Sunday, November 16, 2014

So. Life. It kinda sucks sometimes eh?

That first month was hell.
A kind of hell I could never imagine. Or even find the words to describe in hindsight really.
I was physically unable to eat. I couldn't sleep when I was alone, but when I was around people all I wanted to do was sleep. I really couldn't believe most days that I even had the mental capacity to remember how to breathe.
Being associated with that man has led to problems at work. Apparently when you're married to someone with an ethics problem you get painted with the same brush. My career has taken a major hit and it's bound to get worse before it gets better.
The depth and variety of the pain I felt...unimaginable. To be used and abused in such a callous manner just strips every shred of humanity right out of you.
Then came the ulcer. Vomiting blood and staggering abdominal pain. Informing your doctor that you need the whole spectrum of STD testing isn't exactly a walk in the park either fwiw.
And still I was willing to compromise. Still I believed that if I just worked hard enough and loved hard enough and sacrificed enough it could all work out.
I know exactly what flipped the switch inside me. I'm not ready to share that story, pride or raw wounds perhaps, but maybe I will someday. Suffice it to say that enough was finally enough. I think my exact words went something like "Stay away from me you lying, manipulative, abusive fuck." I am eloquent above all else.

That delightful conversation happened while I was out of town for work, and the rest of that week was amazing. I was able to see so many old friends who I missed dearly, and I was surrounded by love and joy the whole time. Somewhere in there I found it again. That spark I thought he had killed forever, turns out it was just a quietly smoldering ember, waiting for the right blend of fuel to bring it back to life.
Some days are harder than others obviously, but most of the time I can remember who I am and slap that smile on my face and make it look easy. As my Rosie the Riveter tattoo reminds me, I'm one tough chick, I can do this. It may not always be pretty, but the important stuff gets handled.

I filed for divorce a month ago. I didn't have the money to file everything so my best friend wired me the difference from another frakkin country to make it happen. When you're little your best friends gives you their cookies, when you're grown up they give you money for a divorce. Friendship is a funny thing.
Still a few months left on the waiting period, but he was in so much of a rush to be rid of me that he signed a Joinder and the terms ended up relatively favorable for me and the kids. No court date means less opportunity for me to punch him in the throat in public, probably a good thing.
The kids still don't know. He's been out of the house since January so this isn't a big change for them, but I'm not sure how to broach the subject with them. The first time he left us my daughter ended up in counseling for months and since they're all doing well for now I'm in no rush to ruin that. I'll figure it out eventually.

About a week after I returned home he showed up on my doorstep. Since he was blocked from my phone and Facebook and email and even Twitter I was unaware that he'd been trying to reach me. I will admit to far more malicious glee at watching him get on his knees and beg than I really should have had. I've heard that song and dance before, though never quite like this. We have reached a tenuous truce that allows us to maintain professionalism at work and allows me to stay out of jail because the desire to inflict bodily harm has mostly abated. By all accounts he has finally realized he's one messed up fellow and is trying to address that. He's attending regular therapy sessions, he has tried to convince management at work that I am above reproach, and he does things like coming over to mow my huge lawn when he knows I'm not home to stop him and tell him to go to hell. I hope he fixes himself, I really do. But mostly I hope I can fix myself and somehow heal from everything that I've been through in the last few years.

Some days I'm tougher than I thought, and some days I break down at the slightest thing. There's a lot of anger and that's hard because true anger is not something that comes naturally to me. I'm learning that my whole-hearted optimism is great, but only when tempered with an understanding of what people are emotionally equipped to do. I'm learning that being wary of people isn't a bad thing, it's a wise way of protecting oneself from the unknown.
Bears can kill and maim. They're not evil, it's just a bear doing what bears do, but you still have to be aware and alert to protect yourself. Right now, everyone I meet is a bear. I don't think they're evil, but I acknowledge what human nature is capable of and remain alert for signs of danger...and that's not so bad.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I have been emotionally abused for the last 2 years.

I never thought it could happen to me like it has, but as the dust settles and the fog clears I'm starting to recognize what someone else has done to my life.
This man is devoid of emotion. He told me that he finds the most unattractive and vulnerable women on line that he can because he knows he can get them to do what he wants. He doesn't care about the acts they perform, he just likes getting them to do whatever he says. He looked me straight in the eye and told me he only takes a woman out for dinner or drinks because he likes the challenge of getting a sex act out of them afterward.
This is the man who had me bending over backwards to prove my love to him. This is the man who had me convinced I'm too needy and too empathetic and not understanding enough. This is the man with whom I entrusted the rest of my life.
He ate my soul, I have nothing left. And I never saw it coming.
I am grateful for friends and professionals who are attempting to drag me out of this hell hole I am in. I have a long road ahead of me trying to heal from the destruction this has caused me. The fact that someone could take someone with a strong sense of self like me, turn them into an empty shell, and never even think twice about it is horrifying. That people like this exist in the world scares the ever loving shit out of me.

