Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: FaithWalker on March 04, 2020, 08:00:56 PM

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 04, 2020, 08:00:56 PM
This thread theme brought to you by the song "Keep Your Head Up" by Andy Grammar.


The days are just rolling right along.  I keep myself way too busy, 40 hour a week job and 2 side hustles (and still feeling broke, heh). 

Monday nights I open up my home to teenagers for a teen Bible Study led by me.  My BFF brings her daughters (13 and 15), D17 looks forward to the discussion and actually gets mad if we don't meet, and xH's cousin's daughter, also 17 shows up for most of the discussions too. 

One Tuesday a month I go to a local networking group for my side hustles called Wine, Women and Wealth.  We exchange business cards, learn some financial things, financially adopted a program called FAM (Foster Alumni Mentors) to help out these kids that have aged out of the foster system, and drink some wine and laugh a lot.  It's been nice.

Wednesdays are my night at home, and every other Wednesday the kids usually leave to go to xH's around 6:30 so one is with kids, one without (kids are gone every other Wed night through Sun night)

Thursday's I go to an adult women's Bible Study where most of the ladies are a good 20+ years older than me.  I've been giving one of the ladies a ride as she doesn't live far from me and she is on oxygen, uses a walker and has some other health issues.  We enjoy our 20 minute drive and do a lot of gabbing on the way.  So far I haven't scared her off with my driving skills.  We just finished up Gideon by Priscilla Shirer and this coming Thursday are starting a study by Lysa Terkeurst called "Finding I Am - How Jesus Fully Satisfies The Cry of Your Heart".

The weekends go much too quick and are a combination of lazy and far busier than we would like, depending on the weekend.  I still volunteer every other Sunday in my Church bookstore before and after the 2nd service, and I've had another gal reach out to me and ask me if I would be part of her non-profit group called the Rahab Center.  I told her I would have to pray about it because I'm already feeling pulled in every single direction.  Sometimes I daydream about shutting it all down and having absolutely nothing on my calendar but I don't foresee that happening and I would probably get bored and lonely if it did.  I don't know.  I will probably feel better once the weather turns beautiful again and I can get back into nature more and get out the paddle boards and all that.

I also recently started a FB group for some local single gals called "You Don't Have To Go It Alone" where the intention of the group is to be able to post when you are feeling up to some company, whether it is a lunch date after Church, grabbing coffee or a movie, or going on a hike.  I know most of us wish we could just post to our FB friends and say "I NEED company!" This group is private and feels like a safe space to post things like that, with the acknowledgment that sometimes we might still find ourselves doing something alone, but opening more opportunities for interaction when we feel like it.  I've had several women reach out to me prior to the starting of this group and we all realized we had days that we were all out there in separate spaces, doing it alone at the exact same time we could have collaborated.  Most of us are in the same boat with the teenage kids and no love life. 

In my previous thread I mentioned that D17 got a job.  And we are hurtling towards a May graduation date, although currently she doesn't go to school until 12:20pm (lucky!) and only has 2 classes, both that are for college credit as she had earned all her credits to graduate before the December break, but had the opportunity to pick up these college classes at the High School through one of the programs the local university does with the High School for free.

S14 will be S15 later this month and has given up his Spring Break to take a 30 hour course to get his driving permit by his 15th birthday. 

S19 is doing well but drifting a bit in just being happy to live with 3 roommates and deliver pizza.  He was going to school to get his pre-requisites and got most of that behind him and then "took a break" to figure out if he still wants to be a pilot or not.  He was most likely going to have to move to a different city to do it but I recently saw a program in our newspaper and clued him in that we now have a pilot option here.  Oh and he grew a beard.  Shocked the heck out of me last time I saw him as it miraculously appeared in between seeing him.

Previous Thread:  https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10630.0
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Whyus on March 04, 2020, 11:06:35 PM
Sounding goog Faith! I love the Facebook Group idea, so easy yet so effective. Well done  :)
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on March 05, 2020, 10:55:17 AM
Hi Faith!

You sure do keep busy. Tired me out just reading about all of your activities. Must be nice to be young and full of energy!  :)

Happy to hear that your family is doing so well!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Sam I Am on March 05, 2020, 11:32:53 AM
You sound awesome!  It seems like you are trying to enjoy every minute of life!  Good for you!

I love the idea of your FB group!  That is so awesome!  Can't wait to hear more about how this is going!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 05, 2020, 11:56:45 AM
Some days, I'm exhausted.  But I've been tracking my sleep on my Fitbit and slowly improving, which also helps keep my energy up.  I also had a genetic health test done in  Fall, and learned some things.  Like, I'm a fast metabolizer of caffeine, so I can reach for several cups a day and be fine!

I will let you know how the group goes.  I will be posting in it this weekend as the kids are gone and the weather is looking like it will be nice for some outings this weekend.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: UrsaMajor on March 06, 2020, 06:36:01 AM
Attaching FW - Enjoy the Spring... or is it still snowing to beat the band?
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 06, 2020, 11:51:58 AM
Hey UM, the temps and sunshine are just gorgeous right now.  Hopefully they last through the weekend so I can get these windows open and push out some of the winter germs, and maybe even get out for a hike and some fresh air.  It's supposed to turn cold and rainy with snow in the high country again towards the end of next week, which is right as Spring Break hits.  Ugh.  Bulbs are starting to poke out of the ground, but as is our weather fashion, we have at least one more huge freeze coming which sucks for the orchards and vineyards.  They try and do their best to protect the plants, but some years we lose some crop to the Spring freeze.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 06, 2020, 12:13:28 PM
I had a really interesting dream last night.  Woke up incredibly in love with this man in my dream.  Don't know his name.  But his eyes.  Wow, just gorgeous.  And the way he treated me.  There wasn't anything overtly sexual about the dream, he just wrapped me in this really amazing hug, let me sleep in, and then I woke up (in the dream) and just sat in this lovely sunny window seat in his t-shirt watching him do some crazy water stunts on his wakeboard on the lake in front of the house I was in.  He had inflated my paddleboard for me, turned his crazy amazing smile on me and gestured toward the paddleboard like he knew I was going to join him on the lake as soon as I was done with my morning laze and cup of coffee.  The hug was just amazing.  One of those hugs where you feel the male strength and virility as you rest your head against their chest, and this feeling of love and protection that you are being wrapped in.

I woke up with the feelings from the dream still lingering.  But I couldn't really pin-point my age in the dream.  There weren't any of my kids around and so I thought at first it was one of those pre-kid dreams that I have on random occasion, where maybe a feeling of "if my life had been different".  But at the same time, he really seemed to treat me with care, as if he knew I had been hurt before, as if maybe we had talked about it.

Of course I can't control my dreams, and I don't know where the heck that came from, but it shook me up a little bit.  I still dream of my H fairly often and so the tenor of this dream was vastly different from what I have been dreaming.   Nothing in this dream was anything that felt familiar from real life.  I did not recognize the house with the lake in front of it.  The vision of him sticks with me.  But I am certain that I have never seen or met anyone that resembles him, not a movie star or a person in real life.  So strange. 

All I know is that I did not want to get out of bed this morning and go to work.  I wanted to go back to sleep!   :P

Conflicting thoughts about this strange dream for sure today.   ???
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 08, 2020, 05:24:56 PM
Well, so far no more random dreams like the one above.  In fact, the next night was a fluster-cluck of craziness involving former H, S14 at about 4 years old, and some crazy kitchen cooking antics by me.  I woke up feeling like I need a dream interpreter for my dreams lately.

This past Friday I had to have a conversation with MLCer regarding S14 and his grades.  All of our conversations are pretty much just parenting business and small talk.  Seems that's all he is capable of with me.  It is interesting to note that if I bring up anything, even if it is in a (very non-judgmental way and just as an aside) that places any blame (for anything the kids are going through post divorce) on the divorce, he is very, very quick to dismiss.  Dismissal is very prevalent, which makes me wonder if any work has been done at all.  How these MLCers do not see the damage that has been wrought is just insane to me.

So after a Friday email from one of S14's teachers begging us for help, and the end of quarter looming and this being MLCers weekend, I made sure we were both on the same page and S14 probably had a pretty intense catch up weekend on his missing assignments.  I did take accountability for my part in that I was remiss not to check S14's grades online before this like I had been doing in the Fall.  As the only parent on the school's parenting app (MLCer could get an account if he wanted) it does fall on me to be checking the parent site for missing assignments.

I had also texted S14 directly, but I do try to forward any emails that come in to my email inbox that are co-parenting since MLCer does not have access.  I had added the note of the assignments S14 was missing and said to reply via email or phone if we needed to discuss this further.

It is worth a mention that when I was taking accountability for my part, MLCer was very kind to me and did not use that as an opportunity to jump on me and agreed that S14 should be taking accountability for his own work and that it should not fall on me to always be monitoring the grades and pushing.  Ahhhh it's a catch-22 with parenting teens!  I do feel like S14 is less organized because he has 2 different houses, but MLCer made a point of saying on his weekends he does ask S if he has any homework and S always tells him no, so the brunt of the responsibility for the state of things does fall on S.

I do feel like I have maybe swung the pendulum too far in the opposite direction of being a fixer to maybe being too lackadaisical.  But I'm also just really, really busy and doing the best I can with the situation that I've been given. 

Both S and D are a bit annoyed with me for Friday's conversation with MLCer I'm sure.  D lit into me via text a bit ha because the conversation of her college stuff also came up during our chat as I got an email from FAFSA saying that she had started it but not completed it.  I thought the deadline was March 1st and that we were now past and out of time but I guess the deadline is March 15th.  She was filling it out at school with her college adviser or whatever.  She's still not sure why MLCer is making her fill it out as she is not planning on going to college until August 2021 but I don't know enough about this stuff to know what's best and MLCer said that if she doesn't get all her scholarship and FAFSA ducks in a row right now, that she will be screwed for August 2021 later, so I will help her finish tonight when she gets home.  I've pretty much forgotten how to do this even though I did it with S only 2 years ago.  It was just a few short months later that S ended up in the hospital for his attempt and I KNOW that my brain and memory is just not the same after so many stressful things post Bomb drop.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Treasur on March 09, 2020, 12:09:18 AM
Dismissal is very prevalent, which makes me wonder if any work has been done at all.  How these MLCers do not see the damage that has been wrought is just insane to me.

I suppose the simplest reason is that they don't want to, FW, bc it would be uncomfortable if they did.
Nothing you can do about that though other than stick to your truths and your experience of reality.

Not a parent so no useful advice to offer re your son, although I'm pretty sure others here have experienced similar problems and will be able to chip in. And i am sorry that you have so much on your plate right now. In a funny way, sometimes when we don't have enough bandwidth to get involved trying to fix some things, life has an odd way of unfolding anyway and showing us that usually the world doesn't end when we can't fix other people's stuff. Even sometimes with teenagers lol.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: UrsaMajor on March 09, 2020, 04:58:04 AM
So, FW, you trying to tell me I have at least 2 more YEARS of the

Me: "Do you have any homework?"
S12: "No, I did it all already."
Me: "Oh! When?"
S12: "After school at mom's"
Me:  "Great! Show me. We can go through it together..."
S12: : "Uhhhmmmm... I left it at her house."
Me: "You realize that you are going directly to school from here (my house) tomorrow like always, right? How did you intend to get the homework before school?"
S12: "OK. Fine! I'll just do it over."<stomping off>
Me: "OK, let me know when you are done and we'll go over it..."


Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on March 09, 2020, 06:31:50 AM
The dreaded FAFSA......oh, how I remember those days! 

I really like the FB group idea.  There are times when I could sure use a group like that.   

You are one busy lady, FW!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 09, 2020, 07:49:53 PM
Very true on all points Treasur

SB, maybe you should start a group of your own, if you have some like-minded people to share it with?

UM, sorry, but it does look like maybe at least 2 more years or more depending on how long it takes him to mature. Teenagers!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 09, 2020, 08:05:19 PM
Put in my regular grocery order.  Get the text that my order is ready and surprise, surprise, they are out of my tp, water and bleach so that is not included in my order.  I needed the bleach for my load of whites, and tp was getting low but not out completely.  Alright, who is hoarding all the tp and what is the point?!

In a positive turn, a 100 year old chinese man was released from the hospital today from the most impacted area of china (along with 80 others) having survived the corona virus.  He has alzheimers, hypertension and congestive heart failure.  That was such a heart warming story to hear!

My day has consisted of dealing with school of choice parents.  Okay, no one was thinking of poor FW when they decided school of choice should be on a Monday after time change.  1 cup of coffee  wasn't cutting it!  It was sheer craziness on the phones today.  Also heard from a 60 year old man that demanded we close the schools down today.  There isn't any confirmed cases on our side of CO yet, and we start our Spring break on Thursday.  I love how everyone decides that the first person they reach at the district makes the decisions or they decide to yell at me because I am the voice of the district.  Eh, all in the days work.  The Superintendent did decide to cancel all school related travel for the month of March today though.  It was at the end of the day so we shall see how the phones go tomorrow.

We had to shut down our district for noro-virus before Thanksgiving.  It was on the news and there were some pretty insane calls then.  The worst was the guy from a different state that called and said the reason we had noro virus is because we are letting dirty mexicans into our country and that in his opinion all democrats should die.  He hung up the phone then which was nice because then I didn't have to come up with any sort of response to his extreme views.  Noro virus actually came through our band kids that had gone on a trip to Colorado Springs and rubbed elbows with the airforce base that had noro virus.  Or so the story goes.  We did try to stay ahead of the virus but it was fast traveling with those kids and now everyone seems to think that corona will be the same way.  I did read that less than 2% of those affected are kids, but so glad that I'm not the one that has to make the decision of whether to close or not to close.

I did see photos of some photographers at a super market that had cleaned the shelves off and piled the items up behind them before doing their news story so it makes me wonder if the media is feeding the frenzy.

I got the flu for 8 days 2 years ago and quarantined myself in my bedroom.  None of the kids got it from me so I guess I did a pretty good job quarantining.  I do feel for the elderly and immuno compromised who are most at risk.  But was happy to hear that 100 year old man is doing well after contracting it.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on March 09, 2020, 09:19:39 PM
I keep telling people that, according to the news, roughly ninety thousand Chinese have gotten sick with the Coronavirus. That means that roughly one billion, 399 million, 910 thousand Chinese have not gotten sick with the Coronavirus. I haven't seen that fact mentioned any where. ::) ::) ::)

Guess I'd better go look for a store that still has TP in stock!
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: marvin4242 on March 10, 2020, 03:07:26 AM
Irrational fear is a hallmark of modern human psyche. It’s as if our survival mechanisms, not having real lions and tigers to deal with, redirect to daily stressors and will latch on to things to find to “panic.” Now it’s a mild virus helped by truly terrible and sensationalistic news outlets.

I think people are hoarding TP to throw at the zombies when the zombie apocalypse comes....
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on March 10, 2020, 07:47:11 AM
Twice during the past week I've transported a guy who went to a doctor last August with a small bump on his neck and was told that he has advanced T-Cell Lymphoma. Chemo isn't working and he doesn't expect to live for much longer. He's two years older than me.

Compared with that, all this panic over Coronavirus seems a bit silly. Unfortunately, he is one of the people who has a valid reason to be concerned about the Cornonavirus but he has more immediate things to worry about.

BTW, this morning I learned that the first diagnosed case of Coronavirus in an EMS worker in NY state has been reported. Ironically, he didn't contract it on the job but instead got it from his girlfriend who is an international flight attendant.

Strengthen your immune system by not smoking, getting enough sleep, eating primarily nutritious foods, and maintaining your fitness by exercising regularly and you should be in a good position to fight off the occasional cold and virus bugs you encounter as well as the really serious and common illnesses like coronary artery disease, diabetes, COPD, etc.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: serenity on March 10, 2020, 10:58:30 AM
Totally agree MB,

There’s way to much panic going on over this and the media is just whipping up fear and panic buying

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 11, 2020, 05:32:04 PM
Still lots of calls for people wondering what our school district is going to do.  One lady wanted to know what she needed to do to keep her child home the rest of the year if she decided to after Spring break.  CU in Boulder has gone to online schooling for the rest of the year.  We have 17 cases in CO currently but 0 in our County.  Thankfully today was the last day of school before Spring Break (including teacher workdays) so no decisions really have to be made at this point.  I think people are more concerned about what it will look like after Spring Break when people might have traveled and come back.

MY coworker has relatives in Italy and she says they are laughing at our toilet paper debacle.  Just for fun I posted an article on my FB from April 1, 2018 talking about why we should ditch toilet paper.   ;D
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 11, 2020, 05:39:00 PM
D17 got a speeding ticket today.  She was doing the posted speed limit, but did not see the flashing school zone light as a large vehicle was in front of her and she was in an area she isn't used to driving through at school let out.  Poor thing.  The officer was nice and reduced her speed by 1mph so that it dropped her from 4 points to 1 point.  Well, there goes half her first paycheck!
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on March 11, 2020, 08:40:56 PM
Sorry to hear about the speeding ticket. That's a tough lesson.

I just wrote on my thread about my university system's decision to move to an online format after spring break. We have 200 people in the state diagnosed with coronavirus and we're going to seriously disrupt the education of more than 69,000 students.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Finding Joy on March 13, 2020, 10:54:33 AM
It really is getting crazy.  I had scheduled my sons birthday party at the trampoline park, but we canceled because no one was coming.
We have had an elderly death here with CV.  My h works at the hospital and says there are a few cases.  Everything is cancelled.  Basically our whole life is on shutdown.  Spring break just started, but they sent the kids work home because they will not likely go back after spring break.

