Bitterness…

 

Most of my writings here on momdotcalm.com, I feel, have been about grief.  Even if that was never the purpose of starting this blog.  Through my writings I have come to understand grief and have come to terms that it will always be with me.  It is a part of me.  It is not front and center.  It is not all I think or talk about.  It is real and the love I have for others that have passed is a real part of my heart.  I am comfortable with the way my heart has healed over these scars and I am doing life with a man that has his own scars.  It works for us and helps us understand each other and have a healthy respect for our losses.  Amen.

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What has come to light recently is the bitterness, that I usually have a good hold on,  is still there.  And I want to be rid of it.  It’s helping no one.  And the main subject (among others) that is the primary object of my bitterness has not stopped with consistent selfish actions and derogatory remarks to me.  I then fire back and this does no one any good.  I usually have that tug-of-war rope down and move along with life, happily.  But it doesn’t take much for me to grab that rope that I keep in reach and  the battle begins again.

I want to bury that rope…maybe plant some flowers there.

Last Friday was my youngest son’s father’s, step-ish father to the older three, would-be-birthday. He’ll be gone 6 years this coming September.  I took the night off of work and was happily cooking dinner for the whole clan that was coming together to do some reminiscing and a balloon send off.  I was doing remarkably well for what is usually a very tough day for me.  I kept saying how at peace I was.  Baseball for the 8 year old was cancelled due to rain and I was even more at ease and able to cook a nice stew for the crew!! A sense of calm and not feeling rushed.

Now my daughter had her High School Prom the next day after this dinner, so our weeks prior were kinda crazy with shopping, alterations, jewelry selecting, nails, etc. (cha-ching!).  She had asked me to bring her to get her 2nd an 3rd holes pierced in her ears in the days prior to this relaxing night.  I said no, too much going on and I didn’t think it was a good idea.  I finally agreed that if she wanted to ask her Dad, so be it, but I wasn’t.  Inevitably, she got him to say yes, but it was to be on this Friday that we were already busy.  Whatever, have her home early enough to enjoy her brothers (one just home from college that day!) and the balloon send off.

This quiet in the house I was experiencing was like figure skating…on very thin ice.  I knew that just below the surface was a lot of pain, anguish and grief…bitterness.  I was feeling the true peace, but I was cautious with every skate, that the ice was fragile.  I was doing a fine job.

And then the text.  “If you don’t have baseball tonight, why don’t you just take her to get her ears pierced?”

Seems a simple question that would warrant a simple answer?

Nope.

It bubbled every angry moment I have ever had toward this person.  Bitterness in the most extreme and truest form.  Ice cracked and I started drowning in all these negative emotions.  It took me about an hour to pull myself out onto solid ground, but not without a lot of harsh words and me realizing this person will never have an appreciation for me always being here for these kids, doing 99% vs. 1%.  Him saying to me “Get over yourself” was the  put-down-the-rope moment.

My instinct is to itemize all the reasons for bitterness, but my mind stops me out of respect for my kids…and him… I will not.  It’ll do no good.  Nor the others I hold onto pieces of bitterness towards.

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Instead I am going to try and work on this pessimistic emotion that does nothing but hurt me…and those close to me.  It does nothing to the person I am holding bitterness towards.  They walk free regardless of how I feel.

I know this person’s family and friends are very protective of him and will be angry for me voicing anything remotely negative.  But it is what it is, the truth hurts sometimes.

Bitterness does, too.

And…in addition to that, it’s none of my business what others opinions are of me.  I’m doing the best I can here.

For myself…and those I love, I am trying to get rid of the bitterness and forgive.  Most of the time I do it well, but other times I don’t.

I’ll start shopping for the flowers that will be over that buried tug-of-war rope.  Until then, work in progress…

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My Cherry on Top <3

Why do I blog…when do I blog…what do I blog…???

There’s no definitive answer for those questions.

I first started to write at the direction of a friend who thought that, as a single and involved Mom, I may have some insight and tips and tricks to share to maybe help others in their daily life.  My first posts were more recipe driven…cooking is a passion of mine, so that’s no surprise.  There will be more of those in the future…I’m sure.

