Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I've been coasting along, sidestepping my fears, pretending they don't exist, living in denial. Acknowledging them with eyes squinting, sort of seeing but then pretending not to.

And then we broke up.

No details to share, except that we both have our own separate issues that are great enough to cause us to not be able to work right now. Which is so INCREDIBLY frustrating. Because I'm not sure two people have ever loved each other as much as Mr. Wonderful and I do. We have something amazing. But our separate issues cause our relationship to spin out of control on a regular basis.

This breakup may be just as devastating to me as my divorce. Because here I was, so close to perfection, to my dreams coming true FINALLY. Redemption after so many years of heartache.

And the biggest question in my head right now is Why on earth can't two people who love each other as much as we do just make it work?? Why can't I love you and you love me just be enough?? Why does it all have to be so complicated??

But it is. The realization on my end is that I do not know how to be Miss Independent in a relationship. On my own? No problem. Being single I have down. I don't know how to not slip into co-dependency when I have someone. I'm doing all the things that make me happy. But I'm not depending on them for my happiness. I'm depending on him. On his touch, on his time, on his words. If you had any idea how hard it was for me to just type that. It makes me sick to admit it. I know better. I could write a book on fucking co-dependency, with all the therapy I've done and the books I've read. How did I end up here...AGAIN.

So for now, my job is to figure that out. I honestly don't know if I know how to do it. I wonder if I was born this way. If my own addiction is to being in love. Do I have to be alone forever to be "sober"?

We've decided for now that no contact is best while we each work on ourselves. And because we do love each other and neither of us want anyone else, we are going to try couples therapy and see what happens.

This is so hard, because I don't have an emotion to replace the love like I did with my ex husband. I turned my love to hate, because he wronged me, and wronged my family. Mr. Wonderful has been nothing but more wonderful. He loves me, and I know it.

I have to believe in us. That someday this will all just be a piece of the big picture, the one that made me stronger, that made us stronger.

Until then I'll be here, sorting through it all over again. Ain't life funny (or not).

Monday, March 22, 2010


Why is life so hard?

I'm in a bit of a rough place at the moment and needed to write out my feelings. I had a fantastic time with Mr. Wonderful in Mexico. But my emotions are out of control. To the point that I am so downright angry with myself which makes me appear to be incredibly insane. He is so patient with me. I don't know how I got so lucky. I sometimes think it will truly be amazing if I don't push him away. Why am I so determined? Why am I so needy? Am I too damaged and jaded??

I had a very bad day with work today. A day where all of my insecurities were hit and hit hard. It shook me to my core. I haven't quite been able to recover. I wish I weren't so thin skinned. I know that it's what the people closest to me like about me. But it makes functioning in a service industry where I deal with jerks who need to take their own problems out on someone else very difficult at times.

My life is so full of high highs and low lows. I'm starting to think the problem isn't life, but me. Is something wrong with me? Should I be on medication or something? Should I even be attempting all of these things I'm attempting? The relationship, the business, the house, all of it? I feel like such a failure most of the time.

I'm very tired, was blessed with a carefree lifestyle for 4 days, and knocked over the head with reality today, so I'm down. I have an eye infection with no health insurance still. My mail was stolen from my mailbox with my child support check in it. I need sleep, I need distance, I need time. I'll be ok in the morning.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Fear

My relationship is going really well. We've been together 8 months this week. We connect daily. We understand each other. We make healthy compromises and have healthy conversations. I feel happy every single day.

I have two very close friends going through very rough marital situations. One is divorcing and the other is experiencing major issues. I feel so much for both of them. So much that I have cried for each of them on more than one occasion. It wasn't that long ago that I was in both situations. It hurts so much to watch someone you love going through the pain and darkness that I went through and feel so helpless to stop it.

Feeling that pain all over again is really scary, seeing one friend unable to eat and function and not want to get out of bed and remembering all too well how it feels. And then the fear starts to creep in again.

Would I ever want to be back here? NEVER. That pain is so unimaginably difficult. I honestly wondered most days how I would make it through alive or at least sane. But am I risking being there again by being in a relationship? You'd better believe it.

When my daughter declares to me that she LOVES Mr. Wonderful, for a moment I feel warm and happy about it, then the next minute the same fear begins to creep in. The woman who was burned so badly still exists in my heart and mind somewhere, and she is yelling ABORT ABORT.

It's easier to fight off now. The moment Mr. Wonderful walks in my door, I forget it all and have full confidence that he is different and worth the risk.

