I’m a living example of what people can go through and survive

Years ago my husband and I were seeing a marriage counselor. After one particularly grueling session, my husband stormed out and left the therapist and me to finish the hour alone.  When the session ended and I started to make my way to the door, she stopped me. “I don’t usually do this,” she said, “but in your case I’m making an exception: I don’t think you are safe living with him and I suggest you get out as soon as you can.”

I already knew that. Although he wasn’t an avid jail-attendee, my husband was criminally-savvy enough to not put his hands on me, but typically chest-bumped or threw household items instead. Several times I would shield myself with a laptop while running out the front door of our apartment.

At one point, his own friend said, ”You know he’s an alcoholic, right?”

BitmojiI planned and executed the escape with the help of my closest friends, both packing and moving possessions in what I called an “a’ la Sleeping With the Enemy style,” – and later, the ultimate result was nicknamed “The Evacuation.”

”You’re the strongest person I know,” a friend said.

”Therapy,” I replied, ”And I’ll be damned before I let an abusive alcoholic who can’t even control his own life to turn my baby and me into a stereotypical cinematic drama. I refuse to lay down and play victim!”

I did it with friends. Not one family member helped. I was in shock. Depressed. Saddened. Angry. And scared. But I did it. And I’m glad I did. And I would – without hesitation – do it again.

Don’t let anyone control your life to the point where you’re in fear every day. If I can do it, so can you.

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-1Yos

The feeling you get…

2015/01/img_1062.jpg For all of you who are going through hell right now, this one is for you!

Don’t go changin’

IMG_0678.JPG Lol OMG >> Okay seriously now. There’s an ancient song from the ’70s that says you shouldn’t change to make the other person happy. This is a screaming red flag. 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩Neither person should have to change. We’re talking “the depths of your personalities.” Alcoholism or drug use – yes of course, change all you want. But not who you are as a person. I had an ex who constantly said, I’ll change!” But why? He was being him. Why would I want him to change? It’s like asking a zebra to remove its stripes and put on a horn because I want a unicorn. Forget that. I’ll just go find the unicorn. I let the zebra go.

I Had it. You Have It.

IMG_0649.JPG Here’s something you may not have even considered: You have the power to save yourself. The strength to save yourself is like an old closet in your home. You may have forgotten it’s there, you may not use it as much as you used to – you may even be afraid to look inside. But when you do, you’ll be thrilled at the strength you forgot you had.

Finally — Closure!

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I never really fully grasped the importance of closure until now. I’ve known of the importance of it, but up until the other day I hadn’t fully appreciated its affects.

For over a year I was being dragged along by a misguided, undeserving liar who repeatedly told me that he was divorcing his dysfunctional wife. There are a few reasons I had even bothered to entertain thoughts of dating him in the first place, most of which had nothing to do with my instinct or first opinion. I had ended it more than once only to allow myself to get sucked back into a very ridiculous adult high school-like drama. After months and many “looks” from him, we had an email conversation where he pretty-much proved his need to lie. Needless to say I was still disappointed in him, but with this round of torture, I also found the very much needed Closure.

This guy is crazy.

As he attempted to weave spells of magic around the last year of lies that he’s spilled while drunk, I realized, “This guy is not only toxic, but he’s never going to change, and he doesn’t want to.” And I realized he’s just like my alcoholic ex-husband.

And so the shackles have opened and I finally see him in a new light — which is awesome, but I feel lost as well. I feel alone in the world. Strange — considering I’ve got plenty of friends.

I think this permanent closure has opened my world for me, but without having — or better yet: Constantly focusing on my — goals, I feel lost. There’s overhanging “residue” from my mother who insisted my life goal was to meet someone and get married.

Screw that. I have closure. I’m holding my closure close and protecting it like a homeless man with a freshly baked baguette.

Closure is awesome. I don’t check my many forms of communication for signs of his toxicity anymore. I now pity him. What a fool. He’s accepting a life of negativity. What a shame. Oh well.

The day I had received the closure I needed and I was finally done with him, I wanted to skip through the halls. I couldn’t, but I’ll settle for this:

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Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee

“I lost my shit the other day.” Just another lovely expression from the bowels of New York’s working class spectrum. As crass as it is, it still holds true, especially when over-imbibing in full-octane Iced Lattes and having to deal with a 45 minute search for parking in the busy Long Island town of Mineola. 

