Tag Archives: divorce

Brace for impact…

Last night would serve as substantial evidence that I did not meet this goal. Not that it should really come as a surprise, if one looks at the facts. The fact that as much as my divorce has impacted me, as much as my choices in certain men have hurt and disillusioned me, my divorce and my choices have impacted my children.

My goal as a mother, from the point of conception was to provide my children with a life rich in love, health and memories. This goal has not changed. Choices made have have not afforded my children a childhood with that vision.

I thought that finding a significant other would complete our family. As I have said many times already, because I focussed so much on the happy ending, I ended up making poor choices. Choices have consequences.

As a single mother, when we choose the wrong man and invite them into our home and family, our children are immersed in the negative, the unhealthy and the hurt that the wrong person brings as much as we are.

I have learned my lessons. Unfortunately, it has taken me a few years to do so. In those years, childhood moments have been stolen and tainted. There’s no magic to undo that and I’m not sure I’ll find forgiveness for myself for making the choices. I may not find it from my children either.

Last night became a head on collision for me. I went through my day relatively peacefully. I had coffee with colleagues, laughed and was productive at work. I headed to dinner with a colleague and tried Persian food and enjoyed some laughter. I returned home going about my night. All of my children gathered in the kitchen, it was pleasant. I literally turned to do something and when I turned around the peace turned into catastrophe. Not unlike a car accident, everything changed in a millisecond.

If only the moment had come with a warning to brace for impact. I was hit with my son’s anger like a Mac truck taking out a Honda Fit.

My son and one of the twins had a sibling moment of name calling. I just stood in the kitchen the other day and lectured all three kids on how we will speak to each other in the Home. Last night, my son felt I should have called the twin on her name calling and started taking me to task on it. This was the moment of impact. I didn’t realize how hard the impact was until my son’s anger and judgement sprayed around the room like pieces of a vehicle in a full impact collision.

My son was feeling alone and unsupported and he did not like my answers. He had the perception that I only call him out on bad behaviour and not the girls. This is inaccurate but his perception. Something about my response ignites pent up anger. My son unleashed all that he thinks about my choices in men and the decision to include them in their daily lives. How his childhood has sucked because of it. Nothing I say brings calm. As he goes on, all I can think is he just wants to be angry. I express remorse, I own my choices, I acknowledge his feelings and remind him that I cannot change it. I remind that I experienced it all too. I apologize again. To him the apology has no weight. Disappointment and feeling robbed of happy times prevail.

I cannot argue with how many things have sucked in the last 13 years. I don’t disagree that there have been intense negative moments in the hands of male counterparts. More than should have ever occurred. On one hand, I get the anger and I do not blame my son for his anger. It should not shock me. It’s how it is unleashed that hits me. The debris and shattered glass tears through my soul and it is now embedded with already existing shards of failure, shame, regret and hurt.

What they don’t see from me on a daily basis, since the divorce is that I beat myself up, they don’t see the pain, they don’t see the shame and self-loathing that I battle already for having failed to provide them with the childhood I had dreamed of for them. Their disappointment is my tragedy. I soldier through these times, I hold my head up, I move forward, which may appear to other’s like I’ve forgotten or as if it all was of no consequence. The strength it takes to move forward and face them everyday, they will never know. I know I’ve failed, I know they have missed out and I know I will not likely find forgiveness from myself or from them as they make their way through adolescence. I hope it will come and I will stand in front of the firing squad when necessary.

I tell my son that only time and my actions going forward can prove to him that I have learned. I express to him that if I could go back and change it I truly would.

Last night he stormed out of the house in -40 degree weather. My girls crumbled. I was at a loss. In shock. He ranted the teenage rant of when I can I’m moving out and never looking back. My heart shattered, my reaction anger. As he tied his shoes, I told him “You are my son, I love you. No matter what you feel for me, I will not stop caring for you. I’m sorry you feel this way.” He left. I was mad and then I was scared. Two girls falling to pieces beside me.

I texted him once the world stopped spinning “Let me come get you and take you where you want to go. No talking.” A text comes back “can you just come pick me up.” I do.

