Been a while

Last time I posted, over a year ago now… I had taken some time off at a cabin. I was ready to climb out of the pit that my husband’s affair left me in.

But no, my employer decided to take my medically approved absence as a voluntary resignation (legal in a “employer-at-will state.)

So here I am, nearly a year later still unemployed. While technically I ” resigned,” we all know I was fired. Major hit to a struggling betrayed wife. I’m doing better, the time off has been good for my mental and emotion health.

I’ve taken up bird-watching, spent far too much time searching my ancestors and reading! Now that spring is finally here, please, more time in my garden… by far cheaper than any therapy! Funny side story.. I received some gift certificates for Mother’s Day and bought some new perennials… here in Maine, winter is long and sometimes harsh on them.. I always lose a few. I got a beautiful climbing rose-bush, with sherbet-colored blossoms and a lovely honeysuckle vine, both new additions for me! I have some lovely periwinkle and yellow  columbine to replace the ones that didn’t return, and coral bells to add to my existing variety. Also my annuals for my planters, petunias, Vinca, inpatients and begonias! I hoping to attract the hummingbirds I see buzzing around! Anyways, my point was to mention my plan was to garden today.

but here I am posting and before I was sidetracked, I was bringing you up to speed on my mental and emotional well being.. this las year, since being fired ..

I have totally enjoyed my kids; my girls, 16 and 17.. just one month shy of 18 and graduating in 3 weeks! And my son almost 20, graduated last June.  Joined the United States Marine Corps! Oohrah!🇺🇸 He’s now home, as a reservist, working full-time and is leaving in August for college. I’m incredibly proud of him.

My graduating daughter isn’t sure what her plan is yet… she’s true to being a middle child and oldest daughter… very independent, mature beyond her tender years, empathetic…much like her mother. She’ll tell me when she’s sure, and when she’s ready, what her plans will be. I only know that full-time college is off the block, and that she wants to work full-time. She likes working and has since she was 16. I’m not overly concerned. I know she will figure it out.

We took a family road trip in late October, to see my son graduate from boot camp and then to Washington D.C. A road trip in my brand new Jeep! It was a fun trip!

We got thru the 2016 holidays  the first I can say I truly enjoyed, since Dday. My son came home from Infantry school in February. January thru March weekends were mostly about dance competitions with my youngest. Now it’s nearly the end of May.

I’m planning for graduation and dance recital, that fall on the same day. A graduation party to plan still? she’s reluctant.. eighteenth birthday celebration and I’ve been busy with a group of dance-moms fundraising for our dancers going to the Macy’s day parade this year!

As for my marriage, hmm. I was optimistic, in the first 1.5 years, hopeful even. Now.. I’m not sure anymore… it’s not that it’s bad really, it’s just not very good. It’s just the remaining shell of what we had. He pretends not to notice. The situation works, well even, for us, for now. But I doubt either of us would admit we are happy.

Getting toward a sensitive subject there, so I’ll redirect.. to my gardening, for some cheap therapy!

🌸🌼🌹,

rac

 

 

 

 

Creating new Memories

The holiday season, from Halloween thru mid Janruary, has always been a favorite time of year. It’s so magical and people are more kind and gentle. More patient and generous. The world around always seems more hopeful and merry, even in light of recent world events.

When the kids were little, we spent much time picking and creating the perfect costume, filling treat bags for all the trick-or-treaters, decorating the house and yard.

Thanksgiving roles around and I host a typically large guest list of family, typically upwards of 20. I go all out and spend days preparing our Thanksgiving feast, and delight at spending the time with our families..

Then Christmas… We’ve always put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving, and it typically stays up thru the first week of Janruary. Our tradition, with a few exceptions, has been to go chop our own tree with my Dad and step-mother. We tromp thru the tree fields until we all agree on the perfect tree, cut it down and then we sit and have cocoa and donuts before hauling it home. In past years we polish off  any Thanksgiving leftovers once we get home, and then it’s full blown decorating mode! I’ve fondly referred to day as our Christmas  Tree Day. 

