Ghosting.

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Ghosting. I had never heard this term until it came, quite appropriately today, across my screen in a Ghosting article on the New York Times.

I am being ghosted by ex-MOD. I think in return, I’m making sure to help him with that process by removing him where ever I can. I’ve taken him off everything of my kids (mostly for their protection, because he’s said some very misleading things to them – not bad things, but false promises), I’ve removed him from Facebook, I’ve even taken him off all my own apps, just so I don’t have to pass that painful reminder that he’s removed me without notice from his life.

What a messed up world we live in where, instead of dealing with our relationship ins and outs, we just walk away and disappear from them. What happen to human decency?

I think it first went away in my last relationship the second he stopped calling when he’d get his feathers ruffled. Every single time there was a conflict, he’d stick his head in the sand until I went chasing after his ghost.

I stopped chasing ghosts this time and found out how much of a ghost he could make himself. Walking away so cavalier from a close to 4 year relationship with a 7 word text. That shows me that his feelings were truly worth about 1 word for every 6 months. It also shows me that it wouldn’t have worked because throughout our entire relationship he was that way – always ghosting at the first sign of trouble.

That’s not how relationships work. They work because you are ever present, even more so during the rough times. I was going through so much and had difficulty focusing on fixing that issue (him ghosting) and forcing communication between us the last few months, that it ended. In hindsight, that shows me he wasn’t ready for a relationship like I was. It also shows me why such a nice, loving man was still single for all these years after his own divorce in his early twenties.

I’m thankful that I have the chance to move on and find a new Happily Ever After. I’m just sorry that, much like the ghosts in stories who can’t pass on to the ever after, he won’t be able to move on in his life with us either. Or possibly in his own, if he keeps that up.

Sometimes You’ve Gotta Laugh.

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Four years…yes FOUR years after the ex-husband has moved out, he walks into my home and states he would like to go through the CD’s.

I was slack jawed. I told him he went through them when we separated the stuff and asked what he was looking for. He says his iPod died and he’s missing a few CD’s and wanted to get them from here. So I asked which ones and told him I’d look. I had two of them and gave them to him.

It should have ended there.

In my defense, I’m just finishing up my first semester of my MBA, I haven’t exactly slept well since ex-boyfriend and I broke up, and I’m just, in general, exhausted. Single mom to three kids who tries to be Superwoman is tiring.

Instead of just letting it go, I asked him, ever so sweetly “Is there anything else you want to go through?” Only, he didn’t think it was so sweet. Instead he threw down the two CD’s, went off, then said “I forgot you’re perfect” (I’m not sure how that fit into the conversation). I suppose this was the wrong thing to reply, but I told him “thanks”. He then started yelling some more (and I, being slap happy, probably had a grin on my face which was totally inappropriate)…except then he started cussing. I stopped him immediately at his first bad word and said “Listen, that language is not allowed in our home and if you continue to use it, there is the door.”   He turned and walked out.

The kids were there and stared in disbelief. As soon as he walked out, Kid2 said “that was epic, mom”. They hate when EX goes off and yells for no reason, they hate when he’s upsetting or controlling toward me, and, most of all, they hate when he uses bad language.

Although I may have started it with my smart-alack comment asking him if he wanted to look through any other of my stuff, I feel I did teach my kiddos something; bullies can be stopped.

Convince Yourself All You Want.

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moving on

Yesterday I was asked out. Well, I was asked out last week as well, but it was by a man old enough to be my father. LOL! However, yesterday’s was real. I’m just not ready and I told this kind, young man that. His response was perfect – he said “that’s okay, I understand. I just wanted to make sure you knew I was here and interested so when you were ready, I’d be on your mind.” So while I wasn’t ready at that point, it did at least put the thought in my head for later.

Then ex-MOD called. Any conversation that starts with “I wanted to give you the dignity of a phone call to try and make you feel better” is a slap in the face. I have dignity. I was sad, but going through the normal process of moving on. He clearly showed that, while I had the dignity to not tell him to go do something anatomically impossible to himself, he has no class. It was laughable. I didn’t need him to “try and make me feel better”. I have way too much going in my life – family, friends, success, to ever need someone to call just to “make me feel better”. LOL!

