Archive for ‘January, 2014’

Stalking2Just after publicizing this post, I found out from my youngest daughter that her dad and his new wife drove her past my new house on Saturday. Yes, the house that Brandon and I put under contract on Thursday of last week. That man acts quickly, doesn’t he?!

You see, as we were meeting with the home builder’s agent on Wednesday, she spoke of where she lived, how long she’d been with the builder etc. and I started to piece together that she worked with my ex husband’s wife (I knew she worked for that builder in another city). Not only did I piece it together, I quickly realized that this woman hosted my ex husband’s wedding open house at her home.

As I was signing over the paperwork, I also clued in that she would be taking my paperwork to my ex’s wife’s office. So I HAD to mention the connection at that point. If I hadn’t, the new wife would see everything about my life on paper and I wanted to be the first to say out loud that I knew she was going to see it.

We told the agent about our connection with her co-worker, “So you must know (insert current wife name here)! She’s married to my ex husband!” I said with a huge smile on my face. She looked as if I smacked her in the face with a 2×4 and slowly it sank in that I was once married to her “adopted daughter’s” (her reference, not mine) new husband. She glowed and told me that she’s heard nothing but “great things” about me and that my ex’s new wife “Really likes you!” (Yeah, whatever…Not more than 3 nights ago my 16 year old son texted me about how his dad and step-mom were “trying to decide how to respond to you about our grades” and changed my ringtone to the Darth Vader march song! Classy!)

His wife texted me later that night telling me I’d love the agent and the neighborhood we chose was a very nice neighborhood. (That was very nice of her.) But the rest of it is not so nice!

This weekend she took my ex husband and my kids to see the house and even told them that she could take them inside the home if our agent couldn’t, because she has a key. Are you kidding me? Can’t these people get their own life and stop STALKING mine? I understand she may have been excited for my kids, but I know my ex husband’s ulterior motives…he wants me to know that HE knows. Just like the way he went inside my 100 year old cottage weeks after I purchased it and toured it without me knowing! (He claims that my son “invited” him and “he gets no joy out of entering my ‘little’ house”.)

It’s a sad reality that this man will never back off. I could care less about his house and what he does. But he lets my 14 year old know “we’re driving by your new house. C’mon, it’ll be fun for you!” Two of my kids hadn’t even seen the house until their dad drove by.

He will always be stalking researching my life. He will always be lurking about, examining my life. It’s a cold, hard reality I have to face.

What would I say to him if I knew it wouldn’t start drama he feeds off of? Move on. Find happiness. And get a life! But instead I laugh. And hug my husband and thank God every day what’s important is MY life. Not his misery.

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Rings

I’m ready. It’s time.

Along this journey of divorce, self-discovery, and remarriage, I’m learning that life slowly shows itself to you. After going through the raging storms, crashing waves, and now sunny skies, I find that growth continues to happen.

The decision to remarry was heavy and a process and I was filled with fear. Would I be able to love again? Would I be able to trust again? Would I be able to bring someone into my life, and more importantly my children’s lives, and believe that they will love us as deeply and fully as humanly possible? I slowly came to the conclusion that I could trust this person more than anyone I’ve ever trusted in my life. He’d take a bullet for me (or my kids for that matter); although, let’s not throw that out into the universe tempting fate!

As Brandon and I steered our way through the first six months of marriage, we’ve worked through issues with ex’s, money, jobs, children, and different ideas of what life has looked like for both of us. I hated trying to start over some days. Starting over is hard! There’s so much crap to sort through, and all of us come from existing places filled with hope, regret, hurt, love, and history. But after that beginning, we’ve found a great stride. And now we’ve decided to continue our new beginning by selling my home.

This adorable 100 year-old farm house was all I could afford as a single mom just over a year and a half ago. It gave me and my children a safe-haven to gather in. It has been a place where we’ve laughed, cried, dreamed and rebuilt our lives. The adjustment of moving out of our family home into this quaint cottage half the size was hard. We had 3 kids going to new schools which meant new friends and routines. All of the kids had to walk to-and-from school, which was a new experience after having been bussed every day. And the ugly truth of divorce and dad-is-never-coming-home-EVER-again started to sink in. The adjustment was HUGE at times and I wondered if we’d make it through the transition. We slowly began to find out footing again. The sun came out and shined bright.

