I Decided – Trixie Post

*Written last week

I made up my mind. I have decided to contact Tony’s wife. I have been reading and reading like crazy so many opinions about do/don’t contact and why.

And I finally decided I am never going to be at peace until she hears the truth. I asked him many months ago, before I had my breakdown, to tell her. He promised he would. This was the only way I could avoid having this obsessive need to tell her myself.

He didn’t.

Here’s my email to her:

Hello Kelly,
I am sorry in advance for the disruption this email will cause.  
I am writing because I had an affair with your husband for approximately 2 years from 6/16 – 4/18.  
I have tried to avoid contacting you, but have realized I needed to do this for myself. We fell in love and when he decided to stay in your marriage, we were both unable to let go for a time and then, ultimately, I was the one who couldn’t let go. I have been suffering a deep depression which led to harming myself.  
I needed to finally stop hoping one day he might change his mind and just give you the facts about Tony.  
It is up to Tony to honestly explain to you what he’s done throughout your marriage, and who knows about it. I can provide any proof you need from me but thought keeping this email to the point was best.   
Madeline

If you are curious what changed my mind it was this website:

https://www.infidelityhelpgroup.com/2016/10/05/should-i-tell-his-wife/

And a website called Chump Lady.

*written today

I guess I hadn’t decided because something is stopping me from sending it – and believe me that send button has been under my thumb more than once this week.

I’m just sitting on it. Perhaps the feeling will pass. Perhaps it won’t.

I realize there is no gain from this text to his wife. I try to keep mulling over in my head why I feel so strongly about outing him. I know part of it stems from pure rage that he gets to live his life free and clear after 20 years of continued cheating and the wreckage he left of me.

Then I think: who cares.

If I could surgically remove these thoughts and feelings of him I would opt to at this point. I would even go back to Mexico! (Not ever!)

Sticking to my Guns

I know in the past I would ignore things that struck me as “off” when I was dating. My gut would instinctively say “hey take a closer look at that” or “this isn’t quite right” and I would actively ignore those messages in favor of something I preferred to see in the man.

I wasn’t often wrong: at least not about my gut, I made lots of bad decisions though!  Those early signals are generally pretty good and I’m trying my best to be patient and listen to my inner voice when it’s saying “he’s not for you”. So far I’ve been doing well.

I find a man I like and if we start chatting and move to text, I mostly stay off the dating apps. This way I’m not worried about juggling and I remain focused on the one guy. I also realized it builds up the available pool. To do this I pay a tiny bit more for a boost, but I find it to be more effective and relaxing than being on these sites multiple times a day checking for new matches or messages.

Once I move to text, I probably do sound more like an interview than not.  I just want to get to the crux of it – are you serious or not?

So here’s the last few guys that made it to text….but I haven’t yet met:

Tom: it’s been 2 weeks,  Our first conversation was amazing and I liked him.  so much in common.  He travels for work so wasn’t home the first week, but text and called.  Then the last night of his trip he suddenly face times me at midnight and he’s in bed, no shirt.  I could see where it was going so I quickly said “oh you’re tired, lets chat tomorrow” and got off the call.  He texts something about a “dream” from his flight home and I finally said “sorry for the buzz kill, but we haven’t met so I’m uncomfortable with the sexual talk now.”  It just felt like a drag.  I liked him, wanted to meet him, but it never goes anywhere when you start-up with all the sexy stuff before you ever meet.  I don’t know how many times I heard that advice in the beginning and neglected it.  Now, I just don’t care how handsome and perfect on paper you are….I just don’t want to. Meet me in person and let’s see where it goes.  2 weeks of chatting and you haven’t made a date….that’s enough for me.

Spencer: started out lovely, but then also got into the sex talk.  He at least asked me out quickly.  When I went back to look at his photos, I could see a progression of weight gain when I started to piece together the dates (which I asked in conversation).  When I asked for his most recent photo he never answered me again.  I am not fat-shaming.  However, I tried more than once to go out with a very heavy man who I felt a connection with and it didn’t work for me, and I was getting the hint this man was very heavy.  He just disappeared after that.

Patrick: another one that started out great, easy banter.  But, when I asked the “how serious” question he flipped out that all women are treating men like horny 18-year-old boys with no brains in their head since the #metoo movement.  He indicated he preferred women with confidence and insinuated that I must not have any.  He had been clearly trying to “squeeze me in as a third or fourth priority with some random potential dates and I finally sent a clear message “when you have some solid time to make a date, get back to me.”  He replied by asking me if that was a gentle slap.  I don’t have anything else to say to him unless he plans on asking me out.  And by now, I don’t care.