December always seems to rush by with all the Christmas festivities; family gatherings, open houses, decorating, baking, shopping and wrapping…toss in a few Dance competitions and hockey tournaments and it makes for a crazy busy month… all leading up to the actual holiday, Christmas, and the vacation that follows.

Last year, at this time I was still reeling from the chaos and destruction from finding out about my husband’s affair. I was a complete and utter mess. I wasn’t prepared for the holiday season, and mostly faked, fumbled and cried my way thru.

Halloween, less than 4 weeks post-dday. I’m sure I gave out candy. I don’t remember what my kids did. I’m sure I can look back at pictures and posts and figure it out, but mostly it’s a big blank.

Thanksgiving, just 7 weeks post-dday, I had my parents and brothers’ family. Very small and mostly bearable. My parents knew and I was able to pull thru the day.

I was feeling a bit more ease, safer; I’d just finished a series of emails with the other woman, and for the time felt less threatened by her. I was, and sometimes still am, overwhelmed to realize that she had always been in our life, MY life. But I was and still am confidant that she’s not a threat currently. I do have my doubts as our kids get older. The last email she sent my husband, and one of the very few that I actually read, said something to the effect of just that.. Putting old flames on the “back-burner” until the kids are grown... husband has tried to assure me that he has no idea why she sent that email, that she was never a threat and it was just sex, that she meant nothing, and he has never had any intention of leaving me. Sometimes I believe him, but that email haunts me. And then there’s the fact that he betrayed me, had a affair that spans his life since Junior high, spans our entire marriage, with large gaps of time, years even, without any contact, they both insist… but I have my doubts. 

Since those emails, I do believe there’s been no contact between them. There are days when I have my doubts, but I’ve long since given up on checking (it’s just too fucking exhausting; if he’s going to cheat again, he’ll find a way… No amount of me searching and spying can prevent him from cheating.) Again.

I’ve been in a totally new trigger field the past few weeks, and doing mostly okay navigating them. But I’ll leave that for another post. This post is NOT about her.

Christmas. December 2014. Mostly went by in a blur. I cried my way thru the month and wanted nothing to do with it. Honestly, I wanted to crawl into a hole and lick my wounds, disappear from the surreal and hellish life that had taken over the content life I had been living. However, with 3 busy kids and big extended families, this mom continued to fake my way thru…

But the daily emotional turmoil was exhausting. It was December 2013 that the intensity of thier affair became sexual (again); it was from then until dday, 10/3/14,  that I could see the thousands of texts and dozens of emails. And I was hauling myself thru hell looking the number of texts they exchanged on a particular day and looking back to see I was doing that same time and date (besides being made fucking fool.) generally I was contentedly going about my days.

… as he was having his affair…

So we skipped Christmas tree day last year. We bought our tree a a local greenhouse, but had I had to be reminded. Again, last year was such a blur with a lot of blanks. The tree got decorated. And the house got decorated some. But not my typical fair. Most of my shopping was online. For the most part I stuck with the lists to Santa, that I still request of my kids!  It was safe, easy (I didn’t have to leave my house) and they were delighted on Christmas morning, but there were few surprises last year.

Christmas Eve, I was on call. It allowed an easy excuse to not go to my Sister-in-law L***’s open house. It was all my husband’s family (he’s one of 8) and only his sister C*** and her long term boyfriend know. Inknewni wouldn’t be able to get thru an afternoon of hearing how wonderful my husband is and how lucky I am. He is still their golden child.

Christmas morning, again  a blur.. I kept tissues close at hand and didn’t take many pictures.My parents were with us, for presents and followed by a festive brunch. Then they move on to my 2 brothers families and more Christmas festivities.

Traditionally, I  host a Christmas open house and buffet with my husband’s family. It’s also open for our friends and neighbors. I make dozens of cookies, in 10-12 varieties and pounds candies, fudges and confections to gift and share.