1 in 25 people is a sociopath. That means that 1 in 25 people has no conscience whatsoever to speak of. We are their playthings. If it can happen to me then it can happen to anyone. Inform yourself, because I never want to see anyone end up where I am right now.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

OKAY, fine, I'm ready to admit it

I married a sociopath.

I know a lot of people say that when they're mad and they get abandoned by a spouse (for a second time in my case), but when even the person you're talking about has admitted they clearly have Antisocial Personality Disorder there's just no room for questioning.

The short version is this:
3 months after my wedding I caught my husband visiting webcam chat sites. Then it was dating sites. Then, finally, when he was texting someone else in right in front of me, I kicked him out.
He was sleeping with random people he picked up on Craigslist and doing...other things....that I can't even bear to admit to dear friends, much less write here.
Two months later he was back. I had finally started pulling myself and my kids together (my daughter is STILL in counseling) from the disaster that his sudden abandonment left us in and here he comes waltzing back in.He was so sorry, he had screwed up, I was all he wanted and he loved me more than he could ever understand. He allowed me to install spyware on his phone and computer and slowly, painfully we started working things out.
Fast forward 6 months. We're still living apart because he has a lease that's not up yet and there's no way he's coming back in my house without some serious counseling under his belt. I have a trip to the ER with my eldest and text him when we finally go home 8 hours later. Late in the morning I still have no reply. I start to wonder if he ever even received the text, our service is sometimes spotty, so I take the easy route and check through the spyware.

I think you see where this is going....

Yep, for the last month he had been online picking up women. Finding the most desperate women he could to talk them into webcam sex and sending truly awful nude photos. The things he asked of some of these women are...you don't wanna know. Hell I don't wanna know and it's just stuck in my head forever at this point. He has been flirting with women in other towns so he can schedule hook ups when he travels for work. The job we work TOGETHER. Embarrassing doesn't even begin to cover it.

So I'm trying desperately to avoid him. He's already signed divorce paperwork so now it's just a matter of trying to save the money to file. He was sad for about a day that he had "lost his best friend" and now he's happily trying to get in the pants of DOZENS of other women. Watching him in action is just about the most disgusting thing I've ever seen, and to say that I've been mind-fucked would be a gross understatement.

Okay, that's it. I just don't have it in me for anymore of this tonight. Slowly but surely I hope to get through this, but my life has been such a nightmare over the last year and a half that I really don't know how long it will take...
Prayers are graciously accepted.

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's been a year

And what a year...
Sometimes, when things in life start to unravel, you don't notice the frayed edges and errant strings until it's too late. Then you're just standing in a pile of tangled, twisted string trying to figure out how to put it back together. The blank screen before you, with all the empty space just waiting to be filled, feels like an enemy in those moments. If I start to share the cracks weaken further, the dam breaks, it all becomes real. And real is something you can't allow.

My husband, a man I love very much and who I had committed to spend my life with, had demons. We all do in one form or another, but some people have demons that take over their hearts and their minds and their lives so completely that in the end all you have is a heap of ash where your life once stood. Sometimes people end up in a hole so dark and so deep that the will to scramble out eventually relents to the urge to just roll over and embrace the ugly solitude.

When the first glimmer of a problem became apparent, I stood firm. Laid down some ground rules, started looking for programs and resources to help. When it emerged again and again, I found a counselor who was willing to take on the challenge and made sure we kept regular appointments. I gave him space and allowed him room to sort through things. Finally, the last straw dropped. I told him to pack his things and go, because my self respect was too great to allow such treatment, even unconditional love has limits.

Then I died inside.

I never thought hurt could be like this. So all encompassing. Every nerve in your body screams with pain, and eventually it all goes numb. Emotional trauma became physical. I lost so much weight that my clothes began to fall from my frame. I was physically unable to eat, even the smell of food made me nauseous. I had to prepare my children's lunch next to the kitchen sink so I could vomit. I didn't sleep, then I slept too much. I avoided everyone and everything, with the exception of one friend who would get calls and texts from me at all hours, sometimes quite lucid and other times raving and incoherent, raging in circles demanding answers like a rabid dog chasing its tail.

