Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Favorite Boy

This has nothing to do with dating. My Kid is 3 and he's been acting especially 3 lately. When I tell him its bedtime, or anything else he doesn't want to hear, he growls. He's such a picky eater that its a constant negotiation to get something besides carbs into his tummy.

Tonight after work, I picked the Kid up. He played in his sandbox while I gathered up the trash, cleaned the kitty litterboxes, took the trash can to the curb, and checked the mail. Kiddo asked me to get a chair and sit near his sandbox. I finished the chores, got a chair and my book and sat down to enjoy the sun. Before I could even open the book, Kid decides he's done playing outside and is hungry for dinner. Dang.

Made dinner for him, heated leftovers for me, fed the cats, ate, cleaned up the kitchen and gave the kid a bath. Brushed his hair, brushed his teeth, cleaned his little ears, slathered him in lotion (extra for his little sunburned face), and dressed him in his firetruck pjs. We read two stories like we always do. Usually, this is where I tell Kiddo its time to get in bed and go to sleep. He whines and fusses and eventually I run out of patience and tuck him in and leave the room.

Tonight though, I was so tired that after stories, I laid on the floor of his room. He snuggled up next to me and pointed out my cheeks, my nose, my teeth.  I asked him what color my eyes were "Blue! Just like one! We match!"  He's so damn cute.

We poked each other and giggled and snuggled on the floor for the longest time. We were laughing too much and I worried that it would be even more of a struggle to get him to sleep.

I got Kiddo into bed and tucked in. Still tired, I climbed into Kiddo's train bed too. I asked him to tell me about his day. Snuggled up, nose to nose, he told me about riding in a boat and picking blackberries. Halfway through the conversation, we lowered our voices to a whisper. There was no one but cats in the house, but it felt like sharing precious secrets.

I knew we'd been talking for a while so I asked Kiddo for my hug and a kiss before I left his room. He told me he needed "extra kisses. I need so many kisses!" I needed a sweet moment like that today. He's a good kid and I'm fortunate to be his mom.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

We Jumped

Jack came over last night to exchange items. It was so awkward. I popped an anti-anxiety pill before he arrived because my nerves were so bad. He came in and handed me my stuff. We stood awkwardly and talked. I had my hands stuffed in my pockets, racking my brain, trying to come up with something non-pathetic I could say that I'd been doing in the last two weeks we'd been apart.

We moved to sit on the couch because standing enhanced the awkwardness. There were a lot of times no one said anything for a minute or two. We just looked at each other, and then away. How sad that I loved this man just a month ago and now I couldn't meet his eye or make conversation.

We stumbled along. Talking about our patterns in relationships. Jack's tendency to self-sabotage. My quick temper. Things we wish we could do different. Jack mentioned a potential job offer in LA, and said he was considering it "Since I got dumped and don't have anything keeping me here now."
Since you got dumped? That is so not how that conversation felt to me.

So then we hashed out who dumped who. We talked about how we missed each other. Missed the weird jokes and references that formed a language only the two of us knew. Talked about the futility of trying again. Jack talked about his need to grow up. I talked about my need to be self-reliant.

It felt like Jack thought this whole conversation was pointless, he said we didn't get along. I didn't think that was the case. I got teary because I felt like I was begging for him to give me a chance, pleading for a hopeless cause.

I told Jack that if this was just a weird way of breaking up again, if he was trying to let me down easy, that I would prefer that he just end it and get it over with. Jack insisted that wasn't what he was doing.  Said that he just didn't think he could be the right guy for me, the man worthy of me. But that he knew it wasn't fair to keep me in limbo while he tried to grow up, but that he was scared of seeing me find someone else. I told him I didn't want to find someone else, unless he didn't want me, because then, yeah, I'll eventually find someone else.

When we were together, Jack said several times that he needed to step his game up, that he wasn't sweeping me off my feet. I don't need to be swept off my feet, I want something real.  I didn't need big gestures, the way Jack would smile when he looked at me, the way he'd actually listen when I talked about my day, that he tried to explain his problems at work to me, everywhere we went together I felt like he was showing me off, the way he'd brush my hair out of my eyes, that was more than enough for me.

I was too teary and tired to keep going around and around with Jack. I said, "Either we end this for good now, or we give it a try, and maybe things won't work out and we'll break up for good next time, or maybe it will work out and we'll go live the life we talked about. We can talk and talk about it, but at a certain point, you take a chance and jump or you don't."

We decided to jump.

He had me promise to be more patient. I had him promise to be more communicative. We both agreed to make an effort to not let outside forces influence us too much. To not discuss our new fledgling relationship with Trish (who set us up originally) or Trish's husband Jeff (who is very anti-Natalie and I don't know why).

I don't know where we go from here. I know what I want, and I know it will take hard work from both of us to make this work. I'm hopeful but nervous.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Complication I Don't Need

John keeps being around. We took the Kid on an outing. The Kid is always around. I have no need to hang out with John, just the two of us.