Life went on and I soon after realized how therapeutic it was to sit and write about what was on my mind and in my heart.  It felt good.  I, over the years, have had a lot of hurt.  People deal with their hurts differently.  I talk.  I write.  I quickly learned that it heals me.  It helps me process what’s on my mind, what I am going through.  Blogging became a journal of mine, whether it was read or not.  It was for me.

It is scary, sometimes, hitting “post”.  I talk about some sensitive issues and sometimes disclose not only my own baggage, but that of others’ as well.  After the initial panic sets in wondering how my thoughts and words will be received…and after the alerts slow down as to who has read and liked…or read and not liked my post, the calm sets in.  The reason for me using this platform.

What I wasn’t expecting was the secondary outcome of me doing this type of journaling.  I have been written to and approached on a regular basis with regard to how my blog has helped someone. It astounds me every time.  When I was writing the cancerdotcalm blog, I knew that it was helping people.  It was helping keep friends and family, and even those I didn’t know that were going through the same struggle, informed of what was going on with my then boyfriend and his journey battling leukemia. Everyone wanted to be tuned in and be updated.  With this blog though, I have been repeatedly and pleasantly surprised with the kind words of folks who keep reading momdotcalm.com.  How I have helped and inspired them.  Whether dealing with grief, a domestic issue or just as a parent trying to keep it together.

Please don’t get me wrong…I have also been greeted with the hate mail, and even a house visit, with disapproval for what I have written about. My opinion?  Don’t like it?  Don’t read it.  Please keep scrolling by and don’t visit my site.  You do you, I’ll do me.

And the positive feedback keeps blowing my mind every time.  I write for me.  And if my writing and purging my thoughts and feelings, whatever the random topic is, affects even one person to be inspired or feel like they are not alone…then that’s a great big cherry on top.

Thank you for reading and your messages. ❤

cherry

God Bless My Broken Road

I sit today to write with a burning question in my heart.  I write not because I have the answers and I want to share my knowledge…but because I don’t.

I have been abused.  I have been emotionally abused.  I have been verbally abused. I have been physically abused.  I have been sexually abused.

I have not been abused by strangers, but men I chose to be with…and chose to stay with.

That’s a hard pill for me to swallow.

I am talking about it…and I encourage others too, as well.

Recent happenings have had the dust kicked up and has me self-reflecting, more than usual anyway.  My first husband, father to my oldest child, was arrested last week…for domestic assault, no less…and highlighted in the local news pages.  This man has been MIA for over a decade.  And even then it was a one-time encounter after many years of no contact.  He abandoned his child, physically and financially.

His arrest, and him surfacing, has me recounting the details of our past history.  My son has no recall of any events while we were married (Thank God) being that he was just over a year old when we separated.  And when I say separated…I mean that there was the final and scary act of violence.  Leaving me with some haunting memories that I haven’t visited in quite some time.  There were a few violent encounters in our relationship…the last one involving a lot of bruising, weapons, police lights at our house in the middle of the night and restraining orders…not unlike my last relationship finale.

This has me asking…how the hell…why the hell…have I had myself in relationships with people like this!!??  I find myself to be somewhat intelligent.  Emotionally grounded.  Rational.  And I wasn’t stuck.  I read a lot of articles of women who are afraid to leave.  That wasn’t me.  I was NOT afraid…I was pissed off and hurt (Well, in the moment of violence…I was afraid…but when the dust settled and I was no longer being dominated…I held my ground!).  I demanded a solution.  For them to fix the problem.

And they agreed.  I have been to more couples counseling than I would care to have…and seen people go to on their own.  Regardless of the help that was being sought…the result has been the same.

The cycle of violence that’s published on the internet is a real thing.  Even if I don’t have the answer as to how I got into those relationships yet, I understand why I stayed.  For a time anyway.  The honeymoon phase.  I remember in one relationship that was going through the intense and rocky phase…that I would just wish for it to blow-up and for the fall-out to happen so we could get to the point where he would be sorry and doting.  Totally messed up.  However, I know I am not alone.  At least I don’t think I am.

