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Author Topic: My Story Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8

M
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My Story Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
OP: November 23, 2021, 10:45:07 AM
After my last thread, I decided to take a break from the forum and from my computer in general. I checked my emails and answered a few messages on Facebook, but for the most part the past few days, I have had to actually search for my laptop. I normally have it in my work bag or in the library, but I haven't been as regimented about that either. And I must admit, at first it was not easy to break free. I am so used to checking emails for work and the like. I just felt this odd need to take a break.

I was actually surprised by what I came to realize for myself. I know how important the forum was for me for so long. It was my life line when I felt like no one understood what I was dealing with. I made friends and had people who have become way more than just a name on a screen. Those people that came into my life in a different way - RL friends and confidants that I am so grateful for. For someone who was never comfortable with the idea of an online group of any kind knowing facets to find safety and people who would have my back was shocking.

And for me the journaling had become less and less about the MLCer. I have no illusions of a reconciliation, nor do I desire one with my Xh. I haven't for a long time. It changed. Standing was not a waste of time for me. It gave me something to hold on to for awhile. A dream, perhaps in my case. It was time that I used to get my $h!te together. To focus on my kids. To take that advice about GAL and sometimes some very needed truth darts or 2x4's. There were times when the advice didn't apply. But, even then, it helped me understand myself and what I needed most.

I began to wonder these past few days what was the reason I was still posting at all. For me, it has been a way to shake out things in my head or to document the bumps and sometimes amusing things along the way. The life of a now divorced woman with 2 young adult kids who have a phantom F who appears from time to time in one form or another. My journaling became a way for me to sometimes release feelings that I needed to let go of or try to make sense of and I didn't always have someone to share them with who would understand.

Yet, in the past few days, I have also discovered that I am finding myself feeling very odd. The distance from journaling woke up part of me that is feeling very different. I wondered if sometimes I was beginning to fill a void. I so crave wanting to share my day to day thoughts with someone and not necessarily laying it all out there for the world. I am not always so willing to share as much as I do online with people. I find myself now in this strange place.

I realized that the journaling has been important for me. But, I thought about maybe I need to find some balance - that word that seems to just keep appearing in my life. I may have to get it tattooed on my body somewhere, because it is always what I seem to be seeking. But this is a different type of balance I need. I am not sure it is a complete distancing from sharing - because I have some big events where the MLCer may make an appearance and I am not sure how I am going to cope. Just next week he is supposedly taking S on an impromptu trip - we will see. But, S is graduating in a couple of weeks. The ceremony won't occur until May and D is graduating as well. I know there is a possibility that Xh will somehow shake things up. Especially since his parents didn't go to any of his graduation ceremonies. My family attended his 4 year college graduation. Not of his family members showed up. So, I am prepared for something to stir in Xh. S will roll with it, but D - that is a whole other dynamic. So, I realize there may be times where I may still find myself really needing somewhere to let go of these MLC BS moments.

As for the other journaling - IDK. I am not going to make some grand declaration that I am done. I know that doesn't often pan out. But, I told a friend of mine that this "vacation" has made me realize some important things. One - that I need to journal still, but maybe it needs a different form. Maybe it needs to migrate back in some ways to my artwork, like it once did before MLC arrived on my doorstep. Two - that I need to fill those moments other ways. Three - I so crave to share my life with someone.

It is the third one that is impacting me the most the past few days. I don't think people understand me at all. I am a person that likes commitment, yet, I can accept challenges in ways others can't. I spent months away from Xh when we were dating. In spite of having a jealous moment some time back, it is not how I typically operate. I trust people I let into my world.

I have had the opportunity to find myself falling in love with someone. It was not what I planned - at all. The time spent together was always easy in terms of there is a strange comfort. But, what has struck me hard the past few days is it often little things that stay with me. Someone being far away and just letting you know they arrived somewhere safely means so much. It is those moments I honestly miss. I miss being able to just tell someone the stupid things I have done this week.

I am not really sure where this journaling goes. We will see.

https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11813.150
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#1: November 23, 2021, 02:34:53 PM
I'm following along... as always, Mourning.   ;D

Welcome to your new thread.
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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#2: November 23, 2021, 04:22:56 PM
Following along, Mourning. I think that of all the things that come out of this process, the ability to really search inside our own souls, to figure out what is truly important to us, is perhaps the most valuable. For me, journaling has been a big part of that (partly the journaling I have done here, but often the things I write privately).

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I don’t often comment, but I always read along. I hope your continued search for balance bears fruit - or should I say, I hope it continues to bear fruit, because you are already well on your way.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#3: November 23, 2021, 06:24:20 PM
I don't often comment, MD, but I do follow your journey. 

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BD: 1/1/16
Together 15 years - married 7 years
His divorce final 7/26/16
Married the OW

After all, tomorrow is another day.

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#4: November 24, 2021, 12:54:33 AM


So easy to say, so hard to find.....

Following along....
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#5: November 24, 2021, 04:06:15 AM
Mourning-

I often wonder how quick the table would turn if the right person walked into our lives. How much of the healing is a struggle on missing that “person” in our lives. We have so much healing to do before that can happen however, right? Being able to focus on us and let the moments happen is I think such an important place to be. What’s the old phrase…when you least expect it??
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#6: November 24, 2021, 06:51:32 AM
MD, good to hear from you. I think that the tentacles of MLC on our lives are long and entangled, and especially for those with children. We are here for whatever communication you choose.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#7: November 24, 2021, 07:14:43 AM
Quote
But, what has struck me hard the past few days is it often little things that stay with me. Someone being far away and just letting you know they arrived somewhere safely means so much. It is those moments I honestly miss. I miss being able to just tell someone the stupid things I have done this week.

Your musings made a lot of sense to me, MD. Tbh I think our relationship with the HS ‘family’ evolves as we evolve. Which seems healthy to me. There was definitely a time when HS was a port in an insane storm for me. And then a time when, bc I felt so incredibly alone in the absence of my family as well as my then h, I think I just needed somewhere to share those small things, a feeling perhaps that it mattered to someone if I had a great walk or a lousy moment that I had survived.

Like you, I remember the loss of those small things as being crushing; they left me feeling rather unmoored, I think. I still miss some of them bc some are not replaceable but as I came out of my metaphorical cave I started to make connections in RL that allow me to share and receive some of those things again. It’s not the same....but it is not nothing. For me actually my capacity to be engaged in other people’s small things, to care if someone’s dog was sick or if they had got a new job they wanted, was a marker of my recovery. But it was soul crushingly lonely a feeling to have no one who needed to know I was safe home after a trip.....I remember that. I think, looking back, caring about what happened to specific individuals here, both empathy for their sorrows and delight in their successes, kept me ‘doing human’ for a while when I couldn’t in RL  :) I am very grateful for that connection here that sustained me through months and years of being rather adrift.  :)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#8: November 24, 2021, 01:02:57 PM
Thank you, everyone.  :)

I could honestly completely skip Thanksgiving tomorrow and be rather content. I have always enjoyed holidays, but this year I am really in a "meh" mood about the whole event. My sister is out of town with her family this year, as they have gone to her in law's house. Normally, the in laws travel here, but her FIL has some physical limitations at the moment due to a necessary surgery he keeps putting off.

I have worked through my issues with the day, after Xh chose one Thanksgiving before moving out to sit both kids down and attempted to say him moving out was what we both wanted. Ummmm, at that time - no. I made that clear without trying to blame. I simply said we saw things differently and Xh felt it was best he moved out. Either way, that was literally right before leaving for my family's house for dinner. I was numb. The kids were dumbstruck. Yet, Xh walked in and put on the happy facade and acted like nothing happened at all. For days afterwards. But, tomorrow has nothing to do with that.

It then lead to my M announcing she wasn't really in a mood to have a dinner either. I would normally have offered to host here, but my kitchen is small and the idea of hosting a large event amongst the ongoing construction is really not something I want to do. If it were summer, I would have gladly offered, as we could have eaten on the back deck. But, it is a bit too brisk for that, and I am not sure everyone else would embrace dinner around the fire pit.  ::)

We had sort of scrapped the whole event. That is until D came home and announced she was really disappointed. I then thought about it and knew that I had to find some enthusiasm for this holiday. Thanksgiving is a rough one for D. Thanksgiving was always a holiday that D loved. She liked spending time in the kitchen and baking with me. Then Black Friday, she and Xh always went out for the day. They would go after some of the madness died down and have a lunch date and go shopping. D and Xh were so very close. I have to remind myself of that with the current status of their relationship - or non-relationship as it is. Thanksgiving for her, needs to be as "normal" as possible. Not so that she can recreate what was, as she has accepted that, but to make new memories to fill the sadness that was there for so long.