Have you ever been to Mineola? Despite the friendly family feeling of its residents, the town has also managed to squeeze in a major train station, a world-renowned hospital, courthouses, attorney offices, endless parking garages, restaurants and office buildings. I spent 45 minutes driving through parking garages and municipal lots as well as uselessly pumping quarters into several 2-hour meters before realizing I wasn’t actually going to be able to park anywhere, wasn’t getting to work on time and would definitely be missing an appointment later in the day. I realized all of this while the rain poured down, saturating both my car and my hair and making me look like a homeless sheep dog. 

By the time I decided that God intended me to stay home, I had lost my shit, sputtering craziness into my iPhone as I canceled everything with a zeal I hadnt had since attempting to punch my sister in the face in high school. I then proceeded to drive home like one of those hopeless cases, tears uncontrollingly pooling up and spilling over from my eyes. 

“I wonder if I shouldn’t have had those two Iced Lattes,” I thought. “They make me a little edgy.”

I’m guessing coffee may be illegal years from now, especially considering the mind-effing it does to some folks who drink the roasted brew. WebMD posted that coffee causes “caffeinism,” with symptoms like anxiety or agitation. (Sounds like what I had while schlurping my first Iced Latte while looking for parking.) They also say that folks who drink coffee may eventually find themselves drinking more coffee to get the same effect. This would explain my co-worker’s six Iced Quad Lattes a day. Sounds a little too close to Alcoholism, if you ask me.

And yet friends tell me, “It’s all in your head.” That’s ridiculous. That’s like saying everyone’s phsiological makeup is the same. It’s also like saying there’s only one type of person in the world and that only one element exists on the periodic table of elements. Yeah, dont get me started.

Let’s check out the other too-much-coffee symptoms that I’ve had and how they’ve effected me.

Insomnia
And here I thought it was my pseudo psychic powers waking me up at 3am to connect with spirits from the Other Side. Or thoughts of my ex plaguing me so much that they woke me. Turns out it was the multiple Mochas sucked down in one day that left me in an early morning sweaty pool of ex-thought-aftermath with no recourse but to Hoover a cap of nightquil, because remnants of those delicious cups of iced, milky-coffee-ground goodness smacked me in the face every time my eyelids drifted downward. And unfortunately a few times this ugly scenario reared it’s head right after a breakup, leaving me paralyzed in countless insufferable, sleepless hours of ex thoughts. No wonder people think I looked like Andrea from The Walking Dead.

Nervousness & Restlessness
I can’t sit still long enough to write a description of this point.

Stomach Upset
A few months back I came to the point where it felt like i ate knives for breakfast after my morning, mid-morning and pre-lunch coffees. As soon as I stopped drinking coffee the pain magically disappeared. I wish my ex’s ex would disappear so quickly.

Nausia & Vomiting
Thankfully I never tossed my cookies, but nausia was a weekly thing. At some point I realized coffee was making me nausious, but instead of quitting I switched to Iced Lattes. It provided a small victory over wanting to hurl, but useless when it came to the other symptoms like…

Increased Heart Rate
I called them Heart Palpitations, but after some time they morphed into straight-up Chest Pain accompanied by visions of heart attacks. But an addict is an addict, and even with friends telling me that I was insane to keep drinking coffee, I’d still suck down a few a week. At one point in my Caffeine Career, I was having so much chest pain that I actually went to a cardiologist and took a stress test and Echocardiogram – or cardiac ultrasound. 

Total side note: 
During the exam the sono tech told me that the number of enlarged hearts is on the rise. Funny, I thought, the amount of coffee consumption has been on the rise as well. Clearly this is all speculation on my part, especially considering how much I love frequenting coffee houses…

Agitation
Ever want to stab people with a pencil at work? Ever want to ram your car into someone else’s just to teach them a lesson that you know they’ll never really get anyway? Ever just start throwing things because you’re tired that your place looks like a never-ending pig sty? Yeah, neither have I.

Ironically, there are a few things not listed on the WebMD site that I believe goes hand-in-hand with my personal physiological makeup and coffee consumption. 

