So, starting up a new one with hopes that the new year brings more of the good stuff....

Old thread closed is here:

Welcome, 2010! Merry Christmas!!
Merry Christmas Donna!!!
Donna - Have a great Christmas and many blessings in the New Year!
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 12/23/09 10:34 PM
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Looks like we may get the blizzard these next two days so a white christmas at least.

hugs and blessings, kat
Today's horoscope (sometimes these are freaky!!):

"Shake off those holiday doldrums. The sooner you get up and face the day full on, the more accomplished you'll feel. Take care of the most pressing things first and foremost. This is one of those times when daydreaming can really work to your advantage. The more you can manage to take your mind off the inevitable, the easier it will be to get through the tougher moments. You may have to go through this alone, but if someone offers you their hand, by all means, take it."

Merry Christmas, DB Friends!! My kids will be here in 3 hours, and I'm off to get ready for them!
So, I find myself sitting here.

The kids are away; they were here from 4 last night until 11 this morning. We had a wonderful dinner last night (Feast of the Seven Fishes). S14 helped me cook and in-laws came over.
Presents this morning; we were so fortunate to share nice gifts with each other. Christmas in less than 24 hours (like my Thanksgiving which lasted for 4 hours).

I watched some tv, straightened up a bit, took a long nap with the puppy.

I didn't go to the x's brother's house with the rest of the family (I had been invited).

I made the decision, and it is still sitting strangely.

X threw me away...am I doing the same thing with all the people he came with? I question myself if I still want a R with them.
The xBIL who's fiance/now wife didn't want me at her shower, afraid I would cause a scene. They have a son who is 6 months old now who I have never met; not an email or card for gifts I sent for his birth. (It was his house where Christmas was being held).
The xSIL who cosigned x's new house so he could move in with his gf/affair partner only a few months after the divorce. Who just closed on a house with her own married boyfriend/long time affair partner. Oh, yeah, his divorce is almost final, even though their affair has been at least 15 years.
Great-grandma who just wants "a nice visit."
The other xSIL who is long-suffering with a near-useless H, but who has at least stayed married...admittedly jealous of the friendship I have forged with her mother.
Oh, there is the one xBIL and his wife who have remained pretty decent, but are also squeezed into the uncomfortable position of wanting to be there for a brother who is so at-odds with their own convictions.

20 years of connections. Now I am not sure what to do about that...

People complain that the can't pick family. What do you do when you are faced with a choice?

Another creepy horoscope:
"Break free from certain peoples' perceptions of your character at this year's holiday party, and use surprise to your advantage. Changing other people's opinions of you may be as easy as dressing differently or saying something surprising. Odd things can still happen to you, even though you may think you're above it all. Things will be different afterward."
---What if the "something different" is not showing up at all?

That, and just feeling...
unfulfilled, I guess. I found myself looking for snacks when I wasn't even hungry. I realized the root meaning of that word tonight. My stomach is full, but still...
I expected my children to grow up and move away when they were adults, have their own lives. I don't like them not being here, now. Playing with their new toys, just being with me.

Just being with me. That was what I expected my husband to do "as long as we both shall live." I miss that, just someone being with me.
I think I would have put up with near-everything, if he had just done that.
Weird to know that that is unhealthy, while still feeling it.
I am learning, trying so hard, to get to that place where I am ok with just being me, fulfilled with myself.

Just heard a quote I want to remember:
"She is an abused woman - she has been conditioned to not respect a man who doesn't hit her."

Seems to be a contemplative night (no, not crying or seriously down, which is good...)

Anyway, here's to us all making new insights into ourselves and making our lives what we hope them to be, a little more every day. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 12/26/09 02:10 PM
Hey there, lovely..

Your post reminded me of this..

Have you ever heard the story of The Elephant and The Twig? In India they train obedience in young elephants (to stop them from escaping) by tying them to a huge immovable object, like a tree, when they are still very young. The tree is so large that no matter how hard the baby elephant pulls and tugs it cannot break free. This develops what is known as ‘learned helplessness’ in the creature. After trying so hard and for so long to break the hold, only to be thwarted time and again, it eventually believes that, no matter what it does, it cannot escape. Ultimately, as a fully-grown adult weighing several tons, they can tie it to a twig and it won’t escape, in fact it won’t even try.

Let's go to the movies this week! I'll bring my twig if you bring yours.. and we'll come up with something to do with them!

Gypsy, perfect.
I'm about to unload my twig. Looks like I'll be moving to 'Separated' until I join you all over here in 'Surviving'.
Contemplating. What is it that God wants me to do? Oh, I know...be the best Goldey I can be.
May the New Year bring you hope, joy, and love, Donna.
Learned helplessness?
I've felt that, sometimes, but not so much this holiday...

I did vegetate for most of the day yesterday, and paid for it with not being able to sleep last night, so now I'm pretty tired. I'll work through it to get back on schedule - haven't done that in a while.

I just read this and it has me thinking - also open for suggestions!

The most difficult thing you may have to do today is come up with a title that's suitable for your life story.

Now, off to be productive!
Another great quote:

"This is especially true when we keep finding obstacles in the way of our goals. How we approach those obstacles is directly related to what is going to happen. Your destiny lies in whether you can accept what is, and work with it constructively or rail against it by throwing yourself up against a brick wall. You can insist the universe be anyway you want it to be, however, all the insistence in the world won’t “make it so.”
Donna, Great meeting you last night. You, my dear, are a sharp, strong, sweetie!

Thanks again.
Coming on here to vent rather than talking too much with S14 or in-laws...

D10 was showing me some pics she played with on her new DSi. There was a pic of her dad, but I noticed there were industrial-looking ceiling tiles (strange angle of the pic) and asked where the pic was taken.

She said at the kids' therapist's office.

WTH?! When, who, what, where...?

Seems that x decided to take them, made an appt a while ago for the "end of the year," just a check-up. He forgot to tell me about it, said he only remembered about the appointment the night before. Hadn't gotten around to telling me what came of it. It was this past Saturday, his weekend.

I AM PISSED!!!!!!! No, I don't see any harm in them going to see the counselor. Don't even care if he takes them there himself.

But not one word to me that they went, not when he made the appt, not before or after it happened.

I called him and asked him - said it was very inappropriate that he do that without notifying me. He said I had done the same thing with appts for them (I haven't - he was always notified). I asked what the outcome was, and he said the therapist was very happy with how things are at my house, his house, said the kids are good. Still all defensive, etc. I took a deep breath and just said fine, just notify me BEFORE anything like this comes up with my kids again. He said that is going to start an argument (I'm guessing because I said my kids instead of our, or the kids). I just hung up on him.

Why didn't the therapist contact me? I can see the kids letting it slip from memory (they still compartmentalize, and it was in the middle of their weekend with their dad, and neither of them like going to the IC, anyway - all S said was it wasn't their idea).

I will NOT vent to my son. I will NOT vent to my son. I will NOT vent to my son (or ask a billion questions).

I have a call into the therapist, who of course is on vacation until 1/5/10.

Ugh. A**hole.
He said I had done the same thing with appts for them

That's the classic turn around defense, or at least that's what I call it. My stbxw does this all the time, and I didn't catch on until lately. They get caught doing something they themselves would get ticked at if you did, so just deflect back to you rather than own up to it.

But, nothing you can do about it, except state how you feel, which you have done, and try not to let it get to you, so vent away here..

Why didn't the therapist contact me?

If you both joint legal custody, I don't think they have to.

I know it is bugging you, but from what I understand, and have learned, we have no control or say in what really happens with kids when they are at other parents house, so long as it's not abusive, bad for them, etc. That's a tough thing to manage as you want to be involved with them 100 percent, so I understand how you feel..
It still boggles my mind that this was a man who I was with for more than 20 years, someone who loved me. I mean, always kind, considerate and loving. And now, it is nothing but nastiness and defensiveness. I guess I will just have some deer-in-the-headlight moments with him from now until forever. I just don't anticipate it, and at this point, I really should.
Out of all of it, two beautiful, innocent children and two people who want the other to simple disappear off the face of the earth. Very sad.

You are right about not having any say when the kids are away...at least this was a positive thing, unlike his other lifestyle choice.
Man, I'm in a crappy mood. I've started and deleted this post about 5 times already. Just don't know what to do with myself, can't put my finger on it.

I took a nap, since that usually helps reset my head, but not so much. Maybe left-over angst from this afternoon?

Kids went with their dad tonight. S14 called me when they were supposed to be home - could he go shopping with his dad for the party they are having tomorrow night? I said sure...he got home about an hour late.

I have to do my budget tomorrow for the upcoming year, see how things are going to fall out. It's been tight. I have been catching up on the mountain of laundry, doing other things around the house.

IC gave me homework this week, to work in my sketchbook. I haven't picked the thing up yet.
Just existing today, I guess. Not feeling the "happy in my own skin" thing.
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 12/31/09 10:04 AM
Hey Donna..

Reread your divorce papers. There's probably a section stating that each parent has to notify the other in writing for approval concerning counseling, orthodontia, surgery. Traditional doctor visits don't apply.

Just quote the section.

Good job on not venting on your son.
Good job that he felt safe enough to tell you where he was. Who knows, maybe he wanted you to know to get you all riled up so he wouldn't have to go.

The therapist should not be talking about what the kids share with privately. Counseling is supposed to be a safe place. If it's one session the kids know what to say to 'protect' their parent(s) and how to cut all sessions short. "Life is beautiful." Finished, end of story.

Want to see a movie today.. if the weather isn't too ucky? I have the house all to myself!

The call into the therapist is more to mention that I was not made aware of the appt - in the future, a quick email or reminder to x to email is in order (she has also served as our "co-parenting" counselor, the farce that it was).

I'm not sure if the kids did the whole session with x in the room (useless) or privately. I do know that S recently had a crying fit late one night, wanting to tell his dad off about how the whole thing isn't right, and that he hoped that his father would break things off with gf, sell the house and get an apt again. This was after Thanksgiving when x dragged the whole crew to great-grandma's - S was very upset by that.
I told S then that he should feel comfortable talking with his dad about his feelings, but to not expect or take on responsibility for "fixing" everything. Parents do things we don't agree with sometimes (I mentioned my parents' smoking) - we can voice an opinion, wish things were different and swear to never repeat the same mistakes, but we can't fix other people. His father still loved him deeply, yada yada...
Anyway, I still wonder how much of that was son, and how much was him saying these things because it's what he thinks I want to hear...I don't think he talked to his dad about it, though. I am trying very hard to let them deal with their own relationship.
Same thing with the therapist - I would just want to know that the kids were ok from what she saw.

Good job that he felt safe enough to tell you where he was. Who knows, maybe he wanted you to know to get you all riled up so he wouldn't have to go.

Is this about the shopping last night?
X had been bringing the kids back and was going shopping afterwards; I'm sure he played it up, but S asked if he could go along. I could have said no, but had no plans for that night, and I really am not trying to keep my kids from their father. I just wish X wouldn't take advantage of that fact on such a regular basis.

About tonight:
Sorry, but my college friend is on her way up from LI today. If the rain holds off, we are going to try snow tubing tomorrow - pray for me!

So sorry I've been MIA. I didn't realize until today that you started a new thread. frown

This time of year is just not as much fun as it used to be is it? Sounds like you are working your way through it though. The more positive people you surround yourself with the better. The questions you posed about your xh's family should be answered by now, but if you want my opinion.....leave them be. You have no responsibility toward them and they have none toward you. The only tie you had was xh and that is no longer. Yes, they are your children's family but it is up to their dad to keep their R going. It doesn't mean that you can't drop them a card now and then because you are thinking of them - you would do that with any friend, right? You don't need to put yourself into an uncomfortable situation being around them though and they don't want that either.

I have little contact with my former il's, but the contact I do have is to pass along pictures of Marc because they live on the other side of the country and Gabe doesn't own a camera except his cell. I did send them little gifts for Christmas because I was thinking of them, not out of a need to connect with them. Make sense?

Snow tubing??????? OMG! Is this a sliding down the hill sort of thing or being pulled behind a snowmobile like you would be pulled behind a boat on a lake?????

Take XH at his word -- he forgot to tell you. Now, why would that happen? I'd guess that it was avoidance and/or denial. Now, why would either be involved? For some reason he felt the need to take the kids to C. My guess is that he was uncomfortable about the reason. If so, then look on the bright side -- something is sinking in and he is taking care of the kids.

Now, why are you so troubled? You are taking it PERSONALLY. Don't take it personally. His forgetfulness is not a personal slight. It is a sign of his own problems. Him not telling you did not hurt the kids. You are easily able to follow up with the C yourself. Don't pull out the legalese and pound him on the head with it, even if such a clause exists.

"Chuck, glad the kids got a chance to go to C. Thanks for taking them. You're a good dad. Let's both be more careful about giving each other a head's up about medical and C appointments -- we both need good intel on the kids, lol. Have a happy new year! Donna"

His lapse doesn't mean anything about YOU. No harm done. Indeed, be happy that he recognizes that C is important for the kids and that he recognized enough of their pain to prompt him to make an appointment.
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 12/31/09 06:02 PM
That sounds like bunches of fun, Donna! We have a few inches of snow here.

I made interesting alternate plans for this new way of living.

See you next year!

Ooohhh..curious...what are those interesting plans Gyps?
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 01/01/10 10:45 AM
Hey Mish..

My original plan was to see a movie and go volunteer at the hospital, doing the Reiki combining fun and giving.

Instead I stayed home, was alone but not lonely, with my ailing pooch and a good book. I've done the go out and party with friends while single. I've done go out and party all dressed up with all the bells and whistles.

What I found I loved most was celebrating at home with family, friends and children. All together, making some type of meal, enjoying the closeness, playing games. Not drinking like idiots.

This year the kids (sons 24 and 19) were with friends, spending the night presumably drinking like parched fish. My daughter (15) was at her cousin's probably being offered champagne but going for sparkling cider.

Three minutes before midnight, I sent them a Happy New Year's text signing it from me and our dog. Five minutes into the new year my nineteen year old called me to wish me a Happy New Year. What a gift that was. He asked what I'd been doing. "Oh, pooch and I have been howling at the moon, playing 'pound it' (what our dog does instead of shaking paws) and seeing whose tail can wag the most." He politely laughed and let me know he was thinking of me.

And that was a wonderful New Year's Eve. Thanks for asking.

That sounds lovely Gyps. Glad you had a wonderful night. It's always great to cuddle with your dog and have a quiet night.
Things get slow on my thread when things are humming along...

Vacation is over. Spent lots of time recouping, got a visit in with my college friend, shopping, family in NY, etc. Hard to get up for work today, and wanted a nap when I got home - I have to kick-start this metabolism!

I took some advice and finally wrote x:

Chuck, I wanted to let you know that I am glad the kids got a chance to go see IC last month. Thanks for taking them. You're a good dad. Let's both be more careful about giving each other a head's up about medical and other appointments -- with that in mind, I wanted to let you know that they'll both be going to the dentist tomorrow after school.
Also, I paid for 2 snowboard trips for S14 with Park and Rec as one of his presents. There are 4 more trips available after that- would you be able to spilt the cost with me for those? They are $40 each. I'm not sure how many I would be able to swing on my own, and I'm hoping he'll get to use the board you got him for Christmas. Have a happy new year! Donna

thank you for the kind words...i needed that. thanks for the heads up about the dentist. i knew they were going just wasnt sure when. thanks for getting S's binding fixed, i didnt want him using the board until it was. im glad you promised the two trips. im sure he will enjoy them. i can only say that when the next trips come up that i will try...unfortunately it was a very bad year for csm...im wearing my bonus this year(new sweatshirt) thats it... i know things are hard all over but im still trying to recover from a lost month after surgery and 20 lost days in the spring when i was on 4 days. not whining just letting you know i will do whatever i can. thanks again and happy new year to you also

Still felt a bit of a stretch to say he is a good dad (for the obvious reasons), but he is trying to do the best that he can, given the choices he has made. Less animosity is better, anyway.

I had a dream last night....we had seen Avatar yesterday evening, and that fed into it in some places. I remember it evaporating as I woke up, but
I had a glipse of the future. And I felt

It was different from the feeling I had long ago in front of my picture window, x's arms around me as I professed how blessed I felt. I think that was more secure.

The feeling in the dream was bigger. More...aware.

I lost a bunch of the dream, but I do remember an image of X's great-grandfather, superimposed with him: nearly blind, deaf, frail and old. But unlike great-grandfather, he was alone...
And I was surrounded by my children and children's children. I think there was even a romantic partner nearby, with me.
Oohh...it was a night of good dreams!

Glad you made it to work today. After that much time off it has to be SO hard! I think the longest I've ever been off work on vaction (not laid off or purposely not working) was about 7 days. That is nearly impossible to come back from so 2.5 weeks would be ridiculously hard to recover from.

Hope you're staying warm!!
Great email. Bravo!! And his response is very telling I'd say...

All lowercase -- is this standard, or is he feeling weak and small?

More important: "thank you for the kind words...i needed that."

Clearly he is talking about your "good dad" comment and he has not been feeling like one. THUS, his trip to the kid's IC really was all about him. And, judging by his avoiding telling you about it and his lowercase email, he's not feeling very good about himself these days. And, it doesn't sound like he's hearing good things about himself from his partner either. Money is tight, he's recognizing the pain of his children, house is probably tense, he doesn't feel supported. Hard time for him right now almost certainly.

You on the other hand are sounding great :-) And, I loved Avatar!!
He always writes in lower-case - he is a 2 finger typer and can't be bothered with capitals.
It was really hard for me to write that he is a good dad - he is a good dad for one who left his family to live full-time with his affair partner and her 4 kids full-time. I just left that part unsaid wink

Before the truth came out (the only time he ever showed any remorse), I remember him crying to me that he was a failure as a husband, a father, a man....I kept telling him No! back then, clueless dolt I was. Now I see it.
Sad that he went to such lengths to be "happy," without regards to who and what he hurt along the way, only to find himself with this mess.
I'm still not convinced that he would even consciously recognize himself as going through a hard time, though. Bet if you asked him, things are wonderful!

I, on the other hand, AM doing great!
It could be worse. Your H could be a caps-lock/all caps typist instead. LOL.
I seem to remember him doing just that, ages ago when the sitch started - I told him it was obnoxious.
My xh was the fastest 2 finger typist I've ever seen and he actually capitalized too. It was weird!

Glad you are feelin' good Donna!!!!!
It could be worse. My STBX is dyslexic. Can't send an email at all. So, the fact that he's using S19 to monitor my fb (confirmed) is kinda...sad. For both of them.
Loved Avatar, in 3-D, no less! Saw it last week when I was at my sister's. I left feeling happy, via loaner wheelchair because of my ankle thing (tendonitis) People were super nice and actually smiled at me as I zoomed up the handicapped ramp. At 1am. Under the Space Needle.
Oh yeah. Happy New Year.
Sending virtual hugs.
Keep smiling, Donna. Peace in 2010. love, Goldey
The issue below followed an "normal" back-and-forth email with x and I about the kids going to his house this weekend, with co-operation.

Then, I got into it with my son.

This is the email to x tonight about my S14:

S14 is being an idiot about wearing his helmet snowboarding. He informed me at 10:14 tonight that it is too small. I told him he is not going unless he wears a helmet.

I would have gotten one when we went up to get the snowboard fixed if he had told me. I am pissed. We were right there.

He made adjustments so it would fit, then decided that it made him look retarted - would I let him not wear it at least on the bunny hill while he was teaching Brian? I said no.
If I find out that he didn't have the helmet on while he was on the slopes, I said snowboarding is over for the year, and he is grounded.

I suggested he rent one. Or ask Brian's brother if he had one. Or ask you if you passed a ski shop on the way home.

I'm angry that he is leaving things till last minute all the time. This was all after having him stall for almost 3 hours to start his homework, only to see him print out a permission slip and say he was done. He lost his planner somewhere at school.

If he doesn't go tomorrow over this damn helmet, he will have to pay me back the $40 I laid out by working it off.

I'm next to positive he pulled the same thing with me this past Wed - it was Dress for Success day, and he decided at 8:40 at night that he needed to go to Target to get a button-down shirt, that he didn't want to wear the polo shirt.
I refused to let him walk, and D10 and I were dressed for bed - I wasn't going out. He argued the point for almost an hour before I threatened him with being grounded. I left him stewing in the living room at around 10:30 -
lo and behold, he is too sick to go to school on Wed - how convenient! He swore up and down that he wasn't lying, that he had a stomach ache and headache. Again, I was pissed, but you can't climb inside someone to see if they are really sick, and I couldn't physically drag him from the bed. So he stayed home.

I don't think there is anything I want you to do - just wanted to give you the head's up, and ask that you back me up. Please alert the Park and Rec people to call me if he doesn't have the helmet on - I'll drive up there and pull him off the mountain myself if I have to.

What am I going to do with this kid?
I am debating if I should forward this to the kids IC. Or the Lt of his beloved JrROTC. Or his next-to-useless guidance counselor at school.

This is stuff that x and I used to be SO good at. I can't help but also let some anger seep in that he isn't here to do this parenting the way it should be done.

S14 can be SO good...but he has also let some "adultism" creep into his thinking, so that I am getting challenged like this when there is something he wants/doesn't want. He'll make a good lawyer, but I am so sick of it! I have taken to telling him that I don't have to explain every decision I make - and he doesn't have to like them all, either - but he has to do it! Then he gets passive-aggressive, like stalling, distracting, negotiating, etc. I'm exhausted.

Gineen, if you are reading this, take notes because the terrible two come around again when they are teens!
Yep, he sounds like a TEENAGER.

You might want to check out Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child : Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries too, lol.
I think I might have that....or maybe it's The Difficult Child....

should have seen this coming! We went through it when he was 3 (skated through 2s).
They are away this weekend - I need to do some reading and get a better plan in place!
Quick fly-by...
S came home with a broken wrist from snowboarding. He wants to have his dad take him to the ortho today, since he "has experience with this thing" (x went through a broken wrist and surgery, etc.)
I came down with a nasty headcold again - stayed home today. I talk and teach for a living, and it always seems to wrap itself around my vocal cords. Also feel sore all over - hope it's not the flu.

Nothing else much.
I am wondering if I am still dealing with mild depression - my body is craving too much sleep (without an alarm, I sleep 11 - 13 hours!), still trying to motivate myself to get my butt in gear to get the house organized and/or get out and have some fun. Too much computer and tv, zoning...Hoping it's just my body and mind rebounding from the physical effects I had through the mess, but it's time to be back on track. At least I got my food intake back in control - lots of fruit and veggies coming today with the groceries.

Huey Lewis song pops into my head - I Want a New Drug....

Ugh...gotta go back to bed and see if I can get some sleep (hard to lay down when you can't breathe).....
Maybe a recurring sinus infection?
Hope you are feeling better by now.

Have you tried using a Netti pot? It's the best thing I ever did for my sinuses. I have had horrible sinus headaches since I moved to GA but just last month I had a doozy for 3 weeks straight. Nothing helped. I went and got one of those pots and I haven't had a headache since then! I use it every morning and some evenings if I feel myself getting clogged.
crap - still feel gross. Can't really talk, stuffy, runny, sore. I was hoping to avoid the doctor (I am sure now it is a virus), but if I don't feel a lot better by morning, I'll go. I don't have time for this chit....

S got his cast. It is a barley-visible crack on the growth plate, so two weeks in that, then another in a brace. He's even allowed to go snowboarding at the end of the week!
And he wore his helmet, and his coat, when he went Friday. At least some of the angst he puts me through as a teen is paying off, things sink in.

X took him to the appt, called me before and after to fill me in, said he would do the 2-week follow-up, too. I had told him yesterday that I was sick, so he asked how I was feeling. I said fine - moms aren't allowed to get sick wink All went well. I asked him to do the driving both ways for scouts for me tonight, and he agreed.
That's good, he must have taken the message to heart about keeping you in the loop with the kids and their medical/counseling appointments.
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 01/13/10 02:14 PM
Are you doing better? My head feels like it could explode with the next coughing spell! Maybe we don't have the same thing but it isn't fun.

Wow, found my thread back on page 4...guess things are going ok.
Got over my cold and my son got it, poor thing. But he was better in time for midterms starting today, too, so at least he isn't behind.
Well, not behind in taking the tests, anyway. He is still not doing well in his classes, and until he gets some internal motivation, there is a limit on what influence I will be able to have. He already has the consequence of being off the ROTC drill team until the grades improve, and missed a snowboarding trip.

Even with all that, though, our relationship is still pretty good. He talks to me about his life, his thoughts. Its a fine line - I want him to feel comfortable talking to me, but he also has to respect my position of authority and not argue EVERY little decision I make (he might be a tad too comfortable, you know?)

Anyway, kids will be away for the weekend and I have lots to catch up on.

I've got a lot of things going in the right direction in my life, but others still need work.
I have no energy. I feel like my body is still trying to make up for the nearly two years of insomnia - I am tired all the time, and taking naps too often. I am watching my diet/caffine, but something else has to work. I know exercise might help, but I can't get the energy to even start.
I'm on the lowest-dose of effexor, now, and really want to wean off the rest of the way in the coming weeks. I have to make an appt with the psych to get the schedule - maybe she'll have some ideas about the energy.

I have lots of PLANS for being organized, but am still procrastinating in actually DOING a bunch of it! My time management sucks. I want a magic wand.

On a positive note, things at work are going smoother - I am back to normal capacity (nothing above and beyond just yet, but that's ok). SO glad to be back "in the game" there. Its hard to teach little kids when they sense that you aren't 100%. I need to get back to my grad studies, but I'm really apprehensive to take the classes back on just now - seems like I'm balancing a little more precariously than I would like. It has to happen soon, though - I need to finish for my license.

Balance....still trying to find it, I think. I want to make more time for friends, doing things, but there is all this other stuff that I have to get done.

The undercurrent of being divorced, all that I went through, missing that life, has gotten much quieter. It is still there, though, and shows itself more in my dreams. Like they say, seems to be a matter of time.

A thought just broke through while I am sitting here:
I asked myself if I am happy...

I am growing.
I am learning.
I am striving to become a better person.
I am loving my kids.
I have moments of laughter - feels good to be able to laugh again.
I have many blessings, including my family and friends, church, a home, a job, pets, being able to get outside and enjoy nature...

But I don't know if I can say that I am happy....not yet.

All good questions to ask yourself. The real goal is answering the question, "If I'm not really happy, what do I need to do to feel happy? What is my next step?"
Posted By: cat03 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 01/22/10 04:23 AM
my bible quaterly talked about happiness vs joy... how happiness depends on circumstances... how joy is an internal peace that is with you even if the world is upside down... that the peace God gives you is the kind no one else can give.

So, sometimes we will have our bad days... but the important thing is that we have peace in our hearts
...happiness is as predictable as a harvest. Inward joy defeats discouragement, happiness covers it up. Inward joy is lasting; happiness is temporary.
Joy is a delight that runs deeper than pain or pleasure"
Posted By: SallyM Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 01/24/10 08:53 PM
hey donna! sounds like you are doing well, glad to hear it. smile

I think mishka makes good points about happiness, btw.
"I have no energy. I feel like my body is still trying to make up for the nearly two years of insomnia - I am tired all the time, and taking naps too often. I am watching my diet/caffine, but something else has to work. I know exercise might help, but I can't get the energy to even start."

Donna, I can empathize totally with you here. I'm personally sick of feeling tired! I have a couple of good days and then BANG I'm hit with feeling exhausted, sore etc. It comes and goes. It gets discouraging indeed. If you're like me, you want it to go away NOW so you can have the life you want back. PATIENCE is apparently the key...so I hear (LOL). As far as exercise goes, I ordered some Qi Gong DVD's (Google it!). It's relaxing and energizing at the same time. If you want to try it just be careful you don't overdo it because it seems so easy to do. I ordered the DVD's from ExerciseToHeal.com and the fellow who does them, Lee Holden, is on PBS regularly. Give them a try if you want to start out exercising but don't want to be wacked out afterwards.
Hang in there!
Hey, friends!! (Sally!! Wow, long time!)

I made an appt today to get a physical - came home from work with a headache and laid down to let the ibuprophen work, and slept 2.5 hours! I can't do this anymore...

On another note....

In the place between being awake and asleep, x is still there. A lot.

Once, he told me that he wasn't the one hurting me, anymore.

In the dream, I told him he was. He hurts me everyday that he is gone, everyday that he has turned away from the vows he made, everyday that he has left all of us to live in this broken family. He hurts me, and he hurts his children.
I'm not going to die from these hurts (even though I thought for a long time that I would). The kids won't, either. But they are there, and they are things that we deal with on a daily basis. Chronic wounds...you learn to live with it, but it never completely heals.

I want to ask him, Was it all worth it? Are you so ecstatically happy that it warrants what life I am left with, what life the children are left with, your parents, family and friends?
How do you knowingly hurt your children like this - I will never, ever understand this.

And why the continued animosity, the undercurrent of lashing out? Are you still trying to convince me that you are an a$$hole? Do you really see me as some evil b1tch that you are lucky to be away from/unlucky to have even infrequent dealings with?

So many have said that time will do this for me, make the pain stop.......I really don't think it will at this point. Is it as sharp, as all-consumming as it once was? No, I don't think anyone could survive that level for very long. So it becomes dull, an undercurrent.
It is more than three years since the bomb.
Just about 2.5 years since he moved out and didn't look back.
Just about 1.5 years since the divorce was final.

I grieve....this is not the way things should be. This was so unnecessary. And I don't know how to turn off love.

I want to talk to him.
I miss the man I used to know.
I want to ask him, Was it all worth it? Are you so ecstatically happy that it warrants what life I am left with, what life the children are left with, your parents, family and friends?
How do you knowingly hurt your children like this - I will never, ever understand this.

This is exactly what I feel too. Was it worth all the pain and destruction... Why?
Donna, the reality is that it will never leave us to some degree or another. It is a part of who we are, you just learn to deal with it better. Time does not heal all wounds, it's what we do with that time that will dictate our healing. Once again, you've had a dip (and those damn headaches sure don't help keep you thinking good thoughts, do they!) Get some rest!!! Tomorrow is a new day, you've beat this before and you'll beat it again. The rollercoaster just keeps on rollin' but the dips will get further apart and won't be as deep. Hang on, Donna!
I'm feeling rather pathetic....
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 01/26/10 02:10 AM
Hey Donna..

Google 'getting past your past'. There's a site that has lots of great advice that I've been finding helpful. Also "Getting Past Your Breakup" is another great book.

DB and DR help with the process. This next step of getting past what was uses many of the same techniques but in ways that truly help me let go.. go.. go.

Check it out!

This is EXACTLY what I needed tonight - THANK YOU!!!

And, for anyone who might be sharing a moment with me, here is the article that I read that made me feel better, hole and all.

