Tuesday, November 28, 2017

"I've got issues, but you got 'em too."

Maintaining relationships - even friendships - take a fair amount of work.

Whether it be calling, texting, writing emails or even letters -- all of those things typically happen on a semi-regular basis in order for the people involved in those "relationships" to feel loved, appreciated, and valued.

I'll be the first to admit that I've been a craptastic friend at times.  But to the few true friends that I have now - presently - I've tried my hardest to maintain those connections and friendships.

- And for the most part, those efforts put in by me have been matched - if not completely exceeded - by the other party.

Don't get me wrong, there are those few special friendships where you can go ridiculously long amounts of time without talking or seeing each other, and then just pick up right where you left off.  I have maybe 2 or 3 long-time friendships like that.

Anyhoo, that's not what this particular entry is about, per se...

It's more about marriage, divorce, and dating... the wretched transition to one or the other.

I was filling out employment paperwork the other day for another job I'm picking up for the holidays.  The standard stuff.  Name, address, social security, blah-blah-blah.

Then they ask who your emergency contact is...

If that question doesn't instill immediate panic into your heart, I'm assuming you're happily married or have supportive, reliable family near by.

Before 8 years ago, I believe my former mother-in-law was listed as mine. -  Or my first former husband - because we shared custody of a child together.

- Eventually, I began putting several names and numbers of people I felt would come to my aid should an emergency arise:  Dianne, Heather, Larry, Karla, Jen.

But I digress...  the form asked for a current emergency contact.

I didn't instinctively list one.

I went through my mental list - person by person.

I fought with myself as to why I chose the person I chose.  - That person being Alan...  Xander's dad.

It wasn't so much the act of still selecting him as my "Person" - but the part that came after.

They asked what their relation to you is.

As I thought to myself, I selected the drop down box to see what my options were.  - And I'll be darned if  "Ex-Spouse" wasn't one of the options to select.

I don't know why, but that has been sitting so heavily with me as of late.

I remember when I was still married and fighting to make it work.  I would hear all the stories from my younger coworkers about dating and things like that.  My response would always be, "Man, I'm so glad I'm married and don't have to deal with that garbage."

But now, here I am...  just another scared, little girl with major abandonment issues, severe daddy issues, and an exuberant amount of emotional baggage looking for some glimmer of hope that my "person" is out there.  - That one person who understands your issues, can identify with them, and be sensitive to them without being a complete douche.

 Life is a constant transformation.  I can't get over how much I've done and accomplished in just one year's time.  But even despite those triumphant victories, I'm still very much a royal mess of a girl just trying to survive for herself and for her 2 kids.

Divorce sucks.  - But even in the constant state of worry, panic and anxiousness I'm in on a daily basis, trying to do all of this on my own, I know I'd rather be mildly stressed out and unhappy completely by myself than unhappy in a mediocre marriage or relationship that doesn't fit where my life and goals are heading.

The truth is out there.  I believe.

- But until that truth presents itself to me, I'll just be over here drinking bottles of wine and spilling my feelings out via my personal blog -  all by myself while the kids are in bed and the dogs are sprawled out and snoring beside me.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

"I'm Alive. You took it all, but I'm still breathing."

I'm alive. 

And that says something.

Something HUGE.

It means I survived one of the hardest, most difficult years of my life. 

Today will be my first Thanksgiving in 8 years without my former husband or his family.  He'll be picking Xander up around 1pm today. 

It wasn't my job to make the turkey this year. 

I have to make one casserole to take to Dianne's house for Thanksgiving dinner later this afternoon.

- Then I have to head to the mall to work.

I've split holidays with Emily's father for as long as I can remember, but this time around with Xander, it just feels different. 

I don't think anyone goes into marriage thinking it's going to fail.

- But looking back on things and reflecting, I saw issues that started within a few months after we married.  - Issues I tried to overlook and make work, knowing deep down that those qualities and characteristics weren't going to fly long-term with me.

All in all, I didn't want this for my life. 

But the truth is, I didn't want that for my life either.  "That" being: A mediocre, unfulfilling marriage where I felt unappreciated, unheard and unloved much of the time.

I've spent much of the past year dissecting and analyzing myself. 

I think I've finally made peace - only fairly recently - with the fact that my marriage failed.  Even though I'm the one that chose to leave, I still struggled everyday with that decision.

Much of this past year has been spent in survival mode.  I threw myself into my kids and work.  Not taking any time for myself.  I just wanted to be okay not only for my kids but for me, too. 

