Once upon a time there was this guy who came into my crazy world and he calmed my soul.
He was beautiful, spiritual, loving and he taught me how to trust again.
He taught me how to see the bad in people and to still love.
He taught me that you get hurt and you dust yourself off.
The other night, I found a letter he wrote me. To say I cried was understatement. The love he had for everyone around him was amazing. The forgiveness he had was endless. His love for me was special and there was never a time I ever felt alone, even when the miles kept us apart.
Now…where is he? Not for me…we parted ways years ago. Where is he for his children?
If he stumbles across this, let it be known that you have turned out to be less of a man than DA. Your son and daughter need you and you checked out.
Remember that prayer outside of that cabin where you asked for answers on how to coparent in the worst time of your life and you got the answer? God said, ‘be there, be there together for your children’. Glad to see you listened then, but where are you now?
What we shared was amazing and I took all that I learned from our time together and took it with me into my second marriage and I struggled like fuck to get along with his first ex-wife and dear God in heaven I wanted to run her over in the car and stab her with dull knives, but I did it…I figured out a way not to kill her.
I did it because there were SIX kids that needed 4 parents. And now, even though that marriage is over, I still have his ex-wife over for dinner and take a child that wasn’t my step-child and treat him with all the love that I have in me. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t talk to her and check in on my step kids…STEP KIDS…kids from a marriage that failed…but that doesn’t make me any less a parent to them.
You have two kids and you checked the fuck out.
Dan called me the other day and sounded like hell.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Bring me soup…please…I feel sick.”
During my whole marriage he insisted that anytime I was ill, that it was all in my head. I try not to hold that against him after all these years, but it’s my first reaction to say, “Well you just need to think positive thoughts!”, I didn’t though. I ran to the store and got him low sodium chicken noodle soup and orange juice.
I called him every four hours to remind him to take his medicine and each time he thanked me and hung up mid cough.
Yesterday around noon I felt like I was hit by the sick bus. I had officially gotten what that bastard ass had given me. He called me on day 2 of his sick, which was about 5 hours into my sickness.
“Bring me soda…if I drink anymore orange juice I’m going to hurl.”
“F U, I got what you have!” I whined.
“Oh god, I’m so sorry!” (a first, he never says he’s sorry)
“ugh. go away.”
Last night Shaun brought Dan some Sprite and I got a text message saying, “Tell Shaun thank you. He’s the best ex-wife’s new husband ever.”
Today I got this message on my phone. I wanted to keep it forever so when he gets better and is a dick again, I can remind him that I am the best ex-wife…EVER.
Ever watch a movie and then afterward you’re all like, I want to be that, him, her, that life?
Right now. I am Holly Kennedy from P.S. I Love You.
I’ve been on this weird movie kick. In the last 7 years I can count how many times I’ve wanted to go to Hollywood Video and rent a movie on one hand. Twice. This week.
It started with The Ex’s Netflix thing where you can watch movies online. ONLINE. Movies from the comfort of my own laptop and headphones. Shaun doesn’t have to be a part of my weird documentary phase, or old movie kick..or movies that remind me of a part of my life that has since been wiped away. I can pick whatever I wanted and didn’t have to hear, ‘Chick flick’ or ‘Why a movie on the children of Alabama that were killed in a church?” Just because, that’s why. I’m one of THOSE people. I’m one of those strange people that rip through different types of things and YES, I am exactly that person that takes a bite of the chocolates in the box and decides if she likes the taste…and If I don’t, I put it back and hope someone else doesn’t mind that I didn’t. Guess what? People don’t mind. Shaun doesn’t really care either. He doesn’t care that I will sit down and read every single James Patterson book in a series and then decide to never read another James Patterson book because for no other reason than I feel like I am betraying THAT series I fell in love with.
It’s strange to walk through your life with someone for so long and then it’s over. Tonight Dan’s parent’s showed up. For those of you just getting on the R&O express, Dan is my ex-husband. I haven’t seen his parents since years before our split in 2000. They are doing there tour of children and grandchildren that started in NC, through Colorado, California, Ohio and then back to NC. They are making some gas companies VERY happy as they move along in their 1970’s van across the states.
They never liked me, his mom I mean. I overheard her talking about this ‘young’ teenager Dan brought with him for a visit. Of course, I didn’t know at the time they already knew that he had gotten a girl pregnant. I was certain that information had not been told to them, since I had just found out.
Honestly, I don’t think they ever really liked me. Now that I think about it, they didn’t. I was 10 years younger than their son and he was making a huge mistake. How was I to know? I was a young teenager.
