Tag Archives: respect

Today was like…

…an emotional roller coaster. It’s Father’s Day, and I usually spend the whole day pretty sad missing, and thinking about, my dad and everything he’s missed out on, and everything I missed out on. But today was different. In fact, I didn’t get sad or teary until about an hour ago. I had other things on my mind. 

For the past few days I have been anxiously waiting for a childhood friend, Nicole, to make it to Vegas so I could drive down and see her. We met in 6th grade. We went to school together and were best friends, hanging out every chance we had. We bonded over the loss of our fathers, and our tough/harsh maternal figures, and NKOTB (what were we thinking?!?)…our lives were very similar back then, with some minor differences. The summer between 9th and 10th grade my family moved out of state. I hated my mom for making us move away (I had no concept of financial hardships at the time) and I vowed that I would make her so miserable that she would send me back “home”. Little did I know how devastating our move was to Nicole. We were inseparable, until our move separated us. We returned to our hometown for a visit the following summer. I don’t remember how long we were in town, but it wasn’t long enough. I was able to get in a visit with Nicole, and wanted to go back every year to visit her. Neither of us knew that we would not see each other again for 25 years. 

We lost contact after that visit. Many years passed and my mom contacted me to let me know that a letter had arrived at the family home for me from Nicole. I got the letter a few days later and responded. We wrote back and forth for a while, and talked on the phone occasionally…and then life happened. We lost contact again. I would occasionally look for her on Facebook, but didn’t have any luck. Just a few years ago she sent me a friend request. Life kept us both pretty busy, but we were better about keeping up with each other through Facebook. Our lives had taken parallel paths, both of us having many similar experiences, even our ex’s share the same first name (yes, I think all men that I have encountered with that first name have been asshats). We are both in a better place. 

I was so stressed out about seeing her today, the first time in 25 years, and I have changed a lot, I guessed that she did too. What if we don’t recognize each other? Which is kinda dumb because we see each other’s pictures on Facebook. What if she doesn’t like me anymore? What if I don’t like her anymore? What if we have nothing to talk about? J and I arrived at her hotel and she was coming down to meet us. As soon as we saw each other we smiled and hugged. It was so great to see her face light up, and I was put at ease. I couldn’t see myself, but I think I lit up too. We walked around trying to find a place to eat and talk. When we finally found a place we started talking like we were picking up where we left off. J said she heard Nicole say things and she thought to herself “That’s exactly what mom would say.”, and she’s right, it was what I would say. We talked about our kids and how both B and J were named after her. We talked about family and struggles and blessings and progress and church. An amazing visit, and the food was good too. We had to say goodbye too soon, but we both agreed to not go so long before seeing each other again. 

As J and I drove home I was replaying the visit and past things people have said to me about every friend I made after her. I have had some real doozies. I have picked some “real winners”. I suddenly came to the realization that I had never had a friend as true, loyal, reliable, understanding, compassionate…the list goes on…as she was to me. In every relationship there is some give and some take. For the majority of relationships I have had, there has always been more giving on my part and more taking on theirs, but not with Nicole. I think we both gave back as much, if not more, than we took. I cannot think of another friend who has been that way with me. 

Forward to an hour ago when I started texting my brothers to tell them happy Father’s Day, since I was traveling, catching up with Nicole, and having dinner with Jay and J, and by the time I got the chance to call the boys, it was too late. I got more emotional as I wrote each text. I made sure to let them know how much I look to up to each of them. I am sad that I don’t have the close relationships with them that I wish I had, and the ones I feel close to, I struggle with because of my emotional hurt. I have to find a healthy way to release grudges and hurts so I can move past the hurts. I miss my dad. I remember being a daddy’s girl. Maybe I remember right, and maybe I don’t, but I remember his love for me. I’m heartbroken, grateful and happy this Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to the many men in my life, present and past, who have had a positive impact on my life and the woman I’ve become. 

Life changes. Experiences change us. We change. Friends come and go from our lives. True friends may leave our lives, but reconnect as if no time has passed. True friends are selfless and love you for being you. I’m lucky enough to have one. 

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“Why Do You Have To Be…

…such a fucking bitch?” That’s what hear muttered from the other side of the bathroom door. This after I stated a problem, looking for some acknowledgement, but instead got arguments. So I state the problem again, hoping it will be heard this time. Only to hear that question muttered outside the bathroom door. The stated problem was minor, but the issue of him being checked out and missing the majority of what I say, has been a long time issue. I, of course, confronted him on the question he had just asked, and was met with nothing but denial. Yesterday, I sat on the couch where he usually sits. There were loose staples on the couch and I asked where they all came from (even with a big butt, sitting on staples hurts). His response….I don’t know. More denial. I used the car to go across town (which he usually drives) and found a bunch of loose staples. I know they didn’t come from me, or from our daughter who doesn’t drive, so why were they in the cubby in the handle of the drivers side door? Only he knows, but he’s not saying. I asked him why he didn’t tell me they came from him when I asked about the staples in the conversation the night before. He said “Did you ask me about that yesterday? I don’t remember.” A five minute conversation…erased from memory. And I’m the bitch? 

He’s checked out, and I want out. How can I make ends meet without him? Right now we are nothing more than roommates, attached to each other by a legal document that costs more than I can afford to pay to have it removed. He pays the big bills, and I only make enough to cover my bills, with a little left to put towards the main ones. I don’t make enough. As hard as I’m trying to change that, it doesn’t feel like it will change any time soon. I feel like I will forever be stuck in that catch 22 where I make too much money to get the help I need, and too little money to make it on my own. 