I don’t remember most of what I did last year. I baked some, and made fudge. After my parents left we got ready to go to C***’s house for Christmas dinner with my husband’s family. I had told her about the affair. I asked her to host, as I just couldn’t get it together enough to do it.

The holiday season of 2014 will mostly remain a blur. I dont feel the need to remember it.

This holiday season, I’ve made it a point to be mindful. Honestly, I’d be happy if it were spring already, but I don’t want to rush time. I just haven’t found much holiday spirit yet. I am finding moments of joy. I’m even purposely creating them…

I’ve found my thoughts and mindset are very much focused on the fact that my son is a senior. That this time next year he will be away at college and how my role as a mother is rapidly changing. How our family dynamics are going to change. I want to be present with my son and daughters and remember this Christmas season warmly and fondl. When I reflect next year.

So, in the best holiday spirit I could muster,  my husband and I along with all 3 kids and my parents went to find our Christmas tree yesterday. It was a feat to just get all of us together, but I made it happen, just a week later than our normal Christmas tree day. We found our tree, cut it down, shared cocoa and donuts. And now it’s well on its way to being beautifully decorated. I have all my holiday decorations waiting to deck the halls and I’m determined to find some joy.

The hardest part is over, the tree ornaments. Each of mine tell a story. There’s a weary and fragile glass ornament that was on my grandmothers’ tree when she was a young girl.. It’s over 70 years old. All the baby’s first, second, third etc. ornaments, the mom and dad, son and daughter dated yearly ornaments. The Disney and vacation ornaments. Ornaments from my travels when in the Air Force. My most cherished ones, those sweet little cinnamon-glue and glitter gingerbread and popsicle stick ornaments, with their picture glued on,  hand-made with the tender loving hearts of my children. They still adorn my tree and they are my favorites. The mile-stone ornaments , character ornaments, the initial and personalized ornaments. Each and every one of them has a memory attached. I didn’t mention the all ornaments that represent my love for my husband thru the our 18 years, the Ten-year “old tin bell” ornament,  nor will I mention the memory each one evokes. Like all my ornaments. This year, just like last I’ve left them in their boxes. Maybe next year…

I’ve organized my sons’ senior portraits and my daughters’ school pictures for traditional grandparent and aunt/uncle gifts, and have some of the frames purchased. I’m not even sure I gave pictures out last year. I also arranged a professional photographer to have pictures done of my 3 kids together. Last year I will have all 3 in my nest… I’m still very anxiously waiting to see how they come out! And bonus for me, my husband doesn’t know. So I have a loving, heartfelt gift for him. Last year I filled his stocking last minute, and mostly from a well-known drug store and local chocolatier. Nothing personal. Otherwise,  I don’t think I got him anything. There were no ornaments purchased. Not even for my kids, as I discovered and my youngest reminded me, as we decorated the tree last evening. I’ve already purchase a few for this year…

I’m trying to be mindful and enjoying the little moments of real joy, or something that feels like joy used to feel. I’m feeling longer periods of “mostly comfortable with intermittent, mild to moderate triggers, and rarely one more serious. Occasional sadness but not depression, frequent mild anxiety and still often, just emotionally numb”

But when I stay mindful…

So now,  I’m off to search for holiday spirit. I’m hosting our traditional family gatherings for Christmas Day. Mostly for my son, and my girls. I will cherish all the time with him and them as I’m so aware my days are too few. I’ve got decorating to do (several day project) and a cookie-candy-fudge list to make.

I hope you are all able to find some peace, comfort and joy or something like it, this Christmas holiday season.

This my son cutting down our tree. It was nearly 50 degrees and still no snow. Very unusual for this time of year in these here parts!

❤️

 

Melancholy Monday

I guess that’s what I seem to feel…

I’m always so melancholy and emotionally exhausted come Monday morning..

Compounded by a late night hospice call, such as I had last night… Last night even more emotionally draining. It was a difficult visit and kept me up until well after 3… And then I got up just before 8.