It was a “priceless” conversation that I cut short due to his lack of compassion and caring. It did show me many great things though. It showed me that his immature process is exactly what I thought it would be. He’s spent this time convincing himself that he’s not sad about this and it will be easy for him to move on. To what though – a job he hates, alcohol, another relationship that will fail due to his lack of communication skills? I mean, he was getting better about it and could have continued, but no self respecting woman (who isn’t an enabler, like me) is going to accept that from a man in his upper 30’s – let alone help him work on it.

Unfortunately, he was so insulting to our relationship and so cavalier about the whole thing, being the self respecting woman I am, I couldn’t just let it go and let him get the best of me…and I continued to text briefly. Nothing in his tuned changed. He’s doing the whole “built up a wall because my life is so grand” (which it’s not, I can do better). While he had seemed to have changed and really started to focus on healing some of his past pain while in our relationship, this phone call he sounded exactly like he did the first few months we started talking on the phone – boy with a chip on his shoulder.

He was right in one way – he did make me feel better. I’m definitely feeling like it will be easier to move on. Still sad, still have a few “what ifs”…but I most certainly have MY dignity. LOL!

Today is Rough. I Feel Tomorrow Will Be, Too.

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Today was my first day back at work, post breakup (the kiddos and I were on vacation last week). I kept half expecting and waiting for my “good morning, I love you” text – which of course was foolish because he’s decided to move on.

My daughter keeps asking me why I don’t call him. She said it’s not like me not to try. I told her that’s very true, it’s not. Explaining to her though that this is the ex-boyfriend’s choice, to end communication, is not an easy one. She knows I’m big into talking through everything and I think it’s difficult for her to see that I’m not.

If only she knew how tough it was for me.

I want to hear that he realizes what he’s given up and how he’s going to get here. I want to hear how this was the biggest mistake of his life and he’s ready for the life we planned together. I just want to hear his voice and know how he could just wake up one day and decide he was done, turn around, and walk away like we meant nothing to him.

But I have a feeling he’s has convinced himself into complacency again. Passing by the chance for the family he’s always wanted and a life of happiness and stability. Love…unconditional love from many people, but mainly me.

It feels like a ghost though. I was so happy and then, he just disappeared. A seven word text was all it was worth. I am still heartbroken.

Heartbreak is Unavoidable.

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So I told the kids today the real deal. I think when MOD texted me on Friday morning the message “I can’t do it. I’m so sorry.” I was still in denial. It took me all weekend to come to terms with that –  our happily ever aftershave wasn’t going to include him. Even reading those words now causes tears to stream down my face.

The kids asked what happened. Do you know how hard it is to explain to them that three and a half years of a wonderful relationship, to a man they loved, was ended by a 7 word text? They wanted to know what happened, so I simply explained that MOD was to afraid to move down here and couldn’t get past that fear, that it was nothing they or I did, and that it was his decision and his choice. They asked me what we talked about when it happened. I told them we hadn’t talked, he just messaged me what he did and it was done. Then child 2 asked me, “Is there any chance he will change his mind?” I told him that I didn’t know, but considering I haven’t heard a peep from MOD, it seemed likely that the answer was no.

Then the crying started. As if my heart wasn’t hurting enough, I now had to watch my kids mourn the very same relationship that I was mourning. Which made it worse. They immediately wanted to call him. I told them no. They asked why he didn’t come to say goodbye. I told them I didn’t know, but I didn’t think that could happen. I told him MOD just needed some space and that maybe they could text him later in the week or so.

…….

It feels so empty in our home now, minus one person that should be here. We’re packing to go on vacation and it feels so odd. The kids keep talking about funny things from previous vacations and stopping short, because they realize those memories all include MOD.

I look around and see so much that reminds me of him and our time together. The dried flowers atop our TV – roses from him. The photo, now taken down, of us with his grandma, and the one of our family at the Dixie Stampede (one of the things we did on our last vacation). The card he gave me recently after I was going through a particularly stressful time, with his sweet caricature of him, blowing a kiss, with the simple note “I love you. That is all.” The goofy little Cinderella Precious Moments he gave me for my birthday, because he knew that was my favorite fairy tale of all times…now just serves as a reminder of the Happily Ever After that slipped by, because of his fear.