I can thankfully say that I am now in a non-violent nor abusive in any manner relationship.  It’s not perfect, nor should it be.  Two personalities coming together is bound to have some conflict and growing pains, but it’s calm and respectful and loving.  Hallelujah.

I speak openly in my relationship about my past and my hurts and questions about my decisions.  I am still trying to sift through how I got into the situations I was in…but if not for anything…I am glad my path was the way it was (I was reminded of this over the past few days by both my oldest child and my boyfriend).  I have four beautiful children (and the wisdom gained) that are the result of my road traveled.

So, while I haven’t answered my question as to why I chose some men like I did (please note…not all were abusive…my longest relationship to date, albeit high conflict at the end with husband number two, was not abusive)…I know this was the journey I was meant to have.  And I am more than okay with the family that was the product of that journey.

God bless this broken road.

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I urge those in these types of relationships to speak up, get help and get out.  Just get out.  In my experience…it gets no better.  Progressively, it gets worse.  I am lucky enough to be here to talk about it and no further damage or injury was experienced. Speak up.  Get out. ❤

 

 

 

My balance…

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I’ve been itching to blog for a few weeks now.  I have had plenty of opportunity, however, I usually need to be spontaneously inspired and I sit and I don’t stop writing until I hit “publish”.  Sometimes it takes all of 15 minutes to blog a thought.  Sometimes hours.  It is usually sparked by something I am feeling passionately about…grief or happiness being the usual suspects (talk about one end of the spectrum to the other!).

Today brings us here by way of both…as I came across this memory this morning.

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Posted on Facebook 3 years ago:

Wendy Lee Auger is feeling grateful.
November 17, 2015 at 2:35 PM · Sanbornton ·
I believe Life is 10% what happens to you… And 90% what you make of it. 10% of me is pretty broken and hurting… But 90% is feeling pretty good, content and fulfilled. That’s not a bad ratio….

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It got me thinking about how I came to be able to focus on the positives.  Even during my negatives.  I know it’s a choice, but it really comes natural for me.  Like that’s how I’m wired.  It then brought me to look at my upbringing, what molded me and my sisters.  The four of us girls are really different in a lot of ways…but we are very similar in this department.  Three out of four of us have had significant losses (all of us struggles and bumps) over the past few years.  Me losing the father/father-figure to my kids from liver failure six years ago…and my next boyfriend to cancer three years later, one sister losing her husband in a car crash five years ago…and one sister losing her son to an overdose just shy of two years ago.  That’s some serious crap right there in our little family.  And you know what?  We all mourn/ed and we all grieve.  And we all will.  And we live.  We find joy in our life.  We all have done it in our own time…in our own way…and we are all working through it still.  But we do it.

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So, if there’s one thing (know there are many) I can thank my parents for…it’s instilling in us ladies to pick ourselves up and keep moving.  Not necessarily by dealing with death…but by any adversity.  I don’t recall any wise words or lessons taught with regard to this, but clearly there’s something there in each of us that made us this way.  Don’t sit there and dwell on what’s not right…what happened to you…or why your life sucks.  Feel it, deal with it and then figure out how to take the next step.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that there’s no looking back or that the pain shouldn’t be felt or visited.  My feeling is that it is a natural and healthy progression of grief to continue to feel it.  Let it be there, but eventually keep it tucked in your pocket so you can move through your days with laughter, smiles and happy tears…and take it back out when it’s time.  Yes, here and there it jumps right out at you with no warning sending you into a grief attack (that’s what I call them), however, I think if you eventually get to that 90%/10% or so ratio…you are doing better than okay in my book.