Are You Not Getting Over It?
January 22, 2010 by Susan J. Elliott
Someone asked me to rerun this. So here it is.
When I was doing my internship for my masters program, I interned at a residential alcohol and drug treatment program during graduate school, we all took the residents to a local AA meeting. One Friday night I was standing in the hallway before the meeting with two guys who were really hard core drug addicts who had been court ordered into the center for a year. They weren’t happy and they didn’t particularly like meetings.
Standing near us in the hallway was one of the “old-timers” of the meeting. His young “sponsee” was moaning about the fact that it was Friday night and instead of being out with his friends he was sitting around in an AA meeting. The two guys I was with mumbled to each other, “I hear that.”

The old-timer took $5.00 out of his pocket and gave it to the kid. “Here,” he said, “Go out and buy yourself a drink on me.” The kid looked startled. His AA sponsor was GIVING HIM MONEY TO DRINK? What? The sponsor said, “You’re obviously not ready. If you can’t handle sitting in a meeting on a Friday night in a program that will save your young, stupid life, you’re not ready. The door swings both ways. If you’re lucky, you’ll make it back.”

The kid returned the money and sat down and took his seat. The two guys with me were wide-eyed and they too sat down without protest (which was different than how they normally approached the meeting.)

Since then I’ve sometimes said to someone, “So maybe you ARE the one person in the world who can’t quit your ex. Call (him/her) up and have a good conversation. Perhaps you’ll get (him/her) back. Perhaps you’ll get closure. Perhaps you will finally be happy with this person.”

Many times the person will look at me like I just told him to light themselves on fire. You know why? Because I just did.

Sometimes people want to moan that they are not getting over it and will never get over it and this isn’t working and I’ll never be happy again.

No? Well go back to what you were doing. Because if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got. So go. Have at it. Here’s your $5.00, you’re not done.

But if you are serious about getting over your ex and changing your life and being treated better in the future, that option is here too. Don’t fear that you are the one person who won’t get over it or the one person in the universe who can’t move on. If you do the work you HAVE to move on. Even if you feel you’re not.

In the past year and 4 months, I have grieved the love of my life’s terminal illness and death. Some days I thought, “I’m never going to get through this.” or “I’m never going to get over this.” hits me. So yeah I know. But I ALSO know that’s not true. It hurts and it’s hard but I won’t stay stuck. I’ve gotten over abusive relationships, divorce from a major jerk, rejection by my birth mother (twice!), a dysfunctional foster/adoptive family and countless relationships with bananaheads. And after all that I found my way into the relationship of a wonderful, tender, loving man who supported me and was by my side loving me for 13 years and then he was taken away. Because of my past work, I know that I will always love him, and always miss him, but I can and will heal and go on and enjoy the good things in my life (of which there are many).

It’s not that people don’t get stuck in grieving. We all know that they do and we all know that friend who is stuck and can’t get off the dime. But if you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing, that won’t be you.

Part of going through the grief is doing the Relationship Inventory in the Getting Past Your Breakup book and looking at, really looking at, what you had and what you’ve lost. But if you’ve done all that and you’re back to thinking obsessively about the ex, chances are you’re only thinking about the good things and your brain is convincing you that this is the only one for you.

It’s time to take charge of that brain. Of redirecting it. Of not letting it wallow. Just because you “did” the Relationship Inventory doesn’t mean you’re necessarily done with it. Did you REALLY do it or did you just go through the motions? Did you not learn anything? What did you learn? Why aren’t you focused on that?

If you want to sit there and day dream about your ex then have it. You’re not done. This is your $5.00. Go off and moon over the ex. You’re not done. When you’re done you will redirect that brain. Until then, here’s your $5.00. If you want to text, email or call your ex, have at it. You’re not done. Here is your $5.00.

If you want to think about the past and your ex and how wonderful it was once upon a time, you will have no time to think about the benefits of losing this person who did not love you right, who was not good for you. Here’s your $5.00. You are not done.

If you’re not building your new life and developing a relationship with yourself and a chance to find someone who does love you, here’s your $5.00, you’re not done.

If you’re so busy thinking about what you’ve lost and you’ve romanticized that person and what you had or you’re not being honest about it, it’s not going to help the getting over it. Here’s your $5.00. You’re not done.

If you’re holding on..if you’ve gone through the review and the deep grief and you’re still allowing your daydreams to lead you around by the nose…you need to take charge of it…to start to move away from that…it takes work. It takes snapping it off… If you’re allowing yourself to go there day after day without taking charge of it, here’s your $5.00. You’re not done.

If you are splitting your ex and only remembering the good times and telling yourself “I’ll never find anyone like that again…” here’s your $5.00, you’re not done.

If you’re sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and how wronged you were and how life is unfair and terrible to poor widdle old you, here’s your $5.00, you’re not done.

If you’re not realizing that the “good times” you’re picturing in your head wasn’t real, then you’re not done. As I’ve said before, you need to stop dreaming and start figuring out if this person was a life partner. Someone who would be there for the bad times as well as the good times. Dreamy and sexy and romantic is fun and nice and good but when you get the frantic midnight calls from the kids or the bills are due and you have no money or you just need to know you’re both there to weather the “terrible dailyness” of life that can and does occur, well it just didn’t cut it. Because if it had, it would still be there. But the dreaminess…oh the dreaminess…want to dream? Here’s your $5.00…you’re not done.

If you want to stay stuck and be the one person who can’t get over it, then have it. Have it your way.

But if you want to get over it, it takes choice. It takes determination. It takes a decision to go through it and move on.

Some people just don’t want to get over it and don’t want to get honest about that.

What is TOUGH to get over is the loss of the hopes and the dreams, the family and the white picket fence, but you STILL can get over that.

What feels like “I can’t get over this.” today is just the difficulty you are feeling…it doesn’t mean you can’t….it means you’re still in the thick of things.

the goal is to get over it as well as you’re going to….to do the work and feel the sadness and anger and all of the feelings…to get as far in the healing process as you can get and then LIVE YOUR LIFE to the BEST of your ability.

I’ve counseled people who have lost a child, and people who have had their lives wiped out by fire or flood or lost multiple relatives in accidents or had someone they love commit suicide. Or, even worse, a child goes missing and the case is never solved. Those are tough, tough losses and the grief is immense and intense. It takes a long time to climb up those hills and yet, they do the work and some day they manage to turn the page. They don’t forget their loss or their loved one. They don’t forget the good times but rather get to a place where it makes them smile instead of cry. That is integration. Integration of the loss into the fabric of your being and know that it has made you stronger. The stories of hope and determination and perservence and the indominable human spirit are OUT THERE. Look around and see it. There are some very bad losses in life and losing a bananahead is not at the top of it.

This is not to downplay your loss or your grief. EVERY SINGLE LOSS no matter how big or small must be grieved and must be worked through. But a breakup is not something that is going to upend you. Put it in perspective. Do your grief and move on. Stop saying you can’t. People overcome all kinds of things in this world and in this life. You can get over this breakup. Truly you can.

Remember, acceptance at the end of the grief process is NOT happiness…it’s acknowledging the loss and acknowledging that you have changed but deciding to go on anyway.

Acceptance means you’re not laying down, you’re not becoming a martyr…but it hurts and it’s hard…Acceptance is the place where you come to when you’ve done the work and know that you have changed. You might always be sad on some level…there might always be a hole, something missing, on some level…but you’re going to go on and be as happy as you can be even with that hole in your soul.

Your heart needs to go on.

You can’t sit around waiting for the feeling to take hold…waiting to be inspired to move on…you need to CHOOSE to move on and DECIDE to move on. You need to know you will be sad again, it may not ever completely heal, but you’re going to do your best to live your best life.

When the sadness comes, you sit with it, you honor it and your loss and then you continue moving on again.

You CAN get over it…there are many losses you never completely heal from but there are others that you do heal from…in both cases you do your work and put one foot in front of the other and be the best person you can be and live life to the best of your ability.

Many people channel their sense of loss into worthy and noble causes, rising up to meet the challenge of life and loss. If you work through a loss, truly work through it, you HAVE to change for the positive. You do. You can do it.

It IS possible to grow strong in broken places. Do your work, trust the process and you can do it.

Now give me back that $5.00.

Awesome, awesome post. Thank you for sharing that in it's entirety Donna. I needed that today also.

Now, let go of the victim mentality (I'm doing it too - you are NOT alone) and move forward. That hole in your heart will get smaller as you find things and people to fill it with!
This was another article from that web site...I'm going to order the book today.

12/29 TFTD ~ When The Person You Love Doesn’t Love You
December 29, 2007 by Susan J. Elliott

It’s hard but it happens.

And it hurts.

You love someone who may have loved you once upon a time.


You love someone who acted like there was a possibility of love in return, but now there’s not.


You love someone who simply doesn’t feel the same way and isn’t going to feel the same way.



You loved someone deeply who loved you deeply and then this person just switched off and hurt you in ways that were unimaginable at the height of your mutual love.


This person loved you and you loved them and then someone new came along and they left. Friends tell you that you are better than this new person in every way. But your ex is still with Mr. or Ms. New Thing.

Whatever the situation, you’re left with a big pile of hurt. And it really hurts.

You go over your exchanges over and over in your mind. Where did it go wrong or fail to go right? What should you have done that you didn’t? What did you do that you shouldn’t have?

You feel rejected and less than. You feel as if there is something really wrong with you. You wonder what you could do to MAKE this person want you.

It’s frustrating if they are with a new person who doesn’t come close to being what you are. You seethe because this new person is a snake in the grass and your ex doesn’t see it. This new person is immature or unavailable or spoiled or just plain stupid. And your ex is enthralled none the less. What?

Or there is no one else and nothing else. This person just fell out of love one day. Or failed to fall in love on the day you did. That’s even more baffling. Wait. You’re choosing NOTHING over me? What?

Or your ex has spiraled into some other mindset. They’re depressed or upset or self-absorbed in some way. Wouldn’t you want someone to help carry the burden, you ask.

The answer is please leave me alone.

You’re freaking out. How is it that they want you to help by going away? WHAT?

The first emotion is disbelief. How can this be? How did I get here? How am I hurting over this person? Maybe your personality is draining away…you used to be fun and helpful and have a great sense of humor. Now you’re plain and dull and you’re boring all your friends with your sad refrain of unrequited love.

Part of you refuses to believe it. It CAN’T be so. Something will change. This is a phase. This is temporary. I’ll just sit here and wait for my love to smarten up and see the light. That is what I will do.

Better yet, I will change things. I will call him or her or text him or her. We will get into a big emotional conversation and I will persuade them that this is all wrong.

In the beginning it’s hardest to NOT do anything. You’re having trouble absorbing the news and the reality and before you feel the feelings of that reality you’re going to do your damndest to make it different or refuse to believe it.

Take your time but believe it. Let it slowly sink in and try to do the hardest thing there is to do: Nothing. Doing nothing in a situation like this takes energy. It takes a lot of energy. You will think you spend all your time NOT doing something. And that’s because you are.

Next come the feelings. You feel hurt, anger, betrayal. You feel rejected and less than. Your self-esteem is taking a hit from the feeling of rejection.

You might feel like a loser and begin to wonder how you can turn yourself into the person that this person will love.

Your mind may race with ideas. I’ll be quieter, thinner, happier. I won’t complain so much. I won’t rock the boat. I’ll like the insufferable family and friends that I couldn’t stand. I’ll go back to school. I’ll stop going to school. I’ll wear different clothes. I’ll buy a new car. I’ll get those allergy shots so I can be around that cat. I’ll work in a different industry. I’ll muzzle my kids. I’ll clean more. I’ll clean less. I’ll cook gourmet meals. I’ll listen when spoken to. I’ll go to bed earlier. I’ll go to bed later. I’ll go to church. I’ll stop going to church. I’ll pray. I’ll bargain with God. I’ll help the poor. I’ll devote myself to the eradication of world hunger. I’ll give my next paycheck to the church. I’ll join the Peace Corps. I’ll do anything, ANYTHING, if only You make this person come back. I’ll be everything You want me to be or everything this person wants me to be. I’ll do it all. I’ll do nothing. I’ll be more. I’ll be less. I’ll be everything and anything other than what I’m being right now. I’ll turn myself inside out to be the person he or she will love. I can do it. I will do it.


Stop right there. Forget about changing for someone else. Forget about bargaining for what you should have without bribing whatever deity you believe in. Forget about changing your whole life just so this narrow-minded little bonehead will love you. FORGET IT.

Every relationship is a learning experience. We learn what parts of us could use improvement. But not because this person found them unattractive or irritating but because YOU found them unattractive or irritating.

What did you do in this relationship or around this person (if you weren’t in a relationship) that could improve? Think about it. Journal about it. Think about ways to change it. But DON’T change things in yourself just because this person didn’t like it. Maybe this person has no taste or doesn’t know a thing. Don’t think of changing for another person. Only change for you. It’s OKAY to accept someone’s constructive criticism if it’s spot on and will help you in the end, but if not, justREJECT IT.

When you are leaving a relationship where someone doesn’t love you anymore or failing to move further in a relationship because someone won’t or can’t love you or not getting into a relationship because someone isn’t attracted to you, there is aHIT to the self-esteem. It’s a rejection no matter how you slice it. And it’s a rejection that stings.

The first thing you need to do is to take it in stride. Easier said that done? Yes. Everything is easier said than done so that phrase is meaningless.

Taking it in stride means telling yourself that you are okay no matter what. Yes, there might be things that need improvement but it is a lovable, worthwhile person who is willing to look at those things and change them. And if this person does not value all that you are and all that you can be there is only one sentiment to go in that direction: THE HELL WITH THEM.


It is time to REJECT THE REJECTER. And his or her ridiculous standards of measurement. Perhaps this person doesn’t know what he or she is losing. Perhaps this person has NO IDEA how worthwhile you are and what value you can add to their life.

That is their problem, not yours. You don’t want anyone who doesn’t think you are the end-all, be-all of lovers. You just don’t want them. They are stuck in some goopy substance that does not allow them to move off their position and see how great you are. That is their problem and their loss.

You have to see that the rejecter should be rejected. Do you want someone without vision? Without appreciation of all that you are and all that you can be? No, you do not. You want someone who loves you and thinks you are the best thing that ever happened to them. If this person doesn’t get that, then the hell with this person.

Stop talking to him or her. Stop trying to convince them otherwise. Stop waitng around for him or her to “get it.” The hell with anyone who doesn’t get it.

Or another possibility is that this person does recognize your value and how great you are but they are not in a place where they can be in a relationship. Maybe they’re not over their previous relationship. Maybe their life choices (home, job, school) are up in the air. Maybe it’s not about you in any way. It still hurts but this is something you can’t change. Even if you think that if the shoe was on the other footYOU wouldn’t let such a catch get away, it doesn’t work that way for everyone. Some people simply can’t get there from here. Let them be. It’s not the right time and there is nothing you can do about it. Gently let it go. It’s hard and it hurts but gently let it go.

The bottom line is that you do not want someone who does not want you. That hurts and that stings. And that is not what love is all about. Don’t sit around waiting for this person to want you. Reject anyone who doesn’t want you. They are not worth it. The first prerequisite for love is to be mutual. Otherwise it’s not okay.Reject the rejecter.

Stephen Levine once said, “The road is hard. Love softens it.”

Requited love, mutual love, real love softens it.

And until that love comes from a romantic partner who values you and sees how wonderful you are, get that love from family, friends and YOURSELF. You MUST be good to yourself as you move on from someone who does not value you enough to want an exclusive, romantic relationship with you.

Because who knows what (or who) you are missing as you roll around in the mud with this numbskull. Get on with your life and become the person you always wanted to be.

GET READY for true love, real love, lasting love. Get ready for a relationship with yourself and THEN a relationship with a loving and appreciative person who WILLcome into your life once you learn to value YOU. And you start valuing you by rejecting the rejection and the rejecter. The hell with it.

Be good to yourself. Today and always. In a relationship or out of a relationship. Be good to you.

Do your affirmations.

Tell yourself that mr. or ms. right is OUT THERE and he or she will value you for the person you are. In the meantime work on whatever needs working on. Have your feelings…let them out…write about them, talk about them but allow yourself the feelings. Don’t contact this person who does not value you. Be grateful it did not go any further. Be glad you are letting go of someone who doesn’t value you. Their presence will not soften the hard road. Their presence will just make things harder and THAT IS NOT WHAT WE WANT IN A PARTNER.

In a partner we want someone to share life’s sorrows and joys. We want someone who is there day in and day out. If this person can’t handle us without a big problem in our lives, why would we think they could handle it? They can’t.

Let them go and hold on and hold out for someone who loves you for you. There ISthat person out there. Mr. or Ms. Right will never question your value. Will never not love you unconditionally. If this person has rejected you in some way, he or she isNOT the one for you.

You might think this person is perfect in every way. No this person is not. Because this person doesn’t WANT you and the person who is perfect will want you. Not wanting you and not appreciating you and the value you bring to someone’s life isNOT a little thing. It’s a big thing. And if this person doesn’t love you and doesn’t want you and doesn’t appreciate you, then they are not perfect and their flaw is a fatal flaw and you need to reject the rejecter. You must.

If you’re trying to “win” in some way, ask yourself why? Does this go back to childhood? Are you trying to win over a cold and rejecting parent or caretaker? Are you trying to prove your self-worth by showing the world that someone else wants you?


Journal about the things you are trying to “win” over. Journal about how locked into this struggle you are. Is it really about this person and this period in time or does it go way way way back? Stop re-injuring yourself. Reject this rejecter and every rejecter that came before. Do your affirmations. Know that you are worth it. The hell with all the rejecters.

Even if you love this person, this person does not love you….and the person for you will love you. Deeply and Completely.

It exists.

It happens.

It is possible.

In the meantime you MUST MUST MUST be good to you and know your value and understand your value and get your value from inside you and not outside.

Be good to you.

Move on from rejection. Feel your feelings. Reject the rejecter.

Celebrate the you that is you.

And know that the right person for you is out there.


Note: I hate to put this here but since this is the most popular post on GPYP and has been lifted on several websites. I pour my heart and soul into this blog and I have to post this.

This is an original GPYP posting authored and copyrighted by Susan J. Elliott, Esq. The expression “Reject the rejector” is an original GPYP quote and the trademark application is pending. If you use this expression without crediting, it is a trademark violation.

If you take significant portions of this post, it is plagiarism. If you rewrite it in your words but still follow the same outline and sentiment it is PLAGIARISM.

If you repost it without crediting it to Susan J. Elliott, Esq., it is copyright infringement and is actionable under the laws of these United States. Please review my copyright policy. As an attorney, I will enforce my legal rights aggressively.
Posted By: NNP1965 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 01/26/10 12:59 PM
Thanks Donna that first post was EXACTLY what I needed to read today. I will keep it close and read it everyday smile
This is the link to the blog where those articles came from. The writer has asked that articled not be reposted in their entirety; only the beginning and then a link. I can't go back and edit, but I want to give credit where it is due. It seems to be a wonderful site, and I will be getting the book, too.

Love that! Reject the rejecter! So true.
Wow - what a wonderful post! Thanks so much for sharing it. I think I need to read it everyday. Thanks again!
There is going to be a Saturday meeting in midtown Manhattan on Saturdays if enough people sign up called Heartbreak Bootcamp - covers the concepts in her book in 6 weekly sessions. Go to that web site to show interest if you think you might want to go (I think she wants to start sometime in March).
Donna, I'm with you . This article - which I only skimmed fast - overwhelmed me, hit me square in the solar plexus. What a great site it's from. What a great gift from Gyps.
I just got an image in my head from that 80's movie Better Off Dead....

I want my two dollars!!! In this case, its $5.00. And you know what, you can keep it - I'm in no rush to set myself on fire in the near future wink
Better Off Dead!!!!! I LOVE THAT MOVIE!!!! That nasty little paper boy and his darned $2! LOL.

I'm sitting here giggling just thinking about it. I'm going to have to break out the old VHS of that one and watch it.
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 01/27/10 02:04 PM

Why don't we ask her to do in CT?
Hey Donna!!!

What's up chica?
Just finished up with dinner...too-full belly. I really have to switch to the sandwich plates.

Other news....realized over the weekend that there isn't anyone to "throw" a 40th birthday party for me at the end of the month. I'm a bit bummed about that. My sis is MIA, no parents. I remember back a few years ago to the 40th that x got together for our-then-friend/now his girlfriend, because "her husband is too much of an ass to plan one." It was just neighbors, but it was a surprise for her - he had taken her for a motorcycle ride, then pulled up with her after we were all set up.
The year he left, he bought her flowers (on my credit card) for her birthday and "as a thanks for helping watch D in the mornings." He even called her x to ask if it was ok (we were both so blind to what was actually going on!).

Anyway, enough of that. Just don't know what I want to do. I am leaning more towards saving any money for two trips I want to take: April 15th-18th is the National Art Educators' Assoc. Convention in DC. I went to the one in NYC about 8 years ago and had such a great time! I'm trying to figure out how to get the kids down there to join me, since it's their spring break. Cherry blossoms and free museums.....
Then, I am going to try my hardest to get to Italy this summer. I think I can only stand about a week away from my kids (hopefully S14 will be in summer camp, anyway, and maybe D will be into something by then). I need to feed my soul....I was talking to Goldey the other night -

There were so many concessions, rather than compromises, that I made in my R/M. Things that my soul wanted so much.
Photo journeys.
Time in museums.
HIking and being outdoors more.
And travel.

I need to see the Sistine Chapel and the David. Stand under the Eiffel Tower. Wander through Ireland and the home of my ancestors. See antiquities.

Crap - lights just went out in the new sunroom that the kids and I have been fixing up - they were trying to run the treadmill and the heater at the same time.
I went down with S14 and checked the breaker box - doesn't look like anything was thrown. We fiddled with them all, checked the other box, the sub box. Finally, S14 called his dad - there were a few breakers not labeled.
But I'm still sitting in the dark. X finally told S14 to ask his grandfather to look at it.

Two steps forward, one step back.
"The year he left, he bought her flowers (on my credit card) for her birthday and "as a thanks for helping watch D in the mornings." He even called her x to ask if it was ok (we were both so blind to what was actually going on!)."

Donna, my STBX went to Tokyo with her OP and phoned me to ask what I'd like her to bring me back! I almost said "how about your friends head in a bag" but held back. I ended up with a Komona (sp) and a T-shirt...I use the T-shirt as a rag to wash my car with.
Btw, I threw my own 50th birthday party...when the kids saw the decorations they asked if I was throwing my own party. I said "yes, I am" and one replied "that's really sad"...who says they're gifts from God!!! I remember one birthday years ago when I was very very single, although my parents had invited me over I decided to go to a movie that was opening that day. When I got to the theatre for the early showing the line was all the way down the street and the movie was sold out. So try and beat these BD stories with on your 40th (LOL)...or better still, don't!
I am leaning more towards saving any money for two trips I want to take: April 15th-18th is the National Art Educators' Assoc. Convention in DC. I went to the one in NYC about 8 years ago and had such a great time! I'm trying to figure out how to get the kids down there to join me, since it's their spring break. Cherry blossoms and free museums.....

If you make it to DC let me know, I am not far from there!
Posted By: NNP1965 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 02/02/10 12:33 PM
Originally Posted By: bright_new_day
If you make it to DC let me know, I am not far from there!

Me too! Don't forget me smile

For my 50th I had recently joined facebook and many of my high school friends were adding me as friends... so I got to see pictures and hear about all the wonderful things their spouses were surprising them with for their 50th. As you all know, my H surprised me by getting himself a 36 year old whore for a girl friend. frown

Oh wait, I did get a mug and gift card from starbucks RME
Originally Posted By: MsInvisible
Originally Posted By: bright_new_day
If you make it to DC let me know, I am not far from there!

As you all know, my H surprised me by getting himself a 36 year old whore for a girl friend. frown

Oh wait, I did get a mug and gift card from starbucks RME

That's it, that's what I forgot to pick up for my 50th...the 36 year old whore! I'll know better next time grin
wii - love the car wash idea...

And I'd love to get together with whoever smile

As for the breakers...
Long story short, $75 to turn a breaker back on (it was on the panel in the apt, and I thought I checked that...?) Crap.

On a better note, S14 got a scholarship to attend the weekend church retreat he wanted to go on. We are responsible for........$75. At least this expense will be split with x.
Coincidence on the $75, I think not. More like a God Breeze.
I think we should do Vegas for your birthday.
OMG!!! Vegas BABY!!!! That would be a blast!! I might be able to do a weekend if I can get someone to watch after my mom and use my free AirTran ticket.
Well, someone better get ahold of Cookie.
Just make sure what happens there stays there. whistle cool
I could even find Vegas from here! I've only been through the airport!
I'm more a NYC girl....don't make enough to gamble.
Another option would be Denver, close enough for everyone, and some killer scenery.
Originally Posted By: goldeylox
Another option would be Denver, close enough for everyone, and some killer scenery.
I plan on heading out there sometime soon to visit S.
Can we try for someplace warmer?
Almost-40. Went for a physical yesterday. In no particular order, I found out I have to go get my ovaries sonogramed, make an appt with the dermatologist, get a mammogram, get fasting bloodwork done, take a sleep test overnight, follow up with the dr in a month to check a lump in my armpit, take calcium and vit D suppliments, got my tetnus/whooping cough booster, need the swine flu shot....oh, and loose 45 pounds. BMI is 33 something, which classifies as obese - more salad and eating on sandwich plates, plus EXERCISE. My blood pressure is at a new high of 130/80 (I used to be so good at 120/70), so there goes salt and soup. Somehow, I lost a 1/2 inch, so I'm now officially 5'1/2". I'm going to keep rounding up - only so much a girl can take!

I get to wait until I'm 50 before the colonoscopy, at least. Unless I come back anemic.

I was actually thinking of going on a speed-dating thing next Wed, but now I feel gross and have no time with all this other stuff that has to be done!

This weekend is at least looking up - Spirituality book club Sat morning, church valentine's dance that night (singles' table with friends), then teaching Sunday school. Flylady is Declutter 15 min/day this month, and we're doing pretty good at that. My sink is still clean smile

Sounds exciting, hmm?
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 02/04/10 10:02 PM
Gosh, I am worn out just reading all of that! Have you not been to the doc's in a while? Sounds they are going to keep you hopping. Maybe they are part of a GAL plan. lol

Hope all your tests are good. smile

Donna, today I was dressed to my shoe (singular) before 8am!
I've been thinking about Disney Florida. Can't DB'ers do their thing anywhere?
Anywhere, anytime!!! smile

Gees Donna! They put you through the ringer didn't they? I hear ya on the BMI thing. Mine is SUPERBAD so I feel your pain. That is a lot of testing, but just think how good you will feel once you have it all done and you know your health is in order. Very important!

Flylady overwhelms me. I have tried some of her things, but for the most part I just continue with what I have been doing......one room at a time on the weekend. Not very productive but it makes me feel a little better. I never did totally understand what the dressed down to shoes meant. Why is it she wants to make sure you have shoes on? The sink cleaning freaks me out a little too. I should probably do it again soon though.
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 02/05/10 03:54 PM
I think her idea is that if you get dressed all the way down to your shoes you are more up to the task at hand. You are ready to go to work. If you stay in you PJ's or sweats you will tend to lounge around and not be motivated.

The shiny sink is a reminder of how good it feels to have that clean with no dishes cluttering it up. so I think if you ever fall off the Flylady wagon, you can hop right back on by shining your sink. smile


PS Sorry for the hijack Donna. Hope you are feeling good.
Shiny sink today, for sure. Sheriff serving STBX tonight.
Going dark for the weekend. Sis in town, major DRAMA at the hospital and I just need to chill out.
Calling MD to look at meds, per the advice of one I trust.
Will return calls/e-mails, after the SAINTS come marching in!
Not a lot to post lately....which is a good thing. I can look back and realize that I have woken up from a terrible nightmare. But before that nightmare, there was a very long dream.

I am glad to be back. I feel most like myself, now, and it is good. There are changes; there has been growth. Surprising, but I didn't realize how important it was to learn to live as an independent woman. I had never had the chance to do that (other than when I went away to college, and I still went home every weekend to be with the boy...).

Anyway, trite, I know, but it is a new chapter.

I still have things to learn (and am grateful for that). Right now, it is concentrating on learning more about:
*what my body is capable of, and making it healthy
*getting myself and home organized and peaceful (FlyLady)
*exploring interests and ways to spend my time
*finishing that damn grad degree I was almost done with when the sh!t hit the fan
*releasing the last of my anger - it is mostly relegated to dreams at this point, my subconscious still wrestling with the past. Images of my parents percolate up, too - I am a work in progress.

If I don't get to check in with my friends here, I hope that you all forgive me. Most of the closest know me in the alt or can get me there. I am forever indebted to so many here, and this site.

Onwards and upwards - I turn 40 on the 25th, and it seems like it will really be a milestone.
Posted By: FLTC Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 02/17/10 02:08 PM

Not being tethered to the bb is a true sign of growth. I can remember when I first found this site, posting every 10 minutes and hanging on until someone posted back to me! I remember starting a new thread for every random thought, and being scolded on my board etiquette by the old timers! Hah! My first stop in the morning and my last stop at night was this board.

No need to ask forgiveness from anyone. We all know how this works. You sound good. Hang in there.
Hi Donna - please look me up on the alt..Ericm Sant
I just updated a who's who on the alt if any want to check it out. Let me know if assistance is needed...

Life is good. Going into NYC to celebrate my birthday a little early tomorrow- BFF is running the show, so I have no idea what we are going to do! At least the weather is looking good. Had dinner with the in-laws at Chinese tonight, too smile
Hi Donna,

Sounds like you've turned a corner! Turning 40 isn't so bad. turned 50 & it got even better!

You have a fun w/e planned - ENJOY! And let me be the first to wish you a Happy Birthday!

HUGE corner turned!! I get the difference between single and alone - I'm not lonely. Life is good. Never thought I would ever feel that way again, but here I am!
That's awesome Donna!

You have to become comfortable with yourself before you can ever be with someone else. Not that you NEED to be part of a couple. I found that I learned to like beind single when I finally came to terms with it. And if I was single again - I know I'd be fine.

Many of my divorced friends are not in a couple situation nor do they wish to me. Everyone has to figure it out for themselves.

You sound great!

Wow Donna, so awesome to see you say that! You have come so far!!!!
Posted By: cat03 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 02/20/10 09:44 PM
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 02/25/10 07:24 PM
Happy birthday Miss Donna! Have a lovely day.

Happy Birthday!
Yes, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope that if you are snowed in that you at least have LOTS of hot chocolate on hand.
Thank you smile So far, it's been only rain and some flooding. They are saying it may switch over tonight, so we'll see.
I have to go out and get a ball gown for my son's ROTC military ball for tomorrow night (nothing like last minute); at least I got my hair done Tues.
I was going to go to a Dennis DeYoung/Styx concert tonight but my friend backed out...home with the kiddos, have to cook for a friend whose son is in the hospital with a preforated appendix, then have cake that MIL made for me.
Hope everyone is well....
Well, there have been better birthdays, but this wasn't terrible. Just a bit down, and I know that I am letting myself go there - at least it was at bay for most of the day.
Both kids had gotten small presents for me at the mall yesterday while they were with their father (a pisces tattoo-art bracelet and a small mexican sculpture). Had a great day at work. Home to begin the running around.