I open my eyes this morning to a six foot two, shirtless young man. He stands silently at the side of my bed staring at me. I break the silence with a quiet “What’s up?”

“I’m sorry for last night.” He says wiping a tear from his face.

“Are you?” I respond. Not sure why that was my choice.

“Yes, I am” he says.

I pause and offer “Okay.”

He lingers a moment, wipes another tear “I have to go to work” and walks out. It’s -40, I let him walk.

I choose to move forward in most days positively. I do not forget my failures but I try to grow from them. I have to move forward and find laughter, any other choice would bring about my soul’s death and then what would be the point of it all?

Tomorrow is not promised. I will do my best to make each day count. I will do my part to make the rest of their lives an abundance of happy days.

The ugly truth…

May 2017

This post was prompted by an argument that occurred between my teenage son and ex-husband. I was thrown under the bus so my ex could save face. My ex has told his new wife, friends, and town of Shawville a selective version of our divorce. 

Most of the time I don’t care what his version is. However, when selected pieces are fed to my children to undermine my relationship and somehow make me less in their eyes. I will not be silent. 

When after 10 years, someone can’t be “friends” with me because I’m the “ex”. That’s an unpleasant reminder of the other side’s smear campaign and lack of accountability for two things:

1. The reason for the divorce (irrelevant to all). 

2. The relationship fostered with the children by their father and stepmother. 

I have struggled with whether to post the thoughts that follow but recent events with my oldest child lead me to want to speak a little of my truth. I may lose “friends” in posting this, most will just scroll over it. That’s okay – I understand. I had a wee heart to heart with someone recently who said “The bubbly Krista who helped me through rough times hasn’t been around for a couple of months.” Probably the biggest proponent of that is the fact that my children, are children of divorce and it has impacted them. Affected them – they need some repair and perspective. After 10 years of divorce, it is still unhealthy. My son was recently burdened by an untruth about why our marriage ended and it provoked him to question my integrity and loyalty as his mother. It burdened him with unnecessary information and inaccurate information. It is a slander that was spread through the small community I used to live and teach in. It reached my colleagues, my parents and my parents’ friends. I had to explain myself unnecessarily then and now recently to my son. Then I had to tell him the ugly truth about my divorce, a truth I have fought hard to protect all of my children from. “Children will be allowed to be children. There will be no yelling today…” The beginning of a long past family Christmas get together directed to my spouse. 
Yelling, anger, verbal abuse, physical aggression towards children, selfishness, laziness, and disrespect were the instruments of destruction in my marriage. I used to drop my kids off some mornings before teaching, cry my eyes out to the parking lot of the school, brush myself off, enter the classroom and put on a show. 

In my marriage, I did everything that both partners should share equally in and I decided that if that was the case – I would eliminate the toxic from our lives and continue on a lone parent as I had already been doing. This time, no anger. 

For 10 years, I have been the lone parent, managing a career and raising children. Having 4 days of down time a month. That’s 480 days of down time for me over 10 years in contrast to my ex’s 3240 days to manage himself, his wife and his work without interruption from the realities of raising kids full time. My children have been burdened with the fact that child support is paid, amounts having been announced at family functions. Seeds have been planted by father and stepmother that they pay for our life. 

Guess what? When mom has sole custody (never once challenged) her sacrifice is all of her time and the dad’s sacrifice is the pay cheque. P.S. child support amounts are decided by Justice Canada and not me and financial hardship (as claimed) can be filed through the courts.

My children chose not to see their father for 10 months straight because of his anger and lack of attention. Their initial assessment of a good time with their dad in the early years was that he did not yell much. That has been and remains the truth and reality as to why the divorce happened and why there is no shared custody. Not because I’m the big bad guy punishing my ex but because I love my children and I will not allow them to be immersed in a toxic environment. 

My marriage ended because my spouse chose anger and himself over love and family. That is our truth. Nothing else. 

Divorce is not the easy way out, it is painful and challenging. It demands that both parents set their own negative feelings aside for the sake of the children. The unfortunate truth is that is not always the case. 