Jack: I liked so much about Jack.  He was so good on paper.  But I suspected I wasn’t going to like him when I met him and I was correct.  He was handsome, well-educated, smart, kind, ambitious, tall, built, you name it.  Good catch.  But, holy cow was he boring.  I couldn’t even laugh at my own jokes he was so dry.  I really liked him, he was a good guy, but there wasn’t even the tiniest of tiny sparks.  I thought a kiss might help until that final moment I leaned in and realized I just didn’t even want to kiss him.

Matthew: maybe not my physical type exactly, but neither was Tony.  Tony reeled me in with laughter and attention.  Matthew has the attention part down pat and I like so much about him already.  Once again, all looks good on paper. I meet him tomorrow for dinner.  Fingers crossed.

 

Because I love to over-analyze everything, I was thinking about what made me so darn attracted to Dan, Bobby or Tony?  None was typical for me.  Bobby had a charming, easy confidence, handsome face but heavy-set.  Tony was cute and also had that charming, easy confidence and had the ability to make me laugh like crazy. Dan physically appealed to me more than Tony, but had the same type of charisma and could be a character.  So, is that the ignition switch for me?  Charming, easy confident men who can make me laugh?  None of them were sexually pushy, all were interested in my desires and how I liked things.  All wanted to please.  None was my “ideal” physical man (even if there was such a creature) but all of them drove me wild in more ways than one.

Chemistry is such an elusive thing….I know its wrong of me to say so, but I am dying to move on to another man to get Tony out of my head.  It’s been 9 months since I’ve seen him and over a month since we spoke about my surgery, 3 months of no contact before that.  This should feel easier than it is.

 

 

 

Keeping on Track

I set some small goals for January and wanted to check in to see how I was doing:

Work

Review and edit my resume and social profiles: completed, waiting for the final resume from the resume writer

Make a list of contacts and actively begin a search: did not do

Utilize outplacement website and webinars: did not do

Ensure all job search sites are set up properly for my searches: did not do

*Major fail in this area. If I am not working by Mach 1st we have a serious financial issue.

Personal

Choose an exercise to stick with and develop a routine: thought about it every day and did nothing.

Learn yoga or meditation: forgot I even set this as a goal. 

Create 2019 calendar: done. Disconnected from the family calendar so x can no longer see anything of mine unless it specifically affects him/kids.

Migrate addresses and birthdays to phone: started, not completed.

Give Keto eating a try: done.  2 weeks in and working well. I feel an energy boost and added mental clarity.

*Not a lot of improvement. I cannot get the exercise going and believe me I do have 10 minutes a day.

Finance

Remember unemployment Monday’s: I forgot last Monday 😦

Submit bonds for processing: done. Though with the shutdown this may impede and access to funds I was hoping for by February 1st.

Sort out S1 and S2 school immediately: done.

*Somewhat better achievement in this area, except if I don’t sort out the job part soon, money will be a huge concern.

Home

Deep clean: bathroom floors/grout: haven’t given this a second thought.

Put away Christmas decor: done.

Help son rearrange bedroom: when he’s ready, otherwise, I am not pushing.

Purchase rug for basement and mop floors: haven’t given this a second thought either.

*I realize how much I don’t want to care for my home anymore. It feels overwhelming and huge. Every time I look around I see dollar signs. I no longer get the joy from the home I used to, but it is a lovely family home we all feel comfortable in.

At the end of the day, I have zero motivation. Every step I take requires major energy drains. It feels like all the strong has been sucked out of me for good.

I can’t figure out this new me….I can’t find what’s going to give me the push I need.  In 51 years I have never been so wholly unmotivated and directionless.  And, what scares me most is the sense of being devoid of feeling.

Therapy is this week and it will have to be the last session until I’m employed.  I’m going to try to keep writing though.

Buckling Down

My frame of mind is improved, as has my energy since the first iron infusion.  I started a Keto diet and added in some MCT oil to see if that would help with my energy levels.  I also had my monthly B12 shot.  I am doing everything I can, except exercise, to get my self back on track.  I hate exercise, always have, and I have to find a way to make sure I begin again.  The Peloton bike stares at me every time I walk past it.  I have not other excuse except that I just hate exercise.

I’ve noticed my sleep is less disturbed this week, which is helpful.  I’m tired all day but not sleepy. My second infusion is Monday and by the end of the week – at least physiologically – my body should be back on track.

I haven’t gotten a period in 48 days.  I do notice waking a few times during the night being much too hot, taking off the covers and then a minute later (or less) pulling them back on and falling straight back to sleep.  I’ve had hot flashes before and perhaps this is the pre-cursor of peri-menopause because they are definitely not full on hot flashes – I can deal with these!