D10 is doing the 30 Hr famine this weekend, while S and I are at the Ball tomorrow night. Her father is taking her. I had emailed him asking if he was getting her things with her from his house, or just getting her from here.
He emailed back and said I should bring her stuff over today instead of tomorrow, while I was picking S up from school (it is still 15 min more to his house from school; certainly not on the way - and packing everything a day early - not to mention my birthday). Rather than start an argument, I just let it go - I would drop her things off today, since I had also promised friends on the same street the dinner (their S is recovering from surgery).

On the way down there, he called my D to ask where we were and if I was bringing the things for her Famine retreat - yes, we are already in the car.
He met us there and said Happy Birthday as I was struggling with big boxes out of my car (she is sleeping outside in a cardboard-box-city). He took the boxes and I just said thanks and got back into the car. He hugged D, then we went across the street to deliver dinner, then off to get S.
I never looked him in the face, let alone the eyes. I don't think he looked at me, either.
Picked S and his friends up, dropped friends off. He balked at going to the mall, so I dropped him off in the rain on the way home. More pissiness from me. Went to Macy's, got confirmation that I have gained about all the weight back and grossed myself out in the triple mirrors, found something not too disgusting, paid $90 and went home.

By this time, I am exhausted. I couldn't help but think back to the time about 5 years ago, to the 40th party my ex threw for the gf...making sure that her friends and everyone in the neighborhood came, took her out on his motorcycle while we set up the rest, surprising her. All of us, friends, kids, playing and relaxing down the hill. He did it because he accused her H of being an a$$ who wouldn't do anything for her. I probably did most of the shopping for that...

Went back and got S, took the kids out to Chinese buffet. Now we are home and in PJs. S wanted a friend to come over to shine shoes - no, I don't think so. I don't even feel like lighting the candles on the cake tonight.

Hope the rain lets up. Or turns completely to snow so there is no school tomorrow. It will be another crazy, long day tomorrow for this ball. And I know that I will be in the small minority who goes on their own.

On the other hand, TONS of well-wishes from friends and family (a few cards and emails, lots of FB). In spite of the hassles, happy to be with my kids.

On to tomorrow, which will be just another day.
Posted By: BeingMe Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 02/27/10 05:50 PM
So it seems your WAH is the a$$, not the gf's H. I haven't posted to your thread in a long time, but this just caught my eye.

I hope you have a good year going forward.
Posted By: karen43 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 02/27/10 06:29 PM
Me too! You sound good; yep, your X is the true a$$.

My S16 did the 30 hour famine recently. It's such a great experience; although I don't know how they do it! They did find an empty potato chip bag in the morning in the trashcan though; so somebody cracked! My D10 wants to do it next year and I think I will do it too (be one of the parent chaperones). It's a great program....

And Happy Birthday, just a little bit late! smile smile smile
Donna, birthdays can be tough. Mine is tomorrow and I guess I should be thankful that my STBX is thoughtful enough to take me and the kids out for dinner (oops, that will be outside the guidelines for my tremendous new diet! grin). It's still a different world than the one I lived for 17 years as a married man. We all just carry on and do the best we can with what we've got. I hope today is a better one for you smile
Thanks, Wii. I really don't think I have the constitution to sit through dinner with my ex; not at this point, anyway. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and don't focus on what isn't (pun intended).

After the hour or two pity party (after a pretty good day), I fell asleep and woke up back in a better frame of mind. Things have continued to look up.

I am still reading more about narcissism...not really sure why at this point, since it doesn't really matter. Part of it is, I think, to figure out why I was with a person like this for so very long, if he really is a narcissist. It is to try to delve farther into my own issues and see what I have to work on.

On the other hand, I read a great line that said, "Thank your lucky stars you DON’T GET IT. Thank your lucky stars you are NOT the quick change artist. Thank your lucky stars that you have enough integrity to not have been able to see this coming."
(from http://gettingpastyourpast.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/youre-not-who-i-fell-in-love-with-2/#more-5888)

So, it is all a balancing act as I move forward.

Oh, and a MUCH smaller part of my life, now!
Spent the weekend with a snow day Fri (great late birthday present), supporting my daughter who did the 30 hour famine to raise $ and awareness for world hunger... Then, son's ROTC Military Ball was Saturday - dressed up, ceremony, filet mignon, dancing.....
Sunday was Sunday school and a great, reflective and respectful class (a big thing with middle school kids), rest....


I am sitting in the psych dept of my local hospital. A friend of mine from AlAnon is in crisis, and asked that I come by. She has been in recovery for more than 9 years, but has just got the bomb from her second husband about a month ago. Man, it sucks. She knows that she has to let him figure things out on her own, but it is making her crazy that she can't talk to him, that he lashes out, etc. We've all been there. She knows what she has to do, but is struggling. I think she will get some meds today; not sure if she will be admitted. I am glad to be where I am, so I can be there for her.
Looks like I might have a roommate for a few days...
Donna, there are books on emotionally abusive relationships, which narcissism certainly creates. Two come to mind, Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse by Gregory L Jantz and The Emotionally Abusive Relationship by Beverly Engel. My wife had/has narcissistic traits, so my IC said. I too wonder why I stayed so long in a R that was giving me nothing particularly healthy. I still believe part of the reason was that I did not want to give up family, I couldn't do that to the kids unless I saw no other alternative and that day did come until then I DB'd!But another part is that maybe it was easy to be in a R where the lines were clear "it's all about me, baby!" and I'm a caregiver so I went for it. When a R centres on one person you don't have to risk sharing yourself, your fears, your dreams...you just try to please. In many ways it's a really simple and uncomplicated R, you know the rules and they never change. Anyway, I'm just just thinking out loud smile
Glad you're feeling better.
Gypsy and I are going to see my son in "A Flea In Her Ear' as Westconn this weekend.
Available: Thurs, Fri., Sat., (3/11, 12, 13) at 8:00 Also, Sat., 3/11 @2:00

Interested? I'm flexible & so is she.
Let's all pick two dates and see what gels.

Any other nearby Nutmeg Staters out there interested?
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 03/11/10 05:33 AM
Hey Donna..

What about this Saturday at 8 PM. It would be great fun to get together again.

Ahh.. the joys of dessert after an fun evening. Yum!

Posted By: FA Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 03/12/10 06:38 AM
How's it goin' Donna.....still hangin' around the boards!

I am just surfin' the boards to see who may need a reality check...

Hehehehe...Happy St. Patrick's Day....

It is a full month since I posted to my own thread.

First, I wanted to thank any and all of my friends who have helped me walk this path...I can't imagine how I would have survived it without this place.

Now, a brief update.

Things are really good for me. Again, Peaceful. I am comfortable in my own skin. I'm reminded of that title, "How Stella got her Groove Back." That's where I am, back in my own groove.

Work at teaching elem art is wonderful, frustrating, challenging, exhilerating....I am so fortunate to not only have a job, but one that I love. And I am back "on." Back to hamming it up with the kids, getting creative, being silly or empathetic or caring or strict, whatever the kids need.

My home is in much better shape - I can't believe it took me this long to finally hire someone to come in and help me clean. No guilt here! For $70/week (which will drop to $35/week when I switch over to every other week in May), I come home to a house that is clean. Because I know she is coming, I spend my time decluttering and making room for her - MUCH more productive!! No more burning out or resentment over not being able to do it all!! I figure that I receive $200/week in alimony, so this is to replace the man-power that is missing - I also gave up being guilty about having someone shovel the snow when it was crazy-deep, doing the big fall clean-up, etc. That is what this money is for.

I am about to finish the weaning-off process from the Effexor - lowest dose, now cutting the pill in half. Should be done before the April vacation week. Also, speaking with my IC, we agreed that we would wrap that up, too. Meeting once a month a few times, then once over the summer...always available via email, but it was good to know that we both sensed it was time.

I am going to a wellness center - addressing the adrenal fatigue, exhaustion, weight gain....nutritionist, PT, chiropractic....I had been doing a Zumba class (LOVED it!!) but pinched a nerve in my lower back from sneezing, so healing that up. Finally found a halter that my nutty dog can't wiggle out of, so walking with her, now. The weather today is PERFECT at 70! Suppliments, mega - VItamin D. No more starch (which is a sad thing for this pseudo-Guinea, who is missing her pasta!) for a while - just veggies and lean protein for a while.

I am loving Spring - it is the one season that I always focus on not missing...I have missed it in the past. Such a fleeting thing, and too easy to get caught up in all the Have To-s. My forsynthia is in bloom, along with the crocus and daffodils...fruit trees will come soon. Went with D10 yesterday to buy pansies. Decorated Easter eggs. Opened every window in the house. Every day it doesn't rain, I go sit in the grass in the yard, listen to the spring peepers, breathe in all the life that is waking and warming up.

Church is still an important outlet for me. I go to services on Sundays. I help decorate the altar (and get to be creative - but wow, was it strange to stand up there the first few times! I was literally shaking!). I attend a Women's Spirituality group on Saturday mornings with a fantastic group of women, all ages. We are just about to complete our Lenten studies, and worked through and shared our own wildernesses. Powerful stuff...so much of the same messages coming to me from so many different avenues (therapy, self-help books, our boards, AlAnon, other random articles that come across my path, even professional development for teaching) - I'm listening. And still growing.

My friend with the marriage-falling-apart-thing stayed with me for a week. She is needy, and sad, and so confused. I've given her lots of resources, try to not talk too much but listen more. Her husband is going through MLC and is very confused, hot and cold. No idea if they will make it, but I am there for her when I can be. I have had to turn off the ringer on my phone and screen calls, though, as she calls when I am at work or at appts - just keeping healthy boundaries. I've given her the number to Crisis hotline a few times. I am happily surprised that it doesn't bring up lots of crap for me, no rumination....illustrates how far I've come.

Like I said, I am content. I had a profile online, but I forget about it all the time. Cancelling the subscription due to lack of interest (mine!). Just no urgent need. Hard to imagine devoting the time to someone else right now, anyway. I've focused on my friendships much more, and it feels good. Like-minded people. Open.

My kids are dealing - I think pretty normally. S14 has me a bit sad as I watch him struggle with his grades, but I think I've done all that I can do for him at this point. Emails to teachers, dropping an elective and getting him into a supervised study hall, pulling him from his beloved ROTC Drill team after school, checking his planner for homework and missing assignments... He just doesn't seem to be able to connect that his lack of work outside of school is going to impact him and his future choices. 9th grade counts. His teachers and I agree that he is more than capable - should be an A-B student. But he just doesn't do homework, won't study, remains unorganized....I am seriously considering ADHD meds. This semester snowballed and he didn't get the study hall in time to make up all his work, so we will see as the new one starts. Our district is so small that he can't repeat a class unless he out-and-out fails. Get a D, and it stays a D.
Between that and some expected-but-still-a-pain pushing of limits.....sometimes feels like dealing with him as a 3 yr old again. I actually start counting when he won't get off the couch to do something that needs to be done or won't close the computer. He knows that if I get to three, he is either grounded the rest of that day and the next (waste my time, I waste yours) or the tech gadget is gone for minimum 24 hours. Seems to be working, but can be exhausting, too.

D10 is my overly-worried child, eager to please to a fault. Attached at my hip when home, and is getting more demanding of my attention. Very sensitive. I am setting up boundaries with her, too. Pointing out when she is not thinking of the other person (example - waking me up at 6am on a Saturday because she "wants me.") Lots of reassuring and concentrating on the postives.

So, I guess that's the low-down. I have Easter this year (YAY!!!). Ex picked the kids up today at 3:30 and they are home tomorrow night. I am putting together eggs to hide for Sunday morning, along with their baskets, today. Decorating a bit.

Life is good. I can hardly believe I finally got here, but here I am smile
Much love to all of us who feel so deeply and from the heart...
Wonderful update Donna! You sound fantastic and I'm so happy to hear it!

What a great update, Donna! I'll be enjoying spring with you.

Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 04/03/10 01:17 AM
Yeah Donna!! I am so glad that you feel good and sound good. I know S14 had issues with school to. More so last year and then a bit at the beginning of the year before he had a girlfriend. Surprisingly his grades got better then and he also became a bit of a social butterfly.

All is going well with me too. We will have to catch on the alt sometime soon.

:-D.... See!
Donna, I was going to say that what you have done with adjusting S14's schedule is exactly what I had to do with Marc's. We actually moved him to a 5 year high school plan to slow things down because it was overwhelming him. We took out his biology class for 2nd semester and added a study skills class in to compliment his social skills class. It has worked out tremendously well and he is making B's and C's now instead of D's and F's!

I'm exciting to see what you do with your spring!

Personally, I'd love to see some pictures of your art on FB. Can you post some of the projects you have? I'm not artistic in any way but I love to see other's work. I appreciate art, just can't create it.
OK, friends, turning here with frustration...

Today was an unusual down-turn for me....actually went home and straight to bed before it could get full-blown.

You have all read the issues S14 is having in school. He is challenging me a lot, but is also loving and open with me at other times (so I don't outright kill him?).

Well, this morning, he decided he couldn't go to school because he was supposed to wear his ROTC uniform, and the pants are now a little short, since he is growing like a weed.
I suggested going in with the uniform pants and exchanging them as soon as he got into the building. Refused...
Told him to go in anyway, suck it up and get the demerit - he was NOT staying home from school because of clothing, especially since I had reminded him to check the uniform on Monday night.

He is suddenly 6" taller than me. I mean, last summer, I looked over his head.
I can't physically force him to do anything. And he has gotten passive aggressive down pretty well, moving at a snail's pace when he is told to do something until I resort to the counting to three thing.
So, he slugged along until the bus was gone. I am getting myself and D10 ready for school.

Finally, I told him that if he wasn't going to school, he wasn't sitting home with the tv and computer all day - I took him with me to my school, had him do his schoolwork all day and help with my classes occasionally. He is also grounded through the weekend.

Now, the problem.

He texted his father to let him know he stayed home. His father called him multiple times until he got on the phone, then "ripped him a new one," twice throughout the day. Insisted he wanted to talk with me at lunch.

So, I called him. We spoke for about 20 minutes. He wanted to know why I didn't call him right away for help in the morning (he said he would have gotten to him then, or even driven back from work an hour to drag him to school).
I told him again about the recent challenges, and that it might not be something that he wants to hear, but it is some of the fallout from the divorce - we are no longer a united force, the man role-model is no longer a constant. I said that I was frustrated on many levels, especially since raising our kids was something that we had been so good with. I did let some of the anger and blaming seep through; I know it. I told him that S14 doesn't really care all that much what he thinks about him (a half-truth....more of a projection of mine that what my son has actually expressed, I think), so him getting into it all the time would have limited effects, anyway.

He said it isn't that he is putting down my parenting, just that he wants to help, to be more involved. That I should call him each and every time, whenever I get challenged. I don't think he realizes how often that would be.

And here is when I start feeling like sh!t.....

I am still angry. Angry that my kids have to deal with this. Angry, too, with being abandoned, pushed aside, and now this man wants to work together and be friendly. I know it is only because of the kids.
I can keep these feelings at bay when I have no contact.

I just want him to go away. I don't want his help.

Those pain-in-the-a$$ feelings try to well up...be a friend and maybe he will "see." Maybe he will be sorry. Maybe he will realize what he left behind.

Where does this COME from? I go back to the list of crappy things he did, my gratitude list for the life I currently have. Emotions suck. Loving someone sucks.

It comes up within me again, wanting to sit down with him and talk, explain how angry I am, how it gets in the way of us doing anything together about the kids, wondering if he really is happier the way things are now (of course, NO indication that this isn't the case! He just took that woman and her 4 kids down to Easter with all his sibs - I've given up on relationships with any of them, at this point, an easier thing to let go, given the current perspective I now have).

My head screams, USELESS, BACKWARDS, A PATH TO BEING MISERABLE AGAIN BECAUSE I CAN'T FIX IT OR CHANGE IT. (My IC has asked me in the past - what is it about me that has this irrepressible drive to fix things? I haven't been able to wrap my head around that, yet).
Smart brain is pretty sure that the limits he has displayed show that he just isn't worth it, that he isn't capable of emotional growth, etc, that I deserve better. Shows at least traits of narcissism.

So, I feel torn, guilty. Am I being selfish in keeping it all to text and email? Not wanting to get him involved in the day-to-day issues with the kids?
Or have I doomed an awakening?

I don't know what direction to go in, now. I know what I WANT - him to either go away so I can stay sane, or for him to have some kind of awakening, some remorse....and then what? I don't even know.
Neither of those seem plausible.

But I know that dealing with him as things are, going along with the life he chose for himself (and inadvertently, me) without saying anything........I haven't been able to do that - it is crazy-making.

I think that, rather than coming to acceptance, I was back in denial, again. Pretending that he was dead, or something...anything other than making peace with what is.
Explains why I still dream of taking her head off at the shoulders. Dreams suck.
When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part
You roll outta bed and down on your knees
And for the moment you can hardly breathe
Wondering was she really here?
Is she standing in my room?
No she's not, 'cause she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....

When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The giving up is the hardest part
She takes you in with your crying eyes
Then all at once you have to say goodbye
Wondering could you stay my love?
Will you wake up by my side?
No she can't, 'cause she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....

Have I just been biding time, trying to wait this whole mess out?

I want to do what is best for my kids. Just don't know if I am strong enough to do that..........they need their mother sane, too.

I don't know what to do. Feels like the edge of that slippery slope, again.
And I bet he doesn't even have a clue as to what is going through my head.
Posted By: antlers Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 04/08/10 01:50 AM
Hi Donna.

Feelings and emotions are fickle things...they pass. Sound judgement isn't fickle.
You're human, and you're hurt...and you still sometimes feel the things that you mentioned. That's OK. I know you'd rather not feel them...but, we all do from time to time.

I think, in order to learn from the past...a person must 'forgive' it. Not forget it, and not forgive one person in particular...but, forgive the past. The whole past (all inclusive).

I'm struggling with some of the same things you are. It's hard. It hurts. I sleep better these days knowing that I did everything I possibly could to turn things around...even though I was not able to do it. It took more than me...and the other party wasn't willing.

Time...it's the one thing...the only thing...that can truly take away this kind of pain. That, and lots of effort.
Thanks, antlers.....
time sucks, right up there with love.

Just read this...seems cruel timing:

April 07, 2010
Pisces (2/19-3/20)
You'd like nothing better than to charge off after that one special person you're wildly attracted to, completely forgetting about anyone and anything else. Moreover, your perpetually keen instinct is telling you they'd absolutely adore it if you did. Unfortunately, you're duty-bound at the moment, and they may be too. Until that changes, hang out, make plans and and bide your time. You can do it, but you'll certainly have your work cut out for you.

Toying with the idea of asking my IC to do one final sit-down with x...maybe have him read some of what I wrote today, have her get a take on where his head is at, see if he gets any of this. See if it is safer to keep my current course of no contact at all....I don't know.
But man, what an ego trip it would send him on if he is still sure and happy about his choices, to know that I may still be thinking about him...but then again, I wouldn't care, since I would go back to complete no contact and he couldn't use it against me.

Are relationships always this supposed to be hard, and I was just the clueless of them all for more than 20 years? Stupid, Donna - there IS no relationship right now!!! Ugh.............
Posted By: lodo Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 04/08/10 02:32 AM
Hey Donna,

Saw your post on FB. It's funny - we must be in sync today. Had felt like I'd reached an absolute turning point of no looking back last week. All was absolutely positive.

Met with XW today. Went fine, but I left feeling like, after having an A and treating me like sh*t, she'd been able to move on to a great life. I'd been left picking up the pieces. And still am to a certain extent. Still don't really know the reason why.

But you know what? So what. I'm not living her life. I'm living my life. It may not be as shiny and positive as she makes out her life to be, but it's the best I've got. And I'll be damned if I let her get me down. I would LOVE for her to feel remorse, but I know she doesn't process things that way. I, however, do process things that way. I would feel remorse. So everything I push on to her, is really about me.

Hard to admit it, but it's true. But here's the silver lining. We're thinking this through. We're analyzing ourselves and measuring the responses. We're much better prepared for anything life throws our way. Them? Not so much.

I know this isn't much consolation, but part of living is dealing with the curves thrown your way. Each day you're stronger and more in control, whether it's obvious or not.

Posted By: swashy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 04/08/10 02:34 AM
Sorry you are having a hard time Donna. I think that we all go through similar stuff. My ex and OM bought a big house in our old neighborhood and now she wants to bring him to our kids events. I told her that it would make me uncomfortable and that if she truly wanted to have things comfortable that she should put some work into it rather then just pretend it is. She of course ignored it. IMHO, you can't punch someone in the nose and then expect that time and denial will fix it.

SO...I think if you need to avoid him - avoid him. It's his problem to fix, not yours. Your job is to move on with your life and make the most of it that you can. He can only stand in the way of that. You deserve better and you will have better but first YOU must believe it.

You have a teenage boy. He's going to be a handful, he's going to test his boundaries with you and he's gonna screw up once in a while. He has to - to learn. It's your job to set consistant boundaries with him and let his actions have consequences. Maybe have him send a note in to his teachers explaining why he missed school and have them sign it. Think he'll do it again?

There are plenty of good kids who were raised by one parent. Be happy that their dad is involved but you do what you need to and what you feel is best for them. (((((Donna))))
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 04/08/10 03:09 AM
Hey Ms. Donna..

Aren't teenagers darling? I was told the closer your son is too you, the harder he has to push away to find his independence.

I can't remember. Does their dad have the kids during the week, or just on weekends?

It is much easier to have no contact. But kids need both parents. If the father wants to take an active role then that's a good thing, even though it's a trigger for you.

And that's what it is.. a trigger. The down slide of emotions is just getting caught up in the old thoughts, the old messages.

Remorse? Shamorse! It's not going to happen. He will never validate your feelings, be able to give you the answer you're seeking. It's like wishing that a blue dye would be activated when folks pee in a pool to reveal the offenders. A dream.

From my experience, the cycling of obsessive thoughts is anxiety running at full tilt, going over information you've processed in the past. Follow the techniques that break the cycle. Work with your counselor. And if that doesn't work, consider alternatives, like meds.

You are wonderful, strong.. even if you're shorter than your son. And size doesn't matter. You're his mom, larger than life. Be consistent with your boundaries. I don't know if he texts, but I suspended texting through Verizon for a week for my daughter when she wasn't focusing on homework. It hit home.

One suggestion from the state mandated parenting class seemed interesting. That the parents spend 15 minutes on the phone once a week reviewing what the kids are up to, bringing each other up to speed. The hurt you're healing from as a former spouse is one thing. Your children having an effective father figure is another.

My children's father has abandoned them. They did nothing for Easter.. nothing. Haven't seen him since a diner breakfast at Christmas. And it's terrible on so many levels. I will never try to be both parents. Being a mom is enough.

Being able to co-parent is a gift, even if it's hard to swallow.

"Toying with the idea of asking my IC to do one final sit-down with x..."

No, don't. Stop that thought. Totally inappropriate. Totally intrusive. Stop trying to work out the problems in an R that doesn't exist.

Moreover, X is irrelevant here. You are revisiting your comfort zone of misery. You are escaping. Why? What's going on?

Do you feel too challenged by DS? Do you feel like a bad mother? Do you simply want to avoid the anger? What are you masking? Whatever it is, you certainly managed to avoid it with you nasty drug of choice.

As for how to interact with XH -- STICK TO THE BUSINESS OF CO-PARENTING. His request that you call him with ALL problems is inappropriate and unreasonable. Is he really going to invite you into his household every time there is a problem with one of the kids over there? I think not. He is not going to want you parenting in his house via teleconference. No reason he should be doing that in your house on a regular basis either.

Notice that there is also no reason that you couldn't sometimes ask for help via text. "XH, DS will not get dressed and go to school because his ROTC pants are too short. If you could give him a nudge, it would be appreciated."

THAT is the content relevant to co-parenting. All the stuff about your XM is irrelevant. It is about you and not your son. And that stuff about your XM is for you to work out on your own. It is not XH's job, nor his responsibility. XH is not the person who will work out those problems with you. He cannot. He will not. He should not. So, put your XM baggage in a box, take it to IC. The interaction with XH is about CO-PARENTING.

Talking with XH right now does not enhance your ability to CO-PARENT. So, no reason to do it.

Also, try to quit making every problem with DS about the D. It isn't. Your DS is a teenager. The causes for his behavior are what they are. No doubt, the D makes things harder for you both. But, you don't have a magic magnifying glass that lets you see which issues are due to the D. And you don't have carte blanche to beat XH about the head with D rants every time DS has issues. How would you like it if XH started complaining about your actions during the M that he didn't like when you were trying to work on helping DS in the present day. The past affects us, but we can't change it. So, rather than beat up XH regarding something neither of you can change, how about: "I'd really like to ask for your support sometimes when I think that two parental voices will make more of an impact than one. Would it be OK for me to call on you for help sometimes to back me up?"

That is co-parenting, but I'm not convinced it would help you at all. XH is being a butthead overall, so you might want to really think about whether you want that help. Imagine you HAD called him this morning: "XH, I'm trying to get out of here and DS is having a fit because his ROTC pants are too short and he's refusing to go to school." What do you REALLY think XH's reply would have been? Personally, I think he would have gone off and given you a nasty earful, blaming you, criticizing you, feeling superior, etc... I don't think he would have said, "Oh, please let me help. I'll be right over and take him to school myself."

Nope. I don't see that happening. He SAYS he would have done so now, but this just lets him feel like a good, present dad when he isn't one. So, boooo him.

You are a good mother. You handled DS just fine, you found a great solution. That is what matters.

So, in the end: "XH, thanks for your concern. I may take you up on your offer of help at some point in the future. It will be good for DS to be able to benefit from you in his life more often."
Oops. I meant to write: "XH, thanks for your concern. I may take you up on your offer of help at some point in the future. It will be good for DS to be able to benefit from you in his life more often. But, until I ask for your input on my parenting in my house on my time, please put your criticisms and orders right where you head belongs, up your ... "

P.S. I wrote a few posts on SmileyPerson's thread that annoyed him to no end, but you might find them useful.

BTW, just wondering, did you get any emails from me recently? I think my email may not be working properly.
Posted By: kml Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 04/08/10 07:00 AM
Donna -
Totally agree with Oldtimer. This isn't about ex, unless you choose to make it so. This is just a kid who couldn't bear to be embarrassed at school wearing short pants. I get it - one of my kids was like that. Don't make it into more than it is.

Let go or be dragged. That was my mantra. It just IS - you gotta accept it and move on.

"Toying with the idea of asking my IC to do one final sit-down with x..."

No, don't. Stop that thought. Totally inappropriate. Totally intrusive. Stop trying to work out the problems in an R that doesn't exist.

OT has hit it right on the head. Do NOT try to get X to see a light he refuses to acknowledge exists.

Nope. I don't see that happening. He SAYS he would have done so now, but this just lets him feel like a good, present dad when he isn't one. So, boooo him.

Another point well made. It is very easy for him to sit back and say what he would have done so he can feel good about himself. But he wasn't there and he wasn't involved...leave it that way unless it is something major.

I've said it before Donna, I think that our X's are very similair....neither one is going to have that "awkening" that we hoped for. And even if they do ever realize that they made a mistake or that their actions have consequences, we are the last person they will admit that to!
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 04/08/10 12:16 PM
You have gotten tons of good advice. You have been feeling really good and yes sometimes you will slip. Notice that you didn't fall.

Your 14 year old is testing himself and you. What can he get away with, how far can he push...you know those kind of things. I blamed a lot on the divorce too but this year he has come out of that protective shell. He is surviving too.

He actually did lose a weekend of getting to see his girlfriend as punishment once. The grief he got from her was 10 times worse that he would have gotten from me. I actually let him choose his punishment. It was A or B. He thought he chose the easy one. I don't think he will make that mistake again.

Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 04/08/10 02:48 PM
Dont dwell on the past.
Dont try to blame children's behavior on the divorce.
Dont think of ways to fix your ex spouse to your liking.
Dont wish your ex spouse will disappear.
Dont get into positions where you feel overwhelmed.
Dont let little things get you down.

Your XH wants to help. You need to figure out for yourself how much you are willing to let him help. I think it is a great situation for the kids if two divorced parents can work together as one for enforcing certain rules and discipline for their children.
All wonderful advice and it seems like you've turned a corner based on your FB status so I'm going to shut up now. smile

What do you have planned for this coming weekend?
Donna, it's just another bump along the road! Co-parenting is is the ticket if you can make it work. You and Ex may not be able to work out your own stuff together (and please don't try!) but you can be good parents together. I've had issues with my kids too and it's because they're kids and that's what kids do! It even happens in the happiest of couples families too! Hey, it'll work out. smile
I wanted to stop in and thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your wise words. As it turns out, I am back to "normal" again, whatever that is wink

There are triggers - now to just continuing to do the work inside that these things bring to the surface. IC meeting tomorrow...but looks like I'm finally off the Effexor (took a long time to come off of it - makes your head feel squirrely if you move too fast).
IC meeting tomorrow...but looks like I'm finally off the Effexor (took a long time to come off of it - makes your head feel squirrely if you move too fast).

I went off the Effexor after realizing it was messing with my equilibrium if I missed a dose. I switched to Lexapro, then went off of that about 5 months after X moved out. It's kind of funny that I needed the meds during my marriage, but after he left I was able to go off. crazy Kind of opposite of most people! LOL
Donna, I'm pleased to see you taking this step but remember that if you do feel the need to go back on the AD's at some point it is not a sign of failure! It's a matter of making sure you have the best life possible. Good luck with it! smile
Absolutely, wii!! I am open to using any and every tool available to me wink I have no regrets or shame about the meds, or any of the other stuff (including the 2 stints in the mental ward).
Hey, I'm still here, right?
These things are creepy sometimes:

April 15, 2010
Pisces (2/19-3/20)
You've been seriously involved before in many different ways, and you certainly know what it's like to care deeply for someone. At the moment, though, you're not really thinking about the past -- only about what it would be like to be with someone new. Of course, there's also an air of secrecy surrounding the situation, which makes it all the more appealing. You of all people know that there's something to be said for mystery, after all.
I fear your enthusiasm for your horoscope makes this sound a little bit dirty now:

"Absolutely, wii!! I am open to using any and every tool available to me. wink"

OK, that last downturn? Figured out another reason for the trigger...
X had asked D10 (almost 11) if she would do her birthday party at his house, since he missed seeing her open all her presents from her friends.
Well, do that to the too-eager-to-please child and of course she says Yes. He then told her to tell me. Way to not put the child in the middle, X! A$$ should have emailed me, himself, something. ANYway...