Even though I told John I don't want a relationship with him, even though I told him I just want to be friends, he's pushing for more. Again. Not respecting my boundaries and thinking he can change my mind. John has known me for years, but he doesn't really know me anymore. He doesn't know the bullshit I've been through with other men. I'm stronger now. "No" doesn't mean "convince me."

I'm still very hung up on Jack. I want to make things work with Jack. This might be impossible, and it might be a horrible idea, but right now, it's where my thoughts are focused.

I don't want to hurt John, but if he won't leave me alone and stop pushing for more, I'll have to get more direct and blunt. It probably needs to happen. I think John needs the closure. I've been kind and accommodating in the past because he's going to be in my life no matter what, so I wanted us to communicate amicably about Kiddo. I'm worried that if I tell him, "We are never ever getting back together" (Thanks, T Swift) that he'll lash out, or try to make my life more difficult in some way.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


"My alone feels so good, I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude."

I don't know if you can call it a hobby, but I have a notebook. Whenever I find a quote I like, I write in my notebook. I came across the quote above and I have to get back to living that way. I feel like I had that for a few months. I was truckin along with work and being a decent mom. I planned my trip to DC and I was doing things for me.

Somewhere I hit a speed bump. I don't really know what it was, what went wrong. But I know I got clingy and needy and anxious. I hate this. I can see and feel myself doing the wrong thing. Drinking too much. Going out, having erratic sleep, just generally being reckless because I don't care what happens to me. And I can't blame it all on Jack. I have problems with my parents and my ex husband too.

I spent today running a few errands and relaxing. Being happy and content in my own skin, in my own house. Its a skill I need to cultivate more. I need to make a habit of finding healthier ways to fill my time.

I don't know what the point of this is. I just know that when something of note happens, my first instincts are to 1) drink and/or 2) write about it. So I find myself writing. I'll send this out into the void that is the internet. Maybe I think that just writing this out will help me keep myself accountable.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

572 and Counting...

After the break up, we had no contact for about 10 days. I couldn't stand the dull roar of questions in my head so I typed up some notes. I intended to send Jack an email. I texted him to ask if we were allowed to talk. He said yes. We set up a time to have a phone conversation.

I spent the day with knots in my stomach. (Actually since the breakup I've been so anxious and nervous that I've lost 7 lbs. Silver lining!) At the appointed time I called. I was so glad to have my notes for reference. I was beyond nervous. I apologized again for my actions at the 4th of July party. I outlined the steps I'm taking to improve myself. I asked if he was serious when he told me that maybe we could give it another try some day.

Jack meant it. He said he cares about me. He wants me to be healthy and happy, even if I'm not with him. He thanked me for not bad mouthing him on facebook. He told me he realized he has some growing up to do as well.

It was a good talk. I felt a sense of closure. Even if we never get back together, I'm glad we had that talk. It put some of my fears to rest. Mostly, I just wanted to hear that he still cared because I was really struggling with the fact that 2 weeks prior, we exchanged "I love yous."  Jack suggested that he could bring my belongings to my house sometime next week. That we would have no expectations of how this exchange would go, but maybe we'd talk for 5 minutes, maybe we'd end up having dinner together. I told him I had a few of his things as well. He said he didn't care.

"Oh, that sucks because I was keeping your hoodie as collateral. But if you don't care about it, I have no cards to play"

"No, I mean, I want the hoodie, its my only one, but I'd rather my hoodie be with you than anywhere else."

As we ended the conversation, Jack told me he'd call me the next day.

He did not call the next day. Or the day after that. On the evening of the second day, one drink turned into five and I texted him. I asked him what happened to talking like he said. "I said I'd try. I'm still not good at that of course but I said I might talk to you tomorrow."

Bullshit. I'm sick of this bullshit. He was all over Facebook Friday and Saturday. If I was important, he would have found 30 seconds to text me. This is the same fight we've been having as long as I've known him.

I was drunk and sad when I received that text. So I downloaded Tinder to my phone. I wanted a quick self esteem boost and within 12 hours I had 4 men ask me out on dates. I didn't make plans with any of them. I don't intend to go out with anyone.

I needed Tinder for 2 reasons.
1) To distract me. Its a lot easier not to worry when a guy is going to text you, if you're busy talking to a lot of other people.
2) To remind me that I'm attractive. As of writing this, I have 572 tinder matches (some are leftover from the last time I used the app, earlier this year). If Jack doesn't want me, doesn't want to work on the relationship that we both agreed was full of potential, then I'll wait until my heart is more healed, and go out and find a man that loves me the way I deserve to be loved.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Pattern Emerges

I saw my therapist today. (At least pretend to be surprised that I have a therapist.) I've been seeing him, off and on as needed for 4...5? years. I hadn't seen him in a few months so I had a lot to tell him to get him up to speed. For clarity's sake, we're calling the therapist Bill.

One of the things I wanted Bill's take on was the whole Jack fiasco. Bill helped me see that I have a pattern of depending on a man to take care of me. I have joked for a long time that my Dad would trade me to a Saudi man for 2 sheep and a goat so long as he thought the Saudi could keep me in line. But I had been living my life that way as well.

