Family of origin

Where do I start? I come from divorced parents; they split when I was 10 and my brother was 3. I never saw them fight and seemed to have a good marriage. I spent alot of time with my dad since my mom worked nights. I was a daddy’s girl. He showered me with affection and always told me I was pretty and how much he loved me. My mother on the other hand wasn’t affectionate and I honestly don’t remember her telling me she loved me when I was young.

Fast forward to my mom remarrying when I was 14. I really didn’t care for him or his three boys who were 13, 11, and 9. And he was moving into OUR house, the house that was in my mind still my mom’s and dad’s. The boys didn’t have to live with my mom day in and day out so it was exciting to come over every other weekend and be doted on by their dad and new stepmom. I on the other hand dealt with a man that compared me constantly to his boys. My grades weren’t good enough, my room wasn’t clean enough. I couldn’t do anything right. My little brother got alot of shit too from our new stepdad and he was only 7. Not long after they married I tried to commit suicide. I was sent to a mental hospital. My mom and stepdad told the doctors that I was having issues getting along with my new family. I had started drinking pretty heavily too just to drown out my pain in missing my dad daily, my parents not being together, and these new people being in my life. Two years later I got in a huge fight with my mom right after Christmas. Her doting on the boys trying to be the cool, wonderful stepmom and not giving two shits about me pushed me over the edge. You would’ve thought her daughter trying to kill herself would’ve knocked some sense into her and show her she wasn’t being the mom I needed her to be. Nope. I moved in with my dad. That lasted about 2 weeks. He had taken my mom’s side, believed everything she said. I was the problem. I then ended up moving in with a couple that took me under their wing. They probably weren’t the best influence since they would let me drink, smoke pot, etc. But it worked for me at the time. My dad would give them money from time to time and I was working which I had done since I was 14 so it really wasn’t the worst situation. It was then that I met a guy who would forever be my friend. He became my big brother and has been there for me the last 28 years. This was also the year of my last suicide attempt that landed me back in the same hospital and then to drug rehab. Honestly looking back I just wanted attention. Attention from my mom.  Love from my mom. Negative attention is better then none. I learned alot about myself in rehab. Now I know I wasn’t a drug addict or alcoholic; I just needed my mom to be my mom. Those suicide attempts and alcohol and drugs were a cry for help. I just wanted attention from someone who didn’t want to give it to me, but gave it to everyone else.

Fast foward two years later my Dad died. He had contracted HIV and by the time he told my baby brother and I he had full blown AIDS. The doctors gave him 5 months to live. He died two months after he told us, on my stepfather’s birthday. I was 18 and my brother was 11. This was by far the most devestating thing I had gone through. My dad was my protector, my first love, my everything that kept me together. I was heartbroken. Mental hospitals, drug rehab, my unemotional mother and suicide attempts had nothing on the pain of losing my father. My brother and my dad were the only two people I cared about. Everyone else I could care less about. I just needed them in my life and I had lost one of them. I was never the same. 

Over the course of the last 25 years I have gotten closer to my stepfather. He can never replace my dad, but I felt it was time to try to make our relationship work. My mother’s and my relationship never changed. I still always felt she went out of her way for all the boys and I got the constant short end of the stick. Even as we all started getting married and having kids it was obvious that she went more out of her way for them then my husband and her biological grandkids. Mind you they have 15 grandkids and only 2 are biologically my mother’s. My little brother has yet to get married or have children. 

About 5 years ago the oldest of my stepbrothers had an affair with his high school girlfriend, got her pregnant, left his wife of 10 years and 3 kids together and married the whore. My parents acted like it was no big fucking deal. Paid for his extremely expensive divorce even. (They never even asked if I needed help with mine from my first husband) I was on my sister in laws side throughout the whole thing. It caused my mother and I not to speak for about a year. Throughout that time we spoke through letters. I let her have it. Everything I ever felt she didn’t do for me. How she would constantly tell me how to raise my kids. Never once did she own up to anything. Typical head in the sand. I hold so much anger for this woman and she has no idea. She thinks we’re good now. She still doesn’t see how she pushes me aside even now. 