I am very blessed to have a great man in my life who is understanding when that optimum balance I strive for gets knocked off kilter.  Or that he is just seeing my 10% up close and personal.  A few weeks ago, I was getting in my own head about our relationship…Corey and I are closing in on being together for a year now.  I was doing the typical analyzing thing I do.  I started thinking of how differently we now view each other, and in which ways we still see each other the same.  It’s interesting to me as we worked together for six years prior to our fateful trivia meet up as co-worker friends…leave as something much more night.

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“What about me is the most surprising thing to you after getting to know me more, moving in together and becoming part of my family?” I asked…well, I texted it…that’s how we roll.

My thoughts ran wild before I received his response.  I figured it would be something like that I struggle with organization…or that I sleep with my socks on…or that I always have candles lit/music on…or that I suck as a housekeeper (I knew he would never ever say that to me…but I figured it may cross his mind!!).

Nope.  That wasn’t his answer.

“That you still hold on to so much pain”.

I was mind blown.  In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. But when I read that…I was really shocked.  The grief and pain are such a normal feeling for me, I rarely realize they are even there.  I was sad for the answer (albeit slightly relieved my housekeeping skills didn’t take the cake!), but the more I have thought about it…the more I get it.  He is on the inside now.  He doesn’t just see me at the grocery store, or serving a dinner or a beverage at work…or spying my dance-jam in the new Corolla at the red light.  He see’s me waking up on the “angelversaries”.  The birthdays.  The random days in-between.  He sees me after I filled the paperwork out for school and sports when on the “father” line is deceased.  He now lives with the pain by proxy.  My 10%.

So folks, here’s a few things.

I  wanna say thank you to my parents for whatever, however, you instilled it in us girls to keep trucking on and finding our joy.  Sisters…keep rocking on with your bad selves through all the adversity and what’s handed to you, you’ve got this.  To all of you reading this in your journey of pain and grief…getting it in your pocket will be attainable, please trust me on this.

And finally to my guy, Corey.  Thank you for being you…and letting me be me.  Disorganized me, socks on at night me, lighting candles and singing off-key me, messy me.  And in pain me…sometimes.  Happy me…most times.

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Are you Happy?

Am I happy?  I have been thinking about this…and thinking about blogging about this for a while.  After a friend’s gathering yesterday, I was met with this question over and over.  Friends genuinely asking if  I am okay and if I am happy.  My guy, Corey, was also met with threats of bodily harm if he didn’t deliver said happiness to me (poor fellow)!  He didn’t ask for this, to fall into the wake of my seemingly endless path of bad choices and/or bad luck.  But here we are.

Here’s the deal folks.  I have…and always will be…happy.  It’s a choice.  I have been happy when I was constantly worried that the man I was with was about to go MIA on a drug binge.  I was happy escorting my guy into Boston for chemo treatments and endless lab work.  I was happy at gatherings and date nights not knowing how the night would play out…even though I knew it might end in some sort of drama, fight…or harm.

I have always chosen happy.

To a fault.

I am in a point in my life that I am choosing happy…period.  Not with any other conditions.

I will now not sacrifice one ounce of my happiness or peacefulness to accommodate anyone else’s shortcomings.  It’s only been my decisions that has had me on the path that I have walked…and honestly, I would not change a thing.  It has made me who I am and has made the family I have.  I am currently processing and dealing with the guilt of what my children and I have endured…the loss and the trauma…based on my decisions.  We are all, together, healing and moving forward.

But in moving forward, I am just going to be happy.  No underlying “except for’s”.  In my relationships, in my career…in my life.  Just happy and peaceful.

You only get one chance here, folks.  Make it, best you can, a good, peaceful and happy ride!!

My answer?  Yes, I am happy!  Period.  Finally!!!

 

Time to Heal…My Own Way.

Healing is a process.  It doesn’t look the same for any two people.  There are “stages” that are outlined for how people usually deal with loss…and I agree with that.  But it’s not an even flow from one to the next.  And sometimes you get stuck in a stage.

I feel like that I am genuinely happy…but even still, I am stuck in the anger.  I am very angry about the closing, and content, of my last relationship.  Not with every waking breath, but it’s there.  I can easily feel pleasure and I smile almost all the time.  That doesn’t mean that right under the surface I am not enraged.

