Kissed my fair share of douche bags

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I came across a post today that really got me thinking about the men from my past and the jaunt down memory lane wasn’t full of sunshine and wild flowers…..the memories were borderline nauseating and of pure disgust …why in God’s name did I even waste so much time with the douche bags that I dated, for putting all my eggs in one basket AND for thinking that fate was on my side?

Hacker.Ninja.Hooker.Spy spoke about her high school crush and the attempt to see if he happened to be her long lost love years later, unfortunately he turned out to be a royal class douche bag…….she then asked the question “ Have you ever attempted to reunite with a long lost love?  Has a former Dreamboat ended up being a current Douche bag? And what’s the deal with closure–is it even worth pursuing?

I don’t know what I was thinking, seriously…..why did I think that I would have that love story where my high school crush would be my one and only? That only happens in the movies but during my 13 years of singledom I watched a lot of chick flick  “Happily ever after, girl gets guy after pinning for him for years” movies.

This all started once the “The Major” (now husband) and I broke up eleven years ago for various reasons, one being his job…he moved to Pennsylvania. One day I found myself  scrolling on classmates.com and ran across the name that brought back pleasant high school memories. There were 2 men from my high school that when I was a freshman they made my days on that campus worth living….they were both seniors. This one in particular grabbed my attention years later, I will call him Viagra Boy. I saw on his profile that he was single….and I quickly sent him a cute-funny-couldn’t possibly not reply message and wouldn’t you know I got a message back the following day. I instantly reverted back to my freshman self, my hands shook, and I couldn’t breathe. His message was entertaining and quite flirty, but he was honest (the only time he was) about not knowing who I was but this didn’t stop our correspondence.

Throughout the next couple months we wrote and visited each other than he asked me to move in with him….which was a big step because this would mean that I would have to get used to living with a man again and two, I would have to leave an amazing town and move to butt fuck Egypt ; Ridgecrest Ca. I loved him though and we talked all the time about getting married, he even asked what type of ring I wanted.  We moved into a nice house in February and instantly I knew something was off….he would leave just to make calls, he was always on the phone with his ex-wife and his once attentive self was nowhere to be found. Long story short ~ he told me that he was still in love with his stripper ex-wife and hadn’t gotten over her, then his weekends to his parents was just his cover story to go up north to whore around with some woman he met on yahoo personals. Which when I found his personal ad, I was floored when he wrote that he was single and looking for a nice girl to get involved with.  I couldn’t believe what was happening, within months of us moving in together my life turned into a nightmare, I was living in HELL!!  It took me a while to recover from that experience and move from that place….but do you think I learned my lesson and stayed away from classmates.com. HELL NO!!

When I finally moved from BFE I attempted to have my happily ever after story again…that’s where MarkyMark (no not from the Funky Bunch) came in. I am pretty sure I contacted him through classmates and then moved to facebook. We hit it off; dated ….and then we decided I would move in with him, which brought me back to my hometown. Things seemed really good, I overlooked his obsessive behavior regarding laundry, scratching one corner of his pillow, his desire to play with Grover (yes from Sesame Street) and take pictures of him (Grover) doing bizarre things, not of sexual nature. We had fun …. but he also became very secretive, he would text his ex girlfriend naughty messages which led to “do you want to make out?”, he was addicted to pain meds, he had a short temper and then there was the 9 months he found himself in the despairs of depression. Nothing I did brought him back to the guy I left  everything for and I found myself sinking down with him…….I finally moved out but that only pissed him off more. The day that I was moving my things from his home he grabbed his gun and told me that if anyone came into the house he wouldn’t be afraid to use it. I made certain that the ones who were assisting me stayed in the garage and knew of his paranoia.

Healing from that experience wasn’t easy, but I was introduced to Mr. Crazy (2nd husband) a few months later….come to find out he graduated from my high school and yes, my head went there…. “Ohhh this must be fate!!! This is why I was brought here…because he’s the guy that would complete my happily ever after -went to the same school story”….boy was I dead wrong. For those who have read this blog knows that my marriage to Mr. Crazy should have never happened. It was the only relationship that I ever regret getting into; it was the first time I ever had to deal with someone with a mental illness and a monstrous anger issue…..our personalities clashed in many ways. Our marriage ended one week before our one year anniversary.