When I was younger, I depended on my Dad, like kids do. But I also saw my Mom depend on my Dad. A lot. Even now, if my dad dies first, I know my mom will need a lot of help navigating financials and paperwork, etc. Dad handles all that.

Then I got married and depended on John. When I decided he was too unreliable, I depended on Tom. When Tom turned out to be a fucking psycho, I dated and dated and dated until I got tired and took a break.

I did my own taxes.I kept the kid alive and the house standing. I planned, paid for, and took a trip all on my own.  I was as independant as I've ever been. But then I came home from my trip, things got serious with Jack and I gave up on myself. I stopped being independent because I thought my White Knight had arrived.

I could feel myself growing clingy and needy and hating it. I think it played a part in the break up with Jack. I swear, once I saw this pathetic pattern, a switch was flipped. I've been enjoying my alone time. I've been keeping myself entertained at home, not drinking, not pestering my friends or parents or Jack or John via text to keep me company.

I see the pattern now. I need to be mindful of it. Even when I eventually get into another relationship, I need to keep standing on my own two feet.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Begin Again

Music has a big effect on my mood, I think it does for most people. All my playlists were created with a mood in mind. A playlist to feel like a bad bitch when I'm getting ready to go out, a playlist that will make me cry if I need to let some tears out, a playlist to hype me up in the morning, etc. You get the picture.

Coming on the heels of this breakup with Jack, I've been getting a lot of use out of my "Over.It." playlist. Its been good for breakups or whenever I'm generally pissed off.

Mostly for breakups, I go through stages. Taylor Swift is at the top of the list but I have a whole lot of lady power to help me get by.
Sad: Taylor. Mariah. Celine. Adele. Selena Gomez.

Mad: Taylor. Alanis. Miranda Lambert. Pink.
Fuck You, I'm Fabulous: Taylor. Beyonce. Britney. Christina. Ke$ha (I can feel your judgment from here and I don't give a single fuck.)

I'm Going To Be Just Fine: Taylor.Whitney. Katy Perry. Demi Lovato.
I've moved out of the "Sad" phase. I'm had a few all day Taylor marathons in my office. The first week was the hardest but this feels survivable now.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Case of the Ex

I have to give my ex husband a pseudonym because now I have to talk about him. Let's say John.

After I got dumped I was a wreck.
John saw an opportunity.
He works just blocks from me now and a few days after the Jack breakup, John invited me to lunch. Just as friends.

I agreed for a few reasons. First, I felt like my life was falling apart,so who cares if I made one more poor decision. Second, I've known John since I was 15. He has numerous flaws and faults, but 2 years ago, he knew everything about me. Since he'll always be in my life, I hope he can be my friend. I have no resentment or ill will towards John anymore. And lastly, a small part of me thought he might buy my lunch. I'm willing to go through a lot for a free meal. (I bought my own lunch FYI)

John and I had lunch. I explained my 4th of July antics and resulting consequences. He told me about his new condo and attempts at dating. It was fine if a bit stilted and awkward.

I went back to work that afternoon and a crushing weight of loneliness settled on my chest. John was nice and texted to  check up on me. I said I needed a hug but knew that wasn't fair to ask of him. When I left work, there was John at my bus stop. He gave me a big enveloping hug.  I didn't need a hug specifically from or from a man per se, I needed physical contact.

John rode the bus with me. He patted my leg. He briefly put his arm around my shoulders.
Anything I do or say to John he interprets as a sign that there is hope for us. It makes me think I need to act overtly hostile towards him so that I don't get blamed for leading him on.

I had a brief fantasy in my head: What my life could be life if I gave things a chance with John. He had a steady, well paid job now. I wouldn't have to live on such a tight budget. There would be another adult in case I got burned out from Kiddo.
But, I didn't love John romantically. I didn't want him in my bed.

Finally the bus ride was over. He invited me to see his new condo. I accepted the invite because I wanted to see the place where my son will live 50% of the time. Once we got to the condo, John showed me around. He had a slip of the tongue which lead to his confession that my parents had socialized with John on Sunday, without me, after I told them that their relationship with John made me uncomfortable and like they loved me less. I asked them not to have contact with John more than strictly necessary. And they had ignored my request.

Then I got a text that Kiddo's nanny of 3 years was giving her two week notice. John had known for 24 hours but didn't tell me. The brief fantasy I had allowed myself or being financially secure. crashed down. It was just that, a fantasy. John was still the same liar.

I excused myself and drove home because I knew tears were imminent. Mostly the tears were because I felt betrayed by my mom and upset that now, on top of everything, I needed to find new childcare.

That Saturday, John and I took our Kiddo on an adventure. It was fine. I think its good for Kiddo to see that his parents can interact in an amicable way. Saturday night, I couldn't bear to be alone after Kiddo went to bed. John brought over take out and watched a movie with me. I knew I was in dangerous territory with this. Asking him to be around would only make John think that we could be a couple again. At the time, I didn't care. I just wanted someone to sit on the couch with me.