So tonight I watched them from across the dinner table. They are older now, of course. Her husband hasn’t changed at all. For the most part neither has she. He still makes sure she’s eating at the right time so she can take her pills and she still lets us all know that it’s time to get back home because he’s tired. It’s been 18 years and they are the same couple they were that first time I spent the weekend in their guest bedroom doing unnameable things to their son in the name of youth and stupidity.
You would think it was strange that I went and had dinner with my ex-husband and his family tonight. Perhaps it was, but then it dawned on me why it didn’t feel even a little bit awkward.
See, Dan’s mom left his dad when he was finishing up high school. His dad remarried. By the time I was around, I guess they had all worked out the kinks. I never once saw his mom and dad fight. They actually got along. There were times when his mother would come to visit and we all would sit around together.
It was HIS parents that taught me that it’s okay to get along. I was a product of a two parent household. I didn’t learn this on my own.
Duh! I spent my the first day of married life in a gazebo with his Dad and wife and his Mom and her husband laughing and talking as if it was so normal for ex’s to get along. How did I forget that? HIS mother, the one that hated me gave me the greatest thing I have right now…no, not the ex-husband and his brats…the ability to see past all the bullshit for the sake of being happy and making others around me comfortable.
So today I feel like I have been given a second chance at something. Does that mean that the urge to rip out Shaun’s vocal cords with my bare hands while he soundly sleeps next to me? Nooooooo. Of course not. Does it mean that I instantly have trust again? Does it mean that I feel 100% better and that sunshine is going to fly out of my ass? Nooooooo, pretty sure all those things with the exception of the sunshine will take time.
I want to be able to forgive again. He forgives me for so much. Like how I never put the toilet paper on the role. How even though there is a dresser and walk in closet, our clothes are in 4 different laundry baskets on the bedroom floor. I forgive him for the fact that I have to always ask him to take the bathroom garbage out and the sprinkler head in the front yard is broken again and we have a water fall down our driveway every night at 10pm because of it. I want to forgive again because some days I get on the floor and put the clothes away or take the trash out myself. I want to forget all of it because sometimes he will put the paper on the toilet roll or will make 4 trips to Home Depot before he just throws his hands in the air and allows me to call Dan to figure out why the sprinkler doesn’t work.
It’s for the fact that we both notice that we give and take in this marriage.
So tonight…I will not rip out his vocal cords. Tomorrow is another day and that option is right back on the table. See, those there are baby steps…and I am taking them.
I was asked a question today, “Where you happy you left?”
No. I have to answer that question as honestly as I possibly can. When I was married the first time and I stepped out of my first marriage, I did it the chicken shit way out.
The song, “Landslide” has a lyric that said, “I built my life around you.” I did. I built my whole world around someone and a dream of what I thought I wanted. Well, that landslide brought me down.
In the beginning of phases of me ‘losing my fucking mind’, I heard “Home” by Sheryl Crow. I don’t think she intended it to be the anthem of unhappily married women around the world, but that was MY song. I listened to it and understood it on levels that NO ONE ELSE, EVER, EVER, would get. Yeah, because I was the first unhappy person in a marriage, right?
I made a promise
Said it everyday
Now I’m reading romance novels
And I’m dreaming of yesterday
Those lyrics where soulfully sang by non other than my miserable self, over and over. I played the ‘what if’ game. “What if I had done THIS instead…” and then let my mind roam down that path. That path was always better than the reality of where I was.
Someday, someday I was going to make it better. Then a year later, I would be sitting there singing again thinking to myself, “I thought I said ‘someday i was going to make it better’? I should have done something then. I was more fired up then. Now I have one more reason to stay. I can’t afford to leave….I wonder…what if….”
I’m going crazy
A little everyday
And everything I wanted
Is now driving me away
I woke this morning
To the sound of breaking hearts
Mine is full of questions
And it’s tearing yours apart…
“Was I happy I left?”
I am now. But honestly, there were whole hours, days and months that living in my own skin was unbearable. I wanted out so badly and then when I got out, I was made to feel like this horrible person. Because I was ‘out’, I was no longer worthy of happiness.
It didn’t matter that I begged for help, for someone to talk to, a counceller, a therapist, anyone. It didn’t matter that it felt like my whole world was caving in around my ears; but when his heart broke, then all the sudden the WHOLE WORLD listened and I was asked, “Why didn’t you just ask for help?”