Poor thing, stuck in the middle, afraid that someone was going to get their feelings hurt - over HER party!
So, she came to me and asked if I would mind, and I said "Sweetie, it is YOUR birthday - have your birthday wherever you want to!" Relieved, she said she'd do it there to make daddy happy. frown Ugg....last year I asked her what she wanted to do for her party, and she wanted it at the indoor waterpark....
So that she had some choice, her actual birthday is this Tues and I asked her what she wanted to do - her request was to head into the city for the day so the Broadway hopefuls at Ellen's Stardust could sing Happy Birthday, and so she could - wait for it - SHOP! (That is a first for her - she's growing up!) She asked for my college roomie to come, too (like an aunt to her). At least she'll have some say in that...

Anyway, as soon as he got the go-ahead, the gf jumped in with all kinds of sucking-up plans with D - took her shopping a few times to get party supplies, bought a special cake plan, made hand-made invitations with her, etc....
I'll tell you here - I was pissed. I don't like this woman giving my kids attention like that. Puke - She has four of her own, and my former husband - leave my kids alone! are the deep dark feelings that roll around.
I'm not surprised by it, though - this is modus operundi for this chick, doing things over the top in the hopes that it will make her look good, not out of love or caring, then talk about how hard it was to do...I've seen her do the same thing for 14 years - oh, and X had the same quality, come to find out! A perfect match.

IC gets it, agreeing herself that this gf has some questionable morals and poor character, etc. But it is good that she is like this, rather than nasty, to my kids.
Anyway, looking back, I think it was this whole manipulation of my D10 and then gf's over-done attempt to win her over that made the issue with my S send me mentally wobbly for a few hours. wink Good to know, now continuing along...


Fast-forward to yesterday, the day of the party. It was also the first day of spring break here.
They had set the date of the party without contacting the friends' families first - only one invitee was able to come, and she couldn't sleep over - most people had gone away.
X also invited all of his sibs to his house (which is right here in the same town), my kids' aunts and uncles. His parents were invited by proxy, so I was told (maybe a sib asked them to go?), but they declined.

Here is the thing that has me shaking my head -

X has 4 sibs, all married, 2 have sons: two grandchildren to my in-laws. They all live at least 1+1/2 hours away, so they don't see them often.
The youngest grandson is only 9 months old (I've never met him or gotten any response at all for gifts I have sent).


I wasn't even planning to be in town yesterday (had plans but they fell through), so I don't think it can be chalked up to being uncomfortable around me...
How do you drive to the SAME TOWN that your parents live in, sitting in the car for more than 1+1/2 hours, and not visit your parents?! Do they think they will live forever?!

I tell you, the longer this goes on, the clearer a picture I have of things. Guess I had those rose-colored glasses on for ALL of these people, not just X. I grew up with them, considered them brothers and sisters...But wow, now I can see just how different we really are. So much for the fairy-tale family.

I didn't say anything to anyone, but I feel really badly for my in-laws. They must have been hurt - what would it have taken to stop by, for them to have at least seen the baby?

I've told them in the recent past that I don't want to be a reason or used as an excuse for them not reconcilling with their son - I can't imagine having that strife with my own kids.
All in all, I am the LEAST directly affected by this mess - I don't have to deal with X outside of some parenting - but he is still the kids' father, and the in-laws' son.

(Weird, similar note: in-laws went down to LI for a funeral on Friday. Again, none of her kids made an effort to meet them. MIL's step-dad has been in rehab for a fall. In-laws stopped by to visit - for 15 minutes!)
Hey, come to think of it, even when we all lived within a few towns of each other, MIL didn't spend that much time with her mom, rarely visited except for holidays, etc. - this whole thing might not be that extraordinary for their family, at all!!

Oh, well....to each, their own, I guess.

Hey, maybe that explains why they didn't decide to move out when the whole thing exploded - who looks like they will actually BE THERE for them as they grow older? Just, wow.
I'll tell you here - I was pissed. I don't like this woman giving my kids attention like that. Puke - She has four of her own, and my former husband - leave my kids alone! are the deep dark feelings that roll around.
I'm not surprised by it, though - this is modus operundi for this chick, doing things over the top in the hopes that it will make her look good, not out of love or caring, then talk about how hard it was to do...I've seen her do the same thing for 14 years - oh, and X had the same quality, come to find out! A perfect match.

I am with you Donna, I feel the same way about the new Mrs. X....leave my kids alone! LOL But like in your case, everything is done "for show" without the emotions behind it, and the kids see that.
Fast-forward to yesterday, the day of the party. It was also the first day of spring break here.
They had set the date of the party without contacting the friends' families first - only one invitee was able to come, and she couldn't sleep over - most people had gone away.

My D has had that experience inviting friends to a party at X's house also, only one person came. It is sad for the kids.
Took my D to the city yesterday for her birthday - my baby is 11 already! We had a great time, shopped, people-watching. She got a Broadway-rendition of Celebrate-Good Times! sung to her that I taped. Came home early and exhausted. S didn't go because of a belly ache - probably for the best, so we could really do the girly stuff without the male whining. wink

Minor vent:
Home together today until their father picked them up for dinner.
He called me about 2, again to reprimand me...
This time, it was that no one called him to say S14 stayed home. He went on to say that he needs to know where the kids are, "in case something were to happen." I didn't even get into it with him. Partly, because my mind doesn't process that fast, especially this kind of stuff. I've always said that I just don't get mean people - guess it applies to controlling bullies, as well. Like we're operating on different levels of reality.
Then, he announced that he was getting the kids on the way home from work (which, as usual, is an hour earlier than the agreement), and since he was driving, I would have to pick up. I pointed out, again, that he is already in the car, driving past our house, when he is picking up - I am not in the car, or down in his neighborhood, and that it isn't "on the way" to anything, when it is time for the kids to come back here. I said I didn't want to argue about driving, anymore - did he still expect me to drive tonight? He said he would appreciate it.
Appreciate it. I muttered Of course and just said Fine and hung up. A$$.

Mean people suck. And I can see how he is, now, and has always been to some degree (much more so with other people, back then) - a bully who wants control.

I'm trying to pick battles, do what I can to not have the kids in the middle and alleviate some of their hurt when he puts them there. I debated emailing him that the early pick-ups wouldn't "work for me" anymore, and that since the agreement lays out him doing the travel, that is what will be. Then I think about how he would tell the kids that I was keeping them from him. And there are still holiday issues to clear up for the year, and the old air conditioner mess that he left has to be fixed before the weather gets terrible again. Better to say nothing. Very alien to me, to not talk about stuff, but he has just proven that anything I have said can and WILL be held against me for the rest of my life.
Just a shItty thing to realize...so much was thrown away by this man.
Instead, I write diatribes and monologues addressed to this man in my head. Akin to putting it on paper and burning it, I try to mentally ball it up and let it go.
I have found that things are better when I just expect him to be an a$$hole, since he hits the mark so often - then I'm not surprised, looking over my shoulder wondering who he is talking to.

As I was falling asleep (didn't work, can't you tell?), I started thinking about my D11's behavior...Her love, her outlook on life, is fear-driven. Probably was predisposed to it, but the divorce certainly hasn't helped. She is always so worried about doing something wrong...
We got on the train early yesterday, during peak, but I had bought a round-trip off-peak ticket. She was wincing in pain and fear until the conductor came and just had me pay him the difference - it didn't matter that I told her it was no big deal, that it would be ok-I even showed her the cash, told her the worst-case scenario was that we would get off at the next stop and have to go to the ticket window. She was so scared.
Hence, having the birthday party at her dad's house, to "make him happy."
I forsee an ulcer in her future, and I'm not sure what I can do about that.

Oh, another topic that was brought up by IC last time I went, about S14. After a few pointed questions about my concerns and his grades, she suggested ADD/ADHD screening and his possibly being depressed - says it manifests in teens differently. When I said that x will pitch a fit about the ADD inquiry, she suggested that I talk to my friend up at his school candidly about it, so that a request can come from the guidance office there instead of through me.

Wow, after going back and reading all that, you wouldn't get the impression that I am actually doing pretty good - looking forward to working in the garden tomorrow with S14 and his friend, installing some pond shells that I've had forever sitting around, along with a small canvas gazebo I picked up on clearance last year. My back (which has been giving me some grief for about a month) is doing ok - always better after loosening it up - getting out of bed or sitting too long are bad. Spring vacation is going by too fast!
Get the AC squared away in the next 6 weeks one way or another. These old ties aren't good for anyone.

And, you sound good :-)
You sound very good Donna. Most of that post is about the effect your xh's actions possibly have on your kids. That's the way it should be! Not how it hurts you, dredges up old pain. KWIM?

Such fun to go into the city! I really need to get back up to NYC sometime soon. I want to take Marc up there an let him experience the sheer enormity of the city. I can just imagine the awe in his eyes. Atlanta is BIG but NYC is AWE INSPIRING!

Enjoy your gardening! I've just discovered that I really enjoy doing that.
I had a friend who visited NYC once. He parked his car, got out, and a guy pulled a knife on him and demanded his money. My friend complied with the demand and then the knife wielder slapped him across the face and said "what are you, an idiot, driving around down here with Ontario license plates" Ahh, the memories...good time had by none in that sitch!
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 04/22/10 03:25 PM
I am so sorry, wii..

But I cannot stop laughing. I'm horrified, feel for your friend and the trauma it caused but who would think an immoral dangerous person would give anti-theft advice.

It's almost like a skit from Saturday Night Live.

OMG! Funny, but not funny all at the same time!
Well, I am glad that the lazies got the better of me and I didn't follow up on plans to go into NYC again yesterday - SO glad that no one got hurt.

Instead, I laid around the house, watching superhero movies. Big accomplishments this weekend? Cleaning out the kitchen sink and taking a nice, long shower. Really. Maybe I'll get to other things this afternoon, but it doesn't look likely - have to pick up the kids at 7:30 (I gave up fighting about the driving).

I'm sitting here, wondering why I wasted two whole days. I mean, the weather is BEAUTIFUL.


OK, that was yesterday - but I'm not feeling guilty for taking the down-time, since I got a ton done today. Even though it is HOT!!!

Speaking of which:

Temps soared yesterday and today. The house was just gross to sleep in. Emailed ex again about following through on the damn thing. After some back-and-forth, I finally just called him. I hated to ask, but got him to stop by tonight to look at the damn thing.
Results -
Felt physically gross after having to talk to him at that length (WHEN is that going to go away?!)
Had to squash some low-level, primeval flashes of missing being married (damn brain keeps going back to the 20+ years it was good, skipping over the shitty part yet again - at least I am aware of it now and can stomp it out before it gets out of hand).

He stopped over and messed around in the attic for a while. He has shaven his mustache - I haven't seen him clean-shaven since we were 17! Weird - but he also had a raging cold sore...
He can't figure out what is wrong - said it looked like there "wasn't enough wires." He got the model number and will look for the manual online. The unit is now 5 years old, and has outdated technology.

He called me outside for a quick talk. Said S14 told him I had "wiped out his savings account." I reminded ex that there was always only a few hundred dollars in there, anyway, and I consistently put money away through a program at work (not sure why I felt I needed to share that info - didn't get any idea of what/if he was saving for the kids). He just said it didn't seem right....I told him not to worry about it.

Then he said I should be more careful with what I post on facebook. Like what, I asked? He told me a friend of his (who must also be on my list, because I have the settings pretty tight) had mentioned to him how I "liked" a page that said:
"Seeing your ex with his girlfriend, and realizing he downgraded." Said that our son is on my list, and I should be more careful with what I post...said I told him that I had moved on, and that this is part of it.

Um, SHUT THE F#CK UP! Ok, that's what I said on the inside wink I just gave him a blank stare back.
Guess the truth hurts.

Anyway, went to facebook and deleted the people I suspect might do this, posted a request to anyone else who feels it necessary to go behind my back with concerns to just unfriend me now and save us all a headache.

Petty sh!t.
Just fix the damn air and get out of my life, please.

OK, vent over.
Donna, don't you just love when the person who had an A and then walked out of your marriage tells you that something you're doing just doesn't "seem right"! grin
Posted By: NNP1965 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 05/04/10 01:06 PM
yeah I got a chuckle out of that too smile

Good to hear you sound well, if sweaty and gross.

Now,while I understand wanting to shoot the messenger, don't overlook the value in the message.

XH has a point about DS's bank account... But, he really has no business butting in. Creep. How about: "Thanks for sharing that he brought that concern to you. That will be something for DS and me to work out. Next time, it would be great if you could send DS to me to share his concerns directly. It's probably better if we try to stay out of each other's parent-child relationships." Then, work it out with DS.

As for the FaceBook stuff, I fear XH may have a point too...

Look, would you tell your son directly that his father downgraded? Would you tell that to a friend with DS present? Well, yes, because that is exactly what you've done on FaceBook. Maybe not so great for DS. Indeed, he may be the "friend" that brought it to the attention of DH. I'd even put my money on DS being pissed off and lashing out at DH with that quote, maybe within earshot of GF, which is perhaps what got DH worked up. (See, I tell major backstories with the best of them.)

But, whatever, it doesn't matter. If DS is part of your Facebook community, then you need to make that community safe for him. End of story. I don't use FB, but aren't there different levels of stuff, different ways of setting access so that someone doesn't even know they aren't seeing all of the content? Maybe it would be good to put in some limits on his access in any case.

IF your regular FB page is the same FB page that you share with some friends from these here parts, you are involved in some very adult communities dealing with very adult subjects. (Though, maybe you have a separate page for that?) It is a little too much too soon for DS to be introduced into those communities by following links from your page. Moreover, DS could easily find his way over to this board and to your posts... So, perhaps parental controls are in order.

Still, I surely understand the Get the F Out of MY Life sentiment. So, how to respond to XH on the facebook thing?

First, it is worth noting that it sounds like you REACTED to XH as if HE had a problem with you calling his GF a downgrade. And, FWIW, he probably did. BUT, the concern he expressed was for DS seeing that message. That is a valid concern. Your reaction was about old stuff, not about the concern for DS.

"That's a valid concern, thanks for raising it. I'll decide how I want to address it."

Really, both these issues are probably things that DS went to DH with, and for sure one of them is. Do you really want DH to stop sharing this info with you? Or, do you want to try to co-parent at a level on which you can at least share this kind of information and concern?

I certainly understand Wii's sentiment. But, for your own sake and your kids' sake, resist the urge to continue to throw the A in XH's face, even if it is just in your own mind. The past is past. You are parents together. Something that happened years ago doesn't justify not making an effort to have a useful co-parenting R. So, don't make your co-parenting choices about problems in an old R that no longer exists. But, you already know that lol.

Try not to take things personally. Listen for what is useful in what XH shares without making it about you or the old M. If you resent XH sharing these things with you because you don't share similar concerns with him, consider that he's opened the door for you to do so. Email is probably best, lol.
The thing that pissed me off is the criticism. I really, really think he has a set of balls to be critical of me. Ex, I get that you don't like me/things that I do - obviously to the point that you tossed the marriage. I get it. Why keep harping on me, seeing only flaws?

I did step back last night (HATE how this stuff still affects me). The point about the bank account (being very low to empty) is no different than what it had been while we were together - for him to say it bothered him, well, it has nothing to do with him. I do, however, appreciate being told that S14 brought it up.
I actually brought it up with S14 tonight: just asked if he was concerned about finances or anything, that he could talk to me. He said he doesn't know how they ended up on the topic, but did tell his dad about the "empty" account. I reminded him about the college savings plan I have for him through my job, and that things on that end were fine.

And as far as X downgrading.....you know what, I believe it. And my son believes it. My daughter will come to believe it, in time. There is no way not to. If S14 was the one that threw it in his father's face, he would deserve it.

However, I did think about what I want to present to the world (including my kids, and myself). I took the pages down that were negative.

OT, I did double-check my page after you wrote - I was pretty sure that it was set to a pretty private setting. So, I used S14's password to look at my profile - only what I write is visible, and I (usually) stay aware of what I am writing. I really didn't think about where things landed when I "liked" a group - apparently, on your info page for all to see, with no way to block that info! He can't see what my friends post on my wall...he'd have to click to their profile from my page and look at their wall. He has enough of his own friends that he doesn't have time to look through mine...(and I checked his history, just in case).

I broke down a little with my friend today - she had come over to wrap up her resume and application for teaching.
You know, I hate to admit it, it is embarrassing and frustrating, but....I think I still love my ex, who he was. I still miss him, and wonder how he hasn't looked back with any regrets. It's like the love you have when someone dies, except he is still walking around, just happy to be rid of me from his life. I don't know why, but there is a part of me still in shock about that; can't believe it.
Gardener wrote this: Marriage means Never, ever giving up on the other person.
And he did give up on me. Still hurts.

I flip-flop between being graceful and polite around him, which seems to trigger my rose-colored glasses and make me miss him all over again (back on the denial train), to just being this huge b!tch who feels better when I just expect him to be an a$$hole. I don't like either place. So, I am still in NC mode, sticking to email when at all possible.
The 20+ years we had together and I was happy is just too stark of a contrast with where things are, now.

His criticisms - hell, where does he EXPECT me to be? He should only know how much of his choices regarding the kids I disapprove of and don't voice...the biggest and most obvious being having that woman in their lives at all. Does he really think that, at some point, I am going to welcome her into their lives and thank her?

Ugh, I know this is all old recycling stuff. Hopefully it will settle back down again soon...
God, is part of me still waiting around for him to wake up?! What is wrong with me?????
If you resent XH sharing these things with you because you don't share similar concerns with him, consider that he's opened the door for you to do so.

Share concerns or co-parent? Sounds like simple stuff, doesn't it?
Kind of like an alcoholic trying to run a liquor store and keep it all to business...not something I think I have in me.

I have never been quick to come back or defend my position, especially when I am taking it personally. It is a major improvement that I just shut up, maybe nod that I heard him. So, he just gets to be critical and I stand there and seem to take it. I guess, mostly I do.
Whenever I have tried to share my point or explain my actions, he finds a way to twist it all around that things are my fault and that I messed something up, yet again. I mean, he is perfect at that, just like my mother used to be (me, a straight-A goody-goody who was never good at all in her eyes).

OK, more FOO crap. Trying to work out old wounds, yada yada yada... I give up trying to persuade this man that I am worthwhile, good - gave it up a long time ago by going NC. It was all useless - he refuses to see it.
How are you supposed to co-parent or share with someone like that? So, I simply don't engage. In the majority of interactions (including email) he dumps on me, and I just let it lie there.
Instead of taking it as a criticism (which I KNOW I would do) maybe we can both work on the fact that they are such idiots that they spend their time looking for things to be critical of in us....

like the bank account

shut up...your son lives with you and the bank account was the same when you were together
does he have an account for your son?

of course he downgraded...duh...EVERYONE knows it...truth hurts, huh?

so he is spending all this energy trying to make you feel bad about his shitacular decisions...poor poor little turdface (I am ina mood today...sorry...I am trying to get a grip too)

lucky you that you don't have to waste your time worrying about his crappy decisions because you are too busy LIVING your life instead of fiddling with his

am I making sense? Too much coffee, not enough sleep and a crazy ex-wife of Cori's is making me a little punchier than normal

in a nutshell
(I hope you just skipped down to here)
he is spending his time worrying about how you live your life...remember than when he is being critical...and if the worst he can come up with is that you think he is a tool and that his son's bank account is the same as when he left then you MUST be doing some stuff right?

pray for him
that he can find peace
More and more time stretches between posts...

5/31 looms a bit. Back in 1986, it was the day we met. In 1992, we were married. Had 14 real anniversaries (20 years together), number 15 found us in the midst of a sham of MC, 16 was only a month before the divorce.
The week before we were married, my x had his bachelor party. He got very, very drunk. The next day was the annual Memorial Day parade, and my future BILs were there, but no X. They decided to tease me, tell me that I was so awesome to let him go all out, even though they tried to hold him back. There were multiple strip clubs. They pushed it too far, alluding to him doing more than getting a no-touch lapdance.

I had been prepared to hear about some of the revelry, rowdiness and drunken behavior - it was not typical of him. In fact, he had only gone out like that once before, to a different bachelor party. This was not a boy who experienced college, or let loose with typical animal house behavior.

After the parade, I went to his house. He was a mess, sleeping on the floor. I woke him up....What exactly did you do last night?

He said he couldn't remember, not after a certain point. There had been so much beer, he was most likely close to poisoning himself. Bashed his head on a table more than once.
He couldn't remember.
I told him to talk to his brothers. I started to cry, said that he had better not have brought home any diseases. That he had to remember. Because I was really torn apart - wondered what the hell I was actually doing, about to do. We were about to get married in less than a week...
I left him there on the floor, left him to decide if he was really ready for this.

We had been exclusive since 15; no other boyfriends/girlfriends, no fights or breakups. I remember once, when we were about 17, he oogled a girl on a bike as we drove past in the car. Blatantly. Without saying a word, I took the top off my cup of soda and dumped the ice directly on his shorts. I did it with a sly grin, but he got the hint.

I remember when I would not tolerate being disrespected.

I also look back on how, when we were still in high school but I was about to go off to college (he still had a year left), asking him if he wanted to experience dating other people.
I struggled with his near-inability to really talk about his feelings, to communicate the deepest thoughts he had.

But he so clearly and completely loved me. And that was all I needed. He didn't want to be with anyone else, and regularly talked getting married (I got a promise ring on Valentine's Day when we were 17).
So, I accepted the limitations - chalked it up to him being a guy and just "not that deep."
He was loving, handsome, charming, and so....good. (I have come to think that he had actually not developed his own authentic self, and just molded to my and other's expectations).

I sit here wondering, now....

I think I may finally be at the beginnings of my heart catching up with my head. My poor, poor heart. Who only wanted someone to love and accept her.


Ex and I talked last week. For 4 hours.

It started off about our son, who is struggling so much in his freshman year of school.
After many talks with his teachers, his IC, my IC, I have come to believe that he has ADHD. Very bright kid...has compensated for it for a long time, just by being able to absorb what is taught through his love of reading, never having had to study or be very organized past what his teachers did for him, what they had us do for him as parents.
So much like me.

I hit the very same wall in 10th grade. Went from 1 honors class in 9th, to 4 in 10th. I had no study skills. My locker, bookbag, room, notebooks were all a terrible mess. I just couldn't keep all of the balls in the air. I passed out in school one day from excrutiating stomach pain. I tanked most of my classes, including my beloved English. 11th grade had me downgrade back to only one honors class, and I opted to do summer school and night school to bring up my average.
My son passed out in school at the beginning of the month - severe stomach pains. The doctor couldn't find anything physically wrong, but gave us the screening questions for the ADHD.

It brought up so much....son begged me not to talk to his father about it: "He won't ever look at me the same way." And all the stated reasons he gave for leaving the marriage, having the affair, how it had all been my fault for leaving everything on him to do, not taking care of him...
To no surprise, ex doesn't think my son has ADHD at all - that he is being lazy and just has to "try harder." But at least he agreed to the screening. He wants to attend the Dr. visits. Apparently, his gf's oldest daughter sees the same specialist, so ex has been happy to express how much he knows about all this, knows the Dr and the office, etc.

Anyway, we talked, at length. About our son. About us. About me. I think it was the first time that I saw a glimmer of understanding from him, something that broke through the stories he told himself over and over to justify his affair and leaving.
I had not done these things to hurt him or take advantage of him.

And I told him how I had a underlying fear that he could reject our son, as he ultimately gave up on and rejected me. I told him that I understand that the relationship with your children is very different than the one you have with your spouse; however...please, don't give up on him.

And of course, it doesn't matter.
I just asked him to stop hurting me. Purposefully hurting me. That this was the reason I used email exclusively. The reason I went into full body tremors whenever in contact with him for more than a few minutes. I validated that he may have been hurt, felt hurt by me in the marriage, but it was never done knowingly.
He brought up some of his past hurts again, which only seem lamer with passing time - how I served fish on a Father's Day (along with cards and gifts, special time for himself to do something he loved, etc.). How I made that complete 180 after the bomb and became everything he ever wanted (read - a doormat, an incarnation of Martha Stewart), but had only kept it up for a month. I asked him if he realized that I was actually dying - the loss of 40+ pounds in under two months, the sleeplessness, the tremors so bad I couldn't sign my name, the panic attacks - and everything I did only seemed to make him more angry, things worse. And you expected me to keep it up under those circumstances (and this realization came to me later - all while not talking to me about any of it, all while lying, betraying and having an affair?!)
My IC told me later in the week that I was right - he COULD NOT see it, just as I couldn't see the affair while it was so blatant.
He really seemed surprised, like it was the first time he actually noticed, saw a glimmer, of what I was going through.
I told him I never deserved what he did to me.

But in spite of that, (cause it doesn't matter) we had to work on a way to communicate for and about the kids, to exist with the kids at times, and lessen the tension.

He teared up a few times. I won't hazard to guess why.

He said he sometimes missed our house, our family and kids, me...but that he was never coming back home, with or without his gf in his life.
That he felt that they had a much more "mature" relationship - neither ever want to be unhappy and stuck again, so they've agreed that they'll pack up and move on when asked - just give each other 3 day's notice.
I was stunned....after I processed this tidbit for a few days, I realized that he is describing dating. He has no concept of unconditional love.

And that we truly are operating on completely different levels of existence.
And, most likely, always were.

Seems like he really is in a better-fitting relationship than what we may have had. I certainly want more than that.

Come on, heart...time to pick up your ball and go home.
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 05/18/10 06:24 AM
A much more mature relationship is to stick it out when things get tough. To learn to work together to help each other remain content and loved. Not to have a preconcieved idea that when one person becomes "unhappy" to give 3 days notice of termination of the relationship.

It appears you have some clarity about the character of the man you were married to.
That he felt that they had a much more "mature" relationship - neither ever want to be unhappy and stuck again, so they've agreed that they'll pack up and move on when asked - just give each other 3 day's notice.
I was stunned....after I processed this tidbit for a few days, I realized that he is describing dating. He has no concept of unconditional love.

Wow, that is his idea of a mature relationship?! How very, very sad.
With only three days notice do they still give each other severence pay?
wow...a whole 3 days!!! (eyeroll)

I am glad your poor heart is catching up Donna...wait until it has caught up and can then really bloom ahead!!!

well, I remember when I was posting hourly. Time does bring changes...

Did I tell y'all about my solo trip into NYC last weekend? I was supposed to meet up with a friend from work, but he got sick (no, not a romantic prospect, unfortunately). I decided to go, anyway.
85 min on the train. Found a nail salon and got my nails done (have to do this more often!). Went to the Museum of Modern Art, shopped at the design shop there and the Museum of Amer. Folk Art. Found a HUGE international street fair, shopped and ate (yummy!). Decided to walk myself over to Time Square, and the TKTS line was unusually short, especially for a Saturday. Got a front-row seat to see Rock of Ages, which was AWESOME!! All music from my formative years - I knew the words to every song and sang along. Played a groupie and went to the stage door after, getting signatures from the actors and pictures (including Constantine). I didn't get home until about 2am.

Have to say, some of it felt a bit strange...
It was a big deal for me to go on my own. Nice to not have to work out compromises with another person with regards to time or what to do, but still a little odd. Kept thinking of IC who pointed out that there are many people who are sworn bachelors, never wanting to get married and give up that independence.
Sometimes I feel like those elephants who are trained from birth with a short chain on their ankle, hooked to a post - eventually, they learn that they can only move so far. As they get older, the trainers can just leave a loose chain on their ankles, and the elephants won't even try to walk away. They never realize that they have their freedom - they are still chained in their mind.
I remember X's voice in my head, worrying about me going into the city - he hated it, thought something terrible would happen. So, I rarely went. Concession vs. compromise.
Isn't that a bizarre thing, for a 40 year-old woman?

Anyway, had a great time. Bought the CD soundtrack. It is much cheesier when not seen in person, but I still enjoyed the songs.
Donna, what a great day and evening you made for yourself despite friend's no-show! I think it's great to be able to have - to create - a wonderful time by yourself.
Originally Posted By: Donna...Found
I remember X's voice in my head, worrying about me going into the city - he hated it, thought something terrible would happen. So, I rarely went. Concession vs. compromise.
Isn't that a bizarre thing, for a 40 year-old woman?
Ah, the bizarre thing was in NOT going into the city on my own, because I was.....a woman? married? something...
Bizarre to even think doing it was strange...

Bizarre to think it took me until 40 to do such a "grown-up" thing...

Learning to be single (I didn't get to do that as an adult)
Yay Donna! You are so lucky to live close enough to NYC to do that! It sounds like a dream day!
That definitely sounds like my dream kind of day Donna! I love to go wander a city all by myself just stopping and looking at various things that catch my interest. I've done a little of that in the last couple of years when I can get away for a while. Of course, no where NEARLY as exciting as NYC. I really need to get back up there!
good for you Donna

I love discovering things about myself!!! Enjoy this discovery time!!!
I took the kids to see the premiere of Shrek 3 last night...

Shrek was a WAH!!

Of course very fairytale - he wishes he could go back to his life before rescuing and falling in love with his wife, and it comes true with terrible consequences that, of course, he never envisioned.
Faced with all of the turmoil he caused, all that he misses, he fights hard to win over his wife, even sacrificing himself for her and others, realizing too late that he really did have it all.

And love's kiss brings everything back to normal, with a newly grateful husband happy to be home with his wife, kids, friends, and "boring" life.

Ah, if life were so neatly wrapped up as in fairy tales!!!

Mine is an ex who I don't think will ever feel any remorse...which means that I am right where I need to be.
I love it when a horoscope hits home:
If you just can't make your current situation work, don't try and force it, no matter how awesome it seems in principle. One crucial detail might be missing from a partnership or work situation, so no matter what you do, don't keep trying to make it work if you see a deal-breaking aspect that isn't going anywhere. Sometimes when you hold out for the best, that's exactly what you get.

So, making it the best!
I can beat that one (though I have no faith in horoscopes):

Don't be too nostalgic for the way things once were. When they were that way, you were probably being nostalgic for something else. One day in the future you may look back on what you are going through now, and wistfully wish that you could return to it. Our selective memories colour the way we think about events in the past - but whatever has gone, has gone for a reason. If you can't now see why what now lies ahead of you is so good and positive, the coming full moon should open your eyes and inspire you to feel hopeful.

Looks like you're a Virgo as I am and reads Jonathan Cainer as well... cool
Looks like you're a Virgo as I am and reads Jonathan Cainer as well

Yep, Virgo with Aries rising..., but I have no faith at all in horoscopes. LOL.
I don't live and die by my horoscope - I think they are so general that they can apply to anyone, nearly every day. But they can get you thinking...

Looking forward to the weekend, even though the kids are away, even though it would have been my anniversary (of the day we met and the day we married - used to be the biggest "holiday" for me).
Instead, looks like I am going with my college friend to the Bronx Zoo, other hanging-out stuff. Nice to have the extra day off, putter around the house and garden, wrap things up for the school year.
Have fun this weekend Donna! I love going to the zoo but haven't been in quite a number of years. Hmmm...Zoo Atlanta is really great. Maybe we need to make a junket. Of course, we do have the world's largest aquarium here and it's much cooler in there than at the zoo. We'll see.......
Of course, we do have the world's largest aquarium here and it's much cooler in there than at the zoo. We'll see.......

