a strong enough person to recognize it at the time. 😕 Aaaannnd… I really, really, REALLY loved my family… (aka HIS family… not mine… once again… duh.)

This man, who had devastated me by that time TWICE in my lifetime, was still someone I would have called my best friend. I realized I needed to tell him how I was feeling. Did that. He began acting super crazy after that. Paranoia on his part just settled in.

He was so emotional… like super freaky emotional… at the thought of me not being with him that I just shut down. Completely. I couldn’t handle his super emotional-ness, so I went the other direction… I became non-emotional. Now, if you know me, this is NOT me. At all. I am usually the super emotional freak. I just flaked out. I could not handle it.

Anyway, his super emotional paranoia caused him to leave the home. I told him before he left that he should not leave and that if he did I would not ask him back. He left. I didn’t ask him back. (I know I confused some people by saying in my post that I decided to separate… I feel like it was my choice because I didn’t ask him back.) It was all downhill from there…

All that followed was Jerry Springer shit. I heard a barrage of confessions on his and other women’s parts… stories of past indiscretions on his part… some in the first year of our marriage…  I, myself, entered into a rebound relationship with an ex-childhood boyfriend that was stupid and misguided. (He was a lying asshole at the end of the day…) I found out who my real friends were… two. My ex started just making up random stories about me that were completely fabricated but everyone thought they were true. I lost almost my entire family… my daughter was the only one who had my back. My husband fought me tooth and nail during a divorce with no real assets or anything just so he could have some kind of power trip.

I did try once to reconcile after separation. He came home and lived with me. I felt suffocated. He knew I had been seeing this ex-boyfriend even though I was not seeing him at all during the reconciliation. Yet, he was suspicious of everything I did. I had to sneak around to even just see friends. (Stupidity on my part… I should have told him to fuck off and leave me alone…) I found out he came home and had lied to me about his prior living situation (and romantic involvement with a roommate, apparently). He finally violently blew up at me and it was over. Done.

My divorce took 2 years to complete. We had no assets we were fighting over. His dispute was a freaking life insurance policy that he couldn’t afford and has probably lapsed. I just wanted my kids to be able to afford to bury him if need be in the future. Now they’ll have to foot the bill. He hired a very expensive attorney. My legal fees went from $600 (which would have paid for both of us had he been amicable) to over $2000. I realize that’s cheap by city standards but it’s alot of money to me. He was court ordered to pay $600 of my legal fees but he has never paid it. Oh well.

So that’s my story of the divorce. That’s a short version, obviously. So much more went on. My long time readers and EPers know what I went through. As soon as he left, I made a series of horrible decisions. I was an emotional train wreck for about a year to 18 months before I started pulling myself together. This was the time it took me to find myself.

I’m going to now answer the top 5 questions people asked me repeatedly in emails and messages and comments since my face plant post:

1. Weren’t you scared to be alone?

Well, yes. Yes, I was. Which is why I immediately dropped into a rebound relationship. Mistake numero UNO. You should learn from my mistakes, but I know you won’t. 😉 That’s okay.

I did not really realize how incredibly alone I was going to be. You can kind of imagine it for yourself, but believe me when I tell you, take that times 10. I felt so incredibly alone. I lost everything and everyone in my life. My son hated me. My daughter was a Senior in high school. She was supportive but at that self-absorbed age. My extended family… well, I didn’t really have a family myself at that point… my unemotional father and my brother. My husband’s family virtually disappeared. Our friends didn’t want to take sides… such a lonely time…

During this time, I tried to nuture an untrue rebound relationship out of desperation. That was a big part of my FACE PLANT. I also went out and partied like a college student with money. 😆 I never went to college or had any “college” years so I guess it was a way of making up for lost time… and a way to make me feel like I wasn’t really alone… but I was.

BUT… let me say this… You WILL come out of this phase. Hopefully, it will last for less time than mine did… But I assure you that you WILL emerge from this loneliness. You just really have to love yourself enough to know that you are worthy of someone’s company. Spend time with friends that support you. I had two friends who supported me. I practically lived at their homes. Join a meet up group or two. I met some pretty great people through those and it gave me something to do. Say YES to every invitation to go out. Don’t be afraid to experience new things and places and things to do. Stay busy!