So even though today is a bit of an adjustment for me, and I am feeling dumpy about not being able to be with my kids and my former family of in-laws whom I miss and still love dearly, I'm thankful for today. 

I'm thankful for my other family of former in-laws who are still very much family to me. 

I'm thankful for these early morning hours that I'm able to just snuggle and cuddle with Xander while his sister is still asleep before he leaves this afternoon. 

I'm thankful for God's timing.  - Everything panned out as well as it could considering all the crappy circumstances surrounding the sale and purchase of this house that is now our home. 

I'm thankful for my girlfriends and can't wait to see my Bestie at some point over the weekend.  These past few months without her have been crazy hard. 

I'm also thankful for my Girl Tribe of fellow Boss Babes who have all been where I'm at or are going through something similar right now.  You ladies are loved so very much and I'm here to help watch your Littles or help in any other way that I can whenever you need me!

I'm thankful for my job(s)...  Even though it's going to suck having to work tonight and early tomorrow morning, I'm super thankful for the girls I have at The Market and that I'm able to keep my mind occupied by working, instead of hiding in the confines of my home, alone, drinking wine and watching uber-depressing movies, and ugly crying without shame or judgement.

I'm just thankful for so many things. 

It's hard to be sad when you've been blessed in so many other ways. 

Today won't be easy, but it will be okay.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends.

Be safe.  - And know you are love.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

"No More I Love Yous"

November 1st marked the one year anniversary of leaving.

So much has happened.

So much has changed.

So much of myself is being rewired, reprogrammed, and rewritten.

I closed on Karla's house the last week of July.  I'm now officially a homeowner.

I've thrown myself back into my workaholic ways.  I started back at the Market in August after a 6 month hiatus.  I've stopped scheduling days off.  I work to keep my mind focused and to keep myself out of trouble.

Emily switched schools this year and is adjusting to being a 7th grader at a normal public school pretty well.  I think she's happier.  Her father and I are too.

Xander started speech therapy in a group setting with 3 other kids in August.  He goes for an hour and a half every Tuesday and Thursday.  This has helped tremendously in easing my worries over my non-verbal child.  He's smart as a whip, and is definitely understanding everything we say to him. He knows his body parts, letters - upper & lower case, can identify colors, animals and the sounds they make.  All age appropriate milestones.  He just won't physically open his mouth to say words.

- Which is the perfect segue I needed to delve into why I chose these particular song lyrics as the title to this blog entry.

"No more I love yous..."

My daughter is almost 13...  the dreaded "Teen" stage...  She's been going through, what I like to call the "Turdy Tween" stage for a couple of years now.  - Mild attitude.  - Some arguing and talking back.  - Stomping off to her bedroom and slamming doors in my face.  - But overall, she's always been - and still is - a very good kid.

This transition has been hard on me.  More so than I've let on.

She used to look at me like I was a total ROCKSTAR.

THE coolest Mom on the planet.

- Now she's embarrassed to be seen with me.  She pulls away when I try to love on her or even when I just want to touch her arm or pet her back.  She never tells me she loves me anymore unless I tell her first.  She doesn't need me to tuck her in at night anymore.  She doesn't need me to fix her hair or kiss her boo-boos away anymore.  It completely sucks.  Ha.  Seriously THE worst.

I jokingly said a few years ago, right after Xander was born, that it was perfect timing.  Xander would be super sweet, cuddly, affectionate, and tell me all the wonderful things Emily used to say to me by the time she hit the "Turdy Tween" stage.  She was almost 9 years old when Xander was born, by the way.

Xander will be 4 in December.  The only words I've actually heard him say with his mouth open and enunciating is "Clock", "Pop", "Cheese" and "Taki" - yes, as in Taki's - those awful, spicy chip-rod-things all the kids are obsessed with these days.  He is quite literally my own personal "Taki Monster".

I have yet to hear him say "Mommy".

I've never heard him say, "Mommy, I love you so much."

- Or "Mommy, you're so beautiful."

- Or "Thank you, Mommy."

He's affectionate, but he's also a high-energy 3 year old toddler boy who thinks his mom is his personal jungle gym.  So I get climbed on, jumped on and launched off of more than I'm getting snuggles and cuddles these days.

It's hard.

Most days, I'm okay.

Some days I am not.

- Then mix a freaking divorce into all of that...

- And "TADAAAAH"!

- You get ME!

Me = An occasional lonely, starved for affection, needy of reassurances, workaholic, mother of 2 (4 if you count my dogs as children).

Deep Breaths, Sylvia.. 

- Just remember what Bob Marley sings to you every morning when your alarm goes off: 

"Don't worry.  Every little thing's going to be all right."