I found myself finding some energy to embrace the impending holiday and called my parents. My M, who claimed she wasn't really wanting anything, is all excited. She and D have been planning the menu and we put her in charge of cooking some items, but we are taking care of the bulk of everything at my house and delivering it. It will be a small gathering and that is okay. I found out my M's resistance was there were several people, like Toxic Aunt that were hoping my M was going to host something and my M really was trying to avoid having so many people around. What she didn't express was that she was desiring to have her grandchildren around and spending time with her immediate family. My sister is feeling guilty, but I assured her she had no idea since my M said nothing.

D has been spending today prepping and is humming away in the kitchen.  S was laughing, as I stripped away the fruit bowl and the coffee grinder, etc from the counters. I completely cleared off the counters and table so that she has room to spread out all of her ingredients and put out cooling racks for pies, and whatever else she is planning. I offered to help, but she only wants me to cook the turkey tomorrow. I am not offended in the least. I know she is wanting to attempt this meal on her own and would have done the turkey as well, but she has to make an appearance at her BF's family's house tomorrow before going to my parent's house.

I have been cooking meals more and more the past few days. S, his friend "C" and another friend were here the other night working late and I made a pot pie for them. "C" was bowled over. I laughed because that was a quick version, where I had taken some shortcuts due to timing and used frozen vegetables. S announced that it was really good, but they have no idea how good of a cook I am. I told him I have my moments, but I am not a master chef and I have made my share of mistakes along the way and still do. I have missed cooking.

But, this thing tomorrow - I think it is just because I am really worn out. With good reason. There has been a bit of stress. The gas range had acted up last week and I spent Monday chasing after a model number, because the plate that has that information was missing from the stove. I normally document all of those things on the manual, but for whatever reason, that is the one manual that didn't have it on the blasted thing. It does now. It would turn out that the electric company had been working on the lines and it messed up the digital panel on the gas range just needed a reset. That meant I had to pull the stove away from the wall. It is not a light item and it also lead to a bigger issue. I knew the tile didn't run all the way underneath, but what I didn't realize is the MLCer put a piece of wood down that sat lower. I also figured out why the warming drawer always would slide open and I had to put a wedge underneath. Of course, I am bull headed about these things. I ended up feeling the need to correct this. And, it was an MLC time frame when the range went in so, I should have known.

I should have anticipated that the wood panel was not just one piece of underlayment, but two. Both screwed in and with adhesive on both layers. Laying a single sheet of panel down wasn't going to correct it. In fact, it would have lead to other issues. And I also discovered a hole in the wall that explains why in the winter I have mice in the kitchen from time to time. I could have put out a welcome mat considering the hole in the wall leads to an outside wall. That was not going to fly in my book. So, I repaired the hole and had to cut and pry the small section of flooring up. It took my hours, but it both kids were shocked that the stove now sits level and I addressed some little things that have always bugged all of us.

Problem is that may have been a stupid thing to do on my own. Not sure if it was that great feat  ::) or the puppy getting so excited the one morning that she came running and pounced on my stomach that lead to my current status. It was a couple of days later I noticed I was feeling rather uncomfortable around my mid-region. I hadn't really paid much attention, until I caught my reflection in the full length mirror as I got dressed one morning and say two huge bruises around my ovaries. It looked like I had been beaten. It certainly explained a lot.

After being scolded by a couple of friends, I called my GP who couldn't see me until the 10th. I sort of laughed. They wanted me to call the gynecologist, concerned since I had the hysterectomy and the placement of the bruises. I am not having any other problems, but the doctor gave me a stern talking to. I am to behave myself for a few days and no more being a stubborn and not waiting for help. Heat, ice and rest. UGH.

I know it is what needs to happen.

In the meantime, the washing machine decided to act up as well. I had planned on possibly going on a small vacation. Ha. I have had a couple of ideas in mind, but that is going to have to wait. My washer is not worth repairing at this point. It isn't that old, but the repair costs more than the value of the stupid thing. So, I will be shopping for a new washer instead of any vacation I dreamed of right now.

I found myself a bit aggravated, especially in light of Xh deciding to take S on this whim of a get away next weekend. I am mad at myself for enabling the MLCer's behavior and self sabotaging things to get me where I am at now. It is not an easy pill to swallow, knowing that emergencies happened in the past, but right now, I find myself having to sacrifice some of my own dreams, still to just get back on some sort of normal track. It is a battle to remind myself that I have crawled out a huge pit and I have a lot to be proud of. It is easy to find myself just wondering if I will ever get to a point where I can at least save money to do some of these things I want to do and not what I always have to do.

I don't care about money or having tons of money. I honestly don't miss that part of life in terms of how life was with Xh and needing somehow to keep up with others. It is not that.

Before I met Xh, I was making decent money, but I was really good at managing my finances. While my friends were buying things, I was saving and earmarking my finances. I had things I wanted to do. I would have fun, but I wasn't going out to dinner or dancing every weekend. I did my own manicures, etc. Within five years after college, I had paid off all of my college loans, had put down a huge amount on a new car and paid that off in that time frame. Travelled around Europe for a month. Spent time in the Caribbean. And, I had stowed away money for a house and built amazing credit. I made sacrifices in other areas.

The thing is, I can't even seem to find the footing right now to do that. And, I know that it is in part due to the circumstances that have gone on that no one could have seen coming that threw me off track from that path. I was in good shape prior to my surgery and Covid derailing life even more. The financial strain of getting the kids through college this last stretch on my own is not without stress.

It doesn't change my thoughts on Xh and taking him to court. I want nothing to do with going down that path.

It is funny. The graphic that UrsaMajor posted about balance was actually perfectly timed. Because that visual shows how it is not as simple as somehow finding one object that weighs the same to balance it all out. The many items that affect my life change no only in priority but sometimes move and create sometimes a seemingly off balance scenario. I am never going to find the perfect balance. I think that image solidified that for me. And, it is okay. Balance is maybe not even what I should consider it. Maybe it is more of just trying to find ways to fit in the things I want and need. To make room and prioritize more, and being okay with focusing sometimes on what I need. There are always going to be those days where my own needs are going to be pushed aside because of life's imbalances. It is something I need to really wrap my head around. I think I need to reconsider what balance really means to me. Hmmm.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#9: November 25, 2021, 04:07:08 AM
Quote from: Mourning Dove
Problem is that may have been a stupid thing to do on my own. Not sure if it was that great feat  ::) or the puppy getting so excited the one morning that she came running and pounced on my stomach that lead to my current status. It was a couple of days later I noticed I was feeling rather uncomfortable around my mid-region. I hadn't really paid much attention, until I caught my reflection in the full length mirror as I got dressed one morning and say two huge bruises around my ovaries. It looked like I had been beaten. It certainly explained a lot.

After being scolded by a couple of friends, I called my GP who couldn't see me until the 10th. I sort of laughed. They wanted me to call the gynecologist, concerned since I had the hysterectomy and the placement of the bruises. I am not having any other problems, but the doctor gave me a stern talking to. I am to behave myself for a few days and no more being a stubborn and not waiting for help. Heat, ice and rest. UGH.

20 lashes with a wet noodle for you!



I don't think moving excessively heavy objects alone was what was meant by finding a good "balance."
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« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 04:08:41 AM by UrsaMajor »
Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#10: November 25, 2021, 08:36:42 AM
UrsaMajor - I accept my punishment.  :P

However, I might have to argue the whole balance thing. Okay, maybe not balance, but the stove is remarkably level.  ::) Although that last less than one eight of an inch off on the front is driving me a bit nutty. I will resist fixing that on my own and have told myself that will be addressed when I repaint the cabinets in the kitchen. And, I will ask for help. The threat of a wet noodle lashing and being scolded by my doctor, not to mention bruises that I really am not liking, I hopefully have learned my lesson.
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H
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#11: November 25, 2021, 08:21:45 PM
The threat of a wet noodle lashing and being scolded by my doctor, not to mention bruises that I really am not liking, I hopefully have learned my lesson.

Hi MourningDove,

The true threat is having much worse complications than just the bruising which require another surgery.  Please just take it easy and make sure your body heals after your hysterectomy.   Some things can be done with the assistance of others who can help.   

HF
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W Filed for D - May 2021

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#12: November 26, 2021, 02:56:55 AM
UrsaMajor - I accept my punishment.  :P
Love you too my dear  :-*  ;D ;D ;D

However, I might have to argue the whole balance thing. Okay, maybe not balance, but the stove is remarkably level.  ::) Although that last less than one eight of an inch off on the front is driving me a bit nutty. I will resist fixing that on my own and have told myself that will be addressed when I repaint the cabinets in the kitchen.





And, I will ask for help. The threat of a wet noodle lashing and being scolded by my doctor, not to mention bruises that I really am not liking, I hopefully have learned my lesson.