There is a daily struggle to not let my situation consume me. Every work day, I drag myself out of bed and paste on the best smile I can muster and leave my house wishing that I didn’t have to come back to the same shitty situation. It has been a tough 13 (soon to be 14) years. We started out so good. How did we end up here? Marriage isn’t easy, and for the majority of us, we’re lying if we say it is. Things that didn’t use to bother me absolutely annoy the hell out of me now. If anything is to change with this relationship, I am going to have to change it. Whether I choose to work it out, or walk out…something’s got to change!

Do you ever get that feeling…

…that there’s another, possibly better, way to go about something? Maybe you mishandled a situation, and it didn’t end well. As you replay the situation in your head, you realize that there was probably another way you could’ve handled that situation which would’ve resulted in a better outcome. As a parent, I feel that a lot! Like after yelling at one of the kids because I was too upset in the heat of the moment; or not thinking about the consequences my actions, or words, would bring about. There are even times when I think about actions that could’ve worsened a situation and still resulted in a better outcome.

I wonder if second guessing is as prevalent among other people as it is for me. I take my role as parent and guardian very seriously. I often find myself replaying situations trying to plan a better course of action if a similar situation ever happens again. Unfortunately I usually end replaying them in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping. This is one major drawback of being an insomniac. My mind races at night, and I can’t sleep, while during the day I feel like a zombie. I was talking to a sister-in-law last night and she said that her husband is somehow able to ignore the crazy that some people try to bring into their lives, but that she struggles because she can’t ignore the crazy, she gets upset by it. Jay and I are the same way, he can ignore it, but I can’t help but get upset by it. Balance. It’s hard to come by.

I went out on a limb last night to help someone I don’t have any positive feelings for, only to have it backfire and remind me, yet again, why I don’t have any positive feelings for them. So here I am at 5:30 in the morning, still awake, replaying the events of last night. 

I am a step parent, as well as a natural parent. One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned is that in order to help your children flourish in a blended family situation you have to have a respect and love for all of the other parents in your children’s lives. I still struggle with this as some of the parents of the newest children in our family do not even attempt to reciprocate any form of love or respect for us. The situations involving these parents are destructive to the children. These are the moments I replay most often in my head. 

I try to think of ways to lessen the emotional blows, but I can’t. There have times, in my distant past, that I’ve been so unhappy with the consequences of my choices that I’ve tried to cause others to feel as much pain as I do, it’s called being a bully. Some of the parents feel it’s ok to bully their children in order to be respected. Fear is not respect, though, it’s just fear. The reality of the situation is that each parent has to unselfishly give up their control in order to show any level of respect and love for the parents who are raising their children. Giving up control over trivial things is hard enough. Giving up control over your children sometimes seems impossible. I do my best to embrace the differences people have. I’m the first to admit that I’m still struggling to embrace some differences, but I try. 

Acceptance is so easy to fake for a short time, and disgust can be hidden for a while. The truth is constant and can only be the truth, although ones perspective can make their truth different than another’s. The hard part isn’t accepting that we have to tolerate certain behaviors from destructive parents. The hard part is actually tolerating them and then picking up the pieces in the aftermath. We teach. We struggle. Everyone does in their own way. We also rise above, most of the time. We are human, and not perfect, after all.

Divorce is difficult…

…and affects more than just the divorcing couple. Ending my first marriage affected me, my daughter, and my family. It also affected my ex and his family. My daughter was only 5 months old when I packed what I could carry for her, and very few essentials for me, and got on a bus. It took us almost a week to get across the country and finally arrive at mom’s. I regretted leaving almost immediately, which seems silly to me now when I think back. The relationship was abusive, and he made it clear that he never loved me; I meant nothing to him. I was now a single mother, living with my mother and her new husband, no job, no car. I was a failure. I think I was hoping that taking our daughter and leaving the state would be a reality check for him, it wasn’t. Like I said, he never loved me and he was burdened by being a father. His problems were more solved than not, by us leaving. 

My relationship with my ex was unhealthy. And I had never really been on my own before. I had lived with family and friends, but never really on my own until I married my ex. Even then I had the support of a navy paycheck and benefits, and I knew I was in a good place. Once he was out of the navy though, we had nothing to fall back on except his family. 

How do you know it’s time to file for divorce? I’m going to say that when you constantly and consistently finding you are unhappy for a long time with no sign of happiness in sight, then maybe it’s time to consider divorce. I’m not talking arguments or disagreements, I’m talking about unhealthy explosions of emotions, and zero communication, and no intimacy (not just physical, but emotional as well) for years, and feeling the emotional distance between you getting bigger and bigger until you are no longer acknowledging each other as a form of keeping the peace, and when you have no trust in the other person. And, of course, there is abuse. I stayed in an abusive too long for many reasons, so I get it, but abuse is bad. And infidelity…that’s another reason. 

When is it ok to file for divorce? You don’t need anyone’s permission. You are your own person, with feelings and needs that matter. You don’t need permission from family or friends. Yes, it would be great if you had their support, but you don’t need it. Don’t worry about what others will think. Someone in your life will see you as a stronger person. 

Who should be involved in the decision to divorce? Definitely NOT the kids! A divorce can leave kids feeling like they are to blame. They will wonder if they could’ve saved your marriage if they had behaved better, helped around the house more…the list goes on and on. An amicable divorce is possible if both of you agree and are able to compromise and be reasonable. There is little room for selfishness. Taking too much in order to force the other person to suffer or remain responsible for you is asking for a nasty divorce. Be reasonable and realize it’s hard for everyone.

Get legal advice. 

Divorce is difficult. Don’t let it define you.