This is something, even after all these years I battle with. If this is something you can relate to, please know you’re not alone. I was there. I hit that wall. Someday, you will wake in the morning and say, “whoa…I think I might be okay today.”
This week was one of those that you feel like you’re just ‘going through it’.
Shea was in the health office on Thursday at 9 am. When my insomniatic ass woke up at 11 am, I rushed to the school to check on her. “Is she okay?” the receptionist who has been there for as many years as I have had kids there, said, “Yeah, she said she had a headache and her stomach hurt. I told her to come back after lunch and if she didn’t feel better.”
AND FOR SOME REASON, maybe because of the lack of sleep, I said, “Yeah, she probably just had a hangover. I told her to chill out on the Tequila shooters last night, but you know 9 year olds, they never listen.”
Then the most wonderful thing happened. SHE LAUGHED.
I made the woman at the front desk who I have never even seen SMILE, LAUGH. She even got that it was a JOKE and didn’t threaten to call CPS on me. There is hope for this yuppy town after all.
Today we drove to Redding to see Ryan’s last play. He was awesome, of course.
After the first act, Kara said, “Mom, check out that woman in the third row. She looks like Tori Spelling’s mom.”
I tried to remember what Tori Spelling’s mom looked like, then one look at the woman sitting there I said, “Ohhh, from the show noTorious?” Yeah. sort of looked like Loni Anderson.
Now, I need to tell you a little story about our LISTS. You know what LIST I am talking about right? On Shaun’s list somewhere near the top is Brooke Shields.
One night we went to see a movie and Shaun says to me out in the lobby, “That’s Brooke Shields.” I looked. Yep, sorta looked like her, but HELLO, we are in Sacramento…why in God’s name would she be sitting in the lobby of a run down movie theater? So what did I do? I made fun of him. I even called my sister and mocked him..”Shaun thinks he saw Brooke Shields! HA HA HA. What a loser!”
The next day Shaun sends me an article. Hmmm. Go figure, Brooke Shields was filming a movie near by.
I will NEVER live that down.
After a few more urgings, I go to Ryan’s mom, “Kara thinks the woman in the 3rd row is Loni Anderson.” She reluctantly says, “Yeah. It is. Her granddaughter is in the play.”
Jennifer Marlow from WKRP is sitting 4 rows ahead of me. Not Loni Anderson, the one married to my mother’s hunka hunka burnin’ love, Burt Reynolds…but JENNIFER from WKRP. How bad did I want her to say, “Hold Please.”
I didn’t plan on talking to her but she was standing in the lobby as we were walking out and I had very loudly announced, “Marina it’s okay to tell him you think he’s cute! No really, Rina…go back in there and give him your number!” It was right about there in front of Loni Anderson that she turned around and did the grunt and foot stomp that meant, “OMG…YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME!” and I laughed and said loudly, “It’s these moments that make being the mother of a teenager worth wild!” and then standing RIGHT THERE was Loni being all cute and giggling at the fact that I was embarrassing my teenage daughter. I didn’t think she would be standing IN THE LOBBY, because HELLO…she’s Loni Anderson and Loni Anderson doesn’t just stand in a lobby of a run down building. But she was. And she giggled at me. I suddenly felt like a moron, but didn’t let Marina get that sort of gratification.
And now comes the question; “You got a picture, right?”
I figured FOR ONCE I would leave the cameras at home and let Dan take pictures with his Nikon D40 that he’s getting use to. I asked him as we were leaving, “Did you get a picture of Loni Anderson?” I think he blushed. He might have had flashbacks to his teenage years and the posters in his room. Regardless he couldn’t remember how to work the damn thing.
So no, but we have a bunch of Ryan…and those are WAY more important.
There is this song by Alanis Morisette that I heard one night while sitting in my garage trying to piece together what was left of my sanity.
Every time I hear the song, I remember that moment in time (2003) and how confused and scared I was. The song actually allowed me to get up and move again.