Ask BEFORE You start maybe?"

The threat of a wet noodle lashing and being scolded by my doctor, not to mention bruises that I really am not liking, I hopefully have learned my lesson.

Hi MourningDove,

The true threat is having much worse complications than just the bruising which require another surgery.  Please just take it easy and make sure your body heals after your hysterectomy.   Some things can be done with the assistance of others who can help.   

HF

Yeah! What he said!
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#13: November 26, 2021, 09:58:20 PM
HeavenlyFocus - Your concern is valid and I needed the gentle reminder. I know that the general rule of thumb for healing is 8-10 weeks, but this doctor had told me that any major surgery along these lines should really come with a warning that it takes your body nearly a year to be able to get back to full healing. He had reminded me the last time I saw him. And, I have tried to be mindful of that, except I realize part of my problem is not even stubbornness to ask for help, but truly a zone I get in - that is, I am so used to having to do things for myself the past few years, that I don't always think. I need to slow down and stop. I have no desire to be a superhero, nor is the idea of having some other surgery - especially because of my stupidity at all appealing.  ;)

UrsMajor - Hmmm- the wedge of pie from the middle. I mean, there is a certain logic to it, I suppose - if one doesn't like the ratio of crust to filling.  ::) Had I wanted to mess with FIL, that would have pushed him over the edge. Before MLC, Xh would have seen the humor in that.

I spent a good portion of today working at the gallery. It had been a good day, with several interesting visitors with one being an artist who came to paint in the gallery. Sometimes, artists will stop by and use the space to work and it allows customers to see a work in progress. This artist is an older woman in her eighties and I absolutely love spending time with her. She is a spitfire - a kindred spirit and today we were alone for a very long time. It allowed us to talk about things that we have never really touched on.

We began discussing our different heritages and it is clear we both enjoy learning about different cultures and about history. We had a delightful couple of hours where she painted and I was keeping busy moving some things about the gallery, as some pieces had sold from the current exhibit and I needed to fill the empty spaces with pieces that made sense with the current theme. It is not an easy task, if done properly. I put a great deal of thought into what went on those walls just as my coworker who worked with me has. We have both been so mindful of respecting the job we initially did and are trying to maintain that tone that was set. It was the type of task that didn't require a lot of concentration, so having a conversation was a nice addition to the day. She is one of those people that truly inspires me and embraces all of life's challenges with a certain gusto.

I left work and had to put air in my tires on the way home. The weather was getting nasty and D had called to tell me she had stopped at home, but she was going to go to her BF's as they both had exams to study for. S then called and said that Xh invited he and his GF down to the cottage for the evening. It was a last minute invite.

I had really not considered it was Black Friday today. The gallery is immune to that particular event and I have only ever gone out once to shop on that day and vowed to never go again. It was far from enjoyable for me. I prefer a pace along the lines of strolling down a village street and going into shops. I am not a fan of the mall nor fighting crowds in general, and especially for the holidays. I believe it is in part due to the memories I have of shopping with my F before Christmas and going from store to store in the village where I grew up.

Because I was going to be alone, I decided to take advantage of the solitude and go look at washing machines. I didn't want input from the kids, TBH or my parents. I had no intention of buying anything tonight. I was trying to wrap my head around all of it. And, I am usually one to research things before a big purchase. The very first washing machine I ever bought when we were in the house took me 9 months to decide on. I knew we would need a new machine eventually and it wasn't a necessity in the moment. I approached every big ticket item that way, as did Xh. We were well informed. That went out the door with the MLCer. And, I myself, have made some rather abrupt decisions since the divorce, although I don't regret them. My car was certainly something that I went in and just committed to, but as my F had pointed out, Xh and I had owned several cars from that manufacturer over the years, and the model I bought was just like the very first car I bought when I was out of college. I knew what I was getting into and I have purchased every car I have owned from that dealership.

The refrigerator was the next situation along those lines, but again, that was largely in part due to knowing I needed to order one ASAP and with the Covid delays, as the timing was just as everything was shutting down, I was on borrowed time. As it was, it took 3 months for the refrigerator to arrive.

But this? Even though it is something I need fairly soon, if I want to avoid going to the laundromat or doing my laundry at my parent's for any length of time, yet, I had plans to research it over the weekend. Instead, I found myself driving towards the home improvement store near the mall. As I drove, it still didn't click with me that it was Black Friday. It took someone else reminding me to make it click. It made me laugh a bit, but then I realized the sudden invite from Xh for S to come down was really awful. It made me pause and really wonder WTF? He couldn't invite S for Thanksgiving dinner nor of course D, but he is choosing to have S there tonight. It made no sense, TBH. And my only concern was how D might feel once she got wind of it. It is not something I can fix, and it is not my issue to be concerned about, except I would be the one reaping the "benefits" potentially in the form of D perhaps having a bit of a trigger.

I wandered about the appliance section and narrowed down some ideas. I couldn't find a single person to help me in that area, and walked around the corner to find a young man standing in the aisle. I recognized the name, as it is not a common name and he had helped my parents with a plumbing problem some time ago and they continually gush over how helpful he was. Right away he offered to help me. I know better than to assume a young man my S's age is not on top of things and no matter what the age, I sometimes ask something I know the answer to in order to assess whether I have someone who really knows what they are talking about or to see if they are going to try and dazzle me with some BS. This young man not only knew his stuff, when he didn't know something he not only admitted it, but found someone who would know the answer. He would apologize if he didn't have the answer right away and I laughed telling him I honestly respected that. I realized that frankly with the delays in deliveries and the fact that I have a card with them that would give me 0% financing for 24 months - that I really wasn't going to do much better. I can pay that off quickly, but it will take the pressure off a little having that buffer of time. It was all done in an hour and I drove home. I was in a bit of shock. It is not like me at all.

When I came home, I had told someone jokingly I thought I was going to cry. Thing is, I realized it wasn't really a joke. I make light of things like getting bruises and hurting myself, or stressful things like this major purchase, but it is to sometimes help me get through the shock and process. I was okay until I came into the kitchen and saw that my kids had behaved like teenagers today and neither had bothered to do their dishes or empty the dishwasher. I am not used to this behavior and I had spent yesterday working my butt off to not only clean the kitchen ahead of the cooking but stayed up to make sure the kitchen was clean this morning. To come home and see this was infuriating and defeating. And, neither kid was here for me to address it with. I considered leaving it until morning and going to bed, but I couldn't stand the idea of getting up and having to face the mess. I begrudgingly took care of it, full well ready to read them both the riot act later.

S came through the door a short time later. I didn't lose my temper, but told him I was incredibly upset and he apologized. I asked what the big event was at Xh's and he said it was odd. Xh just wanted to see him. S shrugged and said it was rather strange. We left it at that. Then out of S's mouth came a question that I know from the phrasing was from Xh. I could feel myself bristle. It was a question about what had happened with the job at the university. I bit my tongue and wanted to call Xh and rip his head off. He is poking and wants to rile me up - I know this side of him too well. I told S that I will gladly share with him, but it is not to be something I want to share with Xh, as there are more than enough rumors that have circulated around about me over the years thanks to Xh and company. S understood what I was getting at.

But, it was in this moment that the tears just came tumbling out. S was visibly upset - thinking it was his fault somehow. But it wasn't . I just told him I am tired. I am tired of being alone and making decisions about everything on my own. I am tired of being strong and independent when sometimes I don't want to be. I don't want to have a pity party and have anyone think I am a victim, but I am truly just wishing for a time when maybe, just maybe I can quit having to hold it all together and somehow not have to have this weight on me. S gave me a hug and said he never really realized how much I have had to carry on my shoulders since Xh left. I laughed and said that it isn't that I wasn't capable of buying a washing machine, and it honestly isn't about the washing machine so much as I am just tired of feeling like I am in attack mode and have to put out this or that fire. This whole year has been especially hard that way and I haven't been able to really just stop and catch my breath.

S was getting ready for bed and I said he was not to worry, as I told him I will figure it out, as I somehow always do. He smiled and said that was very true and he said it is something he truly admires about me - my resilience.

I am not feeling at all resilient right now.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#14: November 27, 2021, 08:45:08 AM
Quote
I just told him I am tired. I am tired of being alone and making decisions about everything on my own. I am tired of being strong and independent when sometimes I don't want to be. I don't want to have a pity party and have anyone think I am a victim, but I am truly just wishing for a time when maybe, just maybe I can quit having to hold it all together and somehow not have to have this weight on me. S gave me a hug and said he never really realized how much I have had to carry on my shoulders since Xh left. I laughed and said that it isn't that I wasn't capable of buying a washing machine, and it honestly isn't about the washing machine so much as I am just tired of feeling like I am in attack mode and have to put out this or that fire. This whole year has been especially hard that way and I haven't been able to really just stop and catch my breath
I so get this!!! Just had a similar convo with my S28. I just finally said. Hey, I have made a lot of excuses for your F behavior, but bottom line He treated me horribly. I have had a rough year. I am allowed to struggle. It’s been a trauma, so has it been rough? Yes, but I will make it through, but I am not covering for your F and his choices anymore and I would like the same compassion that is being shown to him and his crisis shown to me from the crisis he has put me in.  I have told both my adult children. This has been rough. I miss my beat friend and husband, but I will make it through. I just ask for little i sight or mention of him to help me get a little distance and healing happening on my end. Not forever, but for now.

