Processing to find clarity 

Sometimes I learn about something and my emotions get so worked up. My mind goes a hundred miles a minute and all I know is I’m feeling pain or rage and I need time to process my thoughts and emotions. Sometimes it takes days or weeks, but eventually clarity hits.

I’m a complicated person. Although most women are, I sometimes feel extra special in this area. What can set my alarms off is being lied to. I can’t stand liars. I see them as frauds and fakes. Unfortunately most men I’ve encountered are incapable of being honest. Maybe that’s just humans in general, man or woman.

He lied. We were broke up, that’s true and we both see the cause of that differently. But no question in my mind, it was because of all the doubts caused by his lies. It caused me to question everything about us and anything he said. I was terrified of getting hurt and looking stupid. After everything I’ve been through, I felt I’d rather die. But I came to some realizations.

   1. When he says “I’m not talking to anyone” this is a lie. Repeated conversations of me being worried about him because he had isolated himself in his mother’s basement, refusing to communicate with anyone, alone, dark and depressed. I needed to know he was ok. I deserved to know he had reconnected with friends and had a support system. I feel like this lie was just to slather on the guilt or to make me stay alone.

   2. He not only had friends, he had women. He was slutting himself out to fill a void. Fine. Whatever. But my god why couldn’t he admit it to me. Instead for five fucking months all I heard was “I’m working on me. I have no interest in dating or meeting anyone. Honestly it’s better this way. I’m better alone. No-one will ever be you and you have my heart and it’s not worth accepting anything less.” Hogwash. Yes he had others, even sexually, but he will never admit that to me and I need to be able to accept that. I learned of somethings that mentally can destroy me, he is trying to protect me from that. Curiosity does kill the cat. Let it go.

 
   3. Repeated conversations about us wanting us but when he was in a better state of mind because we only had one more shot to get this right so it was worth waiting for. I honestly waited faithfully. He honestly did not, and he probably never did and I need to accept that and move on.

 

  4. Men handle loss differently than women. Well, differently than I do. I try to heal. I process and grieve. I go through periods of loneliness and sadness. Pride and independence grow and I always do it alone. Maybe I resent them for being able to connect with others as I struggle through my fears of the disappointment. He, like so many others, throws himself back out there accepting that there are other fish in the sea. While I feel hopeless in losing who I thought was “the one”. What bothers me is the cowardice of hiding the truth. The truth that you are accepting a new future instead of feeding the lies of still working towards ours. But he’s not the first one to do that.

   5. I need to understand there will be things he doesn’t want to share and that it’s ok. The downfall to this is I’m learning I also need to not share everything. He can still be my best friend and better half without knowing everything that goes through my mind. Maybe I need to keep some things for me. Maybe I need to learn how to have some secrets or mystery instead of being an open book.
   6. I need to stop worrying about the what if’s and just enjoy my life regardless if he’s in it or not. I did get better about this with the help of my beautiful daughter. I need to keep that mind set, always.

 

  7. Get out. Live life. Breathe again. Smile. Laugh. Trust. Have faith. Think positive. Stop worrying what everyone thinks. 

 

  8. It’s important to get dolled up and get out of the house. Go on dates. Keep the magic alive. Remind each other how hot you can be when your not stuck in the day to day routine of work, laundry and dishes.

 

  9. Don’t let yourself go. Stay looking damn good. Get out of the sweats sometimes and show your curves. Let your hair down and put on some eyeliner. Feel fierce because you’re amazing.

   10. Understand there are lots of other fish in the sea. Yes he’s a fuck up but he wants to be your fuck up. He treats you amazing and your kids. Either accept him completely with his fuck ups or let him go.  