The Atlanta Aquarium is nice. Went there once with my STBXW (arggh!) back when we were dating.

The Aquarium in Chatanooga, TN is nice too (same problem in terms of memories though) --smile.
Posted By: FA Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 05/31/10 06:28 AM
Horrorscopes are great! They either make you roll your eyes or get you thinking...funny thing is, you're right, Donna....very general and apply to almost anyone who would read them.

As for me....my horrorscope has been a little off almost all the time.....you?
Posted By: FA Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 05/31/10 06:30 AM
By the way...I have Trip and F21 drinking Sangaria right now at 1130 at night...just kicking back listening to 80's music and BSing.....and we just happened to mention friends of the boards....you came to mind!!! wink


I want Sangaria!!!

How is life?
It is so good to hear from you guys!! What a long, strange trip it's been, huh?

Long weekend on my own - spent the day yesterday with friends at the Bronx Zoo - great pics of all the animals. Many babies, families, all really active (hey, animals and people, both!)

Today was a little...weird. What would have been my anniversary. Met this date in 1986, married this date in 1992. It really was a sacred day to me for a very long time.
My father died of a sudden heart attack on May 30th, 1994.
So many memories and stories, happy and sad....moments I treasured with these people who are now gone.
My college friend was going out to Calverton to visit, anyway, so she laid flowers for my parents for me.
The 2-year mark for the divorce is coming up in mid-June.

I had to go to his house to pick up the kids, saw his silhouette through the curtains.
Kids seemed to have a nice home-body weekend, swimming in the pool, a bonfire. Their uncle (x's brother) and his wife and baby came to visit them on Saturday. The baby who I never met. (They took down a tree, but demolished a chunk of x's truck in the process - I have come to see how the man who I thought could do anything, often makes a mess of things).

The thing that got to me, though, was that they didn't stop by to see his parents, right here in town.
I don't understand it at all.....and I feel so badly for my ex-in-laws. I finally wrote this to MIL (so as not to make her uncomfortable talking face-to-face - apparently that is something very difficult for them all to do in their family).

Dear Mom,

I was thinking about the sibs thing...

In that long talk that I had with Chuck a few weeks ago, he said they resent when they feel "forced" to visit me when they come to see you.
Geoff and Denise had been up here to help Chuck with a tree or something - they had brought the baby.

Please, let me be dead to them. It seems to be what they want, where they are comfortable. I am carrying guilt over getting between you and your children, your other grandchildren. I don't understand it, but I don't want to be the cause of this.
Tell them that they should feel safe coming to see you, that they are not expected to see me; not by you or me - and I say this with no animosity or anger. A good piece of wisdom that I have picked up is that what other people think of you is none of your business. It's ok, really. I've gotten this "letting go" thing down pat at this point wink

I hope you talk with them - break the silence. The divorce will be two years ago this month.
I just want for you and Dad to be happy...I don't want to get in the way of that. You do what you need to do.

I have assured them that the kids and I are ok....that they shouldn't feel obligated to me, to us, if they wanted to go. I won't keep saying that, because I don't want them to feel unwelcome here, either.
They both want to stay here, that this is their home.
But what a terrible price. It just makes me sad for them. Something else that I can't fix, another casualty of divorce and my x's choices.
I've put it out there, so now I have to let it go.
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 06/01/10 04:20 AM
Hey Donna...

Hasn't the weather been gorgeous?

Just a thought...

You have a choice in how you interact with your former spouse and his family. Your in-laws have a choice in where they live, who they see and their reasons.

Although your note voices a beautiful sentiment and letting go.. sharing your thoughts... wouldn't saying, "Whatever works for you, works for me." make it easier all around. Choices they make with their children, choices in where they choose to live.

And if the siblings of your former spouse feel forced to interact with you, then they have a choice, too.

I've found "Whatever works for you, works for me." comes in very handy with my extended family by marriage.. now by mutual choice. It puts the ball in their court, gives you safe boundaries and drops the rope.

It's all choices. Choices without guilt or hurt.


PS.. you sound GREAT!
Thanks, Gyps...

I hope that my long-winded version says pretty much the same thing - What works for you works for me.

The thing is, now that I've put it out there, I will make a point to not talk about x or the sibs with the in-laws at all. (I had made the mistake of asking MIL if she knew her son had come to town over the weekend - she didn't). If they bring it up, I will politely change the subject; just want to remove myself from the equation entirely, so that they can all choose to do what they'll do. I think that they have all begun to agree with x that I "turned his parents against him," and they are all pretty pissed about it. At this point, I don't really much care if they have made that judgement about me - it's a shame, but I can live without them.
It is just sad to see for my in-laws. I don't understand how my xBIL can make that decision to literally drive past his parents' house with their grandson, who they don't get to see very often at all because they live over 2 hours away.
It is so obvious now how dysfunctional their family dynamic is. All of this is done, judgements made, without anyone talking to relevant people about what is truly going on or bothering them. It is not surprising, then, that x went through his unhappiness without ever saying anything to me until he had already decided it was over.
No, instead, they talk to each other, about each other, behind backs and in whispers. And Grandma just wants everyone to get together and pretend that nothing has gone on so we can all "have a nice visit."

I have to say, I don't all that mind removing myself from that drama.
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 06/01/10 02:27 PM
Hey Donna..

How about writing what YOUR boundaries are... what works for you for yourself?

Us codependents are so good at taking care of others.

Things are humming along; 9 more teaching days to go until the SUMMER!! I don't know how others work year-round at one job - I need the changing of the seasons in routine, like the weather.

I was invited by my friend/co-worker to go on vacation with her and her husband and daughter, along with my kids. We are headed on a road-trip down to GA, then FL on the 29th for 2 weeks! It will be my longest away-vaca ever (x was never able to be gone from work for that long). The kids are super-excited to go, and so am I smile
I worried a little about talking to x about it- he really does hate to be away from the kids. I was surprised that he took the news pretty well, and I told him that we can schedule some extra time for them when we get back (I am much less protective of "my time" in the summer, since the kids and I spend most of the days together). We'll be back in time for my son's birthday.

Speaking of my son...
we took him to be evaluated by the psych today for possible ADHD. A very bright kid who should be getting As and Bs, but is getting Cs and Ds.
After the interview and running through an 18-point questionnaire, which he did with all three of us together, he came to the conclusion that S14 is NOT ADHD, but an underachiever. Gave him a pretty long talk about applying himself and all the good that can come of it, etc. $350 please.

On one hand, I am glad. But....
if he had fit the spectrum more consistently (as in, answering more questions with "often" than with "sometimes"), he could have gotten a 504 or IEP for school...along with some special help with strategies / study skills / organization. He really doesn't know how to study. I hope that he can get it together on his own - maybe I have been too involved, letting him use my monitoring as an excuse to not take the initiative. Hard to know when to step in and when to be hands-off and let them fall, learn on their own.

But it is also a little awkward for me, too (and I KNOW this is all my own chit and none of my son's!)
I looked back at my own life, and had related to my son's struggles in school, being bright and compensating until too many balls where thrown in the air in high school, where things snowballed (I hit the wall in 10th grade and had to drop from 4 honors classes to one in 11th). Big difference was that my parents were not involved at all in my schoolwork.
Maybe my tendencies were ADHD, and perhaps passed down to him. I spoke to my IC about it, and she agreed with me that this sounded like it was the case, that it was good to have him evaluated, that I should ask my own psych to do an eval on me and see about some strategies, maybe meds.
But my x was pretty adamant that S was just not applying himself, being lazy, slacking, etc. - that he wasn't ADHD. He would go along to have the eval done, but was sure that this wasn't what was going on. And he told me on more than one occasion that I hadn't been checking his work enough, holding him more accountable. The last talk x and I had, one that broke a nearly year-long silence, was about my fears of how he had looked at me, and how I didn't want my son to face the same rejection.

And now, he was right about the diagnosis.

I had talked myself into thinking that my role in the demise of the marriage was because of my own ADHD tendencies, that it was something...I don't know...not my fault...?
But now I am left to wonder:

was I an underachieving wife? lazy, slacker, "didn't take care of him,"......all the old complaints that he dumped on me in the sudden flood after the bomb, things that I wasn't aware bothered him to such a deep extent and was never given the chance to address..., except that I should have been aware of it, should have known, should have worked harder at taking care of our marriage, of him, being an adult, in a relationship...all coming to the surface....blech.
Was my x right about me, about our marriage, all along?
I sometimes think that this is a life-lesson that I had to learn the hard way. That this is the way it had to happen, like he told his friends and family. And that he does have a better partner in the woman he left me for, the one he is still with.

Is my son an underachiever due to my example?

I guess it doesn't matter in the end, since I am working every day to grow and become the better person I want to be.
I want to do right by my kids.
And I want to be a good person.
Maybe the person I was deserved what happened, after all.


Brenda and Eddie were still going steady in the summer of '75
When they decided the marriage would be at the end of July
Everyone said they were crazy
"Brenda you know that you're much too lazy
and Eddie could never afford to live that kind of life."
Oh, but there we were wavin' Brenda and Eddie goodbye.
Oh, oh, oh
Well they got an apartment with deep pile carpets
And a couple of paintings from Sears
A big waterbed that they bought with the bread
They had saved for a couple of years
but they started to fight when the money got tight (although we made the mistake to NEVER fight)
And they just didn't count on the tears.
Oh, oh yeah rock 'n roll
Oh, oh, oh
Well, they lived for a while in a very nice style
But it's always the same in the end
They got a divorce as a matter of course
And they parted the closest of friends

So much for the "friends" part.

maybe you didn't meet the needs that he needed deep down
he didn't tell you he needed them

it's hard to pin the underachiever card on yourself when you don't even know what you were trying to achieve

that's like taking the calcus final in college when you are 12 and calling yourself a failure for having not scored a perfect

cut yourself a break
Originally Posted By: figgeroni

that's like taking the calcus final in college when you are 12 and calling yourself a failure for having not scored a perfect

cut yourself a break

I got perfect in that test when I was 12...OK, I really didn't, I'm just being a sh!tdisturber. I got one wrong! grin
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 06/11/10 03:24 PM
Donna, you could go through through all the coulda, woulda, shoulda's until dawn. It doesn't matter now. You seem to keep going back to this. The thing to really look at is how are you doing now? Have you worked on being the you that you want to be? Are you more content with your life now? Have you made changes in yourself that you are proud of?

You could drive yourself crazy looking back because you don't know what Chuck was thinking. The only thing you do know is about you.

Hang in there. kat
i CLEARLY failed any and all spelling tests too (eyeroll)

Hopefully you were just having a bad, internalizing-the-rejection (The Journey From Abandonment To Healing) moment, but
Originally Posted By: Donna...Found
was I an underachieving wife? lazy, slacker, "didn't take care of him,"......all the old complaints that he dumped on me in the sudden flood after the bomb, things that I wasn't aware bothered him to such a deep extent and was never given the chance to address..., except that I should have been aware of it, should have known, should have worked harder at taking care of our marriage, of him, being an adult, in a relationship...all coming to the surface....blech.
Was my x right about me, about our marriage, all along?
I sometimes think that this is a life-lesson that I had to learn the hard way. That this is the way it had to happen, like he told his friends and family. And that he does have a better partner in the woman he left me for, the one he is still with.
Is my son an underachiever due to my example?[quote]But be good to yourself when you get like this. top it.
Stop the internal dialog. Do something, go somewhere different immediately.Break the pattern. Say NO! to this kind of self-blame thinking.
Originally Posted By: kat27
Donna, you could go through through all the coulda, woulda, shoulda's until dawn. It doesn't matter now. You seem to keep going back to this. The thing to really look at is how are you doing now? Have you worked on being the you that you want to be? Are you more content with your life now? Have you made changes in yourself that you are proud of?

A few bad moments...I tend to think too much.

I broke my a$$ at work today, then rushed out to see my kids before they went away for the weekend. Stupid highway closure backed up everything for miles - a normally-10-minute drive took an hour and 15 min.

Called S on the way to ask him to get his stuff together and take care of what he needed to do before I got there - got a ton of "yeah, yeah" back, normal teenage stuff but disrespectful and exasperating. I hung up on him.
Got home and was immediately hit with nasty attitudes from both of them (more directed at each other, but still). Who had there feet in the way of the other, who touched the other's stuff, etc.
I actually asked them on the drive over to their father's if they plan this crap so we don't miss each other so much on these weekends!

Pulled up to such a quaint scene - gf planting in the front garden with one of her daughters, x coming out smiling to greet our kids, her other kids in the yard.

There will be a time when I feel nothing when I come upon this in the future, right?

Just read this (funny, wasn't looking for it, just a random article) and wanted to remember it...

Their significant other has left the scene in order to play out his idea of a relationship with a fresh person. It will be the same idea of the way he feels a relationship should go, just with a different person. This includes cheating on the new individual the way he did with the former. Men don’t cheat because the other person drives them to it – they cheat because they want (or even need) to in order to fulfill their model of what a relationship should be. (Games People Play, a popular book from the 1970s which breaks down the “mind games” that people play with each other, would have described it as living out their “script.”)
Cheaters tell themselves that they "deserve" to be happy and, naturally, it is their partners job to make them so. My wife said "Just because I took a vow that means I shouldn't be happy?" I think there are all sorts of reasons people cheat and the frightening thing for those of us who were left behind is how do you know whether the next R won't do the same. I think maybe that's why we obsess about figuring out why they did what they did. We think if we figure it out we'll be able to protect ourselves the next time. That's my theory anyway.
We think if we figure it out we'll be able to protect ourselves the next time. That's my theory anyway.

I was reading a neurology journal on the biochemistry and brain activity involved in early romantic love and post relationship grief for people who were dumped, and... to a certain extent, I am not so sure you have much of a choice ... at least in the initial stages of grieving.

The same brain centers that are active during actual physical pain are active along with patterns of activity typical among folks with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Now..., some folks recover faster than others, and some relationships take longer to recover from than others, but to a certain degree... the obsessive thing is built into the machine, so to speak.

That is an approximation of HOW.

WHY is a more interesting question.

When you feel physical pain like when you touch a hot stove, that seems to serve the purpose of making sure you learn not to grab ahold of things that are very hot.

I suppose the grieving phase after a relationship must serve a similiar purpose. I could be wrong.
Well, we do learn something, don't we?


My friend called me a bunch of times today with escalating crisis. She is the one who I met a few years ago at the beginning of my sitch at an Alanon meeting. Her stbx announced about 6 months ago that he was done, but then went back and forth at least 4 times. This last one, he had sex with her at least once this week, then told her today that he wants her out of the house (she has been a stay-at-home mom, about to finish her B.S.).
She did the right thing -called the crisis hotline, then called me. She had been driving around, looking for a train. I got her to come to my house, then brought her up to the ER. They admitted her.

I wish there was more that I could do. When I came home, I ran into my FIL. And I thanked him for being there for me, and apologized for having put them through that.

I might not be 100% there yet, but am so grateful to be on the other side.
Well, we do learn something, don't we?

Yes, my God do we learn.
Donna, I hope your friend makes out OK. I know what kind of feelings it must bring up for you when you see your friend going through this Hell. I know when my best friends wife left him I ended up crying in my Pastor's office for two hours! I hope you're doing OK.
Thanks, wii...it has been a bit hard and has brought up stuff. But also another way to grow, to learn.
I am just trying to be careful to not get too sucked in, so I am helping her collect a wider support network. She has been very embarrassed, esp since this is her second marriage and it was "supposed" to work.
I made some calls for her today, to a few of her other friends, to her pastor, to her x. She hasn't told her x much (she was the one who left him back then, and now she is dealing with guilty feelings about what she put him through, to boot). He seemed genuinely sad for her.

I went to church this morning and got to talk with another friend who I got to know through our common divorce sitches. She is further along than I am, so it was good to touch base. I think it will hit a nerve for any of us for many years down the line when we are confronted with reminders of the journey - it is something that definitely leaves scars that bleed easily. But we get something out of sharing and helping, too - if nothing else, a reminder of how far it is we have really come.

It was a bit of a lost weekend for me, but I think I was were I needed to be. Work comes around again in the morning, and there are only 8 teaching days left, then one post-day. It will have me fully occupied for that duration, and then I can turn my attention to the other parts of my life. The kids and I are getting more and more excited about our trip to GA/FL at the end of the month.

Hugs to all....
What part of GA are you going to be in Donna?
not sure yet, but I will def let you know (I thought of you immediately, btw)
Let me know! I'll drive to just about anywhere in the state to just meet you in person. You are a brilliant woman with so much love in your heart and I would love to just give you a BIG hug!
What FB thing???
ack....OT, not sure what FB thing you might be referring to right now, but my brain is fried with end-of-school-year craziness.

Mish - color me blushed wink I will know more about the itinerary on Wed.
You posted something on Mish's thread about boundaries and FB.

Gabe has re-friended the old girlfriend. She can't do that on her own - he had to either request her, or she requested him and he approved it.

What the he!! is up with that? Well, we know what is up with that...

Thanks for giving her a foundation for the letter, btw - knew you could put it into succinct words.


Worked my hiney off again today - 7 more teaching days.
My friend will be going home from the hospital tomorrow - the social worker has called her H to meet with them before she goes home. Hopefully the SW can lay some ground-rules down that he can respect.....like not sleeping with her if he is really set on leaving, like not following her into the bathroom, yelling at her about money, selling the house, etc.
"Forgiveness Means Giving Up All Hope for a Better Past"

Great line from Lily Tomlin... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elisha-goldstein-phd/forgiveness-means-giving_b_620158.html
As always OT you find the most interesting and thoughtful things to share.

I did a privacy review of my name, my email address, etc., and found one of them linked back to posts I made back in Nov 07. I read for a little while, what I was going through then. That poor woman.

I realized that I have now been divorced longer than the amount of time I was trying to DB/save the marriage (and I know that I am a case study in what NOT to do - I was such a co-dependent mess!).

As much as I threw at the sitch, my desperation and depression, I think the overriding factor in getting past this, is time.

I think that DB, journaling, posting, therapy, GAL, friends, support groups, AlAnon, DBT training, meds, withdrawing to bed, crying, meditation, mindfulness, dabbling with dating, and all the rest, might have put a small dent into moving me forward...
but the biggest thing was simply time.

For the most part, I have stopped wishing that things were different (all except wishing his gf were out of the picture, for the kids' sake, but again, I trust time will deal with those thoughts, as well). I am settled and enjoy my life.

School is out for the summer - I was able to wrap up a year where I was able to be fully present there, again. I had a lot of catching up to do, and I am back to a good place there. I am on track to complete the courses I need for my certification renewal. Some other financial aspects that I put on hold will be dealt with over the next few weeks, too (taxes, some medical bills). And more organizing / decluttering is on the bill daily while the kids and I are home.

But that will be after our trip - a friend from work and her husband invited the kids and I to go along with them on a 2-week trip down south. They have a little girl my daughter's age. I am excited about it and all of us are looking forward to it. They are laid-back people, more than even myself, so it should be interesting. I was pleasantly surprised to not get much flack at all from x - I've never had the kids solely for that long. He asked for the itinerary, my friend's cell, etc., and just asked that I make sure that they get in touch with him daily.
He calls them every night at the same time when they are with me - they argue who is going to get the phone, often letting it just go to voicemail. I see how they compartmentalize their lives. I've asked them if they do the same when I call them when they are away- of course they say "no," but most of the time I can tell that they are involved with something so I just say a quick "I love you" and let them go back to what they are doing; if they want to talk more, I leave it up to them. It seems almost selfish when x pushes himself onto them; I don't want to do that.
I get it that parents are much more "into" their kids than vice-versa...it's the natural way of things, so they can grow up and become independent. Not sure if x gets that, but oh, well.

When we come back, my son will only be home for a day or two before he goes off to Boy Scout camp for most of the summer, a last-minute opportunity. He may even have a paying job there, but could CIT as a backup. They only get 24 hours a week off, so it will be a huge adjustment for me and our little family. It is a year earlier than I expected - he is only 14. But it will be good for him - he seems ready (so I have to be!)

My x and I met through Scouting, and this is a long tradition, especially at this summer camp, back on LI where we grew up. I am so happy for him that he will be able to do this, especially after such a tough school year for him.

The kids are with their father this weekend, so I am free to be me. I stayed up late watching nonsense and reverting to my innate, inner vampire (I was such a nightowl before kids!), celebrating the freer schedule of summer. I slept in, took a luxurious bath, had plans to go see the fireworks but it looks like it may be rained out, so maybe a movie. I don't envy people who have year-round work - not sure if I could do that (well, at least). I need the cycles of school years, the time to recharge.

Life goes on, and while it might not be what I expected, it's not bad, either.

Happy Summer, all!!
Hey, just read the forgiveness article. Sounds like I may (?) have forgiven my x. hmm...
Well, they say forgiveness is more for you than the person being forgiven. I think forgiveness may come in stages, some never get to the last one but any progress is always a bonus! Carrying all the anger and bitterness is just too exhausting. I've always thought that when I go before the Lord I can say I did everything I could to save the M, what my spouse says is between her and God, it's not in my hands.
Btw, what is DBT training?
dialectic behavior training...a kind of group therapy/class. Rooted in mindfulness, other coping strategies.
Originally Posted By: Donna...Found
Happy Summer, all!!
And to you.

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free
and discover the prisoner was you."
Lewis B Smedes
Quick update:

Just got back from vacation. The kids and I had a really good time, even though I did come down with a cold/fever/bad ear infection that laid me out for part of it. Still managed to get them to a few theme park visits, plus swimming, bike riding, etc. The other family who we went with were great. I had hoped to meet up with some of my friends and family while we were down in FL, but the timing was off.

I still find myself thinking about my old life when things are quiet...seems like such a long time ago, like ex was someone in a dream somewhere. I guess I still have the "sitch" in my hand at times, fiddle with it, turn it over and over, but the rough edges of that rock have worn down and gotten smooth with time - it is smaller, with no (ok, with few) cutting shards.
I made the mistake of looking through FB, and the gf finally posted pics of her and ex together as her profile pic: a vacation shot, an event they attended. It was.....weird, surreal, I guess. Someone I don't know told her the picture was great. It used to be me. Now, there she is, hair dyed blonde (which matches mine). Next to him, with his arm around her.
No tears, just a mild surprise. A flash of anger, I think. And one of my exSIL's has recently become friends with her on FB (we are not). The one who said she never liked her (having met her at various family parties we had thrown over the years) - guess she got over that.

My (ex)in-laws are going down to visit their youngest son this weekend - his baby will be a year old, and it is a family party. Mom forgets sometimes that I wouldn't automatically know about these things, anymore. She was so excited to show me the gifts she had bought the baby, what she knitted for him. It is beyond clear now that I am not welcome to ever know this nephew...never met him. My kids are with their father this weekend, so there was no "need to know." I think it is still a little unsettling that my kids go on, continue having relationships with family that I am no longer privledged to - they will grow up having this whole other life that I am not included in. It looks like ex got what he wanted, to a large extent - it is like I have simply disappeared and she has taken my place.

I'm not crying over this...the word "sad" doesn't even cover it right. It is just so...strange.
A quote from a movie just floated up to the surface:
"Very few people surprise me."
"Yeah, well, you're lucky. Most of 'em shock the hell outta me."
I went to the doctor today about my ear (it will heal). Waiting room reading: There was an article on Vince Gill and Amy Grant (I hadn't followed the story). She talked about how her first husband literally begged her not to go, but she "couldn't imagine not living life with Gill by her side." And how this Christian couple had struggled and succeeded in blending the two families. That there were many different paths for Christians, and that God had made marriage for people, not people for marriage (wth that is supposed to mean is beyond me). Still hard not to judge. Hell, the longer I go on and the more I see, it seems that I am the one with beliefs that seem far out of touch with the mainstream.

I wonder if I am or am becoming bitter. If, now that I am finally comfortable on my own, if I will ever have time / emotional room / interest from another person and a new relationship.
Just before I met my ex at the young age of 16, I had decided that I would always be alone - no one would want me. I think that I am coming back to that mindset, again (at least the alone part).
Wanted to quote this, a great reminder:

Not contacting + developing new interests + not checking online + getting fit + eating well +resting + doing things we enjoy + learning new things + writing about how we feel + making new plans for the future … all starts to add up to a totally new life. That starts to look more inviting than the old one.
There’s a theory in NLP that you will hang onto the past exactly UNTIL your future looks brighter to you.

So it makes sense that if you invest NO time developing that bright future – if you are just obsessing about the past, devoting all your time to building a shrine to it – well naturally the future, with no new things or habits or challenges – is not going to inspire. If you start to put that same obsessional devotion into your own life, and making changes – it starts to look more appealing. And the whole thing starts to reshuffle and you actually FEEL like you are moving in a forwards direction rather than backwards or sideways!

from GettingPastYourPast.com
S turned 15 today!! We went to the bank and opened a savings and checking account just for him yesterday. Also got him all the gear he needed and packed for his month-long camp counselor gig - he is working in Scoutcraft. He is really such a good kid....I hope that his current energy, along with this work experience, finally gets through to him when school starts.

I was used to having the kids around me all the time with vacation - on my own this weekend. I have to finish getting things squared away, then catch up on paperwork, chores, etc. There is a local Irish band playing tomorrow night I might see.
Definitely go see the Irish band. That sounds like a lot of fun!
Actually vegitated, but it was good smile Went to church today, then a surprise birthday party - great lunch. Caught up with a friend, then picked up my D from her dad's.
This weekend had drama for the in-laws, though...

Remember the nephew who was turning one (I've never met him)? My former 'rents-in-law drove to the neighboring state for the party. They stopped by MIL's mom's house and saw that ex, gf and all her girls were there.
FIL saw it all, drove right past them and turned around, came home. For a very quiet man (his role model is John Wayne, for a visual), he actually came over to my house to drop off the mail when they got home...just looking to vent I guess. Said he thinks he has now lost his youngest son, too (ex's brother) - all I could say was that I was so sorry.
You would think that, if this woman really loved ex so much, that she would just quietly stay back instead of watching his family be pulled apart over this. It's just sad...but I am glad that I am not part of the drama.

Onwards to my Girls' Summer - just me and D11 for the next few weeks.
Maybe you could say:

"X and I are divorced. We are both free to move forward with our lives. He has found some happiness with another person. At our age, blended families are very likely. Please don't stay in the past on my account. We all need to move forward to a happy future. Yours should include your children. It is very sad for me to see you hurt your relationships with them."
I have said as much to them. They have told me numerous times that this isn't about me, but how they will not accept the adultery-partner into their family.
Knowing how his parents feel, I don't understand why ex would continue to insist that she go to these things. It is their battle of wills, at this point. His parents are not willing to gloss over how their relationship started; I think they blame her for the affair much more than him (as I did for quite a long time).

Before they left for the weekend, my son asked me (and his grandmother when I wasn't around) why his father felt compelled to bring his gf and all the other kids. I answered that I don't know...
Very sad that they think that having a relationship with their son requires "glossing over" anything. Parents can really not like something a child has done and still not reject that child. XH has pretty messed up parents. I hate to see your children having that example.

Regarding DS, is it really true you don't know? I'd guess XH brings GF and the kids because he views them as his family. He is unwilling to reject his family, nor, really, should anyone ask him to or expect him to at this point.
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 07/20/10 03:26 AM
I think for some reason in today's society, parents feel as if they can't show any disapproval of their grown child's actions. For example, my former MIL was very upset with her son about his affair and his treatment of his children and family. Yet she was afraid to say anything in fear that he wouldn't come visit her. This is the same woman who bought a dog so she and her H would have something to talk about!

Parents never stop being parents and I say Bravo to those showing that they have some morals. That is a lesson every child should learn.

Would he be rejecting his gf by having either he or she decide that she didn't need to force herself into a new family dynamic that is resistant to her? I don't agree with that....it seems more in-your-face, accept-me-and-all-I-come-with-or-to-hell-with-you/I-did-nothing-wrong-or-immoral of an attitude.
His parents didn't turn around from the visit because he was there. They just are unwilling to accept the relationship he chose.
Would it be better for them to welcome her into the family with open arms? Pretend that the past didn't happen when they were witness to it, as the sibs seem to have done - a 20-year relationship erased, a family member replaced? Or, go to the event and refuse to acknowledge that she is in the room at all? "Just have a nice visit," like great-grandma has suggested, when instead she is left with her stomach tied in knots with the elephant in the room?

Anyway, it has nothing to do with me, anymore - it is just an observation. My IC pointed out that his ability to do what he did does seem to be rooted in his larger family dynamics.

As far as the example set for my kids - I sincerely hope that I am raising them to internalize that cheating is wrong; not an option. There is no grey area there. Do I believe that a marriage has a chance to survive it if it happens? Yes, if both parties are willing to do the work. But it is very messed up that people think that this is an option to begin with, when it causes so much destruction and pain.

What I've talked about with my son in the past: people are human, and fallible. My parents both smoked; my mother was an alcoholic. It didn't stop me from loving them, but I certainly didn't want to emulate those behaviors, either! Of course he loves his dad, but I hope that he would never think that cheating is ok.
Forgiving a person doesn't mean that you forget, or wipe the slate clean and make everything ethical and nice-nice - wrong is wrong.

ANYway, I am taking D down to LI to the ocean beach and staying over at college friend's. I went for my recheck of my ear, and the hearing is slowly coming back (my eardrum burst when I was on vacation - ouch!) Glad it is summer!
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 07/20/10 03:31 PM
I lost a lot of my hearing during my flight attendant days from flying with a cold. Never do it!! Even if you have taken medicine and feel fine, until it is gone it still can cause damage to your ears. Nearly burst both ear drums and was grounded for a month!

So just saying I relate, in a round about way! Glad you are having fun with the kids.

Thanks, kat - it is making me crazy. The pain drove me to the ER twice while I was away. I was happy to have driven the 1800 miles each way for vacation. No more pain; just temporary hearing loss...doc said it should be back in about a month. So the summer will be quiet wink
My point was precisely that they didn't need to "gloss" over things. They can be quite clear that they disapprove of XH's actions and his GF's actions from years ago. That doesn't mean that they need to continue to reject him or his significant other for the rest of their lives. Judgmental, unforgiving, no compassion, unloving. That is the example I hate to see your kids exposed to. It really is not good for them to have their father's family so splintered and to have the person who is essentially their stepmother so demonized. XH and his GF did very bad things, years ago. Most people do very bad things at some point in their lives, some not quite so bad, some worse. Are most people to be forever damned by their families, ireedeemable?
OT, she is not my children's stepmother. They are not married, and even if they do get married, there is no way that she is "mother" in any sense to them.

I know you like to push my buttons about this, OT.

You also know that my sitch is not just a random ow who got mixed up in things - she was a friend, babysat my kids, went on vacation with us, etc., for more than 14 years. To do what she did, what BOTH of them did, that is irredeemable. How DO you redeem yourself from that?