To be continued….

 

Looking at life a little differently today

A week ago today a friend of my youngest daughter tried to commit suicide. He was in ICU in critical but stable condition. It’s been very tough on my daughter. At only 13 years old it’s so hard to navigate through middle school. I remember it all too well and because of this happening it’s bringing up some seriously old wounds for me. I myself dealt with depression as a teen and tried to commit suicide twice. Once at 14 and again at 16. I finally got my shit straight. Felt that after those two attempts that I was meant to live, that there were things that I was meant to do in life and never had those horrible thoughts of ending my life ever again….until the affair. My children were my saving grace in those months that I was fighting to save my marriage. They were the reason I woke up every day and carried on. They were the reason I didn’t run my car off the road or drive straight into a tractor trailer. Who would pick them up from school if I was dead? Who would make them their lunches, dinner, kiss and hug them goodnight? Who would be there for them to talk about their day? I couldn’t be selfish and take their mother away from them. Even though I truly wanted to die. My heart was broken by the love of my life and I just couldn’t imagine my life without him. Pathetic, I know. Where was the strong woman I was? 

Last night my daughter’s friend passed away. It was the most heartbreaking thing for me to watch as she bawled her eyes out. I held her and tried to take her pain away. There are no words I can say to her to lessen the pain of losing her friend. All I could think of is his mother and how my heart is breaking for her. To have to bury her baby boy. 

Today I’m looking at life differently. My life differently. I was given a second chance (twice) so long ago. Three years ago I was feeling alone, betrayed, angry, lost. I’ve had those feelings even recently that I wanted to run away and not be here anymore. Today I feel like this is my sign to let go of the hurt. Let go of not feeling good enough. Life is so precious. Hug your babies a little tighter today, talk to your kids, have a real relationship with them. Know what they are doing, who they are friends with and how they feel every damn day. Tell the people you love that you love them. You will never know if that will be the last time you see them. ((((Hugs))))

FC

Body issues 

I’ve struggled for years after the birth of our second daughter with my weight. Before this I had always been thin and under 120lbs most of my life. I had high blood pressure and was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life after having her. My husband used to say that I was 20 pounds away from divorce papers. (To him me hitting 200 lbs was grounds for divorce) People would think he was joking, but he would say he was dead serious. He’s a big gym guy and has always been in great shape. I hated the gym even when he would get me in there. This went on for years until I fell in love with Zumba. I lost quite a bit of weight, got off my blood pressure meds and felt great. I got obsessed and we started working out together and I started teaching Zumba. I was in the best shape of my life. I was a solid and toned 145-150. At 5’5″ I was pretty much at my goal weight. He was 5’8″ and well over 200 lbs. of muscle. We were the Power Couple at the gym. Because of a miscommunication with the owner of the gym that we worked out at and that I taught Zumba at, I left to teach somewhere else and my husband left there as well. We were no longer working out together because of this. Working out together kept us connected and was something we both enjoyed. 

Then my husband went out of town for work and had his affair. When he returned obviously my life had been turned upside down and I didn’t even know how much. I stopped eating and my body went into fight or flight mode. I lost even more weight and looked horrible. Obviously he thought I looked great even though I was dying inside. He was so stressed by living two lives that he lost weight as well. 

Fast forward to now. 3 years past dday. He looks back to normal. No, not muscle huge, but right under 200. He doesn’t have time to work out anymore which he hates, but that’s what happens when you work 6 days a week. Me on the other hand is struggling to lose the stress weight brought on by staying with the man that I love that cheated on me. I packed on the weight that I lost in the midst of his affair and then some. I’m heavier than I was when I was 9 months pregnant with our youngest. I’m absolutely miserable and so afraid that he’s not finding me attractive. Even though he tells me I’m his beautiful wife and he loves me very much, there’s that doubt in the back of my mind that he’s not telling me the truth. And that old joke that I’m 20 lbs away from divorce papers plays over and over in my mind. 