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We just call him Ryan

Image

I love this picture. This is me and my son at Christmas 2010. This Christmas marked the change in his life, in our lives. About a month after this picture we finally found out what was really wrong with him. He has Epilepsy. But at the time we took this picture we didn’t know that yet. We were told my son was genetically defected and diagnosed with every mental disorder. ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder), depression, mood disorder and even bipolar disorder. All by the time he was 8 years old. He was on just about every type of psych med with 9 prescriptions. About a month before this Christmas photo was taken I was fed up and finally stood up to the doctors. I educated myself about any and every thing the doctors labeled him with, the medications and the side effects. I obsessed over it. I was fed up with them just throwing on another pill when his side effects got worse. I was fed up of him getting worse instead of better. I was fed up of believing those doctors and giving them all the power to do whatever to my son. If he was bipolar I was ready to accept that but damn it I was fed up with all their damn guesses. 9 prescription pills my son took each day and I was angry at myself for allowing the doctors to let it get to that point. After three attempts at partial hospitalization, we admitted him into the hospital. At eight years old my son was placed into the psychiatric unit in the hospital. He was in the hospital for two weeks and we even celebrated his 9th birthday there.

I look at this picture and realize there was a before and after. Before the diagnoses and after. I think back of all that has happened and there was one night that literally saved us both. 

My son had been released from the hospital and home for the first time in years without any medication. What was scary was we found out he really had Epilepsy but the hospital couldn’t get a pediatric neurologist to see my son. So after my constant badgering and bitching the doctor finally agreed to release him and gave me a list of appointments I needed to make. To get in with a neurologist was a 3 month wait. But I didn’t care, I was so excited to bring him home!! 

He started reading. He just sat in his room reading!! Now that’s just crazy talk…nope it’s true. I remember him telling me before he would look at the pages and it just looked like alphabet soup. But now when he looked at the pages the words came alive because he could read them. I think all those meds really messed with him but they also numbed the pain of our past for him. See three years before this we had moved from our home, the only one my kids knew and started all over leaving the past behind. The past being my son’s father who was abusive in many ways and we finally got away.

Fast forward. Extensive neuro psych testing found the rest of the pieces. No depression. No bipolar. He has Epilepsy, ADHD, non-verbal learning disorder(think high functioning aspergers/autism), and sensory processing disorder. But we just call him Ryan. 

Now Ryan is almost 16. He’s a sophomore in a regular high school with an IEP (individualized education plan). This year will likely be his last year needing the social skills class which will allow him to take an elective class like photography. Next semester he’s signed up for ROTC. He wants to be a police officer and help people. He has a girl friend and loves who he is. He is thoughtful and caring. Funny and still obnoxious. He is a great kid and I am in awe of who he has become. Somehow this amazing kid with a shocking past is beating the odds and this mom couldn’t be prouder.

Aside

Relapse

The sun is shining in my bedroom window, covering me like a blanket. I imagine it brushing my hair back, caressing my shoulder as if to say this feeling will pass, hold on.

I feel heavy and sad, my insides are full of shadows. I’m trying so hard to fight the growth of this pain. To guard my heart, protecting it from the darkness. 

I’m struggling to find a new normal. To feel complete instead of feeling like I lost part of myself. I feel lonely and god I miss his touch. I miss his smile when he looks at me. I miss seeing him happy and feeling comfortable. I miss his love for all of my words, whether they be spoken or written. I miss cuddling with him at night curled inside his body, his arms wrapped around me. I miss him taking care of me, a feeling I honestly hadn’t experienced in so very long, loved and admired. 

I wrote that about 3 months ago. I have my good days but sometimes it feels like darkness is creeping around the corner, watching and waiting. Sometimes I can ignore it or tell it to fuck off. But sometimes I take it’s hand and let it wrap itself around me because then I’m not alone. It misses me and even though I do try so hard to be an amazing person, I feel safer in the dark. I’m terrified of any more disappointment, what it will do to me. 