I slept past my 6 a.m. School morning alarm to get the kids up. They’re old enough to get themselves out the door, but I love these mornings. Their idle  routine and conversations. Sometimes just banter, but it keeps me connected to them.

I won’t see them until at least  late afternoon….

My son has mostly honors level  course-load and is doing well. I’m proud of him. He could do better if he applied himself more, but he doesn’t, So does well enough without much effort. He’s too busy to spend the extra time studying.

I get that.

He’s adventurous and curious, always has been. He’s going to be 18 starting his senior year because I opted to keep him out of kindergarten. He was just too social and only wanted to play.

He was a 10 week preemie, so had he been born on his due date he would have been born after our state kindergarten cutoff… if he wasn’t in such a rich to start his life..

Part of it was wanting to keep him home with me a little bit longer, I wasn’t quite ready to let him go, still not sure I’ll ever be..

So after school he always has some practice.. He’s a 3 sport varsity athlete. Has been since he was a freshman. Been an athlete since he was about 4. Tried a bunch of sports over the years, But has stuck with hockey, soccer and lacrosse since starting high school.

Burning press son of his freshman year, he was a starting player on a competitive HS varsity team. Then was one of 2 freshman that made varsity, and upper classmen were cut.

So soccer season while also playing with a Midgets-level competitive travel hockey team.

Soccer ended.

He then went into hockey both midgets and high school 7 up to 10 hours of ice a week sometimes…that’s a lot of hockey.

Lacrosse season started soon after hockey ended. Another starting midi on a competitive high school team. Great season… Toward the end he injured his knee.. Had an X-ray, some PT and started summer soccer.

He had an MRI in late summer because his knee just kept bothering him. We discovered a torn left ACL and multiple torn meniscus. Had surgery in mid September. Missed soccer and hockey his sophomore year because of the 6 month rehab after ACL reconstruction surgery and busy PT schedule.

He and I got really close thru that rehabilitation period. I’m a nurturer and caregiver, even professionally, as an RN…

But when my children hurt I hurt too. They are such a part of me…

I work from home so for very obvious reasons, I was primary caregiver during his post surgery months. Really  hands on… Shy of bed baths and bathroom duties.. I manages his recovery. Meds and ice and PT multiple times a day and week. It’s a lot of dedication for both of us. We spent a lot of quality time together.

So much as his injury saddens me for him… I cherish the time he and I spent…I’ve helped raise a kind, compassionate, thoughtful young man.

So he’s fully cleared by his surgeon and PT to resume sports as lacrosse season starts his freshman year. He starts again. Still a competitive varsity team… Mid May he injures his right knee.

MRI right away.. 3 days because of a weekend…

He tore his ACL. The kid was crushed… I was crushed for him and with him…

Another grueling 6 months for a kid who still had dreams of maybe playing D1 in college .. Likely far fetched, but they were his dreams…

We got thru those grueling six months. Again. He was cleared for sports  just as hockey started. He was starting line, co-captain as a junior. The team was mediocre at best. Some true hockey players and then a bunch that play hockey because they don’t do track or basketball… They had a zero win, 0-1-16 ish Season. No lie.

They sorta sucked sometimes…

We have high hopes and expectations for his senior year. Our hockey program is merging with a neighboring school district. I believe it’s a win-win situation for the program and the players…

We’ll see.. I have to get thru lacrosse and soccer season as well as a midget hockey team…

But he got thru the season uninjured, but his knees still bother him. He still ices almost daily, takes ibuprofen more often than I like and started seeing a PT again weekly.

I wish he’d listen to his body and choose a sport and then allow himself a season off, to recover and restrengthen. But I’m not an almost 18-year-old young man either. I can’t make his decisions for him…

I’m just his mom. Who’s such a mess these days…

So lacrosse season has started. Of course, he made Varsity. They have had a few tournaments and have done extremely well. It’s going to be a great season. The boys play great.