I’m making some big changes and working out more, eating right, supplements and the weight isn’t budging. I’m so frustrated. It boils down to I’m not happy with myself. I don’t love myself. My self esteem has been shattered and I can’t get it back no matter what I do….

Snapped

I finally snapped last night. The weight of keeping my feelings in so as to not stress out my husband more finally was too much for me to hold. His job takes so much out of him. 6-7 days a week 60+ hours and no time for us. I told him I was sick and tired of us getting what’s left of him after he’s given everything else of himself to his boss, employees, customers. I told him he’s always done this for as long as we’ve been together. Never taking vacations with the girls and I when they were younger. Always putting work before his family. I told him I wish he would just give me half the effort he puts into his job into our marriage. That’s all. 

After what this family has gone through the last three years I just want something different. I thought it was going to wake him up and truly change him. Where he would see what he wasn’t putting into the marriage. I know it made me wake up. I saw changes early on after the affair was over, but now we’re just back to him pouring himself into his job and not doing the real work to heal our marriage. I’m not sure if he does this because of his work ethic or to not truly connect with me and deal with the issues.

And then I feel selfish for being mad and feeling the way I do. I should be grateful that my husband works as hard as he does to provide the life we have. I’m so used to being independent and now I’m more dependent then ever on him financially and I don’t like it. I told him all of this.  Why in the fuck am I complaining about him working so much when I’m not busy at work right now and I’m still able to have the life I have? I just want to spend quality time with my husband. I just want to feel that everything I went through the last three years wasn’t in vain. 

Lonely 

It’s been over three months since I’ve posted anything. Really haven’t had much to write about. I have gotten through oldest daughter’s 19th birthday, husband’s birthday and lil ones 13th birthday and now I must make it through the holidays. One down, one to go. Unfortunately my heart isn’t in it this year. I didn’t even go black Friday shopping. The girls have been out of town since Friday. They went up north for their great grandfather’s 100th birthday. Husband and I didn’t go since he just started a new job in July and I wasn’t going to go without him, so we decided to just send the kids. 

So here I am sitting at home alone since they left. Husband has been working open to close since Friday. I’ve gone out but don’t even care to shop for Christmas. I’ve attempted to start putting up the tree and decorate and didn’t even finish that yesterday. I feel so alone, so depressed. Husband and I even said that we were going to have wonderful alone time while the girls were gone. That hasn’t happened. I should be grateful he has a good job that provides a wonderful life for us. Instead I’m resentful of the time it takes from us. Unfortunately it’s more him going above and beyond for his employers, as always and myself and his kids get what’s left over of his time. I don’t know if I can continue living like this. 18 years though is a long time to walk away even after the shit storm he brought into our lives. I’m just lonely and tired. I was hoping his affair and the aftermath was going to wake up our marriage and change something in it for maybe the better. Nope. Wishful thinking I suppose.

Depression is getting the best of me

I’ve been so depressed lately. I have so much on my plate that I’m feeling overwhelmed. Business has been super slow and it makes me sad wondering how I’m going to pay for this or that. I put way to much on myself, I always have. I have a husband that makes good money yet I refuse to ask him for help. I have always paid for certain things and now I’m struggling to do that, but I don’t like to tell him. The other day I was upset and he asked me why? I said “why would you want to be with someone who has no drive anymore?” I’ve noticed that I had more drive and determination when I was trying to save my marriage then I ever had in my life. Now, I’m just living day to day and don’t care about anything anymore. Maybe I should’ve just let him leave, would I have been better off? Would he have? It’s been well over two years since I was brought to my knees and betrayed by the love of my life, taken down to the lowest place in my life so why am I still feeling this way? I don’t want to feel worthless and not good enough anymore, but the darkness keeps creeping into my heart. I can’t stop it and it’s suffocating me. I’ve told him that I need a break, that I need some time away from all of this. I think he understands, but I don’t know how to go about even taking that break. I have responsibilities that my mind won’t let me let go of do to what’s best for myself. I’m absolutely miserable. I can put on a brave face in front of everyone, but inside I’m dying. 

