It’s a New Day

New Day

It’s time to start truly moving on with my life.  For those of you who have been following my posts, I have delved into the darkest points of my life over the last couple weeks in order to finally face up to the demons of my past.  I probably left out quite a bit but there was just far too much flying around in this head of mine to get it all through to my fingers and the keyboard.  But I did hit on all of the most important moments I think.

And I have come out of this little series of mine with more weight off my shoulders than I even knew was there.  I am finding myself walking taller and smiling again.  I’m finding myself shrugging off the little annoyances of the day and not holding onto the bigger annoyances nearly as long.

I’m not quite a “glass is half-full” type of person yet, not sure that I ever will be (not sure that I ever was), but at least I can see some of the glasses in my life as half-full again.  I honestly didn’t think that doing this blog would have done this much good for me but it really has.  I’m even finding it easier to open up a little more to people in the real world.  It’s a good feeling.

So now it’s time for me to stop looking backward and start looking forward to what each day is going to offer me.  The sun is out and the weather is finally starting to cool down.  Today is a good day!

Where to go from here

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Image by moominsean via Flickr

I have been getting a lot of crap from people I know lately about my decision to swear off relationships.  I’m sorry if they don’t see it my way, but I do not feel anyone is worth it anymore.  Ok, maybe one day, in the distant future, I might find that one person who may be worth a little extra effort.  But let’s be honest people.

I have opened up about my past and my past relationships.  The fact that I end up crying more than laughing in any and all relationships I’ve had has got to say something.  What does it say?  I am not meant to be with anyone!  I am tired of crying all the time.  I am tired of being made to feel worthless.  I am tired of being treated like property.  I’m tired of dumbing myself down to get someone to accept me.  Enough.  No one is worth all that.  If I can’t be myself then to hell with them all.

The fact is I have no intention of ever getting married again.  I have no intention of even putting a ring of any kind on that finger again.  I’ll be honest, it sucks to get to that decision.  I will never get to have my dream wedding.  I won’t have someone there to lean on when I get stressed from work or my kid.  I will not get to grow old with that one perfect person.  I get to look forward to a future of going on vacation as the third wheel with my parents!  Ok, granted, they go on cool vacations and they pay at least part of my way, but still, it sucks when you are in your 30’s and the only people who you have to go on vacation with is your folks.

I have no intention of living with anyone again.  It’s too difficult to get the hell out of dodge when everything comes crashing down (which is always does).  Plus I’m sick of being everyone’s maid.  I’m sick of being left with ALL the financial responsibility (I’m not a money machine people!).  I’m sick of having to tear myself in a million directions to try to please everyone all the time.

I AM DONE.

Now, that being said, I am not swearing off life.  I am not swearing off dating.  I am not swearing off men.  And most importantly I am not swearing off the possibility of ever having a relationship of some sort.

I am simply done with allowing anyone to have any full control over my life.  It is my life, I have worked too hard and too long and gone through way too much shit to hand it over to someone so they can destroy it all over again.

I know, I’m young, I’m only 33.  I shouldn’t say never.  But guess what.  I’m saying it!  It is far past time for me to stop imagining that some great person exists out there who is going to swoop in, sweep me off my feet and make my life all better.  My existence doesn’t and shouldn’t depend on another person.  At the end of the day, the only person who has always been there for me is me.  And there for me now and going forward?  Me.  And my dogs.  And for the time being, that’s enough.

Things I’ve Learned About Myself

self-awareness through habitual self-reflection.

Image by m.a.x via Flickr

With the self-reflecting that I’ve been doing lately, there are some things about me that I have recently begun to be aware of.  These are things that I need to change:

  • I seriously lack in self-confidence (I am working on this one, my confidence is already going up, but I have a long way to go still)
  • I have a hard time keeping eye contact (see lack in self-confidence)
  • I walk with my shoulders slumped and head down (when did that start?  I am watching myself with this one, when I notice I’m doing it, I lift my head and hold it high, I remind myself there is no reason that I should have to hang my head)
  • I apologize for everything (been doing this so long I don’t know how to change it, but it’s time I learn)
  • I change myself for everyone I date (I always finds ways to justify this, I don’t know how to work on it just yet but I will learn)
  • I have let myself get very out of shape in the last couple years, I stopped caring  (I care again, I am setting goals to get myself back in shape)

Was it Love Part 3

The End (Now only by boat).....

Ok, so this whole thing seems to be running a bit longer than I thought it would.  Hopefully I will be able to wrap it all up in this post without rambling too long.

As I have said, my first issue with him was his obvious inability to stay at any one job too long.  Maybe I have my expectations set a bit high, I am about to hit my 10 year anniversary with my job, I kind of expect the same kind of stability from others.  Not that I expect  everyone I meet to have been at their jobs for 10 years, but going through 3 or 4 jobs a year every year is not acceptable.