I was tested one last time …. remember at the beginning of this post how I spoke of two seniors that took my breath away my freshman year, well the other one contacted me. I think I friended him on Facebook but when I got a message from him asking how I knew him, we started to talk about our great high school memories, he had more than me. We talked from time to time but then his true douche bag colors came out “send me a pic” he didn’t want just an ordinary pic….he wanted something skanky. There was NO way I was going to fall for that. His conversations were bizarre and all those days of day dreaming about this jock while in English class were spoiled. This man needed to just stop talking….I couldn’t believe how this man could have such an Adonis complex, he looked nothing like he did in high school 20 years ago…..yeah he had the muscles but that was all that was going for him.

~ my love story wasn’t suppose to include a man from my high school, my love story was supposed to begin and end with a handsome Major that rocked my world ten years ago. …………….but I had to learn this the hard way!!

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Could you live without your cellphone or video games for a day??

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I remember back in the day when my form of entertainment was my own imagination, I would conjure up worlds that I could escape to. Dawn and I would pretend to be princesses awaiting our knight in shining armor, other days we would  threaten preach to the neighborhood kids that being Catholic was the way to go (some hidden agenda from the nuns in our dot to dot Jesus coloring book, I assume) and hold church in our backyard, yes we made host out of Wonder bread. Go figure! We put on plays to entertain our family and friends. My playhouse would one day be a drive through diner and the next a school house, where I was the teacher and my sister and her friends were the students. Outside was everything to my friends and I, it’s where we could be kids …. plus, the less time inside meant I wouldn’t find myself getting in trouble.

This morning I was speaking with my sister, “This Saturday is going to be a tech free day”…. “a what?” I asked. She told me that as she looked around her house last night, she noticed that her husband was on his cell playing a game, the kids were playing video games and she was busy facebooking. “We are always on our phones and the boys would rather play video games then enjoy a beautiful fall day”.

We discussed how things have changed since we were little and that her idea was awesome. “Kids need to step away from video games and be shoved outside…but I have a feeling they won’t know what to do” I told her. “I told the boys to go ride their bikes or play hide-n-seek and they said it was too boring” she replied. I remember how riding bikes was NEVER boring, although if my parents KNEW that we rode around San Fernando Valley for hours they probably would have had a conniption fit…but yet again, times were different then….and an ice cream truck WAS just an ice cream truck, not some perverted old man asking kids if they wanted a drumstick and he wasn’t talking about ice cream.

“I don’t know if I will make it, my phone is attached to me” my sister said. “I think I would have an issue with giving up my Nook, I’m always on it…..reading or checking WordPress…..keep me posted!!”

So I guess I will find out how things went on Sunday ….. I think it will be good for my nephews….a little fresh air never hurt anyone, well unless they live in Southern California during a very smoggy day.

Would you be able to be tech free for a day….no cellphone, no computer,no video games, no nook? 

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What do Will Smith, John Stamos and tighty whities have in common??…..well, they are all mentioned in this post..so read on!

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As the older sibling I pretty much got blamed for things that either got broken, misplaced or when something wasn’t done to my parents liking….I also unbeknownst to me, was my sisters purse-keeper/purse-sitter/purse-detector.

My sister had a habit of losing her purse and I am not saying she lost it once a year, this was an ongoing thing. She would forget it in a dressing room, restaurant booth, at the mall, at the neighbor’s house, at school…..mind you she wasn’t a teenager when all this was going on she was in grade school. I really don’t know what my sister carried in her purse but all I know is when her purse would go MIA, I had to track it down. “Jolene do you know where Maries purse is?”, I would always hear. …and my answer would always be, no…because at that time in my life my sister was just a pain in my rear end, she only served one purpose and that was to  intercept my progress report or report card before my parents got their hands on it.

When I was fourteen I remember sitting in the den with my best friend watching Full House, when my sister started crying because she couldn’t find her purse. My mom screamed down from upstairs  and asked if I knew where her purse was, I of course said “no”….I was then told to look for it. Really?? I have a friend over and we are  drooling over watching John Stamos (uncle Jessie on Full House). My sister continued her fit, this time my mother yells again that I need to look for her purse. Frustrated, I yelled back “I didn’t lose it so why should I have to find her stupid purse, if it’s so important maybe she should put it where she can find it”.

imagesWhat happened next is so embedded in my memory that I wish Will Smith would use his little doodad from Men in Black and erase that part of my memory. I heard yelling come from upstairs and then I see my father stomp down the stairs in his tighty whities, he told me to come on over to him…..he then proceeded to shove me up against the wall (a police move I assume), put his hand under my chin and yelled in my face “You WILL help your sister find her purse or else you will see my belt, do you hear me?”….of course I said yes, I just wanted him to go back upstairs and put some clothes on…the sight of him in his tighty whities was just horrifying…plus my best friend was scarred for life after witnessing all this. Seriously, tighty whities need to be worn by little boys not grown adults!!