I’m more worried about them tanking the economy with all of this fear than getting sick.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 15, 2020, 05:24:40 PM
We had our first presumed positive here in our County yesterday morning.  He had a foreign visitor who tested positive when he got back home and that's all I know.  A male in his 30's.  One of my friend's first action was to make a helping group on Facebook where we can post needs in our community as they arise.  People are already sharing that they have baby formula and other things that people may need.

I am on day 6 of a detox program and feel pretty good.  Lots of fresh veggies and fruit, (meat, oatmeal, brown rice once a week or so).  Some protein shakes every couple days with chia seeds or flax seeds, greens and such.  Some good fat like avocados.  Sweet potatoes.  No starchy white potatoes, soda, simple carbs in grains like bread and crackers and the like.  No alcohol.  Lots of bone broth, and a few dill pickles to help for the sodium content as consuming a lot of water.  I like how I am feeling!  I do have some other stuff on hand for the kids, but can't afford to stockpile too much at one time.  I've done a couple of to go grocery orders and about half of what I order is actually fulfilled.  We are down to about 4 rolls of toilet paper.  We have only used 2 rolls in a 2 week time period so I am not too concerned yet, but we will cross that bridge when the time comes.  It helps that I am at work for 8 hours of the day and can use their supply, lol.

The school districts in the counties around us have closed, but since we are out on Spring Break right now we are taking a wait and see approach this week.  So far I am scheduled for work in the morning.  We stayed home today and watched Church online.  We had a funeral to go to yesterday, which did put us around some older people like my mom and stepdad, and the minister was 94, so I did worry about that some.  Just have to trust that everyone will be okay.  Mom said the assisted living center has closed down to one entrance and is checking temperatures of people coming in but haven't locked down just yet.  I do worry because I have read that a lot of people are carrying it without fever and the like.

S14's driving course for M-F has not been cancelled.  I will take him to that tomorrow morning unless they send out another email before then.  I'm a little concerned about shelling out the $ for it right now, but he wants to get the 30 hour course done and dusted and become S15 on March 24th and wants to get his permit by then.  We shall see what happens.  His birthday may be pretty lowkey this year.  The driving course might be his birthday present for now.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on March 15, 2020, 06:02:10 PM
Just learned today the first two confirmed cases have hit our county. Everything is closed or closing around here. When I got to church this morning I found the service I was planning to attend had been canceled. All county K-12 schools are closing. The YMCA has closed. Our ambulance is stocked with N95 respirator masks for us and face masks for the patients. Anyone with respiratory symptoms is getting a mask!

It's a pretty strange world we're living in right now. I just got home from a call for a possible structure fire. Fortunately, that was also canceled.  :D

Good luck with your detox diet. I hope it works for you. This is definitely a good time to be eating healthy, nutritious foods. Keep your immune system strong!
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Milly on March 17, 2020, 04:41:15 AM
Faith, hope your S gets to finish his driving hours. It really is a bizarre world we're living in right now. I've known others to have had their birthdays this past week in our closed down Italy. You might want to prepare for the fact that you and S will be stuck at home. Maybe while you can buy some silly party hats and trumpets ready just in case.

Love your detox diet. I wish I had the drive. I used to be so good at these things and I miss it. Keep telling us about it.

Take care xxx
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on March 17, 2020, 08:19:54 AM
Yes, please keep us updated. Here in NY state almost the entire state has been closed. Schools, libraries, museums, bars, restaurants, all are closed. Grocery stores are still open but some of the shelves are empty. Now our governor is talking about a travel ban. I think he's afraid somebody might escape.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 19, 2020, 10:44:17 PM
We are hanging in here.  Lots of rumors of sick people but still only 1 person listed as confirmed on the health department websites.  They have now closed school per State order until April 20th.  Restaurants can only do carry-out or delivery only.  Some restaurants have turned into markets to help themselves stay open.  Today it was ruled that all non-essential businesses close down, so no hair salon trips or massages, etc.

My last full day at work was Tuesday.  I went in for an hour to check messages on Wednesday.  This morning I got an email that gave directions on how to check messages from home so I was able to stay home today.

Yesterday I had to brave the supermarket and got some things for us and also for S19's household.  I took S19 his cleaning supplies, milk, orange juice, fresh fruit and visited with him for a bit.  He is still getting 35-40 hours delivering pizza.  He said someone tried to tip him in toilet paper.  I told him he should have taken it, lol.  I had to get toilet paper from a friend who offered me some.  Last night I just felt run down and have had bad headaches the last couple days, but they have also been burning the fields and my allergies are bad right now.  They finally put a ban to the burning because a lot of people were having issues.

S14 finished his driving course today but they shut the DMV down yesterday until April 20th so he won't be able to get his permit on his birthday.  He's pretty bummed, but understands.  We are now settling down into being home.  In between checking and returning messages at work, I was able to do a lot of cleaning today and have felt really good today, not run down.  A family member dropped off bleach on my doorstep as they found some and were allowed to buy some for me since I was almost out.

There's been a few conversations with xH.  The kids leave tomorrow night for the weekend with him and things are going to get REALLY quiet around here.  Today I returned a call to a lady who was just frantic.  She needs the superintendent to put out a letter that we intend to start distance learning on the 30th.  Her xH is keeping her child from her because he says that this extra month is an extended Spring Break and he has her daughter for school breaks.  They extended the break an extra week is all, so that the teachers could take a few days to get what they needed in order to start distance learning.  And then the kids will do school online.  I felt really bad for her.  I'm sure she isn't the only one having to deal with a crazy ex during this time.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 22, 2020, 04:02:06 PM
The county website updated this morning to 2 confirmed cases after days and days and no one feels like that is accurate AT ALL.  They are telling people that if they don't fall into certain categories, they won't get tested, and those that are getting tested, it's taking 8 days or longer to get results back from the State Capital city.

They took my neighbor away on a stretcher today.  My cat awoke me growling and I looked outside and saw the ambulance.  It's a multi-generational home, we share a wall.  She has pneumonia.  She's elderly.  Everyone in the home is sick.  I watched in tears as they carried her away on a stretcher.  It really just made it feel so real, if you know what I mean.

My friend in a town 45 minutes away was tested, and quarantined.  She's already starting to recover and still has not received her results back, and yet everyone in her county is bragging that they have 0 cases.

I have done pretty much a whole lot of nothing the last few days.  Kids are gone so it's just the cat and myself.  They come back home tonight.

My dreams were awful last night.  Crazy dreams.  I was in some sort of war situation, hiding behind a bed with other people, holding a gun that I didn't even know if I could use, waiting for the enemy to enter.  Needless to say, I woke up a bit unsettled. 

The sun is shining today.  People are playing their music.  Cars coming and going.  People in the parking lot of our town home community.  I live down the hill from a fire department, so I hear sirens all the time, that's pretty normal around here.  Sure wishing today that I lived by the beach.  First light on FB shows videos of it, but it's not the same as being there.  We still have snow in the high country.  I may have to get out and take a drive to go walk in the middle of nowhere in the next few days.  Feeling a bit stir crazy I think.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on March 22, 2020, 06:57:37 PM
Thanks for the update, Faith. Glad to hear that you and your family are doing ok physically. I hope you are able to find a way to deal with the mental stress associated with all of this. Knowing you, I'm sure you'll be fine. If I lived by a beach I'd go for a walk on it for you but I don't live near a beach either.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on March 27, 2020, 09:30:42 PM
I hope everyone is doing okay.  S14 turned to S15 on Tuesday.  I will have to give him a birthday party later, hopefully.  He kept saying he didn't care and it was okay.  He didn't want us to sing to him.  We had a cookie/brownie mix so since he doesn't like cake, we baked that.  Didn't have any candles to put in it.  His F picked him up for a late lunch and they picked up sushi and took it back to his house to eat it.  When he brought S15 back, he sat on my couch and chatted for a while.  After he left, S15 said that after they ate, MLCer fell asleep on the couch and S15 was just sitting there kind of awkward like.  He ended up texting and chatting with some of his friends until his F woke up and brought him home.  I went into work for a couple hours Tue.

We ordered takeout from a restaurant S requested for dinner and then ate the brownies for dessert.  S15's driving course was a huge chunk of money, so I didn't have a gift to give him, but D17 ordered one for him with one of her paychecks and it should be arriving soon.  He said that his F gave him $50 cash. 

Wednesday I again worked for a couple hours at the office as all the Leave & Earnings Statements for Payroll needed to be mailed out.

On Thu, the Governor ordered a state-wide shelter in place.  We are supposed to stay home except for essentials such as work and groceries.  We can go hiking and be outside as long as we practice 6 foot distance from everyone else.  I wore a mask and gloves to go to the post office to pick up the mail for work and sort it out at the office.  I didn't take them off until I got back home and I didn't take them inside.  I ordered groceries for pickup as it had been 8 days since I had gotten any.  They asked me to stay in my car, and loaded it into my trunk and got a verbal agreement from me that they could sign for me.  Now my plan is to stay at home again until Tue when I do the post office/work run all over again.  I will glove and mask, although the gloves I have are crappy and ripped when I was putting away the mail.  I didn't see a soul at work on Thursday, in fact it was a bit creepy.  I turned on some music while I worked just to break up the silence.  I did have to interact with 2 people but I met them outside and handed them their things they needed with mask and gloves in place.  Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, sunny and warm.

Today we woke up to dark, cold and snow.  We had thundersnow.  It was weird.  At first I thought it was military jets again.  We had 3 fly over the other night at almost midnight that shook the whole town.  We have an airfield that is a fuel stop for lots of military jets but it freaked a lot of people out as they were flying super low and with everything else going on it felt very different.  We don't usually have them fly at that hour.

D17 and I have decided the next nice day we have, we are going hiking.  We will do it away from anybody else.  We've been staying inside way too much and since we live in a townhome community, there are people all around us, walking their dogs and we have a tiny little backyard.  I will probably work out in it too and try and get it ready for planting in my little area I have.  I thought I might do some gardening in my flower pots this year too.  If I can get a hold of any plants/seeds.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on April 22, 2020, 05:19:29 PM
Hey all, it's been a little while.  I've been reading a bit now and again but didn't have much to update.  Just the usual stay at home craziness everyone is experiencing.  But of course today with the recent events I had to come here and update.

So D17 and I were talking about getting out for a while on Friday and getting some fresh air and doing something.  She says that whatever we do, we need to be done by 5 on Friday because she and S15 are supposed to pop over to their Dad's for a thing.  Some sort of BBQ with their grandparents.  What?  I ask her what she's talking about.  She says "Oh, Dad didn't clear it with you first?  Well, I guess you better contact him because I don't know."  And she walks away.  Bizarre.  So I text him thinking maybe she had her Friday's mixed up and he'd planned something for the following Friday as we are moving from Safe at Home to Safer at home with some lifting of restrictions here in our County.  So I text him asking about the "thing" and if she has her Friday's mixed up.  He calls back and is like, uh, I didn't tell you?  I thought I told you?  Are you sure I didn't tell you?  Um...pretty sure that you didn't tell me.  "Well I'm getting married on Friday."  I don't know if he just figured someone would have told me, that I would have been "stalking" him on FB or what but I seriously had no idea that he was seeing anyone, let alone that they were engaged and getting married.  So bizarre.  So yes, 2 days before the wedding I'm getting the notice.  Sounds about right, doesn't it my fellow LBS's.  If there was every any doubt, which there really wasn't, that this is MLC, there definitely isn't any doubt now. 

So I ask the kids if they knew.  S15 had no idea that the thing Friday night was a wedding.  They have met her once recently, and D17 says they've only been dating for a few months but that she's an old family friend of his parents. 

I'm a bit in shock.  I've laughed a bit.  There's been a few tears, but not the sadz, more just tears of unbelief a little bit, like "Is this real life?"  He's set the bar pretty high for what sort of information that he needs from me if there is to be anything of the same sort in my future, right?  (heavy sarcasm)

I think the biggest anger is not feeling like they respect you enough to tell you the truth or to be a straight shooter with you.  That's how I know it's MLC.  Who doesn't tell the mother of their children, a woman that you were friends with for 21 years information like this? So bizarre.  So very, very bizarre.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: xyzcf on April 22, 2020, 05:56:11 PM
The things they do that make no sense...but also speak volumes to me...if they are so sure that what they are doing is the "right" thing then why keep it so hush hush?

I am sorry you are dealing with this "news"....sending you a hug and prayers for peace.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: forthetrees on April 22, 2020, 05:57:33 PM
BBQ? Wedding? What´s the difference? Wow- who knows, their neighbors might report them to the cops for breaking the lockdown- that would produce some memorable photos. I hope he doesn´t pressure the kids into posing in photos closer than 6 ft. apart. But... that would be a great excuse for them to decline to be in photos. If omens carry any weight, I´d say getting hitched during a lockdown is a bad sign.

Sigh- sorry that this got sprung on you. The mind effery does not stop even after the papers are signed. Maybe plan something special for you on that day to change the emotional energy for that date.

Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on April 22, 2020, 06:26:47 PM
Sorry to hear this. You are right, it is very bizarre. I wonder if the bride will wear a face mask instead of a veil?
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on April 22, 2020, 09:43:23 PM
So I caved and had a peek at his FB.  They became FB official 8 weeks ago and no sign of her at any gatherings pre-January.

The shock has worn off a bit and it does feel a bit like a whole new bomb drop.  Maybe if I had been eased into the news it would've given me time to come to terms with this, but maybe this is the better way, not having weeks and weeks to prepare for this.  I don't know.  I do know that I need to prepare myself for a bit of grieving, and that it's okay to grieve.  When you the loyal one have said vows to someone, no matter how crazy the circumstances, it will always be a little bit of mind fudgery when they say the same vows to someone else.

I do need to find something to keep me occupied Friday night.  Kind of hard to do in the midst of a lockdown.

Covid-19 marriage 2020.  We cannot make this stuff up.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on April 22, 2020, 09:56:42 PM
Oh Faith, how awful to have the whole wedding “thing” sprung on you and the kids like this. How selfish and immature. D didn’t even know it was her father’s wedding? The poor kids. Imagine thinking you are going to a BBQ and then it ends up being your father’s wedding. (Facepalm)
And then to have a backyard wedding in the middle of a global pandemic? Oh dear. There is not much thinking going on there that is for sure. It is truly and utterly bizarre.
Big cyber hugs Faith.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Milly on April 23, 2020, 02:34:46 AM
Oh Faith I’m so sorry too. I know we have to expect this possibility but you had no idea he was even seeing anyone so I bet this news landed on you like a ton of bricks.

I agree with the others, your H didn’t have the guts to tell you, or the kids actually. Seems like he was so insecure about his happy day that he was going to spring it onto your S while he was there. I wonder if he’s springing it onto his parents to?

A secret wedding, an illegal party, all sounds very teenager. Your H’s shame makes me think he didn’t really think this ‘thing’ out.

I’m sorry that you are going to have to pull yourself up from this blow. Whatever you do on Friday, even if it’s lying in bed all day and grieving, you have all of us here sending you big hugs of support. x
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: UrsaMajor on April 23, 2020, 03:03:53 AM
OK, if this one doesn't win the
award of the moth, I have NO idea what would.....

There is SO much that is SO wrong in this whole situation... reminds me in some strange ways about Treasur's x's wedding being so bizarre as well....
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: xyzcf on April 23, 2020, 05:39:31 AM
Dear Faith,

The shock of finding out this way can be very traumatic. Even when we think we can handle things, sometimes our hearts and minds respond differently. Any emotions/feelings/thoughts that you have at this time ate 100% OK.

You have been on my mind since reading this. When my husband surprised me by divorcing me 9 years after BD, initially I was understandably upset (since he never told me or mentioned it) but as time past, I had a severe "reaction" that manifested itself in a way I did not expect. I was already in counseling but it took some time to recover.

This of course was my experience but I wanted to say something because I had been quite well until that "new" shock.

With this pandemic, the isolation and the anxiety, I sometimes feel those same feelings to a certain degree.....and I think that past trauma of his crisis has changed my physiology, I don't really know for sure as once again, I was quite fine with my life before the pandemic happened..and I know, everyone is feeling the effect of it.

But the feelings I have, are very much a reminder of what I felt at various times since BD, even so many years later.

I didn't "expect" to be affected by the "divorce" the way it hit me....and just wanted to share with you......

As we have all said, who the heck does this? Without letting you or the kids know?  No matter how painful it might be, you deserved a heads up.....to find out this way is cruel, although in his mlc mind, he probably has no ability to understand that.

Perhaps we need to have a Zoom gathering sometime? Cocktails optional.

Be really gentle with yourself right now.  Go to "your" people for support.  I am very glad you came here, because we get it and hopefully that helps a little bit.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Treasur on April 23, 2020, 07:17:12 AM
Dear girl, Yup, please trust your instincts that there is nothing normal about that.....and of course your xh had a prior 'Magic fix' engagement didn't he?  ::) if it seems bizarre, that's bc it is....

It's ok to have some messy feelings about it all. As you might know, been there.
It's evidently a circus but not YOUR circus if that makes sense. His bizarre wedding, her choice to marry someone she's known for 5 minutes, their choice to set it up in such a bizarre way....? All their very own hand-crafted karma bus imho....and no longer your business in a way, good or bad.