My weight loss has slowed and I’m close to my first goal.  I was 157 pounds yesterday and I know for a fact I haven’t been that low since my first pregnancy in 1999.  20 years being  technically obese is nothing to joke about.  I feel so much better in the way I can move my body without all that excess weight.  I love being able to cross my legs and keep them crossed or tucked under me all day, when you’re too heavy you can’t do this and its awkward.  This was the 4 month mark for me and the doctor says most people continue to lose through the first year, just more slowly.  If I can hit 145 pounds I would be thrilled.

So health gets a check plus.  My wound is still leaky and irritates me, but its not troublesome.

I’ve gone into credit card debt the first time since divorce and that scares me a bit.  I moved it all to no interest for 12 months, but the debt is large.  I am not used to not having any income at all.  I really don’t know how to buckle down when I need to financially.   I made some edits to some home services to reduce the monthly bill, and I pay a decent mortgage on my home for what I won (meaning way better than rent would  be for 3 or 4 bedrooms).  I have some savings I can use to pay it down, but holding onto that as cash in case I’m out of work beyond March.

I did have to do a little clothes shopping.  All my XXL clothes, including my underwear and bras, were literally falling right off me!  Trying on clothes was actually fun and not frustrating for the first time in my life.  I totally lost my ass, its like a pancake now, but I know if I get my booty moving I can get it back!  My cousin and I had an afternoon of shopping and gossiping and I enjoyed the girl time.  I was thrilled to buy some jeans, T-shirts, bras and panties.  A small fortune but well worth how much better I look and feel with a few pieces of properly sized clothing.  I have a good network for handing down clothes too, which I love because I generally invest in decent clothing and it can last.  So my friends who receive get a wardrobe they would never buy for themselves and they feel good too.    I seriously never realized how loose things could get – my winter coats are like two ton garbage bags on me….so they will go on resale sights due to their cost.  I think I can recoup enough to be able to buy new ones next year.  Getting fitted for a bra was great but, boy, big bras are expensive!  And if you want to look even slightly pretty at my cup size prepare to pay double!

I haven’t done enough in the way of helping myself with work.  I have done some, but no real press for networking.  I am going to have no choice but to force myself forward this week.  I hate that I still don’t feel “ready” to get back to work, but there is no choice.  I have great friends for support who all have great ideas how to eventually move out of my are of expertise and start something new, but I find those conversations daunting when I don’t yet have a steady stream of income.  I was never an entrepreneur and admire those (like you, Maggie!) who can get out there and work for themselves.  I’m terrified.  And probably a bit lazy….corporate world has it perks in its consistency.

I do love spending some quality time with my friends, cousins and sister – which was hard to do when I was working.  I like seeing the kids all day, even when they aggravate me.  I have adjusted to having nothing to do and honestly don’t even know where the time goes during a day.

Boring post, I know, but pretty much where I am at the moment.

When You See Your Reflection

My son is home from college and is deeply depressed. I knew there was only one thing I could say to him “No matter what you chose, I will support you.”

I knew he needed to hear that from me in order to release his tension and anxiety. He doesn’t want to go back to the college he chose.

I understand, he made a dumb decision. There was a lot of bad reasons he made that dumb decision and I wasn’t happy about it but he’s 19 and has to start making some of his own decisions. For better or for worse. At least this dumb decision created the opportunity for me to say to him “will you please listen to my advice this time and consider it more seriously?” He realizes now I know him better than he gave me credit for. He also realized his father is useless when it comes to serious decision-making.

What he hasn’t realized is that he is accountable for his actions.  Sometimes, he just gives up before he starts.  Re-enrolling him in college has been painful, and I mean like stepping on a Lego painful.  Some of his statements have been “I’ve done it already” “I knew this would happen to me” “Whats the point?”   Ok, registering late sucks because everything is accelerated, but it’s not the end of the world and I’m helping you every step of the way – but I cannot DO it for you.  I’ve been to college, this is your responsibility.

I don’t even have the energy to blog about all the things he’s said and the conclusions he’s come to. I would prefer he go back (to his original college) and make a try of it. In my opinion, he’s giving up and it smacks of lazy. I hate lazy. But, in my current state of apathy, it’s really hard to engage him when I understand so well what he feels. I just didn’t feel it at 19.