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Dust yourself off and try again..."

Just sliding through your newsfeed to give everyone a life update since it's been awhile.

Plus this: Pity Party for 1  - I know, I know.  I should rise above it, but I just can't today.  Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

- Most everyone knows I've left my marriage back in November.

I moved into my best friend's house as a sort of "buffering period" so I could have some time to figure things out.

The whole process of separating was a constant up and down struggle for me.  I was never 100% sure that I was making the right decision for myself and for my kids.

I didn't realize it until recently, but I unintentionally shifted my life into neutral and just idled there for several months - ultimately waiting for my husband to either pull me back in or give me that last push away.

After the holidays, we did some counseling.  A handful of sessions - then we quit.  We both just felt like we were done at that point.

We spent a few months apart.

We both "dated" other people.

- And I was always extremely open and honest about my unsure feelings regarding my divorce.

I questioned myself every single day.

- Was I giving him a fair chance?  - Did I, in fact, fight as hard as I thought I had during the past 3 years leading up to me leaving?  - Was this really what would make me happier in the long run?

April 9th - Our wedding anniversary.
We decided to have dinner together - I think we both cried and agreed to give it one more go.

We still thought it best to live separately for the time being.  We broke things off with the people we were seeing.  We scheduled more marriage counseling sessions.

I tried to be more attentive and supportive of his interests.  I attended his softball games.  I tried to be more affectionate. 

I communicated 2 things he could do that would make me feel like he was serious about us coming back home.  1: To find a job with a schedule that was conducive to supporting his family financially as well as emotionally in trying to mend a broken marriage - because, let's be real, driving overnight for Lyft wasn't going to do that. - and 2: Finally fixing Emily's room from the termite damage that had occurred 2 YEARS ago.

Emily picked out the paint color for her walls at his request.  We even purchased that paint.

- But in a months time, nothing had been repaired or painted in Em's room, nor was any effort made to find a different job.

May 14th - Mother's Day.
I spent my mother's day wrangling our 3 year old at the ball park in the hot sun watching his dad play softball.  Then Emily & I drove over to his house to meet up with him and Xander after the ballgame...  but he wasn't there...  he was at the grocery store getting me, his mom and his grandmother all the exact same flowers.  - After he arrived with said flowers, I wrangled up vases to put his mom's and grandma's flowers into instead of the grocery store cellophane.  We filled out Mother's Days cards for everyone then drove over to his parents house.  We spent - literally 10 minutes with his mom and 15 minutes with his grandma before they both retreated to their own perspective rooms of the house.

- So I'm spending my Mother's Day at his parent's house - not even with his mom or grandmother - watching hockey (which I care nothing about) - and eating Papa John's pizza because that's what my father-in-law wanted to do for dinner.  Am I wrong for feeling like he could have put in a little more effort, especially since he supposedly wanted us to come home?  - Granted, he did go out with the kids and have them pick out a gift for me from them, but I guess I was just dumbfounded that not once did he ask me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day. 

... I think that's when I knew nothing was going to change...

- BUT! - we still went to four more counseling sessions after Mother's day.  Two that were individual sessions with out therapist and then 2 that were together.  

Needless to say, that last session on May 30th was it for me.

He showed up 20 minutes late to a therapy appointment that we were paying $70 an hour for, BUT he had time to stop off at at a gas station on the way to buy a pop tart and a Red Bull.

I think every single one of my doubts I had about leaving my husband were quickly shooed away in that last session.  I even suspect that our therapist intentionally gave me the closure I was so desperately seeking by asking some of the questions he asked.  I left there with so much peace.

I tried.  Even though I was the one to leave, I still continued to try after I left.  - And I tried even more when we decided to give it one last push to save it.  I KNOW I tried. 

I wanted to see some effort.  I wanted to see some fight.  - But he never brought the fight - he even said he didn't feel like he needed to because we made a promise to each other when we got married...  So apparently vows are a free pass to be a sucky spouse.  

Anyhow, after all that, I finally felt ready to move forward.

And I did...  I am...  moving forward... one day at a time.

That first weekend in June, Karla and I took a girls trip to Chicago to see U2 again.  It was a much-needed trip and so good for us both.  Karla is such a trooper and has been in a crazy state of transition as well.  Her mom's health has been declining fast.  She made the decision to leave her job, move in with her parents to help care for her mom and spend as much time with her as possible - which brings me to my next update.

The House.
Karla needed to sell her house.
I needed a house.
I was already living in said house.
So I decided to try to buy her house.

I took a week and a half vacation to Panama City with the kids in June before throwing myself head first into the home buying process.