Come to think of it, I don’t even know if we ever found her stupid purse…..really what does a nine-year old carry in a purse anyways? a membership to the Care Bear fan club and some cherry lip balm?

 

 

Mama Kats Prompt : 3.) Tell us about something you got in trouble for that you didn’t actually do

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I remember ………..

Wow, has it been twelve years already? I’m pretty sure that you have taken a few minutes to remember that day…..memories of where you were at when you heard the news, you probably could recall the multitude of emotions that you felt throughout the day while you were watching what was unfolding on television.

I remember ………

It was the day that I was going to take my sister to meet her recruiter so she could head off to boot camp for the Air Force.

My family and I just got back from having an early morning breakfast at a local restaurant, we all gathered back at my parents house so my sister could gather a few things before we had to leave. I turned on the t.v and was rummaging through a room when I glanced up and saw footage of the first plane hitting the tower…..I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes……….I was listening to the newscaster calmly describe what had taken place. Live footage was now being shown, I yelled to my parents to turn the t.v on and then I saw it……….the second plane.  ( I get chills just thinking about it).

Our life’s …. every ones life’s changed that day. My sister didn’t leave for bootcamp that day; we just gathered around the television set watching, feeling, weeping, praying …………

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My brief escape from my chaotic life

Last week I was featured as a Guest Blogger on Suzie81blog…. I thought I would share that post with all of you!!

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As I was sitting in seat 2F getting ready for a weekend of relaxation and a brief escape from my life, I felt the rumble of the plane speeding down the tarmac, my chest being pulled to the back of the seat as the plane lifted off the ground. I stared out the window and felt an overwhelming sense of emotion. As I looked down below and saw California getting further and further away I felt a giant release of the stress that I have been kept captive of for the last few months. Tears started to well up in my eyes; I was determined to leave my troubles and anxiety behind me for the next few days. As the plane started to level off, I looked out at the darkness beside me and flashbacks of the many times that I cried and the overwhelming unease that I had felt over too me. It was at that moment, I realized that I needed to move forward and not dwell on the last few months and to enjoy the next three days of no stress that was going to start as soon as the plane set down at JFK airport. That’s when I closed my eyes and a slight smile appeared across my face.

“Good Morning folks, 30 minutes until we make our descent into JFK” I slowly began to look around, the man next to me was still asleep, the flight attendant looked at me and gave me a welcoming smile. I began straightening myself up and tried not to look like I didn’t get any sleep during the flight. In just a short while I was going to set foot in New York once again….I seriously never thought I would be back considering the person that I was meeting at the airport was a man who I was involved with for a year and our break up was not so pleasant.

Although, there had been tension after the breakup it seemed as though our chapter was just not quite finished, somehow we remained friends and to our surprise our friendship never died. Logan was the one that made this escape possible and as New York became visible through the breaking clouds I began to feel anxious on so many levels. I was excited to see him, but scared to have those old emotions that I locked up be released because I was in no way ready to revisit them and I knew that once I saw him and his warm smile I had to somehow break down a little of the wall that I built up, not from him exactly but from men in general. Then as those anxious feelings swarmed through out my body, they were put to rest when I heard “Welcome to JFK”. I was back, and I was going to see a very special friend in just a few minutes. As I looked out the window to a somewhat cloudy day, New York was there greeting me. I took a deep breath and quietly told myself “you deserve this and it’s time to move forward. Jolene it’s time to reclaim yourself”

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I knew I looked horrible, who doesn’t after taking a red-eye flight? Blotchy skin, dark circles under the eyes and I knew that blemish that was on my chin took on a new life of its own during that 4 ½ hour flight, and although I tried to conceal some of those obvious not so appealing spots on my face with face powder, Logan didn’t give me any clues that he thought the same way and if he did he played it off very well, at least he didn’t bolt in the other direction. There he was, with that big smile on his face and an awaiting hug to give “just breath and damnit smile”…why was I so nervous? finally we were standing right in front of each other and I looked right into his eyes and knew that I had nothing to worry about …for the first time in a long while I felt safe.