At the risk of pissing off a few people…I am choosing to write about it.  I am getting more and more angry as the days go by instead of it dissipating.  While I am settling into a very amazing new relationship, I am still reeling about the former one.  It’s not keeping me from enjoying one ounce of romance and excitement…but in those quiet moments…I slip to where I just came from.

The letter came in the mail this week dictating to me the outcome of the hearing from the County House of Corrections from last month…the last incident.   The sentence he should have served is suspended with two years good behavior, but the fact that there’s Domestic Violence charges read loud and clear to me and just resonates.  It has snapped me into a bad place.

Shhhhh…..

Right?  I am not supposed to talk about it?

I am supposed to move on and heal…but just don’t say out loud what happened.  It’s not fair to him.  He was wronged growing up.  He’s not a monster.

Guess what?  I think differently.

I think I let a man into my life hesitantly.  One who gave, gave, gave.  “Too good to be true” is what I kept saying about the way my needs were tended to.  Of course, the immaturity here and there and what I considered obnoxiousness at times were smoothed over with the constant doting…for me and the family.  I always worried, though, about the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Sadly, I was correct.

I gave him me.  An already wounded me.  And the biggest part of me.  My family.

My family was treated well by him.  No denying that.   I gave him this family that has been through a ton.  Kids that have lost their father figure.  A little boy that lost his one and only father.  That looked to this guy as his potential Step-Dad.  The only living Dad he would have.  I gave him that.

I am so unbelievably angry that he was so careless with this gift.  That because he had a crappy upbringing, he used that to excuse his violent outbursts.  He used that to excuse laying his hands on me.  Slamming me into the dashboard of his truck. He used that to excuse biting…yes, biting me…like an animal in a fit of rage.  I am still marked from that incident…from over a year and a half ago.

Shhhhh…

It’s not fair to speak of these things.  It’s not fair to him.  He’s not a monster.

Guess what?  I still think differently.

If those things were okay to do to me at the time, I feel they are okay to speak of today.

Why the hell do people think it’s better for me to keep it quiet to protect him?  Protect his feelings.  His honor.  Where the hell were you at two a.m. when he was in a rage and I was doing everything I could to de-escalate a situation that I had no idea how the outcome would be…fearing the worse.   The last one ultimately damaging a lot of people.

Just SHHHHHH!

Right?  I should just be silent and deal with it quietly?  We don’t want to embarrass anyone?

I am not trying to piss anyone off, but I am the one that is pissed off now.  Pissed off and hurt.  Pissed off and trying to heal…

I speak in hopes to heal some of this resentment.  I refuse to purse my lips to protect those that were so careless with me and mine.  I speak to let some of you that are stuck in a shitty situation, whether like the one I speak of or something different…that although there’s this process to go through…and sometimes you get stuck in for a bit…there’s another side to that life.  A decent one. A happy one.

I am holding tight to the hope that this is another step in my healing and I release some of this hostility by opening up more.  I honestly hope that the person that caused me this anger is finding their own way of healing to help them get healthy so they don’t do this to another family, and themselves, again.  I hope his family finds their way to forgiving him for doing and me for sharing.  I hope that if you are reading and you relate and you hurt…you find your path to safety and mending.

Bring on the next stage…

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll Do Me, You Do You.

I have so many emotions swimming around my being today.  I don’t really know where to start.  First, I guess…let’s summarize where I am.

I’m nearly 4 months distanced from the end of my previous relationship.  As I have written about, it was an abrupt and explosive ending…resulting in him going before a judge just this morning.  I haven’t seen him since, besides a chance sighting at the grocery store a few weeks back. And if he heeds what the courts have ordered, it’ll stay that way for a few more years.  It was an adjustment for the whole family.  I am still working on the guilt for exposing my children to another loss, and I am still processing everything…trying to take as many lessons with me so history does not repeat itself.  I am mildly comforted with the fact that I know I tried to always do the right thing.  I tried to be as understanding as I could of a troubled person.  Perfect? No.  But, I was not jealous, condescending or abusive at any time.  So, I actually mildly resent that someone close to the situation said that “it takes two” to me soon after.   It doesn’t take two to make an abusive and controlling relationship.  I tried to help and support as long as I could.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I would have walked at three months in, knowing what I know now.  So, the only truth in the “it takes two”…in this case, is that I stayed and allowed it to get worse.