Spare your kids the details and love them to bits. 

Parenting isn’t about you….

“Love your children more than you hate your ex” ~Tamara Judge

September 2017

My children choose not to go to their  dad’s.  Tears pour as they struggle with protecting themselves, digesting their relationship with their father or lack there of, and worrying about hurting their dad’s feelings. Thank goodness for therapy. This is beyond my scope of being able to kiss it better or flip the switch with an ice cream. 

I look at other people’s situations, how unhealthy their ex’s are and yet they send their kids to them half the time. Seven days on, seven days “off”. I’m envious and confused at the same time. 

I couldn’t fathom sending my kids to their dad at 2.5 and 5 years old without supervision. Who would protect them? Who would be the voice of reason? How would I sleep? 

Yet other people make the choice to send their kids, to not fight it. Do I have it wrong? Should I have chosen to do things differently? Maybe my kids would have seen the truth sooner and it wouldn’t be such a struggle for them? 

Fourteen days “off”. To be turned off, to only worry about me. To do as I please. Sounds fantastic. I’m envious. I wish that could be our situation. As I get older having that kind of down time would be luxurious. 

That’s not the choice I made. I feel I made the right choice and the reality is the Arrangement was never once challenged. My ex has not worked on himself. 

My only regret is having spent energy behind the scenes doing damage control for my ex, trying to keep the kids positive. Many days and nights spent helping them accept a stepmother, again doing damage control for my ex burdening them with the need to make her feel special. 

It is not the child’s responsibility to soothe your feelings, insecurities or to make you feel special. That should come organically because you are treating them like the treasures they are. Kinda like a karma thing…

As I write this Ginger calls.

Her: How are you? 

Me: Good but effing tired.

Her: Let’s plan your kids coming here for a weekend so you can have some time to yourself. You need a break. Seriously, it’s happening.

I love my friends. 

“Martyr Saint…”

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“Thank you once again for being the martyr Saint.”  Everyone tells me not to give these words another thought given their source. Don’t let him get in there.  So, this is where we are at after 8 years of divorce? Name calling and anger. A distorted reality.

Saint? Maybe.  Martyr? Inaccurate. This term is the most insulting.  This one is hardest to shake. Exaggerating circumstance to play victim and get sympathy. I am not a victim. I do not walk around this world crying the blues and asking people to pity me. I do not walk around announcing to the people I meet, I’m a single parent, feel sorry for me. Do not feel sorry for me! I do not feel sorry for me.  Sometimes I feel lonely.  Sometimes I feel angry that I do this all alone. But I do not pity myself, I am not a victim, and never want to be treated like one! Ever! That will not go over well with me.

Have I had to muster a lot of strength to deal with my ex-husband with class and grace? Yes, the energy it has taken to protect my children from the truth and to ensure they did not hate their new stepmom, because they wanted to, has been exhausting.  That is just a fact.  Please don’t feel sorry for me, I’m not asking you to.  I don’t want to live in sadness and anger. I consciously choose not to.  Do I visit sadness and anger? Occasionally, but not for long.  I need to. I’m human.  Everyone needs to connect with their emotions, reflect on circumstance, so that they can move past it. Face it and conquer it.

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Three Superman shirts, I own them. I’ve earned them! No apologies…

Am I going to downplay being a single parent? No!!!  It’s a tough gig!!!!! To deny that it can be a struggle would be a lie.  I am not a liar. It is wrought with worry and insecurity.  Fear of failure. Fear that it will have long term impact on the well-being of my children. The cure for this? Love. Dancing in the kitchen together.  Singing at the top of our lungs. Hugs and kindness. Friends and family who love us and support us.

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Anyone who knows me, knows I like to fly under the radar and only when I need to release stress, will I vent out the facts and feelings surrounding a situation. I need to, to survive.  I asked to create this blog so that I can tell parts of my story and maybe in doing so, something will resonate with someone else and it will help them. Reality? There’s probably a handful of people reading this. People I have told about it. People who already know. I am not looking for attention and I certainly don’t need anyone’s pity.  I have not and will not exaggerate anything here.  I will state the facts and my feelings.  People who are not ‘feelings’ people won’t get it. That’s okay, it’s not for you.