And the rage, oh the rage... I had never before felt such complete, white hot, life altering disdain for another person. I was overwhelmed by my anger and by the betrayal that had been enacted upon me and my children. More than once I slid into my husband's cubicle at work and spit seething whispers of anger into his ear while he sat, unmoving, never looking me in the eye. In those moments I lost myself, became someone I didn't recognize. All the work I have put into being a respectful, honorable, loving person would disappear in an instant and I turned into small pale version of the Incredible Hulk. Instead of using my fists to smash rock I was using my words and rage to emotionally decimate another person, or trying to anyhow.

To him, we were irrelevant. He maintained through it all that he loves me and it wasn't about me and I didn't do anything wrong and he's just not made to be selfless and he's not cut out for marriage. My tears and pain made him angry. He had moved on, why couldn't I? I searched for, and found, specifics on his repeated betrayals that left me more twisted and shattered. And still he ignored it, moving on with his life, seeking out all the things that he knew would make him happy.

I returned to our counselor, now mine alone. I forced myself to talk to new people, even though all I wanted to do was hide. I started trying to turn off the questions and the pain and stop the downward spiral of anger, hate, and despair that I was allowing to control me. Sometimes I had a day where I could smile, and even if it was fake it was a start at trying to move on so it counted for something.
I learned a lot. I have learned so much about other people's capabilities and our expectations of them. Judging someone by OUR criteria sets them up to fail. If you judge someone's love for you by the way you want them to act, you'll just guarantee both of you walk away disappointed. I identified my center and started moving back to that place. I accepted that it really WASN'T about me. I realized that I am phenomenal. No, really. People I met were blown away by me, admiring things I just couldn't see within myself. After the millionth person says the same thing you kind of have to step back and reassess.

At some point I started to pack away my sorrow and my anger and move my life forward. Good days weren't as far apart as they had been before and bad days were mostly manageable, even if they were still jagged around the edges and felt an awful lot like recovery from the flu. I accepted that I would be doing this on my own again and I started to make it work. Not perfect, but the train wreck was being cleaned up a little at a time. Sometimes, in spite of that angry sucking wound in my chest, I took a breath that didn't hurt. Sometimes I laughed. And sometimes, where I least expected it, I found love in the world.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

So there's that...

Wow, so much has happened since January, holy cow.
At the end of January I flew across the country to spend 3 weeks in Washington DC. I've been sort of assisting with this new program for the last two years, and it finally got the green light to branch out to other airports. Then the process was handicapped by the Collective Bargaining Agreement put in place by our new union (don't get me started on how much I disagree with this completely useless and counterproductive union) and this little thing you may have heard of called sequestration. All those hoops have pushed the official roll date back almost a year, but at least we got it into one more airport before things really got difficult. It was exhausting but rewarding.

3 weeks is a long time away from home btw. Good news is though...I got to see Tracy! I wasn't too far from her house and so we spent plenty of time hanging out together. It's hard to believe I hadn't seen her in 8 months, we haven't been apart that long since we met! It was beyond amazeballs.

When I came back I found out that while I was gone my mail was stolen and someone tried to cash a convenience check on a credit account. Ha, joke's on them, I have no available credit! 3 days later I was pickpocketed on the bus home and someone stole my phone, or as I often refer to it "The precious". I spent about a week believing that absolutely every person in the world is awful and hateful. I got over it.

So then I came back here and went crazy for about a month and then I got married.

Yeah, there are some people who might say this was a little soon. Those people don't really know me or him or the situation, so I don't care. If you had told me a year ago that I'd be in good, nay, fantastic, place now I would never have believed you, it seemed impossible. Even the skeptics in my life cannot maintain their stance once they've met him and seen us together. A dear, long time friend who was in attendance at the wedding said it was a real treat to finally see me happy. I was surprised and said that I wasn't aware I seemed unhappy before. A thoughtful look crossed her face and she said "Yeah, I wasn't either...but seeing what joy looks like on you really highlights the difference". There was SO MUCH love that day, not just in us and our deliciously geeky ceremony, but from the kids and our friends and the family members that could make it and the people who came that might as well be family. Heather flew in from San Antonio just to be there, and Tracy came from Virginia, not a short trip. Some people even drove 5 hours to be there and then turned around and drove 5 hours home afterward. I know really truly amazing people. I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I'm not complaing that's for sure.

There was bad stuff too, I'm not going to lie. My new husband's ex-wife decided a couple of days before the wedding that she wouldn't allow his children to attend, even though clothing was purchased and plans had been made months in advance. Then the night before the wedding she emailed him to say she plans to move far far out of state and take the kids with her (and she wants him to finance it, but that's a different story). The venue also texted at 10 pm the night before to tell us they'd accidentally broken 4 of our 6 centerpiece vases. Ultimately we made the decision to just take a breath, not sweat the unimportant stuff, and deal with the big issues starting the day AFTER the wedding. I've really had to learn about identifying the things I can change and the things I can't, because getting frazzled over things I can't change has been an extremely fruitless endeavor . I'm still working on not worrying or stressing over things I can't can't change, but let's take it one step at a time...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hello, my name is...