I am praying and wishing and crossing my fingers and sending positive healing vibes.. Blah, blah…that his knees hold out…

So that’s all on my mind…

As he has a scrimmage this afternoon. I’m so nervous and afraid of going, but I love to watch him play! I hate missing games, but don’t beat myself up when I miss them.

We’ll see if I make today’s scrimmage. It’s a lovely spring day. We so deserve after the wicked winter we just had… But it’s Warm with a light breeze. Sunshine is comforting. A light sweater feels nice. The windows are open…

My middle child.. He boyfriend is picking her up from school. She’s going to go to his house for a while this afternoon.

She thinks I believe there’s an adult there. Our rules when she visits him…mostly my rule. I don’t think my husband really cares..

Maybe I do believe her, but I wonder. Trust is such a sensitive subject, I won’t really know unless I check up on her.. Go to his house, but I won’t.

Or I could text his mom. I won’t do that either.

So I’m trusting her, but I wonder, even doubt…

That’s probably not fair…

I hope she’s using safe judgement and that I’ve raised her well enough to take safe chances and make safe choices. Think about consequences…

She’s such a mini-me. She and I are very close. Hugest rivals sometimes too.

She’s not quite sixteen. She carries most of the typical traits of a sixteen year old girl. Modified to fit her personally. She’s such a spunky, independent little shit… I am absolutely crazy about her. Such a bright and intelligent young lady with a kind, empathetic and sensitive old soul. Wise beyond her years even…

We connect in such an intimate way. We almost read each other’s mind sometimes. She knows. It’s made us closer. Much.

We can still argue like bitches too though! We are too much alike. Strong willed and stubborn.

I think that’s what scares me the most. I understand what she’s going thru much more than she gives me credit for, but I get it because I was her age once too.

So I trust her judgement. But I still worry…

and then my baby..14 in a few days.. Fully cleared by her neurologist to resume full activity. For her currently that’s track. She also is dancing an hour a week. Will be many more hours come summer with dance intensives  and camps required for company. The dance company season starts in the fall…

She’ll also have summer soccer and then pre season. She will likely make varsity soccer team as a freshman. She is naturally talented, so I’ve been told. She loves to play though and she is tough and competitive.

We’ll see how her back holds out.

I’m hoping for the best. I don’t want to think about the alternative yet.

Surgical repair for her spondalythesis, a spinal fusion as such a young age frightens me… And then I struggle with the fact that she would do so much better as an adolescent than adult.. The advantages of youth!

the doctor said the symptoms will manifest themselves, so it’s a wait and see…

I always feel like I’m walking around, waiting for something to happen. The next thing to happen….

I think the weekends do me in. I think living in our new reality sucks. Mine does, I can’t read his mind and he doesn’t talk about it. Or anything…

I review everything and try to figure out what my new reality is. Because I don’t think I know it all yet. Honestly,  I know I don’t…

I just don’t know what to do…

So I’m going to go find something to manage this killer migraine I have coming on.. May need to call out tonight.. Got to figure that out soon…

I need to make a list, of all the lists that I need to make…I’ve fallen so far behind in life the past six months…

pick up my youngest from track at 4. Make a few phone calls. Follow up on a few emails… Shower dress.

Pull off the mom who has it mostly together image I aspire to portray.

I don’t know anymore..

maybe I just read too many blogs…

oh yea.. I have a bunch of cats too. Pretty particular of their litter box conditions.. Apparently they weren’t satisfactory and one decided to pee on the floor by the box… In the mud room. So 3 kids and one adult all walked by it, multiple times and nobody saw it.

or everyone just assumes that Mom will take care of it…

Chives

I don’t remember exactly when I met her.

I joined the 74th AES in 1992. She was already a member. We were both flight medics. I just know it was sometime my first year there.

I don’t even remember exactly how we became best friends, but we did.

Our relationship had its turmoil and drama. It’s changed. She’s changed. I’ve changed. Don’t we all?… I think it’s called maturing. Growing up. Anyways, she is still my best friend.