The next day John called. He wanted to talk about us and if we were just friends or if there was something more. I told John I appreciated his friendship. I appreciated bringing me dinner. I appreciated how compassionate he was being.
I also told him that I was not interested in a relationship. The situation with Jack had my mind reeling. I was not able to be in a relationship with anymore, let alone John. I also told him that I didn't want to be in a relationship with him because the stakes were too high. In reality, I'm not attracted to him anymore. We have too much history and under no set of circumstances do I want a romantic relationship with him. He hasn't changed.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Nine months ago, I never would have thought that a guy like Jack was out there for me.
Now, at another low point in my life, I can't imagine I'll ever be in love, can't imagine getting married or having more babies. Jack shattered me. I let him know all of me, fears, worries, hopes. And for all intents and purposes, he looked at the package I was offering him and said, "No, thanks."
It hurts. I loved him. I let him into my heart, my home, my bed. We had inside jokes and special words. It was brief but it was intense. And at least for me, it was real.

I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to go on awkward first dates and ask about men's hobbies and jobs. I'm so tired of expending mental energy thinking about "what are we?" "why hasn't he texted?" "Does he like me?"

My friend Kate and I call each other soulmates. We met months ago and clicked in a way that is rare for me. She knows what I need to hear and tells me even if I don't want to hear it. Kate takes care of me and is hilarious. She's the Dorothy to my Blanche. I keep trying to be ok with the idea that I may not find romantic love.

I'm really trying to believe that the right guy is out there. And even if he's not, I have a wonderful son and amazing friends. I don't believe it yet but I'll keep repeating it to myself until I do.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


I have a few days distance from the break up with Jack. I'm busy with other stuff and trying to move on. My efforts are hampered by something he said. When he was breaking up with me, he made reference that maybe in the future things could be different. He told me, and he told Trish, that he really cares for me. That maybe when I "get over whatever I'm going through" there is a window of opportunity.

These are the questions torturing me:
Is Jack gone forever or is there a glimmer of hope?
If there is a chance to be with Jack again, do I even want him back?

The day before he broke up with me, Jack told me several times how strong I am, how much stress I'm under and how I handle it so well. He would tell me I needed to keep my parents at arms length because I am continuously seeking approval and comfort from my parents, especially my mom, and I never receive it. My parents are very critical of me. But then Jack left.

If I can't lean on my parents when things are hard, and I can't lean on Jack because he wants nothing to do with me, how am I supposed to be strong?

I feel alone and adrift. I feel reckless. If no one cares about me, why should I care about me? Why should I keep eating or working or sleeping. I want to wither away.

And even if I had another chance with Jack, if he will leave me when things are hard and I'm struggling, why would I want to put myself through this again? As he was breaking up with me, he said something to the effect that he felt like I wasn't relying on him, that I was too self-sufficient. I can't remember the words he used. But I told him, "I don't lean on you because you aren't reliable."

And that made him upset! As he was dumping me, HE was upset that I didn't feel I could rely on him! He was proving my point at that VERY MOMENT.

And yet,

I miss him. Often Jack would say that he needed to step his game up, that he wasn't sweeping me off my feet. I don't want to be swept off my feet. I want real, I want messy, I want difficult, I want the laughs and the tears. I want to know him inside and out and have him know me inside and out. And i don't think its fair to say he didn't sweep me off my feet. I loved him. I still love him, I think. I didn't need big gestures, the way he'd smile when he looked at me, the way he'd actually listen when I talked about my day, that he tried to explain his problems at work to me, I felt like everywhere we went together he was showing me off, the way he'd brush my hair out of my eyes, that was more than enough for me.

 Kate said, and I have to agree, that part of why breakups are so hard, is that not only did I lose Jack, I lost that whole potential future. I have a habit of getting carried away imagining what a relationship will look like 1 year, 5 years, in the future. But its a bad habit because nothing goes according to plan and that just sets you up for disappointment. I'd learned to curb the habit of playing make believe, not longer acting like a tween with a crush writing "Mrs. Blahblah" in notebooks.

But Jack put the ideas in my head anyway. When we together, at different times, he made allusions to getting married, to having babies. He said it was inevitable that we'd live together someday. Did he even believe those things as he was saying them?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

That Guy....I mean, Patrick

I'll set the scene. Its a Sunday morning, the kid and I are playing around and have plans at the zoo later. I'm trying to be busy at all time so as to not think about the ex-husband (I'll tell you later) and Jack. At exactly 8AM, I receive a text that says:

"Are you ever going to explain what happened?"

The number wasn't saved in my phone but I did some detective work (search on Facebook). It was this guy. (linkety link) What the hell? I hadn't heard from him in 6 months. I couldn't even remember what fake name I gave him until I looked at old blog entries.

Patrick. Just seeing the text, even before I knew who it was from, sent a jolt of anxiety through me. It felt accusatory. And yeah, I didn't end things as nicely as I could have. I told him I was sorry but I couldn't be in a relationship with him. And then I ghosted, which I know is not very mature, but we'd been on 3, maybe 4 dates, so I didn't feel like I owed him a lot.