“I’ll show you” …from average teen to wild child

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A brat? Yes….rebellious I wasn’t but I wanted to make a point. The point being that mommy and daddy dearest needed loosen their parental reins just a bit  and if they were going to categorize me as a “partier, alcoholic and a wild child” then why not just jump right into what they thought me to be. Right??  Now, I assume they got this stupid assumption of me when I was 15, my room covered in NKOTB posters and from time to time I listened to INXS and Guns and Roses.

Now…..I was still that silly teenage girl who cried at the drop of a hat when she saw Joey,Donnie,Danny,Jordan and John  on T.V but I guess because I also listened to the hair /rockish type of bands I was now in their heads, out of control “ wild child” and I do remember the first time that I came home from hanging out with friends and told to come straight to my father’s room to “have a talk” next thing I know he’s giving me a sobriety test. Ok, I wasn’t the type to hit their bar cabinet and drink some vodka and fill it up with water….I may have taken a few sips of a wine cooler but back in the day I thought that  was daring. It wasn’t until after the uncalled sobriety test and lecture that I thought “heck I must be missing out”; there was nothing that I could do to prove to my parents that I wasn’t what they thought me to be. I had already been thrown into the “bad child” category a long time ago.

It was sophomore year and my best friend and I were just at our wits end with our parents. Of course “they didn’t understand” or wanted to understand what we were going through. I guess that’s why Jenny and I gravitated towards one another just because our parents refused to let us have some sort of life….a teenage life, but her and I had that LABEL of “bad child”.  Due to this label bestowed on us we jumped right in….we started to ditch school and sneak out of the house to discover what we were being held captive of. Most of the time we snuck over to each other’s homes and watched VHS movies or episodes of Jerry Springer….nothing too wild and crazy. This was our way of “showing them”…..but in “showing them” our grades dropped and notices came home and of course our parents “talked” and realized that we had been ditching classes. So the call was made and Jenny and I were no longer  to have the same class schedules or hang out together.

We weren’t going to HAVE that and we were really going to SHOW them!!  So around midnight I jumped the back fence and met up with Jenny and her boyfriend. We all stayed in a hotel room just going over “our plan” for this new independence. In a way I think we wanted our parents to “see what they were missing” to come together and realize that we weren’t BAD we just wanted this label to be taken off and their actions led us to where we were at…..which was in a seedy motel room. Morning came and I knew by this time my father would have had reported to his cop friends that his daughter and friend went missing, I could only imagine my mother just putting on this crying act for everyone to see “ohhhh how could the Lord do this to me?” She always blamed the Lord for any hardship done to her…..including my pregnancy (but that’s another story).

For a couple of days we just roamed our local streets, the Laundromat being our safe haven. We would just sit and think about what we had done and what we were going to do. We decided later that evening to call the Runaway hotline and get some advice and as we were dialing the number we heard “Hey girls!” As we turned around we noticed it was her father. He didn’t seem all that upset, unlike the wrath that was to come when I got home. He reached for his brick sized phone and called Jenny’s mom (they were separated). At this time her mother and step father were at my home and from what we were told my mother let out a huge cry “we found them we found them!!” Hmmmm no you didn’t Jenny’s dad found us, I thought. He then told them that he was going to take us out to eat but that was quickly changed and we had to come home ASAP. Her father shrugged and said a few words to us but I don’t recall it being a lecture, if I remember right he seemed to understand our rebellious act.

As we entered the house we were told to go directly to the table where there was a plate of bread and two glasses of water. “wow” ok…..my dad was REALLY playing his role as cop!! Did this scare us? No I remember us talking about this later on and thinking it was hilarious. We sat through their lecture, accusations, name calling and sentence …Jenny was told that she was going to go live with her father in Los Angeles and I was grounded for eternity which was nothing different from before. The following week I was taken to a gynecologist to make sure that I was still a virgin…..and then later to a therapist who spent the following hour calling me a whore and a nuisance to society.

I often ask myself if I had to do it all over again would I? Probably not because it didn’t change my parents perception of me. Nothing I could have done before my adventure or after would make them see me the way they saw my sister. She was the IT child, not me. …..and it took me until my late 30’s to realize that I need to stop trying to seek acknowledgement from my parents.  What I learned from all this though was that  I would not label my children in any negative way…… “Troubled”, “bad child”, “waste of a human”, are titles that should never be bestowed on a child.