This week we had to move fast to exit him from one school and get him into another, temporarily. My belief, ultimately, is he’s young enough to start all over again and I’m not opposed to that. What I do fear is his ability to get under my skin and cause massive disruption in this house and family. I notice his twin is angry (at me) because his brother is home and being disruptive. The eldest is one entitled kid and while he knows I’m helping him and he understands, he doesn’t change.

He admitted to me some of his characteristics which bother him and it’s hard to keep my mouth shut when he’s such a reflection of both my x and myself.  He lies like crazy which is probably one of my biggest pet peeves with his Dad. I hate lying. My parents and brother were masters at it, then my x husband and now my twins. It’s a craft that makes me want to kill someone. I don’t even understand the need to lie – I can see some reasons – like they don’t want their “appearance” to be affected. They want to maintain a certain face to the world. Lying catches up to you. The truth almost always finds a way to the surface. Just writing about lying makes me angry.

I brought the boys to therapy last week so they each had an opportunity to discuss with my therapist. I was due for a follow-up Monday but had a stomach bug and couldn’t go. I don’t know what they said. They wouldn’t discuss it any more with me but said it’s mostly stuff I already know. As much as I believe I need to try to listen to my children to be able to help them, there’s a large part of me that just wants them to act like small adults and grow a pair of respect balls. I was probably no different as a teen – maybe meaner, even. But I held up my end of the parent/child relationship: good grades, a full-time job, responsibility for myself (doctors, laundry, car, school etc) and activity in general. My boys barely do a damn thing for themselves other than school – and I’m not that impressed with their grades. Sleep, eat and video games. That’s it. Is it too much as a parent to ask for more? Good grades and get a job are top of mind for my 19 year olds.

I see so much of myself in my eldest twin. I suffered in my first year of college and made irrevocable poor decisions. I want him to avoid the same fate. But he needs to listen and be open to accepting that he screwed up and can actually take a step backwards in order to leap forwards. I wish I understood that. I wish I knew there was time and opportunity if I was just patient and smart about my choices, but I didn’t have that kind of guidance. I did have support – my father didn’t understand how to support, but my mom did.  My eldest has both support and guidance.  Honestly, at 19, he’s got it great and still takes advantage of me.

I’m also angry as his father doesn’t seem to be invested. Maybe they have their own conversations but it infuriates me that his father has zero communication with me regarding our children. We didn’t parent together in marriage so I see nothing has changed with him but I don’t understand how a parent can be so far removed from their children. The boys barely see him and he doesn’t seem to care. He believes if they want him they will find him. There’s a large part of me that’s so angry with him that I hope they end up not giving a shit about him the same way he’s treating them. It’s amazing to me how little involvement he needs and they still love him. I hate parenting on my own (here’s where I say I miss Tony). I hate having to figure out these life choices alone. I hate not knowing what he is saying to them. Kids need parental consistency and I feel angry that we don’t give it to him because he refuses to have a co-parenting relationship.

My friend says I have to just ignore him entirely. What he says and does doesn’t matter and I have to focus on what I can do alone.

This just makes me feel more pressure because I don’t want to do it and certainly not alone. The only comfort I have is knowing this would be much worse if I was still married to him. I try and calm my anger by reminding myself that I’m glad he’s gone. Some days I can’t even believe it’s 4.5 years we’ve been apart – I’m so thankful to not be married to that man. I suppose I need to remember how grateful I am that I got out of it. Ever since the surgery I’ve been more angry at him than ever. He allows all the weight of parenting to fall in my shoulders and doesn’t share any burden. It is making me crazy because I am so weak at the moment.

I don’t know anymore if I am capable of holding the weight of my world on my shoulders anymore.  I’m not working (or doing anything else) and I can just about manage these kids.

Dodging a Dating Bullet

A friend of mine, who is also single, told me a few weeks ago, the dating websites were currently hosting a plethora of men….so I turned the apps back on and gave it a shot.

Rob (my 6’4″ date) ghosted me. I saw him in the city mid December, I text him a short note on his wife’s 1 year anniversary, and that was the last I heard from him. It’s too bad but it’s ok. I thought I would hear a holiday greeting, but no. He’s not ready and he’s not for me in any case.  Deleted.

There were, and this is no lie, at least 10 eligible matches that I was able to start speaking to. One by one they each fell to the wayside, but it was definitely more available men than usual! And I have my preferences set to 6′ and above and I still had a ton of matches. Was everyone looking for a NYE date?

It came down to 3-4 men I moved to text with.

Dan, who is so intermittent with his text that I gave up. We may never get started. He wants to schedule a phone call but is inconsistent.

Jack, who started of great but now that we are talking a bit more, I’m beginning to think he’s not for me.  Everything is really good in our chats, he’s clearly interested, but I’m not laughing unless I’m cracking the jokes. I will go on a date with him.