It was just so bizarre that I told Kate about it. Kate is an amazing text ghostwriter. She gave me a text that I could copy any past to him but agreed that my initial thought, to just ignore him, was a fine plan.

Six months had gone by. We dated for a few weeks and I had completely forgotten about him except for a discussion with girlfriends about the worst sex we've ever had. Oops. Sorry Patrick. But not sorry enough to respond to your text and get tangled up in drama.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Trouble with Mothers

Besides counseling, which I'm already doing, can anyone recommend a resource or book on how to deal with batshit crazy parents?

I'm 28 damn years old and am beyond sick of my mom judging the hell out of me about my parenting, about my dating, about my finances, about my attire, etc.

She frustrated me the other day about the whole situation with my ex husband. Today she asked me to call her to catch up. I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt and go along to get along (which is almost always a mistake, in any scenario). She launches in with questions: am I still seeing Jack, how often, how much time is Kiddo spending around Jack, etc. (this was before the breakup obviously) The tone of her voice when I answer is such that I can tell she disapproves.

I try to ignore it and keep having a light conversation. Then she started listing people who I could ask to be Kiddo's godmother. I'm not opposed to getting the kid baptized. Its just not high on my to-do list. Whatever. I let this one pass too. Then she asks if I've started saving enough money for Kiddo's school tuition.

First of all he's 3. He won't even start pre-school for a year.
Second of all, I'm a grown ass woman who has written out a timeline of the things I need to do to get ready to send this kid to school.
Third of all, I think its rude as hell to ask about my finances. I have never asked you for money, so its really not your problem.

So I said, calm as could be, Mom sometimes you stress me out with these things, I feel really judged and its unwanted.
She freaked out and was like, "I guess I'll add that to the list of things we can't talk about."
"That's not what I said"
"Well it seems like you just don't want me to make you think about things you don't want to think about."

So I said I think I'd better go and got off the phone because I knew I would no longer be able to speak politely or respectfully.

Monday, July 13, 2015

My Kid is Amazing

The break up with Jack was about a week ago. I'm not doing great. Every time I wake up, from a nap or in the morning, I remember all over again that he's gone. That I let someone see all the ugly parts of me and it made him not want me anymore. So yeah, I'm feeling fragile and trying to fake it till I make it.

Today I went to the zoo with my kid and some friends. I don't remember exactly how the conversation went but I said sarcastically, "Ok then Kate, are you going to be my boyfriend?"
And from the stroller I was pushing, a little voice pipes up, "Mommy, I'll be your boyfriend!" Adorable.

Later we were home playing trucks. Kiddo noticed I was sad.
"Why are you sad Mommy?"
"I have a friend I want to play with, but he doesn't want to play with me."
"Well I'll play with you!"

I love this kid so much.

We had a dance party to a song with completely inappropriate lyrics. We jumped and ran and danced all over the house. Kiddo helped me put away the clean dishes and we had dinner together. We did bathtime and storytime and bedtime. At times, its a little lonely to be home with just a toddler for company. He can talk and communicate great, advanced for his age even, but our topics are limited. But the flip side is that nothing is complicated with Kiddo. Someone won't play with you? I'll play with you. Every problem can be solved within 5 minutes. Every boo boo is healed with a kiss. And Kiddo gave me a lot of kisses.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Silver Lining

On Monday Jack broke up with me. I felt devastated. Crushed. Unloveable.
On Tuesday I stayed home from work and felt sorry for myself. But my friends kicked into action. Friends I hadn't heard from in months or even years, checked up on me.

Kate has been my biggest cheerleader. She's been texting me all throughout her days, fitting me in between work and school. Reminding me of my worth and validating my feelings. Pointing out that Jack was not blameless and that I am not 100% at fault.

Aly has been texting me as well. Telling me I can and will survive this. That though getting black out drunk isn't advisable, its not the worst sin. She's helped put it into perspective, I didn't get a DUI, I didn't cheat on Jack, I was rowdy. Just rowdy and abrasive, which isn't great but I've apologized and would fix it if I could.

Hannah and I haven't hung out since May so I was pleasantly surprised when she texted to ask if I needed tissues or brownies or anything. She didn't have to say anything, but she did and it means a lot. She had me over, bought me pizza and brownies and let me talk her ear off.

Bob is a friend from college. We were pretty close back in the day. Bob came to my wedding. But since he moved to Oregon, we'd mostly lost touch. But he knew I was hurting so he emailed me. He talked with me. Reminded me that I'm a good, caring, fun person. I told him that part of what hurt is that Jack was the first man in a long time to not make me feel "less than" for being a single mom." Bob was raised by a single mom. He had words of courage and inspiration for me. I'd never have guessed that he would pop up on my radar, but there he was, like no time had passed.

Jessica is a friend I met at work. She was the first non-family visitor to the hospital when Kiddo was born. She is as crazy about Taylor Swift as I am. She moved to Idaho about a year ago and is busy with school. I've been busy with life so we don't keep in touch as much as we would like to. But she called me up and talked with me for about an hour. Until my spirits were lifted, just a bit. She's understandably preoccupied with school and work, but took the time to call. Because we missed each other and she knew I needed it.