I think back to when we got back together, I hadn’t been so happy in such a long time. And I genuinely gave my heart and soul to him. I thought like a couple probably for the first time in my life. I felt secure and safe and I trusted him with my life. I knew he was my forever. It was such a good feeling.. but it was short lasting and I tried so hard to get him back where we were but he was lost in his own darkness. It was painful to watch and hurt more than being alone. I began to prepare myself. At first when he detached and slept on the couch, I tried to pull him back. Soon I mourned the loss as I watched it happening. We had went through this before so I knew what was happening, where it was going. And I feared losing myself in my grief, and for god sake I can’t do that to my children again. 

I’m trying to set healthy boundaries, to protect my sanity and my stability. But I fear his love has become my drug of choice and just when I think I’m healed he decides to hand me the needle. “Do you want another hit? Just for a minute”. And just like an addict I relapse, which is followed by the sinking of my soul. And I have so much to lose, the pressure of staying strong wraps itself around my chest, squeezing so tightly until I am again crushed.

Mister Man

This little guy right here is my new anti-depressant. 

Do I really need another pet? Probably not. But my head does. My mind has been running laps this last month. Work is stressful, my daughter is in a bad situation, and curiosity killed this cat (aka-me). I haven’t slept well all week. Up by 4 am each day. 

I’m staring at a fork in the road and like usual the path seems to be made for me, closing the other roads. And while I know I’m going to get over this hill eventually, the bumps and valleys are quite painful. 
Truth is a bitch. 

It wasn’t real. None of it and it never was. I feel so heavy again, the world stacking itself on my shoulders. I keep reminding myself “it’s just one day. Breathe and know tomorrow will be better”.  So now I’m getting Mister Man. 

Confusion

I still go back and forth in my head. Wanting to reach out to my friend and talk about all that’s going on, but I know I can’t. Then confusion sets in. I re-read my last message I sent him, which really is very clear with all that happened… and again I sink. He’s not the same person. 

When he doesn’t have me, he treats me different. Or is it just he changed, this breakdown of his was too much for him to come out the same? 

I’m sure he is working on finding his new forever, and I am trying to accept losing mine. 

Visions of my life

As a little girl and even as a teen, I somehow knew my future. I pictured myself as a single independent woman. Not with a husband who was my best friend or a husband I fought with. I pictured myself with 3 children, two girls and a boy and I even knew I would have my daughters first and my son would be my youngest. I pictured a big white house with a big yard and a couple dogs, small children running in the grass. Since I bought this house 5 years ago I’ve tried to figure out who those small children are. 
Along the way I tried to prove my vision wrong. Falling for a couple guys I told myself it was possible my vision was wrong. Each and every time I was left alone regretting ever thinking they could be the one to prove myself wrong. 

The first one blessed me with my twin girls and the realization that I could only count on myself. He taught me that I was much stronger than I ever could have imagined. I was quickly pushed into single motherhood at just 19 with two beautiful babies on welfare. I was sure I was doing everything wrong but devoted to doing my best. I think back and am amazed at myself. I honestly don’t think I would have fought so hard to become who I am if not for those little sets of eyes that melted my heart. I was sure I could never love anyone or anything as much as those girls. They stole everyone’s hearts and made every kid jealous wishing they could be them. I wanted to make those girls proud and give them a good life full of happiness and love. They gave me purpose.

The next guy took me from myself for a long time but in the end he taught me all about the strength of a mother’s love and forgiving myself. Along came my son, this amazing little boy who I was sure I couldn’t love, but he became the light of our world. Those girls were instantly in love with him and his little hands and tiny toes. He had this beautiful smile and he glowed when he saw me or his sisters. As much as he wanted to love his father, he knew he was not a good man. My son feared his father because of the abuse he witnessed. When that man was done with everything he put us through, it would have been easier for me to down a bottle of pills to escape the reality of what I allowed, and not one person would have blamed me. He put us through a living hell. But those beautiful kids that god blessed me with, I owed it to them to fight. To keep going even when I was sure I couldn’t do it. A mother’s love is the strongest thing in this world. And I had to try my best, even if it wasn’t good enough and even if I fucked up along the way, I could not leave them. And although I still struggle with forgiving myself, I do believe my children forgave me a long time ago.