It’s all still hard for me to process. Here is a man who loved us dearly, who could calm me down with the simple words “you’re better than this, stop” when I’d go over the deep end, who would rub my back every night to help me sleep, who would call me every night and text me every morning, even if it was just to say he loved me. This man who I envisioned my future with, that I was excited to be able to give him what he so desperately wanted – a real family, was gone with just a simple 7 word text.

I loved him. I truly loved him. These last few months were difficult for us because of the immense pressure of trying to get him to move here. I was difficult. He was difficult. I just can’t believe it culminated in this though. There was no final event. No cheating, no falling out of love – just him running away in the other direction without explanation. As I told the kids, we will move on. We did okay before MOD came into our lives and now, we will be fine after. We will be fine. I just need to keep reminding us of that.

Reminders.

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We all need things to kick us a little, shake us up, and remind us of what’s really important to us every once in awhile.

The thing I always keep in mind is that I know it’s out there for me. I know what I want is just ahead of me and all I have to do is keep moving forward, not backwards, to find it.

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Are You There God? It’s Me, Singlemom78.

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A homily (of all things) from a few weeks ago keeps playing in my head today. Almost like someone has hit the repeat button. The scriptures were about people being afraid of God or afraid he’d somehow forgotten them. In his homily, the Deacon said that God answers our prayers and needs in three ways.

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes, but.
  3. Yes, but something different.

I don’t yell my faith from the rooftops. You will rarely see my professions of faith on Facebook and if we speak, I don’t directly talk about them. I like to think that I live them in my life to the point where I don’t have to directly point them out to someone that I believe in God. I always get a chuckle out of those who feel the need to proselytize or who somehow act superior that they are Christian (or whatever faith they are, just Christian is more prevalent to me because it’s who I personally come into contact with more that does this).

I am at that point though. Things are rough, stress wise, and I find myself questioning if God maybe forgot me. If he somehow forgot all of my hopes and plans for that nuclear family, something I wanted to experience so much when I envisioned adulthood. I wonder if he recalls what a good spouse I was and if he even feels like he should guide EX to be more kind in his interactions with me. I also question whether he sees my life lived as I do up to this point – with the best of intentions, the kindest of hearts, and although full of faults, living with great awareness of my faults and trying to do my best with them.

It’s been long enough and all things point to God’s answer to me either being a resounding fourth answer (the fourth being “forget you child, for you are hopelessly lost”) or it’s more likely #3. Yes to everything I want, but different.

It’s just the patience of trying to wait and see what the different is.

I can’t control fate. I can’t guide God. Clearly, I can’t even seem to hold my life together some days – at least all the external things. I have a strong faith that keeps me together. Keeps me in the places I need to be at work, with my kids, in continuing my education, but it seems to lack in keeping the emotional part of me together. There are so many external factors that are working on tearing that down that at times, I can’t see God through the fog.

I still know he’s there because, well obviously I am still here and I feel the strength holding me together. At times though, it tough. It’s gotten really tough the past few months.

EX has become progressively more passive aggressive (and at times, just aggressive) towards me, post engagement to SMOTY (step-mother of the year). My perception (which may be off) is that she is angry with me because two of the three kids asked him not to get engaged to her. There are so many reasons why they don’t think it is a good fit and I can say with a very clear conscience – none of them are due to me. Now though, EX is not allowed to come in and speak to me when he drops the kids off.

Example – he texts me on a Thursday before he is supposed to have the kids for the weekend the next day. He asks me to pack nice clothing because they are having family photos. I tell him the only nice clothes the boys have would likely be long sleeved. He said fine. When I went to look for the clothes, I found one shirt that would definitely not fit either boy. So I told him I didn’t have a full outfit for each of them in the dress clothing, and asked is there was something else he had in mind. He asked for polo shirts. Turns out, I only had one of those as well. I told him I could pull together some of the nicer shirts they had and that I had just bought them new shoes for the school year that they could wear a little early so they’d look clean for the photos. No response. I mentioned that if he had told me a little earlier, I could have taken them shopping and gotten some clothing that coordinated. His response? “I didn’t realize this would take coordination”. Then I explained to him that I meant matched well for photos. I dug few a few things and texted him with what I found and got no response. So I texted “How about you come inside when you drop the kids off and you can take a look at what I’ve pulled together and pick what you want me to pack for them?” His reply? “I’m not going to come in to look. If you have something that’s good, if not we will figure it out.”