So, where is this coming from?  My ex-husband and I are revisiting our parenting agreement. He feels that his budget is tight due to significant child support payments.  Key word “budget”.  Change your budget because your children aren’t going anywhere!  My ‘sacrifice’ in our divorce has been my time and his, his bank account.  This is a constant source of friction. Him complaining about paying. I don’t set the amounts.  Call a lawyer, figure out what the payments should be. For eight years, I have made this statement.

Eight years later, it is still an issue and now that I have busted my hump doing all of the hard work and the kids are essentially self-sufficient, my ex wants to have joint custody. Why? Budget, finances, a desire to cut costs… Most weekends my children do not want to go there.  They say he is angry and yells and boots them outside for hours on end while he sits inside.  They wander around the ghetto of Ottawa, killing time.  My ex has taken to bashing me in their presence and his wife has too. The bashing is usually financially motivated. After all of the damage control I have done. Playing the devil’s advocate. Being the peacekeeper. Shielding. I find myself thrown under the bus. I can’t accept it anymore.  This day could not be avoided. My ex-husband is selfish, angry and verbally abusive.  He says sorry but then repeats bad behaviour. That’s what abusers do. The kids were going to figure out who he is, how he is, sooner or later.  I hoped they wouldn’t. I hoped he’d change.  It’s not to be. Change is not to come and now I have to stand up and do what is necessary for my babies. I’m not being a martyr!!  I am being a mother.

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At the time of my divorce, I used to think “Who will want me? Who will want us? This life. How will I do this? Who will ever sign on for this?”  Abused and alone, trying to survive the devastation of a life’s plan blown to pieces… I used to believe that a man would be the solution, a partner and this lead me to bring some undeserving people into our lives. I am not a perfect parent, I have made mistakes big and small.  My children have always known love, we have survived many things because we are a family.  I am strong and from my strength they gain strength.  Have they seen me crumble? Be sad? Yes, they have.  I used to think that was weakness and it was unpleasant for them, shocking even.  They saw tears but they saw me rise out of it. We’ve talked about being human and we’ve acted as family do. Hugging and loving each other through challenging times.  Unfortunately and fortunately, they have seen that you do not take someone’s abuse.  You do not stay in unhealthy relationships.  You push your way through and come through the fire, smiling and with love in your heart. My children have said they wish I could have my happy ending because of the bozos we have known here. The temporary heartbreak.  I don’t need a man to be happy.  My children are my happy ending.  They are the reason I get up in the morning, they are the reason I survive, they are where I find my strength. They are Love.

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Am I tired?  Yes, so tired.  I feel weak. Do I need a night off sometimes? Yes.  Some women do not get that.  Some women never get that.  I am fortunate. My circumstance actually calls for gratitude because it could be so much worse. We are blessed. We will be okay.

I haven’t always been strong.  I have gone to the ‘darkside’,. I have wanted to check out. In the first year of my divorce, feeling like a failure, I threw myself into my work, I worked out like a beast and I drank like a fish on my kidless weekends. There’s nothing to be found in a bottle but it’s bottom. A metaphor for life.  I wont settle for bottom. My children deserve more.

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I’m not sure I have the fight in me to deal with the custody battle that looms but that is what the lawyer is for.  I’m handing the load to someone else, finally. It has been hard to tell our story to the lawyer. To relive it, revisit the emotions. To keep the anger in check because if I lose it, we all lose here. So hard.  Yesterday, I opened the email from my lawyer. She summarized my concerns so succinctly in a draft letter and it reads so blunt. The truth. The hard truth, like a punch to the gut.  There is worry about his reaction. Will he take it out on the kids? He already is.  October 24, he took it out on them verbally.  They don’t want to go there, I don’t want them to go either.  ENOUGH!!