I found that a sense of WTF disbelief and some feelings of my marriage being dishonoured in some way lurked for a few months. Which was uncomfortable but it was how I felt. Then with time I was able to see two other things more clearly....that it mattered perhaps to his and her future but made no real difference to mine....and that it was such a piece of disordered foolishness objectively speaking, given the circumstances, that it really was chalk and cheese to compare to my wedding and the person I married.

I am very grateful that the universe intervened without your knowledge so that you actually were inadvertently able to protect your kids from walking in to something and being blindsided by it. That's a good thing. Important to count ones blessings  :). Whatever you feel, whatever your kids feel, I hope it helps to know that some of us here have been there and we get it. X
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Puzzled on April 23, 2020, 11:26:46 AM
Oh, Faith, the "things" MLCers do and how they go about it...  It is so absolutely bizarre and non-sensical.  You will be on my mind tomorrow. 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on April 23, 2020, 04:01:19 PM
Well, it happened.  Now that I know her name, seems we have mutual friends.  She commented directly after me on one of my friend's posts.  So I've blocked them both to protect my heart.  I can't be quietly perusing FB and get bombed like that.  Especially not when my said friend had asked us what we were quarantine buying this week.  It was fun to respond, until suddenly it was not.

I'm headed to my brother and SIL's house tonight for dinner and some drinks.  I don't want to be by myself tonight.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: UrsaMajor on April 24, 2020, 03:57:09 AM
I'm headed to my brother and SIL's house tonight for dinner and some drinks.  I don't want to be by myself tonight.

I can FULLY understand that... Be kind to yourself....
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Milly on April 24, 2020, 05:03:42 AM
Glad you will not be on your own today. Thinking of you xxx
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: xyzcf on April 24, 2020, 05:42:16 AM
Praying for your peace today and beyond. xo
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Finding Joy on April 24, 2020, 06:12:30 AM
Praying for your peace of mind. 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Maleficent on April 24, 2020, 06:15:09 AM
Thinking of you and sending prayers and a hug.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on April 25, 2020, 05:24:27 PM
Thank you everyone.  I spent the day with my BFF.  We played nertz and canasta, drank blood orange vodka w/sprite and took some shots of Chartreuse.  We laughed at memes and silly videos online, talked about the WTF factor of this whole thing, and I made it through the day.  Man drinking two days in a row has me a bit messed up, I'm not much of a drinker, and I don't care at all to drink alone.  Definitely not going to be a common occurrence going forward.  I'm a fast metabolizer of alcohol so it's hardly worth the effort as the effects wear off pretty quickly.

Today has been worthless.  But I have some plans to cycle back to some of those basics in the upcoming weeks, things I was doing pretty well before getting caught off guard with the latest news.  GAL and mirror work continued.  And living as if they aren't coming back.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: xyzcf on April 25, 2020, 05:35:37 PM
Praying that from here on, things will get easier. xo
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on April 25, 2020, 10:47:38 PM
Sending you hugs Faith.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on April 28, 2020, 06:36:49 PM
Sorry to hear this. You are right, it is very bizarre. I wonder if the bride will wear a face mask instead of a veil?

I'm sure they thought they were being funny but yes one of the wedding pictures had them in their masks with the hashtag  covid19marriage

I didn't retrieve my car from BFF's until last night, when D dropped me off on her way to work.

BFF had been page stalking their FB a bit and I decided I wanted her to show me pictures.  No it didn't hurt.  It actually felt like I was looking at 2 strangers.  He doesn't resemble my H at all.  My H really did die at Bomb Drop.

I'm doing okay.  Had a really good conversation with my kids the other night.  I guess I had felt like I had to explain why I might be cycling with some feelings.  After D17 went to bed S15 was pretty talkative.  He told me that all conversation between him and his F is extremely superficial.  He said the last time he got engaged S15 didn't even know until one of the fiance's kids mentioned it while they were there for those 2 weeks.  He said to me "my dad never talks to me about anything of substance"

My M said that when she was giving the kids rides before D got her license and had asked how things were going over there, D had told her that she didn't see the point of them going over for parenting time.  That they pretty much just isolated in their rooms and that he was not really interested in spending much time with them and pretty avoidant of any conversation.

On rare occasions they get in the car and take a drive and he makes them pose for photos that he posts on FB.  S15 says it's really awkward.

Anyway, if I were to say how I am feeling right now, I am feeling like he is a coward. 

And this poem is resonating with me
Free Will
You are not responsible for how another creature uses their free will
You find it troublesome to control even yours at times.
So, when you choose to blame yourself for what they chose,
you have to realize that there's another choice that exists.
The choice not to.
It was the same option that tapped on their shoulder and reminded them that they could choose to end something good, or not.
Yet they chose it.
They chose it by themselves.
But you carry the blame like a curse, like hurting you is a burden that you should carry for your betrayer.

It is rare to find someone guilty of the crimes that have been committed unto them.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Seahorse on April 28, 2020, 07:06:53 PM
Faith -
Following and also so sorry about your x's dumb, immature decisions to get married during this pandemic, and mostly to not tell you.  It actually doesn't really surprise me, because yes - they are cowards.

The need to post stupid photos on FB is another sign of the need for people to think that they're happy and in a perfectly good relationship, when in actuality they are not either one.

It sounds like you've "rallied" over the initial shock, and are ready to get on with HALing. 

Hugs to you and your kids too.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Ggg4life on April 29, 2020, 12:27:04 PM
I'm so sorry to read this.  It's so sad that for many remarriage instead of restoration seems like their only option.  Big hugs from here. 
Let's hope reality starts setting in for these MLC'rs.  I'm sure the feelings of inadequacy from the OW needed a boost for him to prove his commitment.  The things that keep me going is they can never erase the history we had with them.  We actually had the better years and versions of these xh's.  There will always be that shadow of us somewhere in OW's mind, especially if we share kids with them.  So in essence they signed up with a silent piece of us.  The other thing I think back on is when we planned our weddings.  Life really begins when there are no more fantasy type of distractions, right?  All marriages are tough at times.  Will they run then too?

It's not like they can jet off crazily somewhere right now.  ;) It's also a little unnerving that plans for a possible fall bout of whatever is going to spread along with schools saying they may or may not be open.  Some colleges talking about waiting until possibly 2021?  Many people losing their jobs now. Food shortages. People sadly having to miss their payments but will get hit with big balloon payments and the like. So much uncertainty and speculation out there. So much stress for them to deal with too. Minimal escapes can equal a big crisis of their own.  I hope all your friends rally around at a tough time like this.  May you come out stronger and shining above all this soon.  Take your time to go through the mourning if needed.  May he came to realize this was the biggest mistake of his life.  Hang in there!! GGG
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on April 29, 2020, 08:14:01 PM
I'm just getting caught up, FW  - I'm so sorry that you are working your way through this newest craziness. 

I agree - the person they were and that we knew really did die at BD - they are somebody else now. 

Sending support to you.

Hopefully you can soon get the paddle boards out and enjoy the outdoors.  I know I'm sure hoping that I can start spending a lot more time outside.  I have the Harley out but it's been a cold couple of rides so far. 

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Mitzpah on April 30, 2020, 09:04:48 AM

I am sorry to read of the latest.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Philadelphiagirl on April 30, 2020, 09:54:56 AM
Faith, really sorry to hear the latest. Take care, sending support, PG xxx
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on May 06, 2020, 12:14:35 PM
Thank you everyone for stopping by.  I am so grateful for your support.  I'm doing okay.  Fighting off normal bouts of depression.  I'm okay, just extremely unmotivated in every way.  I'm thinking it's more the pandemic then the shock of the wedding.  After the initial shock and mourning wore off, I bounced back fairly quickly.  I had a wonderful conversation with S19 who was not told by xH either and had to hear it from me.  xH was S19's stepdad from 18 months old on, but it seems that xH has dropped that relationship mostly as well.  His loss.

S19 said to me:  "You're doing awesome.  You've always done awesome, and I'm really proud to have you as my mom."  Talk about pulling at a mother's heart strings!  I really do have the better end of this deal.

S15 and D17 came back on Sunday from their first parental visit after the wedding.  The last several visits, S15 has been coming back pretty angry and does some verbal venting when he gets back.  Whether he really feels that way or just does it because he thinks it will make me feel better, I don't know.  He seems to prefer here over there, even though food might be cheaper, house messier, etc.  Here he can be himself.  He can say how he is really feeling, he can fight with his sister (even though it's driving me crazy), he can make faces and drag his feet to do his chores and eventually do them, etc.  Here is home.

I have not heard a peep from MLCer since the phone call about his wedding.  I had gotten an email from the District about new graduation dates for D17 for July, so I went ahead and forwarded that email to him with a note letting him know that they are still trying to decide on whether they will allow limited guests or have all but the students and staff watch virtually and that I would keep him updated.  No response, and maybe no response was needed, but I think I would have at least acknowledged it had it been the other way around.

This week I am back to work every day on a limited basis.  I go in for a couple hours to deal with the mailroom side and the rest of the time I am answering phones from home.  Before that I was only going in on Tues and Thu.  Even that small amount of in office is tiring the heck out of me.  I guess I should be glad we are doing this in small increments, might be a little bit of a shock to jump into a full 40 hours back in the office.  And having to wear a mask and dealing with seasonal allergies on top of it all is not very fun either.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Milly on May 07, 2020, 05:10:30 PM
Faith, your S19 is such a great boy. How sweet of him to say these beautiful words to you. If ever you doubted if you were a bad person/woman and are responsible for what you're all going through, your S's words should reaffirm that you are a great mother, a great human.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: em5731 on May 08, 2020, 07:12:13 PM
Faith, your son is so sweet to say those nice words to you. Good grief who gets married after 2 months of dating. Wait to they really get to know one another !  I can’t even imagine doing that.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on May 10, 2020, 05:15:49 PM
Thank you Milly and Em

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there and to all the Dad's who are pulling Mom duties!

My gift was to have lunch with all 3 of my beautiful children today and we sat and ate in an actual restaurant.  It was lovely.  They even put up with me insisting on pictures, but since you can't really hand your phone off to a stranger during social distancing, they each took a turn getting their picture with me.

I had a lovely conversation with my Mama and we are looking forward to the day that we can safely see each other again in person.

Crickets from MLCR, but newly married version 2 does not seem to be the sort of man to call/text and honor the mother of his children with even a small acknowledgment.  And definitely must have figured the kids were old enough to not have any help with Mother's Day gifts.  S15 apologized for not having any gifts for me and I told him that his presence was a gift and if I felt I had needed flowers I could have bought some last night when I was at the store.

The lack of any sort of response on Mother's Day is probably not new, I can't really remember the last ones, but I don't think they were every acknowledged either.  I'm a bit irritated with him already this week, as he did in fact phone after I last posted, but only to tell me that he had been calling the DMV for days hoping to inquire about getting an appointment for S15 to get his permit and after several days it "dawned on him" to call and check with me to see if I had been calling, had been successful and the like.  He informed me that his plan had been to get an appointment, and just show up at the house and make S15 come with him.  This really ruffled my feathers, and although I didn't let it show, I really may have to set some boundaries with him in the future.  And as usual I was an afterthought.  Meh.  Version 2 really stinks.

I informed him that I had indeed been aware of the matter at hand and had a special number to call.  I listed the first 3 digits and he said he didn't have that special number.  I told him I was taking care of it.  But after repeatedly calling the number, I wasn't getting anywhere, so I went back into my emails from the class that S15 took and realized there was a link to a scheduler.  Success!  I got the appointment made for the very next day and S15 received his permit on Friday morning.  I took a photo for FB and texted it to MLCR with the caption "all set" in which he responded "Nice!!!"

S15 is worried about driving with his F.  We practiced a very small amount in the school parking lot on Friday and he told me today that he is concerned that his F is going to pressure him into driving places he isn't ready to take on yet.  I told him he needed to advocate with his F and tell him that he is not ready for that type of performance yet, to stick to parking lots until he's more confident.  He had a couple of mini panic attacks with me and I was very gentle with him and told him he was doing just great.  Nobody expects him to know how to drive just off the starting line.  We will try to practice a bit more in the coming days before he heads back to his F's on Wednesday night.

S15 also opted for an early morning orthodontist appointment which was shocking to me, but the choices were to go with me to an early morning one, or wait until next Thursday for a late afternoon one with his F.  He's not a morning person so that really surprised me. 

He says he's also feeling forced by his F to have a relationship with his new stepmom.  He said he's never been a breakfast eater but is no longer allowed to sleep in and miss breakfast and is being woken up by his F to come to the table to have breakfast with them and play card and board games in the evening after dinner.  D17 argues with him and tells him that it's not a bad thing, lol.  They both seem to have their own ideas about what is torture and what isn't.  While these things in themselves are not bad things, I do worry that S15 will resent his F for forcing them.  But for me, it's neither here nor there, just a tidbit I hear in passing.  MLCR gave up on family time games with us a very, very long time ago in our marriage.  Apparently he is trying it again with someone new hoping for a different result.  And hopefully these things will be an opportunity for some growth.  We shall see.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 11, 2020, 03:02:06 AM

Regarding S15, all I can say (having an S13) is that his F is making his own bed and will have to sleep in it later. If xH chooses to force his Schmoopie on S15, xH will damage the R with his S... However, that is NOT your circus nor your monkeys.... Yeah, you'll probably have to deal with some of the fall-out as S15 goes on a rant when he comes back to you but it is the R between him and his F that is damaged rather than that between he and you....

And only his F can choose to make different choices....
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on May 18, 2020, 06:21:54 PM
Kids are back from their 2nd parenting time with their F.  They all took a trip up to the grandparents house.  I asked S15 if he had a good time and he said "not really, it's not the same.  Not like it was when we were younger and we were a family."  Yes, nothing is the same.  And if S15 feels it, I bet his grandparents do too.

I was dreading the parenting switch as D17 is working some which leaves MLCR and I having to switch off S15 if she works the night they are supposed to change houses.  The parenting plan has the receiving parent getting the kid, which means that MLCR would come wait for kid(s) to be ready in my home and I would go to his home and do the same.  I do NOT want to go stand at their doorway or inside the entryway making small talk until the kids are done.  I figured worst case scenario I would text S15 to come out to the car.  I feel like this is a boundary that I need to set for me.  It can't be like it was with us sitting on each other's couches making small talk.  Of course more painful for me at this point at his house then his at mine but I figured he needed to understand that this marriage changes things.  So I sent MLCR a text.  I rewrote it a half dozen times before I sent it.  I finally sent:

Hello, I was wondering if we could switch the drop off/pickup arrangements for S15 going forward once D17 is no longer providing transportation.

So I would just drop off S15 on Wednesday's (and Sunday's in Summer) and then you could do the same, just drop off when bringing him back home instead of picking up, until he gets license and car.  This would eliminate awkward wait times since we communicate important things through phone and email anyway.

D17 has to work this afternoon so I can drop S15 off tonight"

He responded that it was fine.  Turns out that D17 worked both nights when we had a transition, so I dropped him off and he appeared on my doorstep as I saw a car I didn't recognize pull away out the window on the night he was expected back home.  It was very relieving to do it this way.  I know I have to see them together eventually but at least I have a little more time getting used to it then the few  weeks that I have been given thanks to his dropping the knowledge of this person in my lap 2 days before the wedding.

I have been dealing with a whole ton of mixed emotions.  Grrrr.  I feel like I've taken backwards steps in my healing.  It just adds a whole new layer of grief I guess.

I've started setting a timer in the evenings and going out on a walk.  Mourning Dove talks about walking a lot and I haven't been doing much of it at all lately, so I need it physically and for my emotional/mental health.  And I love sunsets, so it's a perfect time for me to walk, plus the air is so fragrant right now.  It's my favorite time of year.  Hoping that this melancholy will lift soon.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: xyzcf on May 18, 2020, 07:22:31 PM
You are making incredibly great decisions in a very short timeframe. You amaze me.

I found walking to be really really important, daily exercise of any sort really allowed me to feel calmer so I am glad you are doing that as well.

Sending you a BIG HUG!!!!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on May 18, 2020, 08:24:47 PM
You are making incredibly great decisions in a very short timeframe. You amaze me.

I found walking to be really really important, daily exercise of any sort really allowed me to feel calmer so I am glad you are doing that as well.

Sending you a BIG HUG!!!!

Thank you - I'll take the hug.  So sad that not much real life hugging can happen right now with this pandemic
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Treasur on May 18, 2020, 10:11:16 PM
Faith, a hug from me too.
Yup, when I found out that my xh had got married (via an 'anonymous' note  ::) ), it was a bit strange and it did churn up some stuff for me. Which is normal imho. And easier to process if you respect that and are kind to yourself about how you feel and what you need. Fwiw I found that it was a strange combo of WTF, nothing's changed and a rather liberating line in the sand. But it never lost the WTF flavour or seemed like the action of a sane healthy person....it just made it easier to be NC and see it/him as not my concern, I suppose.

Good call on changing the exchange terms.....adapts to a new set of circumstances and puts your needs first.
Walking was a lifesaver for me too, especially when you get to the point when you lift your head up and look around a bit more. There's a lot of life and beauty still going on out there and I found that small things served to remind me that my own life was still going on too.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 19, 2020, 07:18:26 AM
Walking was a lifesaver for me too, especially when you get to the point when you lift your head up and look around a bit more. There's a lot of life and beauty still going on out there and I found that small things served to remind me that my own life was still going on too.