Ok, so let’s get past the focus of his jobs.  When the economy tanked, he ended up out of work completely for several weeks.  He finally got a part-time job delivering pizzas.  He worked less than 15 hours a week and complained every night he did work about how bad tips were.  I can’t prove it, but pretty sure he was lying to me about the money.  But nonetheless, even that little paycheck was better than nothing. 

Now, it was about this time, I truly was getting fed up with everything.  As I stated in the first of these posts, he used to do all kinds of stuff around the house and cooked when we first got together.  At this point in time, he was doing neither.  I was working full-time plus I have almost an hour commute each way.  He slept in every morning and maybe worked 3 hours in the evenings.  So I would ask him to do stuff around the house, you know, clean the kitchen, pick up the living room.  Nothing that I thought was asking too much.  Well boy was I wrong.  Every single day, nothing done.  When I asked why not?  He didn’t have time.

Yep, you read that right.  In the hours before he left for work, he did not have 5 minutes to clean the kitchen.  He did have time, however, to play video games, go to his friend’s house to play with r/c cars and trucks, watch all the stuff we have recorded on the dvr, take naps, etc.  I had a really big problem with this and it caused a lot of fights.  All of which is would end up backing down and crying from.

It wasn’t that I felt to blame, I was just frustrated.  I had finally realized how much he was taking me for granted and how much he was taking advantage of me.  I quit asking him to do anything.  On the rare occasion he would offer to help?  I would decline it.  I didn’t even want his help anymore.  To be honest, at that point, I was trying to get used to what it would be like when I was single again.

I wanted to kick him to the curb, but as he had next to no income, I thought that would be really mean.  I mean, where would he live?  How would he be able to pay his handful of bills?  But the real issue with this thinking of mine?  I was trying to be nice.  He could have cared less.  I was going broke, nearing bankruptcy, trying to support him.  He could have cared less. 

So why did I keep sticking it out with him?  Why did I keep defending him to my parents?  Because I was lying to myself, that how he was acting wasn’t the real him.  That the real him was the guy I met, the guy I fell in love with, the guy I had agreed to marry and grow old with.  The longer we stayed together, though, the more I began to realize that everything he was in the beginning was just an act and this side of him was the real him.

By the end of last year I knew it was completely over.  Unfortunately, I had no idea how to go about ending things and getting him out of my house.  My patience for his crap began running thin and fights got worse.  I cried more and more.  For a while, he really had been the greatest thing that had happened to me.  For a while, I truly felt love for him.  I felt more for him than I had ever felt for anyone else in my life.

I think I let things go on as long as I did because on some levels I didn’t want to lose him.  I didn’t want to be all alone again.  But the worse things got, the better being alone looked.  I just couldn’t believe that this was the best there was for me out there.  So as I got more distant and the more I gave up, I think the more he knew his time was limited.  At least on some level, I believe he knew.  Perhaps that’s why he blew up as bad as he did on that final night.

Was it Love Part 2

Ok, so I cut my last post off a little short (ok, it wasn’t that short, but I did cut off in the middle).  I surprised myself a little.  I was in the middle of talking about how he hopped from job to job and occasionally hopped around in no-job land between.  There was a job he had taken because I was pushing him to get anything at that point.  Minimum wage income is a hell of a lot better than no income, after all.  So he finally took a job that he felt was below him.  But since he hated having to take that job so much, he quit going to work.  When I found out, he officially quit.  But what threw me for a loop while typing out this scenario was the realization that hit me.  I was pissed to find out he had been lying to me.  I was pissed that he was choosing to not work when I was struggling to figure out how to even put food on the table and was barely able to pay bills.  And yet, he managed to get me to cry and apologize.

Now remembering back on this day, I really was pissed when I got home.  I laid into him something fierce.  He of course defended his actions with several pathetic excuses.  How the job was too degrading.  How depressed it made him to walk into work every morning.  How he was talked down to by the managers and supervisors.  Then he started making excuses about why he hadn’t told me.  He was worried I would get pissed, then I would tell him he had to stay at that job no matter what.  Then he started telling me how horrible I was making him feel by forcing him to take a job like that.

Ok, quick break here, I have to tell what this oh-so-horrible job was, as I’m sure you are saying to yourself “holy crap!  what the hell kind of job did she make him take??” 

The job was at Wal-Mart. 

 

Working in the auto department. 

 
A typical Wal-Mart discount department store i...

Image via Wikipedia

He was one of those guys that walks up when you pull in to find out what kind of service you need.  He also did oil changes on occasion.  So there you have it.  I know, crazy, right??