So our friendship started out likely on a drill weekend. The Air Force Reserve calls them Unit Training Assembly, or “UTA” weekend. First weekend of every month. As a flight unit, we had the additional responsibility to maintain flight time. So, we probably averaged 5 days a month. There was always extra time or missions to pick up, temporary assignments. Travel opportunities abounded, and we took advantage of all we could.

In the 5 years I was at that unit, I traveled to near every continental state. I also traveled to over a dozen foreign countries. I did it as I went thru Nursing school, so always had a backpack full of heavy text books. This all before the Internet and cell phones. Often times those books never got opened. I settled for B’s and C’s in exchange for the life experienced I gained. It was worth it.

Anyways, Chives and I became inseparable. Her boyfriend and a guy I was seeing were good buddies. We all hung out and partied. Wow some of those memories still make me smile.

The guy I was seeing went in to break my heart. We weren’t in a committed relationship. We lived several states apart and both full-time students, reservists and employed. There was little time to nurture a long distance relationship. But I did fall in love with Him. Only he didn’t know. And I didn’t know he was in love and secretly engaged. Then married. I found out 3-4 months later. After we’d travelled and been intimate. So he as a newlywed cheated on his bride. I was raging mad at him! I had a few drinks and made a scene. In public no less, at the Base Club parking lot. The curtain closed on that relationship with me saying,  “You  Fucking Asshole. I loved you.” If I remember correctly, I cried and puked the rest of the night. And then, nursed a hangover the next day. I went on to mend my broken heart in some self-destructive ways but made a lot of friends and had a lot of great first dates!

She went on to marry the guy she was seeing. They had a baby soon after, he just turned 18. She then went thru the loss of a baby at nine days old, and then a few late-term miscarriages. She desperately wanted more children, but her body just failed her. She is truly blessed with her son. She absolutely treasures him. They both do.

She went thru those years as I had 3 children in 44 months. It was the hardest thing to tell her that I was pregnant. I wanted her to be pregnant too. As much as she did. And my pregnancies were complicated, my son 10 weeks premature. My second pregnancy, was spent 20 weeks on bed rest, 3 weeks hospitalized. She was born at 37 weeks. She is my angel baby. Then my Boo, I carried until 38 weeks, but worried constantly that something would go wrong. Nothing did. She completed our family.

our friendship was strained, but we didn’t talk about it. I know what she was going thru was hard and I going thru what I was going thru, was difficult too. We couldn’t support one another, I think conveniently because of distance. We live about 3 hours apart. That’s not far when your single. But once your married and have a baby, It’s crazy far! This was still before cell phones were handed out and used like SS numbers. We didn’t have them, so communication was like it was, a call or two a week. For a while we had a weekly scheduled call date for an hour on Sunday. Eventually those dwindled and calls became sporadic. We played phone tag. Weeks, then months would go by. Then a few years with just a call or two.

We reconnected thanks likely to Facebook. Over the last few years we’ve spent time together meeting up at hockey tournaments  or dance competitions. We talk rarely, but text pretty frequently now. Sometimes weeks will go by. I think we are both committed to getting together this year for a weekend. I’m still passive. I’m afraid to commit to a plan. I don’t know that I can see her right now. I don’t know that I’m ready.

See for years, I’ve known a secret. After she lost Isabelle, she had an affair. He was married. They worked together, out-of-state and away from their spouses. I don’t know the ending of that affair, only that her husband never knew. He still doesn’t. I truly was able to empathize with her. I totally got what she found in her affair partner and why she needed it. She was trying to replace the loss, fill the “unfillable” void, that only comes from the loss of a child. There’s a hallow space, that never completely goes away. You always remember.

She was just as crazy in love with her husband. He just couldn’t connect with her emotionally about the loss of their daughter. He’s a great guy. An awesome dad. Kinda gruff, doesn’t like to deal with complication. He’s a big city cop. Big in physic too, goes to the gym and takes care of him self. Enjoys good beer. He’s good company and he adores his wife. They live a comfortable and happy life. The adore their son. The are crazy in love. I’m sure there are things I don’t see, she’s pretty conservative. Maybe reserved is better… Maybe both. But publicly she lives a happy life.