Mom wouldn't let me feel sorry for myself. She made me get out of bed and shower. She had me over to her condo to play dominoes. She kept my mind distracted by telling stories for her childhood. She made sure I ate. she took me to get my nails done. She tried to be listening and understanding. As best she could.

Grandma can grate on my nerves. But Tuesday night when I went to my mom's condo, w played more dominoes and worked on a puzzle. When that didn't distract me enough, she told me stories about growing up on a farm with no running water, about WWII and the story of how she met my grandfather. She also gave me great advice, which was: 1) There is a good man out there for me and 2) a year from now, I wouldn't be worrying about Jack. So why worry about it now?

Landrie is a friend I made online in one of my Facebook groups. She's a single mom in Texas and our circumstances are similar. She's beautiful, takes no shit, and give a hell of a pep talk. I'm grateful to have her voice of reason in my head, because she's had the same experiences as a single mom trying to date.

My ex husband, who was a source of stress, has been compassionate. Above and beyond the call of duty, he listened to me explain the demise of my relationship with Jack. He met me for lunch and distracted me with talk about our son. He shared about his dating forays. It felt like a conversation between friends with history. A little awkward, but still, he's known me for years. He knows me as a person and I needed to be reminded that though I'm flawed, I'm not an alcoholic, I'm a good mom, I'm a good, funny, smart person.

And lastly, I'm a member of two special interest Facebook groups. One has about 4,000 members. I get lost in the shuffle because its busy, noisy and fast moving, but I'm so thankful to the women who have supported me. The other group is about 90 women. They've known me for more than 4 years. They check up on me, I bounce ideas off of them, they keep my mind clear.

I felt unlovable, but I'm very loved. Its not romantic love, and maybe I won't find that and I'm certainly taking a break from looking for it, but I am loved. I have a larger support system than I guessed. I know I'll be ok because my friends won't let me fall.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Goodbye Jack

July 5, I woke up embarassed of my drunken behavior the night before. I felt guilty and awful. Jack talked me down. He asked me to stay awhile. He went and got coffee for him and hot chocolate for me. We talked, I cried. He said all the right things and made me feel better, made me feel like I could fix this.

Sunday evening, I ran into him at a show. He acted very different, uncomforatble, like he didn't want to be around me. All day Monday he ignored my texts. Monday evening, I was sick of the silent treatment and called him to break up with him. But he turned the tables by breaking up with me. 

My behavior on the 4th of July scared him. Even if I work on myself, which I need to do anyway, Jack wasn't right for me. I wanted him to be. I wanted not to have introduced my kid to "another random guy." But last night I made a list, "reasons it wouldn't have worked out anyway." I got to 30 without breaking a sweat. So I'm sad that it didn't work because I had fun with him and he could be very sweet and thoughtful, but he wasn't The One.

Its not the worst thing though. Sometimes when I'm dating a guy, I'll get way ahead of myself, picturing the future that could be. But I didn't do that with Jack. I couldn't picture living together.
  • He was too particular about the way his clothes were folded. He could never, ever wake up on time and would be hours late to work several times a week. 
  • He had so many other side businesses and projects and worked late that I always felt guilty taking up his time. He had a way of making me insecure, and I hated that he brought out that aspect of my personality. 
  • He couldn't/wouldn't open up. I feel like there is still so much of him that I don't know. And now I'll never know. 
I took the day off work. I stayed in bed, thinking and writing, and watching Netflix. Food didn't sound appealing, a shower sounded like too much work. I kept turning it all over and over in my mind. I'm a little sad, a little mad, hurt, lonely, it changes minute by minute. 

The good part, which is still kind of shitty, is that I've been through break-ups before. I was relatively new to them before my divorce, before Tom, but now I've lived through some shit. 

I know I need to keep my mind busy. When I feel like there is an emptiness in my day, I need to fill it with something good for my mind, body or soul. When my heart hurts and I feel like I can't breathe, I need to take it minute by minute. Days will pass and I can take it hour by hour. Eventually the thoughts won't sting. There will be a song or a place that will hurt, but the dull, constant ache will fade. 

It hasn't yet, but I know it will. I just have to ride this out. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

When You Can't Trust Your Brain

I feel like I can't trust my own brain. I can feel myself acting needy and clingy. I know how unattractive that is. I know I don't want to be that kind of girlfriend. I don't want to have that kind of dynamic with Jack. I've been distracted all day, worrying, for no real reason.

I swear, something is wrong with me. Its like I put on upbeat music, took a deep breath, and remembered that Jack is handing off a big project today. Mondays are usually busy for him at work. And that I'm the only one making things shaky. I'll hear from him when he gets a moment. I'll see him when he has time. I get myself all worked up in a foul mood, but in reality, Jack acts like I am a priority. He sees me often. He's thoughtful.