Hives & Welts
There was a guy in my high school who had the misfortune of having the biggest welts on his face that I had ever seen. They were huge – no amount of coverup would have helped him. At the time I just felt bad for him – realizing we were in high school and adolescence is a nasty biotch, I let it go. But most recently I noticed the counter guy in Dunkin Donuts has similarly attrocious skin as High School Welt Guy’s skin. I wonder if they drink coffee. 

This is what happens to me when I drink hot coffee:
Generally when I drink regular hot coffee, within a few hours I’m itching behind the ears. I get those vile lumps that only Benedryl can cure, and if I dont stop the coffee consumption, the vile little lumps actually start to hurt. 

Is it really the coffee?
After years of studying the effects of coffee on my skin, I realized it may not entirely be the coffee. How do I know this? And what is really the problem, if not coffee? This is where my sick semi-scientific shit kicks in and may help you or someone you know, so stay with me:

I believe it’s something funky in the tubing of the machines that brews the coffee and steams the milk that’s producing hives.

Why? Let’s look at some scientific reasoning here. 

I would get hives when:
I drank coffee
I drank hot cocoa
I drank hot tea
I ate “Street Meat” from a New York city licensed vendor
I ate McDonalds food

I would not get hives when:
I drank iced lattes
I made my own hot cocoa
I drank iced tea
I ordered anything – hot or cold – from a new coffee shop
I drank anything from a new coffee system
Cooked my own food

These little factoids lead us to believe that its not the actual coffee thats a problem, but perhaps the chemical interection between the hot oil or grease and metal tubing or metal grills. 

This is crazy shit. I could win a Nobel Skin Prize for this one day. 

Results like these hardly make an hour’s burst of energy worth it. Especially since after the hour of energy is a energy slump so bad it makes a sloth look motivated. 

Right now I’m glad I didn’t have that Iced Latte today because there’s a guy sitting next to me on my commuter train that smells like mold and is irritatingly tapping his foot to the beat of whatever lame band hes probably listening to. Had I drank the 4pm latte today, I probably would have lost my shit and snapped at him already. But today I chose water, so I’m only mildly irritated. Maybe next week when I’m completely Caffeeine Sober I won’t even notice. Maybe.

12 Lessons I Learned From My Ex-Men

Lately I’ve been wondering exactly how many life lessons I have to learn before I’m rewarded. If you compare life to school, we should get payouts every few weeks or so. But unfortunately life isn’t the same as school. Can you imagine paying tuition, attending classes and studying for a final exam without ever receiving a final grade, or worse — a diploma? And yet that’s what life offers us: Endless exams without the benefit of a final review.

For some, a lack of final review offers a comforting sigh of relief. But for Capricorns such as myself, it’s like fully stretching a rubber band without ever allowing the Snap!

Considering the lack of Snap!, I started reviewing previous relationships and constructed a list that I could consider Lessons Learned, hoping it’ll soon produce a positive payout. They are:

1.) Innocent Faces Don’t Represent the Innocent 
I dated one guy who I would consider an “All American Pie Boy.” His visual presentation stirred mental images of warm apple pies sitting on window sills while young boys play baseball in woolen trousers all across midwestern Americana. Safe, comforting and honest.

Unfortunately his outer presentation of honesty and integrity belied his deep-seeded affection for a toxic relationship. Thankfully I wasn’t the toxic relationship – but that in itself was a problem. I spent close to a year watching him implode, addicted to an unstable ex with whom he continually played childish mind and manipulation games like they never left high school. It was exhausting and I thankfully realized after connecting too many dots that he was already spinning a web of lies for me. I cut him loose.

2.) Couples Breakup For A Reason
I was like the fly that repeatedly smacked against the same spot on the window pane, hoping for better results with each head whack. Giving men multiple chances has been one of the stupidest repeated mistakes in my dating career. Cheaters, liars, alcoholics. The one lesson I’ve learned: What they had no problem doing once, they did again. There’s a reason why phrases like “Zebras don’t change their stripes,” “Leopards don’t change their spots” and “History repeats itself,” exist.