This last month has been one of extreme highs and very extreme lows.

Things were all set to go with the loan process, then all of the sudden - they weren't.

I was scrambling to find a solution to still make it all work within the timeline we had set so that I wouldn't fudge up anything for Karla's sake - but for about 2 weeks, I thought for sure I wasn't going to be able to get this house.

During that time of being completely overwhelmed and uber-depressed over losing the house, we incurred a minor plumbing issue which resulted in being without water for several days.  - Then a couple of days later, the air conditioning stopped working due to a malfunction in the thermostat control panel and we were without air over that weekend.

Ha!  Talk about bad luck. 

Somewhere in there, July 4th rolled around.  Karla came over for an impromptu girls night so we could try to not be dumpy and depressed over the house stuff and her mom's health for the night.

During a break from our movie marathon, my mom called to talk to me about my Dear Sweet Knucklehead of a Nephew ( I say that with love!).  - And after the discussion turned from him to me, I finally told her that Alan and I had separated and that I was in the middle of trying to buy a house but was having difficulty due to being self-employed.  We chatted a little while longer about the other details of my life and more about my nephew and then left it at that.

The conversation went a lot better than I had anticipated.  She was supportive and understanding of my decision to leave my marriage and didn't really say anything negative like I thought she would.

The next day she called and offered to co-sign on the house with me.

So that's where we are at.

I think the last of the official paperwork will be sent in and received on Monday and then we are set to close on the house next Friday.

Praise Jesus.  I'm giving God alllllll the glory.

It's been a crazy, crazy time of transition...  8 months of constant ups and downs.

But I'm so grateful for all the support, help, and prayers everyone has offered up.  I truly am blessed.


- And to just piggy-back on my BFF's blog post from yesterday... a few things we're both trying really hard to learn and embrace are:
- to worry less.
- to stop trying to control every situation in our lives because ultimately we have little to no control over them anyway.
- to put the phones, tablets and ipods down, to unplug and just be present in the moments you find yourself in and be grateful for those experiences - good or bad - because those experiences will shape us into stronger human beings.
- and to just love ourselves as we are.

- So that's what I'm doing...
- I'm trying to be vigilant about being grateful for everything I have and all the opportunities for growth that keep coming my way.
- I'm fighting to be more confident in knowing and BELIEVING that God's plan is way, way bigger than my plans.
- I'm trying to be more present, and to hug my loved ones tight, and tell them I love them every single night (even when I'm mad at them).
- And I'm trying my hardest to continue to be a positive, infectious force every single day I am alive, no matter what kind of curve balls life decides to throw at me.

I tried.  I fought.  I lost.  - But I survived... and I will try again.  <3 br="">

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"I try to make the worse seem better..."

Here's another one for transparency...

I've been in a very dark, dark place.

I cry myself to sleep every single night over my marriage failing.

I'm hurt beyond any of my own words can express and I am just so angry.

I don't completely understand why though.

I chose to leave.

Ironically - for my happiness.

But did I really want this?

Did I want to tear my family apart?  No.

Did I want to leave our home and every security I had?  No.

Did I want to feel these awful feelings toward my husband?  No.

Did I want this - divorce - to ultimately be the end result?  No.

Truthfully, by my leaving I wanted that to be a catalyst for my husband to step the hell up and finally really hear what I had been saying for the 3 years prior.

I wanted him to fight for me...  for our family.

I wanted him to SHOW me he was everything I needed and wanted in a marriage.

I wanted him to step up and be the PARTNER I needed in my life for the past 6 years.

But instead of changes for our life together, he made excessive changes to the life he was making without me.

I was given excuse after excuse.

I was made to feel like a lying, cheating whore in our last counseling session.

And finally, this week, I was the recipient of his proverbial "truth bomb" implying that my vagina was the reason for our lackluster sex life.

Needless to say, I'm in shock.

I don't know how to feel or how to react.

I don't know this person at all anymore and wonder if I even really did in the first place.

I've been crying non-stop since Monday.

Since I left in November, almost every night has been spent in my room crying... Either alone or on the phone to a select few of my friends.  Josh being one of those few.

- So let me to quickly address the Josh "situation"... Not that I feel I need to justify anything to anyone, but it's been a sore spot in regards to my marriage for a couple of months now.

I did not leave my marriage because of or for anyone else.

Josh and I have been extremely close for over 20 years.

He was by my side through some of the most horrible experiences of my life, holding my hand, reassuring me that everything was going to be okay.

Our friendship has always been priority.

Our kids' feelings about the transpiring situation between us is and always will be top priority to us both.

