So I called my STBEx. I told asked her if she felt good about the current direction of our divorce. She asked what I meant. I said I still didn't want to get divorced. She began to cry. She said I caught her off guard. She said life is really hard for her right now and that the last week had been very hard.

Her dad continues to degrade because of his dementia, her mother has an unknown health ailment which she believes is cancer - she says the doctors don't know what it is - and her mom said that whatever it is she is not going to get treatment, she would just assume die. She said that my son is disrespecting her and she doesn't know what to do about it. She said her family is a mess, her marriage is ending, and she's overwhelmed. She also mentioned the deteriorating relationship with her sister. And so she just cried on the phone.

I tried to use the skills I've been working on. I tried to listen without providing any solutions and empathize. She said she couldn't make any decisions or really talk. I just mirrored back to her that losing her dad and now her mom possibly too had to be unbearable.

I do believe her mom is just trying to manipulate her and her sister and I'm betting the illness is made up. That woman is nearly a sociopath. She just seems to destroy everyone she gets her claws into.

As for my STBEx, we have what might be our last significant mediation session on Monday.

I feel bad, but knowing that she is doing a lot worse than I am, actually in a weird way made me feel better. Also, hearing in her voice that their might be a place to reconcile really made me think about whether or not that would make sense for me and I'm not sure.

When I have my kids I'm pretty happy. We have a lot of fun and we're building great memories. Its really low key and low stress. I hired an interior decorator and I'm redoing my house, which is kind of stressful and sad, but also a bit empowering and the kids seem to be kind of excited about it.

I was dating some but I'm pulling out of that scene. It just feels like more than I'd like to deal with. There are still good days and bad, but I've learned time with the kids gives me a lot of balance and happiness. The three of us make a good little family.

In talking with the STBEx, I do feel like I've healed a good bit and I've grown a good bit. She did not seem healthy or happy at all and really like a complete and utter shell of herself, which had started before we separated , but now seeemed so much worse.

The thing that causes me the most stress is definitely dealing with the attorney's as a part of the divorce, so Monday will be stressful. But from here we are back on a normal schedule with the kids; in two weeks I'm taking them on a fun 5 day vacation. My house will get painted inside in the next two weeks, I've got a new bed coming soon. So a lot is changing and a lot is going on.

Anyhow, just felt the need to do some writing today.

PS AS, I read your post a couple times over some dark days. It was good.