One morning, I woke up in my bed, all alone, and thought… I slept great, I feel great, and shit… I look pretty damn good, too! 😀 I didn’t wake up feeling alone and lonely and full of despair at what I had done… it was all smooth sailing from there… that was May 10, 2010. Almost two years from my date of separation… it’s a process.

2. How did your kids take it? (aka Why didn’t you stay for the kids?)

First and foremost, I am a staunch believer that staying for the kids is STUPID. It’s like one of the most moronic things ever. Ever. Because children pick up on tensions and unloving actions. And then they just mimic that later in life. I am not a fan.

Secondly, my kids were grown (17 and 21 years old) and I thought they could handle it. I was wrong. They handled it better when they were younger and their dad left me for another woman… As adults, they were much less “okay” with it. I think this has alot to do with the parents…

Look, I would have loved an amicable split and remaining best of friends with my ex. Seriously. Every day of my life I wish that is what had happened. It is not. He is incredibly bitter and angry, even to this day. He has turned into his father which I never thought I would see. Those TV shows and movies showing exes having nice divorces are just LYING TO YOU! 😡

But I digress… My son was very bitter and spent the next couple of years in a bipolar spin of sorts. He was constantly breaking down into a poor me state… I think if he didn’t have bipolar disorder this would have went down much differently but that is not my reality… he lost it. Other bipolar people tell me that he probably would have lost it anyway on his own… He was partying too hard and failing at college. He had broken up with his high school sweetheart shortly after my separation. He was unmedicated and I couldn’t force him to take meds since he was now an “adult”.

My daughter was on the opposite spectrum. She was supportive but admitted that she was sad that we were divorcing. She understood, though. That’s because she saw alot more of my anguish than my son did during the years. My daughter is a homebody. She didn’t go out with friends to play or have much of a social life in high school. She was always home. She saw some of the things that happened. She experienced the ex-husband’s emotional outbursts with me and several even without me. She was witness to many scary things. So I think she understood, but was obviously sad.

Today, I feel my kids are doing fine. My daughter has her regular everyday twentysomething moments but I feel she is a very strong, stable, independent woman. I am super proud of her. She does tend to fall in my footsteps in terms of the men she picks for herself, but I am happy she is getting those mistakes out of the way NOW. I would hate for her to be almost 40 years old to figure it out.

My son… well, his bipolar disorder limits his maturity level. Even without the divorce, I think he would still probably blame me for all his problems. I chalk that up to bipolar and selfishness… because it’s been almost 6 years now… and even his own friends think he is ridiculous sometimes. And almost all of them have divorced parents…

Your kids will be okay. Someday. All I can tell you is to just be open and present in your children’s lives. Always. Don’t stop. Always be the bigger person and be willing to talk to them about anything. And always answer their questions truthfully. I have always done that and I think my kids are better for it. Do NOT be the parent that is so bitter that you make an ass of yourself trying to avoid your ex. Been there, done that… and it wasn’t me that looked like the ass…

3. Do you regret the divorce?

I used to. I actually had a time where I felt bad about everything that had transpired and sent a letter of apology to my ex. I even contemplated asking him to come home, but I refrained, figuring he would see between the lines of my apology and just do it. Thank goodness he did not.

I am almost 6 years post separation… I have never been happier in my whole life. I have a whole new life now and it’s a fucking AWESOME life! I now can honestly say that the only thing I regret is not leaving my ex-husband sooner. You will eventually get there, too, as long as you make the right choices for yourself eventually. Be true to you and love yourself. I know that sounds very cliche but I am serious.

4. I am (enter derogatory term here… fat/ugly/unemployed/stupid/etc). No one else will ever love me.

This isn’t really a question, but I felt like I had to address it… STOP. Seriously, just stop. You need to take your time and assess the situation and be honest with yourself. Everyone has faults. Everyone. If self esteem is an issue, you need to get that in order FIRST. Fair warning, once you start gaining self esteem, your tolerance level for mistreatment will be NIL, so be prepared…

At some point, you have to own the fact that you are what you are making yourself to be. Are you fat? Start exercising and dieting. Are you ugly? Start finding the great features about you and enhancing them. Are you stupid? Pick up a book, enlighten yourself! Are you feeling helpless and unemployed? Get into a training program, find any job possible, go back to school…

Be completely honest with yourself and how you feel about yourself. I highly recommend journaling or blogging. That’s what I did… although I am not a private person… Journaling is private, though, and allows you to look back and reflect on stupid shit you said about yourself. Once you have figured out what you hate about yourself, work to abolish those items on the list one by one.