3.) They Don’t Automatically Know Better
If you’ve read “How My Mother Made Me Desperate,” you’ll understand the devaluing of my intelligence by my parents and how it caused me to question all my decisions. This, in turn, caused me to rely heavily on the opinions of the men I dated — alcoholics and all. Thankfully, because of praise from countless teachers and coaches, I was able to grab hold of the glimmer of hope in myself, get therapy, and eventually see that most of the putzes that I dated were even less informed than I was. I realized I replaced my parents with men — or even friends — allowing them to approve of my choices or tell me how to live my life based on the little facts that I was willing to relay.

4.) Dating Exists so We Can Get to Know Someone
My mother had a way of making me feel like I always had to take any offer that was given. From colleges to jobs to men. And not only did I have to consider the “generous” offer to date, but I also had to consider it may be my only option to wed, as well. I wasn’t taught to go on dates as a casual way of getting to know someone. It was subtly and continuously drilled into me that if I accepted one date, I was locked-in. So if I said yes to the first date, there was already talk by my mother of life integration.

Half the time this sent me running from the good guys — primarily because I wasn’t ready to marry. So I spent years distracting myself with sub-par men out of fear. And since I was brainwashed to believe I wasn’t worth a good man and that he’d eventually cheat, I grew to believe I also couldn’t handle one and was drawn more toward the not-so-good man. Unfortunately in doing so I learned:

5.) Ugly Slobs Screw Up Too
There’s a misnomer that ugly men treat women better because they’re so appreciative of having a good woman. Not so.

In a futile effort to impress my dysfunctional, negative parents, I gained countless scholastic and athletic awards and accolades. But after years of unsuccessful attempts to impress them — due to the changing tides of their expectations — I was still unable to extract the proper parental love based on my own merits. It was at this point that I gave up and accepted being offered-up like a sacrificial lamb to the (alcoholic) son of my parents’ friends. I was exhausted waiting for the right guy to come along.

“At least if he’s not really put-together — no one else will want him and he won’t cheat,” I found myself thinking, not even realizing that he was a serious alcoholic. My thought process focused on my mother’s insistence that all men eventually cheat. Pathetic, I’ll admit. But when you’re riding someone else’s train to Crazy Town you don’t really take full inventory of the passengers. And so I wed.

Four years later I left him, ala Sleeping With the Enemy style. And to this day I feel like I was never a bride, never married and never lived through a honeymoon phase. What I did live through was toxic and terrifying, but without it I would never have awoken to a few much-needed, life altering revelations.

6.) Good Guys Can’t Handle My History & Bad Guys Try to Compete
This is by far the most difficult thing I’ve discovered in the last few years, and I’m hoping that it was only because of how I introduced my history into relationships that sent the good guys running.

I’ve known many good guys in my life. I’ve been in love with them and they loved me. But at those times, because of the mental torment from my parents, I couldn’t handle dating. I’d either retreat completely or reveal too much too soon, thereby overloading them with grisly facts about my home life. They couldn’t handle it because they had never been exposed to that type of dysfunction. Total overload.

In contrast, psychopaths had no problem hearing the dysfunctional details of my life and sometimes even attempted to extend an honest hand of help. Unfortunately their own demons eventually surfaced and we’d always be left in a proverbial “Who’s Life Is Worse” match.

To this day I’m not sure where that leaves me — other than that I need to be friends with someone before dating. But at least I’m now aware.

7.) I Need to Acknowledge My Good Decisions and Stick to Them
Alcoholics. Thieves. Druggies. Cheaters. Thankfully after years of praying and practice I’ve gotten better at accepting the things I can not change, changing the things I can, and recognizing the difference. Ironically most of my bad decisions were second-guesses brought on by parental pre-conditioning. The good decisions? I’m finally starting to roll around in those — beginning with the choice to leave my alcoholic husband without telling my mother of the plan.

8.) Only I Know the Whole Story
After years of being taught that I couldn’t make a correct decision on my own, I started to believe that I couldn’t date on my own as well. And it opened the floodgates for both solicited and unsolicited advice in relationships. Only I knew all the details of situations, but I continually asked for advice from friends. This changed drastically the moment I decided to cut my mother from The Evacuation plans. It was the best decision I ever made.