Anyway, so after I had jumped all over his case, he started digging into me, all the things that I do wrong, how mean I am to him, how I ask just way too much of him on a daily basis, etc.  And yes, by the time he was done, I was crying and apologizing.  I was telling him that it was ok that he decided to quit, but just asked that next time something like this came up, to please actually quit (so I wouldn’t get a call from his boss) and just tell me instead of hiding it.

Ok seriously, what the hell was wrong with me?  Why the hell did I let him get away with that?  I should have kicked his ass out right then and there!  There is no freaking excuse for him walking out of that job!

We are talking about a then 26-year-old, with no high school diploma and no GED, and working at Wal-Mart was beneath him?  WTF?!  When my divorce was over and I was hurting financially, I got my ass a second job working at a damn truck stop.  When you have responsibilities and people depending on you and you have bills to pay, it doesn’t matter if your job is scooping up dog shit, there isn’t a job in existence that is below you.  Especially in this economy when so many are ending up homeless because they couldn’t find any job because there aren’t enough jobs to go around!!

And I excused his behavior?  Ok, it’s confirmed, I had seriously lost my bloody mind!!

Ok, now that I have dug into that particular scenario more, and I’m all worked up, I need to take a bit of a break from writing to gather myself back up.  I will say, this does kind of reignite a bit of anger towards him, but way more than that I am angry at myself right now.  How the hell could I have been so stupid to let this shit go on like this for the last 2+ years of our relationship.

Was it love?

Love ♥ Dedicado a Paquito

Image by Nimmue Monterd via Flickr

So I have posted about my childhood, my parent issues, my marriage, my sad excuse for a dating life after my marriage, and it all led to my last relationship, the reason I started this blog in the first place.  I have faced up to a lot of things about my life in the last week or so.  Now it’s time I face up to this last part in its entirety.

In a lot of my early posts I talked about the end of things with him, but I have not gotten into anything about the beginning or how things got to where they did.  If I try to think about it, I’m not even sure how things got that bad.  I’m hoping that if I walk myself through it, I can see what I missed or ignored.  I hope that facing it all will help me to avoid repeating my mistakes.  Again.

The fact is, it truly was one of the deepest relationships I have ever had.  At least for me, I can’t speak for him.  I opened myself up with him more than I had ever done with anyone.

I met him just before Halloween.  It felt like an instant connection.  I met him on a Friday and we literally ended up spending the entire rest of the weekend together.  We got along great, had so much in common.  After that weekend, we would text each other all day every day, talk on the phone every night, he would come over and hang out almost every single night (after my son went to bed of course). 

Within months, I suggested he move in, since he was there all the time anyone and half his clothes were now living at my house.  Ok, so there was mistake #1.  I have a tendency to be a bit impulsive and jump too far too fast.  This is a flaw of mine I was already aware of, but it’s good to keep pointing it out, maybe it will help me think a little more before I act.

Initially things seemed to be going really well.  He would help me out with things around the house, occasionally cook, and he was there to give me support when I had to deal with issues with my son.  He worked a full-time job making decent money.  When we started dating, he told me he had 2 kids.  They were young, 4 and 6, and he told me that his ex-wife kept him from seeing his kids.  He also told me how he had gotten stuck with back support when the divorce was finalized because she had lied about him giving her support during their separation.  Supposedly he had been fighting with the state to get the support modified and he had not been paying his support in the interim. 

Well I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe too often.  But being a divorced mom, I had an issue with him not paying any support at all.  I pushed him to start paying his support again and he did.  I pushed him to fight for his rights to see his kids.  He would go see his kids for a couple of hours and come back home and cry, telling me how much seeing them for that little bit made him want to spend more time with them.  I supported him in trying to see his kids more.

When he decided to leave his nice, stable job because he was having issues with his boss, I supported his decision.  He had another job lined up so I didn’t see there was an issue.  But then he didn’t like his boss at his next job.  Turns out his boss didn’t like his attitude either and he ended up fired just before he quit.  That job only lasted a couple of months.  Then it was on to the next job.  This time he decided he wanted to get into car sales, so he got a job at a dealership.  That went well for the first couple of months, then he got let go.  And so began his pattern of not keeping jobs.

I think this is when I began doubting our future together.  I am all about stability.  In the 4 years we were together, he had more jobs than I have had since I was 16.  The longest he stayed anywhere was 11 months.  And I could always tell when he was getting ready to leave a job.  He had a pattern.  When he would get fed up with whatever he was doing, he would start calling in sick.  A lot.  Like a couple of days a week.  Then usually just before I’m sure he’s going to get canned for missing too much work, he tells me he quit.  Well, except that one job he was at for like 2 weeks.  He quit there a week before he told me, kept leaving the house every morning like he was going to work and then come back home after he knew I had left for work.