Brian, super promising Texan transplant. His accent reminded me of Bobby and we hit it off quickly. But he turned on a dime ….story ahead.

Brian and I matched on Bumble and he met all my initial criteria – a definite sense of humor, handsome, intelligent and nearby. Our first phone call last close to 2 hours and it was so easy I don’t even recall what we spoke about. But the day of the date things started to get weird.

After speaking to someone for close to 2 hours on the phone, I do expect a good morning text, or at least an early text confirming our date for later in the day. I got neither from Brian. At 4pm – when we had loosely planned to meet between 4-6pm, I got the first text that said he was in meetings til 5 ish. Ok, hall pass on that one – at least he was acknowledging me and I could now jump in shower. By the way, no apology for not texting sooner, just the text that read “in meetings”.

The next text came about 5pm “still stuck” and then once at 645pm “almost done, how are you?” Finally at 715pm or so (I had showered but didn’t dress or put on makeup) I received a text asking me to come to him. Now, all my girlfriends have a rule – first date they come to you, period. So I knew I was breaking dating code if I went to see him. But, I was mostly ready and I did want to meet him. Drinking didn’t matter much, so I agreed.

It only occurred to me upon my arrival the place he selected was the place I met Tony (Bennett). I had a momentary reflection and moved on. It had no impact and I was glad of it. That had all the makings of ruining my night.

We hit it off in person quickly, laughing and conversing quite easily. He was better looking in person and had a gentle mannerism. He wanted to touch my hands and leg and I found him very appealing. The time slipped by. He asked if I would like to go to a different place for another drink and I agreed. We kissed a little on the short walk over and he held my hand. He also said he wanted to absolutely see me again. Everything was going well.

On reflection, this is why I should stop first dates from going to long. When I connect with someone, it’s pretty obvious and fast – but it over accelerates the attraction and moves us forward too fast. Had I ended the date then, I’m sure I would have seen Brian again. But it didn’t even cross my mind.

We went to the second bar and he asked some sexual questions. Not too probing but I made it clear that I wasn’t interested in talking about it much on our first date. That’s when he started to ask me to come back home with him, even if it meant just to sleep. If I had been drinking more I would have said yes. I didn’t. I said a clear no and that I wanted to go home. He was also exhausted and a little drunk.

As we walked out of the bar, he headed in the opposite direction of my car and I pulled him back indicating my car was the other way. He pulled me forward and motioned across the street indicating his home was around the block. We stood still.

I think I was evaluating if I would go or not. Either way, in my head, I needed to get to my car first. He saw my confusion as refusal to listen to him and began to get angry, telling me I didn’t need my car. But I was processing that even if I went with him I wanted my car. Before I could get through my own head, I felt him drop my hand in frustration and watched his face change. At that point I made the comment “did you want me to come back with you or not?” And his reply was “now I’m thinking I don’t” and with that, I turned around and walked towards my car. I never looked over my shoulder.

His face had gotten ugly angry and in the briefest second I got uncomfortable. By the time I got to my car a couple blocks away I had started to cry. So many reasons for the tears surfaced: I was scared and anxious, sad, confused and lonely.

I think I did the right thing, there was a meanness to him at the end that I couldn’t identify until that last moment. The type of mean that could have ended up hurting me (not intentionally) because he wanted what he wanted and wasn’t listening to me. Maybe my cues are off, maybe I’m misleading. But he was no gentleman ultimately.

Good chemistry matches are hard to come by, so I was sorry it happened this way but I do think I dodged bigger damage ahead with Brian.

Thank you, next.

P.S. Do you know the way my addled brain works, I am actually sorry it turned out that way because he had so much promise.  Argh.

Growing Up

Growing up….gosh I don’t recall as much as some other folks do. I think I had a decent childhood earmarked by things I loved and adored.

But when someone reframed events and circumstances for you (hello my therapist) you start to rethink HOW you remembered things. And I have an amazing knack for taking the good forward and leaving the bad behind. Sometimes even eliminating the bad so I don’t have to feel those negative things again.

My father never really engaged in a positive way with his children. I recall begging for any positive attention. I never really liked my father and it took a deathbed promise to my mother to stop arguing with him. My most outstanding memory was being hit by my father, or chased and punished. Until I was 16. Years later my mother and father denied he ever “hit” me. Because of my father ever “hit”Me I would be dead. He simply gave me “love taps” as they liked to call them. Nothing like gaslighting your own child, right?