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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#15: November 27, 2021, 06:34:55 PM
I filled in for one of my coworkers at the gallery for part of the day, as she had an emergency. It was incredibly busy and made the hours fly by. It was then that S called me and asked if I could stop at the home improvement store on the way home to pick up some supplies. I told him to send me a list and when I found the extensive list, I had to ask what was going on. He sent a smiley face back and said I will be very happy.

Three hundred dollars later and armed with new electrical wiring and GFCI outlets and switches among the list, I arrived home to find S had been busy working all day. He had installed the new light in the newly designated linen closet and was in the process of working on the bath vent system and the vanity light. The wallboard isn't up, but we had both agreed that it made sense to address some of these things and set them in place with the walls open and accessible. We understood the vanity and the vent will have to come back down, but we will have an easier time of resetting things. What I hadn't realized was S decided that he was going to completely gut the bathroom wiring and redo what Xh and FIL had done in the first place. Part of S's degree program is electrical and the students had the option to receive certification in some of those fields on top of the actual degree. S has pursued every one of those options and he is very fussy about following code and zoning laws.

S laughed when I opened the linen closet and turned the new light on. I was giddy. Little things amuse me.

S's good friend has been helping him all day and S's GF was making dinner. The dishes had all been done and the kitchen cleaned.

S and I chatted as he was working away. He then recounted part of yesterday's visit. Beyond asking how his visit was, I typically don't ask. S was annoyed about part of the visit, in that Xh is pushing for S to not go to work right away after college. He told S that he should take 6 months off and travel. S had a scowl on his face when he was telling me, saying how clueless his F is. Yah, wouldn't it be nice to just take off 6 months, but S admitted that he finds work motivating and frankly, he will have college loans to start paying. He has bills and responsibilities and wants to buy a house sometime in the near future. He has plans and he told Xh he can't afford to take that amount of time off. It was then Xh said he would give S money for his bills for a couple of months. S asked me why does it feel like Xh is trying to control things? He stopped paying for S's education and now wants to give S money. I didn't say what I was thinking, which is based on Xh's MLC history, he is not liking the fact that his ability to control S is now slipping away slowly.

Then came a nugget of information that made me sort of smile and laugh a bit. Perhaps a bit of MLC knowledge that I needed to hear. If only because it tells me that it was not just here where the MLC fixes have been occurring.

S mentioned he used Xh's shower while he was down at the cottage. Xh made some remark about how he cannot believe the bathroom was not done and S reminded him that the pandemic and other factors have made it a bit difficult to make happen - including the fact that I am doing so much of this on my own. I only have so many hours in the day and have had to wait on supplies. Just yesterday I was informed my window order has been pushed back yet a couple more weeks. It is looking like it will be here mid January - if I am lucky. S reminded Xh that I had moved the heat run and have had to repair the joists underneath where the tub used to be. It has not been a small job. S snarked that he told his F that I was doing it right this time.

So, when S was mentioning the shower he told me that Xh got so excited because he wanted to show S something. He had fixed the shower. I asked what was wrong with the shower. S started laughing.

When Xh and Schmoopie decided to embark on this cottage renovation, it was a huge job. Xh was there continually and the agreement he had with the OW was that he would do the work for free in exchange for rent. It wasn't a little job. It meant exterior walls and the like were torn down. Xh was all about the aesthetics as was OW. It is not like Xh of the past who would focus on both aesthetics, but was also concerned with structure and that it was done correctly the first time. Ah, but Xh was in love or lust and couldn't wait to move out of the house and get into his new digs. He spent hours tiling the bathroom and I have seen pictures over the years. The rooms that Xh actually finished are beautiful.

But it would seem the MLCer's rushed jobs are coming back to haunt him. He had not checked the water lines when he installed the shower. He installed them backwards to that the cold water and hot water were flipped. It has been a bit of a problem. Xh is bored with fixing his motorcycle again. Not surprised. He has a vintage camper he started renovating that OW thought he would enjoy working on. That hasn't held his attention, and he has moved on to yet another project and idea. This is not a shock to me, as that was going on just before MLC hit. Filling the void with things instead of dealing with issues. More material things and projects to avoid really digging deep.

The shower, in order to fix this mix up required Xh tearing out all of his tile work and redoing the entire shower stall again. He was quite pleased with himself S said. S just shook his head as he told me this story, and said he thought it is rather telling that the MLC fixes didn't just apply to here. Xh's lack of interest in this house had nothing to do with us or our house.

It is not something I am focusing on. It brought me some level of amusement, but it also just confirmed that MLC didn't magically stop when Xh moved into his fantasy life. Part of it makes me sad for him, but only in that had he actually done the work on himself, maybe he would have a relationship with the kids. What dawned on me when I was thinking about this though was that I didn't think it was sad that he couldn't have worked it out with me.

It had struck me earlier in the day when my M brought up something about my divorce and I told her that it doesn't hurt anymore, but I don't like focusing on it. I said it started to feel like every time someone brought it up it was like having buried someone and being asked if the body could be exhumed - over and over again and analyzed to see what went wrong. I told my M that I am done trying to figure it out in that sense. I grieved the marriage and who Xh was. I hold the happy years with some fondness and am not bitter, but I truly am happy focusing on what is possible now. I told her that as far as I was concerned my marriage and divorce has now been cremated and the ashes have been scattered.

I am still tired tonight, but the little bits of progress my S has made today have made me feel like I can tackle more tomorrow. I needed that bit of help and it was even better that I didn't even have to ask. It is the best type of present. I even joked as I unpacked the light fixtures for S and cut the boxes open. I pretended to be surprised and kept saying "oh, I shouldn't have. How thoughtful of me". S and his friend were laughing at my goofiness. They are so used to my antics. LOL
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#16: November 28, 2021, 11:45:58 AM
My giddiness hasn't subsided. It's amazing how one can appreciate the little things like lights back in the bathroom or in the linen closet.  ::) It prompted a conversation with the kids and I this morning about gratitude and taking things for granted.

S's friend "C" is looking at houses and filing paperwork for loan approval while he has been staying at my parent's house. He has a good opportunity possibly with a guy he works with who wants to move out of state and they are in the process of discussing the sale of the house. It is looking like a good solution if all falls in place. That said, "C" has still been looking at places to not only get a handle on what is available but knowing he may not be able to count on this all falling into place. One never knows.

The search online of houses in the various counties has been quite an eye opener for my kids. Yes, we have had a disaster and it is not how I would like to be living, but we have had to adjust to the various delays. My S mentioned that while we have projects to complete, we have heat, water and nice things. This came about when he and D found a picture of a house for sale that they recognized. They knew the kids that grew up there. Good kids and from a family that worked very hard. The house is for sale and it said it is a fixer upper. Now, they have encountered several of those in their many searches with "C". This is in a very nice neighborhood but it always needed repairs. The kids had very little, it was clear, but they never complained. When my kids saw the interior shots of the house they were in shock. This was not just living in a construction zone. It was evident that the family cared about what they had, as things were taken care of, but there was not a stove to cook on. Just a hot plate and those types of things that the kids see in dorms. Plastic covering all of the windows for warmth. It was frankly humbling.

This morning, we talked about gratitude. I am grateful I had the $300 to update the electrical. That is a huge amount of money for some people. I wasn't thrilled about spending money on that, but this morning I wasn't complaining. It made me feel very different as it did the kids. We have a great deal to be thankful for, in spite of the struggles that fell upon us since the whole MLC blow up.

It puts the kids and I back in a thought process about Christmas. Xh and I before MLC always were of the same mindset when it came to Christmas. We kept things to a dull roar. We didn't go into debt for the holidays, nor did we spend more just because we had more money. From a young age the kids were aware that other kids didn't have gifts. They willingly picked angels off of the various trees in the community and took great joy in buying for other kids. But, MLC changed that for a bit. Xh and I had a budget we would set, and then in MLC he would just come home with some gift that was ridiculously expensive. I now look back and realize it was him trying to buy the kids and cover the guilt - at least that is my suspicion.