I forgive (well, maybe I have - I think it may be more of indifference towards her at this point, which is a step in the right direction); doesn't mean that I am going to be friends with them. Doesn't mean that ex's parents have to accept their relationship. They don't agree with their present lifestyle, either.
I think it is pretty insensitive and disrespectful for them to push the relationship on others when it is so clear that it goes against their morals, etc. His parents are not harping on him to break up with her - they just don't want to hang out with her at their family events.
If one becomes irredeemable after having an affair, then at least 95% of the people who post to these boards should instead simply file for a quickie divorce.

And, FWIW, I'm not trying to push your buttons. I just think it is very sad for your children to have what functions as part of their extended family (their father, his GF, the other children) in most ways rejected by their grandparents.

As for friendship, I certainly don't think there is reason for you to be friends with either one of them. I certainly wouldn't be if I were you. Yuck.
BTW, I have an aunt who had a falling out with her parents (my grandparents). They remained estranged for 25 years until my grandmother was dying and my aunt was in foreclosure. My aunt then saw my grandmother right before she died. But, my grandfather and aunt then immediately went back on the outs until his death.

This fracture in her family had and continues to have horrible effects on her children. They are pretty messed up by it.

Your children already have to deal with having two separate families, your family and XH's family. Ideally, these two separate families could peacefully coexist, independently, each being a safe space in their lives.

But, right now, no matter what you do, this can't happen for you kids. To have such significant and public infighting, judgment, lack of compassion or forgiveness within XH's family that maintains a painful fracture is not good for them.

Look at it this way, you understand how it is bad for them to be in a place where they have to reject/hate GF to be loyal to you. You don't want them to be in that place. You have tried to help them not be in that place, and I think you've probably been doing a great job with that. But, meanwhile, your ex-in-laws take the kids right back there. They can't be loyal to their grandparents and accept GF at the same time. They either have to reject what amounts to their father's household family or their grandparents. It is messed up, and very sad.

Your ex-in-laws are rejecting their child because he had an affair. Affairs are wrong, certainly. So are lots of other things. They are forgivable. I hope your ex-in-laws are able to extend some compassion to their son and his significant other, sooner rather than later, so that your children don't continue to be put in the middle.


And, help me out here. I'm really concerned that you used the phrase "push my buttons." I'm not sure what to make of it. It sounds hostile to me, like you think I try to prick you for fun or something. Is this really how you are feeling or am I misreading that?
OT, I think you are essentially correct in what you are saying. As a parent, I can certainly disagree with my kids and not approve of what they do but I would never (at least I hope not) refuse to accept them based on my own moral code of ethics...like I would still love them, just not what they are doing.

Donna...if your ex and this skank have been together for awhile and she has contact with your children while they visit him then she could very well become a stepmother to them. Just because they are not married, does not make her less of a parental figure, less of an influence on them.

I understand she is a skeeze but she was a skeeze to you...if she babysat your children and took good care of them there is most likely a sort of bond there

I don't believe your ex is really saying accept my life you a**holes to his parents

I think he has a new family

his parents are telling him that they will not be at a family event where he and his family are...they are forcing him to chose between his parents and his current family

that is wrong

in the same situation
I would chose my current family as well

his brothers and sisters chose to see him and they allow him to bring his skeeze with...
that doesn't mean they agree with what he did
it just means they love their brother

it certainly is not your job to convince your inlaws to accept their son so please don't think that that is what I am saying

I am just saying
it is messed up
that he did what he did
that are continuing to do what they do
Hi Donna,

Well, I have to say that I felt just the way you do about my Chuck and his maggot. I wanted his family to scorn him, to stand by my kids and I. Just as my kids don't recognize maggot in his life or in theirs. But my kids were older when it happened. They made their stand - good or bad. I feel for them now when they mention how bad their R with their dad is. I am angry with him that he made them choose him and her together or not much of him at all. BUT...

I added to that too. I badmouthed them in the beginning. It coloured my kids' vision of the whole thing for sure. Not that they didn't know. Or that they would have made different choices. But I know that I did this.

None of it is right. None of it is good. But it is what it is. It takes time and a fair amount of healing to be able to say that. I don't even think about him and her much. Wouldn't give you a nickle for either one of them and still hope he dies before one of my kids gets married (TRUE - shoot me now!). But I don't want his family to hate him. They know. They probably have a lot less respect for him. And I am no less in their eyes. They tell me that when they see me. But I had to let it go.

In letting go, you open yourself up to new possibilities. I have a new set of "Not quite In Laws"LOL. Sister in law of Josh's sister called me her "Pseudo Sister In law" the other day. Made me laugh. But made me feel warm & fuzzy too. His family are accepting of me, my kids and all the stigma attached to a "DIVORCEE". LOL. They want their son to be happy. And so it is.

My daughter broke up with her BF 4 months ago. Longest 4 months ever. She still clings to thoughts of them getting back together. They are still friends. Neither has dated anyone else. But if he doesn't even text her back what she wants to hear - she cries. It tears my heart out. But I can't get her to "let go". Good news is she is telling of a new interest. Nice guy. Asking about her through friends. Asked her to hang out. Got her number. I hope she can drop the rope with Andrew and consider this new guy.

You have to let go in order to move forward.

Forget what goes on in HIS new household. Accept that you are not part of that scene unless it involves neglect or abuse of YOUR children. Let them all work out their own issues. Take the time and energy away from them and put it into rebuilding your own new life.

It too me SO long to do this. Doing it has been a God send. I only wish the same for you.

OT, I honestly do appreciate your devil's-advocate stance most of the time, but I think you're reading way too much into the grandparents' actions. You and we don't know the situation and perhaps Donna might elaborate more on it. It is highly conceivable that the grandparents have done the best they can to accept their son's transgressions, extended every courtesy possible, but the son (Donna's ex) might very well be insisting on being obstinate and refusing to repent of his offenses. He could very well be violating the moral boundaries they have established through demands that they accept his new family without a shred of contrition on his part or any acknowledgment of his wrongs. That might very well be the situation, that his parents would love to forgive and forget but the son insists that they act the ignorant fools and forgo any sort of boundaries or value system they have tried to uphold -- it's just as plausible a rationale as the one you seem to be asserting.

It would be entirely different if the ex were approaching his mother and father telling them he knows he has screwed things up royally, going against the values they tried to instill in him, that he truly hurt Donna and wrecked their family, but now he loves this other person and they have forged a new family, flawed as it is -- and for him to appeal to his parents' mercy and to forgive him of his wrong-doings. If the parents weren't able to accept the prodigal after that, THEN you might have an argument. But you can't say one way or the other given what we know.

But more to the point, in these forums, we advocate over and over again, ad nauseum, that we cannot control another person's behaviors. We can only control ourselves, and we try not to concern ourselves with things beyond our own control and certainly beyond our concern. The R between Donna's ex and his parents are none of our business and not something Dona need concern herself with directly. If it is having a deleterious effect on her children, yes, that's unfortunate, and Donna should help them, the children, from her end, but she's not obligated to do anything more. It's out of her hands. Deal with the kids, but move on. It's what everyone in DB has been trying to beat into my head for months and months now.

Donna, if I have mistaken the situation, please feel free to correct me.
Oh, and OT, lest you think I'm beating up on you, I can say that in your advice to Mishka, you have been spot-on. (I've even caught my self thinking, "H*ll, yeah!") I'm just not sure where you're going with this castigation of the parents for the ex being a black sheep in the family.

I never play devil's advocate on these boards. My posts are quite sincere.

My point is that it is very sad for all involved that XH's parents refuse to accept their son, and that this kind of fracture in the family is damaging to Donna's children. It is especially problematic because of the odd living situation which makes the family dynamics even more confusing for the kids.

It is unfortunate that the ex-in-laws remain so judgmental and unforgiving toward their child. Extending compassion, love and acceptance, creating a safe space for their son in their lives, might well result in son sharing his past pain and remorse with them. Their consistent outright rejection leaves no space for reconciliation. This hurts everyone in their family, especially ALL of the children.

P.S. Put it this way, I tell Mish to give Gabe space to be a good guy, to be a better man, to grow, to confront himself... Donna's ex-in-laws give zero such space to their son, their minds and hearts are closed.
P.P.S. Yes, I agree that we can't control others. I wouldn't suggest that Donna try to control her ex-in-laws. Expressing to her ex-in-laws that they needn't reject their son for her sake and that she finds it sad that they haven't reconciled is hardly controlling.

Better yet, I'd suggest that as soon as one of her ex-in-laws begins discussing ANYTHING about their family that Donna simply say: "I care about you, but I cannot be part of your family drama. Please change the topic immediately or I'll need to stop this conversation." Continuing to expose herself to the family drama is nothing but harmful. However, Donna does not seem to be in a place for whatever reason to take this step of setting a clear boundary and letting go of that part of her life.

Anyway, I added this second postscript because I agree entirely that the important thing here is how it affects Donna's kids. We can't help our kids with problems that we don't recognize. Thus it is important to bring out how the ongoing fracture in XH's family hurts her children. It is very sad to see that there is no progress on healing that fracture.
Their consistent outright rejection leaves no space for reconciliation.

Is this the case? Do you, we, Donna, know this to be the fact? That's all I am asking.

We do know there seems to be a rift between the ex and his parents, that much we can say, but can we safely conclude that this difference is due entirely to the parents having hardened their hearts against their son? Can we speak unequivocally that we know the in-laws' intents in this matter, voiced or not?

I'm just got getting that from what Donna has said; maybe I missed something, or Donna might could elaborate.

Otherwise, you and I seem to agree, particularly on how Donna should approach it, whatever the situation might really be.

Originally Posted By: oldtimer

Better yet, I'd suggest that as soon as one of her ex-in-laws begins discussing ANYTHING about their family that Donna simply say: "I care about you, but I cannot be part of your family drama. Please change the topic immediately or I'll need to stop this conversation." Continuing to expose herself to the family drama is nothing but harmful. However, Donna does not seem to be in a place for whatever reason to take this step of setting a clear boundary and letting go of that part of her life.

OT, my best friend has done exactly that recently. His wife left him 8 months ago but he still goes to dinner with his in-laws and recently he told them that he loves them and wants to keep in touch but does not want to hear about his ex. They responded very well to that.
This has been interesting to read - thank you all for the input. I value the opportunity to think.

I wouldn't suggest that Donna try to control her ex-in-laws. Expressing to her ex-in-laws that they needn't reject their son for her sake and that she finds it sad that they haven't reconciled is hardly controlling.

Better yet, I'd suggest that as soon as one of her ex-in-laws begins discussing ANYTHING about their family that Donna simply say: "I care about you, but I cannot be part of your family drama. Please change the topic immediately or I'll need to stop this conversation." Continuing to expose herself to the family drama is nothing but harmful. However, Donna does not seem to be in a place for whatever reason to take this step of setting a clear boundary and letting go of that part of her life.

OT, I have said the near-exact lines in your first paragraph to them, and reiterated it to them in an email. I have also asked MIL to stop speaking of me to her other children, as it seems to be a sore spot for the sibs (we live next door to each other and do many things together, which has brought out some weird jealousy in at least the women, and maybe the younger brother with the 1-year-old son), and I don't want to be a reason or cause for ANY discord in their relationship with any of their adult children. It was a request, but of course I have no idea what they do talk about, or even if they do talk at all at this point. I am trying to distance myself away from all the drama.

As for the second paragraph, whenever the subject has come up (either of them complaining of how others in my former family are acting, what they are saying, etc., I have said "I am sorry to hear that" and changed the subject or ended the convo completely and physically removed myself.
If MIL or FIL forget my current place in the order-of-things and share positive reports about the family with me, I take the stance of a neighbor/friend towards the news, listen, say "that's nice" or some such and go onto another topic.

I think the other issue that may be missed is that my former husband's parents are not rejecting him, but want nothing to do with his girlfriend. They have attended things when ex went alone or with our children. MIL has bought and given him presents for Christmas and his birthday. His father has spoken to him by phone and in person when he has run into him in my driveway. His parents have refused, however, to visit his home because it is also her home.

In any case, this has NOTHING to do with me, at this point. I was merely pointing out a sad thing that I was witnessing. There are no winners here.

The ongoing fracture in the family is sad and a by-product of divorce. Divorce is a terrible, terrible thing, and something that I wanted to avoid, foremost for my children's sake. This is a consequence, something that I had no control over and didn't want.

Now, as far as my feelings toward the girlfriend......I don't bash her to my kids; I don't discuss her with anyone IRL at this point, really. At some point early on, I did tell my children that she had said and done some terrible things that broke our friendship but that it was between adults - It was one discussion, and I left it at that (my son did come to find out soon after that talk about the affair when his father tried to lie to him and say that his relationship with the woman was new and had nothing to do with the breakup of our marriage).

My D11 instinctively avoids talking about the gf or mentioning her by name. She tells me all other stories about her time when she visits the other house, which is mostly filled with playing with her best friend (they are only a month apart and grew up together). My S15 has told me that, while he realizes his parents will not be back together, he wishes that his father would break up with the girlfriend, sell the house and move back into an apartment. I think that stems from a combination of the extended family stress, coupled with my son now competing with an additional 4 children for his father's attention.
They both know that they are kids and have no control in their grown-ups' matters, and have come to decide that their opinions are not welcomed by their father.

Would it be optimal for my kids if all of the adults in their lives could have remained friends (or gotten past the mess) and get along, even do things together? Yep.
The following is where I think OT "pushes my buttons" - in other words, attempts with good-will to see me continue to grow in grace and become a better person, for myself and my kids, who accepts and embraces the changes. It is a lofty, worthwhile goal, but I am either not ready or not capable of getting there, at least not yet.

I am not a saint. I am not that evolved.
I was betrayed by my husband. He has admitted to going beyond the lies and betrayal, trying to hurt me purposefully. He has never changed his stance that he did all of this because I didn't take care of him, etc, taking on no blame. In his head, he "only lied about this one thing," and there was no other way things could have happened. Through therapy, I have worked hard to discover my own flaws and co-dependence, but it was also pointed out to me that I had been in a dysfunctional relationship with a narcissist.
I was betrayed by my friend. She told me she wished there was something she could do to help me save my marriage while I cried on her shoulder, while she had already been having a physical affair with him for at least 6 months. When I discovered the truth, she laughed in my face and told me I was "so blind." She is a manipulative martyr, and I have no doubt that she would not be bound by morals towards anyone if she thought she might loose what she fought so hard to win over. (I had trusted her enough to occasionally babysit my kids before the whole mess, that is true - but I was also of the opinion that she didn't have very good parenting skills, and of course before I knew that she was as messed up as she is. She watched them in case of an emergency, she did not contribute to raising them, and I thank God every day that her influence is still very small).

God, I know that writing that out sounds like I am not over this, holding onto the past, bitter, vindictive, etc. It is actually more that my eyes are open to what is - no more denial.

But I recognize that THESE TWO PEOPLE CAN NOT HURT ME, ANYMORE. I lived through it, it has become part of my past (just as many events, good and bad, have helped shape me).
Do I judge their actions? Yes - they were wrong. I think they continue to be wrong. Because I loved him for so long, it has been easier to forgive my exhusband (just a fact) than it has been for me to forgive her. I have gone from outright hate to relative indifference, most of the time, towards her. Mama-bear still gets riled up at the thought/potential of either of these people hurting my kids. Maybe I've read too many other sitches here...maybe I am jaded. But I don't think either of these individuals are "good people" or even remarkably "safe people." They have shown their propensity to lie, cheat and act selfishly without regard for others (and they still do). I don't trust them. I don't think they set a good example for my kids. Their morals and values are obviously not in line with my own, or what I hope my kids to grow up believing in.

You can't pick your parents, but you can learn from them, both what to emulate and what NOT to do. I can't keep these people out of my children's lives - all I can do is be here, ready to pick up the pieces when and if needed, be the example I hope they will look toward, and make sure they have resources and support outside of the immediate situation (the relationship that I opened between them and their own IC).
I thought this was an excellent, mature, detached and realistic post.
And this:
Originally Posted By: Donna...Found
I was betrayed by my friend. She told me she wished there was something she could do to help me save my marriage while I cried on her shoulder, while she had already been having a physical affair with him for at least 6 months. When I discovered the truth, she laughed in my face and told me I was "so blind."
may well be the cruelest thing I've ever read on these boards.
Originally Posted By: Donna...Found
I was betrayed by my friend. She told me she wished there was something she could do to help me save my marriage while I cried on her shoulder, while she had already been having a physical affair with him for at least 6 months. When I discovered the truth, she laughed in my face and told me I was "so blind."

may well be the cruelest thing I've ever read on these boards.

With friends like that, who needs enimas?

Originally Posted By: TimeHeals

With friends like that, who needs enimas?

Now that's funny!
Insomnia - bad sunburn is starting to switch over from stabbing pain to peeling and itching...

I've been doing lots of mini-trips to LI, and got to visit S15 at camp, spend some time with friends and D11. Just spent a while catching up with many threads here (lurker alert).

Ex tried to rope me in on Sunday over pick-up times, things not going according to his view of the world. After a few texts, he tried to call me (I answered because I couldn't tell if it was D11 who wanted to talk) - I said "I am driving and your attitude is why I didn't want to talk to you, so good-night! and hung up. Got a few more texts about how inconsiderate I was...yada yada yada.
I had a few choice thoughts about "consideration" that I wanted to share with him, but by the time I got home, I just couldn't even be bothered.
Just read how apathy is the opposite of love (not hate)...hmm.......

A list of goals:
*The summer is just flying by, and I have to switch gears and get myself moving again. I want to get my body in shape and settle into an exercise routine.
*I also have to continue plugging away at some household clutter (go through boxes that are stashed, clothes, paperwork, etc.).
*Settle up with accounts I've put off - taxes, medical bills. Restructure a budget.
*finish up the last of my classes and get my license updated (got the extension I needed)
*Tackle the "honey-do" list of small repairs around the house. I haven't had a working microwave in more than 6 months, high bulbs out, powerwash the house, fix a door lock, replace a handle, etc.
*Get medical things up to date - see the dentist, dermatologist, still need to do the sleep study, etc.
*move my classroom again - huge mess and lots of packing/unpacking
*start rewriting my lesson plans into the new mandated format so I don't get stuck with overwhelming homework during the year - also have to work up my stock order
*actually ATTEND one of the meet-up groups that I found that look interesting - can't seem to find the time!! At least I read the book for the book club - last month's meeting!

And sleep, that would be nice.
Normal sleep last night - it can be the simple things that make you grateful...

Friend's husband is having her served today. Bastard didn't even tell her - the marshall called to make sure she would be home, then made her promise to call a friend (she freaked out).
Her H has been waffling for months, now. Not 3 weeks ago, she was away with her kids camping, and he called me trying to find a way to get in touch with her - crying that he didn't want to break up with her, it was all a terrible mistake, etc. I told him to leave her alone for the rest of the week (it was a Tues) and get right with HIMSELF, get into IC, etc., before he got her all worked up. It had been touch and go since then, but it re-awoke hope in her. So much for that.
This is her 2nd marriage. Her's is a case of jumping from one R to another without taking the time to do much work - makes me glad that I'm not rushing things.

Off to visit the neighbor down the street - our friendship has definitely cooled a lot since my D went through. It will be interesting to see if she is going to try digging for gossip about me and my ex, or if there really was more to our friendship.
Just read this and thought it was a good perspective:

I tend to get tired of all the nonsense on TV,
but when I saw the announcement that Tony
Robbins, the man who has been inspiring people
to transform their lives for the last 35 years,
had a new show I admit I was curious. Earlier
this week, Breakthrough premiered. For the
next 6 weeks Tony will be featuring stories where
he takes people with tragic circumstances on a
30-day journey of healing and transformation.

This past week Tony worked with a couple,
Kristen and Frank, who lost their dream life on
their wedding day. Frank suffered an accident
immediately after their "I Do's," and became a
quadriplegic. As a result, they've been living
a life of complete limitations with no joy...they
believe they can't leave the house, she's afraid
to leave him alone, he feels guilty for ruining her
life...it's "their story".

Through many exercises and experiences, Kristen
and Frank learn the power of re-writing the story
they are living to completely change the quality
of their life. They come to realize that the quality
of your life is where you live emotionally (frustrated
and angry vs. grateful and optimistic).

We can definitely learn from Kristen and Frank's
journey and transformation. No doubt our divorce
is one of the most personal and painful challenges
we will experience in our lives! We need to give
ourselves time to heal, but in the end we have a
choice how we allow our divorce to affect the
rest of our lives. We can grow from the stress, or
let it hold us back. We can be the martyr or the
victim, or we can have a life that's alive and
passionate. We can be bitter, or we can use it
as the catalyst to take action and create a life
that is better.

So, are you still living the "story" of your
divorce or have you used your divorce for
a breakthrough??
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 07/30/10 07:59 PM
Where did they put that darn like button????...oh. smile

That was wonderful.
Yes, a good perspective indeed. I sent something enitrely different to Yahoo...
I read an article that talked about FOO stuff, especially for families affected by alcoholism. The roles that each member takes on.

Made me think of my sister. I don't think too many here will remember our background...
suffice to say that we grew up in dysfunction, 10 years apart. I was older, so she had to deal with an alcoholic who was 10 years deeper into their illness, while also dealing with me "abandoning" her when I went away to college, graduated and married a week later - she was only 8 when I moved out.

We are not in contact at present. She most-likely has untreated bi-polar.
And I am just coming to understand how our roles, how what I did, came to influence her.

So, my conflict:
After all I've learned, I'd like to apologize and make any amends that I could to her for my part in the dynamic. It was so much more than I could comprehend for a very long time.

But I'd also like to respect her choice to have no contact with me (or any of our family). I think one of her coping strategies is to cut off connections to everyone who might hurt her through abandonment, argument, judgement or death.

Might be another place to write a letter that never gets mailed.....

Anyway, my thoughts for tonight. I wonder if my life is just getting so settled right now that I am jonesin' for some drama.....?
Posted By: newmama Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/06/10 07:31 AM
WOW, Donna, I need to read your entire thread (#38 at least). So much of what you say resonates with me. I was the oldest sister leaving for college, 11 and 12 years older than my sisters, and we have an alcoholic mom.

I read the first page. Thank you for sharing what you have learned on your journey! It really helps people. smile
Posted By: NNP1965 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/06/10 10:17 AM
Donna can you share where you saw the article? Maybe it's online somewhere.
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/06/10 11:00 AM
Hey Ms. D..

I guess the question is.. What is your goal in contacting her?

If it were me, I'd consider writing a very short note of what I felt and understood without defending going to college, etc. (And sometimes one additional reason young adults get married is to escape a bad home environment.)

In the end she was a helpless child, alone in a disturbing home. Write from the heart to her. Your realization and understanding of what she went through. Your remorse. And let her decide her next step.


This is the article I just read:


Here are a few other resources that describe ACOA and family roles:




While you may identify with one "main" role, there is some overlap.

I was mostly the Hero, my sister was the scapegoat.
I had a dream last night.

I packed up the last of the memories of x and I and sent it over to his house in a box. The dream was of me packing it all, collecting it from the corners of my house.

Photos, from high school all the way through 2006 (when it really got bad and I stopped using a camera). Hundreds of pictures, from the time he was 15....my son's age, now.
My wedding dress. The cake-topper I hand-made. Our toasting glasses.
Christmas ornaments, collected as reminders of events in our lives, of things we each liked (mostly Hallmark, ones collected on trips, etc.)
His old letterman jacket and wrestling sweatshirt.
The wedding album and video tape. I kept a few pics for the kids when they get older and packed them away for them in their own keepsake boxes.
The letters and cards I saved for 20+ years.
The torn-out page of my high school yearbook that he wrote on, ending with one of his many marriage proposals.

I woke up wondering what he would do with all of this stuff, if he would look at any of it or just bring it to the dumpster at work. And realized that it doesn't matter.
What the hell do I have it all here for? Time to go...
Posted By: Gypsy Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/10/10 11:32 AM
Ms. Donna..


Posted By: Kalni Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/10/10 12:03 PM
I wouldnt throw all of that away. Throwing them away doenst mean IMO that you are "free" of whatever held you stuck and made you suffer. Keeping things like that, in my eyes, shows strength and power. Because, no matter what happened, those years WERE real and meant so much to all of you. The dream was so symbolic though, like a closure dream.
How are you doing?
I agree with K. Dreaming that you did all of that was symbolic of your letting go. It's not necessary to destroy your tangible history just because you need to let go of it.

I did pack everything in the house that reminded me of something sentimental, our wedding, our history into one large box and labeled it "For Marc". It's in the attic and I hadn't thought about it until I just read your post. It really did help me to get it out of my direct line of vision but maintain it for Marc.
I've done a similar thing--didn't want to throw things away in case D14 wants them someday (and she's a packrat, she probably will!) She has a wedding picture in her bedroom, too, which I don't have to see very often.
It wasn't with the intent to throw it away. But it was all about letting it go. I wanted to dump our history on him to deal with it, decide to keep it for the kids (or not). All this stuff is still in the same places throughout the house (not in the line of sight, but on shelves, packed away with Christmas things, in closets and files, etc.) All the obvious things (family photos, etc.) have long been put aside.

But, in the light of day, I realize that he did deal with our history when he left and took his baby pictures, his high school year book...and left the rest.

Ugh, oh well. Can't control dreams - it's a good thing I am awake, now.

Took an eHarmony quiz to determine if I was "over my ex and ready to date." It said that the memory of him is like a tattoo on my heart and that I should be in therapy so I don't hurt some innocent guy I try to date.
ALLLLlllrighty, then.....

I thought I was further along.
Various thoughts...

My H had to rescue his wedding pictures to save for the kids from the garbage can when his XW threw them out. I definitely think he did the right thing. He also rescued treasured baby toys of his kids, etc... Good thing he saw the trash that day.

I still have stuff from my wedding with XH even though we had no children, but it is definitely put away. Dunno what to think about that really, sometimes it bothers me to have old stuff around. But it seems important to preserve that for my own sake.

The stuff that was definitely XH's I returned to him -- like your XH's sweater, for instance. That is his to preserve or not.

Definitely dump the mundane reminders. New curtains, change the furniture, etc...

I really think the WASs get the better end of the deal. They leave, take a few things that are important, and the LBSs get stuck with the lifetime of stuff. Largely dumping it and starting fresh is the way to go.

If it is something you wouldn't be comfortable sharing with a new love, it's probably a problem...

If it is something that keeps the past in the present, lose it or pack it away. It's weird what these things are. Some old furniture of mine doesn't reek of the past, it is simply furniture. Other pieces, I'm better off dumping.

I guess, briefly, don't keep things in your life that bring you down. Some people need to toss, some don't and can merely pack things away. It probably depends what it is.

But no thing is worth saving that causes constant emotional stabs.

Also, there is stuff and there is stuff. The stuff that wouldn't be on your short list of things to save in a fire should probably go. For instance, in my mind Christmas ornaments aren't that important. You'll never use them all again. They would be intrusive in any future R. Let your children pick a few to make their OWN, drop the rest at an ebay shop.

That's it! Take the old stuff to an ebay shop, use the proceeds for new dreams :-)
Dunno what to think about that really, sometimes it bothers me to have old stuff around. But it seems important to preserve that for my own sake.

That's the thing...it is put away. Not all in one place, but away. I am not tripping over things that remind me of my marriage. But it is still here. And I know it is here.

I wonder, for what purpose am I saving it?

Some of it is too personal for my kids (or probably anybody) to read - high school letters of horny teenagers make up a lot of the correspondence in one box. I think those might be better off burned.

And my dress? I think I would be sick if my D decided she wanted to use even a piece of it - like it holds bad luck. At the same time, I thought it was so beautiful and special that I wanted to put it up on a dress form in my bedroom after the wedding (ex thought that was too weird so I had it preserved). In the memories I have leading up to the wedding, there was a special one when I went shopping with my mom and when she saw me in it, we both knew it was "the one." A special moment with her, when I don't have many to remember.

And what is the underlying reason I would want my ex to take it all?

To force him to see something, again. And of course, it would do no such thing - he could very well take the whole box and simply dump it like he dumped me, without a sideways glance.

It is not with hope, anymore. My dream did not go on to see if he had any regrets. I think I just wanted him to hurt a little for all he threw away.
I left out part of the dream - I had kept copies of some of the photos and the video tape for our kids before I bundled everything up to give to him.

And then I woke up, and went back to the realization and mantra: "It doesn't matter, doesn't matter, doesn't matter."
K asked me How I Was Doing, so....

this summer has been really good! I miss my S15 while he is working at Boy Scout Camp, but I see him for an overnight every other weekend and get the occasional FB update. D11 and I have been having a good time - vegging, shopping, going to the beach, cooking, the occasional spurt of energy that gets us out to rollerskate or bike when it's not too hot, etc. We've been traveling a lot and getting together with some of my friends. Now, we are ramping-up our appointments, tackling some projects, and (hopefully) she will try horseback riding camp next week. We are going to check it out tomorrow. I can't believe she is going into Middle School in 20 days!

I did some summer reading, got to church a few times (been away so much), got a handle on some business.

What I DIDN'T do:

my artwork
organize the kitchen and pantry
organize the clothes and paper monsters that lurk here
go through old photos
get to any meet-ups (I signed up for bookclub, hiking, art events)
get a jump-start on the school year with lesson plans and working in my rooms
revise my diet and exercise
get the dog to walk well on a leash
plant all the plants I bought in the spring
reclaim my lost family room downstairs
finish my minor house repairs

I think I have some time-management issues wink On the other hand, I feel well-rested as the new school year approaches!
"I left out part of the dream - I had kept copies of some of the photos and the video tape for our kids before I bundled everything up to give to him."

Maybe the point is, that is all you need to keep. Not a bad idea at all...
I kept some pictures but the rest I chucked...well...the wedding scrapbook is at my mom's along with our wedding picture that is matted and in a beautiful frame

i will reuse the frame and throw the picture most likely

the memories I need are the ones I still have in my head
the rest....

the sentimental things have become just memories so the things themselves can be repurposed
they are mine
to do with what I want
i will be damned if I let either one of the asshats i married keep those grin

offer the old jacket to your son
take a picture of the dress (or paint one or draw one) and write the memory of you mom (or better yet...draw your mom's expression...you are an artist, you know how to do that)then give the dress to an organization that can give the dress to someone who can't afford one...make a good come from the bad

you can't move forward if you are always looking behind
Made the mistake of a sweet tea at 8pm tonight - can't friggin sleep again, and I have to get up at 7...

Saw IC today for the monthly check-in. Told her about the dream....she suggested not getting into it for at least the rest of the summer, since it is the first "great" summer that I have been having since she has known me (11/06). Then, maybe get it all into one place so the kids can go through it someday.