My father now speaks and behaves as if my mother was the only person that mattered in his life. He has no engagement with his 5 grandchildren unless he eats a meal with us. I’m sure he loves all of us in his own way, but his way is something I will never understand.

I don’t recall him ever encouraging me as a child. I was always “fat” and he called me by a nickname I hated and begged not to be called. Even to this day he tells me how I don’t know anything. When I first got a job (in an office) he thought I would never have “hard work” because I wasn’t a laborer. At least his opinion of that has changed as he’s watched me kill myself working over the years.

I got my work ethic from him. And my ability to be stubborn and argue before listening. I am most unlike my father. I am pretty sure he didn’t like me as a child, but he is proud of me as an adult because he can see the fruit of my labor. I never told him about the surgeries or Mexico because he would never understand.

I still blame him for my mother’s end. Not her death, but how she lived in squalor because he was so possessive and wouldn’t allow anyone else to care for her when he clearly couldn’t. When I think of it I get so angry I could hurt him. My mother had to be carted around like a doll when she was in stage 4 cancer, diapers, and incoherent because of what “he wanted” to do. It was always his way or the highway. Still is. Now I just allow him into our lives on my terms since I know I have to accept him as he is. I feel sad he is my father and tried the best he could. I don’t think he really wanted children the way my mom did. He just wanted her to himself.

My mom, I still have a hard time admitting I wasn’t the child she wanted. An even harder time admitting she didn’t know how to mother a child like me. If she had lived longer we might have found our stride – but we didn’t for most of my life. I regret this immensely and hope this doesn’t happen with my own children. It scares me to death.

My poor mother had to deal with my father who was cruel and possessive, her mother who was mentally unstable and needy (and the two of them hated each other) and then I come along and I’m high strung and aggressive and want to be left alone. I don’t want to do the girl things she wants me to do. I don’t want to take care of her the way she cared for her mother at her beck and call. I watched her be miserable and refused it for myself. I watched her live my brothers life for him, coddling him to a point where he is incapable of being an adult (until he met a woman who kicked his ass!). Her life scared me. I know she wanted better for me and always encouraged me and was my biggest cheerleader – but she was disappointed in my lack of empathy and compassion when I was young (it was her hallmark). I have it now….but not sure if it would have been enough for her.

The hallmark of my entire young life was “not enough” or “too much” and then that carried through to my marriage. How do you forgive your inner child or begin to like her again when she was never just “enough”.

I also realized the first forms of validation I received on being enough came from boyfriends. This is probably why I continue to seek validation with men. The early boyfriends I had were so good to me. Every one of them wanted to marry me. They were all good men for that point in my life but I grew out of each one for one reason or another.

Looking back a growing up I realize I never really liked myself because my parents didn’t like me. I didn’t make solid friends until high school, around the same time I became interested in boys. We had moved twice when I was young and I just couldn’t connect to the girls until I joined Flag Squad In High School and became a part of a “team.” By that time the boys came on the scene and I never really developed those female relationships that so many do. I depended on men for validation from the very beginning.

So much work to do still and it’s so hard. How do you forgive and accept yourself for so many years ago? What if I never like that child? She was always awkward and needy. She never felt pretty until very late – 10th grade – when she realized how sexual she was. Will I always feel like that little girl? With peaks of happiness but not truly satisfied with herself underneath it all? Thinking and feeling that no one really knew her and loved her for who she was. They always wanted her to be someone else until she met her boyfriends. They wanted her just as she was. They would have stayed by her side. Why didn’t her parents feel that way? That she was good enough just the way she was?

The Big City

I had a lot of anxiety prior to heading into the city this week to meet my friend. Honestly, had she not traveled so far to see me or if she wasn’t so important to me, I think I would have bagged it.

As it turned out, once I got going, I was fine. I had no anxiety once I actually got into the car. Then again, I wasn’t heading into work.

I broke the seal, so to speak. I made it back to my city after a full almost 4 month break. That’s the longest I’ve ever stayed away since college.

My friend and I had a fantastic time and I truly needed the girl time with her. She is one of the smartest woman I know and fully gets me. I just wish she lived closer. I don’t have enough friends like her who are working moms, ambitious, brilliant, sexy and kind. Women who really get where I am coming from and have experienced their own highs and lows. Women whose voice and experience I trust implicitly. I’m not complaining about my friends as I have great ones, I just need more like this.

I had text Rob that I was in the city and he stopped by for a quick drink. He was sort of awkward, didn’t have much to say, so I didn’t mind that he didn’t stay. It was sweet he dropped by, but he’s clearly not social out of his comfort zone. If I reach out to him, he always replies. If I don’t, he usually checks in every few days. I would like more, but I’m not going to get it and I have no desire to push for it.