S had worked late into the evening last night and I told him to leave the mess for me to deal with this morning. He hesitated, but then went off to bed. I found myself actually enjoying the cleanup, from the sheer standpoint is that it felt like progress in that room that has been stalled so many times this year. It somehow doesn't seem as overwhelming right now - that is, I can at least feel like the completion may be within reach.

Even the washing machine purchase is no longer stressing me out. I am focusing on positives. When my sister told me two of her friends had to buy new washing machines and they are not arriving for 3 months, I am glad I made the decision I did. My stress was about having to make this large purchase on what felt like a whim. I like being spontaneous, but not with my money as such - at least when it comes to that type of commitment. I am now comfortable with the decision I made and let go with a good cry the other night.

My work schedule is very light over the next few weeks. I literally found out that I am not on the schedule after the 17th because of how the holidays fall. I have a small commission to finish up, but it gives me a great deal of flexibility until the first of the year.

Maybe that balance I so desperately need will be a bit more attainable, at least for a little while.  ;)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#17: November 29, 2021, 05:46:49 AM


<snort>

It IS kind of funny how the little things can bring so much pleasure...

As for xH and his "suggestion," I REALLY hope that S doesn't actually BELIEVE that xH will give him money... or that there will be no strings attached... But S has been down this road with xH before with the road trips, etc...  ::)  Seems xH has a VERY short memory that he seems to have forgotten that a few months ago he was busy trying to hose S over and he expects that everything just magically got swept under the MLC Carpet....
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« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 05:50:02 AM by UrsaMajor »
Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#18: November 29, 2021, 01:02:44 PM
UrsaMajor - That is how I feel - LOL. It takes so little to make me happy - honestly.

As for Xh's latest "scheme" - and, I am sorry, that is my now very perhaps jaded take - S is not biting. He has planned on taking a couple of weeks off and starting a job after the new year, but he knows that taking 6 months off is not really what he wants to do. He likes work and is part of the reason he wanted to finish this semester was because graduating in December gives him a jump on the others who have to wait until May, when every other kid graduates. Besides, S has indicated he has Xh's number.

I told my sister about the offer from Xh and her first response was "what is in it for Xh"? Uh huh. I guess I am not the only one who has become suspicious of the MLCer's motives. Maybe it is just some dream of reliving his own after college experience. Oh, wait - right that was traveling for a month with me around Europe - LOL.  ::)

I know OW had convinced Xh that traveling the world for several months was a great idea. Yah - if you have the means to do so or IDK - some sort of plan.

It is not my concern in terms of what Xh decides to do, unless it somehow affects me. My initial thought was, "how nice, but has anyone considered that S still lives with me and I am currently paying for things (aside from car and insurance payments - that I agreed I would cover while he was in school. Things like health insurance and phone, etc, and IDK S going off and traveling on my dime for 6 months when I haven't had a vacation in 8 years might make me really pretty grouchy. LOL. S was  the first to point out that he wondered if that offer from Xh to pay S's bills included those bills.  ::)

The bigger thorn in my side is how that just cuts D again. She said it doesn't bother her, but S and I both know that it is painful. Xh quit paying for S's education and hasn't helped D, fine - but now he wants to pay for S to go play for 6 months. D snarked that it probably meant that S is going to be Xh's chauffeur on some cross country trip again.

I am not upset about it. It is going to play out how it is going to play out. S has to figure this one out. He knows my feelings without me saying a thing. When he told me he was thinking of taking a couple of weeks off I didn't get upset. He has earned some time off and if he can afford to go, great. I told him I would give him some money to do so instead of a gift to be unwrapped at Christmas if that was his choice. I am not going to prevent him from traveling just because I can't right now. But, 6 months? Better start saving, kid. LOL

The puppy came back last night. The kids were laughing when she came charging into the house searching for me. She curled up next to me on the couch right away and has been my shadow all day long. S had purchased a new training collar for her. She understands the beep and I am grateful for that. The fresh snow and the ability to run around the orchard wore her out and she has been sleeping near my all day long. She was lying in the sunshine streaming through the windows in the bathroom as I worked on built in cabinet framing.

Progress - slowly but surely.  :)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#19: November 30, 2021, 04:02:05 AM
D snarked that it probably meant that S is going to be Xh's chauffeur on some cross country trip again.

That was EXACTLY what my first thought was too.... and, since xH was "paying S's Bills," S could pay the gas for the trip too, right?


I'd love to have some snow for the doggo to run around in instead of the cold, grey, rainy mud that we have...
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#20: November 30, 2021, 10:23:09 AM
UrsaMajor - Yes, snow is much easier to deal with than the mud. It's bad enough when they get it on their paws, but I know this morning this puppy was rolling in the snow and all I could think about was thank goodness it isn't mud. Of course, that will be later in the week, as the weather is warming back up yet again.

Last night, S left quite late to return to school. He tries to go back earlier on Mondays to settle in and get ready for the week, but he had an issue to deal with at the bank with the loan that he took ownership of recently and had me removed as a cosigner. He had received a paper from the bank that stated he needed a new title for the car, yet he had been told at the bank it wasn't an issue because it was an internal loan transfer. The letter, it turned out was computer generated and he was able to resolve it, but it meant running around and digging out the title just in case, etc. He then had homework that was due online by 5, so he remained home to submit that before driving the 3 hours to his college. I hate when he leaves in the dark this time of year, as the deer are very active at night.

I was alone for dinner and D called me from college. She was supposed to have an exam. She didn't tell me that her professor saw that she was under the weather and sent her home. She went to her BF's parent's house and went straight to bed. She has been staying there still since her BF and his B are both gone, so she has a whole floor to herself, with her own bathroom. LOL. I can't say as I blame her. She asked if I could pick up some medicine for her. It was nearly 8 pm and I said I would go run to the pharmacy so she had it for the morning. It was not something I wanted to do, as I was working on the bathroom and was almost done putting up new insulation on the one outside wall. The trip to the pharmacy was not something I was looking forward to, if for no other reason than it was dark out and it meant I had to put on my winter coat and the like to go out. I was happy in my nice warm house and all cozy. LOL

This morning, D came in the door and she was fine at first. Then she expressed her aggravation with a decision I had made about S's GF's rabbit. I had said it could come inside for a bit and dwell in the basement. S needs to work on the tractor and it is a job that requires ventilation with the different solvents. The rabbit's cage is not insulated and with the doors open to the outside and fans blowing when the solvents are used, it would freeze the rabbit. The rabbit is litter trained and not really a huge problem, as far as I am concerned. At least not in the short term and S's GF comes over every day from work to feed it and clean the cage. But, at one point I had told D that the rabbit was not going to be in the house. I wasn't lying when I first said that, but that was before the tractor needed repairs, etc. But, D was livid this morning and saying she couldn't trust me.

My question to her was when is something a lie and when is it perhaps circumstances change and sometimes we have to make different decisions? I found myself so upset. I realized in all of this D is reeling from the holiday and then Xh taking S on a trip this weekend. I am the whipping post.

It was not a pleasant morning. I found myself telling D that like it or not, she and S are essentially guests - yes they are family, but not to forget who pays the bills and owns said house. Their voice and opinions can be expressed and there are some voting privileges, but my vote has more pull. D wasn't too happy with that answer. She blurted out that she can't trust me and she has no support. I lost it. Gotta admit. I asked her if I didn't support her, then who was out late last night because she needed her medicine in the morning?

I am hurt and I am angry at the moment. I know some of this is stress D is feeling. Some of the things she ranted on about are not inaccuracies. Because like so often these moments that bubble up that the rabbit was really not the issue and there was a whole list of grievances.

D and I will work through this, but when she went stomping out the door, I could feel myself just bubbling over. I have guilt as it is about things not being how I ever envisioned my life with my kids. The stresses of this year have not been easy, but I have learned to roll with so much more since MLC hit. I always was able to monitor and adjust, but MLC made me learn that life can really shake things up no matter how well you plan. With the pandemic and the delays, I have learned to be much more patient again. I can't control when things are back in stock or going to arrive, so I make the best of it or laugh about it. But, it is not easy and when these moments hit with D having a need to release her grievances and emotions, I feel this weight of not being enough. I can't be both parents, but I have to be sometimes. I know I am not capable of being some superhero.

At the end of the day, I know D realizes how much I do without complaint most times.

It is hard not to have resentment for the MLCer in these moments. I know he may be struggling and the like, but the choices he made put way more pressure on me. Yes, I too could make the same choices and run away. I let him have access to the kids, so it isn't like I am keeping him from them or making it impossible. He just walked away from it all and I am too responsible to walk away in the first place, but part of me would like to sometimes not be a parent.

