It's not for the faint of heart.

Welcome to my slightly silly, often odd, and mostly messy life.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Someone to celebrate with.

In a few short hours it will be Halloween. I'm sitting here with BLT talking about the plans for our party. We get approximately 400 trick or treaters here, Halloween is a big deal in my little town. Houses are decorated, businesses stay open late to pass out candy, and the schools have big Harvest Carnivals to celebrate.

Our family and friends will be arriving tomorrow evening. We've carved jack o' lanterns, decorated the front yard and porch. We made appetizers and sweet treats, and we've cleaned and decorated the inside of the house. I think we're all ready to go!

I can't really put into words how cool it is to have someone to share my favorite holiday with. It makes everything more special. Life in general is just more fun with BLT around to share it with. He never makes me feel foolish when I get excited about fake tombstones in the front yard, or the Fourth of July parade. He's just as excited as I am, and such a good sport.

My X was pretty much an anti-social tight ass. He refused to dress up, didn't like to participate in anything he deemed "immature" and he had alienated my family and friends to the point that he didn't often come down from our bedroom or out of his office when we did have parties or celebrations.

BLT is exactly the opposite in this respect. He's excited to get dressed up (we already went out last night to sing Karaoke at our favorite night spot here in town all dressed up in our costumes) he and my parents have a mutual affection and enjoy each other's company, and he loves getting in touch with his inner kid and having fun doing silly or "immature" things with the girls and I.

It sounds simple - but to me it's a very big deal that we can have fun like this together as a family. We can celebrate and enjoy ourselves with the people in our lives we enjoy. It makes me happy. It's just one more way that we're very well suited for each other. I finally found someone else who loves Halloween as much as I do. Now cue the spooky music and bring on the treats - we're ready to party!

Friday, October 29, 2010

It Wasn't All Bad

I am not afraid to admit that I'm firmly in the ex-husband bashing mode. Not enough time has elapsed for me to forgive and forget everything he put me through, and with his release from prison coming up soon I'm focusing on working on my PTSD symptoms and getting myself emotionally healthy so that I can deal with the reality of his release.

It's the truth, but I'm not overly proud of it. I would like to be the kind of magnanamous person who can have inner peace, and see things from his point of view, or have compassion for him in some way - but I'm not.

I will however acknowlege (as a part of my healing process) that the whole 15 years of our marriage were not a total misery, or a total disaster. Obviously I have four amazing kids that I wouldn't trade for the world, but beyond that I have good memories. I had the opportunity to quit my job at the age of 22 and not return back to the workforce until my oldest child was 12 years old. That alone is an absolute blessing.

We traveled. We celebrated. We shared moments of grief. We laughed. At one time there was affection and shared goals. I can't say that I ever loved him - because I think I was too young to fully understand and appreciate what that means. As an adult woman who has found herself truly and deeply in love for the first time I can see that I had no business getting married at the age of 19 without having any deep feelings for the man I would spend the next 15 years with.

The beginning was hopfull, the middle was challenging, the end was ugly. That's the reality of it, but I have to be honest with myself and admit that there were good times in there, and that all it - good and bad - have made me the woman I am today, and I like that woman.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm leavin' on a jet plane...

Well actually the kids and I are leaving on a jet plane. After talking with the kids' therapist it was decided that it would be good for the kids to have something to look forward to in March, rather than just focusing on the X's release. My goal is to replace an anxiety inducing event with one that brings about feelings of excitement and happiness.

Well there is no happier place on earth than Disneyland! So I emptied out my bank account and booked five airline tickets and a modest hotel that's close enough to the park entrance to walk.

The last thing I have to figure out is tickets to the park itself. My X's family always spends too much money on lavish gifts during the holidays. Toys we don't have room for, designer clothes I feel bad when the kids stain or tear. This year I'm going to ask for Disneyland tickets, gift certificates to the park, or cash in lieu of expensive gifts we don't have the room for.

I'm hoping they aren't offended, and they'll understand my reasoning and be willing to help out. If I can get help with the tickets that just leaves me four days worth of meals. Our hotel room has a small fridge - and breakfast is free. We'll bring water bottles and snacks into the park to keep costs down and just have lunch and dinner each day to worry about.

Cross your fingers for me that we figure this out. I think a mother / kid trip is exactly what my kids need. BLT is going to have to work - we can't both take time off so it's just me and kids. My undivided attention for four whole days of sun and fun in the Magic Kingdom is definitely something to get excited about.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do you believe in Happily Ever After?

Do you believe two people can love, respect, and honor each other for their whole lives?

Do you think that it's possible to have passionate monogamous sex with one person forever?