Chopped Liver.

I just found out that I'm being sent to DC for work for 3 whole weeks. Actually they asked for 4 weeks, but there's no way I could be away from my kids for so long. 3 weeks away from my life is going to be rough in itself. At least I'll have constant work to keep me busy during the day and too exhausted at night to feel lonely.
Anyhow, I was telling the kids I have to leave for work and their grandma is coming to stay with them. All they had to say when I told them was "Is Picklejar still going to come over for dinner while you're gone? We'd miss him if he didn't come over for 3 weeks".
Can you believe that?!
I was fixin to bust out the mom speech. You know, the one that starts "I carried you IN MY WOMB for 9 months..." but then I realized that it's actually a good thing they aren't entirely fixated on me and totally dependent upon me to make decisions anymore. For a long time after the split I couldn't hardly leave the room without one of them freaking out, so a little breathing room feels a lot more healthy.
A delightful side effect of work in DC...TRACY!! I cannot tell you how excited I am to see her and the red headed terrorists again, it feels like it's been forever. There are some other friends in the area I want to say hello to, but I plan to hop on the Metro every night after work and head to her house. And weekends are going to be crazeballs! I have it on good authority that we will even get a chance to go do something WITHOUT KIDS while I'm there! The excitement, it's too much, I need to sit down for a minute...
I've been working on a new training program for the government entity that employs me for almost 2 years now. Finally it has moved on to the next stage and we're introducing it at another airport. This airport is right by Headquarters, so our training classes are going to be closely monitored by big wigs and mucky mucks waaaaay up the food chain from me. The course itself is super involved to lead, 5 straight days of grinding, but with "super important people" watching our every move it will be even more intense. I'm trying to prepare myself mentally now, but I guess there's no telling how it will really go until I get there. All in all, just knowing that I finally get to see this program take off is indescribable. This is one of the most difficult tasks I've ever undertaken where work is concerned, and it's definitely the most rewarding. Just a couple more weeks...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Well color me shocked

My middle kid (Thing 2) got baptized this last weekend. Hard to believe that a year ago I had a kid who felt like he wanted to die because his world was falling apart. I'm not kidding, he once tried to run out in traffic. But now, especially since  he decided he's thrilled to have a stepdad in his future, he's returned to my happy, calm, exceptionally aware kid. You could feel the spirit and belief in the room when he made the choice to be baptized. His dad couldn't be there but he decided to have both grandfathers be a part of his special day. My dad baptized him, which was kind of a big deal since my dad wasn't a member when I was baptized, and my ex's father confirmed him. It was really, truly awesome to have them both be a part of his day.
The reeeeeeeally awkward part came from Thing 2 wanting my future dh (I shall hereafter call him Picklejar) to be at his special day too. Oh yeah, let's just get my formers in the same room as my future and all just spend a few hours hanging out together. Yikes. It's pretty messed up when my crazy parents and the Sister missionaries are Picklejar's comfort zone. My ex hasn't as yet discussed my impending nuptials with his family, so we pretty much just tried to avoid that side of the room so that we wouldn't ruin my son's big day. It almost worked too...
I swear, I only stepped out of the room for, like, 5 minutes. Somehow, in that short time, my former mother-in-law searched out Picklejar and introduced herself. As soon as he said his name she replied, "Oh yes, Thing 1 has mentioned you before". Bum bum bummmmm. Poor Picklejar, awkwarrrrrd.
Other than that, it all went beautifully, but, ya know, that was a pretty big thing.
Anyhow, later the former's left but my former brother and sister-in-law and the cousins were still there. I pulled my sister-in-law aside and filled her in and she even said they'd come to the wedding. And then she said something that really hit home...
My sister-in-law mentioned that a couple of years ago, at a family campout, all she could feel was a dark cloud around me. Now, she said, she feels a calm glow around me and the kids, and she can tell Picklejar is a good guy.She claims that she is honestly happy for all of us and wishes us the best. This was really the last thing I expected to be honest.
The bishop and the RS president both talked it out with me, and they feel good about where I'm going. The Sister missionaries frakkin love the guy and are happy for our family. Finally, we are almost at the beginning of our life together and everything seems to be coming together.
In the next installment of "As My World Rotates", the experience of breaking the news to coworkers, which was delightfully evil and fun.....