I also can affirm to myself every day that in this relationship, I am a whole healthy individual who can take care of herself and has maintained my own individuality and sense of self. Something I could never say in my marriage.

But it's still there. I wonder if it will ever go away.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I've Been Working My Ass Off

Actually, quite literally.

Last January, I dropped 30 lbs in like 2 months (ok so part of it was the stress of my father's surgery, but I was working on it too). I also discovered a love for yoga, and began working out again.

Through yoga I began to really cherish my body in a way I had never done before. I watched a documentary about food that changed the way I eat and feed my family forever (King of Corn). Watching my father's body fail him was also a constant reminder to guard my own with great care. Working out was different this time because my mindset was different. I was learning to take CARE of myself. Not to lose weight, or to meet some standard that was set by someone else, or trying to impress others. It was FOR ME.

Yoga connected me to my body by teaching me to listen to it, to really notice how I was feeling physically. I stopped eating sugars and processed foods because I could really feel how disgusting I felt afterwards. I LOVED the way it felt after I exercised.

I used to be a runner, but had to stop after having my children because of a really bad case of achilles tendonitis. One day this summer, I decided just to try it one more time. I found that if I did high intensity interval running for 20 minutes or less, the tendonitis would not flair up. I have no idea why...because I was 30 lbs lighter? Because of my the healthier foods? I don't know, but it worked. And I haven't stopped since.

Then I decided to take that a step further and try out weight lifting again, something else I had dabbled in as a teenager and a few years before (I follow this program). Talk about a new PASSION. I love so much the challenge of lifting heavier and harder each time I'm at the gym, the high that I feel between sets, the soreness that means my body is building new muscle and burning fat while I'm doing it. Mr. Wonderful is also into weightlifting and explained all the mechanics of it all to me and it's fascinating, it's very scientific and anyone can do it.

So since this summer, I've worked up to high intensity interval running 6 days a week, and working out with weights 3 of those days as well. It is truly the thing I am enjoying the most in my life right now besides friends and family. It has been utterly AMAZING to watch my body transform in the mirror. I was "thin" before, but now I look "athletic", and I've NEVER looked athletic in my life. My muscles have brought me these curves that I just love (*giggle*, it feels weird to say that) and the daily exercise high has been better than any therapy or anti-depressant that I have ever had.

So to celebrate this love of mine and all the hard work, I bought myself a couple of new swimsuits for Mexico next week (Mr. Wonderful and I are going for a few days). I have *NEVER* enjoyed swimsuit shopping, even as a thin person I hated how I looked. But this time was different...I put the work in, I invested in myself, and it paid off. So I'm happy to say that I will be on the beach in my swimsuit next week not feeling paranoid and fat or frumpy for the first time. And it feels REALLY good.

I might even do something I used to think people were insane for doing, which is to work out on my vacation. Because I can't imagine now going a single day without that high, and I want to feel *good* while I'm there.

You can change anything that you set your mind to. Think out of the box and find a way. If I can do it (single mom? business? three kids? limited budget?) so can you. Whatever "it" is. Whatever it is that's holding you back from feeling happy.

I am so happy :)


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Year Ago Today...

...I wrote this:

If you are the praying kind please keep my Dad in your prayers and thoughts tomorrow. I love him so much and although I know in my heart he will be ok, tomorrow will be the longest day of my life. And very difficult to see someone I look up to so much put in such a vulnerable, scary place.

A year ago today, I had dinner at my father's house, just around the corner from my own home. We all barely ate, he snuggled with my children, and although the fear was definetly there, I was confident that everything would go just like the doctors said they would. Maybe a little hearing loss in one ear. Maybe some balance issues. I still believed in God, and the fact that I had JUST lost my marriage and was in an enormous amount of stress and emotional turmoil meant that God knew I could not handle more, and that the "balance" of my life was so uneven that there was no way it could get worse.