Is there really a Happily Ever After, or is it just a fairy tale we're sold as children... and unrealistic expectation to even strive for?

I want to believe...I really do.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Being Punished

My 13 year old is punishing me. We are not talking. Chef decided to stay in her room and refused to come out and eat dinner with us.

Chef has started making herself throw up. Not only is there an unhealthy obsession with her weight... which is not a problem by the way, but she has, shall we say, developed earlier than most of her peers. She's curvy.

She is also doing this as a stress reliever. With everything we've been through (separation, divorce, her father trying to shoot me and going to jail, being nearly homeless, changing schools three times in one year, and moving four times, loosing her friends and support system) well... I see why she's feeling stressed. That still doesn't make it okay. She's starting to see a counselor this Wednesday and we will be discussing this.

I'm not forcing her to eat - but I'm closely monitoring her behavior. Her friends and siblings are also aware of what happened and we are all keeping an eye on her. She says she is no longer doing that and she understands how unhealthy it is - but I'm still hauling her ass into the therapist's office this week.

Well today Chef used the threat of making herself throw up to manipulate her sibling into doing something. I was called at work and told about it. We had very stern words. I told her in no uncertain terms that she is not allowed to use threat of self harm to manipulate people... that was exactly what her father did to all of us for over a month before be brought that gun to my house - and that it's pure evil. I told her that if she ever did that again she would be grounded until the end of the school year, and by grounded I mean no cell phone, no laptop, no after school dances, no football games, no parties.

Home, School, and Therapy will be her whole life for the next 8 months if she continues this behavior. That seemed to put the fear of God into her. I think she understands when I told her that I've never been more angry or more disappointed in her. When I got home I made her do some household chores and we had further words because of her attitude. After that she decided to hide in her room. When I checked on her she had fallen asleep.

For tonight I think it's best that we are not talking to each other. In the morning light I'll tell her that I love her. I'll tell her that I expect better from her, and that I don't want to fight with her...but I will fight FOR her. I will fight for her benefit because I love her enough to do what's right - even if if doesn't make me popular.

Monday, October 25, 2010

23 Years and Counting

Ethel has been my "better half" in regards to friendship for over 23 years now. She knows what I'm saying when I can barely eek out a coherent sentence. She knows what will make me happy. She knows when I'm stressed and when I need to talk.

My dear best friend gives without expecting anything in return. She loves my kids like they are her own. She is honest when I need it - but always tempered with kindness and love. She was their for every major event in my life. Births, deaths, cross country re-locations, job loss, divorce, graduations, birthdays, and several (I mean a LOT) of moves to various cities.

She was the first person I told about the loss of my virginity, each time I got pregnant, my new job, the death of my grandmother, and falling in love with BLT. Ethel was the only person I told of my unhappiness in my marriage.

Sweet Ethel is one of the most forgiving and understanding people I know and is the first person who comes to mind when I hear the term gentle soul. I love you Ethel. You're my best friend, my sister, my confidant, and the Auntie of my children. I would jump in front of a bullet for you dear heart.

Please remember your worth. Please revel in your beauty - both inside and out. Please know, in your heart that you are worthy of adoration and respect. Please be kind to yourself and expect better than you've received from someone who promised to love and cherish you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I have a secret

It might just come back to bite me on the ass too. Before I get to the secret let me preface this by sharing that several years ago I looked at myself in a photograph and didn't even recognize who it was. I was fat. There is no kind way to say it... you can call it pudge, or "baby weight" even though my youngest child was two. But the honest truth was I had stopped caring. I stopped trying. I gave up on myself.

I was horrified. The very next day I went to the local weight loss center and joined. I went to the local Target and bought a Leslie Sansone walk away the pounds video. I threw out all the cookies and Snickers bars while crying big fat girl tears. Over the next five months I lost just under 60 lbs.

I felt sexy. I felt powerful and healthy and in control of my life for the first time in ages. I was proud of my body and my effort. I got next to no support or acknowledgement from the X. He refused to participate. He refused to work out with me. He refused to help me eat healthy... in fact he cooked whatever he wanted and ate it in front of me while I noshed on a low calorie lean cuisine for dinner each night.

Now here is where the secret comes in. In an effort to embrace my new body I took nude, semi nude, and down right dirty photos of myself. I masturbated to those photos, reveling in my long legs and flat stomach. They were for me. I loaded them into my photo editing software and created the perfect lighting. I airbrushed out the stray imperfections. They were beautiful to me.

Then during our divorce my X found the photos. He got onto my private computer and downloaded them onto a portable zip drive. He gave them to friends. He showed them to my children and tried to show them to my friends and in-laws.