Just don't lift your head so high that you do what I did and smack your toe against a huge rock because I wasn't watching where I was going.... That one cost me my toenail.....  :o

But a {{{{{bear hug}}}}} from me too.....
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on May 19, 2020, 11:27:26 AM
Thank you Treasur and UM.  It's good to be around people who just get it.  It's so hard for people to understand in everyday life, those who haven't lived it, especially since it's been 4 years from the divorce.  Most are like "what really does that have to do with you in the scheme of things?"  May they never experience being an LBS.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on May 19, 2020, 11:32:14 AM
Well the wind has picked up here the last 2 days and with it my allergies, which had started to be relieved a bit as of the beginning of May.  I am back to work in office for 2 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon to navigate all the deliveries and mail.  The phones I am still able to do from home the rest of my 40 hours and I do a daily postal run on my way back home in the afternoon. 

Kids are done with distance learning although S15 is still working on turning in a few things and has until Thursday I believe.  Yesterday should have been D17's graduation day but they have pushed graduation back to July and are trying to determine what the graduation will look like.  I've been having to field calls from a lot of angry parents, while also being a parent to a Senior.  It didn't help that our Superintendent made a flippant remark that was taken the wrong way and incensed everyone.  In my personal dealings with her, I've never known her to be insensitive to the plight of our students and the newspaper definitely took the remark out of context and wrote a very incensing article.  Oy vey. 

D17 is taking everything in stride.  I think when you are a child of a MLCRr and LBS who has also gone through the worst during BD too, our kids feel a lot like we do.  The worst has already happened that was beyond their control.  D17 seems to have adopted my motto of "It is what it is"

Next Tuesday is my birthday and next Thursday is D's 18th birthday, so we will be celebrating at the lake this weekend with a small group picnic and some paddle boarding with my BFF, her kids and my brother's family.  We (myself, D17 and BFF's kids) were out at the lake 2 weeks ago and it was really wonderful.  Hardly any people were there and we were able to get a shelter and table well away from any other groups.  While paddle boarding, we found this great cove with a picnic shelter off on it's own via a hidden bridge.  I'm hoping to snag something similar for Saturday.

My M and Stepdad move out of the assisted living center next week and I am nervous for them, but it might do them well to get away from other at risk individuals, especially with other things going around in the homes such as flu and the like.  I am concerned for my stepdad and I'm worried about him relapsing but will try to help my mom with keeping his med and meal schedule similar to what he experienced at the assisted living center.  Thankfully they are moving within a mile of me, so I can pop over and help out with grocery deliveries, etc.  They have a front porch that will be perfect for social distancing, and we will of course wear masks and they have some masks that were made special for them with a special filter on the inside so hopefully that helps.  I am concerned mostly about the moving as some people will have to help them carry boxes and furniture into the home and his son and daughter in law will be here from a County will much higher cases than our own. 

So far we have had 53 and no new cases since May 8th and 52 have recovered.  Only 1 requiring hospitalization.  0 deaths.  We have transitioned to a Safer at Home order as of May 1st.  Businesses are beginning to open but with safeguards still in place and recognizing that if we get a spike we will need to go back to Safe at Home instead.  Masks are required in some areas but not in others, and grocery stores have put in markers marking one way aisles and limiting the number of people.  Elderly and high risk people still get the first 2 hours of the store opening to do their shopping.  But I have been mainly doing pickup grocery orders for us.  I wear my mask at work, and I meticulously clean my office every day on top of the custodian's cleaning.

Gyms have opened up but masks are required.  I cannot imagine trying to work out in a mask so I will continue seeking the fresh air walk and do yoga here at home.  Our small group was able to start meeting for Bible Study once a week.  We do it with chairs in the backyard spaced apart and there is about 7 of us.  Groups of 10 and under are permitted to meet in outdoor areas with social distancing.  Camping reservations have resumed with a few guidelines in place in hopes that counties will not spread this to other counties.  If there is a spike, they will most likely scale back and close State parks and such again but we are hoping they stay open as camping is a big summer activity here and brings so much joy and hope for a more normal summer. 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on May 19, 2020, 12:54:00 PM
Sound like you are guys are doing better than NJ - it is such a mess here and I have no idea when our lockdown will end.  They are trying to open the Jersey shore this coming weekend with social distancing but if it goes badly I fear we will all be back in lockdown for the entire summer.   
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: KeepItTogether on May 19, 2020, 04:08:33 PM
I just got caught up. I think I have whiplash. He married someone he dated for 2 months. Yeah, that'll last for sure.  One thing you said really resonated with me--that you think of him as a coward. I agree. A very big one.

But wow--those kids of yours. What treasures. Definitely a reflection of you and your parenting. And wow, you are doing so well in spite of having to deal with such a massive MLCer, who is really the big loser in this. And he will see it someday. But my guess is that you will be long gone by then.

Sending huge hugs my friend.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on June 02, 2020, 08:00:12 AM
Just getting caught up, FW. 

I did enjoy the pics of you and the kids that you posted on FB.   

I hope the walking is helping.  I did (and still do) miles and miles of walking as therapy and quiet time.  I don't listen to music, books, or podcasts.  I just use the time to be outside and to let my mind and body do what they need to do. 

I hope you are able to get some camping in.  Right now it's pretty limited in my state.  The state parks are open for day use but no over night camping yet. 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 02, 2020, 11:36:03 PM
Nice to hear from you SB!  I did just return from a camping trip this past weekend with my B, SIL and nephew.  It was really nice.  The reservoir was calm as glass Saturday morning when we went out and then we went out and paddle boarded again later in the evening.  It was a bit choppy due to wind but settled down by the time we got across the lake.  Great exercise with a combination of standing up, kneeling and sitting, working different muscles for each and even did some paddle board yoga in the morning excursion.

I took next Thu and Fri off and am headed camping again to another Reservoir.  I think S15 and possibly D18 will make it there too.  We will bunk in with my B, SIL and nephew again and have some friends with a site reserved next door.  I waffled back and forth on reserving a 3rd spot and pulling my tent trailer but waited too long and the spots were taken.  It will actually be easier not to pull the pop up camper, just a bit cramped for sleeping quarters.

Right now due to report cards going out in the mail (I run each one through a stamping machine) I am at work full days.  It will be nice to have a 4 day weekend and then hopefully go back into being in the office 1/3 of the time until we open our doors to the public July 1st.

So far I have been able to keep correspondence with MLCer to a minimum and no unwanted sightings of his pandemic marriage partner.  Someone mentioned that the marriage license might not even be valid since they had 17 year olds sign as witnesses.  Who knows?  Not my circus, not my monkeys.

D17 became D18 last week and S19 became S20.  We got to go to lunch with him on his birthday.  I didn't get to see D18 on her birthday as she opted to spend the night with her cousin and then went to her F's after work that evening, (I just saw her in passing in our cars as she was headed to work but she didn't see me), but we had a party out at the lake Memorial Weekend and finished up with cake at my BFF's house.

When D18 came back she said that her F and FOO had a combined birthday/graduation party for her last Saturday, so I'm a bit relieved that happened, as former MIL and I had talked about a dual party prior to the covid crisis and suprise wedding.  So this takes me off the hook to invite any of them to my B's for her party in July on the day of her actual graduation.  It's still up in the air what the graduation will look like, but I'm hoping I still won't have to interact with pandemic marriage partner.  Fingers crossed.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Sam I Am on June 03, 2020, 12:03:50 PM

Just catching up.  All I can say is WOW.  You have been put through the wringer recently.

Despite all of it, you still manage to rise above it all.  You are a STRONG woman and and an even stronger role model for your kids.  KUDOS to you!

As for the marriage....can we start to take bets on how long it will last? Two months of knowing each other?  His history?  She sees nothing wrong with all of this?  Sounds like the perfect MLC storm is abrewing and somthing is gonna blow!

Eventually the blinders will come off!  Watch out and stay out of that path!

As for your kids...wow are they insightful.  Sad they are learning lesson this early in life but yet they are learning and you are there to support them!  Lucky kids!

Sending you cyber hugs!  I have confidence that you will put this behind you too. Take care!  Sam

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 10, 2020, 12:11:04 PM
Thank you Sam!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 10, 2020, 09:51:13 PM
I love Summer because it starts with my birthday, then D's birthday, then S's birthday, and it's always such a lovely time with lots of activities to go and do.  I have been on the lakes a lot lately and it has been so nice getting the paddle boards out.  But once I am back home, I feel like I am treading water and will forever be treading water, if I don't get tired and drown at some point.  Things are breaking, the car needs this, the house needs that, and I get wracked with such melancholy, or go off into nostalgia for the past that creates such a yearning in me that it physically hurts.  Ex H was always good at household repairs, car repairs, etc.  I'm not good in that department. 

Lately it feels like I take one step forward and three steps back.  I can be having a great day, making plans, doing things, etc.  At work this morning, the Security Director came in and said good morning and remarked about how I am always so chipper, and just a breath of fresh air.  And I feel like a phony, because when I come home, and I'm by myself, I just look at my bed, and I go hop in it.  My bed was a place that I spent hours during the D because it was my safe space, my then divorcing me MLCer rarely came in there, and I would hide away in there.  The kids would come in and crawl in with me and we would watch movies on my laptop.   And now, I just turn to it whenever I am feeling down.  And I get 0 motivation to do anything.  I know part of it is the pandemic, part of it is the wedding, but things are just going to crap.  Where is the righteous anger that I need right now to propel me forward?  The yard and back patio were so lovely last year, to sit out in and sip coffee and look at all the flowers growing.  This year, the patio is a wreck, dead leaves and debris still strewn about, the weeds are out of control and I can't see to get a handle on things or make this a lovely place for us to hang out.  I have zero energy or motivation.

Tomorrow we leave for a camping trip with my brother and some friends of ours.  It will be great to get out and spend time with them and everything will be great.  But as soon as I come home, it's back to the melancholy.  I know I need to give myself some grace, but I feel more like I need to shame myself into taking action and doing something about the situation.  I can't seem to find that mirror work that I profited from so much in the beginning of my journey. 

Most of the time I am either caught in the past or thinking about the future.  But I've been seeing so many things that have tried to remind me to live in the now.  But I can't see to find any satisfaction in it.  I feel bad for my kids.  They are dealing with half a woman, half a shadow right now.  Why is this so hard?  Why do MLCers make burning everything down and starting over look so easy?  It's never going to be easy for me.  I am just not wired that way I guess.

Today out of no where I was triggered so bad.  For no reason a vision of my S20 (when he was S17) just standing there in the bathroom swallowing down pain pill after pain pill until the entire bottle was empty wiggled it's way into my head and I was thrown back into the turmoil of that time.  Of finding out he had done that and was in the hospital having his life saved.  It came out of nowhere.  And it rocked me.  Maybe I need to move.  Maybe it's this house that is the problem.  Dark and twisty.  It's been absorbing our pain for the last 4 years and it's spitting it back out at us.  Okay that seems far-fetched, I'm just struggling.  This too shall pass.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on June 10, 2020, 10:10:39 PM
Sorry to hear that you're feeling down but not surprised with all that you're going through.

I have a suggestion. Forget about shaming yourself into making changes. Instead, treat yourself by making changes. Start by doing little things for yourself that will give you pleasure and make your life better. Then start thinking about the bigger things like the patio. But don't do these things because you feel that you have to do them. Do them because you deserve to have pleasant things that you enjoy in your life.

I hope this helps. It's been working for me and I've been a pretty hopeless case. OTOH, if anyone deserves nice things, it's you.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Treasur on June 10, 2020, 10:27:04 PM
Ah, faith.....yes, it will pass, these patches always do.
But that doesn't mean it's not disheartening when they pop up.

Imho, it is a kind of trauma residue. Like an echo.
I think you instinctively put your finger on it though..I found the medicine for that half past/half future feeling is to do something small which forces me into Just Now. For me it was walking and gardening....very small tangible things where I could say 'well, the past might feel like s$it and the future a scary unknown, but look I now have a rose planted and that young blackbird is beautiful to watch and my lettuces are growing'  :) sounds silly, a life made of such small things but imho they work like bricks in a path that leads you forward.

And I love Brain's idea of treat rather than shame.... :)

And the 'how can MLCers skip off without much apparent suffering?' Well, they just seem to be very good at displacement, distraction and disassociation lol. Which is why they shut down and run to find some happy shiny while we dig in and do the mirror work of dealing with how we feel. Chalk and cheese, trying to measure yourself against a psychologically unhealthy person imho. And tbh - other than a glimmer of acknowledgement or validation perhaps - it is probably true that his suffering would not change much about yours at all now. You would still have to grieve your losses, make oeace with the trauma and build that path forward anyway....a suffering MLCer probably would just mean the additional burden of a self pitying broken self centred Stuck person wanting your sympathy and magic fixes  ::)

I am sorry for your yuk patch. I know they suck. But I also know that you will pick yourself up again bc you have done before. This too will pass. And better things are further along that path  :)
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Milly on June 11, 2020, 01:35:00 AM
Oh, Faith, just sending you big hugs. Everyone else has already given you great advice. You are facing a new BD so of course you will be drawn back to the sadness or the echoes of the pain from the first BD. And then the injustice we feel because our MLCers do appear to run off to their shiny, whilst we are left with weeds to clean up. But as Treasur said, we are doing our mirror work, are facing the pain and destruction, facing our own issues, and that is tough. Our MLCers are escaping from all this stuff by finding new ways to avoid thinking about it. Tomorrow you go camping and that will be a lot of fun, and as you say yourself, you know it's temporary, it's a distraction from your pain that you will have to face again once you return home. You have some ideas that might be worth pursuing, as in moving to a new home which will have no reminders in it. Actually, for me, a new home was a great way to rediscover myself. I was able to choose everything freely as I would want it. But even if you decide to stay in your home, you could always give it a slap of paint to brighten it up, move the furniture around so it's not exactly like when your H was at home.  And the garden, which from your memories of last summer, seems to be a place that's good for you, could you not start by sweeping the patio and nothing more? The first brick so to speak? In Italian we say 'L'appetito viene mangiando' which means that you're not hungry until you take the first bite and start eating.

And you are not a phony at work, you are a lovely co-worker, who doesn't bring her problems to work, who doesn't act like the victim seeking people's attention. I suspect people feel good around you. Most people have problems of some kind, so to go to work and find someone like you, can really make a difference to someone's day.

Faith, this will pass. Now fully immerse yourself in your trip. May it be the first of new prospects for the future. x
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: xyzcf on June 11, 2020, 05:59:46 AM
Reading your post took me back to 2 years ago when I received a text saying that he was divorcing me...9 years after BD...shouldn't have been a big deal, but it was. I was in therapy at the time but had been planning to end it and then WHAM. I disintegrated quite badly.

The lack of motivation is common when you have undergone yet another major effect from your MLCer's actions. We have emotions and feelings and a heart...what they do deeply hits us.....

I am back in therapy right now, some related to the pandemic and world issues but the major one is him....and my question this time is "what is it with me that I allow him to affect me still?". I too wanted to sell my home and "run" as far away as possible but I have been able to work that out in therapy...that may be the answer for you but it also may be the "solution" that comes to mind to try and end the pain that you are experiencing.

Long winded but what I want to say to you is that his marriage has shattered your heart once again, there really is only so much we can deal with and our bodies "shut down"  to allow healing to occur if that makes sense. Yet we remain in a high level of alert because we anticipate that something else can go wrong.

So glad you are going camping. Being out in nature really helps.

Your yard sounds like it was a sanctuary for you...if you pick this one area, and it's outside and tell yourself to go out for 15 minutes, just 15 minutes to work on it..perhaps buy a pot with some flowers in it....I often look down at the garbage bag I have half filled and look at the "clearing" of the space, even in that little bit of time and feel a sense of "pleasure". The "beauty" that I have created on my deck, which is what I look out onto a great deal...really is calming to me.

Don't be so hard on yourself. When you come to your home and are feeling this way, the memories of what a home and family are supposed to be are very real.

I know this will pass....but in the meantime, it seems endless.

Big HUG!!!!!! Praying for your comfort and peace.

Enjoy your camping trip!!!!!!

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on June 11, 2020, 07:17:06 AM
FW - I sure get it.  It is all so overwhelming at times that we just shut down and can't seem to find our way through the darkness. 

Many times my frustration and discouragement has reached high levels when things break, or I can't do the things that need to be done (that were always taken care of by him).   Like many others, I've learned to do lots of things I never thought I'd ever do (run a chainsaw as an example).   Sometimes it makes me feel a huge sense of accomplishment and pride and other times I just feel tired and discouraged because the chores never end and it's work I struggle doing. 

Yes, you need to give yourself some grace, and you know that.  Doing it is something else entirely. 

I, too, wonder how they can burn everything down, start over and make it look so easy.   I like Treasur's thinking on this.....they are very good at displacement, distraction, and disassociation. 

Sending support and encouragement.   Enjoy the camping.  I know it's sure therapy that works for me! 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 14, 2020, 04:23:32 PM
Thank you MB, Treasur, Milly, XY, SB.  Your words are like a balm to my soul and remind me why I still like to come here and post.  Only LBS's really get it, and while I forge a new life, separate from my MLCer, I am glad that I still come here.  I was reading what Milly had posted a few days ago about still coming here after years have passed and I'm glad that everyone does.  Those who drop off, I often wonder how they are doing and for me, I definitely have a strong attachment of camaraderie with you all.  I always look forward to your updates and will wonder how everyone's story turns out and hope to be a part of hearing it, no matter what the future holds for everyone post BD.