Bitterness and resentment won't serve me well, so I will work through it. For now, I am going to just enjoy the quiet of the day and try to finish some part of this ongoing renovation. Tomorrow, I am supposed to walk with my sister, as the weather is going to be warmer. I am going to try my damndest to stick to my plan. I so need the time to get out and walk off some of this negative energy building. UGH.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#21: December 01, 2021, 03:42:11 AM
MD,

Consider this as a 2x4 in absentia for D -

Being an adult means learning that we do not always come first, that we do not always get our way, that we have to be able to have some flexibility as circumstances around us change. Welcome to real life. Being an adult means that we have to be able to cope with our stresses and deal with them appropriately rather than taking them out on all and sundry and whoever happens to be a convenient target in the vicinity. Being a HEALTHY adult means that we  deal with issues AS THEY ARISE and not in some sort of verbal diarrhea attack that tosses everything out, including the kitchen sink, just for the sake of scoring a point or two.

You have every right to be hurt and angry - let those who complain do it themselves next time if they can do it all better... You had to make a short-term adjustment because of the circumstances (wrt the rabbit) but, as you noted, that was just an excuse rather than the real reason behind the melt-down.... And, guess what, growing up doesn't mean that one has less stress.... (as if you didn't already know this) so one has to learn to deal with it appropriately...

Of course, one could always just save it all up and then have an MLC later in life instead  ::)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#22: December 01, 2021, 04:16:43 AM
I agree on this with UM. Tbh I suspect it is part of the transition from parenting teenagers to young adults, and requires adjustment all round. Less protective excuses by the parent, less self-centredness by the young adult. What your D said was hurtful, particularly so given your MLC past probably, and you’re entitled to feel hurt and angry about it for a bit. And to say so. And your D needs to learn that, regardless of how one feels, being an adult means using your words with more care if you do not want to damage relationships. Lessons all round lol. There’s a lot of love in your family, MD, so I suspect it’s a lesson blip for both of you not more than that  :)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#23: December 02, 2021, 08:43:50 AM
UrsaMajor & Treasur - Thank you both.

It is not easy trying to navigate these moments. It is hard to know at times what stirs these emotions and outbursts. "Growing pains". Mother/daughter dynamics. Exhaustion from the end of the semester. Triggers from the MLC. It is often a combination of all of the above. This particular event has stirred up a lot of dust and D and I are still working through it and I am just worn out from it all.

D and I had a rough day yesterday, as we were both feeling very raw. It lead to a discussion in the evening and this morning things were better. I told D that she needs to learn to ask for help, and I completely understand how hard that is, since I too have a very difficult time doing that. It is something we both need to work on.

She left for her classes this morning and has a meeting with one of her professors. She has been blessed with her own "Three Drawers" type of professor this year, who had D as a student last year. This professor has a weekly time set aside on their schedule for "D" time, because they recognize D is a student who wants to ask questions beyond the class content. She has such a thirst for knowledge. But, this professor also recognized that D is similar to how this professor was and has been helping D learn how to dial down the immense pressure she puts on herself. They have been working on a system, a grid that this professor uses themselves to organize priorities and to understand that a person cannot operate at that level D strives for all the time. And, I tried to explain to D, I understand this better than she could possibly know - I was that student growing up and I have learned to adapt. It does creep in still and I know that this is why I struggle with that whole "balance" I constantly seek.

When D left for school, I thought about how I will never fully understand how Xh could just walk away from the kids. Walking away from the marriage, I can at least somehow wrap my head around. But, the kids? I don't think I will ever be able to fully accept the explanations of he is in crisis. It is the same feeling I have about people who keep a good parent away from the kids because the kids are used like a game piece. I have an abundance of compassion for a lot of things, but I know I am not capable of excusing any parent who abandons or uses their kids because it suits them. Those are choices they make in crisis or because it allows them to manipulate and use. I have no patience for manipulation and games when it comes to people's emotions.

I did take the time to meet my sister to walk. We had both committed to walking, even if the weather wasn't perfect, but the sun came out and the snow had all but melted by midmorning. It has been weeks since we have walked. We grabbed lunch and a coffee to go and managed to get 6 miles in. We both admitted we needed the exercise - mentally and physically. My sister's life has been so incredibly hectic as of late with the different sports schedules and events and my BIL has been traveling for work more than usual, so she is feeling the pressure of being the sole parent on call. She said she doesn't really know how I have managed on my own, since her H is there most of the time and is a phone call away.

Fortunately, like so many of our walks, we found things to laugh at and to let go of the stress.

This morning, after D left I decided to start a fire in the fire pit and to take time to relax by the fire with a cup of coffee. I had been up since 6 am, and could have accomplished a great deal, but this morning, I realized that like D, I sometimes need to be okay with taking time to just recalibrate. The couple of hours by the fire allowed me to relax and refocus - so much so that I double checked my math for the tile in the shower and laughed at myself. Yah, clearly I was not firing on all cylinders after that whole D meltdown. I thought the number seemed rather high. I forgot to eliminate the tub area and the window that don't need tiling. It made a rather significant difference.  ::) The argument for allowing yourself to take time to relax. LOL
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#24: December 03, 2021, 03:14:44 AM
OOooommmmmmmmmm

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#25: December 03, 2021, 06:47:44 PM
UrsaMajor - LOL. Exactly.  ;)

I made two people cry today.  :o

The first event was at the gallery when I received a call from someone requesting a specific gift they wanted to purchase. I realized who the caller was and mentioned that her M had painted a beautiful painting not long ago and it to me has an energy that is very difficult to explain. The woman who painted it had lost her H nearly 3 years ago and has struggled through the grieving. It had been a huge shock and for the longest time it showed in her paintings - the sadness. But, this particular painting, I had watched her work on it for weeks, yet hadn't seen the finished product until several weeks ago. It is an amazingly beautiful piece and it is interesting how from then on, all of her work just seems to have a new life to it. I sent the image of the painting to this young woman and she mentioned how much it meant to her, and her M has mentioned me to her. I relayed that her M and I have shed many tears over the years and we have helped nudge each other along some rough patches.

I hadn't meant for the conversation to be packed with emotions. But, in the moment I felt the need to share this with the D. And, maybe it is because I know her D has been worried about her M. She lives far away from her M and her F and M were so incredibly close. Her M has been very "alone" and just existing up until recently.

The day went on and I came home to take care of the puppy and D had asked if I could drop her off at her BF's house. She didn't want to leave her car at his house because his B would be there this weekend and that means the car situation becomes a bit tricky. D had a huge project to finish up and opted out of the birthday dinner celebration with her BF's family and going with me to the local festival.

S was still driving when I spoke to him. Big surprise - S drove the entire distance while Xh slept most of the 12 hour drive.

Normally, we go as a family to a local festival every year for a tree lighting event. We have gone nearly every year since the kids were in grade school. There were some years that were really tough for the kids and I because of the MLCer and life being such a mess, but the kids would always beg to go. The only year in recent history when we haven't gone was when Covid brought everything to a grinding halt.

I came home from work and thought I would just forget going to the event. S is out of town and D is bogged down with homework, and I was feeling very tired. Yet, I realized part of my problem was that I was trying to find reasons not to go. I decided to force myself to go by myself and try to embrace the evening. I was ready to grab my good camera, but then had forgotten to charge the battery earlier and my phone doesn't hold a charge in cold weather. My thoughts of just going to shoot photos was out the door, so again, I nearly talked myself out of it. D's BF's family lives in this village, so I had to take D anyways and the festival was only a few blocks away. By the time I reached the outskirts of the village, I decided I had to do this for myself. I needed to tackle it on my own.

I parked in my, well what would be our usual spot and embraced the mild weather. The whole street was lit up with lights and various decorations. The local high school chorus was having their annual caroling event. I could hear the bells on the horse drawn carriage. It would have been perfect, had it been snowing lightly. As I walked past the small park, I could see Santa talking to a little girl, who had been waiting in line to see him. The festival is really one of my favorite events for this time of year. It is so incredibly simple. The Main Street is closed off for the night, and the local businesses supply free coffee and cocoa, and food. Local vendors sell things for the holidays. The small farm that produces maple syrup was there, as was the farmer who raises Alpaca and creates beautiful sweaters and scarves from the yarn from the Alpaca wool.

I picked up my coffee and walked throughout the shops. The bookstore and gift shops along the street. I kept seeing a little girl wearing a crown made from balloons and I told her how spectacular it was. She giggled and twirled around so I could see the whole creation. It was shortly after that when I came upon one of S's friend's mom. She waved and thanked me for putting up with him so often. I told her he has been a wonderful friend to S and he has been a huge help over the years to the kids and I. I know that the relationship between he and his F is strained right now and when she brought it up, I smiled and told her what I honestly believe. I said her S is getting older and it is time for him to move out and once he does, I believe in my heart of hearts that he and his F just need that space from each other. I see the S trying to grow up and the F is still treating him like a kid. She laughed and said that is it in a nutshell. I believe that once they live apart it will be easier for both of them. She used to work with my M and I told her that I have a similar dynamic with my M and it would be impossible for the two of us to live together, but I appreciate my M and love her to pieces. She started crying and thanked me. She said she needed to hear that because right now they are often at odds. I told her I didn't mean to make her cry and she assured me they were tears of joy.

