Monthly Archives: June 2017

I only have two hands.

There are days that life is perfect and there are days where I want to crawl into a hole and just disappear. When Elliott is a challenge, when he fights me with every single grain in his body, I absolutely shrink into a shell of a human. I never planned on being a single mom. Yeah, he has his father in his life…but when he is here, I am alone. I only have two hands.

Life is chaos. Three dogs. A house. A two year old. Work. A basement remodel that doesn’t seem to ever end. And now I have a two year old who has to wear a hearing aid. If anyone has ever tried to put a hearing aid into the ear of a stubborn, strong willed two year old, then you know what I am talking about. The screaming. The fighting. The hitting. I only have two hands.

I feel like sometimes no matter what I do, in work or life, I am expected to be more than me. I am expected to do more. Be more. People often forgetting that I am one person. Part of that is my fault. I don’t like letting people down. I don’t like coming across like I don’t have it all under control.  Thats how I have always gotten through life. Don’t let them see you sweat. Don’t let them know that you have a weakness under all of the strength.

At the end of the day, I am never going to be able to pull it all off. So when I am sitting on my couch, struggling with flailing two year old arms, tears running down his (and my) face…I just have to remind myself that I only have two hands.

I make my bed now…

Making my bed is something I have never really done.  I was never the decorative pillow girl, and my parents were never the parents that made us make our beds. If we wanted to live in a mess, then we lived in a mess.  That is, until it got so bad that we got into a huge fight and I would spend a whole weekend cleaning. Making my bed is not something that has ever been important to me.  It kind of made me feel like I was trying too hard to be an adult. Having a messy bed was almost like my way of telling the world that I wasn’t growing up.

Honestly, I don’t think I was really full time “adulting” until Elliott was born.  Life was spent doing whatever I wanted, when I wanted and spending money however I wanted. Now, I did go through a spell of adulting after my first divorce. I bought my condo, decorated and embraced this new phase in my life. I made good decisions, took control of my health and was in a really good place. But then I started dating J, and my life became all about fun again. No real responsibility other than work and living. I found myself falling into the exact same cycle as I did as a child…my house/life would become such a mess that it would lead to a huge fight, and I would spend the weekend (or week(s)) cleaning it up. The messes were bigger now as I was an adult in age, but I was always able to stuff it into the metaphorical closet and they would go away for periods of time.

When J got sick, I adulted for a bit.  Getting hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills makes anyone grow up, but even in that instance, I would turn it off and on. I handled it all.  Yeah, he was sick, but I still shouldered all of the pre-auth fighting, the document chasing, the insurance claims. I remember sitting there trying to figure out if I was really able to do all of it.  I worked full-time, traveled a lot, and was having to balance being a partner. I never once asked for a thank you. I never once shut him out. I didn’t find personal refuge in anyone else. I just kept it in. For two years, I remained the partner that I felt I should be. When he started feeling better, I didn’t take a break, I fell right back into the role of supporting him in his dreams of owning a fight school.  Because I am sure this will be read by someone and then reported back to J, as I have previously stated, I am not saying any of this to be a martyr.  This blog is about how I felt and how I perceived our relationship.  And for anyone who thinks I didn’t share this with him, you are sadly mistaken. But the reality of my life was it was better to have him healthy and happy, than depressed and sick….so I did what I thought was right.

When I got pregnant, I realized that life was going to change and it was no longer just going to be about the two of us. We had another person who was going to be depending on us, and we needed to adjust accordingly. I became a quasi-adult and changed how I lived, but still enabled poor behavior. I thought I was doing the right thing. But I was miserable. Allowing someone to come home from their day job, take their clothes off in the middle of the room, leave them there, and then go off to their evening “fun” business until 8:00/8:30 pm wasn’t the right decision. Living a life where you expected them to choose being an adult versus going to a virtual playground every night was not a fair proposal to give anyone. I don’t fault J.  I would choose to do my hobbies over cleaning and dealing with a 16 month old every night too. Don’t get me wrong, when he was present, J was a great dad.  But towards the end, I was so unhappy.  I was unhappy that I had given up everything and I just didn’t see what he was giving up. I still don’t.

So now I am adulting on my own terms, but I still find myself falling back into the pattern of handling everything.  I don’t blame anyone for that, except myself. It has become abundantly clear that its because I like to control as many factors as I can.

So, even today, I am still the one primarily dealing with the insurance, the preschool, the childcare, etc. But I am also making my bed. There is something about the calmness that it provides. It makes me feel like no matter what, there is something that is in order. Something that has many layers and in a perfect order. (My dogs also like it). I am officially an adult…and one that I am proud of.
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Let’s go back…back…back to August

August 2016. Seems like such a long time ago. And yet its not even been a year. That month went in slow motion for me. So slow that I can remember every action and reaction like it was yesterday. August was full of lies. A lot of yelling. A lot of crying. A lot of begging. A lot of betrayal. But most importantly a lot of change. Within 15 days, my life went from one end of the spectrum to another. Its taken me awhile to realize that the writing was on the wall. In hindsight, I should have seen it coming. I should have realized that I was being replaced by someone else.

Its hard to accept that you are no longer what your partner wants, or feels like they need. A person who you decided to build a family with, suddenly becomes a stranger within your own home. But thats what happened. Everyone on the outside thought we were the perfect team.  Hell…I thought we were the perfect team. But teammates doesn’t equate to life partners. Think about it, nobody is on a team for their whole life. Teams change as you get older. As you get better (or worse). Yes, some people stay on a team longer than others, but nobody is there forever.  I think thats where it all went wrong.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I feel like a failure. Not looking for anyone to tell me I am not, its just the truth. I didn’t want to be 39, divorced (twice), raising a two-year old and basically starting all over again. It’s not the most stellar feeling. However, what has been interesting, is that I don’t wake up missing him. I don’t yearn to be back together and living the life we were. I kind of feel like I was living a lie. A really good and elaborate lie. So when I say I feel like a failure, its not because my marriage didn’t work…its more because I feel like I failed myself. I let myself become someone I wasn’t. I lost who I was, and spent 10 years enabling someone else to be a better version of themselves…all the while sacrificing me.  No…no I am not saying I am a martyr. I made decisions that I thought were the best for me at the time. Looking back, I can now say, that I am not sure those were the right decisions. I got Elliott from making some questionable decisions, so there was some good that came from it.

The crying ,yelling and begging in August haunts me to this day.  Not because of what happened at the end of it, but because I have finally come to understand the motivation behind it.  I was yelling and fighting against failure. I was yelling and fighting against the fear of having to start a new life. I was not yelling, fighting and begging to save my marriage…..I didn’t want to.