He took what was private and empowering and he made it dirty and hurtful. I deleted each and every photo. But he has copies. His friends have copies.

I'm sure they're going to surface some time in the future to further humiliate me and be used against me to try and show that I'm a bad mother or immoral somehow.

It's one more thing he ruined for me.

His parents met my parents

BLT's family came into town recently. They came out to our business on a Friday and met my family.

The following Saturday we had a late lunch and birthday party for TNT at our place. The dad's fired up the BBQ and discussed politics and meat.

The mom's chatted politely about the grand kids, pets, and compared scars from knee surgeries.

All in all it went well and my parents asked when they would see each other again. They seem to like BLT's family (and it's hard not to, to be honest. They are really warm people) so that's a great sign.

My father told my mother "you know what that was? That was "meet the in-laws" right there." LOL, my mother told him to cool his jets and not read too much into it. She's a smart one my mom.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Watching things crumble

You know what it's like when you drive past a car accident and you just HAVE to look? How you know it will upset you, but you can't pull your eyes away?

That's kind of what it feels like watching Fred and Ethel struggle through their marital issues and now a trial separation. Since Ethel is my bestest of best friends, my soul sister no less, I am participating on a peripheral level. I love them both like family and it hurts to see them hurting each other.

Well... let's be honest people. Fred is the major issue here, he says he wants his wife - but he can't stop participating in inappropriate behaviors with other women. There have been lies, and half truths for years, as well as a total refusal to get to therapy and do the work it takes to rebuild the lost trust.

I wish I had the words to ease their pain. I wish I was smarter, or more relationship savvy - but the truth is I failed at making my own marriage work. I have no business giving anyone else advice, except to say that you can find happiness after divorce. That I do know.

Speaking of things crumbling - on a personal note, I get to be hauled back into court by the X. At the last minute my lawyer received an email from the most expensive divorce lawyer in town. He's now representing the X (AGAIN) and they filed for an extension until November for the judge to hear my request to continue the restraining order against the X for my children. They apparently are preparing their "rebuttal arguments" and need more time.

So once again my character will be drug through the mud and I need to prove that I'm a good mother, and that he is a dangerous and obsessed man who has refused all form of counseling while in prison for trying to shoot me.

When and how did this become my life? Please someone tell me that there are good marriages still out there.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I get so angry on your behalf...

I know you're sad.

I know you're hurting and you want to try and save your marriage.

I know that you're self esteem has been beaten and battered down so hard that you can't see your own beauty and worth.

I know you want to trust him, even though he has done nothing over the past decade to deserve that trust.

But what I know more than anything else is that you deserve better. I get so pissed off when he hurts you. I get so angry that he makes you feel like you're crazy. I don't believe his stories, I don't believe he treats you the way you deserve to be treated. I don't believe this is healthy for any of you. I worry about your children and the example they see of how people in a relationship treat each other.

I worry that you still sleep with him, knowing he may not be faithful to you. Even if it's just emotional affairs (which I don't believe, it's more than that). He hurts you, and you still give that part of yourself to him. I can't even fathom that this is healthy for you.

I love you.

I support you.

I'm here for you in every way. Be strong. Believe in yourself. Lean on me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

8 years go by quickly

Today TNT turns 8 years old. I can't believe it's already that time of year again. BLT's family is in town, so we're having a BBQ here this afternoon to celebrate her birthday.

My parents will get to meet his parents. I hope everything goes well!

Friday, October 15, 2010

We Are Family

The issue of exactly what is a family has been raised by my children. Last week Monkey Pants asked BLT if he was a part of our family. He asked if the kids wanted him to be a part of our family and they all gave a resounding "yes" so he said, "then it's settled...we're a family" and that seemed to make them happy.

Several times over the past few months Lady Bug asked if we would get married. I told her that mommy has no plans to get married any time soon. She seems okay with this, but excited about the possibility of a future wedding for her to take part in. I think it's her dreams of wearing a fancy bridesmaid dress more than a need for the adults in her life to be legally wed that brings on these questions.

This week BLT's parents and his two year old, Fraggle, came to visit. BLT has a complicated shared custody arrangement with Fraggles maternal grandparents. Fraggles mother isn't in the picture for the most part. This is something that worked out really well while he lived in the same state, but is going to have to change soon - we are going to wait until the X gets out of jail and see if life settles down a bit before we bring a toddler into the mix and we start doing the legal work to get her up here with us.

Having the Fraggle here has felt like it was meant to be. The kids all adore each other. Chef babysat this evening so that the adults could have a grown up dinner together. Fraggle has been sleeping in our bed between us - and it's just like when my own babies were toddlers. It just feels right.

When Fraggle looked at me today and said, "I love you" it melted my heart.

