Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday and some memes

What I'm thankful for today:

My dad, who is willing to help me financially so I can get this divorce shit over with. His exact words were: "This is going to be a long court battle, and I have more money than him." Thanks, Dad.

My aunt, who has helped me enormously with her financial advise. She's a financial adviser specializing in divorce.

This blog, where I can air out my grievances and curse at will (I'm trying to clean up my language at home, since my kids have fucking freaking radar ears).

Leaving work at 4 so I can get one measly hour with my girls Wednesday and Thursday before their dad comes to pick them up. We squeeze in a lot in that hour.

Wine. Red wine.

And now my memes for today

Hell. Yes.

And this one, cause I'm feeling positive today:

And with that, I'm out. Have a good day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Love your kids more than you hate your ex

I've never been able to talk sense into ex before, so I don't know why I think it would work now. But if there's only one point I could drive home, it's this:

It takes a real grown up to realize that you can't be bitter about the past. It takes a mature adult to see the bigger picture. It takes loving your children more than you hate your ex to stop the nastiness. When you talk badly about your ex in front of your children - or when you make everything about their other parent awkward and difficult for your kids - you are not harming your ex. You are harming your children.

His hostility toward me around the girls and even when I'm not around (they totally pick up on his hatred of me) makes me wants to just say, "Fine! Have everything you want! Just stop being so angry and taking it out on the kids."

If only money weren't an issue, this effing divorce would be final.

Nearly a year later, and I STILL don't know how to solve it:

Try my best to compromise with him financially (problem here is it leaves me out $20,000 in just three years), and therefore keep the kids' custody situation consistent...or go to court (a judge will force him to pay what he is supposed to), risk him getting 50 percent custody and turn him even more bitter.

If only he could see that his anger rubs off on the children.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ehh, how about Tuesday Meme, too

Lately I have been noticing a lot of inspirational quotes and memes. Clearly that's reflective of this time in my life.

So, I thought I'd share a few that "speak" to me.

I lived with a controlling, emotionally dismissive/abusive man for 12 years. I won't put up with that shit anymore. 'Nuff said.

This goes for me, too. It touches home this morning after I acted horribly in reaction to Little Bit's EPIC tantrum. My behavior influences their reaction to me and their behavior. This goes for love of the other kind, too.

And this one? Well it's just funny (and true).

Have a good day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Meme

This is a big one for me. It took a LONG time to get to the point where I could look that fear in the eye and decide that my happiness was worth it.

Where does that leave my kids, though? What about THEIR happiness? Are they happier now that their father and I are apart?

They ARE happy. And I think I can say that despite rough times between their dad and I that affect them - and the transition of adjusting to new schedules - they remain happy children.

The only times they aren't happy is when their dad does things like yell at me to "Go away! Get off my porch! Back away!" right in front of them. (He did that last night. What a peach.)

In that regard - his ability to control himself - they are screwed. But, they were always screwed, because that's the dad they have. No matter the situation, he was always an angry man. Divorced or not, the girls will always grow up with a bitter father who has an inner hatred of himself that pushes out onto other people.

Anyway, through my fear a year ago, I saw a potential future that I will try my hardest to achieve:

One where
I am no longer living with a controlling, toxic man;
One where my girls see me happier and in control of my life;
One where my girls can talk openly with me about the troubles they will inevitably face;
One where I can teach them to "find the happy" and not see themselves as victims of divorce;
One where I can have a happy relationship with a man and be able to model that for my girls.

Pushing through the fear, one day at at time. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday

My little big Sunshine at the park this weekend with, fittingly, the sun shining on her.

This blog is such a downer most of the time. And while I know that is to be expected given that I'm going through a nasty divorce with children, it gets old.

So, I'm instituting Thankful Thursdays. (I'm sure I'll forget all about it next Thursday.)

I am thankful for:

1. My children who - unless I'm blind - are thus far coping pretty well with this separation of homes and parents. And it is not lost on me that while divorce is HUGE, my girls are healthy and have a lot of love surrounding them. There are so many kids in far worse situations.

2. My mom, who without hesitation welcomed the girls and I into her modest home. How she puts up with my constant demands (she's the girls' babysitter while I'm at work) and pathetic attempt at maintaining household duties, I'll never know.

3. My dad, who if I needed it would loan me all his money to make sure the girls and I don't get hosed by ex's manipulative ways.

4. Myself. Yep, I'm thankful for my own natural ability to look at the bright side of things and people. For try as I might, I can't bring myself to come close to hating my ex. He is, after all, still a human being. And he's the father of my children. Don't get me wrong: I do NOT like him and am ever so incredibly grateful that I'm not in a toxic relationship with him anymore. He and I: oil and water. I wish he could control himself and his mouth around the girls, and I wish he didn't let his hatred of me get in the way of good parenting choices. But I can't control any of that. I can only control my reaction to him and teach my girls how best to handle him.