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I always wanted to be a mom.  I never saw it playing out this way.  I never knew love like this until I held my children in my arms.  My son is my first experience with love at first sight.  I have never had my heart fill like that. Pure love.  Who knew that your “heart could walk outside of your body”. All I want is for them all to know love and their worth. I thought they needed their father in their lives; a man.  A man does not abuse his children.  He does not bash the mother of his children.  That is not a man.

I can do both. I have been the one to tie a tie, Youtube, yay! I have been the one to toss the baseball and show my son that I can hit the ball well, to his surprise. Taught him how to swing a bat.  I have taught them how to swim, how to catch frogs.  I have sparred in my living room with my son. I have shown them strength and love. I hope my son is learning how to be a man. A real man.  Sometimes we learn what to do by seeing what should not be done.  Concept attainment – Barry Bennett

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I woke up to this in my Twitter mail…

OMG marry me Dwayne! God this man makes me melt ;)
OMG marry me Dwayne! God this man makes me melt 😉

I’ll find the strength, I always do. I’m a survivor! Not a victim and not a martyr.  Go ahead, try me!!

Always alright,

Muah xoxoxo

Love and Fear

 

There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

This quote has been on my mind a lot the last several days. I have been trying to figure out what the quote was during this time and then questioning why it has bubbled to the surface. I found the quote this morning along with the article quoted below. I recognize the name of the woman associated with the quote above but again am not sure why, so I Google her.  She was a psychiatrist whose expertise was in the psychology of death and dying and conversely living… The 5 stages of grief…this is the lady. I have a degree in psychology and in education, perhaps this has subconsciously bubbled to the surface.

I would have been introduced to this lady through two very memorable courses the psychology of death and dying and the psychology of aging. I remember the rooms I took the courses in, some of the teaching aids used…they were poignant courses for me. I have a friend making the very stressful decision to divorce and I start thinking about the list of stressful life events a prof put up in death and dying…I’m certain it is in the top five.

Again, I Google… Divorce is #2 on the list and #1 is Death of a spouse….  Here I thought this quote was bubbling up because of my own fears expressed on some level in this blog.But I’m struck by 1 and 2 on the list and see clearly that the last several days and even month these two very significant life events have been on my mind a lot. A lot! I’m a little freaked out about this discovery.  Coincidence? It’s freaky given my conversations with my friend, my reflection on my own divorce in order to try to impart wisdom and offer support and then there is the man blog which has been part of my reading every single day for a month… Weird. So I’m sharing all of this stuff this morning why? Honestly…I’m at a loss for a profound statement here but I share regardless.

The list of stressful life events and their order can be found at this link:

http://www.stress.org/holmes-rahe-stress-inventory/

As I search for the love and fear quote, I came across the article quoted below. It is a very, very interesting read….link to article follows quote…

“Numerous activities produce more oxytocin: meditation, yoga, exercise, massage, caring for a pet, joining a support group, worshiping, and so forth. Yet one of the most important avenues for decreasing stress and increasing levels of oxytocin lies in our intimate relationships. In Love & Survival, Dr. Dean Ornish points out that love and intimacy are such powerful determinants of health that if they were produced in pill form, doctors who failed to prescribe them for unhealthy patients would be guilty of malpractice.

Incidentally, one might wonder why we can’t just take oxytocin pills to increase levels of this helpful hormone. Unfortunately, oxytocin doesn’t cross the body’s “blood/brain barrier,” except in the form of nasal sprays. However, long-term administration of oxytocin via spray has resulted in amnesia, hallucinations and imbalances in electrolytes and hormones. To gain its benefits, we must either produce it naturally in the brain (or have it injected with great precision into a tiny area of the brain using special equipment…not terribly practical).

Oxytocin has been nicknamed the “bonding hormone” and the “cuddle hormone.” We produce it naturally when we love, are loved, nurture another, give selflessly, or engage in affectionate touch. It is not the neurochemical behind lust or burning sexual desire, although it is associated with sexual responsiveness.”

http://www.entelechyjournal.com/robinsonwilson.htm

There it is for whatever purpose…. Now finally unloaded from the forefront of my mind!

Always Alright,

Muah 💋