I have kept my word and although THEY have come to me on many occasions and asked “I’m your favorite huh?”….I smile and say “You are my favorite son (only have one), You are my favorite 19 year old girl, You are my favorite 21 year old!!” ……. They all have great qualities about them; yes we have had our ups and downs but who doesn’t?  It’s just how we come out of it that makes our relationship stronger.

Open communication with your kids can sometimes bite you in the ass!!

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When my kids were very young (six years old)  I sat them down and told them that no matter what the issue they are facing  they can always come to me and I will listen. I promised that I wouldn’t jump to conclusions and I would allow them to speak before I asked them a million and one questions. It was very important for me to have this type of relationship with my children, because it was something that I never had as a child, teen or young adult. I would often feel envious of my friends who were close to their parents and could share almost anything with them without feeling like they were going to get falsely accused and end up grounded for months!

My parents accused me of using drugs and being an alcoholic when I was a teenager. Just because I went from listening to New Kids on the Block to blaring Guns and Roses and INXS (mind you my wall was still plastered with New Kids posters) didn’t mean I was a juvenile delinquent …….but if taking a sip of my moms wine cooler and the couple of times  I snuck and made myself a fuzzy naval….then I’m guilty. Send me to AA!!  And as far as drugs ….. I inhaled twice in my lifetime and I was in my mid-twenties. “Jolene….come on just try it….I do it all the time….come on……”  these were the words of my younger sister. Yep, I was pressured to smoke weed by my drunken/high YOUNGER sister who was in college at the time.

As my children got older I didn’t know that my words would come back to haunt me. They really took “you can tell me anything” to heart, but it was better for me to know what they were up to rather than having to resort to my mother’s way …………..snooping and then jumping to conclusions…..although, I admit I snooped from time to time, what parent doesn’t?  but I never found anything that I didn’t already know about…..well except for the condom, but that story can wait!! …… I knew that being a teenager was hard and I knew they would have questions about sex/boyfriends/girlfriends …etc…. or just your every day high school drama to contend with so if I could give them advice then I would.

“Mom, I’m calling you to let you know that I am ditching class with Heather”….. I stood there dumbfounded, what did Marie just say? She was a junior in High school ……pretty much a straight A student, college bound and kept herself out of trouble so imagine my shock when I heard her tell me that she was ditching school. NOW, before I jumped down her throat….I had to remember that I ditched school ALL the time and never would have admitted it to my mother. “Maria….uhmmm why are you telling me that you are ditching school?” …. “Mom you always told me that I could tell you anything” OK, she got me there. She proceeded to tell me that she has never done anything like this before and wanted to get it out of her system before her senior year. I laughed (to myself) and then told her the importance of staying in school and not ditching her classes……I let her off lightly……she did ditch a few times after but quickly got bored with it.

Ann was the most open with me though and she continues to surprise me…..NOTHING is off limits with her and in a way I’m glad she can come to me. If you read yesterdays post “My trip to the Toy Store” then you would have known that I went and purchased a few goodies for myself………knowing Ann frequents this blog I quickly texted her and told her NOT to read it………too late…I get a message back stating “Mom we are sooooo much a like, Kevin and I went to a “store” a couple of days ago”. WHAT!!!  See I didn’t need to know that……..yes it’s good that they aren’t afraid to start up their own “toy” collection but I didn’t need to read it…………….  “I didn’t need to know that Ann”….. “but MOM you told me that I can tell you anything” she laughed .

I could never imagine myself having this type of conversation with my mom, I still get squeamish just thinking about the time I walked into the bathroom and saw her leopard lace nighty hanging on the towel rack….ugh…..I was twenty-five.

My brief escape from reality

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I wish at times that I had the luxury to just hop on a private plane and fly to my favorite places for a few hours so I can experience the sights, smells and the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted all over again.

When I find myself wanting to just escape I close my eyes and picture myself walking along the cobblestoned streets of Little Italy, New York taking in the culture that oozes out of every restaurant and bakery that I pass. I’m easily entertained by the accents of the big burly Italian men that stand in front of their restaurants shouting out in Italian how magnificent their menu is and trying to leer me into their restaurant, and all I can think about is where is Don Vito and the rest of the Corleone family?