When I started to walk away, I decided to walk towards the park in the center of the village. It was decorated with twinkle lights and people had started to pack up for the night. It had been a nice evening, but I suddenly felt this emptiness. I wasn't missing the kids as such. What I was honestly missing was sharing it with someone. Not the shopping or seeing people. The quiet moment in the park, where even though the snow had melted, the air was still cold enough to freeze the mist from the stream. The mist had coated the ornamental grasses and the soft tufts were glistening in the light. No words would have had to been spoken. It was just a moment that was so incredibly beautiful and meant to be shared. As I stared at the village ahead, I heard the horse drawn carriage coming around the corner. I hadn't seen the horses earlier. They were black Percherons this year. I considered going for a carriage ride, but I could feel my mood changing to melancholy. I didn't want to go alone on this ride, as I had on the hayride during the Halloween party. Yes, there were other people there, as there would be with this one, but it is amazing how you can be surrounded by other people and still feel this strange loneliness.

I am glad I went and I did embrace the beautiful evening, by taking a ride around the village before heading home. It is amazing that this year people seem to be really embracing putting up lights for the holidays.

I have decided over the next few weeks, I am going to push myself to go places, even if it means going alone. I can deal with solitude, but I so want to somehow embrace the holiday season again. It doesn't have to be the way it used to be, and I know it has changed from what had been years ago. But somehow I need to find some new things to embrace - simple moments. It may mean doing it on my own and I have to be okay with that for now. And, I am not about to just ask anyone to go along, to simply fill some empty seat in the car - it would have to be someone who can embrace simple moments. I know plenty of people to fill hours of the day, but it is not what I am really desiring.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#26: December 04, 2021, 03:12:01 PM
I woke up to a very quiet house this morning. Even the puppy seemed to want to stay snuggled up, but that didn't last when she saw I was getting up to make coffee. I took her outside as I waited for my French press work it's magic and thought about what I was going to try and accomplish today.

It was quiet for about an hour before my phone rang. My M had called to ask what I had on the schedule. I had some ideas, but my M mentioned she had her annual Christmas party to go to. My M is not a social butterfly, but this is the one event she never misses.

When my sister and I were growing up, my M was essentially a stay at home M. She chipped away at a college degree and had worked in an office before I was born. By the time I was in high school, my M took a job, one day a week working for a specialist in a satellite office. She loved the job and when they initially asked her to take on more hours in the city, she jumped at the chance. My F was more than happy to support her choice as were my sister and I. We all pitched in and made dinners, etc. She worked there for several years and then decided to walk away from it after they closed the satellite completely and her commute was always into the city. That was easily 25 years ago.

Every year, that office had a holiday party. When my M left, they always invited her. My M was dearly loved in that office by the staff, the dentist and the patients. They have continued these get togethers every year, even after so many of them have retired. It is something my M looks forward to every year.

The funny thing is, my F, he is happy she has these times for herself and can find plenty to keep himself busy. Whether it is working in the studio. Or reading a book. Or whatever strikes his fancy. But, my M knew I was by myself and he was by himself, so she thought maybe we could go and pick up the sheet of insulation I still needed for the bathroom along with the lumber I wanted to pick out. I could have easily just borrowed my F's truck, but I sort of giggled to myself. I knew my F would be perfectly happy to tag along and "help" me. So, at 9:30 am he picked me up and off we went to check that off of our list. Thing is, my F and I don't often get a day where we don't have things going on or tasks that need addressed. Or people at home that might have ideas of how the day should go -  ::) So, we meandered. Oh, sure I could have accomplished so much more had I just gone to the home improvement store on my own, but we had such a nice time together.

We stopped at an antique store on the way and then tackled the task at hand. It was nearly 11 am, and I knew both of us had been up quite early. I had eaten a banana for breakfast and my F had eaten at 6 am. I suggested we go pick up brunch and we decided on going to a little diner in the city. My F reminisced and asked if I remember him bringing me there when I was a kid. We talked about how the decor has changed so much and I was smiling as my F recounted how my sister and I always wanted to sit at the counter on the bar stools, thinking that was just such a treat. And, how he and I would go faithfully every year out shopping together. My sister never wanted to go along, nor did my M. She was always busy preparing for the festivities and was happy to let the two of us go out. I can remember so many times going into the stores with my F, who loves giving gifts. The music being played in the village would crackle over the speakers in the cold air and we would stop at the local diner and get hot chocolate ands something to eat. I loved those days.

We decided to go across the street and look in one of the shops. I hadn't realized my department coordinator had a stand set up in the shop for the weekend. She gave me a huge hug and told me she has me on the list for classes and will let me know what the numbers look like. I have my fingers crossed.

I saw my F had spotted a necklace. It was lovely and he had a grin on his face as he decided it was something my M should have. On the way home, he told me that he was going to give it to her today. I started laughing and said Christmas wasn't that far away. He explained he knew that, but for their anniversary my M had told him not to make a fuss and he had only gotten her roses, which she loves. He was almost giddy, having made the decision to give this necklace to her now.

I came home and decided not to try and make up for the time I "lost" being out and just embraced the pace the day had taken on.

I think that sometimes it is not time alone I need for balance in my life. What I sometimes need is this type of time with the people I care about or just a day that meanders along where I can embrace memories or happy moments. Simple things. :)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#27: December 06, 2021, 02:12:20 AM
Having a day that is not "planned" from sun-up to sundown can be VERY beneficial for our mental health...

Even a few hours like that can be helpful... I had a bit of that yesterday after church where I got a few things done that I  have been needing to get done for a while... Nothing really SUPER important but things that were just hanging out there for a while...

Being able to do that with someone that you love is just another mark on the "win" side in my book...
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#28: December 06, 2021, 09:52:34 AM
UrsaMajor - I am glad I took my time, because this morning I felt like I was navigating a field full of landmines. All I wanted to do today was try to make progress on the bathroom and finish up at least the construction part of the linen closet. Painting and finish work on anything is down the list.

I came downstairs around 6:15 am and put my coffee on. While I waited for the coffee to brew, I took the puppy out and played as the sun came up. I came in, hoping for a quiet start to my Monday and started coming up with a priority list and counts for what pieces of lumber needed cut, etc. And then it started - the mayhem. The phone rang and it was my M. She wanted to know if I had heard from S. I had.

S was on his way home last night. He had convinced Xh that it made sense to break up the trip back, when I pointed out that S would be in the car, without stops today for about 16 hours with his travel back to college. Of course when it was originally presented to him, S was told that Xh would do part of the driving. That didn't happen.  ::) Why do I think that S is feeling the same jaded thing I am - which is Xh only invited S because he needed someone to drive while he worked on his computer and he needed someone to watch his crazy dog, since the kennel refuses to watch the dog. S's GF was with the dog for the time they were gone and today told me that the dog was a handful all weekend. So, according to S, he drove to Xh's, an hour south from our house and since logic doesn't exist in Xh's world, that also meant that because they were traveling north, our house is closer to their final destination. I told S that I would have dropped S off in the city nearby to meet Xh or to pick him up, had I known. But, either way, S was clearly frustrated last night.

No sooner had I talked to my M, did the phone just blow up. The dental office that we are transferring to and then another call from someone I have been waiting on. And, it is all well and good, but it started to feel like my day was quickly getting hijacked with crazy time-sucking calls and my plans completely derailed.

I was trying to explain to my sister that I don't mind projects, and I do enjoy them, but I so desperately want to get back to where these things are choices and not all necessary - that is residue from the disaster that my year started out on. I long for the project where it doesn't affect everyone in the house. The bathroom is something where I can see the finish line, but someone keeps moving the line further out.

I could feel my stress level rising when my sister called me back. She told me about her neighbor's D whose soon to be Xh has apparently hitched a ride on the MLC bus. My sister had spoken to the neighbor this morning and the M wanted to know if I would talk to her D, since I would understand. I could feel myself feeling bad on one hand, but then I could feel my body tense up. I told my sister that if she wants some resources, I would share them, but I can't do it - that is help this person. I don't have it in me. My sister understood, after I explained to her that I am just worn out and I don't have it in me to talk about my MLCer and my divorce at this point. I want to move away from it and right now, I am so consumed with trying to get my own life back on track.

It sounds so selfish, but I'm stretched at the moment.

D leaves for her college soon - so maybe, just maybe I can some time where I can just focus on my own needs for the day.  ::)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#29: December 07, 2021, 12:37:41 AM
Geee..... So S was the Chauffeur for the GWPWELFV again... Imagine my surprise...