Actually, he didn’t technically quit there, he just quit going in.  I found out about it because his boss called me (I was his emergency contact) to ask where he was.  I confronted him about it when I got home and had a chance to cool down.  At the time he had been out of work for months and we were broke and he knew how bad off we were.  Walking away from a paying job when you can’t pay bills is beyond irresponsible.  By the end of the argument I was the one in tears and apologizing.  Wait, what??

Hmmm, ok, there is a lot more I need to dig into and I definitely need to process this last thing.  I had totally forgotten about the whole lying to me for a week and then making it out to be my fault thing.  And since this will obviously take a bit longer to get through, I will end this post for now and continue the saga in the next post.

Life after…..love? Take 1

365_Jan21

Image by Charlott_L via Flickr

My previous post Entering the real world, I talked about my marriage.  Any time I have looked back on it over the years, I can’t really say that I was ever in love with him.  I mean, I did love him and care for him, still do in some ways (he is the father of my child), but I just don’t think I was ever “in love” with him.  If I was, it wasn’t very strong.  Let’s be honest, I was young and stupid.  I think I was more in love with the idea of being “in love” than anything else.

When everything ended I was extremely hesitant to allow anyone to get close to me.  I wouldn’t date anyone more than once or twice.  I would find any and every excuse to end things.  If I’m honest with myself, it wasn’t just that I didn’t trust people, I didn’t want to trust anyone.  I had no interest in anyone proving to me that there were better people out there.  The few people who came really close to proving me wrong, I had no interest in and quickly blew off. 

Over the years I did eventually attempt a few relationships.  But every time I tried to actually date a guy, all his insecurities and possessiveness would start popping up.  I attempted to work through it with a couple of guys, but wasted effort.

The first guy I actually dated after my separation (yes, prior to divorce being finalized) was really a great guy.  I still think about him from time to time and wonder how he’s doing now.  He was a southern boy in the military.  We dated off and on for several months and he even took me on a trip back east to visit his family.  When he got out of the military, he planned to head back home so he could be close to his daughter from his marriage.  He actually asked me to go with him.  I won’t lie, I seriously considered it, but it just couldn’t happen.

For one thing, my divorce was about to be finalized and the custody agreement said I couldn’t move out-of-state with my son.  I wasn’t about to leave my kid behind and didn’t have the resources for a big old custody battle.  Besides, as much as I disliked my ex-husband, I really didn’t want to take my kid away from his dad.  Outside of that, I just didn’t have enough faith to uproot and move across the country with him.  We hadn’t been together for all that long and what if it didn’t work out?  I wasn’t willing to take the risk.  So we broke it off, mutually.  We tried to stay in touch for a while, but that never lasts.

So then I was right back to where I started, no desire to stay with anyone for long.  I was getting restless and tired of living in such a small town.  I wanted more out of my life and all my options were just way too limited there.  I think it may have just been that I felt in desperate need for a major change in my life (as if I hadn’t had enough of that!).  So I started looking for jobs in close by cities.

I finally found one and I up and moved myself and my son to a big city where I knew absolutely no one.  I liked to refer to it as my early mid-life crisis.  I got a job in a whole new field, bought myself my first brand new vehicle (plus first vehicle I had ever gotten completely on my own), started back to school and began starting my life over.

I thought I had finally gotten myself together.  Haha, boy could I lie to myself back then.

When it came to dating, it didn’t take long at all before I found myself right back in the same scenario of picking the guys who used and took advantage of me.  They always seemed so confident until we actually started dating.  Over and over, I would find myself being treated like nothing more than a possession after going out only once or twice. 

I started to think that maybe this is just all there was for me.  I started to accept that this is how is was.  I mean, who the hell was I to be so damn picky, not like I was some great catch or anything.  I quit always being the one to end things.  Not that it made much difference, things still never lasted that long.  I just went from being the dumper to the dumpee.  I gotta say, it was really a hit on the ego.  I think the worst break up line I ever heard was “I can’t see you anymore, I met someone I actually like”.  Ouch!  Sadly, I heard this more than once.

Thing is, I started to realize it was still me causing things to end.  Even with guys I met that seemed really nice, I kept myself so distant.  It wasn’t possible for anyone to truly get close to me.  Sure, I may have been open to sharing personal things, but it was still limited. 

I tried to see a shrink once.  She told me I was so normal it was almost abnormal.  Said I didn’t seem to have any real issues and she didn’t think there was anything she could do to help me.  Nice.  Even shrinks wanted nothing to do with me.

It was getting easier and easier to give up.  I was lonely.  I was sad.  I hadn’t really made any friends in my new city.  I couldn’t seem to connect even on a friend level with anyone, much less connect any other level.  Who was I kidding? 

Then I met him.  Almost 4 years ago, I met him and my life as I knew it would be changed.  I thought I had actually found something.  Ah, if only we could see into the future before we get too involved.

Guess it’s time I really examine that relationship and figure out where and why I started turning a blind eye.