I guarantee you that you will one day wake up EMPOWERED by your own courage and intelligence and beauty. And I hope that it makes you STRONG. It’s a really rough world out there… but no one has the authority to make you feel second rate… you allow that. So stop it. Right fucking now. And DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

5. How did you “get back out there”? (The “I’m scared to date” and “I’ll be alone forever” question)

This is my cautionary tale. Don’t do as I did…

By the time I separated, I was so done with my marriage. I had spent about 3 years living in utter regret and I was over it. I had an ex-boyfriend that heard I was separated right away and contacted me. I jumped in feet first and took off running. HUGE MISTAKE! Then, I proceeded to try dating and went out with a series of really shitty dates. So much fun. Not. 😐

The fact of the matter is, if you have been married a long ass time, you need time to be by yourself and learn to enjoy being alone, waking up alone, loving yourself wholly before being able to find genuine interest in other people. It truly was not until I was able to do this that I was actually worthy of being loved by someone else again.

Don’t skip steps… don’t jump in to anything… work on yourself first and love just being you… once you do that, THEN jump in. I didn’t do that. I jumped into the first shit pot that came along.

When I was truly ready, I started becoming more socially active (sometimes without alcohol 😆 ). I went out with the meet up groups to get some social interaction. I said yes to every social invitation. I made an effort to make new friends and try new things. And that’s how I met my husband…

I like to think that my new found confidence and dazzling personality were what drew him in. The fact of the matter is, we met on an online dating site, realized we went to the same high school (albeit different crowds and years), and decided we were not each other’s type… but we both had similar interests and just decided to hang out as friends. That’s where I just assume that I won him over, because I was not his type at all… he always went for the skinny blond chicks with no personality. 😉

You will find someone if you want to… there are single men everywhere… but I suggest you love yourself enough to really not give a shit if you end up alone forever before “getting back out there”. It really is true that you find love when you aren’t even really looking. Just be open enough to accept it. You are worthy of someone amazing coming into your life and loving you…

 

Alrighty… I know this post was super long… if you read through all that crap, you are either really a super fan or you are really hurting and needed it. Either way, take from it what you can and leave the rest. Don’t let anybody tell you how to live your life.

Everyone is unique in their emotional journey in this life. All I can do is let you into my personal journey as a warning of what NOT to do, but we all know you will just go do whatever it is you want to do. You will make mistakes along the way. It’s okay. Really. It’s all okay. You’ll make it through. And you’ll be smarter, more beautiful, and better than you ever imagined. I promise.

Much love.

PEACE!!!

I thought this was funny…

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As many of you know, my separation and divorce was hardly a graceful exit on my part. In fact, I pretty much face planted right out of the gate.

I mean it’s pretty funny now, but at the time, I was a hot mess. I don’t know what I was thinking when I first got separated. I am just going to claim insanity. But I think all women who separate after being married a long time (almost 20 years!) go through a bit of insanity at first.

Basically, when I decided to separate, I jumped head first. I was terrified and excited all at the same time. All of a sudden, I was free to do anything and everything I always wanted to do. And, of course, the very first thing I did was face plant myself into a fucking moron. 😆

Live and Learn!

I guess now I look back on those first few months the same way I look back on my junior high years… I can’t believe how stupid, insane, wreckless, scared, embarrassing, and awkward I was but I lived through it. I got past it. I learned who I wanted to be and became that.

I live in a very small community and many people know my history. Word of mouth (aka Gossip) travels fast and for years and years here. You would not believe the number of times people… women… distraught women… are “referred” to me when their husband or longtime partner cheats on them.

Yes. I am serious. This happens. Complete strangers get told about the years upon years that I endured with infidelity, and in their panic and desperation, they actually seek me out for advice. I know. Its weird.

The first couple of times this happened to me I felt very uncomfortable and uneasy. I mean, I didn’t know these people and they are telling me intimate details of their relationships. Its weird!

But now, I am much more at ease… maybe all that freaking “empathy” training at work is helping now… I have a whole spiel I go through with these poor broken souls.

And if, at the end of the day, they decide to leave the situation or get left, I make sure to tell them all the gory details of my face plant.