I have been wanting to post it and give what I am ’thankful’ for.
how bout getting off these antibiotics
For me, this meant…there were things I was trying to do to ’heal’ myself and it was all the wrong things.
how bout stopping eating when I’m full up
Or how about stopping eating before I am so full I am sick.
how bout them transparent dangling carrots
I kept doing things, thinking that if I did it thier way, everyone would be happy. I kept falling for that trick. I still do.
how bout that ever elusive kudo
How many times do I have to keep doing those same things thinking people will notice and say, “Wow Kristine, great job.” No matter what it was, personal or business.
thank you india
thank you terror
Remember to be prepared.
thank you disillusionment
Nothing is what it seems. NOTHING.
thank you frailty
I too can get hurt.
thank you consequence
Do unto others and you would have done unto you.
thank you thank you silence
These moments alone in my garage is exactly what I need.
how bout me not blaming you for everything
It’s not all your fault. I take blame.
how bout me enjoying the moment for once
The next moment when I get up and leave is always what was I was thinking, with anyone.
how bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
We couldn’t be where we are today if I didn’t.
how bout grieving it all one at a time
I was spending days, months and years grieving for something that didn’t need to be grieved for anymore.
thank you india
It’s okay to dance, chant and sing for no reason.
thank you terror
Be grateful for the safety you have RIGHT NOW.
thank you disillusionment
My parents had their own problems, they weren’t mine. They weren’t my fault.
thank you frailty
Being knocked down makes you look at being able to stand on your feet in a whole new light.
thank you consequence
There is a bed and you will make it and you will ’lie’ in it.
thank you thank you silence
Don’t talk, just listen.
the moment I let go of it was the moment
I got more than I could handle
the moment I jumped off of it
was the moment I touched down
This was the part that reached in and shook me. I knew I was holding on to something bigger than I was. If I could just get past that and let go, I would be given something healthy to replace it.
Being able to ’jump off of it’ allowed me to open up to not being in control of the situation and that allowed me to feel like I was standing on my own two feet.
how bout no longer being masochistic
I beat the living shit out of myself, mentally.
how bout remembering your divinity
Find that little girl who could talk to God and listen back.
how bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
Yes, hearing this let me know that it was okay to just let it out for no reason.
how bout not equating death with stopping (i heard starving)
The use of words here. How often do we say ’starving’ and there is a chance that no one will ever know what it truly means to ’starve’ even close to death. Show respect with the words you use.
What a strange time in my life. I am so grateful to have this memory so vivid. It’s a reminder of who I am and how I got ’here’.
I no longer have dangling carrots. I am working on the other ones…
I love falling asleep during interesting TV shows. It makes for bitchen dreams. Today I fell asleep while watching CNN. I had this dream I was a news reporter, going to New Orleans to check the damage. In the process of this helicopter ride, I fell in love with a brother that was convicted of murder, be he didn’t do it. What I couldn’t figure out was how New Orleans could have been flooded when it was really in the desert and had cliffs.
Never once did I say my dreams made sense, but damn are they interesting. They always feel so vivid. When I wake up I am happy because I went somewhere I have never been…or ever will be…unless they decide to relocate N.O. to Yosemite.
The other day during a late day nap I woke up for a split second to hear that Shaun and Marina were watching “The Amazing Race”. I fell back asleep hoping I wouldn’t incorporate that show into my dream…or maybe it was just a dream. I mean, come on…this whole Amazing Race thing was just a whim right?
Dan came over last night to fix some electrical problem that required a volt meter that I no longer own. He had to do some other stuff that would require turning off the power, which he didn’t because he finds joy in watching me freak out as he cuts live wires and rewires them. He jumps and pulls his hand back just to watch me pee myself.
“So the uh..Passport papers for Amazing Race look like they are going to be around 200 bucks.” He says as he holding two wires that look like they shouldn’t touch.
“Mmm. yeah.” I am just sounding interested so he will hurry up and finish the rewiring and I can again use my bathroom outlets again.
“You can do it two different ways…you can….FLASHLIGHT.” I lift the flashlight back up and switch my weight to another side. “You can go through the post office or there is this one place that can do it. It’s the same amount.”
I don’t want to hurt his feelings and say, “Yeah, cause THAT is going to happen.” and I don’t want him to stop that rewiring thing he’s doing so well and that will make blow drying my hair so much easier if I can use the bathroom mirror and not blow dry it in the hallway.
Tonight, out of the blue, Shaun says; “I watched “The Amazing Race”…Dan and I can so win that!” Then he goes on and on about what it takes and it basically comes down to being able to ‘take shortcuts’.
Well…I certainly have a track record for marrying men that are good at taking short cuts. Didn’t I just spend 15 minutes in the garage while Dan rewired LIVE wires because he was either too lazy to shut off the power or just to damn stubborn to do it?
After all the serious stuff he had to tell me about (including passports and how to apply) we started joking about how they would loose.
“It would be something really stupid too…”
“Yeah, it could be the numerous phone calls from your ex wives asking you stupid questions.”
He then jokingly mimicked Tabitha and I, “Shaun…for real? The Great Wall of China? Get your ass off the Great Wall of China, the F*&^ing Christmas Tree fell over again!”