House_Web

Now I’m a bit more out of shape (no time to exercise when I’m wanting to be with my new hubby and family), a little older, and a newlywed with 8 children. This charming bungalow of 2,000 square feet seems to burst at the seams when everyone’s over to hang out. Sometimes I feel trapped in the house with nowhere to carve out a little space just for me when everyone’s loud and energetic. I skip away to my bedroom, but the freakin kids STILL find me! :)

And don’t even get me started on sharing bathrooms–it’s a huge bother in the mornings, and pissy people launch out of my house to start their day after fighting for 10 minutes in the shower. Mornings are complete chaos.

I will always love this place. Purchasing this cottage proved to me I could do it on my own. I knew that if it was the last house I owned, it was mine and I paid for it on my own. So many women after divorce end up renting an apartment or moving in with family, which is a difficult adjustment after having your own home. And there’s nothing wrong with living in those circumstances. But I knew we had to put down roots–and fast! And just as quickly as I felt we had to put down roots then, I now feel like it’s time for our new-family beginning.

Last week Brandon and I found our home. A home for our family. It will take some creative maneuvers, saving, and bunking up until the basement is finished, but we’re ready. An offer went in on Wednesday, and we listed our house on Thursday.

We’ve had some showings already, and received an offer on Saturday. It was a piss-poor attempt on the buyer’s part to get the house for a steal, so we counter-offered today. If the sale is meant to be, they’ll accept. If not, we’ll have a bit of time before I feel absolutely ready to go.

Of course, my ex husband found out about our expected move and reacted in common form–harassing me via text about our son’s missing homework and telling me that I needed to report to him what I work on with our son each night because it doesn’t get done otherwise. (It’s funny how the good in your life makes others want to knock you on your ass. And by others, I mean unhappy ex’s!)

I’m ready to move. I’m ready to kiss a soft, sweet goodbye to my little home and leave it to another family/person looking for a fresh start. My heart is full and ready and more than ever, I’m ready to begin our life. A life in our home. Dreaming our dreams. Making our memories. I am blessed, and I pray the papers line up so we can sell and move quickly.

Keep dreaming. Keep doing. Keep living.

I plan to do all three.

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How on earth did I end up here?

The road during and post-divorce can be a long one. There are arguments, decree drafts, mediation meetings, lawyer meetings, more arguments, division of property issues, selling of assets, parent time issues, etc. And that’s only PRIOR to the divorce hearing! There are times when you feel depleted. Your ego takes a hit (unless you’ve been feeding it with adultery or tippy-toeing on the line of it), your finances take a huge hit, and you try to be counselor to the kids and to yourself all while trying to live life with as little interruption as possible. After all, the kids still have school, you still have work, there are sports and activities and meetings to attend and life seems to go on as normal for everyone while you spin in your own world of why is this happening to me?

But after wiping the tears, and stashing the pity party, there comes a time where you strap up your boots, lick your wounds and take on the world like a big-girl again.

I’m so thankful for the time I spent alone as a single-mom. I truly feel that the time I spent working on me is what helped me find the path I’m on now. I took care of me. Physically and spiritually. I went to a counselor who reminded me that I can’t control everything in my life. She also reminded me that a free fall can take some time–and the good thing is once you hit bottom the only way to go is up. Was I happy she told me just to “wait it out”? Ummm…hell no. That’s not what a girl who is always in control wants to hear.

Spending time on myself helped me get through. I worked out. I listened to music. I spent hours upon hours in my head. Thinking, dreaming, coming to the realization that there was part of my failed marriage that was my fault. And I learned from that. I learned a lot during that time. And I’ve brought all of that to my new relationships as both a new wife and step-mother.

I look at my new marriage with new eyes. Mature eyes. It’s not about me all the time, and it’s not about Brandon all the time. It’s about us. Just the two of us. It’s about our 8 awesome kids. It’s about wiggling around and finding out where everyone belongs in this big ol’ family and trying to be the best us for our family. I won’t lie: there are days when I think we were absolutely insane to try to blend 8 kids, 2 adults and 3 ex’s (which means 3 other families to consider and plan around) into one life. But I know, without a doubt, we all made the right decision to combine all of our crazy lives into one fabulous life.