9.) Compatibility is Always Important
I’ve dated everything from suits to surfers. It took a few years to realize I leaned more toward the “suit who wouldn’t mind surfing,” type of guy, but before that ever happened I was testing the waters in all things coastal.

It’s funny what can happen after graduating college. I went from being well-known in a school of 16 thousand students to a small group of my friends. And because of their new careers and availabilities — and my unwillingness to venture out alone — the pool of potential boyfriends dried up like a maple leaf on a sunny fall day.

Enter one dorky surf guy looking for direction and you’ve entered my alternate dating universe. It was only after we broke up and he kept giving me pitiful looks that I realized I never really wanted to marry the guy anyway. We were ridiculously incompatible. He had no direction, no backbone nor the mental capacity to earn himself either one. I didn’t realize I needed more of a suit — not someone who folds under pressure like a wet Baja Hoodie.

You’d think the major incompatibilities I found in this one fried fellow would deter me from a few more years of aimlessly dating in the wrong genre, but it didn’t. With my mother constantly introducing me as “The last one left [to get married],” and subtly devaluing my personal accomplishments, it’s no wonder I was ready to form a lifelong partnership with just about anyone remotely tolerable.

But dating someone who’s incompatible is like trying to blend oil and water. Only after disowning my mother and starting a year free from dating did I finally accept that dating is just a way to get to know someone, and if you find yourself incompatible, you can go your separate  ways. And most importantly — it’s not an absolutely mandatory part of life.

10.) If He’s More Interested in His Toxic Ex, She Can Have Him
“You can’t save everyone,” I’ve been told multiple times. I’ve witnessed countless men (and women) try to please dysfunctional partners and in the end they always — always — breakup. Whether it takes a few weeks or the couple is able to drag it out to 20 years.

Because no one tried to save me from the toxic relationship with my mother, I feel compelled to help men who had toxic relationships with their ex. I literally thought if they had a good love, it would turn on a light and they’d not only realize, but be strong enough to save themselves. Ridiculous.

They don’t want to be saved. I’m floored by the countless excuses men make in order to stay with someone who’s destroying both their physical and mental health. And what makes it more difficult for me is knowing that their future guarantees one of two things: the end of their relationship anyway, or the end of their life. Instead of seeking happiness, love, peace and partnership, they’re willing to go to the grave in misery. These men  literally do not want to be happy because they choose suffering over love. You can’t save a masochist.

11.) Love Only Works If Both Parties Want a Partnership
I’ve lived at both ends of this spectrum and can attest to how good a relationship can be if both people continually work to keep the relationship a partnership. And yes, this does incorporate respect. Someone who “allows” you to do something isn’t respecting you just as you’re not garnering respect by constantly seeking someone’s authoritative approval.

12.) The First 3-12 Months of Dating is The Honeymoon Phase 
If he can’t pull it out for you during the honeymoon phase (no pun intended!) then the relationship is not worth keeping. Men will work for women they love and if they love them enough it won’t be work. So if you feel like you’re sucking a relationship out of a man (no pun intended!) it’s time to call it quits.

How awesome would it be if life was like the Nickleback song, “Saving Me,” but instead of a death ticker floating over your head, it’s a When You’re Lessons Will Start Paying Off ticker?

Or maybe they are already and we just don’t know it…

-1YOS

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The Pre-Thanksgiving Alcoholic

I can smell an alcoholic from a mile away. Unfortunately – in this case – there’s one right next to me on my commuter train home.

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Alcoholics think that no one knows they’re alcoholics. I know this guy’s an alcoholic. There’s a way alcoholics process alcohol – the smell of it hovers near their skin with a stale, sweet, fermenting, rotting essence. It permeates the area like old tobacco does after seeping into walls for years.

Whenever an alcoholic sits next to me, my skin crawls. My senses go on high alert because my ex-husband was an alcoholic.

I was home making stuffed mushrooms on Thanksgiving Eve, 2006, when my husband [at the time] came home after drinking all day. He was so inebriated it was like a stranger had entered the apartment. It was a violating feeling, having my husband’s body – with a stranger’s personality – enter my home, and the worst part about it is that I couldn’t do anything about it like I could if it really was a stranger. When he harassed me or dumped an entire container of spice into my recipe, all I could do was gently plead for him to stop, hoping by some miracle something I said would snap him out of it.