We have just returned from camping and it was truly wonderful.  Just after sunrise every morning, myself, my SIL and our friend, (the 3 adult women) would leave kids and my friend's hubby and the dogs in the 2 sleeping camps (next to each other) and head for the lake.  My brother would drive us down to the boat ramp and then he would disappear off on the kayak to troll for fish while the 3 of us women would head onto a very empty and calm lake (about 5 miles of water) and take in the serene, the glorious views, and indulge in chit chat while atop our paddle boards.  It was our friends first time on a paddle board, but we gave her pointers and she did great.  One of my favorite mountain ranges could be seen in the distance (The San Juans), the snow glistening and sparkling atop, while around us was the blue and greens of lake water and summer foliage.  We saw deer grazing in meadows as they watched us warily and then drifted into the trees.  Most of the lake was quiet, but in order to see the absolute stunning views of Mt. Sneffels and Courthouse Mountain with Chimney Rock in the distance, we did have to head to the side of the lake where the highway cut below the mountain views, but at least it was far off.

We would get off the lake about 8:30 or 9:00 just as all the party barges, jet skis and speed boats were unloading and go back up to camp and rouse the sleeping teenagers and make breakfast and have a second cup of coffee.  Then we would load up kids, dogs, fishing gear, picnic paraphernalia and head back down to the lake.  We found a great trail with a gazebo and perfect shade and pylons under the gazebo for fishing, pylons to attach doggies leashes when we weren't throwing sticks into the water for them, and a nice sandy spot of shore next to the rocks where we could bank the paddle boards, kayak and raft when they weren't being used by the teenagers, our own little private area with no one else close by.  There was a little borrowers library up at the campgrounds where I found a book to take with me to read as I am not keen on fishing, but enjoy sitting and reading while others fish and ooh and ahh over their catches before they would toss them back into the water, usually allowing most of the fish to live another day.  Usually before heading back to camp again in late afternoon, we would take the paddle boards out again, my SIL in one, my D18 and I on another, friend's 17 year old son on the 3rd and my brother fishing again from the kayak, pretending to be separate from our group, but always not too far away from our sight.  Friend's 17 year old son was angling to dump myself and D18 in the water but I reminded him that I had my phone on board for the camera, even though it was in a protective waterproof case I didn't want to chance it.  D18 was being mischievous and kept splashing me with the cold snowmelt lake water and putting little bits of wood up on my shoulder from the wet debris she found and I finally convinced her that it was her turn to sit in front and do the rowing while I sat behind her.  17 year old boy convinced her in order for us to change places she would need to transfer to his paddle board while I moved forward and then get back on, but during the transfer the boards started to separate and D ended up in the lake.  This made 17 year old boys day as he wanted somebody to end up wet and we did it in such a way that she didn't suspect a thing.  We were all a bit damp anyhow especially D and I as 2 people on one board does elicit more water up on deck then when one is alone.

Evenings were filled with dinner, campfires, smores, card games and lots of laughter.

The 2nd day passed much as the first.  Although the wind picked up at the end of our early morning boarding session and it felt like we were on a paddleboard treadmill, not moving much in a forward direction as we fought the wind.  My B had decided not to fish, but to drop us off and head in to town to pick up a few things and fortunately I had my phone so I was able to text him to pick us up at the far end of the lake where the mouth of the river was flowing in, instead of having to make the journey and then head all the way back around to the other side to meet him.  Still, we had to do a fair bit of rowing to get to shore and our shoulders and low back were feeling the workout.  The waves had a bit of a white swell to them, so most of the rest of that journey was done on our knees or sitting versus standing.  I stood for as long as I possibly could, but once the wind picked up, it's better to get lower to the board and dig the paddle deep into the water.  We were all in good spirits still when we finally made it to shore and agreed that we shouldn't feel guilty for having the smore the night before as we had definitely worked it off and then some.

The 2nd afternoon, D18, myself and friend's son 17 took the 3 paddleboards out and played in the waves from the boat waves and wind waves, and then decided to hook our paddle boards side by side and let the wind take us back in to the cove.  We turned on music on my phone and just sort of drifted along, waving at the rest of our party on shore as we passed, headed through the marina and for the inlet on the far side, but once we got over there we realized that side was more crowded.  More paddle boards near the closed swim beach and you couldn't even tell that the swim beach was closed for the amount of people on there.  It started to sprinkle on us so we separated our boards and headed back for the quieter side.  The wind really picked up and it was a similar scenario to the morning.  My muscles were screaming by the time I got back to shore.  After that the wind was a bit of a nuisance, even picking up one of our boards off the shore at one point and hurling it into the lake.  I was prepared to dive and swim to retrieve it but it caught on my friend's daughters fishing hook she was reeling back up and she reeled it back to shore, none the worse for wear, just a bit of the deck with a furrow from the hook.  Saved me from a freezing dip into the water.

We had scattered t-storms and a bit of rain the second evening, but we kept busy in the camper playing cards.  It cleared off later and the kids had hot chocolate and a fire.  I skipped the treats that time around and opted for a Peach Bellini instead.  We spent the rest of the evening playing cards.

Today we got up at sunrise and packed up camp, as both D and my B had to work today and D needed to shower before work.  I am pretty sore from all the activity, but it is a good sore.  I took a much needed nap today but I feel refreshed and not in as much of a black cloud as last week.  That 2nd day as I gazed upon the beauty of the mountains from the middle of the lake on my paddle board I realized that I have lots of beauty to behold, lots of chances for adventure, and an opportunity to create a life that I absolutely love.

Coming back and reading your kind words brought good tears to my eyes and I realize that I am rich in blessings.  And there was a lot of sage advice in there as well, thank you friends!

Next week is Father's Day and I had finagled a trade so that S could come with me for this camping trip and D was able to get the time off to go with us.  I heard her F asking her on the phone the other day if she would be able to get more time off for Father's Day weekend, that he would like to go up to the cabin at least for an overnight if she is able.  She said that she would see if she had either Fri or Sat night off but that she wasn't going to ask for it off after getting the days off to go with me.  Although I loved the cabin (that was where he proposed), it only holds bittersweet memories for me now.  This will have been the 2nd girl since our divorce (that I know of) that he has taken there, so the cabin is now a part of my past.  There is no lakes up close by the cabin anyway and paddle boarding is one of my passion's now, so while they are gone next weekend, I will make my own plans.  It will still be bittersweet since I don't have my own Father to spend time with, but I will be okay.  I do plan on sending MLCer a text on Father's Day wishing him a Happy Father's Day.  He did not do that for me on Mother's Day, but he is still the Father of D18 and S15 and I wish to acknowledge that and stay true to who I am.  He just happened to message me on my birthday for other reasons and said Happy Birthday BTW so I will do the same for him when his birthday comes.  But the kids are on their own when it comes to gifts and doing their own acknowledgment of Father's Day.  Mother's Day for me was a lovely lunch out with my kids and I immediately told them that their presence was my present when they apologetically said they didn't have any gifts or handmade items for me.  I told them that I would always choose presence over presents in the future.

This next week I am on a split schedule again, where I work partially at work and partially on the phones at home, so I will take all your great advice and start chipping away at some of my projects.  Having the patio be lovely again would be so nice as we head into Summer, and lots of warm and sunny days still ahead of us. 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: xyzcf on June 14, 2020, 07:06:17 PM
Sounds positively lovely Faith.

Thanks for sharing for it allows us to know that we can and will still have good and happy times with family and freinds who love us..and we will be ok!

I just came back from a small neighbourhood event..a new family joined the neighbourhood and he is a singer and comedian. We brought our chairs (social distancing) and a beverage and spent an hour where everything else kind of faded in the backgrouund as I listened to him do Neil Simon impersonations....smiling..it was nice as well.

Glad you had a couple of days of "grace"..it really really helps to even out the darkness.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Treasur on June 14, 2020, 11:13:47 PM
Oh my, Faith, that sounds heavenly....you described it so well I could almost see it  :)
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: UrsaMajor on June 15, 2020, 03:17:34 AM
The camping trip sounds simply lovely, even if it was a bit chilly in the rain storms....

I'm glad that you were able to do that, if nothing more, than to have a bit of "head-clearing time."
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Milly on June 15, 2020, 01:48:40 PM
Faith, your camping trip sounded wonderful. So happy for you. And you have come back in a good mood! See, that's a great lesson for any LBSes wondering the same thing! I'm so pleased you think you might be able to start on your patio. Yes, lots of sunny days ahead. x
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: MyBrainIsBroken on June 15, 2020, 03:45:39 PM
Nice update! I'm looking forward to hearing more about the patio.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 16, 2020, 01:53:31 PM
It's super windy here today.  I just about got blown away while pumping gas.  Patio project is coming along, but until this wind dies down, no progress will be made today.  Tonight is another paddle boarding adventure.  Thankfully, having purchased the paddle boards in 2016, it's a cheap adventure.  xH took D's 18th birthday as the final say in paying child support, so my wallet has become thinner and I will have to be more careful about budgeting as I was thinking I had more time left than that, at least through the month of June, but I guess I was wrong as his last deposit shows the exact shortage.

Yesterday, the Superintendent asked me if I would be willing to take on extra duties, as the HR Department Secretary is moving positions to take over for a retiring Substitute Coordinator and because of the Covid-19 impact on the budget, they won't be back filling any positions in the Admin building.  So the plan is to have me do both my current position and split the duties of her position between myself and the HR Recruiting Assistant.  I have no idea if the extra duties also come with extra pay, but it would be perfectly lovely if it at least covered the loss in child support.  I'm keeping my finger's crossed.  Thankfully July is covered as I do receive a one time bonus in my June paycheck the end of the month for having a great review and it's exactly the amount of D's child support minus the bit they will take out for taxes.  If the extra duties do not come with extra income, I will need to really revamp my budget and see if I can still pay all my bills and have any extra left over to put into savings.  I've been tight before, and I know that it's not the end of the world, just have to tighten the purse strings and get creative.  We LBS's, fair or not, learn how to sacrifice really good when we have to.  Thankfully D has a job now, and so I'm not shelling out money for gas and things like that like I was earlier in the year, but as everyone who has an 18 year old child still living at home knows, there are still many expenses that come with having children, whether they are "adults" or not.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Milly on June 16, 2020, 03:45:54 PM
Faith, I love your attitude. I'm going to call it your BD survivor - LBS attitude. Maintenance for your D is ending as she is 18 but you have it all worked out, as in you accept it, and will deal with it. And now that you are your marvelous self, opportunities are falling at your feet like this new work opportunity. I would say that even if it doesn't come with extra pay right away, which I hope it does, it will only benefit you and your skills for any future work growth. I'm so happy when I hear of one of us LBSes getting rewarded. So wonderful!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on June 18, 2020, 01:50:55 PM
Child Support in NJ runs through age 19 - then you can apply for a continuance as long as they are in full time college.  You might want to check out the laws in your state.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 18, 2020, 02:20:50 PM
The law changed after our final divorce agreement.  The age of emancipation is 19.  S20's Dad accepted this and paid it beyond our initial agreement and quit last year upon S turning 19.  There was no battle and really no words exchanged.  The money just kept being deposited in my account.  Once S started college in the Fall, I sent most of it into his bank account to help him with school expenses.

D18's Dad is apparently going to only view our divorce agreement as his guide.  He's in city council and does mortgages for a living and I seriously doubt there is any way he doesn't know that the law changed.

I just don't think I have the energy to fight it.

There are several factors.  What he's been paying me was based on his initial job that he had at the time of our D.  It was a great job.  He got fired from it and has switched jobs many times since.  I have no idea what he's making now, but I think it's hit and miss based on commission and might be significantly less than he was making when we were divorcing.  Or it could be more, who knows?  I have since switched to a better paying job, so if you don't count the lack of CS from S20's dad, which I don't think I claimed anyway?  I am making more than I was at the time of D.  Plus I have 2 side hustles that have helped carry me.  I don't make a lot from them but a little bit each month.  I haven't felt guilty about the extra money that I had coming in because I only took 1/2 the monthly maintenance that I was entitled to and it about equals that.  It's still hard to live on and budget but we haven't really lacked for anything.  If things got really bad I know I could pick up a small part-time second job if I needed to.  I am not on any sort of government support at this point.

I do not want to have to go back to court.  It would bring out the worst behavior in him I am thinking and I don't want to deal with any of that.  I don't want to put myself in a position where I have to spend more time with him battling this.  It would become me versus them (He and his new wife) and I've been there before with S20's dad a very long time ago.  I had an H at the time and it was still hard to battle things out with them in court.  Thankfully, my relationship with S's Dad and Step Mom got much better right before bomb drop and they were actually very decent to me the few years after bomb drop.  We don't really interact much anymore now that S is 20, but I am FB friends with both of them.

By the complete lack of payment last week, MLCer has decided that his obligation to me is done where D18 is concerned.  But I think he will continue to help her out when she needs it.  Her car is in his name, so he pays the insurance every month and the renewal fees on the tags each year.  He carries her on medical, dental and eye insurance.  He has not asked me to split the cost of her out of pocket expenses for her new glasses after her eye appointment last week.  We usually split those 50/50 in the past.  And she has her job to help her out as well.  She is now paying me for the cost of her phone on my phone plan every month.  She pays for her own gas, and even treated S and I and a couple of friends to dinner the other night instead of me paying.

I don't know what the right thing to do is, but I just feel that I don't want to pursue this.  I don't want his nose into my financials, I don't want to feel bullied, I don't want to be made to feel like I'm just after more money, etc. etc.  I'm just ready to move forward with my life and leave all that behind.  I still receive support for S and the maintenance ends when S's support ends at 18, according to the divorce decree.  After that, there really would be no ties, other than having adult children together.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 21, 2020, 11:59:53 AM
Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there.  You men on here give me hope that there are still some awesome Dad's out there!

Father's Day is always bitter sweet for me, as I lost my Dad on Veteran's Day back in 2001.

That was counter-acted many years by being able to celebrate Father's Day with my husband, and help the kids do things for him, or plan a family BBQ, fishing trip, etc.

Now, there is a bit of bitterness in Father's Day for me.  I no longer feel like he is that great Dad since he chose to abandon his family and put his needs and himself above his children and their needs. 

I did send him a brief text wishing him a Happy Father's Day.  I had found a card online that said "Happy Father's Day to my ex husband.  Without you our amazing children would not exist", but I decided not to send it.  I wasn't sure if it would be received well, if it would come across sarcastic, if it would turn the day back to me and what I think, etc.  So I just said "Happy Father's Day!  Hope it's a great day/weekend."

I dropped S15 off at his F's house on Thursday night, and D18 joined them Friday at noon for a very quick overnight trip to the family cabin.  D was back home after work last night, but left a little while ago to go to lunch with her F and whoever else.  She has to work later today so she said she'd be back after lunch.  It sounds like maybe S is staying up with his grandparents for a few days to do some work around their house and hang out with them.  I get him back next Sunday.

I've been doing a lot of paddle boarding this week.  First with my BFF and her kids and D18 on Tuesday night.  Then, there is a guy friend on my FB that just started paddle boarding and was looking for people to board with.  I've never met him off social media and as it turned out, I ended up alone on the water with him Friday night.  My other beginner paddle boarding friend was supposed to come but she cancelled at the last minute.  I did let my BFF know where I was and that I would text her when I was done and safely back in my car.  Everything was fine, but I was very clear that I just was looking for friendship. 

Yesterday, my SIL and I went out paddle boarding together.  We packed a picnic lunch and headed out about 11am.  We boarded to an empty picnic table on the edge of a cove and ate lunch and then circled around the outskirts of the lake, which took about an hour and a half.  Lots of boats and activity on the lake, so not a whole lot of standing was done, but still worked different muscles switching between standing, kneeling and sitting.  I was a bit done in yesterday afternoon.

D18 just got her own paddle board on Friday as she was leaving for her F's so she is anxious to get it out on the water and I foresee more paddle boarding in my near future.  I've had 2 paddle boards that I got in a package together but D wanted her own paddle board since she has been sharing my 2nd with her brothers.  S20 got an inflatable kayak that he takes out now and so that leaves my other paddle board for S15 to use, but I also use it for any friends that want to go out with me when the kids are gone that don't have their own. 

I really enjoy going out more in the evening's around 6-7pm.  The sun isn't so high in the sky and I usually get to witness a pretty great sunset just before getting off the water.  Yesterday, even though I sunscreened twice, I still ended up burning a bit, with the sun beating down from above.  And usually less people too!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Treasur on June 21, 2020, 12:24:15 PM
My friend said to me yesterday (she also lost her much-loved and fantastic Dad in 2001) that she isn't sure why but she hates Fathers Day now. It's a huge trigger for her....she said she's not sure why bc she can do his birthday or Christmas and be ok....but she can't even bear to see a display of Father's Day cards in a shop bc it upsets her. So, you're not alone Faith  :)

Like you, the good guys and LBS fathers on here are a real reminder to me that the world has plenty of good grown up men, that they are treasures beyond price and we might not always let them know just how much we value each and every one of them  :)
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on June 21, 2020, 03:15:51 PM
I wish I lived closer and we could go paddle boarding. I have never been but I love being on the water and think I would enjoy it. I will have to add it to my summer bucket list.
Father’s Day is a bummer. I lost my Dad in 2008 and LB lost his mind in 2016 so not much celebrating here. Grocery shopping and doing laundry here today. It does trigger me to see other family’s celebrating the day. It makes me sad that there is nothing to celebrate here. S did go over to the xinlaws for dinner today. But I know that if the xinlaws weren’t in NJ S probably wouldn’t have heard from his father. It is all a dog and pony show. D refused to go. She claims she did her obligatory dinner with xinlaws last week and feels no obligation to see them again. So we are ordering sushi here tonight.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 21, 2020, 04:35:09 PM
Enjoy your sushi DF!  I would totally take you paddle boarding if we lived closer.

