Sorry to have been MIA lately. Life, ya know?
Lately Mr. Wonderful and I have been working a lot on the dynamic and boundaries with the ex, which are both two totally opposite things. I've made it my goal since Day 1 to try and have a good relationship with my ex husband so that my children are comfortable around us and never feel tension. I was an adult when my parents divorced and good lord, they made it SO incredibly impossible to be around the both of them at the same time. The guilt and the silence and the snide remarks and the tension you could cut with a knife. It never got easier and I was an adult who should be able to handle it, so I am in no way ever going to be responsible for putting my kids through the same thing.
My ex has been cold to me since he found out that I was dating Mr. W a year and a half ago. Yes, he's the one who cheated on me, then I took him back, then he did it again...I gave him every opportunity and chance and grace one could give another human and he fucked me over anyways. So why *he* was so shocked that I would move on well over a year after him leaving is beyond me, and why *he* would be so angry at *ME* for moving on at all is even further beyond my realm of comprehension. But he always is and is always cold in front of them. With my therapist's help we've made several strides towards being cordial but good God, it has not been easy.
On the other hand, Mr. Wonderful is in the intense process of bonding with these three children whom he is step-parenting, and we have been also working on setting up boundaries with my ex. Issues like, should their Dad be able to pick them up on nights that aren't his just because? Should he still be taking the kids to school everyday when Mr. Wonderful would like the chance to take them on our mornings?
And just when I think that it all can't get anymore intense, my son had a concert at his school tonight that every single parent and grandparent ended up coming to. So all at once, I had my mom and dad in the same room, their current spouses who both hate the exes, my mother desperate for my attention over my stepmother, my stepmother who always makes me feel like she's mad at me no matter what I do and also hates my mother, my Dad who is now in a wheelchair and completely disabled and not speaking after his brain tumor operation 2 years ago, my kids who are terrified of my dad and the situation, my fiance and my ex husband, my fiance's mother who is trying to set up a relationship with the kids and my fiance who is worried about her, my ex husband coming over to speak to my parents before my fiance is able to and making a big show about hugging them, and then my fiance who has just learned that he'll be introduced to our son's teachers for the first time along with my ex as a parent. Gah my heart races just typing it all down again. I don't think I took one breath through the entire concert.
When I get really stressed out, like Dad-in-hospital or marriage-falling-apart type stress I get low grade fevers and chills. I always think I'm coming down with something. Tonight this happened and when I got to the event it wasn't hard to figure out why. I feel like I've got every single one of these balls in the air and it is my job to keep them all going. The kids need me to keep everything smooth between their dad and stepdad, to keep them reassured about my dad, to keep everything smooth between my parents and their spouses. My future husband needs me to reassure him that he will be treated equally as a parent, that his mom will feel included as a grandparent. My family needs me and I need for all of them to be happy so that *I* can be happy.
I just wish that everyone being happy didn't involve me constantly walking a balance beam with a hundred balls in the air.
*Shrug* Such is life, I suppose.