Furthermore, regardless of any feelings that have resurfaced or developed, my happiness has always been his number one priority.

- He's been the one encouraging my desires to pursue marriage counseling and cheering on my attempts at repairing my marriage because he knows me well enough to know that I won't ever be happy with myself - or anyone else for that matter - if I don't do everything in my power to fix what I felt I needed to fix.

He's the one listening to me sob and cry uncontrollably every night over my husband and my failing marriage.

If that's not a good friend, I don't know what is.  - And I know for a fact, regardless of any feelings that exist beyond friendship, his actions would be steadfast and exactly the same as they have always been.

That's Josh.

He's one of my best friends.

We want to do everything the right way for the sake of our kids - and for my own sanity's sake...

Meaning:

I want to know in my heart that I did everything I could have done to save my marriage.

I want to know that I left for all the right reasons.

I want to show my kids that I will fight for my happiness - even if that means we have to sacrifice certain comforts in life temporarily.

I want to be able to stand on my own two feet, provide a home for my kids and be okay on my own - instead of jumping from one unhealthy, unfulfilling living situation with a man into another out of convenience or necessity.

- All that to say, I'm still in a dark place emotionally.

My emotions are erratic and completely all over the place.

I've thought and considered things I never thought I would ever think.

I don't recognize the person staring back at me.

I'm angry as hell and full of so much hate and it's absolutely sucking the life out of me.

All I can do consistently right now is sleep and cry...  I can pull myself together for work most days, but the first time someone asks me about my personal life, the facade fades and I crumble.

My kids see me cry everyday.

My daughter is so strong.  I'm so very grateful for her.  When she sees me crying, she swoops in to grab her brother and then they start laughing together; and for a brief moment, the tears stop, my heart swells and I'm able to laugh through the tears.

Family.
Quality Time.
Laughter.
Friendship.
Communication.
Partnership.
Love.
Ambition.
Passion.

Those are all priorities in my life.  It's what I want.

I'm not there yet... but I will get there eventually.

I just keep telling myself this every single night:
 
Give it to God and go to sleep...

<3 p=""><3 br="">

Monday, February 13, 2017

"No Better You than the You that You Are..."

Tonight broke me.

- Heartbroken doesn't quite cover it.

I honestly can't remember the last time I've cried this hard and for this long. It's been cathartic, but completely exhausting at the same time.

I'm giving myself the rest of tonight to purge these feelings, emotions, and the negative energy - to mourn the loss of a relationship that I now know, shouldn't have ever happened in the first place.

You can't complete a puzzle that you weren't given all the pieces to.  I find a whole lot of peace in that.  I was ill-prepared for the fight and tried so hard to fix something that I never could have fixed.

One more night.  A few more hours.  - To cry, to sob uncontrollably, to scream and yell at myself.  - Then I'm officially letting it all go.  I'm going to give it to God and go to sleep.

Thankful for His grace and that tomorrow is a new day.

Praying for peace, healing and guidance.

Keep breathing...  and just keep moving forward, Sylvia...  one foot at a time.

Monday, January 2, 2017

"So this is the New Year..."

New Years Eve 2016 came and went.

I had big plans, but they were sidelined by a call from my soon-to-be-ex-husband. 

He called me to tell me that he indeed wanted to divorce...  not even 24 hours from a phone conversation we shared where he had "so much hope for us and our future".  I was taken aback and very surprised by his sudden change of heart. 

I decided to forego my plans and just lay low.  Process everything.  Clear my head.

My New Years was quiet and uneventful.  I binged watched movies and cried a lot.

I didn't plan to make any resolutions...  Hell, I think I just wanted to survive the holidays.

Now that I'm on the other side, I still can't say I have any specific resolutions for 2017.

I do have a lot of changes I'd like to incorporate into my everyday life going forward though...

Some of those being:

- To take it one day at a time.
- To be more present during my time with family and friends.
- To keep moving forward.
- To keep pushing myself towards my health and fitness goals.
- To find a church home.
- To find a new home for my kids, my dogs and myself.
- To continue to learn, grow and be the best me I can be each day.
- To never lose faith.
- To keep hoping for the best.
- To always love without fear.
- Believe and trust there's good in everyone.
- Keep forgiving even if they never apologize.
- Continue to laugh so hard till I start snorting and my face hurts.
- Keep smiling through the tears.
- Keep breathing through the hard days.
- Don't look back in anger or with regret.
- And just keep putting one foot in front of the other each and every single day.

Happy New Year, Friends.  Here's to new beginnings and bright futures.