I want me back. The old me. The woman who was independent, strong, fearless, happy, funny, loving. I know… she isn’t coming back. She was destroyed when her husband told her he didn’t love her anymore, when he told her he met someone else and loved her instead. When he told her that she wasn’t his last, or his future. When he destroyed everything that was good in her and made her bitter. Yes, that strong woman fought for her marriage, but for what? To say she won? Why can’t I find her and get her back? 

Mother in law

I’ve always had a good relationship with my mother in law, better than the relationship with my own mother. I’ve always thought she was more there for me and I was the daughter she never had. She loved my daughter and became instant Nana to her before my husband and I ever even got married. She’s catholic turned southern baptist and at times seems to be extremely judgmental but I’ve always taken that with a grain of salt and ignored the things she says that I don’t agree with. Early on she never told me how to raise my girls, unlike my mother who was always trying to put her two cents in on how I should be raising them. I got into multiple arguments with my mother for butting into my life and at one point cut her out of our lives for a period of time because of it. But my relationship with my mother is definitely a story for a different time. 

When I found out about my husband’s affair I knew he was getting advice from both of his parents. They are both on their third marriages so to me these are not the two people that should be giving any advice. I had reached out early on to my husband’s second stepmother to ask her about my father in law and why my husband would be going to him for advice when they weren’t particularly close. She mentioned affairs and how upset he was when his wife (my mother in law) left him and took his son out of state. I assumed being so distraught by the discovery of my husband’s affair that I thought it was my father in law that had an affair. I remember in those early weeks yelling at my husband that he didn’t need to be taking marriage advice from his father. 

Talking to my husband months later after the dust has settled and the affair was over he told me he remembered meeting his second step father and going to McDonald’s with his mom and him. My husband was 5. He remembers moving 13 hours away from his Dad to go live with this man and his mom. This man physically, mentally and emotionally abused my husband for years. They have since reconciled and have become close, but my husband’s younger years were very hard for him and it breaks my heart. My mother in law shipped my husband off to live with his father and step mother when he became a teenager to get him away from all of it. Well in a teenager’s mind they feel you are just wanting to get rid of them; the problem. My husband moved back when they divorced.

I recently spoke to a friend who knows this family very well. She’s been around for a long time and worked with my husband and the stepfather and her sister dated my husband when he was in his early 20’s. She recalled that my husband’s step father had a recorded phone call of my mother in law and another man when they were married. Here I was blaming my father in law for my husband seeing infidelity and thinking it’s okay and it was in actuality my mother in law.

No wonder my mother in law never said anything to my husband the day after he came home from that training trip and went to her house and told her he met someone else and wanted to divorce me. She didn’t say a damn thing. Not “what the hell are you thinking?!?!”, nothing. She couldn’t say a damn thing because she knew she was guilty of the same thing. And the fact she didn’t want to get on her son’s bad side. She was going to eventually be okay with his decision even though it was going to destroy mine and her granddaughter’s lives. I used to think her guilt was because of what she allowed to happen to him at the hands of that man. That she never came to defend him; her own son. No, her guilt must come from that and the fact that she had an affair with that man she thought was going to be good to her son and in fact it destroyed his spirit. 

I fell in love in spite of the things I knew happened to him. Maybe I felt I could heal him, help him open up and heal from those wounds that are so deep. He’s never opened up. Something happened to him that he’s told me that if he ever tells anyone that he’ll never be the same. 

I can’t look at my mother in law the same way anymore. She has no idea that I know. I have lost respect for her. She’s the reason my husband thought it was okay to have an affair. That is what he saw her do. She showed him that if you’re feeling unhappy that is what you do; have an affair. 

I’m still not sure of what I want from my marriage. I’m afraid that I’m staying for my girls, for the familiarity, for the stability. I love him, but that love has changed. I will never blindly love him like I once did. I’m afraid that once our girls are grown and move out that there will be nothing left to bind us. I’m also afraid that these are the reasons he chose to stay with me and that he feels the same way I do.