I did eat too much one evening and won’t be doing that again. I watched my alcohol intake.

I did hear from Tony again last week. He asked about my Christmas tree by text. We had a small back and forth and that’s about it. I don’t especially feel one way or the other, but I do know I have a strong feeling about shutting the door on him. So, it remains open. I was honest about this with my therapist as well.

Honestly, if I can motivate myself to begin an exercise regime I think it would really help me to begin to structure myself again. It will also help getting off the last 20 pounds. I know I need to do this and it seems to be as much of a roadblock as job searching is at the moment.

My plans for the weekend and week ahead include a lot of rest – I am truly exhausted after 2 full days and nights of more activity than I’m used to! Making sure I’ve got all my Christmas presents ready to go and, if not, shop for the last bits. Lots of wrapping. Lots of prep for baking and cooking. Plenty to keep me occupied.

I am mostly in a positive mood, but wouldn’t call myself happy. I still feel quite disconnected from most things and, even though I have happy moments, the feeling doesn’t persist.

My eldest son is home from college and that makes me a bit anxious as he’s the most entitled kid of the three. I plan to remain constant with my rules and boundaries with him. Fingers crossed for that.

Adoption

How do I really feel about adoption?

Other than exploring alternative feelings in therapy, I would always say I am very positive about adoption.   I do not truly understand the stigma people feel related to adoption.

I was adopted the day after I was born, because my mother desperately wanted a child. She told me that she wouldn’t have stayed married to my father had they not gotten the call for me so many years ago.  Her family was thrilled for her because she was the beloved only-child in a large family of cousins.  I never felt anything less than wanted growing up, and never, to this day, question who my parents are.  I even get a bit annoyed when people call them my  “adoptive parents.”   There is no need to label my parents other than parents, they raised me, loved me, cared for me and provided for me my entire life. My birthparents need a distinguishing label because they created me, but did not nurture or parent me.   I literally gag when people refer to my birthparents as “your real parents.’  My real parents are the ones who raised me, no one else is more real to me than my parents.

I do get angry when people feel the need to distinguish the people who raised me with any moniker other than parent.

The back story of my adoption is very interesting, but much too long to share (literally deserves a book) so I will provide and edited version:  Hank and Judy met in High School and were from different sides of the tracks, so to speak.  Hank came from a wealthy and social family and Judy from a less-affluent family.   Hank went off to college and during his first  Christmas break, had sex with Judy.  She got pregnant.  I never asked him if they were having regular sex or not – I will have to ask him more details.  It never really crossed my mind.

Just recently, I came across a family photo on Facebook of Judy around April 1967 – which means she was pregnant with me!  The caption under reads “Family photo for Mothers Day 1967” a little bit of irony there, eh?  The family was embarrassed she was pregnant out of wedlock and sent her away to live with an Aunt until she had the baby.  She doesn’t recall much of my birth, because women were fully sedated in 1967, and won’t speak to me about the pregnancy.  I don’t know how depressed she was, or if it was a healthy pregnancy.  I know from our first conversation that I was a full secret to her family, and her parents did not want her to acknowledge me when I finally found her in 1996.  I know she has real issues acknowledging me in general, but every once in a while her curiosity gets the better of her and she will reach out to me with a note on Facebook (though she will not friend me).

When I first found her, I was angry that she wouldn’t acknowledge me.  I was trying to get pregnant and wanted my medical history.  Because of this, I then pursued my birthfather.  Finding Hank was en entirely different story.

Hank and his wife, Debbie, immediately welcomed me into their hearts and home.  Hank and Debbie also had my beloved sister, whom I believe is the real reason all this fell into place at all.  My little sister, Kiki, and I have developed a wonderful relationship over the years and I adore her.  She just got engaged and I will be her maid-of-honor, even though I am 20 years older!  Finding Hank’s family showed me how nature is just as important as nurture.  Anyone who knows me and knows Hank would agree.  I am his child through and through.  I keep close contact with this family to this day, and my children call him Poppa Hank.

Once I found my birthparents the years have provided a more complete idea of my genetics, and maybe there was something in me that was silenced.  Perhaps the intense curiosity of knowing who I was?  Of why I did the things I did, or thought the way I thought?  I don’t recall how I felt at the time I found them except satisfied.  I was unlike my parents in most ways and everyone would always say “where did you come from!” because my mother was so gentle and I was not.  I was a busy, hyperactive, curious child – that was too much of a handful for my parents.  Looking back, I realize my mother carried the full burden of parenting, my father rarely participated in parenting unless it was to hit me for discipline.  In any case, I don’t think I ever felt resentment towards my birthparents for giving me up for adoption because my life was really good.  If my birthparents had kept me, I would have been a child of a single, unhappy mother.  God chose a better path for me placing me into my mothers loving arms.