So, does her husband need to know? Should he know? That’s rather  complicated. I always thought he should know because “it sucks not knowing.” I think Chives knew that, but we didn’t talk about it. And I was never going to tell or even hint to him about her clandestine affair. I promised her I’d tell no one. I will go to my grave with her secret.

So does he need to know? I can say that now, So many years later… No. Absolutely Not. Why would that do anything good for anybody? And imagine the destruction. Just seems insane to even consider telling him.

She told me because she knew I wouldn’t judge her, because well, I still go by that philosophy. I just don’t  judge. I’m also good at secrets. I have several that will go to my grave. She also knows some of mine.

But I have this secret. My husband’s affair. I haven’t told her. And I’ve thought about it a few times. Because I’m sure she’d listen and be great support. Truly. But I find myself raging mad at her sometimes. I’m afraid of what I’d say to her. Text messages are easy. They are toneless and short generally. Simple exchanges that keep us connected but without substance. Still nurturing.

So does she need to know? I wish I knew the answer. I spend a lot of time thinking about telling her and what I’d say, questions I’d ask. Like, “what were you thinking?” Because I truly don’t get what my husband was thinking. Fundamentally. Doubt I ever will.

I’d love the opportunity to pick her brain and not have it affect our relationship, to get inside the mind of a cheater. But I can’t. I won’t. Because I don’t know that I want to know the details. You can’t unknow some things. And those are the things I’m afraid of. The things I don’t know. So I don’t ask the questions.

I truly believe there are things we’re better of not knowing. Like details. Details of my husband’s affair. It took up years worth of his life, but amounts to a few hours of collected data, the few details that he’s given me. The letters I exchanged with the other woman. not much really, because I haven’t asked the details. I can tell you the crazy thoughts I’ve had about his affair. My imagination is wild. But honestly. All I know about their sexual relationship (puke) is that, “it was good.” Yeah, he said that. And they never used protection. “Not once,” as she had to tell me in email. so the rest is all unknown. I come up with new questions in my mind constantly. But the answers if I asked…First off, if my husband were honest, which he wouldn’t be… I’m pretty sure that they would all hurt. Every single thing he could say would hurt more than not knowing does. Right? That’s what I tell myself. I believe it even. So I don’t ask.

So that’s where I am with Chives. She hasn’t asked what’s up with me. I suspect she shows that something is. She knows me. We are best friends still. But she is afraid to ask. And I’m afraid of telling her. So neither of us go there.

Her daughter’s birthday is coming up soon. She only lived 9 days. She was a micro premie, born at just 24 weeks gestation. Such a profoundly difficult start to life. She was able to fight if for 9 days. She died in her mothers arms. She still grieves for her. For the past few years I’ve acknowledged her birthday and anniversary of her death. It’s brought us much closer. Her husband has long forgotten, as only a man can do. A man can never know the pain of the physical loss of a child. Just won’t. Just so that doesn’t sound sexist.

So she and I will connect about Isabelle’s short life. It will nourish our relationship and foster time to pass until enough goes by that I can decide one day that she never has to know about my husband’s affair.

Won’t she be better off not knowing?

God Made Girls

I asked my youngest daughter Boo, “Do I look fat in these jeans?” This past Saturday. I was trying to get dolled up to go on a date with my husband. Now mind you, Boo is a 13-year-old girl. She’s overweight, but acts more confident than I know she is. She makes poor food choices and disregards portion sizes.   She secretly snacks and hides the dishes or wrappers in the cushions or wherever. She’s become very sedentary. Up until this past year, she has run track and played soccer. Both quite well. She is a natural athlete. It’s highly likely that she will make varsity on a competitive class B soccer team as a freshmen. She is also a senior-level competitive dancer. Has danced 10-16 hours a week for the past five plus years.