It sure would have been nice to have gotten that response before he had me running all over the house, trying to dig up clothing to help him out.

So what’s happened most recently? Well, a bit of a back story first.

EX is getting remarried and never had a problem with the kids being there for the whole reception, until I reminded him that the court order not allowing him to drink was still in place and valid, even at occasions like his wedding. The very next day he came in and stated “I’ll have to find a place for the kids for the later part of the reception. I don’t want them to be up past their bedtime.”   I think anyone can see what a b.s. answer that is, considering they will be 12, 10, & 9 by the time his wedding rolls around.

So this week, he’s getting his digs to me on the kids’ schedules. He did actually come in last night when picking up the kids and spoke about the days he’s scheduled to have them that he can’t. One of them, understandingly, being his wedding night. No problem. He asks me if I would like to have the kids on his wedding night, when it’s time for our kids to leave the reception (bedtime, you know). That’s not the weird part. The odd part was some phrasing he used. He said “well, I wanted to give you first right of refusal”.

That term didn’t hit my consciousness until he walked out the door and my head has spinned ever since. What an odd phrase. Where had I heard that before? Then it flashed to me – HDM has said that phrase once when her EX decided to leave their sick kids home with his girlfriend instead of letting them be with their mom, like they wanted.

Panic set in and OCD thoughts are now in full swing. EX never seems to recall what’s in our divorce papers. He’s “forgotten” that he’s supposed to have the kids on his Birthday. He’s “forgotten” what holidays are his. The question in my head is – are those terms in our papers? Sure enough, they were. Why had EX been so carefully studying our divorce papers?

Then, the following texts ensued.

ME: Sorry…delayed comprehension. I just got what you meant by “first right of refusal”. Is there another option available to the kids for your wedding night?

EX: Yes, I can make arrangements for them.

ME: With family?

EX: {my brother’s name} and {my sister-in-law’s name} would probably be who I would ask.

ME: I meant your family. Anything with mine, I would coordinate.     If it was your mom or brother, I’d say ask the kids. I don’t want them ever to feel like their lives are dictated by our divorce. Know what I mean? (I don’t mean that snotty – just in case it comes across that way.)      I wouldn’t want them to miss out on time with your family just because I had them during your time. That wouldn’t be fair especially if they’d have rather been with your mom or someone like that. But if it’s not that and you need somewhere for them to go, of course – I am more than happy to.

EX: My family will be at the wedding. Why would I ask the kids about staying with their grandma or uncle? What is the issue with making arrangements with your family on my weekend with the kids? Am I not allowed to let them go over there on my weekends?

ME: I know they’ll be at the wedding, I just didn’t know if there was the option for the kids to have more time with them – I didn’t want to get in the way of that. Plus, they are old enough to make some of those decisions too. If we were still married, they’d have a say if they wanted to stay with your mom or not. I just wanted to make sure I was respecting that. No issue, that’s all. :)       I would love to have them come home. That works just fine. I’m just trying to make sure the kids weren’t missing out on time with your family, that’s all. I promise. Not trying to start anything, just trying to be cordial and do what’s good for them. Not picking a fight. I’ll mark down the night. When is it? I know November, but I don’t recall the date.

EX: {Date}. I’ll have to figure out how to get them to your house. We would pick them up Sunday morning at 9am.

ME: I could pick them up if need be. Your brother or someone could just meet me outside. Or maybe someone like {Mutual Friends who have a son the same age as our youngest} could bring them home.

EX: Picking them up sounds best.

What I got from his last text was that he was too afraid that our friends would stay longer at the reception than he wanted because he wouldn’t be able to drink until our kids were gone.