D came back from her lunch after 3 hours, so she must have at least had a good time.  She did confirm that S was not there but up with his grandparents.  D is off to work now and I've done a whole lot of nothing with my day.  Checked on here, watched some netflix, ate minimally and slept a lot.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 22, 2020, 08:17:31 PM
Our school district finally announced a plan for graduation.  D18 will get to walk in an in person graduation, and every graduate will be able to have 4 tickets for family members.  The family members should be from our county and not other counties around us.  My hope is that 3 of the tickets would be for myself, S15 and S20 and the other ticket for MLCer.  We will see what happens.  I am not ready to meet MLCer's new marital partner.  But I will buck it up for the sake of D18 but I think she'd also rather her brothers be there and I feel like there are A LOT of other people who have the right to claim that spot over someone who has only been in her life and her F's life since March.  Wish me luck!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on June 23, 2020, 10:14:15 AM
I wholeheartedly agree.  Immediate family and long time friends are in line for those tickets waaaaaay before the flavor of the week.  I would just tell him immediate family only - here is your ticket.  Unless, of course, D has other thoughts. It is her special day. 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on June 23, 2020, 01:29:50 PM
I also would just have one ticket available for your MLCer, as her siblings are certainly more worthy of attending that a brand new stepmother. 

BTW - are you still doing any of that on the side keyboarding work that you did awhile back?! 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 25, 2020, 07:16:24 PM
BTW - are you still doing any of that on the side keyboarding work that you did awhile back?! 

No, it was temporary and once they got the kiosk built it took the place of what I was doing.  Unfortunately.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 25, 2020, 09:44:04 PM
Well I have become a bit of a focus at work with some of the older ladies in the office as I guess they needed a bit of excitement.  It seems as if the UPS guy might be flirting with me and they are all waiting with baited breath to see how it plays out.

I had given him my number around Christmas because I had a Christmas present that was more expensive from Amazon and set it to be delivered at work so that it wouldn't disappear off my home doorstep.  Then it turned out it was going to be delivered on Christmas Eve, a day I wasn't in the office.  He was going to text me so I could run down and meet him at the office to get it as I live really close.

To this point I had met him earlier in the Summer and it turned out that at my previous job I had worked with his sister, who I really admired as a coworker.  So just a little groundwork as he had asked me where I transferred from and mentioned who his sister was when I had told him which building I had transferred from.

Anyway, we had texted back and forth a bit around that time (Christmas) and then again I texted him in March when the whole Covid crisis shut us down abruptly, because you can imagine how many packages he delivers a day to an admin school facility for all the various schools.

He always comes in a bit sweaty, but that doesn't bother me, he's a hard worker, obviously and those trucks don't have air conditioning.  I always have a smile on my face and sometimes make small talk.

I think he might have been putting out feelers around Christmas time but obviously I missed them.  You all know what Christmas time is like in my world, with anniversary being December 1st and BD being 2 weeks before Christmas.  And I was of course still holding out hope for my H to come around I think.  But now there is this marriage thing, and it seems to be my red button of no return.

So Tuesday was the first day that he came back to the building as he's been delivering to our warehouse this whole time instead.  The doors were locked but I let him in to drop off the boxes.  After he had left he sent me a text "You look really nice today  ;)"  I responded "Thank you!" and then he asked me if I had any big plans for the 4th.

I sent a screenshot to my BF and my SIL and asked if he was showing interest or if I looked nice opposed to maybe not looking so nice other days?  Ack!  I don't know how to do this!  I'm rusty!

Anyway, my coworker caught wind of it and then UPS guy came in again yesterday and she eavesdropped on our small talk and then got all excited and said that she though he was definitely interested, then the other older gals caught wind of it and now it's the most exciting thing to them, lol.  One asked me today if I had made plans with him yet.  My SIL said "FW, it could be coffee or dinner out, you aren't agreeing to marry the guy", but I still feel so off kilter when it comes to putting my toes back in the water.  Did anyone else feel like this?  BTW, he did not text again yesterday. Did I shut him down?  Scare him off?  Maybe I need some guy perspective on our conversation.

J:  "You look really nice today  ;)"

FW:  "Thank you!"

J:  "Do you have any big plans for the fourth"

FW:  "Not sure yet.  I have to look and see if I have my kids for the 4th or not and if so, see what they want to do.   ;D

But definitely doing a lot of paddle boarding earlier in the week!  My brother will have a camp spot at ________ lake so I'll be out there after work during the week.   :) + ocean wave emoji

15 minutes later...
FW:  "What about you?  Big plans?  I'm sad that fireworks have been cancelled."

J:  "Sounds like a good time :) !!"
J:  "Well currently have not made any plans so far just kinda seeing how the work week goes lol"

FW:  "I hear you on that one!"

10 minutes later...
J:  "The lake sounds refreshing though !!!"
J:  "I'm sure it will be crowded though

FW:  "Yes, I'm hoping it will be a little better in the evenings during the week.  Thankfully with the paddle boards we can launch away from the beach and maintain some distance!"

36 minutes later...
J:  "Well if you ever get bored or need anything don't be afraid to hit me up :)"

9 minutes later...
FW:  "Ok.  :)

        Same to you"

Yesterday I was IMing with a coworker in another building that I have a friendship with and she had asked me what was new in my world, so I had told her that UPS guy had texted me.  She said "Do you mean J, the cute, sweaty one?"  We chatted back and forth, apparently she and the other lady in her building have been admiring him as he's made his deliveries lol.  Then she said that the only problem with dating someone you see at work is that if I were to break his heart, I would still have to see him at work and it would be awkward.  I said "why do you think I would be the one to break his heart?"  and she said "oh ya, you would be the one doing the breaking."  Ouch.  I told her she was horrible but with a lol and a laughing emoji to soften my words, but do I come across as a heart breaker?  I don't think I've actually ever broke a guys heart that I know of.  They've always broken mine. If there was someone that was interested in me that I wasn't interested in when I was younger, I've always tried to let them down gently and there's never been someone I've seriously dated that I've broken up with.

We were trying to guess his age because I was concerned that he might think I'm younger than I am as most people at my work seem to think I'm in my early 30's and are shocked to learn differently.  If he's older than his sister we are probably fine, but if he's younger than his sister, she's 7 years younger than me.  Coworker said her H is 6 years younger than her and that it's fine but that 12 years younger would be yikes so I'm not sure where the line really falls.  As we were I'Ming, he walked in the door and I quickly typed "speak of the devil, here he comes" and she said "go get em" lol

Yikes, dating or even thinking about dating is super complicated!  But older coworker said I had a "sparkle in my eye" after my chat session with him yesterday afternoon.  We talked fishing and I entertained him with a funny story of a fishing session I had with my daughter and my former sister-in-law.

He's definitely got to be older than the first year teacher at my old school who I have been attracted to, but have just been friends and would never act on that attraction.  I don't really want to be a cougar.   :o

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Treasur on June 25, 2020, 10:42:57 PM
Yup, FW....he's flirting for sure  :)
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: UrsaMajor on June 26, 2020, 02:22:02 AM
Yup, FW....he's flirting for sure  :)

Quote from: FaithWalker
36 minutes later...
J:  "Well if you ever get bored or need anything don't be afraid to hit me up :)"

Uhmmmmmm ..... HELLO? Earth to FW!

<sarcasm on full>
No, he's not flirting at all.... "Don't be afraid to hit me up...." No, that is all just PERFECTLY innocent...."
<sarcasm off>


What have you got to loose?

You can't go swimming if you don't get your toes wet..... Just take it slowly and see what happens... Those are the best kinds of meetings - the ones that you never in a million years expected... Why? Because you didn't expect it - therefore, no expectations....
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on June 26, 2020, 01:25:10 PM
Invite him out to the lake for a little paddle boarding...   ;D
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on June 27, 2020, 05:54:50 AM
Don't get caught up on that age thing, FW!   I also look younger than my age and I DO like being a cougar.   ;)
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 27, 2020, 01:58:29 PM
OK y'all, you got a point.

He must not have had any deliveries to our office Thu or Fri and I hadn't heard from him so I texted him a little bit ago.  I closed my eyes and hit send.  My stomach is in knots.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on June 29, 2020, 05:59:59 PM
We've been texting back and forth a little bit, but no outing/date yet.

I didn't outright invite him out Saturday night, but I probably should have.  I have to remember that he can't read my mind.

So I went out Saturday night and had a good time anyway.  A local orchard has an outside patio and venue for their Summer concert series and had opened back up, so I went out and enjoyed some hard cider and a crepe food truck.  It was really nice to get out and enjoy the evening.  My B and SIL went along and I told them that he "might" show up, but when he didn't, I still enjoyed myself and the evening out.

He texted me this morning and said he had phone problems all weekend and asked if I had a good time, and at first I was "hmmm....phone problems? Really?" but then my tech co-worker said there was issues across the Valley, particular with one cellular company, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Today marked the first day that we were open fully at work and back to normal hours so there is an adjustment period for us there, but thankfully it's a 3 day work week, so we can ease back into it.  The health department is keeping an eye on our County cases and said we would have to go back into shutting things down again if we reached a certain threshold of cases.

D18 picked up her graduation tickets but there hasn't really been a conversation about who gets what.  It will most likely be her brothers, myself and her Dad though.  Why wouldn't it?
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on June 30, 2020, 12:49:47 PM
Keep us posted Faith.

I agree on the graduation tickets. 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on July 03, 2020, 07:26:33 PM
MLCer wants to have lunch with D18.  She really didn't want to, said going out and sitting at a restaurant table just her and her F didn't really appeal to her.  But she finally told him that she would do it next Tuesday.  I am hoping that he wants to have lunch with her just for the sake of having lunch.  Hopefully he's realizing that now that she's an adult, it will be up to him to keep the lines of communication open with her.  However, part of me wonders what the ulterior motive is.  I think most of us with MLCers often wonder what the ulterior motive is.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: KeepItTogether on July 04, 2020, 09:55:01 AM
Sad isn’t it? That we question their motives for just about everything now? Side effect of mlc I suppose. But truly, they haven’t given us much to trust on any level have they? Welll for Ds sake, I hope he just wants to connect with his D. What a sad thing to realize that while you were the pig pen of mlc your children have grown up without you. I can’t imagine.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: OffRoad on July 04, 2020, 12:13:54 PM
Don't get caught up on that age thing, FW!   I also look younger than my age and I DO like being a cougar.   ;)
Adding my 2 cents^^^^That. Every last bit. ;D
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on July 05, 2020, 07:02:00 PM
Don't get caught up on that age thing, FW!   I also look younger than my age and I DO like being a cougar.   ;)
Adding my 2 cents^^^^That. Every last bit. ;D

Hmmm...maybe then I won't be treated like I'm a child.  I was pretty tired of always being treated like a child.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on July 05, 2020, 07:02:55 PM
What a sad thing to realize that while you were the pig pen of mlc your children have grown up without you. I can’t imagine.

I can't either KIT.  I guess that's what sets us apart from MLCr's
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on July 05, 2020, 07:12:49 PM
I had the best weekend with D18.  And we didn't even do anything fun really.  S15 went to 4th of July with MLCer at 10:30 in the morning and got back about the same time or maybe a little later that night.  D opted not to go, even though I told her I had no idea what I was doing for the 4th and that if she wanted to go she didn't have to stay with me.  We discussed things and finally decided to drive down and see the fireworks over the lake in a neighboring town.  There was a fireworks ban here due to the intense fire danger and all the big displays got cancelled due to Covid although I did hear the Country Club setting off theirs on Friday and had I known, we might have gone to perch up on the hill and watch those.  Well, S15 and I, D had to work until late Friday night.

Anyhow, D got it in her head that she and I should spend the 4th of July cleaning and organizing the storage shed that is on the side of our back patio.  She has ordered a new bed and wants to store her old daybed to use possibly as a guest bed wherever she ends up moving.  When I moved in, I had about 4 totes of stuff from our office that needed to be gone through, but couldn't really ever muster up the energy to do that.  It was an accumulation of all the kids childhood papers I had saved, pictures, miscellaneous paperwork, etc.  So we cleaned and organized and made a donation pile and then drug each of those totes inside to sit and sort one at a time.  D started going through her K and 1st grade writing samples and drawings, I didn't save every piece, but I tried to save a few good ones.  D thought she was the funniest little girl ever and started laughing hysterically reading her writings and looking at her pictures.  I have to say, watching her go through it and discuss it and laugh was so amusing and we both ended up in hysterics with tears streaming down our faces.  More than once we laughed until we couldn't breathe.  It turned into an entire day of bonding over memories and laughing until our sides hurt.  We looked at the time and realized that we had been at it all day.  But we got a fair amount accomplished and she's a good sidekick to have when she is actually ready to do a project.  If either of us had been doing it alone, we probably would not have pushed through and gotten it done.

And what a great way to kick off her graduation week.  She will walk in her ceremony on Friday, as long as covid cases in the County don't hit the point of us losing our graduation variation.  I do not know what time I have left with this girl before she moves out, now that she's an adult.  I will soak up these moments every chance I get.
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: CanLetGo on July 05, 2020, 07:41:00 PM
Sounds perfect Faith, happy times and memories, you are blessed :)
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: KeepItTogether on July 06, 2020, 12:09:55 PM
Oh Faith I love this so much! What a wonderful memory you two made, while going through memories.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on July 07, 2020, 05:53:34 AM
I sure hope you get that graduation ceremony in, FW.   

I still have totes of my sons' things in storage and they're 30 years old now!  Bless your daughter for getting the job done! 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on August 01, 2020, 10:25:28 PM
July totally got away from me!  Happy August!  With working two positions at work now, I am incredibly busy.  July went fast!

We did get to have a graduation and it went well.  MLCer as usual was pretty disappointing.  Thankfully the boys got the other tickets and I made sure that they sat between us, but MLCer was basically on his stupid phone the whole time.  Even my S15 and S20 were better examples than him.  One of the teachers gave such a great speech too.  I doubt he was paying attention as focused on his phone as he was.  Disgusted.

The 5 of us went to breakfast afterwards and he wasn't even engaged with the kids there either.  His loss.

I threw a party for D the next day.  It was a bit odd not having any of the ex in-laws there this time, but it made for a nice and peaceful day with no stress.

Since my few days off for D's graduation, like I said, I have been working non-stop and exhausted when I get home.  Our school district plans to open for face-to-face learning on August 17th.  Graduation didn't see anyone get Covid, but there has been an uptick in cases in July and we had our first outbreak, in a nursing home, with our first death reported, also from that nursing home.  People here are definitely divided about going back to face-to-face learning and of course being on phones for the school district I get to hear it all, while also working my butt off in HR.

I have made it out for some paddle boarding and got some pool time in with my friend at her grandson's birthday party.  I hung out with my BFF's kids and dogs while she and her H went to a different state to sell his car.

And last weekend I had a lovely brunch and had a friend text while I was there asking if I would go hiking with her.  We made plans to go hiking and I promised to take her paddle boarding as she had never gone before.  Unfortunately, because it was so stinking hot out I wore shorts and ended up slipping, even in my good hiking shoes and sliding down an embankment about 9 feet.  It was excruciating.  Just imagine sliding down dirt and rock for 9 feet with nothing between your booty and the dirt and rock.  Only me.  Good gracious.  It was miserable.  Thankfully I have a pretty high pain tolerance.  And thankfully my friend stopped me when she did and I didn't fall worse and break anything.  The worst was hiking back to the car and then driving to her house so that she could doctor me, and then of course there is no way to put a bandaid on an injury like that.  But, I had promised her a paddle boarding lesson, so we still went paddle boarding.  We had a good time and she loved it, until the end as the wind came up out of nowhere and blew us across the lake.  We got in a good shoulder workout making our way back across the lake to the parking lot where my car was.  We ended the day with a glass of wine and some good food at a great local bar in her town. 

I took it easy on Sunday and used a lot of neosporin with lidocaine.  By Monday I was pretty stiff and sore, but thankfully besides the high pain tolerance I heal quickly as well.  And it was hard to tell if I was sore from the hike, the fall, or the paddle boarding.  Tuesday through now has been fine, other than some itchiness from the scabbing and healing that I had to avoid itching, because, you know, that's not really a place you want to be caught itching!  Lol  I was even ready to take on a hike again today but it didn't work out.

I've been dog sitting for my brother since yesterday while he has been camping and there was some drama with my nephew.  He's making some really dumb decisions that involve a married woman about 5 years older than him with a 2 year old kid.  He's 19.  My S20 and my nephew got out of their lease in a bad part of town and have been staying with my brother while they find a new place.  S20 didn't want to just jump in on a 2 bedroom apartment and his F is actually helping him buy a house.  But nephew is in a hurry because he wants to have a relationship with this girl and my brother completely forbid her to come to their house.  Of course he doesn't condone the relationship and although my nephew is considered an adult, my brother told him that as long as he was staying in his house that he would have to follow the rules.  Nephew didn't like that so he got a hotel that you pay by the week and had paid through last night.  On top of this I guess this girl has alcohol problems and is supposed to go to rehab. 