Nothing ever did.

There were times when he’d come home at 3am after being unreachable all day. One night I used my laptop as a shield as I ran through the apartment with my husband throwing things at me. Another night I shut myself in the closet, but he opened it, smashed it closed, opened it and smashed it again – all the while screaming, “What did I do wrong!? What did I do wrong?!”

I was terrified. He was a hunter and although still new at the sport, he had knives, bows and a rifle. There were times while I waited for him to come home at night that I considered sleeping on the floor beside the bed just so I wasn’t vulnerable when sleeping.

Those times made me realize that I had to make a choice: I could fall into the dramatic cinematic B.S. that a lot of women fall into and potentially have people pitying me for the rest of my life like a piece of worthless trash, or i could do something about it.

Neither of my parents were alcoholics, but they were both physically abusive and emotionally abandoned me. And no one had ever saved me from them. So I thought about my baby boy, “I have to save his life like no one saved mine.” I had to save his life like no one saved mine.

My ex-husband still tries to get me into fights even to this day. But it’s completely different now because I have my own safe haven. My home is an oasis because it’s just my son and me who live there. I no longer have to peep around the door when I come home at night to see if my ex is drunk, passed out or dead. I know my son is safe and happy in our home. And my stuffed mushrooms on Thanksgiving are perfect.

I hate alcoholics. I’m sorry, I do. And I hate when they sit next to me on my commuter train home.

But I love myself for being brave enough to save myself and my son. Its made all the difference.

GWLMIT

No, it’s not a new toy. When I was married and realized my husband was a serious alcoholic, I kept thinking, “This won’t be forever. God won’t leave me in this.” The fear of being killed was overwhelming. My husband had a shotgun, knives. I had to plot my evacuation with hair raising awareness, hoping my husband wouldn’t discover my plot, hoping that what I knew of him was correct – that he wasn’t up to actually killing me. So while being single isn’t nearly as life threatening, I’m still seeing a lot of single folks on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and other social media focusing on Singledom as if it’s the end of their lives. If you really think Singledom is that horrendous, just keep thinking, “GWLMIT.” And feel free to substitute whatever higher power it is that you believe in even if it’s not God. Because you won’t be in this forever. Just do yourselves a favor: Instead of concentrating on what you don’t want in a partner, concentrate on what you do want. Positive. Always.

GWLMIT

What kind of asshole hangs out with child abusers?

I went to my sons swimming lessons today because for the last classes they let the parents watch. My ex-husband was there obviously because he has my son this weekend. We exchanged some small talk about my son’s swimming efforts when I added, “Oh by the way, I heard more information about my sisters abuse by my parents.” My ex-husband then flipped out saying, “why you got to talk about that?” I replied, “because you’re hanging out with child molesters!”

Apparently also among the years of being physically abused by my parents my mother also had my sister sexually abused by a doctor. My sister had left the family years ago without telling anybody why and my mother spread the rumor that my sister was crazy and angry. Until recently. I had called my sister last year to complain about my parents and she revealed every reason why she left the family and horrid detail. Needless to say I was floored because of the years of manipulation that my mother had putting in, telling everyone my sister was crazy, meanwhile it was my mother who was the one who was crazy – bringing my sister to a doctor repeatedly to have her sexually abused.

Now my husband, who has no parents because he threatened to kill his own mother for her abusing him, doesn’t have any of his parents so he hangs out with my parents. And in the meantime I discovered that his mother was angry because she too was sexually abused by her grandfather and her mother who is my ex-husband’s grandmother knew about it.

Are you keeping up with this?

So basically my ex-husband hangs out with abusive parents but refuses to believe that my sister was sexually abused because he’s desperate to have parents of his own that he’s will ing to go so far as to hang out with sexual abusers in order to have a relationship with any parents at all.

Every time I try to talk to him about any kind of abuse he sides with the abuser. It’s infuriating! What kind of moron hangs out with someone whose abused them for so long or abused other people? It infuriates me that this world is based upon fear. Any it infuriates me that hes stupid and naïve enough to believe that my mother, with a passive aggressive sweetheart low voice, is not an abuser!

Wake up and smell the coffee you moron!

