Be ok.

September 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

It took me a long time to admit to myself that I was unhappy. Even now, it feels like a betrayal to my marriage and to all the hard work that AJ and I have put into our life together to even think the thought.

I mean, everything you learn growing up is that all you need to be happy is your Prince Charming and if you are not happy, then either there is something wrong with you or you found the wrong guy, yes?

How could I have been so lucky to have found my soulmate and yet just feel like life was turning out to be one giant shitburger? Those things did just not compute to me. Not for a long long long time. Saying that there is unhappiness in my life…well, that sounds like a giant admission of failure, doesn’t it?

Oh, to learn how to not be so hard on myself.

But here’s the thing. 6 months of therapy later, I think I am finally understanding that 4 years of legal, emotional, mental bullshit for subpar, marginal custody only to have it ripped away and the kids moved halfway across the country, 3 years of work on a Master’s degree only to discover I didn’t even want the damn thing, 6 months of unemployment (plus 3 for him, and going back to school as a result), 4 years of living in the most depressing part of the state, 3 months of living 200 miles apart…those are all incredible shitty shitty things and it is okay that I was unhappy about it. It’s okay that I lost myself. It’s okay that I tried my hardest and still came up short. It’s okay to say that I was not okay.

And, even more, it is okay that I am still recovering from everything. That AJ and I are still figuring out how to put the pieces back together. To rebuild our life from the ground up, to get to know ourselves as individuals and together as a couple, to start new and to take time.

I realize now that my efforts to write before now didn’t fail because I didn’t know how or what to write about, but that I couldn’t possibly begin to make sense of the chaos that was surrounding my everyday until I admitted that it was there.

I am healthier and happier and working every day to find myself again. I may not have been as graceful as I wanted to be, but that is okay, too. What matters is that I am still trying.

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”

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coming out

June 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

as the years have added up in my relationship with my husband and with my s-kids (and in the anti-relationship with their mom), i’ve thought a lot about putting my experience with it to words. it’s been a tough decision and i’ve struggled with how to do it. i tried writing about it here and there on my personal blog, but even with my mostly anonymous identity there, it still didn’t feel safe. i gave up for awhile, thought that it wasn’t worth the risk, that it was one of those dreams you just have to let go.

but the idea was always there.

there is so much to share as the stepmom in a high conflict divorce relationship. so much to learn, so much to share with others. but the irony of it all is that for all of us out there, we are relatively quiet. most s-mom blogs peter out, go private, or get deleted. most forums dance around the issues and never quite get to where we need to get as a collective group. fiercely protective of our husbands and s-kids, we wouldn’t dream of risking putting words to our feelings, lest it come back to slap him in the face in the courtroom.

even saying that much out loud feels like a risk.

it came out in therapy (yes, surprise, i got a therapist to deal with the mindfuck that has come with the years of being party to this particular brand of mental terrorism) that i used to have a personal blog with actual followers that i gave up when things got serious with my then-boyfriend (now husband). i realize how much i miss writing, not just for me, but for others. there is value in telling my story, and maybe not just for me. maybe i will start to make sense of things, gain some closure and some strength. maybe more like me will find their voice, and find a way to gain their own strength.

so i decided to take a risk. it helps that some of the legal roadblocks have conveniently lapsed recently, but either way, it’s time.

i’m done letting her have the power in this part of my life.

this is my story. i get to say how it is written, and who gets to know about it.

“i want to write about it, except that she might find it.”

no, bitch. i want to write about it. accept that.

despair.

April 24, 2011 § 2 Comments

In one week, it will be May. That’s almost summer.

I fell asleep in December, had a dream about a perfect life, and woke up 5 months later to a nightmare. Where has all that time gone? How did I get here? How did it all change so very quickly?

I feel lost. Anxious. Not at all myself.

AJ isn’t himself. Andrew and Olivia aren’t themselves. And they’re leaving us, soon to be the Twice-or-Three-Times-a-Year type kids. He and I…we just don’t say anything. Because what is there to say? There is nothing to be said to make it better. Nothing to be done. We just have to put one foot in front of the other and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

I don’t feel like I know what to hope for right now. Every possible solution brings about more potential problems. I feel like there is no way out or up or through. It just is.

Sometimes I get this glimmer of hope, and then someone, in their all too well meaning attempt at being “helpful” says something that sends me into a tailspin of self-doubt and I’m right back to this place again.

So I’m going to write it out. Every night. Every time I feel this spiral of despair pulling me down. It has helped before. I hope it’s help again.

Nothing bad. For once.

June 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I feel like I only generally come here when I want to bitch, moan, or otherwise express some variation of cynicsm. My writing muscles are all weak and puny, which leaves me to the easy options most days: 1) Writing as a means to work out my angst, or 2) Not writing.

In the interests of beefing up my "writing while things are not all that bad" muscles:

We're going away this weekend. To a little bed and breakfasty kind of place. We're taking a real trip, not going to anyone's family's house, staying more than one night, GOING AWAY. I don't even know what you're supposed to DO when you go away. We have no agenda, except two tickets for a boat tour around the bay, whenever we'd like to go (sunset? middle of the day? WHENEVER).]

I've never had a real vacation VACATION as a grown-up. I think I have more things on my list of things to possibly do than is realistic, and that's okay. We're going to see some ocean, get some sun, maybe even see a whale. We're taking a departure from this life and taking advantage of some things we've missed out on.

I think it's an unspoken rule that we won't be talking about shewhomustnotbenamed or anything about the [rhymes with schmarenting] plan. We are escaping and reconnecting. In the midst of everything that has been our lives in the last year (Two years?) we've lost ourselves a bit and we are marking this weekend as the turning point. We're closing the book and not looking back. We've done enough analyzing and reflecting to make us sick and we need to remember who we are as a couple. A couple who isn't consumed with this grief and heartache, a couple who doesn't always have that shadow lurking overhead, casting a pall on what is otherwise a happy and healthy relationship, a couple that is capable of finding joy again.

We need this, so very much.

Dreary.

October 14, 2009 § 1 Comment

I find myself having a hard time knowing what to say here, in the sea of followers and anonymity. It took some time, I recall, to build up my old blog, but I don’t remember what exactly I did to make that happen.

I do want to write though. It’s that time of year.
It’s cold and windy and everything of that absolute barf weather that fall brings. I hate living in this armpit of the country; I hate the rain, the muck, the absolute dreariness that infects people right down to their very souls. There is nothing for me here, but I have to stick it out.

We talked about the reality that we really can’t go East from here, only south. We have to move closer to the kids. He pointed out that if Shewhomustnotbenamed gets her way and picks up for her Rocky Mountain Mecca that she seems to think will solve all of her problems (including but not limited to not wanting Him to see the kids on a regular basis) and actually follows through with moving there, then we are free to go anywhere. Hell, I could even pick up that dusty idea of getting my PhD and go where I really want to go…and it could happen.

Is that a price we want to pay? No.

I feel awful for wishing she would just go there already.

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