That was to be expected .... and, of course, the dog too....
"Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result...." and with xH it is just wash, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum...

I have had similar instances where someone has asked for help while their partner/spouse was off to the MLC races and I honestly refer them here. I just can't personally shoulder the burden of someone but I am willing to provide support as part of a group/team.... Lead them to the resources and then they need to take action to use them or not...

And with the bathroom renovations - moving goal posts are no fun at all. At the same time, I can't help but recall what kicked the whole project off in the first place.... R has a friend that has decided to do similar renovations but on a free-will basis AND while there are 4 people living in the house... They have no shower and haven't had for several weeks but that is a free-will choice, not the result of 3 1/2" drywall screws through heating lines... WHY one would actually CHOOSE to do renovations like this, I have no idea... Friend and Friend's husband have been able to use the showers where they work but their 2 boys are having to go to the local swimming pool to shower when they have swimming training...
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#30: December 07, 2021, 01:58:32 PM
Oh, UrsaMajor - just wait…there is more that I just found out yesterday.

Remember me saying at the opening of this thread that I wasn't sure sometimes why I still needed to post? Followed by I wasn't discounting the possibility of the MLCer riling me up.  ::)

It is not a trigger, but I did have to sort out some feelings last night and this morning. So much so that I had dreams last night about Xh. And, I am to the point in this journey where when Xh shows up in any dream, I am annoyed. Bad dreams. Good dreams. Anything in between including weird dreams - I don't want Xh in any of them. LOL

So, S returned home very late yesterday afternoon. He was exhausted. He waited at home to see his GF after she got out of work, as she only works a short distance from our house. He had missed her terribly and she, him.

I was grateful D was not at home to hear about the trip. S was excited to share photos of the 2 places they went as he knew I would appreciate the artistic elements S photographed. And, I did. They were beautiful. He clearly enjoyed his time, but there were other elements to this trip that I know are perhaps confusing for him. That is, he didn't out and out say it, but I know my kid very well. He is struggling with some things. Like wondering what the truth really is when it comes to Xh. I just listened most of the time and realize that there is nothing I can do or say and frankly, know from experience that trying to somehow express my opinion when it comes to Xh is never a good idea. I could feel myself wanting to get on the phone and just scream at Xh. Truly.

The company Xh worked for that I figured he had a no compete clause with - yah, called that one. S explained that Xh is no longer going to pursue that project because the company wasn't happy with him, so he quit. Hmmmm, I know the company owner pretty well. My guess - and it is just a guess - Xh got fired because of the clause. The MLC version of Xh needs the spotlight so much it clouds the bigger picture. Xh of yesteryear - the business minded one - would have seen the logic of presenting his idea to the owner, seeing that they had the resources to make this happen and he could have negotiated heading it up. But, no - instead, blow up another work relationship in MLCland and then just decide to go after some other thing.

Now, I will always say this about Xh. He has brilliant ideas and is incredibly talented. Always has been. The MLC version though - somehow just can't hold it together enough to see things through. No surprise by now. And, in the grand scheme it shouldn't affect me, but like it or not, since we have kids together, it can at the very least rattle my cage just a tad.

So, S mentioned Xh was pushing even more to take time off to do things for himself. He informed S that he would pay S's car payment. I stared at S and told him that is all well and good, but S still lives with me, and I am not going to fund some sabbatical that not only I cannot afford to do, but am not even able to make happen for myself, much less others at this point. I explained that I know S works hard and I am not so worried about his bills, but the agreement has always been that I would help the kids with the bills that I committed to in the divorce and then some - as long as they were in college. I agreed to carrying the cellphone bills and the like in the divorce. Both kids are good about pitching in, but understood there are some things I am not going to just keep paying for. They are young adults and my job, as I see it is to help them progress into the world. Support in my mind, means that they can live at home for a bit and get on their feet. They can save up money and get a handle on their school loans - transition to an independent life. But, never has there been some idea floated out there that I will continue to support them financially all the way around. I wasn't raised that way and if they stay home, I am not the maid - we are a team. Like it or not.

S understands this. My issue is not with him at all. It was my frustration listening to the latest "scheme" - yes, I am sorry in this situation, it is in fact not just an idea Xh has, but based on how it all was presented - it is in fact something that Xh has thought out with it very clearly benefiting him. Oh, sure, parts of it would be cool for S.

Xh has a new idea for a money making project. The idea is solid, yet, I will admit part of it is getting to me a bit, as it involves backroad travel - nothing Xh was ever interested in, but S mentioned Xh was inspired by my excursions. And, I don't care so much about that - yay him. I just hate that my "inspiration" has led to this plan. If he makes money at it - good for him, but then too it bugs me, because he continues to benefit and the kids and I have had to bust our butts. Not only that when he offers to pay for S's car and nowhere is he offering to cover, IDK things like health insurance, etc - things I currently pay with an idea I inspired - not exactly making me feel all warm and tingly.  ::)

The conversation continued with Xh would like to have S take time off so he can travel with Xh. Hmmmm. My jaded self was already figuring what that translated to. S could be the driver while Xh documents the travels for his newest concept. Meanwhile, he asked S if his GF liked road trips. S innocently told me that he told Xh that his GF has a job that she really loves and she has other responsibilities. So, Xh's response was to be all excited and said that maybe GF could move into the cottage with S and she could stay behind and be the live in dog sitter. I can assure you that is not going to fly. GF missed S terribly over the 4 days he was gone. Nope. I don't see him going away for possibly a month at a time when GF is left behind. Nor do I see S leaving her for that long. They are best friends. They spend time apart, but this is not exactly the way they have been talking. S and his GF have been talking about getting engaged down the line - once S gets his career going. I anticipate it occurring before next year. And, S is talking about moving in with his friend "C" when he gets his house.

I could feel myself wanting to call XH and just spit and sputter. Of course, with it came the other layer that Xh has not spoked to nor seen D at all. If S were to go away with Xh for any length of time, it is bound to create a wedge with S and D.

There is nothing I can do about it, beyond telling S, as I did, that if he decides to do this, I will only support a couple of "free" months. And, when he is home, he will have to at the very least pitch in financially or help around the house more. He understood and knows I am not being unreasonable.

It is so hard not to feel resentment in these moments. Part of it is I just want him to not affect me at all. I want to focus solely on my own relationships. I wonder at times what this means if I am with someone else. Are they going to understand my feelings - that is - I don't care what Xh does unless it creates problems for me even a bit. Does that scare someone away? I certainly don't go looking for interactions with Xh.

Today, S posted pics of himself and Xh on Facebook. Of course I saw them and seeing Xh didn't upset me in the sense that I somehow felt emotions as such. It was that I was absolutely shocked at what I saw. He has taken on the habit that his now deceased B once did and his M, which is to bleach his hair completely to a blonde to try and blend the gray. And, I don't care. Coloring one's hair is a personal choice. But for me, seeing it, combined with the disheveled look that he was sporting was jarring. To go from a guy that always looked like he was in the military in terms of pressed clothing and short hair to looking like he currently does is just mind-boggling.

As for the help my sister asked for. I have realized I don't mind helping people, but I am at a point currently where I am not capable of what she is asking. It opens up the wounds too much at this point. Someone wants some advice from me and asks - perhaps, but I am also more and more private about some of these things. I have endured enough assumptions when people find out I am divorced. And part of that is my own doing because I keep most things private when it comes to certain things. I will share and do, but on my terms. Beyond journaling it out here and maybe talking to a very small handful of people, I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Today, I had a random thought about my own life. I am sort of torn between wanting to share someone with others in my life and keeping them all to myself. In reality, I know that I would want a person I care about to be part of my whole life, but after this Xh thing my reaction is to insulate myself and those I love from the madness. However, I will admit - the person I was specifically thinking about has been subjected to my family because the universe likes to intervene. LOL.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#31: Today at 12:18:15 AM
So, let's cut to the brass tacks:
The GWPWELFV formerly known (to S) as "dad" wants:
a) to have S as his chauffeur,
b) have S's GF be his live-in dog sitter and house caretaker

He plans to compensate S for his "work" by paying for S's car payment (S had better get that money in advance!) but nothing else.... I'm willing to bet that also would not include food and hotel costs if required....
He does NOT intend to do diddly squat for S's GF like pay for the place where she is currently living, food, transportation costs, etc.,  while she is at the cottage so GF essentially would be paying money to be taking care of the dog from Hades in addition to being cooped up in a cottage somewhere remote...

What can I say? A picture is worth 1000 words..... so here are 4... instead of 4000 words....





 
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 8
#32: Today at 06:32:58 PM
Wait a minute, is the ex sporting the Boris Johnson look?
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me 51
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BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
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