It was maybe an hour, he spent on yesterday, reassuring me. Taking my hands in his, he had me put up my fingers.
"10" He folded down my left thumb.
"20" He folded down my left pointer finger.
"and 28 so most of this finger" he said, taking my left middle finger between his hands.
"Pretend that we are going to live to be 100. Look at all the fingers and decades we have to spend together. So you, being anxious and stressed now, is so small in the big picture."
That made me melt. Absolutely melt. Its easily in the top 5 Sweetest Gestures I've received. In my life.

I'm crazy about this man. He says the perfect thing.

But then disappears and I wonder if I'm imagining it all. If this whole relationship is means more to me than it does to him. And then I hate myself for doubting him. And then I get mad because I've spend hours having this internal battle with myself and haven't heard from Jack for more than half a day. And then I'm sad that I'm worried about this at all. And the whole time, I'm just a churning sea of emotions. Its exhausting. Its a roller coaster I don't want to be on.

I've been treated for depression on and off since I was 16. I spent most of ages 18-24 trying to "suck it up" and "get over it." Thinking I could will myself to not be depressed. It took me years to accept that depression was not a personal failing, not a weakness. My brain chemistry just doesn't work right. Its no one's fault and there is no shame in relying on pharmaceuticals to make my life a less of a struggle.

 I've come to terms with the possibility that I may need to be on antidepressants for the rest of my life. Everytime I've tried to wean myself off, it doesn't work well. I'm stubborn, but I decided to take the pills and see my therapist as needed. I played by the rules for 3 years, and the last 6 months or so, have been some of the happiest of my adult life.

So to be crashing now, is really disappointing. Its partly about Jack, partly about my ex, my job, my kid, my parents, my bills, my responsibilites, of all shapes and forms. Its a little of everything.

 It just feels so unfair. I took the pills, got out of the house, made new hobbies, and it doesn't matter. The depression catches up with me eventually. I feel like I'll never really be healthy. That I'll struggle with this It exhausting and overwhelming and I don't want to do it. I want to hide under a pile of blankets on my couch, bingeing on Netflix and letting the world pass me by. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

4th of July

Because my life is bizarre, my mom invited my ex husband to join us in watching the fourth of July parade in our town. Being around my ex is stressful for me. I can hold it together while we are together. I am nice, we are cordial. But after the parade, as has happened many times after interactions with the ex, I went home and cried.

I cried for hours. I cried on the floor, in my bed, in the shower.

I called Jack and told him I couldn't come to the BBQ. He was kind and compassionate and understanding. He told me to relax on the couch with a popsicle and find some comfort. I curled up on the couch and told my friend Kate that I just wanted to sleep. She's an amazing friend, someone I'm so lucky to know. Kate told me that I'd been spending too much time drinking and sleeping and the either she was coming over, I was coming to her house or we were going to the BBQ.

I got dressed and went to the BBQ.

I got to the party and I was anxious. I didn't know several of the people and I was still on edge from earlier. I poured myself a cup, half filled with vodka, half filled with rum, and a splash of OJ on top. I remember bits and pieces, but my next clear memory was at the end of the party, Jack left to drive some friends home. I fixed myself a piece of pie and watched 30 Rock on Jack's couch. Next thing I remember I woke up in his bed. My phone was plugged in and my slippers were waiting for me.

His neighbors had complained about the rowdy party (me). I took a dog for a walk. I walked around the corner to a park and went on the swings. I ripped leaves off every branch I passed. I woke up with a black eye that no one can explain. I don't remember any of it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Flipping Out

Saturday I went out to Pride with Kate. Saturday night I stayed at Jack's. Sunday I had no clean underwear so I wore a skirt and nothing under it. I wasn't doing it to be sexy, I just did not have clean underwear with me. I made no teasing comments or gestures.

We were sitting on the couch and he kept flipping up my skirt, saying I should "let that breathe." Jack flipping up my skirt made me feel embarrassed. I told him not to do it. Then we went outside and he flipped up my skirt twice more. If I didn’t like it in your living room, why would you do it out in public?

I got mad because I kept telling him not to do it. I started to yell He shushed me. I got too mad to talk so I left. When I calmed down, we tried to have a conversation but it didn't really go well. I don't think he understood, or if he did he trivialized, my embarrassment and anger at being disrespected. I just don't think that flashing someone else's ass is how you would treat someone you love. Jack's version of events is that I'm mad a lot and he never knows what will set me off.

The whole next week felt stilted and awkward.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lucky Charm

A while back, there was some shitty Dane Cook movie called "Good Luck Chuck." I didn't see it, and I don't know anyone who did. As I understand it, the premise was that Dane Cook would date some girl and then whoever she dated after him, would be her husband.

I might be Good Luck Chuck. I might be Dane Cook, which is the worst person I've ever been compared to.

 Do you remember Richard? He's engaged to that girl now.

Do you remember Tom? Yeah, he's engaged too.