And up until that point, I just knew that if a doctor says to you, "You may have hearing loss" it only meant "You might have hearing loss but probably not because I'm giving you worse case scenario." I believed in doctors. In the medical system in general. I had never heard of a doctor whose ego greatly exceeded his ability. But unfortunately, the man standing in front of us that next morning, the one whose hands I so blindly put my father's life in, was just that kind of doctor. Now I know they are out there. (although I hope that as soon as we are done with him, there will be one less in practice)

I didn't know that I was saying goodbye. Yes, my father is still alive. But when I visited him last week, he mouthed to me (he still can't speak) to "Drop me off at home". He hasn't walked in a year, he's connected to a feeding tube and a trach, and hasn't seen his home in a year. He is not really my father as I have known him my whole life. The man who was the first in the delivery room each time I had a baby, the first to hold each one. The man whose shoulder I cried on and offered ME comfort when he found out about HIS tumor. The man who walked me down the aisle, who taught me about music, walked everywhere with me on his shoulders as a little girl. His eyes are there. His love for me and my kids is there. His memories are still there. I do take comfort in that.

I tried to steer clear of the "a year ago's" until today, and once I let myself go there, it was like opening Pandora's box. My life a year ago was a hospital every single day and night, cafeteria food when I could get something down, friends bringing dinners, finding new coping mechanisms (my brother and I spent almost every evening the first few weeks at a bar), and just generally finding a way to get through each second. I've come a long way since then. Dad has not. It doesn't seem fair.

Dad is in a rehab center now. About 3 months ago he was at what must have been his 10th rehab center, developed another CDIFF infection (staph), started having seizures, and basically was a conscious vegetable for the next couple of months. All progress he had made was gone. He has been recovering at a specialty hospital all this time and they finally felt he was up to try rehab again. As I said, he is able to mouth sentences to me now, and they have him exercising. It's progress. But I've pretty much accepted that he will never be the same.

A year ago today marks the end of my optimism, my belief that life is fair and balanced, and that bad things don't happen to good people.

I miss life the way it was. My Dad was the one person in my life who I knew I could call up any day of the week, day or night, say I wanted to have lunch or dinner together, and no matter what he had planned he would drop them to see me. How lucky was I to have someone in my life that loved me like that, that wanted to be with me like that. I knew it too. And that's the one thing I'm grateful for. Dad and I both knew what a special relationship we had (and he had just as great of one with my brother, too). I have known my whole life that my Dad is the greatest man alive, not just a daughter's bias...many people feel that way and so many people who know him are also left scratching their heads wondering how something so tragic could happen to someone so great.

There is a huge hole in my heart that will never be filled by anyone else. And I will continue to hold out hope for some sort of medical miracle, somewhere deep inside where I can't access it until it happens.

A year ago today was the birth of this version of me. A little bitter, a lot stronger, and missing her Daddy so much that it hurts.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Gah, someone tell me the whole Ex husband thing gets easier at some point. Or maybe typical ex husbands aren't as dramatic and immature as mine.

Mr. Wonderful has been very slowly, one by one, getting to know my kids (as Mommy's friend). Two of them had soccer games this weekend and they have been asking me when he was going to come to one. We felt like now might be the right time for that. I emailed The Ex ahead of time to let him know he would be meeting Mr. W.

First of all, a little background. My parents divorced not that long ago, after 30 years of marriage. Within months of the divorce, both were remarried. The divorce was every bit as bitter and angry as one can be, and there were major feelings of resentment at both remarriages. SO. FUN.

My parents were able to avoid each other except for one venue: my son's baseball games, every weekend for months. I would be sitting happily, watching my son play, chatting it up with my friends, and then each set of parents/spouses would arrive and it's like a dark cloud moved in. Every second felt like an hour.

Nevermind that I wasn't even adjusted to the idea yet that after 30 years of my life, my parents weren't together, much less not speaking to each other. That was enough to try and wrap my mind around. One parent would make a well meaning gesture towards the opposite step parent and that would be greeted with a snide remark. Both parents strained for my attention. I literally made sure I was sitting equal distances between the two or they would be offended. I made sure I was splitting my conversation up equally. My Dad's wife loved to make mean comments about my mother within her earshot and I just wanted to DIE and also slap her at the same time (but would risk hurting my Dad that way)

After some time, when they would show up, I would get up and walk to the baselines to watch the game. I just quit trying. I loved my son's games, and they ruined it for me.

So, that being said, there was good reason that I was so incredibly anxious about these two meeting. I knew my ex would act aloof and distant. It's his defense mechanism. Mr. Wonderful is polite and mature and I knew I would never have to worry about him starting anything.

My ex brought his ENTIRE EXTENDED FAMILY. I guess as a buffer??? Who knows. We walked up and as I was running through in my head how to introduce the two of them, Mr. W walked right over to my ex, put his hand on his shoulder, extended his hand and introduced himself. The Ex looked surprised, barely said a word back, turned around and ignored us the rest of the game. Really, not too bad.