Also told me to not rush into gearing up for school - summer is great, and the whirlwind will be here soon enough! (I actually went into one of my two buildings today and got a quick update and surveyed the damage done by having my room moved across the building - not too terrible).
IC suggested I go back to my goal/wish list and check some of those things off. So, I am going to shoot for balance and enjoy my free schedule while I have one. After scrapping the idea of going to a concert solo, I finally said f#&* it and bought the ticket tonight - Aerosmith and Haggar on the beach tomorrow, before they are all using walkers. 40% chance of rain, but I'm waterproof, right? At least I won't bake....Then, a weekend with my BFF (last weekend we caught a movie, scrabbled and got messages - not sure of plans for this weekend yet, but would like to get into NYC again soon).
I want to keep having fun - I think I have the tendency to get too boring and serious, just plotz, and not get out there, and I want to change that.

So, hoping that this will help get the thoughts out so I can get some sleep.....night, all!!
HOLY COW!!! Aerosmith and Haggar together? At least it's outside so you might not be deaf by the end of it. smile Have fun!!! Steven Tyler has been giving the band all sorts of grief this past year...hopefully he maintains. FYI - When they were in Atlanta last year he didn't sing Dream On. Couldn't believe it!!!
Very jealous.
OMG, it was such a great concert - SO glad I went, even if it was solo (have you heard that new song, too? actually terrible music, but I laugh along with the message). Lots of good things this weekend, including the movie Eat, Pray, Love (warning - parts are hard to watch as a LBS). Got to spend some time with my son, then home to daughter. I'm taking her to see more friends tomorrow for a few days, down in Jersey. Loving summer.....
My son came home today - a day earlier because of the rain!! I missed him / am proud of him / happy to have my birds in their nest, all at the same time.

It was a last-minute thing - his boss called and asked if it would be ok for a 17 year-old to drive him to the 2+ hours home, on rain-soaked highways. I thought about it, knew S would probably want the freedom, time to hang out with his friend - but had to say no, anyway. I don't know this kid or his driving record, and it's about 150 miles....statistics don't work in their favor. So, he got a short ride to the ferry, instead, and I picked him up. He was supposed to call when he was boarding so I would know what time to get him.

Time passed, and I took an educated guess that he forgot to call, so off we went. He was waiting for us (D came for the ride).
Hugs, some stories, get home and he calls his friend who he hasn't seen all summer. Of course, they want to get together for a while, and that is ok.

X called D earlier than usual tonight. S had gone to spend an hour with his buddy. D tells X that he is home.
As soon as S got back, I reminded him to call his father. Now, 4 hours have passed since I got word that he was coming home earlier.
The first 10 minutes of his convo with his dad were apologies. For not calling him during the last 2 weeks (the kid was WORKING with his FRIENDS - he didn't call anyone!). For not telling him he was coming home.

After they talked a while, he spoke with D again, then asked to talk to me.

Anyone want to guess what he wanted to talk to me about?

I think I have to get something together in writing to stop this pattern. Whenever x feels out of the loop, he gets on my case that I am being inconsiderate. He expected a text as soon as I knew that S was coming home early. Thinking about this, the thought honestly didn't even come across my brain - seems that I have finally been conditioned to NOT contact him, for anything.

I just don't want to hear his opinion of me, anymore.

But, I also don't want this to escalate, either, with him trying to get "retribution" for his perceived slights. Just easier to let him talk at me /scold for a minute, say Yeah, yeah, and get off of the phone than to really throw a boundary in his face.

Any thoughts while I think about this?
I'd say go with the boundary or not getting on the phone. Listening to his opinion of you, or scold (scold?) you, even with a "yeah,whatever" attitude is still acquiescing and putting yourself in a one-down position.
p.s. Where were they playing? Jones Beach?

Yep, Aerosmith was at Jones Beach - tickets were much less expensive than CT Mohegan...
Maybe try to use humor next time he starts that stuff. Give him the buzzer noise from Jeopardy.
His voice just gets so weird....almost pleading for me to agree that I did something sh!tty. It is always about something with the kids - I think it makes him crazy that he isn't with them everyday, and he can't do anything about it. I think it is more that, than him realizing that I just don't give him much thought or attention, anymore, I just forget.

Too bad, so sad.

I asked my son why he spent so much time apologizing to his dad - what did he do? He said it was about S not calling his dad...he was handed a huge boatload of guilt. Or at least that was what his father was trying to do.
His next sentence to me was, "You know, mom, what that is really all about. And we all know it didn't have to be this way."

For anyone who reads this: kids will know what the truth is as they get older, whether we want them to or not.
On a completely different note....

Just got back from the emergency vet. My Chloe got into it with a juvie raccoon. Dog won. But my heart is still recovering. Good to know that adrenaline will still kick in when needed, but man...
She got a booster ($157 for a $10 shot), and the raccoon is bagged for animal control to test tomorrow.

Now, HOW am I going to be able to get to sleep?!
Did you get to sleep at all Donna? How scary!!!!

Ok, so XH wanted to know why S didn't call him? If he was worried about him, why didn't he just call S? The last time I checked the phone lines go both ways. Your son is old enough to be responsible for contacting his dad when he wants to, not after prodding from you or nagging from his dad. He's a teenager! They only talk to their friends and the last time I checked parents weren't considered part of that group! LOL

Set a boundary but only if he harps on this. Why is it important for you to let him know that he came home early? Coming home later than expected, sure. Coming home early...who cares?

Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/24/10 03:12 PM
Donna, I just made that observation to my ex via e-mail. He is trying to arrange his honeymoon etc. without telling me that is what he is doing. He makes some comment about not having the kids for 3 weekends. I just said yes, sometimes things happen because of the choices you have made and sometimes because they are just handed to you.

So far...all choices he has made. He won't be finding any sympathy here. He is still such a coward he can't even say this is the day of the wedding and this is the honeymoon. He is going out of state, then he is going to fly out of LAX and be on a cruise. Just man up already!!

Sorry for the side vent.

Donna - your ex is just like mine. They don't take any responsibility for their actions - just whine when things don't go their way. Poor Baby! He has no business whining to you about his R with his son. That's for the 2 of them to figure out.

Kat - My ex never told his own grown kids about his wedding. They read a stupid letter to the editor that maggot wrote mentioning it. Ex never wanted anyone to know. Obviously maggot did. My son flipped out on my ex over that. He said they didn't want anyone to ruin their wedding. Ha??? So they have to be so private about it. Like we would actually DO that? These people are all cowards. Goes along with the lying and cheating IMHO. My kids said they would never have gone anyway. They don't support the union. (and seriously - who would?)

Some of our exes are just too much alike. And not in a good way!


Donna - I hope your doggie is ok!
S has a phone that he didn't bother to charge all summer (why would he? he was already with his friends!). X harassed him a few times over the summer about not being able to talk to him - no emergency, just that x misses him.
I missed him, too, but also know that he is a teenager.
X's explanation that he should have known as soon as I knew (and that is the real thing here), is that he wouldn't have gone to his brothers to get stone that day, that he should have known his son was in the middle of the sound with 10 foot waves, that he could have tried to get him from the ferry from his way home from work.....

It's all nonsense. I wasn't going to ask him to get S. He just isn't happy with his circumstances, and that is just too bad.

ANYway....doggie is fine. I, however, might have to get the series of rabies shots!! Calls to animal control to get the raccoon tested lead to calls to the health department, who told me to call my Dr., who sent me to the ER - he wanted the shots started right away!! Thankfully the ER dr. called infectious control, who said to wait until the test results come back on the animal. So, no shots unless the tests take longer than the weekend or the animal comes back with a clean bill of health (except, of course, the fact that it is dead).
Ugh - I hate shots.

Did I mention the shots cost about $5000?!!!!
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/24/10 06:48 PM
Ouch!! I hope the test come back as negative for rabies. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out.

$5000?????? Good GOD! Does insurance cover that?
Posted By: Lotus Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/24/10 10:48 PM
Sorry to hear about the raccoon. i hope you won't need the shots. That is terrible.
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/24/10 10:55 PM
Holy cow on the price of them human rabies shots! But there is no alternative for not getting them right away if the coon had rabies.

It seems that rabies in raccoons are only on the eastern seaboard.

If the coon test comes back with no rabies, will you get the coon back so as to make a hat and/or stew?

Recipes here...

OK, it is 2:50 am, and I am sitting on my computer again - so much for going to bed at 10 for a good night's sleep! I woke up at 1, WIDE awake!

I called the animal control officer about seeing if he could get a rush on the test, and he said he already did (it's a little unnerving how careful everyone is being about this!!). My daughter wouldn't share my lemonade today when we went out, and was reluctant to kiss me goodnight - don't know if she is overreacting, or just being smart!

Kerry - I can't pick which recipe:

Bar-B-Q'd Raccoon

BBQ Raccoon Sandwiches

Coon Meal In A Bag (ACK!!)

Coon Stew

Deep Fried Raccoon

Grilled Raccoon

Roast Raccoon In Red Wine

Roast Raccoon with Stuffing

Roasted Raccoon and Yams


When I rolled over and found myself so awake, my thoughts started to drift to what would happen to my kids if something were to happen to me....

Anyone else really look at this?

I have life insurance - x and I both carry it, as per the D settlement. It would all go in trust for my kids. My house, too.
But man, there is so much more I have to do in raising them...

They would go to live with x and his gf full-time. They would probably loose touch with my family and friends. Not sure what would happen with their R with their grandparents.
Really a pretty terrible thing to think about. I had visions of writing letters to the kids/making video tapes of any wisdom I hoped to impart, an effort to still be there for them...
Hence, me getting my ass out of bed and coming here to dump and distract.

I did a lot of running around with the kids today. At one store, the gf was coming out as we were going in. Her D said hi to the kids, my D said hi quietly back as we kept walking. My S ignored her. I had no outward reaction, but it is hard, since I've known her kids since they were born and hate to not recognize them when they are with their mother - we just went directly inside. I was a step behind my kids, and hopefully the little one didn't notice me too much. Blech.
Small blemish to an otherwise great day with the kids.
Posted By: Lotus Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/25/10 07:26 AM
wow. It is scary to think about isn't it? And it's odd, too. The number of Saturday nights I worried about you, and now you are seeing it from a whole different vantage point. You have come a l...o...n...g way, Donna. This isn't going to be the end. I hope the coon isn't rabid, so you don't need the shots. But the worst that will happen is that you will take the shots. And then life will go back to normal. Whatever that is!
((((lotus))))) I was definitely scary-crazy there for a while! I am SO glad to be back to being myself!
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/25/10 07:40 AM
Donna -

I had similar life insurance thoughts (while still married) when I got a big scratch while crushing the head of a troublesome raccoon with a sledge axe. Rabies is very serious and easily treatable disease. However, if it goes too long and once signs appear, the chances of treating it is not good. Even though I jest about red neck raccoon recipes, please stay on top of things and make sure the test was done with the raccoons brain intact. It is highly improbable that you got rabies from your dog saliva, but please be safe.
The problem was the raccoon saliva all over the dog. And that I had to take her into the emergency vet right away (I had very little contact with her and washed my hands multiple times, but gloves would have been better). Raccoons, along with skunks and bats, are the biggest vector here in CT.

The state is doing the testing now - so I should have no problems getting the results by Friday. The AC officer said he would start calling the lab by tomorrow afternoon/Thurs morning to ask about the status. He did tell me that he inspected the raccoon before he sent it, and it looked healthy (rabid animals are usually a mess). The docs said that there is a minimum of a 7 day incubation period, so the results will be in plenty of time.

I'm doing pretty well about not obsessing too much about it. I probably should have had the vet do a necropsy, though - it would have cost about $100, but the results would have been faster.
Good news!! Raccoon was negative for rabies, so NO SHOTS!! smile
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/25/10 07:13 PM
Fire up the grill!
You didn't like the Coon in a Bag meal recipe?
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/25/10 07:42 PM
So happy and relieved for you!! Yippee!!

Mmm, Roadkill ala King. Glad you're OK!
Originally Posted By: Donna...Found
Good news!! Raccoon was negative for rabies, so NO SHOTS!! smile
Thank God.

Just read this on another site and want to look at it when I am actually awake:

There is a certain amount of looking at what this other person DID but the important thing is not to see it as what they DID, but what you ALLOWED. This work is about YOU getting well, not what the other person did.
At some point you need to stop dwelling on what was done TO YOU and understand that you need to figure out what it is in you that put you in that position to be treated that way. What is it? Find out and fix it. Stop dwelling on them and what they did.

This was about the uselessness of ruminating/obsession. I don't think I do it to anywhere near the extent that I had in the past...
but I wonder if some bad habits have snuck in and got me more mired than I need to be. When I am bored, I switch screens between the alt, here, gettingpastyourpast. I read other sitches and comment.

Am I still in victim mode if I haven't forgiven x, or the gf? If I still have anger, especially about the ongoing sitch my kids have to deal with?

I guess this goes to the other post about When Do You Get Over It.......
Posted By: NNP1965 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/26/10 10:03 AM
Good insights Donna. I hope you don't mind, but I am going to "borrow" that quote and post it on TMW's thread. She need to read it!

PS I'm glad you don't have rabies smile
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/26/10 12:48 PM
Forgiveness takes a while and it isn't something to tell them. Lord knows they would turn that into thinking we approved!! It is simple to say, "I forgive them for bombing my life." I had to reword that a couple of times because even though they would have to be stupid to think this wouldn't hurt you, they most likely didn't set out to hurt you. However they had to know what a mess this would create or at least have a clue.

Sometimes just saying it over and over like a mantra while taking deep breaths helps. After a while you will feel that weight lifted and you will feel a bit more free.

hugs, kat
Easier to "forgive them for bombing my life," than being able to forgive them for putting my children through this...

I think Kerry is amazing to be able to get past it and deal with Ed...I can't fathom it, and I doubt I will (but who knows? I didn't think I would survive the break-up, either).
Hey Donna,

I am really glad that the raccoon was not rabid! What a horror! Whew - one disaster avoided.

I agree about forgiveness. Certainly nothing I would bother telling. They never get it anyway. I will never forget but I choose to not let it consume any more of my life!

Oh, I am not looking for sainthood - would not be bothered letting either of them know how I was feeling or if I had forgiven them. But it is pretty obvious (I've always worn my heart on my sleeve, so to speak) when I run into her in town. I don't snarl (hey - those rabies could have come in as a handy excuse!)...more like looking through a person, as if she doesn't exist at all.

I don't hate them/her every second of every day - just wells up when I run into her or have to deal with them...I still don't enjoy going to their house to pick up my kids.
OK, I wrote a post. You won't like it. Do you want it?
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/26/10 03:48 PM
Now if that isn't a loaded question! lol
Shoot - you always give me something to think about, at any rate.

I actually talked with D11 briefly about this today. I asked her if I made things harder for her by not getting along with gf. I said it must be hard to not have your mom and dad at things like birthdays together. I apologized and just said it is really hard. I told her that I hope she will be comfortable to talk to me about how she is feeling.

She had her school open house today, and ran into gf's two oldest daughters - one is her age and they have been best friends since birth. I sat and talked with the oldest D who is a senior in high school, catching up on her work, classes for next year, etc (she has always be very outgoing and I've known her since she is 5, babysitting and vacations while she was growing up).
I have nothing against the kids - you can't pick your parents.
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/26/10 05:15 PM
Bring it on Oldtimer!

When my parents divorced (because my mom's A), they had very minimal contact and my father would let it known somewhat of his dislike for OM (who used to be his good friend). However, I was 16 at the time and understood why he felt that way.

Dont beat yourself up about not forgiving or wanting to get along with your X's gf who was a contributer to the breakup of your family.

I am able to tolerate seeing or talking in a civil manner with Ed because I have a great sense of freedom now that I am D'd from my very selfish ex wife. I think they are made for each other and he is the one that must now deal with her spoiled selfish brat attitude.
My son is where you were - he gets it.

After talking with D11 this morning, I think she understands as much as she is can - I hope I was able to at least validate how she is feeling and that I understood that it can be hard.
"Easier to "forgive them for bombing my life," than being able to forgive them for putting my children through this..."

Just like neither XH nor you alone created the problems in your M, neither XH, his GF, nor you alone create the problems in the scattered family dynamic now. You are part of what your children are going through. You own part of it.

Imagine how different things would be for your kids if you were different... Not saying I don't understand your feelings. You have a lot of power here that you aren’t using to make their lives better. If you can use some compassion and forgive, your kids' lives would include less strife and stress. So would yours.

I know it is hard Donna, I know. But have you tried setting aside your feelings for a bit, really detaching, and then thinking about how things must have been for XH and his GF? Neither was a serial cheater as far as I know. Both were in committed, monogomous, long-term Ms. They had to be in enormous pain for things to have proceeded as they did. That doesn't justify what they did, or make it right. But perhaps you can find some understanding. What was it about XH, his life, how he was raised, who he was, that made it too hard for him to show you his pain, maybe made it too hard for him to even clearly acknowledge it to himself? Why was he hurting so much and too fragile to address his pain in a better way?

What they did was NOT about hurting you, although it had that effect. Certainly, their current R IS NOT ABOUT YOU. So why make it about you?

Finally, what would have happened if the raccoon had done worse to you. If you were gone, would you really want your children to be saddled with a father whose significant other they really couldn’t embrace without betraying you. Would you want them to live with that the rest of their lives? But that is how they are already living….

Forgiveness does not require liking or friendship or approval, ya know? It just requires acceptance and compassion.
They aren't your enemy. There is no more battle to fight. It is over, the day is done. Time for peace.
I will probably get there, some day. I know that X is disappointed that I am not more like his gf's X...he can tolerate being around the new couple when it has to do with the kids.
Then again, even when the whole affair burst, he said that he had always thought x was a good guy. He didn't seem to have the level of anger that I had, even at the beginning. This is also the guy who moved 5 hours away and sees his kids minimally (said it was just too hard to have it in his face all the time), and left his 4 girls to my x to help raise. I don't get that, either.

Thinking about this, I remember all of us being together so often. I think that is what is making this so hard...

Ugh, I guess like this whole thing, time will tell.
i would like to add an addendum to what I believe to be a very true post OT

forgiveness also doesn't mean what they did was right

I have forgiven my exes for being the kind of idiots they were, well, because, they weren't very evolved people

I am better than they are (bear with me here...it helps the forgiveness train rolling)
I wouldn't be angry at a toddler for forever for spilling grape juice...I would remember they did, they would get a sippy cup next time, and probably apple juice because it doesn't stain
i wouldn't take it personally

being able to forgive means letting go of the "personally" part

this week we had court for Cori's daughter. His ex wants her back because everyone in her family is unemployed and she needs child support, so she took her, again, and filed false charges of abuse against us. I had to sit in the hallway and listen to her family call me a b*tch and a bad mom and all sorts of things while I waited for 4 hours before I had to testify. It was grueling AND while I don't want them for my friends, I had to look at them and feel sorry because:
#1 they OBVIOUSLY don't know what truth, honesty and love are
#2 they are trash
#3 they are unemployed trash
#4 they have bad dye jobs
#5 they have really bad fashion sense (which should negate custody IMMEDIATELY
#6 their intelligence level is lacking

I could go on and on

it was annoying and obnoxious
in the end
it wasn't about me

it was about what they lack
it was about their jealousy

(although...truth be told, methed out mom is skinnier than me...siiiiiiigh)

hopefully the truth will win out here (I mean, part of her argument was that I fed the kids mass produced meals instead of making my own food...CLEARLY a lie)


your ex and his choice of companion isn't about you
it is about what they lack
what they are missing in life

it isn't about you, personally
OK, then let me turn this around -

I am asking for opinions:

What do you think it is about ME that springs up visions of doing bodily harm to her when I come in contact?
Why am I REACTING as if she, in particular, is my enemy?
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/26/10 08:59 PM
Fig - cant the court just order a drug test on "methed" out skinny mom and be done with it?

Hopefully the judge will see through their charades and do what is best for the child.
Figgy - You sat there, with them calling you names, and felt compassion and not anger or wanting to lash out or have them simply disappear?
I don't deal with them and I wish they would disappear!!
doesn't matter that she tested postive on drugs before or attempted suicide twice (once with her daughter in the other room)

I think NE courts are f'ed up!!!

I think you are reacting that way because you feel like you were attacked by her

so you go on the defensive
ready to protect yourself

look at her with pity (well that works for me anyway)

what a poor sad sack
stuck with your left over garbage
she couldn't even go get something of her own but had to take your cast offs (even if you felt like you might not have been done with him yet)
there is her morality to consider
don't want to be her at the pearly gates, you know

she felt so badly abou ther life that she had to try to snatch onto the threads of yours
Could you envision yourself going to one of A's concerts or a birthday party, with her mother in attendance?
Feeling that I was attacked by her....

It probably didn't help my perceptions when she came out of her house laughing in my face, telling me I was so blind, when I confronted her the day I discovered the affair.
Or how she let me literally cry on her shoulder, her wishing she could do something to save my marriage, while she was sleeping with him.

Crap - all victim sh!t, I know. So sick of the story.

But it is underlying, there.

Do I see myself as better than her? Honestly, yes.
Do I feel sorry for her? No...that would probably be a better mind set, but it's not where my mind goes.
I do feel sorry for my X.
And I know that we have talked a lot about my double-standard in that regard. To death.
Something primitive, primal, in me flashes Danger signals when it comes to her. I still loath her being around my kids - corrupt, immoral, stupid, sadistic, manipulative...I had seen how she dealt with her own kids for a dozen years, and don't want any of that directed towards mine. I don't want her to influence them in any way.
Part of my characterization of her is from her treatment towards me, but it is also from what I observed in her treatment to her own children.

Blech.......trying to get the focus back on me - the above is so other-based, but also background information.
Well, let's look at those things. Those details certainly fit your victim narrative, the story you like to tell yourself. But, there really is more than one side to these stories.

You seem to ASSume -- that her laughter was ABOUT YOU meant to hurt you and show contempt, you take it as an attack. Maybe it was.

But keep in mind that GF was not trying to hurt you when she and XH started the A, she was trying to address her own pain. I can't quite remember how the A was exposed, but I'm pretty sure that you did it in a manner intended to hurt her. That is, you WERE trying to hurt her. And, neither XH nor GF were particularly keen on giving up their families. Didn't GF try to reconcile (briefly)? Remember XH's crazy idea about you three living together or something? You made things happen that caused them pain and embarrassment and tore apart their families before they were ready. Not saying you did anything wrong, merely stating fact. So, maybe her laughter was a form of hitting you back, a form of aggression. But, certainly you can understand striking out at someone who harms you? So, perhaps it was a hostile act by a desperate woman in pain striking out at the wrong targets.

But, really, I think it was probably uncontrollable nervous laughter due to her shame and embarrassment combined with the high stress of the situation.

Or maybe it was due to fear. You really don't know.

But, I personally doubt it was the laugh of an evil monster who intended to injure you. She was your friend, she cares for your children, I think you probably would have noticed before the A if she were evil incarnate.

Try reading here, especially B. Aggression, C. Fear, and D. Social Anxiety. I'd put money on her laugh falling under C or D rather than B.

Of course, that doesn't fit the victim narrative so nicely.
Ack, can't edit.

To clarify -- I am NO WAY meaning to suggest that you are responsible for GF's family breaking up. She owns all that. I'm just trying to suggest how she might have felt in her messed up world....
AND I forgot the link. (Never post too fast because 4-year-old is walking in door...)


B. Aggression is on p. 73...
"I personally doubt it was the laugh of an evil monster who intended to injure you."

Well....I think she went forward not caring if she hurt me or not, that I didn't deserve him. She didn't care who she hurt, including all the kids involved.

A full year before the physical affair started, I had her over to my house to find out why she was being so cold to me when we were all together - what I had done to her? At that point, I knew she was in an unhappy marriage (she often cried to the women in our circle, played a martyr, but would never take our advice to actually talk to her husband and try to make things better - just said "I can't" - you stop having sympathy for someone like that after a few years). I called her on having a crush on my husband. She cried and said I must think she was such a slut (had I only known). I said no, that we could all get along and hang out, etc., but she had to have appropriate boundaries regarding my husband.
I am an idiot.
She told a friend's sister that she was in love with him (was acting like a high school girl with a crush), and that she would do anything to have him. Also said that he deserved so much better than me.

Yep, I take it that she attacked me, my marriage and my family.

And yes, he was an idiotic moron to fall for it, to get swept up by something more exciting outside of his stable, predictable, long-term marriage.

I really have serious doubts that he was in all that much pain...instead, I think he just got excited at the prospect of something new (especially since he had never been with anyone else). Boredom, complacency - but misery?
"Or how she let me literally cry on her shoulder, her wishing she could do something to save my marriage, while she was sleeping with him."

As for this, your ASSumption is that she was lying, being intentionally evil, maybe secretly enjoying her duplicity.

I doubt it.

What else could have been going on? Maybe she was in denial, lying to herself. Surely you can understand denial of the obvious? Again, what lies and wishful thinking and denial were included in what XH and GF were telling themselves and each other... This will never happen again, this is just temporary while we get our lives together, just a temporary crutch, we'll never let it happen again, we both want each other's marriage to work, we don't want to break up the families, maybe we can help each other have better marriages, blah blah blah. Affairs aren't easy for people in long committed Ms. Their thinking would have been crazy and all over the place.

Moreover, she might have had to let you put your head on her shoulder because she literally couldn't bear to look at you and thereby be confronted by herself. Avoidance.

She may well also have been sincere, wishing she could save your M, but believing it to be dead before she came on the scene. Affair partners generally don't believe they caused a marriage to fail, and generally I think they are right. She may have been sorry about how messed up all your lives were, wishing they could magically be how they were supposed to be.

So, given her likely belief that she did not destroy your M, (warning weird analogy) to her it may have seemed like sincerely saying you are sorry that someone died while still being willing to take an organ of the deceased to save your life.

While, to you, it seems like lying about being sorry that someone is dying while you bleed them out so you'll be able to help yourself to an organ upon their death.

Only the second version is really evil. But, that is the kind of story you tell yourself about GF and her comforting you.

Again, who knows what was going on in that scenario. But if you extend some compassion and detach, maybe you can see that the non-evil version is probably more likely...
Good article -

I read the whole thing. It was definitely aggressive laughter.
It went with the sneer and look of contempt on her face.

Look you aren't going to like this, but at the time she was saying/doing those things, odds are VERY damn high that the emotional affair and probably some degree of inappropriate PA (phone sex, etc) had already started and she was making her comments based on things that XH had shared with her. They probably commiserated about their pain and misery, only they could understand the other's pain, etc, blah blah blah. Acting giddy, like a teenager, etc... are signs of at least an EA in full swing, not of an envious neighbor.

You really don't want to let go of her being the problem in your M rather than the R between you and XH, huh?
Ok, let's say it was aggressive laughter. Like I said, she had reason to be angry and act out. She was mad and upset at your actions.

But, beyond that, there is the biggie: PROJECTION

She may have been despising you because she was despising herself.

Again, detach for a moment. How did she get to that place where those words and laughter came out of her sneering mouth? What was really going on?

I don't think that it was genuine happiness that she and XH were able to dupe you.
"I think she went forward not caring if she hurt me or not, that I didn't deserve him. She didn't care who she hurt, including all the kids involved."

Why would you think that? We all make (hopefully not so poor) choices that hurt people sometimes, that doesn't mean we don't care.
Posted By: rysmom Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/26/10 11:59 PM
Hi Donna
I have been going through this as long as you have. I know how hard it is. You sound like you are a very strong person. I have a 16 yr old son too. It is really sad how people can be so selfish to destroy children's lives with a. My father did this to my mother and 8 children's live were effected, 4 in our family, and 4 in ow's family.. God Bless your family.
T-32 yrs

Did she enjoy her duplicity? No, I think she felt really guilty, that others would think she was a slut (hence her exact words to me). She wasn't sorry for what she did, she was sorry that she was caught and it made her look bad, sort of thing.

I agree with the idea that she didn't think she broke up our marriage - the fact is, she did. She looked at it from the outside and declared it dead, then talked more and more with x until he saw it, too (do you remember the NPD diagnosis and how the IC said I was his "object" until I lost credibility in his eyes?) and just became vocal about my "poor husband" and what he had to put up with me......She told herself, and then they told each other, that they were married to horrible people and they deserved better.

Ick....it so doesn't matter, anyway. Knowing what I was dealing with in him and his problems, I do know (well, my head knows) that I am better off out of the marriage. This is more about how I am dealing with the present situation; the exposure to my kids.

The thing is, I don't like her, I don't trust her, she doesn't deserve to be a part of my children's lives, and I actually fear for them about any exposure and influence she might try to wield. My intuition screams at me and makes me want to lash out when I see her (I don't, verbally or otherwise). She is a bad person. She grew up in this town, and I have been caught off-guard when I stumble across more stories about what she has done in her life besides this- apparently, this wasn't out of character for her.
Yes, there is evil in the world, and some of my coping mechanisms kept me blind to a lot of it for a very long time.
I have a bumper sticker that says "Mean people suck." This isn't the first time that I have been blindsided, because the possibilities of people not being "nice" just never occurs to me.

I don't want to fall asleep again to this, when it has to do with my kids.
"I agree with the idea that she didn't think she broke up our marriage - the fact is, she did. She looked at it from the outside and declared it dead, then talked more and more with x until he saw it, too"

Why do you believe this?

You see the problem in your XM yourself. Why do you then also think she broke up your M? The M was not working.

Do you really have to hold so tightly to her being the evil siren that intentionally broke up your M that otherwise would have been fine? It wouldn't have, it wasn't.
You know, no doubt there are bad people in the world who we should keep away from our children.

But, until you let go of your old narrative and quit being a victim, you can't really get an objective picture of whether and how GF might be a threat to your kids.

You are too invested in her being evil and thus being the reason your M failed. It makes it about YOU.

Getting to a more objective place would actually help you more when it comes to the kids.

Has she actually done anything that is mean/evil/harmful to the kids?
I can look at my prior M now and know there were problems - I was codependent, and his is likely NPD. Stupid thing is, it was working until her involvement. Working in a healthy way? No, of course not. As another site says, water seeks its own level, and each of our dysfunctions meshed / enmeshed well.
I also recognize that if it wasn't her, it would most likely have been something else. It could very well have been me who grew dissatisfied at some point.
But I do believe that she was the actual catalyst for my M ended how and when it did.

Has she ever done anything that is harmful to the kids?
Well, destroying two families is not to be overlooked. But that isn't it.

I have never seen her as a good or competent mom to her own kids.
I saw her slap her D(then 13) across the face and throw her out of the house into the snow with no shoes or coat, locking the door behind her. The girl ran away to a friend's house (picked up later that day by her dad).
This same girl now has multiple piercings and tattoos, and just turned 17. She is allowed to date an 18 year-old drop out who has many stays in social and psych institutions.
I was witness to how she trained her little ones to be terrified of sirens. When they were within earshot, she would turn to them serious and acting scared, telling them "they are coming to get you!!" The kids would completely loose it, trying to run and find someplace to hide, sometimes even hurting themselves in the scramble. It was certainly not a game or funny to them - but their mother would stand there and laugh her ass off. It was sick and sadistic.

There are lots of other examples....

I think it is only her healthy fear of me that has kept her from doing anything to my kids.
Funny how things converge....