After that I spent nearly 10 years focused on my kids and myself before dating and getting in another serious relationship. That one taught me how big my heart is and to accept my vision. As much hurt and disappointment I’ve lived through, I still have a great big heart ready to love. I still want to believe in the good in people, even when they don’t have good intentions and my instincts warn me. I want to believe my doubts are wrong. Stupid maybe, but maybe it’s also my big heart and that’s not a bad thing.

In my vision I wasn’t alone and miserable. In fact the sun was shining and I’m laughing. I’m filled with warmth from my life, I felt surrounded by peace and happiness. I knew I lived a comfortable life, not fancy but stable and strong. I knew that I had survived a storm, but I felt the calm of where my life was. I felt love, love for myself and for the journey to get me there. 

I can’t lie

I was fighting for something that wasn’t even there. The beautiful ideas he painted, the empty promises he told and false hope he planted. He couldn’t have been any clearer with any words he said than what his actions said. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hate him now. 

For me, he was my best friend. I shared my world with him, confessed my deepest thoughts, vented about my frustrations. I was generous to him and his children because I loved them all. I saw a future growing old together, sitting on the porch in our rockers. I accepted that he was not a “go-getter” or ambitious because of all the other great things I saw. Correction, all the temporary great things. Again once he settled in, it all stopped. Back came the eggshells and arguing. Me purposely staying late at work to avoid being around his irritability. Me avoiding interacting with him because I didn’t have the energy for the drama. It seemed no matter what I said or did, it upset him. My frustrations grew while he again found a way to stop working and that made him unable to function and crippled with depression he said. I tried, I tried so hard. It all changed so fast and for the first time it felt like I was watching a movie, not living it. 

One night we went to bed for the night and out of no where I started crying, balling and I didn’t know how to tell him why. I knew in my gut where things were going. I knew he had changed back and this man was not who I thought he was. I knew all the kids would be hurt, how much harder this would be for everyone this time because of the hope we all had. I knew what was happening and it literally broke my heart and filled it with disappointment. I had given so much of myself and I knew in that moment what was happening. I could see him clearly and god how that hurt.

He lied with every breath he took. He started sleeping on the couch, I think for attention while he sulked in his “poor me” routine. I reached out to help him, even to his mom for guidance how to help him. All I was told was he was fine and for a short time I felt like it was me. That I brought out this ugly person in him. I filled him with misery because how else could he fall apart again after I did everything for him. I became uncomfortable around him. I sat and watched him more, listened to his words and mannerisms unlike I ever had before. I became so cautious about everything I said or did around him because he was annoyed by everything. He began spitting insults at me, things that were untrue but said to hurt. Every conversation revolved around how I made him feel. He didn’t talk to me anymore unless it was to lash out or complain. Soon enough I couldn’t stand to look at him anymore. I resented him for falling apart again. Eventually I didn’t even want him on my couch. I became disgusted by this manipulating useless man who obviously played me. I was humiliated that I gave him everything and again he fucked it up. I became overwhelmed by the disaster he created in my home and the expense of trying to put it back together while supporting everyone on my own. I was appalled that he thought any of his actions should be acceptable. He began trying to intimidate me to fear him as he stomped around MY home. He laughed at the thought that I could make him leave. This was his BIGGEST mistake of all. To carry himself thinking he was in control. I have been through to much in my life to ever allow a man the power to control me, in any way. Bringing police to my home with my children here caused my daughter a full blown panic attack all because he thought he could force me to continue supporting his lazy ass… there was no going back after that. He fucked up to the point I saw him as a complete stranger.

To him, I was a joke. A meal ticket he thought he could manipulate so he could sit on his ass avoiding responsibilities. He spent so much energy lying about what he did and who he was, I was exhausted for him. In the end, he was the ugliest person I knew. He knew what we had been through and he came and broke our mended hearts anyway. 

 Now I realize, I never really knew him at all. 

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