Then, at the second game, my mother started acting a little weird. She hates my ex and I guess was trying to "rub it in"?? And made big loud statements to Mr. W about "let's get together soon" and gave him big hugs and laughed loudly at his jokes. My youngest (who LOVES Mr. Wonderful) started asking him to play and jumping to him from the bleachers and laying her head on his shoulder. No one said anything but you could feel the stares and the tension from The Ex and his extended family.

After the game was over, I took the kids over to The Ex's car, which was parked a good two rows away. He got them in as Mr. W and I walked back to my car. We had driven separately and stood at my car for awhile talking about how things had gone. I noticed The Ex drive off so we got a little more snuggly. After 10 minutes or so, Mr W looked over and saw that The Ex had come back, a row away on the opposite side of us now. They made eye contact, and The Ex drove off. Weird enough, then 10 minutes later The Ex shows up on the road directly behind the both of us. Stalking maybe??

I hope not. But as I told Mr. W, The Ex gets very emotional over things, and I could see him seeing us together the first time as a big trigger for him. He loses control of his boundaries and goes a little nutty, like he did when he first found out I was seeing someone. I hope that was the extent of it and that it's over now.

I wish so much that The Ex and I were more amicable. We are civil. But I HATE HATE HATE all this tension. I hope it was just the first time and that over time things will change.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I've Never Been Happy

All of my life, since the time I was around 12 years old, I have suffered from some degree of depression.

Granted. My life has been kinda hard to deal with. Major trauma and abuse as a pre-teen, the aftermath as a teen, the loss of my first child, a debilitating illness, the divorce of my parents, my own tumultuous marriage and divorce, and my father's brain tumor and botched surgery. All before my 33rd birthday. I'm sure those things have not helped.

It's rare that I've been in that childlike state of happiness for a good period of time. But it dawned on me the other day that I haven't slept all day lately. I'm not doing yo-yo's on the scale. I haven't felt the overwhelming sadness that makes days seem dark and endless.

For a good long while now, I've been unlocking the keys to my own happiness. And paying attention. And using them. CONSISTENTLY.

I have normal bouts of feeling overwhelmed, or sometimes I feel sad about certain things. But not to the degree as in the past, where I felt like life was pointless and I was useless. Not the all-encompassing sadness that makes life feel gray and ugly.

Reading the earliest posts to this blog gives a window into the depression I suffered with. I was conflicted, angry, felt that life was totally unfair and I was infuriated at the lack of justice I have received over my life, and why no one could help me, even though they wanted to.

PLEASE, someone just FIX THIS

But I found, over the past year or so, what I believe to be the secret to this peace that has overcome me.

I quit waiting for "others" to fix me. I stopped looking outside of myself for the answers, for the peace, for the happiness, for the relief. I stopped asking WHY ME. I learned that life is random, for no reason. Some people are dealt shit cards while others seemingly have it easy. Being angry over it is a waste of energy and slows down the recovery. I also learned that as bad as my life seems to me at times, I'd never want to trade with anyone else. Ever.

I stopped looking outside of myself for completion. The answer has always been right here. I began taking care of myself, in every sense. I'm my own cheerleader, caretaker, and I even know how to take myself out on a date.

The results have been pretty astounding. I don't recognize the person I was a year ago, and even less 2 or more years ago. Resentful. Angry. Sad. Depressed. Overweight and unhealthy. Just trying to get by. Hoping my children's lives turned out better than mine, because mine was seemingly destined for failure and misery.

I've transformed my body into something I feel I am worthy of. One that feels strong all day every day, one that I'm comfortable in, one that will give me the best chance of a long and healthy life with my family. This makes me happy.

I've rediscovered my passion for all things music. I've tapped into the joy and energy that lives at live shows and I take it with me. I've fallen in love, over and over again, just by discovering new songs and music. This makes me happy.

I've invested in friendships and relationships with people who make me laugh, who support me, who have my back, and bring constant fun and joy into my life. This makes me happy.

I do my best, each and every day, to be the best mother I can be, and to enjoy every second with my babies. The four of us are a team and have so much fun together. This makes me happy.

It's about choices, and action. It's about new perspectives. It's about letting things go. It's about taking chances. It's about stretching limits. It's about thinking outside of the box.

Somehow, something clicked, and I learned how to meet my own needs, fill up my own soul, be HAPPY.