This  past November we discovered the source of her lingering lower back pain. An X-ray confirmed a Spondylolisthesis  She has been in a back brace since early December. Five days ago her neurosurgeon (and to our fortune, an elite specialist in this disorder,) instructed that she wear her brace 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. For the next 4 weeks. OMFG!!! I had already given up the battle with wearing it while awake. So five days in and “bribery” seems to be working. But she’s really uncomfortable and sad. She will not be able to dance in the recital in May. I’m sad for her. I’m sad for me. In my 15 years as a dance mom, there have only been 2-3 years without a recital. The last 6 have been consecutive. So, I’m sad for me too. I will miss the hustle and bustle of the weeks leading up to and including the Recital Weekend in early May, surrounding Mother’s Day and my birthday.

I’m really dreading May. There will be many triggers and difficult days.  Too many. I know something went on that week with my husband and Mouse. The number and timing of texts tells me so. I recall events and conversations around that week. I have a few emails they exchanged for that week. I even called my husband out in his careless and erratic behavior. He was truly bazaar. “We” bought “me” a new car. One he  decided on. I had very little say in it. In his defense, I didn’t put up a good fight. But I was uncomfortable with it. He knew that, but we did it anyways. He assured me it would be ok. To complicate it, the asshole salesman called him the next day and offered a second car, a good deal. He bought it. Literally. He assured me. We now own 2 new cars. I hate mine. He doesn’t think his behavior was off, doesn’t remember the events I’ve called him on. Doesn’t remember anything about seeing Mouse that week; insists that “I wouldn’t have made plans to see her because it’s Mother’s Day and your birthday.” Yeah. “Thanks for the special consideration. Asshole.” But I know something was off. Way fucking off. He doesn’t remember. Say it with me, “What a fucking Asshole!!!” Validation helps. Anyways. I hate my car. HATE IT! As soon as I can get a grip. I’m going to get trade it for something new. Regardless of the loss. Good fucking riddance. To say I’m  apprehensive about it this year’s recital season is an understatement. I’m counting the days until the calender says 2016. Not sure the significance of 2016, but my mind had determined it to be a benchmark. I don’t know what for. Yet. Maybe when I get there… So, I guess missing our annual recital activities and festivities will be a hidden blessing. I’m not really feeling it. Nor am I active or festive.

So my major self-esteem  and body image issues, damaged self (familiar ghosts…) in the wake of his affair is trying to get dolled up for our date. And I ask my Boo such a ridiculous question. “Do I look fat in these jeans?” WTF was I thinking?

She looked at me with a horrified expression and I couldn’t back-peddle fast enough. “Because I haven’t worn them in years!”  and “They are tight!” I think I was able to recover and save face. I sure hope! I really don’t want her thinking that “I think I’m fat.” I really don’t. I’m not. It’s just the whole lack of esteem thing.

But she’s had a rough year. This brace is going to be a challenge for the next 23 days. She’s texted me this morning letting me know it’s bothering her still. She took Motrin before going to school. The school RN is going to give her Tylenol. I truly feel for my baby. So with a strong shield of confidence, she is dealing with her own “13-year-old 8th grade girl issues.” I truly hope she is as strong as she appears. She’s gained a few pounds with the added restrictions of no “fun” activity imposed by her brace and doctor. Her brace affects her choice of clothing. And she’s very fashion conscious. But her straps, seems and waistbands impress upon her so she wears loose and baggy cloths. All these things can weather a struggling self-esteem or budding body image issues.

I hope my ridiculous question hasn’t crossed her mind, because the me before Dday would never have asked such a potentially damaging question of my fragile baby girl. I so love her. She truly completed my family.

My husband and I went out and had a wonderful evening. Truly. I can honestly say that we have a few new memories. We even poked fun at his affair and laughed at a “sarcastic jabs” I made in reference to his affair. He made an ice bar in our back yard. We bundled up and shared a bottle of wine outside. Talked easily and comfortably and played a trivia Game. It was a welcomed reprieve from our current state. For both of us.

Sometimes it just feels so awkward and fake.

But my girls really rock my world❤️