As I’m continuing my walk down Mulberry st, my senses take over and I’m instantly taken into the most amazing deli. Just stepping foot into this place makes me gain 10 pounds just by the smell alone. I’m in carb heaven………breads line the aisles, and yes I inhale hmmmmmm….nirvana! My senses become awaken by the smell of pancetta, prosciutto, Calabrese, sopressata, and as the jolly old butcher notices my desire to just take a sample… I smile and force myself to leave. In a way, I’m in the middle of an amazing foreplay session with my senses because once I get to my destination …………….all the teasing will be worth it. I venture into the little ma and pa bakeries and just want to sink my teeth into the fruit tarts and cannolis, but I can’t ruin my appetite on these magnificent treats so I listen to my growling stomach and continue on down mulberry street.

Casa Bella Ristorante sits on the corner of Hester and Mulberry. It’s a quiet little restaurant and although I normally sit inside and gaze out the window I choose to enjoy my meal outside and partake in my favorite pastime, people watching while I devour my favorite dish…….Penne con broccoli with chicken, along with their mozzarella ,tomato basil salad and  sipping on a glass of Merlot. The first bite is indescribable; it’s almost like having an orgasm in my mouth …..and there I sit satisfied getting lost in all that surrounds me.

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“Ring Ring”  I’m whisked back to reality; to the life I’ve become accustomed to “Good Morning, this is Jolene, how can I help you?”  and as I take a deep breath and start my morning, I smile knowingly  that without a doubt  I will be back to walk the streets of Littly Italy….. hopefully sooner than later!!

Time to come clean

OK, I admit it…..I did it, but I couldn’t resist this yellow and green box packed with vibrant colors!!  While I was contemplating my plan to make this box my own I could only imagine what amazing creations I could make.  I looked down the aisle…..no one, so I grabbed the box of Crayola crayons and stuffed it into my Strawberry Shortcake purse.

Now mind you, I didn’t go for the tiny 8 pack. I went for the box of 24!!! Maybe it was the built-in sharpener in the back of the box that sold me but if was going to do this I was going to go big!! after I concealed my treasure, I ran back to my mother and continued our trip to the grocery store.

When we got home I quickly went to my room and took out MY box of crayons, opened them up and stared on in amazement at all the in tacked crayons because the crayons in my crayon box were broken, wrappers taken off or just plain…………..used.  As I was in the middle of creating my newest masterpiece my mother came in my room looked at the box of crayons and asked “where did you get those?” Crap, I didn’t plan out an alibi at all………..so the only thing my 7-year-old pony tailed self could come up with is that it was a party favor from a party we had at school for a classmates birthday. Now, maybe if I would have thrown in a name, my story may have been believable…but she wasn’t buying it. So she brought me to the kitchen table with evidence in tow and had my father proceed with the interrogation. Geez, you would have thought he would have gone a little easy on me considering I was only 7 yrs old and not some of his REAL criminals he arrested earlier that day,  but he got the truth out of me…..even my crocodile tears didn’t save me.

I seriously thought that was it. I told the truth so give me back the crayons. No such luck!! My mom grabbed me and the stolen box of crayola crayons and took me back to the store where I had to confess my thievery to the manager. Yeah, I had to endure a lengthy talk about right and wrong all the while I thought to myself “dude you need to steal some gum your breath stinks”.

I went home that night empty-handed and was sent straight to my room……………grounded of course.

So now that I confessed…..what did you steal?

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Knowing what I know now …..

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I never imagined by writing the Open letter to my twenty something self  would have opened up emotions that I hadn’t felt for over ten years. As I wrote that letter I imagined myself standing next to such a lost, brokenhearted, young woman…..to recall the feeling of the cold tile floor beneath me, the emptiness of the house, the silence that surrounded me once more made me just want to delete every word that I had typed so far, I didn’t want to go back to that day….I didn’t want to FEEL those emotions again. I diligently worked hard to shield the truth behind my fake smile that appeared across my face to the people I came in contact with , not even my closest friends knew the darkness that surrounded me during that time.

Driving home from work yesterday, I broke down in tears. “Why now…..shit am I pmsing? Noooo it’s too soon. Why was that letter affecting me this much?” I couldn’t shake that feeling of hopelessness and despair…..I was relieved to find that the Mister wasn’t home yet, I hurried inside and wiped the tears away and did my best to redo my smeared make-up. I don’t know why I bothered; he wouldn’t notice that I had been crying….shit he hasn’t even noticed that I colored my hair.