That’s pretty much my adoption story.  In therapy we are exploring a few topics related to adoption.   The idea that I wasn’t wanted/loved in utero (this one bothers me quite a deal) and the idea that I was abandoned by my birth parents.  Honestly, I prefer to exclude these ideas in favor of the way I was actually parented, and how that affected my behaviors.  While I still struggle with acknowledging anything about my parents parenting style (because my mother is not alive and my father is 82 – whats the point) I do see value in understanding and exploring my inner child and the lengths she went to in order to be seen, heard and loved – and how my needs as a child were not met with my parents parenting style and how that developed into bad coping mechanisms for me.

I am in the process of reading a book on how to re-parent your inner child, and I can’t say I love it.   While I believe in the theory, the exercises feel just plain stupid to me.  Drawing with your left hand (or non dominant hand) your inner child has more of an ability to speak to you.  I can’t draw a straight line with my dominant hand so this exercise feels simply ridiculous to me.  I have tried a few times now and I give up – this type of creative therapy doesn’t resonate for me.  I will have to speak to the therapist today about that as she feels its significant that I can’t do the art therapy.

In my next few posts I plan to explore what I have rediscovered about my childhood.  The memories I prefer to suppress in favor of the really good, positive and nurturing memories.  I don’t know how much posting I will get to this week as I actually have to go back into the city a couple days…which is already causing me great anxiety.

 

Inner Child

Hello Madeline, meet Trixie.

Oh, you know each other already?

Hmmmm….

So work with my therapist has begun on my inner child. Basically, learning how to like and accept that young wounded girl and then learning how to re-parent her.

Truthfully, I don’t know how I feel about this work. I don’t like going back to revisit difficult things and I am a champion at forgetting bad things – also known as my stellar behavior to crucify myself on a daily basis.

A friend said to me: what you have been doing and how you have been doing it isn’t working, why not try another way? Open your mind and listen.

Because this is my nearest and dearest friend whom I trust the most, I agreed to try something different. This also includes a therapist who is also non-secular. I promised, while begging for life in Mexico, that I would try and turn to God. More on this piece to come at a later time.

This post is simply to introduce the idea of my inner child and how she will help me learn why my behaviors, especially my bad behaviors, have become my ultimate coping mechanism.

We spent a little time talking about my childhood and my parents. If you asked me, I would say I had a very good, and happy, childhood. That’s only partly true. I was a very dissatisfied child, worse so when my younger brother came on the scene almost 6 years later. I actually no longer dwelt on the cards I was dealt as a child, I thought – and still think, to some degree – going back to explore these issues doesn’t hold and value on how I choose to live today. I am aware of the things I was uncomfortable with in childhood, but prefer not to dwell. Further, I’ve been taught that it just sounds like privilege complaining. People had it way worse than me in their lives, my parents tried their best, my mother is no longer alive, and my father is nearly 82. What’s the point of reliving painful memories that can stir up old feelings of anger and sadness (amongst many other feelings) when I have moved past all of that?

Or, have I?

I am willing to explore it and think about it. Try to learn what I don’t love about myself that I allow so many others to determine my self-worth. And then learn how to love and accept all of me, so that I may share myself fully with others.

I will start with my adoption. I may have told the story in a past blog somewhere, but I’m going to write again. I will walk through some childhood memories and try to think about why my inner child is so unhappy and feels so unwanted. I think I have many answers already but I want to do the work in writing.

I feel a need to apologize to my mother in heaven before I start this work:

Momma, I love you more than anything and I’m sorry I was never the daughter you needed, but I loved you fully and know you would be so proud of the woman I’ve become. I know you won’t like this….I need to explore what’s making me so unhappy in my womanhood that must be stemming from my childhood. I no longer blame anyone, it’s only a process of realization. I know you didn’t like so many things I’ve done in my life that must have felt like direct attacks on your parenting, but you always, ultimately, supported me in the end. We were always uncomfortable together, you and I. It was never a fully harmonious relationship. We always questioned one another. I wish I understood you sooner so you could have felt more love from me than you did, but believe me, it was always there. You have, and always will be, my first love and number one. Please support this hard work I have to do. I don’t want to remember things that hurt because you are not here with me anymore and I feel it’s unfair, but I believe it can help. Please continue to stay by my side throughout. I love you.