* This entire post was made through Siri, and will be edited so if it doesn’t make sense check back in a day or two and it’ll be updated ha ha 🙂 xo

Ever spot your ex on a date?

The other night I was with extended family at an event in a small, popular town by me (thought I saw Blake Lively walk by with a guy – that kind of town). As my family and I waited on the corner for the event to start, my ex-husband walked by with a girl. He was wearing the same gym shorts that he was wearing the day before when he dropped off my son, a gray t-shirt, sneakers and round black sunglasses. I recognized his beer gut first, then the gym shorts. I wouldn’t have thought it was him if he wasn’t wearing sunglasses at 9:30pm.

I think I laughed for a good ten minutes. I want to take the man shopping so he can get a quality girl. But I thought of two things: 1.) I am a quality girl. He had me and he blew it wide open 2.) I’m not helping any man. A quality guy will do it himself.

Oh, that made my night more than the actual event.

Ex-Husband

Sometimes (all the time) I look at my ex-husband and I think,
“The thousands that I spend on therapy were well worth it.”

How My Mother Made Me Desperate

We often wonder why some girls are desperate and needy. You would think it’s an inherent need, but sometimes it comes from the folks who are supposed to protect them the most. Case in point:

“We’re going to marry you off to the old widower down the road,” my parents would joke, adding, “Except, we’ll have to throw in some chickens as well” – a clear sign that they didn’t think I was worth anything; they had to “sweeten the pot” with a farm animal. So essentially I was worth less than a farm animal.

This was just one of the many not-so-subtle ways that my parents expressed their view of my value. I had to be married to be worth something, and that no one would want me as I was. I wasn’t good enough.

Eventually all my sisters “found someone,” and I was “left.” I dated here and there, but as nothing panned out, my mother would ask in horrified voice if I was a lesbian, and would introduce me as “the last one left.” Imagine how I felt when – in social circles – she would say, “Oh, and here’s my daughter, Kate. She’s the last one left.”

The last one left? It indicated that I was – in her eyes – the last one of her daughters to do the right thing: obtain the golden ticket and get married. So to my mother, all my other achievements – Deans List, MVP, Captain, Who’s Who of Junior Colleges – twice, Editor In Chief of the college newspaper and Student of the Year – all paled in comparison to being someone’s wife. It was another statement that pissed me off – but being a dutiful daughter, I let it slide. Why? Because my other sisters had issues with my mother! My mother also very artfully manipulated me by saying, “It doesn’t matter what we do to you, Kate, you’ll always come back to us. You’re the good one.” She was a master manipulator.

So those statements, along with dozens of other similar messages, created a need for me to find a husband – even before carrying out my own dreams. But ironically I didn’t radiate desperateness. I wasn’t a slut. I wasn’t “with” every guy I met, and I didn’t want every guy to marry me. I actually had some discrimination. Some.

Sadly, when my dysfunctional mother introduced me to her friend’s equally dysfunctional son, I went for it – hook line and sinker – because of a few things: 1.) I was tired of waiting for a quality guy that I actually wanted to spend the rest of my life with 2.) I was completely intimidated by quality guys 3.) It was a preordained match made by my dysfunctional mother 4.) I was taught my entire life to think that my parents had all the correct answers, and wasn’t ever allowed to question them. So if this guy was my perfect match, I wasn’t about to question it.

Thankfully, the story gets better.

A foundation of years of therapy enabled me to eventually leave my alcoholic husband in a somewhat “Sleeping With the Enemy” style. I call it “The Evacuation.” After my husband left for a long weekend with the boys, I gathered friends at my home to pack my things. Did I tell my mother? No way in hell – I was a clam in the months leading to the evacuation. Twice prior she had convinced me to stay with the alcoholic, so I knew that it was a turning point in my life – she wouldn’t be making any more decisions for me, and I didn’t tell her anything about the evacuation. Needless to say, when I did inform her of the move, she was shocked and tried to convince me to return to him.

I feel like 1 Year of Single is my final phase of the evacuation. Since leaving my ex-husband, I’ve had to completely sever ties with my mother – and I want to rip the control completely out of her hands by not dating for one year. I want to do it on my own terms. And I want to take everything back from the Mother who made me desperate.