Anyway, I drive over to watch the dogs while S20 is at work, and nephew was outside in the street hugging on this girl.  He doesn't say a word to me and they just get in the car, so I grab my things and go in the house.  They sit out there for a good while and then they unload the kid and a dog and go hang out in the back yard.  Totally weird.  Nephew comes in the house and lets the 2 dogs I was dog sitting out still never saying a word to me.  S20 comes back as he was leaving for work and forgot something and I ask him if nephew is supposed to have her there.  S20 wasn't sure and we both thought maybe my brother just told nephew that she wasn't allowed to live there with them or whatever.  He finally comes in the house and talks to me and acts like there is nothing wrong.  Tells me that he doesn't have to work and that I don't have to stay.  Then they leave and go to dinner.  I finally get ahold of my brother, who's service is spotty and find out that no he isn't supposed to have here there at all.  He comes back and leaves them all in the car and comes in the house.  I tell him he needs to call his Dad.  He ignores me and goes back out and gets girl and dog and brings them into the house.  So I text him from the living room as to not cause a scene in front of the girl and tell him that his Dad said no visitors, male or female, that hadn't been cleared by his Dad.  He tells them they have to leave and the toddler starts crying, saying he doesn't want to leave, which of course breaks my heart.  This poor kid.  He's the innocent one in all of this.  Nephew goes out the door muttering just loud enough so that I hear how he's going to be homeless and this and that trying to make me feel bad.  So they leave but then about 20 minutes later come back and try and park beyond the hedge where they think I can't see them and just sit out there.  And then finally leave for good.  So bizarre.

I just sat there and cried for a while.  I love my nephew and I'm heart broken over his choices.  To knowingly sleep with a married woman who is cheating on her husband.  And then I got angry with him for putting me in such an uncomfortable position.  He had no business bringing her to the house when he knew how his Dad felt.  And he definitely was ashamed of her by the way that he skulked about and never introduced her to me or anything.  They both skulked about.  And I have 0 respect for her.  First, for the first part where she cheats on her husband with a 19 year old kid.  And then to come into a house where you know you weren't supposed to be.  And S20 is stuck in the middle.  He has shared a home with nephew for the last 2 years almost.  They are close cousins, 8 months apart and good friends.  He doesn't like the choices his cousin is making either, but of course feels like he can't tell him what to do.  He's hoping the relationship will just die out.  He sees it ending badly but he's taking a sideline stance.  Unfortunately, I'm worried of course for him as he doesn't seem concerned that both of them might end up moving in with him in his new home.  Ugh, it's just a mess.

I went back over there tonight a little apprehensive as to what I would find, but S20 was the only one there and left for work shortly after.  He said that the girl ended up checking herself into the local mental health institution for suicidal ideation.  Nephew and S20 were at work all night so I had a peaceful evening with the dogs.  I left a little before either boy got off work after the dogs put themselves to bed.  My brother and SIL will be back tomorrow afternoon with my younger nephew 16.

Tomorrow both boys should be there with the dogs until my brother gets back so I am just going to stay here and focus on my house and laundry before another crazy week at work.  I like how fast the day goes now, but I dread going into work a bit more than I did before this position change.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on August 03, 2020, 07:39:37 AM
FW - well, I'm glad you got D graduated and a successful celebration was held.  No surprise that MLCer couldn't be engaged and supportive.  Another loss for him. 

The situation with your nephew sounds very unpleasant.  Sorry that you had to get in the middle of that.  The young woman sounds like she is in need of much help.  Hopefully, she will receive some. 

Pretty serious fall on those rocks - lucky that you didn't break something.  Good to hear that you're already feeling fit and ready to hike again! 

I feel for you having to answer phones in the district office of a school system.  It's chaos here as well, trying to put a plan in place.  Administration has their work cut out for them.  There's no good answer and no matter what plan goes into place there are going to be unhappy and often, surly, people to deal with.  Your school starts early.  We don't start until the day after Labor Day.  I still don't know what our plan is going to be. 

Good to have an update from you. 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on August 17, 2020, 09:05:26 PM
Today was the first day back to school for S15.  D was able to take him so that I could still make it to work on time, but she closes at work tonight so I will be taking him in the morning and going in late.  Eventually he will be able to ride the bus, but we have to wait a few weeks before we can put him on it.

MLCer didn't reach out to me regarding anything to do with S's school and S mentioned that he had reached out to him asking him what school supplies he needed.  I went ahead and gave him a call today to let him know what to expect when he has S on Thursday, as far as start times and end times and let him know that once S is on the bus, he can decide if he wants S to ride the bus here until he gets off work or he can plan to pick up S from school on the days S is with him.  S is really glad that we are now back to the school schedule and he only goes to his F's every other W-Sun instead of every other Sun-Sun and he's also very glad to be back in face-to-face learning, even though he has to wear a mask throughout the day and has a brutal schedule of 4 base classes (World History, American History, Algebra and Comp Lit).  They decided to keep the quarter to 4 classes instead of the usual 8 to limit the amount of times the kids have to switch during the day.  I didn't realize his schedule was so dull until I saw it online today.  Last year he had a few fitness classes and electives to break up the mundane.  S says it really could've been worse and he can't complain.  Hopefully at least he will have good teachers.  I think most of them are really happy to be back to in person learning.  We opted to offer an online option too for those students and teachers who didn't feel comfortable going back just yet and really I think that's a win/win because that means the teachers that are there really want to be there and don't feel forced into it and the ones that felt better about teaching online are getting that option and the students that are there are so happy to be there and so they want to do their best to keep being able to have face-to-face learning.  And with offering the online, that means less capacity in the classrooms, so social distancing is easier too. 

We do have to fill out a symptom tracker every morning and I have been doing one since July 1st, so now I've just added S's tracker to my morning routine.  I have an alarm that goes off but Siri already anticipates that I'm going to use the link and pops it up on my lock screen as a recommendation.

The only thing that has put a real damper on our back to school and end of summer activities is the fires.  We have one burning 18 miles from us that has burned over 80,000 acres and is only 7% contained.  Over the weekend it rained ash all over our city.  I went outside to run some errands and thought it was snowing, but it is raining ash.  The air quality here is really bad, and we have 2-3 fires near us.  My heart just breaks for my beautiful State and the damage these fires are doing.  I haven't even been paddle boarding in at least 2 weeks due to the air quality.  The fire started the end of July and has been burning ever since.  We wake up every morning to the smell of campfire and smoke rolling around heavy like smog.  I can't even see the mountains, which is totally surreal, especially when we use all our mountains around us as landmarks for points on the compass.

Everyone is coughing and having trouble breathing and also mandated to wear masks indoors, so that doesn't help the breathing either.  Today I went out to my car to start it up to drive home for lunch and ash had even permeated the air conditioning filter and blew out into my face as I started up the car.  If I run the swamp cooler at home, the house quickly starts to smell like a campfire, but the temperature high pretty much every day is around 98-102 degrees so how can we not?  It's miserable and I constantly dream about packing the kids into the car and just driving as far as we can drive to get to some clean air and some water such as ocean or lakes where we can swim and breath in the clear air.  We are praying desperately for rain (with no lightning as that is how one fire started and the other one seems to be a cigarette or sparks from a vehicle in the roadside brush).

I hope you all are doing well.  Miss you all!
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: UrsaMajor on August 18, 2020, 04:02:11 AM
I have someone I know in a Fire Team on their way to the Cameron Peak fire as we type and I know the Pine Gulch area as I drove through there to get to Meeker when my parents owned a cabin there... :( :(  :(
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on August 18, 2020, 07:54:21 PM
Grizzly Creek is another one that is burning near Glenwood Springs.  We can't even get to Denver from here due to that one.  I have some friends trying to get to Fort Collins and Denver to drop of their kids at college and they are either having to go up through Wyoming or over through Gunnison and up through Southpark to get there, which takes a lot longer from here.  Everyone was super worried about Hanging Lake burning and there was one burning near Rifle Falls but I think they got that one put out already, although they had to evacuate some people to the Rifle High School there.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on August 18, 2020, 08:33:06 PM
2020 is turning out to be quite the year.
My brother and his family are dealing with fires and some crazy weather out in California right now. It is awful and very scary.
We are not set to go back to school until the beginning of September but it sounds like we will have a similar situation here as you do there.
Hang in there. I hope they are able to get the fires under control and you can get some relief from the smoke and ash.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on August 25, 2020, 07:48:07 PM
Thankfully a reprieve in wind/humidity over the weekend helped and the fire is now 50% contained.  I actually saw blue sky and no blood red sun for the first time in days!  And I got to sleep with the window cracked open last night.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that things continue to go well.  There is still ash all over the ground everywhere, but it's not raining ash from the sky like it was.  I've had paddle boarding withdrawal and am hoping to get out there on the lake again asap!
Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Milly on August 26, 2020, 03:56:49 PM
Faith, so glad you got a break in the fires, and were able to enjoy sleeping with the window open. I hope the fires are finished.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on August 29, 2020, 01:02:59 PM
Thank you Milly.  As of Thursday night they got the fire 77% contained and I woke up in the night to the sound and smell of fresh rain!  It was the best smell after weeks of no rain and my window was open again and the fresh earth smell permeated my room.  It's been windy and overcast here, so no paddle boarding adventure today but I'm so grateful for the little bit of weather we are getting.

In MLC news, my oldest son has put a monkey wrench in my plans to thoroughly ignore MLCer and his new wife as long as I possibly can.  S20 is buying a house and closing on it at the end of the month.  He made a group event on FB for his open house BBQ in September.  I noticed that in the list of guests it said that there were a certain number coming but when I clicked on the actual guest list, one of the number was missing so I had that sinking feeling it was the one guest that I had blocked on FB.  S20 had asked us to post in the event to bring a side dish and tell him what we were bringing, so I figured it would be awkward if I posted and xH couldn't see it and possibly posted that he was bringing the same thing (not being able to see my post) so I unblocked him on FB and sure enough, he had popped up as one of the guests that is going. 


xH is S20's former Stepfather, not Father, so I was kind of hoping that he wouldn't be invited but it's S20's choice of course.  So I'm currently trying to decide what level of fork I want stuck up my nose. 

I was thinking about going over early and helping S20 out with prepping.  Bringing over my fresh guacamole and all of that, and then disappear again for a while and have my BFF text after the coast is clear and HOPE that MLCer and Mrs. MLCer don't stay very long so that I can go back over and enjoy the BBQ.

Or stay the whole time and suffer through it.  Whenever I think about option 2 I get super anxious and gut wrenched.  By that feeling I know that I'm just not there yet.  And I don't think people in real life understand that feeling.  I think they think I should be over it by now.

Title: Re: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Milly on August 29, 2020, 03:00:34 PM
Faith, for what it's worth, I totally understand your feelings about not being ready to socialize with exH and OWife. I guess when that times comes, you'll know. Just the fact that you say that you get gut wrenched just by thinking of option 2, I think tells you what is best for you. Nobody could blame you. Also, your kids are big like mine and they can choose to socialize with them if they want. But it's also up to us to do what's healthier for ourselves. Although it's really sad it's ended up this way.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: xyzcf on August 29, 2020, 04:18:51 PM
Or stay the whole time and suffer through it.  Whenever I think about option 2 I get super anxious and gut wrenched.  By that feeling I know that I'm just not there yet.  And I don't think people in real life understand that feeling.  I think they think I should be over it by now

I could not do it Faith, never.

11 years later, I am reading a book and the main character's name is the same as OW's and I cringe each time I read it...it doesn't make sense but that still shakes me and he didn't marry her (although I suspect they are still in "touch").

Mizphah has had to deal with this a great deal...I'll ask her to take a peek at your thread and share how she has dealt with it...her husband is also not married to the OW.

What ever other people think...they do not understand the pain involved..they just don't.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on August 29, 2020, 05:37:11 PM
Thank you Milly and xyzcf

The whole situation with him and his new wife is already so bizarre.  Perhaps he will show up alone to the party.  Considering it is my S20, who has invited all of my family as well as a bit of MLCers family and of course S20's biological father and Stepmom and their family and friends as well.  I may be worrying for nothing but it sucks that I have to now tread lightly to avoid certain situations.  I guess for now at least.  If it were a wedding of one of my children I wouldn't let anything stand in my way of that.  And if she is around for the long haul, (which I'm very skeptical of as the nature of their relationship has doom written all over it), once I've had time to grieve properly and get the heck past everything (which I haven't figured out how to do yet), then maybe it won't be so gutwrenching.  Time will tell. 

It would have been easier if he had just married the first woman in Indiana and stayed the heck out of my town.  But no, he had to come back here to a town he said ("there's nothing left here for me") and find someone else here instead.

If they are together for a long period, then I will muster every bit of acting skill I have to get through it, try to limit my exposure, and fall apart behind closed doors afterwards.  Perhaps if there is someone in my future it will become easier and be a moot point in the future and I will no longer feel so wrenched about it.  But, I strongly feel that if there is someone for me, they are not anywhere in this town.  They are somewhere else.

And why do I feel so wrenched by it?  It's not like he is my husband.  My husband died at BD.  I don't even recognize this version.  She did not marry my DH.  She has married a stranger.  So why, why do I feel so wrenched by it?  I don't want him back at this point.  His remarriage and his cowardice was the straw that broke the camel's back.  But I still haven't figured out how to move beyond it.  And I guess it's a bit of stubbornness in me.  He got to choose how to keep this big ol secret from me and not tell me until the last possible minute, so I guess I feel like this is something that I can control.  I don't want to be one big happy family.  I don't want to make his choices easy for him.  I know that's wrong, but I don't want to meet her, because I know if I meet her I will be gracious.  Probably even kind.  I probably will end up thinking she's nice.  I probably will compare myself to her.  And I will probably go back to wondering what it was I lacked, even though I know it wasn't anything I lacked.

And back we go to the feeling that is the absolute worst.  The feeling that you are yesterday's trash.  Disregarded with little forethought, cast away as providing no more use.  Heck he's probably got shirts in his closet that are older than our relationship.

I feel like I am forever broken.  Every interaction with the male species is tainted.  I don't even know how to flirt.  How to open up with someone.  How to trust someone again.  How to not think of every interaction with suspicion.  He broke my heart.  He broke my D's heart.  She is 18 and has never even had a boyfriend.  He broke her heart when she was 12, I remember seeing a text from her to her cousin saying "he's breaking my heart".  And I'm so scared that she doesn't know how to have a healthy relationship with a man either.  S20 is alone too.  I remember I was telling him one day about a friend of mine who's husband was in a terrible accident and received a brain injury and what her life is like now as she cares for him.  He looked at me with this absolutely pained look on his face and said "mom, why can't I find anyone that loves me like she loves her husband?" and I found myself agreeing with him, that it was the million dollar question.

This summer has been hard.  So many people get married in the summer, so there have been so many of my friends posting about their anniversaries.  And as I read the heartfelt sentiments I'm always screaming in my mind "why?"  Why did it work out for them and not for me?  Why was I so hard to love?  I know, I KNOW.  It's not me, it's him.  But it doesn't feel that way.  I thought I was past this.  Every time I think I've gained ground I lose it again.

I think the hardest is the feeling of no closure.  There is just no closure.  Never any explanation.  The marriage ends in such a way that just leaves the LBS with absolutely no clean and neat zipped up package to move on from.  I think that is why it's so hard.  Never any answers.  Never any explanation.  Just this giant ball of WTF.

I was listening to Amazon music the other day and this song by Jack Savoretti came on and the lyrics just mesmerized me.  I imagined MLCer singing the words.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSy5pl4Rae0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSy5pl4Rae0)

We're giving it all away for nothing
Such a foolish thing to do
Always looking for that extra something
When my everything is you
There's a fear that burns a fire in my soul
When I'm face to face with things I can't control

This is my confession
My deep and darkest secret
I've been acting like my demons
Doing things I thought I'd never do
So I'm asking for redemption
I'm asking for forgiveness
All these things I've done to you
Things I thought I would never do
Things I thought I'd never do

Is it too late to say "I'm sorry"?
Well, I'll say it anyway
I wrote the ending to our story
I played with love but lost the game
And now it's easier to say what's on my mind
Than to carry on with all these lies

This is my confession
My deep and darkest secret
I've been acting like my demons
Doing things I thought I'd never do
So I'm asking for redemption
I'm asking for forgiveness
All these things I've done to you
Things I thought I would never do
Things I thought I'd never do

Hiding the truth for way too long
Maybe I'm crazy pouring my heart out in a song
But I gotta scream it at the top of my lungs
'Baby I was wrong, so wrong!'

This is my confession
My deep and darkest secret
I've been acting like my demons
Doing things I thought I'd never do
So I'm asking for redemption
I'm asking for forgiveness
All these things I've done to you
Things I thought I would never do
Things I thought I'd never do


Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on August 29, 2020, 06:15:25 PM

I think the hardest is the feeling of no closure.  There is just no closure.  Never any explanation.  The marriage ends in such a way that just leaves the LBS with absolutely no clean and neat zipped up package to move on from.  I think that is why it's so hard.  Never any answers.  Never any explanation.  Just this giant ball of WTF.

I'm so sorry, FW. 

I also wished my MLCer would have left town like he said he was going to do.  But nope, they are right under our noses.  I get it.  It sucks.  As I've said on my thread, I don't think it will ever be bearable to have to be at an event with mine and the new wifey.  It just plain sucks.  In all ways. 

For what it's worth, I would pick to be there with support around me and I would also pick to avoid being anywhere near where they are.  I don't think you ever have to meet her and if it were me, I'd make sure I was never in a spot where that could possibly happen. 
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Mitzpah on August 29, 2020, 06:20:56 PM
Aaah FaithWalker,
How difficult it is, the road we walk... so many turns and twists, tumbles and potholes.