And they never listen… 😆 Oh well. I try.

But that’s okay. I don’t judge. People do stupid shit all the time and I am no exception. I actually feel that telling my story after separation is more of a way to tell these brave people that its okay to make a complete ass of yourself early on in your separation…

Making mistakes is the only way to find out who you want to be… and it takes a super brave person to live through that awkward time in life and come out smarter…

There’s definitely a couple that have turned the wrong way and have landed themselves in a perpetual state of Jerry Springer land, but I have seen a few women who are absolutely the strongest, most beautiful, and smartest women (and at least 2 men!) emerge from the depths of hell.
Such sad memories and super embarrassing life lessons. Totally worth it though.

And to all you long time readers, EPers, and my dear friends… thank you for letting me make an ass out of myself but still loving me anyway. 😉

PEACE!!!

So, my super hot husband had to go on a business trip and I have been on my own for a couple of days. I really, really, REALLY do not see why a majority of my Stay-At-Home-Mom friends get so freaking defensive when people say they have it easy… they do. And, as many of you are well aware, my number one pet peeve in life is people who lie to themselves.

Look, I’m not saying motherhood isn’t hard. It is! I just think that it’s way harder when you have to add 8 hours of work outside of the home to it. I mean, COME ON! This is the life!

I am able to cook and clean and get everything done that I want to in the time frame that I want to! I have not once had to jerry rig something until I find time to do it right (which is usually never). I have cooked a full 4 course meal today AND fed my toddler breakfast and lunch on an actual plate BOTH times. No treat cups of cereal! I spent a majority of my morning trying to potty train my 21 month old unsuccessfully while my adolescent dog kept trying to chew up preschool books… and I totally did not freak out. This is major progress.

I attribute my wonderful day to not having to worry about work. If I had to do this every day of my life, I would not complain or be defensive about my “worth”. Ever. I seriously now believe that stay at home moms must think all of us other working moms are just complete morons. Because, really… your arguments that you work just as hard as working moms… yeah, not convincing me anymore… I call BULLSHIT.

I hate the fact that I have to work. I would LOVE to do this — cook, clean, and teach a little guy to pee — every day of my life. My job is so freaking stressful but yet so very necessary for maintaining my “responsible adult” image.

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I’m thinking I already posted about this a couple of years ago. Maybe this should be my once a year rant I go on. But then I would be totally cutting my ex-husband from my life and I need that rage to keep my head in the game of life. 😆 Speaking of which…

I don’t know if this is true or not because the source is sketchy but someone told me my ex tried to “make nice” with the husband of the woman he last had an extended affair with. Apparently, he was rebuffed, but… wow. At first, I thought, what in the hell was he thinking? If you screw some dude’s wife, he doesn’t want to talk to you. Ever. Period.

My second thought was… you can make nice with someone you despised and basically destroyed but you can’t be cordial with me… the woman you have known since you were 15 years old and had your back for like ever. Some people just do not have their priorities straight. Which is highly annoying when you know they are old enough to know better.

I was telling someone who is close to my ex-husband that i really regretted the way everything went down because I missed his friendship. They were aghast and told me to quit feeling that way because my ex could give a fuck less about me. All the magic of how I felt about our past relationship is not felt in any way whatsoever by him.

When my son told my ex that I was pregnant with my now husband’s baby, my ex told my son that now he could no longer reunite with me. Really? Like really, really? Douche.

So, I’m not gonna lie… I totally thought about reuniting with him at one time… before I met my current husband… I was lonely and deep in regret and generally feeling sorry for myself. That didn’t last long… and knowing that he feels so little about me makes me so glad I snapped out of that quickly.

Lately, I have really grown even closer to my husband than I ever felt previously. I think our first year or two was our awkward getting used to each other while being totally in teenage love phase. Then we kind of hit a lull and were coasting for a minute. Now, it feels like we are in the period of just realizing how incredibly lucky we are to have found one another.

It seems like we only really feel at ease and peaceful when we are together. I can honestly say that I have never ever felt AT EASE or PEACEFUL with any other person in my life. That’s how I know I made all the right choices to get to where I am at right now. I feel super blessed and happy.

I would be super DUPER blessed if someone would just give me a large inheritance so I wouldn’t have to work anymore. Get out yer pocketbooks and wallets! Momma needs some me time! 😉

PEACE!!!