D has been planning a playdate with gf's kid and their mutual friend for tomorrow. The mutual friend's mom has to work, so they asked the gf to chaperone the girls to the movies.

Ugh. So, we literally just had this convo...

I talked to her about my reservations, she told me that gf is not raising her and she has nothing to do with her, she just wants to hang out with her friends. Some built-up emotions on both sides came out. I told her I love her and my instincts want to protect her, that she can talk to me or other family and friends including her IC at any time.

I am letting her go tomorrow, even if the gf is going.

And it is not because I trust that woman any more than I did, but I trust my daughter.
X called - when he spoke with D11 tonight, I guess she said we had a good talk. He wanted to thank me. He knew it must be hard for me.

I just said it is all about the kids - D wants to see her friend.

I don't trust or respect your gf.

It is all about the kids.

He said thanks again and then the cell dropped the signal.

Don't I feel special.
I'm not sure what to say. I've read through the conversation today and it's so nuts. I understand the need for forgiveness and letting go, in fact I whole-heartedly agree. As MWD quipped, Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.

But forgiveness is for past injuries. And for injuries to be in the past the injury has to have stopped somehow. At no point does that mean the injured party has to subject themselves to more injury -- and it certainly does not mean they have to trust the offending party. Trust only comes when there is some degree of reconciliation, and reconciliation does not even begin to any degree until both parties agree to bury the hatchet and forgive each other. Again, they still do not necessarily have to have even a friendship at that point. But there's no reconciliation in any degree if one party continues to injure and maintain hostilities against the other (for either side.)

Personally, I believe Donna is fully within her rights to not trust the ex and his A partner. There has been no contrition at all on their part. For that reason I do not feel it healthy in any way to pretend the situation is otherwise, even if it is the pretense of making peace for the children. At best you have a detente, but Peace it is not -- and no one is well served by feigning otherwise. Everyone can and will see though it anyway, even the children.

The healing in forgiveness is that it allows us to cope with the injury and continue with our lives, but it doesn't mean we continue to expose ourselves to people known to be a threat or to have no conscience in seeking their own selfish ends. It is only natural for a parent to hold reservations about your children being exposed to people with such poor character. And while there are circumstances where we just do not have any control over who has such access to our children, by no means should we be expected to like it much less embrace it.

If I manage to survive the bite of a snake, I might be able to forgive it, but never trust it. If it remains a threat to me and my family, I will take measures to protect myself and my loved ones. Wisdom merely dictates that I not allow the past injury to wreck my life going forward, to learn from it and move forward. To forgive but not forget.

But the advice I hear given to Donna is alarming. And I shake my head at the veiled assertion that Donna has somehow been a terrible person for not embracing people known to be treacherous. I don't get that -- we're not supposed to "assume" the adulterous waywards were anything but innocent star-crossed lovers who meant no one any harm, but somehow Donna is the offender for not accepting them with open arms? Somehow she is the one who is thereby harming her children?

Again, I understand the power of Forgiveness to free ourselves from bondage to past injuries. But this is going a bit too far.

Excellent post. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. I don't buy the whole idea that her ex-h and OW had the affair because they were dealing with their own pain and anguish. I think two people can be so self-absorbed with themselves that they become selfish and are only concerned in satisfying their own physical and emotional desires regardless of who it impacts(i.e. spouse and children). Also, in my book pain and suffering do not justify adultery, there are steps an unsatisfied spouse can take (counseling, legal separation/divorce) before ASSuming another emotional/physical realtionship outside the marriage.

"And I shake my head at the veiled assertion that Donna has somehow been a terrible person for not embracing people known to be treacherous."


Can you tone down the rhetoric a bit? I am certainly not suggesting that Donna is a terrible person, nor is anyone else as far as I can see. Nor am I suggesting that Donna accept her XH or his GF with open arms. I think they'd be far better off keeping things strictly business. Nor do I think she has reason to trust either of them with her welfare. They have built no trust with her.

The question is: what is within her control to make her kids' life better?

The answer is: she can gain some compassion for XH and GF to get further down the road to forgiveness.

It does no good for any of them for her to remain in a hypervigilant state of war against an enemy in a battle that no longer exists.
Who said anything about justifying adultery? I said their pain did NOT justify their actions.

The point here is to try to gain a more objective perspective on what was going on in their lives, exercise compassion, forge some forgiveness.

If their actions were justified, forgiveness would hardly be necessary.
Essentially, after tonight, I think this is where I am at:

I will not promote a R between my kids and their father's gf.

I have reiterated to them over and over that their father loves them very much, and that our divorce had nothing whatsoever to do with them.

My S15 knows the reasons that I don't like, trust or respect the gf - he gets it.

I told D11 that the gf had betrayed my friendship and that I am wary of her, but that I also trust my D to come to me with any concerns, or to go to another safe adult like her grandparents, other family, or her IC. I apologized to her if I had added to any stress she might have had. I want her to be happy, and comfortable when she visits her dad.
She did say that she did want to be able to have playdates with her bff (who happens to be the gf's D). I told her that she didn't have to worry about my feelings with that, I was glad she said something, and I would be OK for playdates at either home. I had always been open to the girl coming here, but I guess she wasn't allowed because I wouldn't let D11 over there without her father also present. That is the point that she looked the most relieved.
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/27/10 06:05 AM
Bravo Donna! Keep the focus on what is best for the kids and try to put everything that hurt you emotionally in the past to the dark coner of your mind called knowlege and life experiences.

I agree with the advice given by oldtimer that it is highly unlikely that XH's gf is evil. She and your H were caught up in the moment of new found passion which overwhelmed the day to day routines of married life which required continued work and ambition to keep the love alive. Her actions during that time were distorted because of the new found passion and the guilt of doing something wrong.

It is still no excuse for what she did and I am sure it will be something she and your H will have sorrow, or even regret, in the many years to come. My mom admitted that she had her own demons about leaving my brother and I following her A and subsequent divorce. But it does not mean that they cannot also put such bad things in the corner of the mind and move forward with a good life ahead.

You will get there in time. Your marriage was much longer than mine so it just needs more healing time. It is also most likely harder when it is a friend that betrayed you. You probably need to stop stirring up in your mind the poor qualities as a mother from her past. Look to what she does now. It the kids get along with her, that is going to work out well. I say this because Ed was estranged from all or some of his 4 sons. But he is good with my kids - to the point where they tell me more than I care to hear about how much they love him.

NoCode - You seem to want to stay on that high moral horse and let what happened in the past continue with a future of bitterness towards those that betrayed you. I get your whole forgive but never forget, but forgiveness also allows for locking away the bad things into a dark corner of ones mind as knowlege. Most people should not be comapred as snakes - people can change and not just shed a skin.

No one is saying to be friends with those that did such a terrible thing to break up a family or putting blame on Donna. We just want to see her move beyond the disgust she has for the prior friend who was a contributer to the break up of her family. It is much easier to move forward with kindness than to keep a tense hostile attitude towards those that have betrayed in the past.

I had some huge bitterness and disgust for my XW. It would cause my blood to boil when bumping heads with her and some of it was because of what she did in the past to our family. She also, during the time of hostility, must have seen a counselor because her tone changed (almost like an assignment from the C) and she became quite gracious in our conversations. I think it rubbed off on me as I find that when we both speak now that there is never any conflict. We both seek clarification as to our kids schedule and needs and we even occasionally shoot the breeze. And we dont mention anything of our past relationship and why it failed.

Look for olive branches being extended by X's and respond in kind. It is so much easier to live in peace with X's than one of resentment and anger and constant suspicion.

Trust but verify.
Truth is, I think it would hurt me if they loved her.
Like it hurt when x loved her.

It would feel like another betrayal. It is not fear of abandonment, like it was with him.

And I know that is much more about me than concern for the kids (although that is there, too).

I just don't want to get hurt anymore by this woman.

She has 4 of her own kids - why can't she just leave mine alone?
I think the push that x and gf have to be good with the kids is so that they can feel better as people.

X is their father. She is nothing to them, and shouldn't be.

God, I know that this sounds like I am going backwards. My head and heart are at war again.

Peace? If she were to disappear.

Suffering is delayed acceptance, right?
I can't believe I am f'ing crying over this same crap.....AGAIN!!
I hate what all of this has turned me into.

I'm the crazy ex-wife who can't get over it.

I might have been codependent before all this happened.....
but I was never like this.
I was a good person who saw and expected the good in everyone. I loved my family and friends, and had had enough reserves to "spare" and help others, do community service. Coping mechanisms did the job so I could actually flourish.

Both parents died young. Issues with mom and her alcoholism.
My sister growing up with fibro and into manic depression, and her shutting me out of her life completely (more than once).
The scare with my daughter when she was born, and the skull surgery.

Life's up and downs, and some serious bad things happened, but I didn't get depressed about it - I was together, competent. Definitely NOT crazy.

I hate that he did this to me. That she did this to me. That there is some major crap inside of me that allowed it all to happen. That I was messed up enough to not see it coming, to think that I was happy.
I thought I was happy, even with all of life's trials.

I imagine that this is similar to soldiers coming back from war - ok, now hurry up and get back to normal.

I'm telling you, I would trade all this knowledge-through-pain that I've acquired over the last 3+ years for my previous blissful obliviousness. In a heartbeat.

I used to be so grateful for the life I had - I felt lucky, blessed everyday, from the day I met him.
Now, other than my kids, I regret ever having known him at all.
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/27/10 07:46 AM
I posted many months ago on one of my threads about the hurt feelings I had that my kids were referring to Ed as Daddy or Daddy #2. I was given some great advice by the guy I work for (backed by his wife and mother) along with Mike in Tennessee. It all boils down to the DB principle of letting water fall off your back like a duck. And doing what creates the least amount of turmoil for your kids no matter how f'd up you percieve things.

You will always be your children's mother. Nothing will diminish your real role as their true loving mother. Period. But there is not much you can or should control in the relationship your kids have with their father and possible step-mother. As the Beatles once sang...When you find your self in times of trouble...Let It Be.

Your kids already know your dissatisfaction you have about H and GF. It is best to drop it and not ask or persuade them. It will only cause them extra conflict which they dont need during a difficult time of adolescence and teen years.

Originally Posted By: Donna...Found
Suffering is delayed acceptance, right?

Good observation. I am not a Buddhist (once married to one), but I do know that the 4 noble truths have suffering as the core...

1. Life means suffering.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

I think part of the Eightfold Path of #4 could be interpreted as..."Let go or Be dragged". Hmmm....where did I read that phrase before?

Donna - I wish the confusion between your head and heart to mend and that you wish for no bad disappering to befall upon another. Life is too short to let the poor choices of others influence our path.

Strength and Honor - Strength to do the right thing even if it hurts you and Honor to do the right thing all of the time.
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/27/10 08:08 AM
Donna -

You have gone through some turmoil. Everyone does. I have been quite lucky in that regards since my life has been pretty easy going. Some people are just dealt a different deck of cards that are beyond their control. I accept that there are bad days and good days ahead for me.

I believe the best thing to understand is that pessimism invites more turmoil, whereas opptimism causes good to flourish. I started watching the documentary movie called "The Secret" and they kept repeating this same idea before I turned it off after 20 minutes. It seemed a pretty basic idea that I think all should live by.

You are 40 years old and have a wonderful life ahead. The words you write are of someone that is in pain, but also someone who has a deep emotional desire to relieve the pain. You know what causes it. You are not crazy. You just desired what most of us wanted who write on these forums - a loving beautiful intact family.

Trust me and others - your happiness and fullfillment will return, and with time, you may again share it with someone.
I believe the best thing to understand is that pessimism invites more turmoil, whereas opptimism causes good to flourish. I started watching the documentary movie called "The Secret" and they kept repeating this same idea before I turned it off after 20 minutes. It seemed a pretty basic idea that I think all should live by.

Kerry - this is SO true. All of us here have been dealt a bad hand. Some of us have had more than one bad hand. For me it was my son's brain damage at age 4 and the loss of my Mom to cancer. Yep - bad hands. But this is LIFE. and life is like that. You never know what you're gonna get. But with bad hands come good hands. And I, like everyone else has been dealt MANY good hands too. Our kids, our health, our lifestyles etc.

Count your blessings means so much. I choose to focus on the good in my life. You know - making Lemonade from your Lemons. So many people have said to me - "How do you ever go on? You have had so many crushing blows" - hmmm... OK, I think to myself. Do I have a choice? Ummm - yes. I guess we all do. I could have put my son in a home. (not the plan for ME). Or never tried to go on after my ex left (not the plan for ME). Or, I can get up every day. Decide to make that day the only day I CHOOSE to enjoy and just do it.

Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Never give up. Never lose sight of all the beautiful things in your life.

God gave me ONE life. I choose to live it to the fullest extent.

Be sure to check out my little link (very short) on Facebook with my clip on "How to Stay Positive". My friends didn't nickname me Positive Barb for nothing.

And anyone else who wants to see it - add me. You know the first name. Last name starts with the name of Barbie's boyfriend followed by yeres. & I meant the Mattel boyfriend, not Josh! LOL! Just add a message so I know who YOU are!

Shoot, I had almost completed a big long post and it got zapped. Now I gotta run, so very quickly...

"I'm the crazy ex-wife who can't get over it."

This is B.S. You are riding a huge positive (if difficult) surge forward right now. You aren't stuck, you are doing great. Now, stop the self-flagellation, make-yourself-a-victim, take-me-to-my-comfort-zone talk. You aren't crazy, you will get through it and beyond it.

"I told her that she didn't have to worry about my feelings with that, I was glad she said something, and I would be OK for playdates at either home."

This is HUGE, and a very generous and loving action from a mother for her daughter. See, you DO HAVE POWER here to make your kids' lives better. They can't be caught in a battlefield if their is no battle. Recognize what a strong and loving thing you did. YOU DID IT. YOU HELPED HER.

The really big deal with DD was not in telling her yet again that she didn't have to worry about you, but that your actions matched your words better.

And, I think your actions matched your words better because you are getting more honest with yourself and more objective about what is going on...

"Truth is, I think it would hurt me if they loved her.
Like it hurt when x loved her.

It would feel like another betrayal."

For you to really come out and be this direct with yourself is HUGE. You are much more honest with yourself, and much more open to hearing and thinking around this issue. This is a really big deal. Give yourself a pat on the back.

And, I'm sure you already know that this isn't great for your kids. It is best for them if they feel truly free to forge a healthy R with a significant adult who is effectively part of their family. She isn't going anywhere, she's been in their lives since they were tiny. All signs point to her being in their lives when they grow up and have children. Free them to have a good, loving R with her, if that is what works for them. Let them figure out what they want and to make whatever it is an authentic R with her. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Don't make it about you. They will not love you less if they accept or embrace her, which they may or may not do. (If anything, they will love you more because the enhanced freedom makes more room for love.) The important thing is that they have the space to do so and are not saddled with the chore of managing that relationship in a way that makes it about you because they have to protect you.

And, words help, but they aren't enough. You know your kids are sensitive enough to understand that right now their R with her is about you in your own heart. They will manage you, their R with her, and so on, to protect you. Not their job, but they will keep making it their job until you accept, let go, detach, make it not about you in your own heart.

So, NO MORE BEATING UP DONNA. You are doing great!

Finally, with the compassion thing, try to think of their story as something you read in a well-written novel with complex characters. What would get those characters in a position to treat others so horribly?

Hugs, and yay Donna. I really think you're in the middle of a pretty significant jump forward and up :-)
Lol, and that was the short version. Probably a good thing the longer one got zapped.
Oh forgot:

"I will not promote a R between my kids and their father's gf."

Well, that's a relief :-p

Best thing is to stay out that R altogether, MYOB, not-about-you-ize it. Unless, of course, there is some present reason based on something that actually happens to think your children are at risk.

Don't manage their R with XH or with GF. Really not your job.

Now, when are you going to have a *great* playdate at your house? That will be fun to plan!
Donna...Iwish I could just give you a hug and cuppa already.

My ex husband beat the snot out of me...cause kidney damage actually because bruises there don't really make the morning news, you know.
He is a bad person with a screwed up past
He loved the boys in his own warped way

he was not safe for me to be around
i haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated that he was the boys' dad

but I tried my hardest to make sure they were safe and still allowed a relationship with him

he chose not to be around them any more

yay for me
but they hurt because of that decision

maybe it isn't safe for you to be around her yet
you don't need to think she is the best influence in their lives

she IS in their life

now the best you can do is look at it as another person who loves your kids...maybe not like you, maybe not healthyish, but she is a presence

We all have had shite happen in our lives...to varying degrees



you wouldn't want to live in blissful ignorance as to what was going on

what lesson would that have taught your children?

being aware means embracing and finding the joy in all things

when we learn the lesson
we can stop repeating the class

i tell my boys it is the "glowing"

when the world is at it's darkest and it seems as though light will never happen, we need to find our glowing to help us...with that glowing we can even see some of the wonderful things the darkness gives us

there were many times in my life that finding the glowing was hard, if not almost impossible, there were many times that I was curled fetal and terrified, suffocating in the dark...I don't want my children to ever feel that...
neither do you
if they do ever find themselves there
they need to be able to find their glowing

we are all damaged
but we are not only our damage

you are so much more than this Donna
but sometimes I think you see yourself as only this

come look in my mirror
see what I see

Oprah says...when there is no struggle, there is no strength

let yourself feel your own strength and power

Deepak Chopra says...Everytime you are tempted to react int he same old way, ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the furture

open those doors to the furture, look ahead instead of behind

Nelson Mandela says...As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others

let yourself see how great your daughter felt when you had your talk with her

Soren kierkegaard said...TO dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.

You my brilliant artist friend, shine in so many ways...dare to see those ways yourself

Willima Shedd says...A ship is safe in the harbor, but thet's not what ships are for

don't be afraid to move beyond your marriage...to be who you truly are inside....you don't need that marriage and safety net to define you

Anthony RObbins says....The past does not equal the future

you know this...

I think that in your marriage, you were like a canary in a cage...beautiful, singing and confined...you were happy because it was what you knew...now the door is open and it is exciting and scary and sad that the cage is gone...you know...no seeds right there BUT now you can pick your own seeds, sing where you want!!!! It is scary to be without that security blanket but so much more liberating and comfortable, in the end, to have made your own
Nelson Mandela says..."As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others"

Thanks for the excellent quotes, all great, especially love the Mandela.

Invictus is pretty good, BTW
haven't seen it yet but heard it was good...that is one of my favorite quotes
Posted By: soleil Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/27/10 04:19 PM

I heard on another thread that you have a fun "ring story." Can you share it, please?

Sorry to hi-jack this thread...
Oh, my dear, dear friends. Thank you so much for these words that I woke up to today (yes, slept late due to the pickling of my head - I felt hungover this morning). I feel a little guilty that any of you actually took time out to respond to that outburst last night.

At least I can see that there are much fewer triggers to the crazy at this stage in the game - maybe this is even the last one...?

It doesn't seem that I move on and grow without a screaming and kicking fight, but I am getting there, nonetheless.

The inner child who reacts/wants to stay codependent/feels every emotion so hugely, would still like to take a bat to that woman's head. Luckily, the adult Donna, I am in charge!

I am an optimist; at least that is how I self-identify. I always have been.
See, I listed the trials and tribulations that I have gone through, because of how I got through them - it was hard, I was sad, but a NORMAL level of sad. I didn't loose my sh!t. As a matter of fact, I was strong and able to deal with the crisis smoothly, and able to be there for anyone around me who was struggling. (An ACOA trait, actually - calm and collected in a crisis). I felt things, but my head also stayed in control - there's that word...

The crazy person that this betrayal brought out in me.......that has never been me. Not only did my entire world turn upside down, but I became someone unrecognizable to myself.
I would have been very happy to live my life without ever having to get to deal with that inner crazy that must have been in there all this time.
And it would have been nice if I didn't have to meet and deal with X's inner NPD, either. But, I guess both things had to come out eventually (amazing that it held together for as long as it did, really).

So, here we are, and I am dealing with it. Learning, growing and healing.

This quote:
I think that in your marriage, you were like a canary in a cage...beautiful, singing and confined...you were happy because it was what you knew...now the door is open and it is exciting and scary and sad that the cage is gone...you know...no seeds right there BUT now you can pick your own seeds, sing where you want!!!! It is scary to be without that security blanket but so much more liberating and comfortable, in the end, to have made your own

Fig, did you know that I have decorated my house with butterflies and birds?
I have statuettes of birds throughout the house, and a few birdcages, as well.
I have always displayed the cages with the doors open...
Invictus was an awesome movie, btw...
Posted By: smith18 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 08/27/10 05:29 PM
The poem is awesome too!...

Originally Posted By: Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I am going to refrain from being one telling you how you should feel. The anger and emotions are natural and even necessary to a point, but what everyone is trying to say -- albeit in ways we certainly don't agree upon -- is that they can consume you. I am confident that you do understand this, all too well.

I will diverge from some by saying that you do not have to relax your guard or pretend that the OP is (or ever will be) a positive influence on your children. To the contrary. To make such a pretense would be a disservice to your children.

But like it or not, she is (for now at least) being brought into their lives, and there is very little you or anyone can do about that. You have to come to terms with the fact that she is simply a part of the environment -- to which you must prepare your children. But the plain fact is, the world is full of sad, lost people who do deserve our pity -- but we should still keep them at arms length and in plain view at all times. You don't have to forgo civility or allow them to upset your inner peace, and you don't have to play nice-nice with them either, certainly not when they refuse to respect your own boundaries. It would be better to show your children that you are willing to act and do what's best for everyone's sake, even if that means establishing a sort-of peace -- while still maintaining and defending your personal and familial boundaries. (I can predict that some will disagree with the best approach to that.)

It is a fine balancing act -- and no, it is not and will not be easy to maintain.

I'm coming in too late on this one, but everything that all our beautiful friends here have said is spot on. I'm glad to see that you had already come to that conclusion on your own though! That proves that you have healed in so many ways and continue to do so. WONDERFUL!

Figg - I have to tell you that I cried so hard reading your post. Those quotes are marvelous.

I agree - Invictus was a powerfully moving movie
here is my ring story (and yes...it was even funny at the time...more so now)

So, my sociopathic 2nd ex-husband (because I do marriage well..eyeroll) gave me a cheapish little ring for an engagement ring...

I am not a real jewelry wearer and expensive things make me nervous...even so, it was pretty, I thought but semi-fake (well...very fake)


when it was revealed that he had a torrid affair with the then youngster (like 18ish young)I took my engagement ring and wedding ring off and set it by the bed

he came over at some point and took the engagement ring and GAVE IT TO THE YOUNGSTER!!!!

she ran into me and flashed her fake ring that was my fake ring and said

look what your husband gave me? it was yours but it's mine now

or something to that affect....

little did she know that it was a fake ring and turned my finger green...she was welcome to it

long may it turn her finger green!!!!!! smile

Donna...I did not know you had birdcages and butterflies around your house but it does seem very fitting for you!!!! Wen I was a little tyke, my grnadmother kept canaries and I would always let them out of the cage...it hurt my heart that they were stuck in there
Transformation and freedom...

I wonder if her finger turned gange-green and fell off...
And if so, maybe I can find the manufacturer and send the gf a nice choker necklace from a "secret admirer." wink
You guys knew I was kidding about the above, right? wink
I'm back at work - so lucky to have something I love. Teaching is just a great fit for me.

But I woke up in the middle of the night and can't fall back to sleep. The morning is going to be rough.

And I am surprised how thoughts....unwelcome thoughts, seem to percolate to the surface during these times of staring up into the ceiling.
Just about what was, what is.

I put back all the weight I had lost with the heartbreak diet. A double-chin is showing up in photos of me. I have always been a little surprised at the image that faces me in photos - very few match my inner perception of how I look, if that makes sense. Now, it is really disquieting. My daughter pointed out that I remind her of a neighbor who is very overweight and....not attractive. It hurt. It wasn't said to be mean, but I am carrying that scar for a while, I can tell you that.

Thoughts of x and his gf crop up from time to time. He had the kids over to his house for a little while today, so they could do a special project - my kids and her 4 each made a personalized stepping stone for the walkway up to their house. I guess things are going well over there. This will not be one of those affairs that falls apart in the light of day, so it seems. And I guess I should be happy for him, that he is happy. He said once that he had to find a way to be happy so he could be the best father he could be. And he is a good dad, given the circumstances.

I think I am in a bit of a rut. I am just a homebody by nature, I guess. But that makes it hard to get out and meet people, doesn't it? It feels against the grain to going looking for friendships/relationships. I want to sit at home and read, not worry about how I look. I think it is just laziness. The complacency that was my marriage was comfortable. I tend to go back to those behaviors, but there is no man in my bed at the end of the day. I didn't think I had to work in my marriage, which is a big contributor to why it failed. And if I don't get used to the idea that effort is going to be needed, I won't have a future relationship, either.

I have a choice. I can just accept things as they are, and be alone. It is certainly less work/easier. I don't answer to anyone. There have been more weekends than I care to admit when I didn't have the kids and I just let my inner-hermit take over. It is hard enough to have the energy I need to just survive daily. Exercise? Getting out? Calling friends and doing the other needed things to keep up relationships? Ugh...too many times, I can't be bothered.
I'm just feeling like a schlump right now. I'm not excited about anything, no motivation to do much.

Hopefully, it is just a stage. Eh, whatever.
I have put back on the weight I lost and then some (but I blame the baby for that!!!)

I am a homebody too but I love people watching...not interacting with them but watching them

I used to love to go and find places to just watch them
what about going to book readings for new authors

(My friend from college just wrote a wonderful book called THe Quickening and no it has nothing to do with the highlander...but she went on a book tour all over)

any art crawls or anything out your way???

you know
maybe you don't need to find a partner

I was completely happy by myself
had decided that I was going to be alone (well with my kids but alone) and so I was planning on traveling and buying a passport
there was Cori
This was a better weekend - kids away, but college friend called and asked if I wanted to go see a musical down in NYC. I said yes before I even heard which one.
It was really good. I love going down on the train (its about an hour), the feeling of being around so many people, and Grand Central is a really amazing space. The musical was fantastic - Fela!, about a musician/activist from Nigeria, produced by Jay Z and Will Smith. Makes me realize that there is a lot of world history and stories that were not part of my formal education...

Late night out, then back to CT. We slept late, then got up and went on a driving adventure. Thanks to GPS, we didn't end up where we were going, but that was just fine. At the end of the day, we were able to go see our own Gypsy in her first acting performance. She stole the show, really - the only actor who was individually applauded after her dramatic (and funny!) scene.

I spent a quiet day on my own, today. I have to go pick up the kids....
Still working the plan, working a life.

The week flies by, with work, the kids' activities and homework, chores. I was so happy for Fri - I was so excited for the kids to come home from their dinner with their father. I invited them both to the local Irish Festival, where the Red Hot Chili PIPERS were playing (not peppers - this is a rock-bagpipe band). Son was too tired, but D11 went with me. It was great. We didn't stay too late - hard for a kid after getting up early and school all day (I had taken a nap). But another mark towards me getting my life moving. Then spent the weekend around the house - D had a playdate for most of Saturday with a new friend here at our house. I straightened and cleared paperwork from the coffee table, kitchen island and dining room (it breeds, I swear).
One of the decisions that I made is to hire a professional organizer. I found someone who is inexpensive, and just making that decision has lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. It has always been a challenge, but now that I am single, it is even more so - no help, no one giving me crap about what a mess it is (hence, lighting a fire under my a$$). I guess I had always seen myself as a kind of an absent-minded professor-type - well, about time I got myself together! For me, and to be a better example and influence on my son. I can't believe all the growing up I've been doing over the last few years....
I have a different mindset, now. The problem is that there is so much to be done, it seems overwhelming. I start, then after an hour, I find myself literally spinning in circles, trying to figure out where to put something that is in my hands. The reason it is in a pile, is because there is no home for it! Don't get me wrong - my house is not like what you would see on Hoarders, but there is a box or 2 of stashed papers in each room, and a few more in the closets. I think it will actually pay for itself in the long-run - I have had a few late fees, and I still have to finalize last year's taxes to get my refund (yes, I am way overdue).

I need to find a handyman, too. A bunch of little projects is starting to get backlogged. I had that contractor who did the major work on the house that had been neglected when the D was final, but he contracts things out - I need someone who can do minor plumbing, electric, along with just fixing stuff, without having to outsource it. The flip side is that there is definitely a bottom to my wallet, so I have to be careful - I still owe bills to the town for the sewer, and the company who fixed my AC this summer.

I have ventured back onto eHarmony. Not sure if anything will come of it - I think it was just boredom, and me trying it one last time before I cancel the subscription. I'm just not sure how dating will ever fit into my schedule while I am working full-time, with 2 kids.
X emailed tonight and asked for the duplicate photos that I have. It was part of the D agreement, but I was too raw to do it right away. Guess I can, now.

Had a gross-out thought-flash of his gf making scrapbook pages of my kids youngest childhood. Blech. Well, whatever.
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 09/28/10 03:08 AM
Hon, just remember your kids know that you are being the stable one for them. If even your ex puts together an album is that a bad thing? Keep the focus on you and the kids and you can get through anything! Glad you are going to make a Dr appointment.

Hugs, kat
I guess it was the weekend for it.

X just called and asked to talk to me. He got engaged over the weekend.

He had told the kids on Friday.

Explains some of the mood that I got from my son when he got back from his retreat.

I said that it wasn't really fair to them to saddle the kids with this info before telling me - he said he wouldn't have done it any other way, that it doesn't have anything to do with me.

I just said OK to the news.

What else is there to say?

He said it won't happen for a few years, at least, because of insurance. whatever....

My SIL's father-in-law died over the weekend from complications from a fall. MIL and FIL will be going to the funeral soon (think Monday?).
I wonder if he told his parents.
I am going to stay out of that.

I just thought of something......I never changed my last name, keeping my married name (since it is the same as my kids, I have had it longer than my maiden name, etc.). Not sure how I feel about having the same last name as......
Oh Donna....so sorry. frown Gag to the news. frown

Honestly, I don't blame him for not telling you before the kids. Like he said, it doesn't have anything to do with you.

Hope you are doing ok.

Don't worry about the name issue, lots of people have the same last name, just think of it as more branches on the tree.
Posted By: NNP1965 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 10/13/10 11:12 AM
hugs Donna...
Posted By: soleil Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 10/13/10 02:42 PM
Donna, you responded well to him. Just keep on moving on...
((( Donna )))
Understand about the name ( did change mine back but my son was an adult) dosnt matter , its just a name really, your still wonderful Donna
Posted By: kat727 Re: Donna's new outlook, finding herself #38 - 10/13/10 09:58 PM
I kept my name but I also already use my maiden name no hyphen. I had been this "name" for 19 years and I didn't and still don't feel a need to change it. Perhaps this is because I used both last names already.

One thing that bothers me though, I have a couple of friends that just assume that I dropped his last name. That bothers me. They should just ask. Also still bothers me if someone doesn't use both last names. Aww, I am just venting now. Do what feels right to you. Neither choice is wrong.

big hugs, kat
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