“Dan, I am NOT taking care of your stupid cats. You better just take them with you!”
The sad thing is…that would be their downfall, Us.
Me calling Dan to ask him who the lead singer of Foghat was and Tabitha calling Shaun to tell him that there was no where to park at work.
There is a place for our Ex Husbands…It doesn’t involve flying to China. It involves making sure they have good cell phone reception and the ability to block out our voices as we rant or ask stupid questions.
Need a recap for any new readers ??*coughyeahrightcough* or perhaps a reminder on how R & O we are.
Dan — My ex-husband and father of Kara, Alyx and Shea.
Shaun — Current husband, father to Tyler and Marina.
It has been suggested that someone needs to make a sitcom about our family, but in those TRULY random moments like…say…for example; When Shaun and I came home and Tabitha (Shaun’s ex wife) is making us a romantic dinner and my ex-husband is using our shower because he has a date and his power was off. And this is NORMAL for us. We realized that NO ONE outside of my readers and our friends would believe half the weirdness that makes us the ‘village’.
Dan has found a way to make it ONE step stranger.
For as long as I can remember Dan has always wanted to be on Amazing Race. Today he IMed me to see if Shaun would go to the try outs with him.
…and Shaun agreed.
I swear…if they get on that show, I am making Tabitha move back in. We will have our own show: “What happens when our two ex husbands go on a world traveling reality show and leave the two ex wives to tend to the 6 children.”
I’m thinking it would be sponsored by Xanax and Robert Mondavi Winery.
I knew this was my word for the day, but I had other things I had to do.
Today is Dans, my ex-husband, birthday.
Last night I couldn’t sleep to save my life. I had thoughts going through my head that made absolutely NO SENSE what so ever. I had taken a Xanax earlier. Then took another one later. Around 4 am I decided to call in the big boys. I finally fell asleep and I don’t know HOW in heaven I got up to get the girls ready for school and actually managed to down two cups of coffee. Then out of nowhere my body decided to shut down and I fell into a deep sleep.
Dan showed up around 11 am to try to convince me to take him to lunch for his birthday. I remember it was the most painful conversation I have ever had.
He kept chanting, “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!” in his super annoying ‘it’s my birthday’ voice.
I was face down in the bed and I couldn’t even lift my head or open my eyes.
I woke up at 1:30 pm in a panic. “WHO? WHAT? WHAT’S MY NAME?”
Somehow, by the grace of God, I got Kara to her orthodontist appointment and pull together a dinner and birthday party.
You can tell he was happy. He had lasagna, his favorite German chocolate cake and presents. He stuck around to watch baseball with Shaun and play with the girls before they went to bed.
All in all a pretty good day (minus the waking up in a puddle of slobber)
As for the word ‘ambivalence’. I’m actually kinda wishy-washy about it anyway.
During my first marriage I learned many things that I never thought would form me into the person I am today. Some of them are stupid things, but some of them are the core of who I am.
Car maintenance was the number one thing. I was the horrible one in the relationship when it came to remembering to get the oil changed. Dan would hand me a coupon to get the oil changed and would hound me until I gave him the receipt from the mechanic. He made sure the brakes weren’t getting to thinned. He could diagnose the problem of the car by the sound it made or the smell it made.
The only thing I had a pet peeve over was the wind shield wipers. In fact I could tell you if I could be in a relationship with someone by how well their windshield wipers worked.
I’m not kidding. Seriously. I can handle many things except two things; Crappy wipers and dust on the dashboard. You can have the boogie monster blowing sulfur out of his ass in the backseat…but I better be able to see out of the windshield.
Tonight on the way to drop of Tyler, the wiper blew off The Car From Hell (aka: Shaun’s car) I could see exactly 3 inches of the road. Every single light became a crazy acid flashback.
Guess what happened then? Yep, anxiety attack from hell. I finally got home and kissed the oil stained driveway. Then I called every I knew to help me get the girls home from the dance, because as it was, I would rather walk all the way to the high school in the rain then go get them in the car.
My friend, ‘Cita and her husband went to Wal-mart and bought me new windshield wipers and installed them. Of course, by the time I had to go pick up the girls from the dance (yes, a dance every other weekend–it’s getting old) it had stopped raining.
I ran the wipers a few times with the cleaner and the joy I felt over the windshield’s clarity brought tears to my eyes.
Shaun better be thanking Brian because I was THISCLOSE to breaking up with my husband.