No matter how unconventional, and no matter what anyone else might think we ARE a family. And I'm madly in love with the loud, busy, slightly odd family we are becoming.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The way he touches me

A warm hand moves slowly over the curve of my hip.

I'm in that sleepy place between dreaming and being awake.

He leans close and nuzzles the back of my neck, breathing in the scent of my hair, pulling me close to his body. The heat of his chest pressed against my cool back.

Arching, sighing, legs entwined.

I can't think of a more beautiful way to wake up.

Gettin' My Pretty On

I bought new sexy lingerie yesterday when I was out with Ethel. It's been awhile since I wore something sexy and lacy just for BLT's enjoyment.

My efforts were well appreciated. I'm an extremely satisfied woman this morning.

BLT had gotten used to receiving this sort of special attention when we were doing the long distance relationship thing. Every time I flew down to see him I made sure I had something sexy for him. I became the queen of the quick change artists in the airport bathroom. There happened to be a woman's rest room right outside of the gate I flew into.

Once he picked me up and I was in my red trench coat with a very naughty black number and thigh high stockings underneath and nothing else.

The last time I flew down I wore my black leather pants and stiletto heels. I changed into a dark purple and black silk bustier top laced up the back so tight I could hardly breath... but damn that hour-glass was turning heads. His eye nearly popped out of his head when he pulled up in his truck to get me. *giggle* I still hear about that one, he was VERY impressed and we ended up stopping at a deserted orchard on the side of the road because we couldn't wait to get home.

So - a precedent has been set. He was used to me making a special effort of look sexy for him. Since he lives with me now he's had a little dose of reality and he's more likely to come home to me in one of his shirts than a lacy, racy bit of sexy he was due for a little treat.

YUMMY... I just love the gift that keeps on giving!

Mindy Mom...are you out there?

Hello Mindy,

I noticed your blog went private, which I totally respect. I've been reading now for nearly a year, but I didn't know how to contact you to try and get an invite to keep reading.

I enjoy your blog very much, as I'm also a mother of four.

If you happen to read this...shoot me an invite if you're so inclined.

Thank you,
Little Ol' Me

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Simple Pleasures

A hot shower, home made Sheppard's pie for dinner, a soft kiss on my neck from the man I love, a good book, warm flannel pajamas, and tired muscles from a good workout.

Simple pleasures.

The past couple of weeks have been really emotional. Really hard. I get caught up sometimes in this big ocean of anger, guilt, and stress that I'm swimming in and I lose focus on the small things that give me such pleasure.

I don't want anyone, especially my kids and BLT, to think that I don't recognize or appreciate my blessings. I do, I honestly and truly do. If there is anything the past year has taught me it's that "things' are transitory and unimportant. I had a 400K dollar home. I had new cars, fancy vacations, expensive jewelry - even a housekeeper for awhile. None of it made me happy.

Now I have my little blue cottage, my kids, the love of a good man, and a job I'm proud of. I have the support and love of family and friends and I'm surrounded only by the things that are near and dear to my heart.

Vintage table clothes, a comfy garage sale chair, jeans that fit just right, Chef's chocolate chip cookies. Simple pleasures and someone to share them with. That's all I really need.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Watching your children suffer

Friday's counseling session with Lady Bug was much worse than my own the previous day. Watching your child genuinely grieve is the hardest thing I've ever done. She is so busy carrying around her own hurt, and then to top it off she's shouldering the burden of HIS imaginary, over inflated, ego-ridden pain.

She told the therapist about her dad telling her how to commit suicide. The therapist then let me know that she's required by law to contact Child Protective Services and have a file opened. Once again the X makes a huge god damned mess and I'm the one who gets to clean it up. I'm not worried that CPS will find me lacking in any way. My kids are well cared for, we live in a nice town, they have good schools and get good grades. They're not being abused in my home in any way. However, it's another pain in the ass hoop for me to jump through.

Both counselors asked me if my X had lost his parental rights. When I informed them that no, he had not, they were very surprised. Both told me that I have avenues available to me if I want to pursue that route. I'm honestly not sure. Lady Bug is in so much pain, and either way she ends up on the loosing end. Either I do what I have to, and I prove him unfit. She is emotionally and physically safe - but she looses her father, possibly forever. She may never forgive me for that. If I do nothing I KNOW... KNOW with every fiber of my being that he's going to let her down and break her heart at the very least. At the worst he attempts to hurt us again, or uses the kids to hurt me. Either way she suffers. I just have to decide what is the lesser of two evils.

I hate being put into this position. It's one more reason for me to hate him. I can't stand watching her suffer. It's much worse than suffering myself.