Today, I count my blessings. I have a man in my life who adores me. I have 8 kids who are healthy, happy, and we are learning to love each other as a new family. I have a home where we can grow and a job I love where people care about me.

I don’t have a rule book. I’m faking my way through this most of the time. There are still days where I think about my “old map” of my life and get frustrated I’m not as far along as I used to be. I don’t have the savings account or retirement account or the crystal clean credit report. I can’t buy things the minute they’re needed. And I definitely get frustrated that I’m knocked back a few squares in the game of life. But I do know that when I quiet myself, think of the good I want to do in this world, and remember that the key to living is NOW (not to keep looking years down the road) I am more successful.

I used to joke when asked about divorce, “It’s like packing for a trip to Hawaii and ending up in Alaska. I don’t know how to do Alaska!”

This journey has taught me how to pack in layers. To be prepared for anything thrown my way. And to also be ready to switch course at a moment’s notice. Living is not about plotting a route and getting straight to the destination. Living is about wandering. Trying new things, new foods, new locations, new journeys. Who wants to walk from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast in a straight line? I’d much rather bounce around and see all the sights, sounds, tastes and feelings that life has to offer. I’m happy where I am right now. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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It’s almost $60,000 dollars!


He’s reached a new low. He told my children he’s added up the money he’s given me since we’ve been divorced and “it’s almost $60,000 dollars!”

My heart hurts.

Why?

Why would he do such a thing?

My kids get drug through the mud, slime and sadness.

. . .

Wow, do I wish I’ve made that much.

I’m sure he counts child support, medical reimbursements, braces, etc as “money I gave HER.”

The money I get is for THEM.

I have my own money.

2 Comments

If your ex is a narcissist, you’ve probably been accused of “doing it wrong” for years. Whatever “it” is, it’s always wrong or never good enough. The house isn’t clean enough. The bills weren’t paid the right way. You laugh too loud or talk to much or swallow too loudly when you drink.

People often ask me how I could have been married to someone who can be so cruel to me. He wasn’t as bad back when we were married. It’s like the minute I put my foot down and told him I wouldn’t tolerate his behavior any longer he escalated into the mean and rude person he is to me today. I wouldn’t have stayed with a man like he is now. Our marriage wouldn’t have lasted one year.

Now, post divorce, everything I do involving the kids is “wrong” to him. And he voices it to me. I don’t know if you can ever really TRULY escape a narcissistic ex. They are in your ear constantly about the kids. You don’t give them the right notice or the right paperwork. You spend your money wrong. You don’t do enough for the kids. You spend too much time driving them around and not doing their homework with them. The list is endless and they’ll harass you any chance they see the opportunity.

And if you can escape them physically (by moving or putting boundaries around their contact), they are still in your head–always. When I run errands, I still hear his words echoing like a horrible ghost from my past: “don’t turn so sharp…you’ll wear out the tires faster” or “that’ll put too many miles on the car you don’t need to go there.” This is the most infuriating: I want to live a healthy life, but 20 years of damage seems to have made a permanent mark on my soul.

So I ask, can you ever escape a narcissistic ex? I’m working on it. Every damn day I work on it. I have to shut the voices out of my head and remind myself that I am worth so much more than he made me feel. I deserve the love of a good man. I deserve to be happy. I AM a good mother and provider.

And I must remind myself to live authentically. To dig into my inner self and really ask myself what I want. That is new territory for me and I’m like a child who is afraid to take her first step. When I do act authentically, it energizes me. This is why narcissists don’t want you to feel confident: it will negate all the work they’ve done to tear you down and put you in your place.

As I move forward in to 2014, I hope to practice authenticity daily. It is when I am proud of myself that I can combat the damaging words of my ex. On down days, he can get to me easier, and I get angry when that’s the case. Confidence is like immunization shots against narcissists. Their ridiculous words deflect off you and have no power. Your power will come from within. Once that power is evident, it attracts positive energy, which makes it that much easier to deflect negative energy. Your ex won’t recognize the person in front of him: someone who is much, much better than he is.

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