I found out this weekend. I did not take it well. There was already a laundry list of external stressors (I'll cover those another day), but I drank myself to sleep. I'm not in a healthy spot right now.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Going Away Together

Next month, Jack, the kid, me, and some friends are spending 4 days at the coast. This was planned a while ago. Jack and I talked and thought we should go on a weekend trip, just the two of us, prior to a trip with the kid added to the mix. Then life got busy, Jack got sick, and we were running out of potential weekends. I looked up cute towns that we could spend a lazy weekend in, but then Jack had a weird list of requirements for the hotel so I handed control of this endeavor over to him.

I mentioned a few times that I didn't care anymore if we went somewhere, and suggested we just go to the movies instead. On Wednesday, Jack told me he'd booked a room and the trip was on, we'd leave Friday after work. I thanked him for planning it and asked what my half was. Jack told me $20. Bullshit.

Then later he told me that he'd been distracted when he booked the room and it was quite a bit more than he meant to spend. I told him I'd pay my half. He turned down my offer.

A few hours later he told me he was anxious about money and making sure I had a fun weekend. I told him that I always have fun with him and again offered to chip in on the hotel. He declined again.
At this point I'm a little irritated. I'm sorry he spent so much on the hotel and I don't want him to be worried about money. But I just snooped on the hotel's website and all the rooms that are left are $400+, which, Holy Shit. Now I can't pay half even if he'd let me. And frankly, he's the one with all the crazy ideas about how fancy the hotel had to be. I'd be fine at a Best Western.

I could write it all out, but basically we had a perfect weekend. We laughed a lot, talked a lot, shared a lot, cried a little. We snuggled and kissed and joked and never tired of each other. We hardly touched our phones, just totally unplugged and focused on each other. 

I told him "I love you" and he said "I love you" back. I'm the luckiest girl. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015


I'm trying not to be frustrated about this because saying it out loud makes me realize how small this is, but Jack is a shitty texter.  He has been as long as I've known him. He's not very responsive, which fine- some people aren't attached to their phones, but he rarely initiates contact with me. It makes me crazy because he'll talk about being "deeply committed to me" say that it's inevitable that we'll move in together one day, etc. But he can't find 30 seconds to tell me "hi."

I asked him about it once. I acknowledged that maybe he wasn't a "texty" person, but he interrupted me to say that he is a texty person and that he would try to do better. Jack has not done better and that conversation was weeks ago. I guess I'm just extra frustrated about it this week because we haven't seen each other in quite a few days, which is unusual for us. Additionally, Jack was sick for 2 weeks and I would come over and keep him company and take care of him, or as much as he would let me try to take care of him. So we haven't really gone anywhere or had any conversations requiring much thought because for 2 weeks, we kept everything low key.

And now he's better and back at work and posting all over to Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. But he can't contact me. I'm a pretty strong believer that if a guy is into you, he'll let you know. So Jack's talking the talk but not walking the walk.

And I'm sick of it. Its just a small thing, on both sides of this coin. "Why can't you just trust that he cares about you even if he doesn't text you basically ever?" ok "But why can't he take 30 seconds and just send a damn text if he knows it will make me happy?"

I'm pretty fucking irritated today especially. Everything that keeps Jack busy is of his own choosing. He stays up too late, he has too many hobbies, he commits to too many projects and he oversleeps basically everyday despite multiple clocks with multiple alarms. Weekends, he may not even get out of bed until noon. Or later. It feels like the behavior of a teenager, not a man who's pushing 40 and should get his ass out of bed.

I know you can't change a person. And you really shouldn't want to. So the question is, is this something I can live with or not? I don't know.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mixed up

I don't even know.

I want to tell Jack that I love him. I want to go ring shopping, I want him to move in. I want to wake up next to him everyday. I want to make babies with him.

But then I think, "calm the hell down." It's only been a few months. And I'm an overthinker. Jack will do or say something that throws me off balance, and makes me feel as though I'm being kept at arm's length.

I was over at his house. He was still getting over a cold and I was exhausted from not sleeping the night before. We lounged on the couch but nothing held my interest so I asked if we could take a nap. We took a delightful 3 hour nap, then got up and ate leftovers on the couch while we watched a movie. Just normal couple stuff, right?

But Jack later tells me he still feels anxious around me.


I thought we were acting like a completely, at ease, casual, sweatpants and netflix kind of couple. But instead he's a bundle of anxiety. I told him how I feel like he keeps me at arm's length. Jack tells me he's "deeply committed" and doesn't know how to change how I feel. Much like I don't know how to make him stop feeling anxious.

I crowdsourced help from my girlfriends. The unanimous response is basically that he likes me a lot but doesn't want to scare me off. Huh.

I've been kicking these thoughts around in my head all weekend. And basically the only decision I made is that I'm just going to have to go for it. I'm going to jump into this relationship with both feet. I'm going to tell Jack that I love him and see what happens.

Its a true statement that I've been practicing saying to him when he's snoring next to me. (I have to practice saying important things several times before the words can actually come out) Fuck it, right? I mean, the worst that could happen is that he doesn't say it back or doesn't feel the same about me. I can live with an outcome like that. Like a sane person, I hope it goes well. But the sick little part of my brain doesn't even care if this goes disastrously wrong because I can turn that into a blog post just like I do with every other misadventure I have.