Throughout the evening I thought about the post I wrote and while sitting outside next to the fire pit enjoying the beautiful night a  heaviness laid on my heart, I knew eventually this would be read by my daughters. “How would they react? Would one call it pathetic while the other one began to truly understand what I went through? Would I lose followers from being too raw” these were just some of my thoughts that I had while getting lost in the flames dancing in front of me.

The last thing I wanted to be labeled was “the woman who gave up on her children”. Which was so far from the truth but this was the label my ex and his family felt comfortable branding me with. They certainly have a way of branding the “exes” with colorful names yet aren’t willing to come face to face with the cold hard truth with those in the family that don’t know the meaning of fidelity.

At the age of 17, we had our oldest daughter……by the age of 21, we had two little girls and I was pregnant with our son. My marriage was falling apart; to his admission years later he wasn’t ready to have a family, he was more interested in himself, his hobbies, living the single life than to be a father and a husband. I made the decision to move to the Midwest to be closer to my family; I knew the road ahead was going to be tough. I just didn’t know it was going to THAT tough. ….I was 22, with three little children under the age of six….Ann (the middle child) was having a hard time with the divorce and the newest addition; her brother. My oldest tried to hold her role as the leader and her stubbornness reigned the household. I worked countless minimum wage jobs, and at one time I was working three jobs just trying to make ends meet but it still wasn’t enough. Paying for childcare, rent, utilities sometimes left me twenty dollars for food for my family. Yes, my parents helped a little but a day didn’t go by that I didn’t hear a snide comment from my mother about watching her grand kids…..how she can never get anything done around the house or do things she wants to do because the kids were always around. Eventually, I stopped asking for help because I didn’t want to burden them. Plus the constant reminder of me being a failure didn’t help any.

Things just got tougher, my lack of money and growing debt were out of control, I didn’t know what to do anymore, I saw my kids lose their fun-loving mother… now in front of them was a shell of a woman, THEIR MOM who was tired, lost, at her wit’s end, quick-tempered and sad. A day didn’t go by that I didn’t tell them that I loved them they are my world, but they deserved much more. They didn’t deserve the life that I was giving them. They deserved a life with two parents, grandparents who didn’t feel burdened by them, cousins they could grow up with….a family who could offer them so much more.  That’s what they deserved…..they didn’t deserve a mom who would lock herself up in her room and cry because she felt helpless, alone and a failure….the last thing I ever wanted was for my kids to feel as though I failed them. My ex and I were civil, it took me a year to finally come out and ask him if he could help me with our children until I can get on my feet financially. He agreed he would help and that once back on my feet the kids would come back to live with me. I never once said that I didn’t want my kids anymore, not once did I turn my back on them; as I would soon find out the ex and his wife started to tell people.

In hindsight, if I knew that my decision would haunt me for the rest of my life and knowing what I know now I don’t think I would have made the call to my ex-husband and ask him for help. I don’t know how our lives would have turned out but we wouldn’t be the people we are today. Yes, eventually my ex and I shared custody of the children but the damage was already done. He claimed he never spoke ill of me to my children but my children would ask me if what was said about me true…. “dad said he is doing you a favor by having us be with you since you gave us up, did you mommy? why didn’t you want us? Dad says you are a bad influence on us?”  yes, these were just a few things I heard throughout the years ……. What type of man would say this to their kids? I never turned my back on them, when we lived in different states I called them regularly, my heart hurt every day that I wasn’t with them ….I sent them things, bought their clothing….I was THEIR mom through and through, I didn’t let the distance affect us. I never quite understood the “bad influence” comment which he made quite often….it wasn’t like I was some drug pushing whore who drank constantly in front of my children. I worked my butt off to gain the experience and increase in pay so I could provide for my children, I didn’t go to parties on the weekends (like he did), I didn’t put other things before them (like he did)….I led a pretty boring life, yes I dated and had some horrible break ups but that shouldn’t be a deciding factor on another label he branded me with.

As I walked into my office this morning I pondered on the sign that I have on my book shelf….I bought it for the patients who come into my office from time to time, to offer encouragement, to offer hope.

Happiness is something you decide ahead of time 

I will leave you with that and a promise that the next post won’t be so raw …… thank you all for your loving comments. You guys are truly the best and you know who you are!!!