I have had this exact same situation - my son is older and was older when he gave his housewarming, my experience is that our sons are  thinking of themselves, we do not really figure into their planning - it is only after a few of these events do they really pay attention to our feelings.

The event is theirs and I think we need to remember that. I have worked around it in the following way - I am there at his house until h. turns up, then I leave (h. was "kind" enough to warn me in advance when he was arriving with ow), it means I miss out on things like birthday cakes or I have to cut short my time there when I am not quite ready. After a few of these shared events, my son has laid down boundaries. He says he warns his father that I will be there and that h. is welcome as long as ow stays home.

If the event is at a restaurant (public space), they do the same (my son and daughter). They warn him I will be there and either he doesn't come (more often) or he comes alone.

I feel bad about the situation but I also know that I can't deal with being within the same social space as ow, so as discretely as I can, I remove myself. My kids know I love them and support them.

Just what I do...

(((((Hugs)))))) - I know how much this hurts

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: xyzcf on August 29, 2020, 06:46:56 PM
I can relate to all that you wrote:'

-no closure

-The feeling that you are yesterday's trash.  Disregarded with little forethought, cast away as providing no more use.

-Why did it work out for them and not for me?

I am particularly sensitive to friends complaining and complaining about their husbands, especially during COVID, how they are driving them crazy

I feel like I am forever broken.

This .......my very best friend who knows both us us tries to tell me that this isn't true, my faith tells me that God has a great plan for my life...so why do I still feel shattered?

Intellectually I know I was "better" before COVID..along with all the other "restrictions" I am stuck in a country that I moved to for his work, his dream, his career....and I cannot go home and see my family..I sit alone...so alone that I find it hard to prepare food, hard to eat unless it comes out of a bag with Lays written on it....there is no one to discuss the events that are happening here. I know that so many people have a much worse life...but sometimes is seems like I have nothing. Last night, I was invited to order food from Applebees and eat with a couple on their back deck....it rained. so we couldn't get together...we need rain but that was my excitement for the whole week.

COVID is not his fault...there is no recognition from him at all of what it means when you leave someone after 32 years, suddenly, without any reason..no empathy at all from someone I gave all to....

That is why we feel "wrenched"...because I don't know how a wound this deep can ever truly go away...it can heal. it can lessen, life can continue...but that deep of a wound for some of us doesn't seem to be able to become just a "memory" for there is always something to remind us.....and no way to understand "why"?.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Treasur on August 29, 2020, 10:08:30 PM
I just wanted to say that I hear you all. And yes, there is only whatever kind of closure we manage to find or make by ourselves. And yes, it is a strange kind of empty thing after a long marriage. I have no idea if one is forever broken. Forever changed certainly. I am very grateful though in my situation that my xh does not live round the corner and that I do not have to be anything other than how I feel or wear a polite social mask.

Fwiw Faith.....perhaps it is an opportunity for you to set a loving boundary with your son, to be authentic and say that you simply don't want to socialise with his stepfather and new wife. You don't have to justify it, you know, you can just say 'I'd prefer not to....'. It's just a BBQ....you can arrange a different kind of housewarming with him.....your son is still young and therefore not as wise as he will become, but it is not too late to teach him about respect and boundaries. It's funny isn't it....if it were someone who had robbed us, beaten us up or raped us, people wouldn't expect us to socialise with someone who did that, and often the effect on us is much the same, maybe worse actually.....but imho it's ok to draw a line and say no thank you.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on August 30, 2020, 12:22:43 PM
Thank you everyone.  I am so frustrated with myself that I feel like I have gone backwards in my healing.  But secondary trauma makes sense.  It does feel like another BD.  It sucks that the things that they do and the choices they make continue to cause hurt and pain for us.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on August 30, 2020, 08:22:32 PM
I feel so much of what you wrote.
I don’t think that option 2 is something that I would want to knowingly deal with. I think that you owe it to your S20 to let him know how you feel. He is young and it probably hasn’t even occurred to him that you might feel uncomfortable in the situation. Maybe have a sit down in advance and just tell him you saw that H and OW were invited and you just aren’t comfortable being in a social situation with them just yet. I think going over beforehand to help out is a great idea.
My guess is with your family there H and OW might not feel so comfortable and perhaps a short appearance will be in order.
But boy do I get it. And it sucks.
I always say there are 7 billion  people in the world and of all of them LB has treated me the worst (with MOO2 a close second). Why would I want anything to do with either of them?
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on August 31, 2020, 04:30:39 PM
Thank you DF

It's so nice to hear that I'm not crazy for not wanting to share breathing space with them in social situations.  Bottom line is that I do need to do what feels most comfortable for me in the situation.  Nobody gets to decide how I feel about a situation, how I have to act, and my reasons for choosing what I choose.  His choices continue to cause me pain.  And I need to guard my heart.  I don't need his choices to be paraded in front of me.

I had decided this morning to talk to my son ahead of time.  I absolutely don't expect him to rescind the invitation and he is free to invite whomever he pleases.  But I am definitely going to ask if he would allow me to come help beforehand and then let him know that I will be disappearing for a while but hopefully will get to come back and enjoy some time with everyone at the party once MLCer makes his exit.  And if he stays the whole time, I will have to live with that, although I would hope that he would be uncomfortable enough to bow out after a while.

I cried a lot over the weekend.  Sucky, sucky, sucky.  I have to remember that in times like these, I need to go back and do some of the things that we tell all newbies to do.  Give myself some tlc, carve out some plans with friends, get back out and exercise, go do the hobbies that I enjoy.  I know there are certain times of the year that I need to remember are triggers in themselves.  Add to that Covid 2020 and Covidweddingate and I need to go easy on myself.

I did re-block MLCer on social media.  I just needed to confirm that it was him that was on the guest list and then had to wait the allotted amount of time before I could reblock.  I decided who cares if he didn't read my post about what I was bringing to the party and brings the same thing.  Who cares if it appears awkward that he can't read my posts in the event and vice versa.  Unblocking him brought up his lovey dovey profile picture front and center and of course unblocked memories on my FB page that I don't need to see, comments by him on my FB when we were married, which now show up with his current profile photo of him and covidwifey.  It's just better for my peace of mind and heart to keep him blocked so that I don't get those triggers.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Treasur on August 31, 2020, 10:44:26 PM
Nobody gets to decide how I feel about a situation, how I have to act, and my reasons for choosing what I choose.
Amen to that, Faith.
As long as no one ends up arrested or in hospital lol, you have every right to do what works best for you. If others, including your son, can't respect that, well that is their problem not yours.

Wise to block social media imho. I did as soon as I found out about ow. His, hers, his family, any possible link really. And ignored her 'anonymous' notes for almost two years as well as being very limited in how I publicly posted anything bc I knew ow snooped before I even knew she existed  :). When I occasionally tripped over something, it always felt like a punch in the face or set of a dance of mind monkeys. Which never helped me feel better or do better and never changed the reality of how things were. I thought of them as strangers (and pretty strange kind of strangers lol) and behaved accordingly.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Seahorse on September 04, 2020, 07:48:48 AM
Faith -
Following along and amazed at how similar our feelings and paths are right now.
I am so sorry that you/we feel as we do -- unwanted, replaced, awkward.
I also get the fact about being broken - the inability to flirt or even acknowledge a man, trust issues, etc.  Makes it hard to move on regardless of our stand...

Good luck at the BBQ.  I know you will be fine, and think your plan is solid and something your son will understand.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on September 13, 2020, 12:28:41 PM
Thank you all for being a part of my journey.  I really do appreciate you taking the time to reach out, comment, and walk beside me.  I'm trying to be reciprocal and spend some time on other threads too. 

All the stress and tears over the situation gave me almost 3 weeks worth of styes.  I hate when I get stye flare ups.  It NEVER happened until the Summer after the divorce.  Especially with mask wearing I like to accentuate my eyes and not being able to do that has been a real downer, but so far I think I'm finally almost healed.  I wore my contacts yesterday for the first time in what seemed like forever.  I hate wearing my glasses with the mask as the fog up is terrible.

D and I were house sitting for my friend for a few days right before Labor Day while they went on vacation.  It was nice to have a change of scenery and feel like we were living someone else's life for a bit.  With 3 pitbulls, a cat and 2 ball pythons life wasn't dull!  My D was put on a time out from work due to being exposed to a co-worker who tested positive for Covid so we had a very laid back Holiday weekend as we held our breaths until she was in the clear.  She went back to work on Friday, which was the 14th day from exposure, but now one other co-worker has tested positive and so her boss has had to put other co-workers on quarantine and needs her more than ever.  If it gets any worse, the whole place will have to shut down for a little while.

S15's school has had one positive case and the student found out they were positive after having to take a test due to exposure by a family member.  They were asymptomatic.  The kids who were in his "group" at school have been notified, but they aren't shutting the whole school down since they are keeping them in groups and can sort of follow who they are exposing I guess.  S15 was not in that group and so we just continue to move forward until we are directly affected.  He gets on the bus for the first time tomorrow now that we have finally gotten approval for that.  This will help so much as D and I have had to tag team giving him rides to and from the last few weeks.  Fortunately my boss has been VERY supportive.

My SIL came to see me while I was house sitting because she wanted to talk to me after I told her that I was considering bowing out from my son's open house.  She was concerned because hell or high water has never kept me from my kids.   She feels like I'm letting them have the power by not going to an event that I never would have missed in the past.  I think she is really worried that after 4 years this "break-up" is still affecting me the way it is.  I'm sure she thinks I've gone mental.  I was watching a tv show the other day with D and they referred to ambiguous loss.  I'm sure I've heard the term before but I had to google it again and it made sense.

Anyway, of course SIL had me questioning myself because she's definitely pegged correctly how I feel about my kids.  But her personality is very different from mine and I think if she were the one to be an LBS she would have most likely cut her losses from the beginning and walked away without looking back.

I've been thinking that in order to do that, I may have to do several things to make my brain and heart move on.  Maybe a special private ceremony where I truly say goodbye to my marriage and the H that I knew, and then a more public show of going the route of changing my name legally back to my maiden name and on social media, etc.  I don't know if I am able to successfully move on otherwise.

So I still don't know what the house warming party will look like.  An old co-worker reached out and invited me to her baby shower just a couple hours later that same day.  I have already been to see S's house.  S20 borrowed S15 and my nephew to help him move some stuff out of his storage unit and D18 stayed with S's dog this past Thursday.  S20 has rescued a pit bull that was abused.  She has scarring on her face and major separation anxiety.  I feel like he's taking on a lot right off the bat, and I was worried for him.  I had dinner in the crockpot so I just moved everything over to his house and fed the troops when they came back in between loads.  The dog is very sweet and warmed to me immediately.  Hopefully she is on the road to recovery and will blossom underneath S's tender loving care, although he does have to kennel her while he's working.  She escaped the back yard twice so he's bought her a crate for her room and other than destroying her bed, it seems to be keeping her contained.  My nephew is living with S and also has the dog out whenever he is home.  Thankfully they have different days of the week off, so that helps.  He doesn't live very far from us now so I expect that between S15, D18 and myself we will be over there a lot.  So the housewarming party would just be a formal show of support.  I guess stay tuned to see how that ends up as I am currently doing a lot of waffling back and forth.

So to the outside world I'm doing fine.  I have a decent social media following to rep my side hustles, I work a 40 hour week job, I own my townhouse, I juggle the bills just carefully enough to not get anything shut off even though I may have to forego winter tires a bit longer, or pay late one month on one bill and another month on a different bill.  I'm back at Thursday night Bible study.  I volunteer every other Sunday in the Church bookstore.  I try to go do things with friends here and there and get out in nature when I can.  But I still feel like I'm in this eternal limbo and just going through the motions until my life actually starts again.  It's disheartening.  There is a sludging through the mud heaviness to life now.  No matter how I try to find the girl I was or break free from negative thinking, I never quite get there.  Yet I know there are many that would jump for joy to have my life.  I should be so grateful for all the blessings that I have.  I definitely need to work on re-training my mind.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on September 13, 2020, 07:27:01 PM

So to the outside world I'm doing fine.  I have a decent social media following to rep my side hustles, I work a 40 hour week job, I own my townhouse, I juggle the bills just carefully enough to not get anything shut off even though I may have to forego winter tires a bit longer, or pay late one month on one bill and another month on a different bill.  I'm back at Thursday night Bible study.  I volunteer every other Sunday in the Church bookstore.  I try to go do things with friends here and there and get out in nature when I can.  But I still feel like I'm in this eternal limbo and just going through the motions until my life actually starts again.  It's disheartening.  There is a sludging through the mud heaviness to life now.  No matter how I try to find the girl I was or break free from negative thinking, I never quite get there.  Yet I know there are many that would jump for joy to have my life.  I should be so grateful for all the blessings that I have.  I definitely need to work on re-training my mind.

Hey, FW - just know that there are probably lots of folks here (including me some days) that feel like we are slogging through mud. 

The house warming situation is bothering you right now, and having your SIL talk to you probably added more stress and confusion for you.  You'll decide what to do when the time comes.  I'm guessing you spent some time in prayer over it. 

School is stressful here and your situation with school (with both your job and your S) sounds about the same. 

Sending support and encouragement your way. 

Are the fires contained?
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Dumbfounded on September 14, 2020, 02:30:16 PM
I was thinking about you with all the fires and hope that you and yours are safe.

As for the housewarming party, unless you have been there, you just can not understand how all this all feels.  I am sure SIL means well with her "move on" talk but you are the only one in change of your healing on this issue.  You do what is best for you.  I have dealt with my fair share of talks from non LBS and they don't get it.  Taking their advice has hurt me and the kids more than helped.   It is not his wedding - it is housewarming party and it sounds like you have done your fair share of warming it up. Take up that a baby shower offer and stop by later. 

I myself have been struggling with finding a new church.  I am tired of seeing MOO2  and LB in my church.  I am tired of holding my breath around every corner of the building and being fearful of going to church events for fear they will show up.  I just want to go to church and be able to join in without being worried about who will show up.  All my friends mean well when they say it is my church and I shouldn't let them have so much power over me that I let them take away my church.  But honestly, I am just tired of fighting for my power and just want to sing my hyms in peace.

Yep a permanent limbo.  It feels like an article of clothing that someone put on me and I can't get off.                   
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: KeepItTogether on September 14, 2020, 02:58:47 PM
Yes FW, I am with everyone else in saying we support you no matter what. And that we understand if you do decide to forego the party. As DF pointed out, it isn't a wedding. And really you can privately celebrate him at a later time.  More parties? Who can resist that? I never want to be in a situation where H and OW might be. I am not even entirely comfortable being around just H at this point in time. And people really don't get it. Or don't want to bc they "know" how they would handle the situation if it were them. But we know the truth, that No ONE knows how they would handle this until it happens.  And there is never a reason to go pain shopping--ie: expose ourselves to things we know will be painful.

I don't think we are necessarily stuck. I think it just takes time to get over that old life b/c really, it is the entire life that ceased to exist. Not just a person. We LBS have had to do a lot of work to stay afloat and get our lives back on track, with so many of us having to now deal with all household and child rearing issues solely whilst the MLCer ran off into Lalaland and their shiny new lives. But we are busy mourning and growing and healing and trying our damnedest to let go of what was. It is a long process. And hard. Don't let anyone minimize that regardless of how many blessings you have. Yes, we should absolutely appreciate each and every one. But the loss of our best friend and the life that went with that is enormous. And it takes time.  Makes me so mad when people try to "talk sense" into us that it is time to do this or that. Nope--we are ready when we are ready. SIL wants to see you "happy" and moved on, etc.,  b/c then it makes HER feel better. Do what FW says. Don't let guilt or shame rule your decisions....that would make us eerily close to resembling an MLCer. 

Hoping the fires near you are better contained. Still dealing with them here I'm afraid.  Anyway, I think you are doing pretty great! Hugs friend.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: Seahorse on September 14, 2020, 05:46:30 PM
FW -
I also think you should do what your heart tells you to.
Pray about it, as Stillbaffled suggested.
You'll do the right thing - for YOU.

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FearNot on September 15, 2020, 10:12:32 AM
Hey FW!

Just catching up. Holy Moly you have had a lot going on. I am so sorry that you have been through the ringer. I am thinking of you and will keep you in my prayers. You are an incredibly strong woman and you have endured and persevered through so much. Just remember to take care of you!! BIG HUGS!!

Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on September 19, 2020, 01:32:18 PM
Thank you everyone.  The fire by us finally got contained.  We ended up with a little bit of moisture and snow up in the high country which helped.  When they were saying that it would probably take until first snow to contain I was thinking first snow would be sometime in October, not this early.

We've jumped back up to warmer temperatures this last week but the 50 degree drop in temp in one day was enough to help contain the fires.

I'm not sure about the other fires in the State but I did hear that the Cameron Peak fire had an outbreak of covid within it's ranks and is up to 21 cases.  Imagine going to a fire to help contain it and getting sick with covid in the process!  Terrible!

We were nice and clear with blue skies but have had some haziness again the last week from the winds blowing it in from Cali and Oregon.  Feeling terrible for those who are still affected.  I know lots of areas have had so much trouble!

Not much more to report on.  S's party is next Saturday.
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: stillbaffled on September 20, 2020, 06:44:03 PM

Not much more to report on.  S's party is next Saturday.

Have you made a decision yet?
Title: Keep Your Head Up
Post by: FaithWalker on September 21, 2020, 04:07:05 PM

Not much more to report on.  S's party is next Saturday.

Have you made a decision yet?

No.  I am still very unsure what the day will look like.  I will keep you posted.