For those of you rubbing your eyes and wondering what the heck just happened, yes…I just agreed to pick up my kids from my EX’s wedding (which is in a town 20 minutes away) and then he didn’t thank me or anything along those lines – just stated they’d pick up the kids at 9am the next morning.

WTF.

Are you there God? It’s me, Singlemom 78…

I get you aren’t answering my prayers with a resounding yes. It’s quite clear with the lack of direction in my personal life that you aren’t giving me a “yes, but”. So, your answer must be the third one. Yes, but something different.

I’m having a hard time, God. You see, everything else in my life is great. I have a job that I absolutely love, kids I adore to the moon and back, better friends than I’m probably worthy of, and am embarking on continuing my education so I can grow in the field I love. So why this? Why does my something different not seem to include a “happily ever after” just yet? Why does it feel I am constantly being tested by EX and then under constant scrutiny and blame, even when I am doing nothing wrong?

Why has my extended family suffered so much at the hands of my sister-in-law? They are all living in fear because she is like this bomb without a timer – we just don’t know when she’ll go off, so we’re all too afraid to try and stop it?

Why, outside of the amazing, all encompassing love that I share with my children, why am I still so alone Monday through Friday after I kiss their sweet heads goodnight?

I’m trying to be patient, Lord, for my “but something different”…but as you know that is one of my flaws – patience isn’t my greatest virtue.

God, I know you’re there, and I know you’ll give me the answer loud and clear when it’s time, just help me understand why I have to encounter such hatred and deal with that, all on my own, before finding out what it is.

Fate Fell Short.

Random: That chorus from the Blink 182 song keeps going through my head, mashed in with a bunch of other songs.

“Fate fell short this time
Your smile fades in the summer
Place your hand in mine
I’ll leave when I wanna”

It feels like time is running short. Like my schedule and no one else’s ever seems to sync up. I’m here, waiting for it to catch up, but life (or whoever) seems content to hang back…so I’ve chosen to keep on moving forward. The only thing that has really felt like I’m in step with is going back to school. I think, subconsciously, I’ve been pretty bitter about the lack of consideration of my life and time frame by others and now that I’m doing something for me – I’m happy again, even though it means possibly being alone when August rolls around.

The independence feels good though. I spent so many years feeling so stuck that when I even get a hint of that again, I just want to pull off my boots to leave in the mud and go. It’s a great motivator, albeit a tough lesson to learn. I’ve found when I don’t get the support I need from family or loved ones, I support myself better. I guess I’m still looking for someone that can support me through stuff better than me – so now I’m working toward a goal to do just that and I feel much better.

“I’ve got my ticket for the long way ’round
The one with the prettiest of views
It’s got mountains, it’s got rivers, it’s got sights to give you shivers
But it sure would be prettier with you”

This train is ready to depart. Sorry if you went to buy your ticket just a little too late. That was your choice. This is mine.

Bestest of News.

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After my last kind of downer post about feeling kind of stuck, I got my sign. The very same day I posted that, I received an acceptance letter into the MBA program of my choice!!!

It honestly felt like God touched down and said ‘I see you child. I know you feel I’m gone, I know you don’t understand your struggle, but I see you working hard.’ I know that sounds stupid over just an acceptance letter, but it was so energizing to hear, finally, from someone – your hard work has paid off.

It also really gives me the final sense of security. When EX and I first married, there was a small discussion about me being a stay at home mom when we eventually had kids. I never really pushed that hard in my career before getting pregnant. It didn’t work out that I could stay at home, so I just took a job I loved but never really pushed too hard to go anywhere. Then four years ago, that all changed. I’m now a single mom of 3 kids who will, by the way, eventually be in college at the same time. EX isn’t really great with money and I don’t want to saddle the kiddos with too much college debt, so I’d like to be able to afford to help them as much as I possibly can. Four years ago, when I asked EX to move out, I realized that I couldn’t just really rely on his income – I was on my own. I had put so much of that on pause, but it’s back on now. I have to stay focused on building my life whether it’s with someone else or not and learn to accept that.

Of course, I’d much rather be building it with someone else…a certain MOD…

So, now you’re reading the musings of a grad student. Just ignore the use of “bestest” up there in the title.