5. Other single mom bloggers, both those who are in the middle of it like me, and those who are ahead of me in this life. I greatly appreciate all insight.

6. My friends and family who have helped my emotionally along the way, from those who vastly questioned my true intentions in trying to reconcile a few months ago, to those who continuously tell me that MY GIRLS WILL BE OK.

7. The gift of time. It's already been a year since this separation began. And while I HATE that the divorce and custody aren't final yet, I am so relieved to know that I'm one year away from the hardest time of my life. I just hope custody decisions don't get made that throw my girls' entire schedule and sense of consistency off.

8. Thursday nights. If I can't be with my girls on Thursdays, I'm more than thrilled to be with friends.

9. Wine. Red wine.

10. My job. Wow, this probably shouldn't be #10. I truly love my job and co-workers, and am eternally thankful to have a steady job.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Soldier on

Sometimes that's all you can do: Soldier on.

Keep a good attitude as you soldier on with the life you have, even if it's not what you envisioned. Really, what choice is there?

Friday, January 11, 2013

All that doubt and guilt? Gone

So, I think I've failed to mention on here something very important:

All that soul-eating guilt and doubt that kept me up at night, gnawing on every bit of my flesh and brains: It's gone.

Not necessarily because I've moved into the anger phase. I'm sure I have. But then again, I've been there a lot over the years.

No, I think it has more two do with three things:

1. While the road ahead is still SO uncertain (especially custody) and will undoubtedly have incredibly hard times over and over, I know my girls and I can endure this. They've endured so much so far. And everything I swore would break Sunshine... well, it hasn't (Little Bit is still young enough to escape a lot of these difficulties). Sunshine still does not want to spend much time with her dad, specifically overnight. But she makes it through every day and is OK the next morning. Is it hurting her psyche? Maybe. But a great friend reminded me that children who go through struggles actually increase their EQ - Emotional Quotient. A perfect childhood with no bumps rarely turns into an adult who knows how to handle adversity. So, let's hope my girls learn from their current and future hardships and turn them into good, rather than bad.

2. Over the course of the last eight months since we separated officially, I have finally realized how mismatched ex and I are. And while I did a lot wrong in that relationship, he was just plain cruel in so many ways. No one deserves to be treated the way he treated me, and even worse: To be treated that way while being told that he loves you. Love can not possibly be like that. I deserve to be treated like I actually matter and like I'm a priority. Not the most important person in the world ... but like you genuinely appreciate me and want me to be happy. That was never the case before.

3. I am happy with myself. Ex did a great job of destroying my confidence. And I wasn't loaded with it to begin with. No outfit was ever cute enough. My lipstick never red enough. My heels never high enough. My shirt never sexy enough. My hair pulled up? No, I looked "severe." But guess what? I don't need his approval, and I don't have to look like every other blonde 25-year-old to look hot. I am me. I love getting dressed up to look nice for a man, but not if there's constant criticism involved. If you don't like me for ME, then move it along.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A new year

Wow, it's been a while since I posted. I think about it here and there, but SO much has gone on, and yet so little has been accomplished, that the thought of writing it down can feel daunting.

But, I will.

Our divorce is far from over, because ex keeps going back and forth on what he wants. First he wants to pay less money and let me have my say with the girls' custody. Then he throws a man-fit and decides that he's going to go after 50/50 custody because I haven't responded to his financial request fast enough. He has gone through that cycle twice so far.

I know he loves and misses his girls, but it is very clear (and I have the texts and emails to prove it) that his priority is finances. Because otherwise, what parent would try to bargain less time with their kids for more money?!?!

Anyway, I pray to all things holy that this will be resolved soon and that he and I can both live comfortably financially but MOST IMPORTANTLY that the best custody arrangement will be made for our very young children.

So, all of that aside, I want to say how proud I am of my girls for forging through this rough terrain. And last week, when their dad decided at the very last minute that he wanted them to spend an entire day and two nights with him, they handled it with such grace.

At that moment I thought, "Maybe this will work. Maybe I made the right decision for my happiness, and my girls WILL be OK."

Cause seriously, no longer being with my ex is the most freeing feeling of my entire life. And I know that sounds horrible. For all his faults, I still can't find a way to hate him. But I know in my heart that being with him was not good for me. At all.

So, it's a new year, and by god, I will embrace it and pull every ounce of good out of it. I heard a quote recently. I can't remember it verbatim, but the gist was:

You can't always choose your situation, but you can choose how you respond to it.

This is not how I pictured my life. But I can choose how I handle the cards I've been dealt.

I got one more piece of advice recently from a single father, and it's very simple: Just love your children. Love them, and they will be fine.

I want to believe that. Do you think it's true? Just love your kids (that love includes support, listening to them, etc.) and they will make it through divorced life OK?

I sure hope so. :)