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An odd thing, for me, happened a few days after he was removed.  As a typical procrastinator, it takes me sometime to get motivated to clean, purge…whatever.  Once I get going, I will be on a roll.  Getting going is the challenge.  So, I surprised myself by waking and walking into the kitchen and went straight for the trash bags.  I headed back to the bedroom and I started ridding the room of any and all of his belongings.  It was sad, but a freeing feeling came over me.  Almost relieved.  I knew I was never looking back unless I was looking for a lesson.  My healing was jumpstarted.

As the weeks and months have gone on, I have felt like I have claimed my life back.  It’s a struggle sometimes to keep up with everything, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I have done a lot of self help reading to try and fully understand where I have been.  I have done endless processing of all my past relationships and have been dissecting them, the partners I have had…and myself.  My goal has been to just stay single, for at least a year.   I was thinking maybe forever!  Not swearing off men, but I just knew that I would be a bit guarded and apprehensive to let someone in.  It’s not often that someone can come in and just connect with you in a way that makes you want more.  Trust me.  I dated for years doing the online thing.  Never. Ever. Again.

Well, that was my plan.  Anyone that knows me knows…my life doesn’t go as planned.

A Trivia Tuesday a few weeks back had me at the restaurant I work at meeting a few friends/co-workers for a fun night out.  The three of us were having a good time, and at some point through the night, the feelings shifted and the connection began.  Taking both of us by surprise.  This person I have known for six years or so and never was looked at romantically by me, and me him, was suddenly somebody I wanted to be near and to know everything about.  The two of closed the bar that night.  Since, we have seen each other countless times.  And we plan to countless more.

Cohabitating is obviously not even close to being on the table.  The kids are the priority and for the foreseeable future, keeping our family dynamic as is, is best for them.  We are just getting to know each other on a different level than we had before.  I still am left conflicted at times that it’s too soon.  Three months isn’t a whole lotta time for healing considering what I’ve gone through.  I am not shy about sharing that with him.  Or anything, for that matter.  I am digging the easygoing vibe that’s going on and I am in the driver’s seat to go as fast or slow as I need.  I am taking it one day at a time.  The easy going and one day at a time mentality, however, does not stop the fear from creeping in now and then.  Doesn’t stop me from being  hyper-focused at times that I might be missing a clue that would give away that this person is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  As the days go on, I am sure that will subside.  Or, I will see what I don’t want to and that will be that.

I know people pass judgement, they’ve told me, they think I shouldn’t be dating so soon or I should “date around” and not focus on just one guy.  First, they may be right about it being soon, but it’s up to me to decide and figure that out.  I have an open dialogue with my children and talked to them about everything.  They are still grieving past losses and they know I am, too…but at the end of the day I have their blessing to do what I think is right.  Second, I am a monogamous being by nature.  I can’t “date around”, it’s not how I am wired.

My head and heart can fall fast if the recipe is right.  I am trying to be careful, aware and methodical.  Sometimes I have little control of this.  But, what I do have control of is my actions.  So, that being said, I will take baby steps with eyes wide open and try to enjoy the ride…wherever that takes me.  I still welcome the view and advice from those around me.  But know that I would hate to pass on the chance at true happiness in a relationship because it’s not the right number of weeks or months after a break-up…and even more so based on what others outside of this home think.

I am doing my best to keep my healing going.  I really don’t think it’s ever going to be completely finished.  My goal is to just keep being me.  If someone comes along, as they have now, and is willing to allow my healing to continue, let me be me, and encourage me to grow and put my kids first…and give me butterflies by their mere presence at the same time?? I don’t want to pass it by.

I’ll do me, you do you.