Four years ago today I was being prepped for surgery and we were waiting for our beautiful 10 pound baby girl to join us.
She was eager - almost three full weeks early - there was talk about her lungs, but I was pre-eclamptic and going downhill fast, so there wasn't time to wait. My Mom was with me and they wheeled us into the OR - and I was sooooo excited to get to meet my sweet and girl and even *more* excited that it was St. Patty's Day!
My biological father was born and raised in Northern Ireland - so I'm in the only "American" in my Da's family. We've never had a functional relationship... and I refrain from being public about why because he had other children whose lives I don't wish to ruin with the details of the rare kind of dirt bag he's been to me... lol
However.... I'm about as 'black Irish" as it comes. Black hair, pale skin, red cheeks, light eyes.... oh, and I can tell a story like non-other. Clearly.
I was *super* stoked for The Girl to get an Irish birthday.
Today started with a crown (that say's Irish Princess) and a wand!
Which - The Girl - was thrilled about. The Bubbie has always made her birthday dresses - and today was no different... though I think we're rounding the corner to the end of being able to stuff her into baby-doll dresses. lol She looked totally adorable... see picture above. hahahahaha
So the day started with a birthday song and lots of kisses and excited with The Girl telling me that she wanted to go to her "Princess Party......" ... sh*t. No Princess Party planned. lol I had driven around for three hours on Friday to find Disney Princess plates and napkins for her cake and stuff... I was hoping to hell a $1 crown from Target and the right plates would suffice.
We got up and got dressed.... and then we headed for birthday breakfast. When El Capitan and I split up, I wrote up in our Parenting Plan that I get the children on their birthdays - I mean... they were *literally* cut out of my own body... so I kind of felt I got to call dibs on that day. El Capitan agreed.
The run-up to The Girl's birthday I was trying to decide what we should do. He usually see's them on Saturday - and he could just celebrate with them on that day..... but I really felt like we were *past* that. I felt like we were in a space and time where we could celebrate this *family* event *as* a family. I kind of think that that's how it should be. So on Wednesday I asked El Capitan what he thought about the four of us having breakfast for The Girl's birthday. He agreed.
I *cannot* tell you just HOW excited The Girl was when I told her..... there was dead silence for a few seconds - and then she screamed and clapped her hands and jumped up and down... like- for a *while*.
Why the f*ck has it taken us this long to get here.......?
So we arrived and El Capitan was already at a table - and we ordered..... only I didn't notice that El Capitan only ordered a $2.95 side order and no actual breakfast. He said he didn't want me "paying for his food".... sigh. I think that's a silly game and I'm not taking the bait. I invited you to *family* breakfast - clearly I'm paying... get f*cking breakfast: it's not that hard. lol
But we had a *great* time at breakfast. The kids had a blast and it occurred to me that it's been almost a year since we were all together like this... *in fact* - the last time we had dinner out as a family was the Saturday before I found out about Yoga Girl *AND* was THE NIGHT that El Capitan went to her house and had sex with her.
What a "last meal" that sh*t turned out to be... lololololol
Sitting at the table. looking at once *was* and what "should be" ..... and piecing together the timeline - I should have gotten upset or mad.... but honestly: it didn't at all. Not even a little bit. I was more annoyed he would order a freakin' meal. hahaha
I brought up Yoga Girl (again) because now that we are *quickly* rounding the corner to them living together for a *year* AND.... drum roll: Yoga Girl is taking El Capitan home to meet her parents soon..... YES - that is happening. lolol
I pointed out that her family *might* wonder how it's possible that she hasn't met his children.... in fact - that's something I wonder about and something we should change. He still resists. Which is fine - it's his relationship, not mine - and I have to wait for him to think it's the "right time" with Yoga Girl to do it.
I say it's the right time.... the kids want to meet her - it's been a source of hurt and confusion for The Boy - and I think it's holding the three of them back from moving forward as their own unit. I told him that we (the adults) need to sit down and talk about discipline styles, etc - and come to agreements on how situations are handled, etc.
Then, the *THREE* of us need to introduce Yoga Girl to the children. I think it's important for *them* to see me in the same time and space as Yoga Girl - they need to understand that while I don't approve of some choices that have been made - I can *still* support the person and the role of adult/authority she would play in their lives as someone who is in a committed relationship with their Father.
I don't have to like her... I'm not the one f*cking her.... lol
That's El Capitan's job.
I do however, have a responsibility to help lay a foundation for the children to be able to find stable footing in a relationship with her and help them bond with her. If it doesn't work... well, it's not the first relationship that will have failed them and somehow I doubt it'll be the last.... BUT - if we can teach them how to be tolerant, how to be compassionate, how to be understanding that you are *NOT* going to live every f*cking thing about everyone in your life.... but you can to accept some people for who and what they are and find ways to love and befriend them anyway.
That's just how life works.
Even still.... El Capitan isn't a fan of that plan - though he agree's we should introduce her together.... just not yet. That's cool. I just don't want to be the reason things aren't moving forward.
NOW. Let's be *super* clear because people in my own life have given me tons of sh*t about this - "Should she even be around the children......?" - shouldn't I fight to keep her away from them?
In the first place... unless she beats them and sets them on fire - a judge is *not* going to keep here away from my children. Let's be real. And last time I checked she wasn't stoking up on matches, so I think I'm pretty good there.
In the second place.... she's young. Very young. I've said it since the start - people who are young frequently make choices and decisions they shouldn't. She was wrong to f*ck my husband. It does make me qustion the kind of person she is - her moral code... does she even have one? It looks a touch doubtful.... but again - she's young.
She *is* however, in a long term relationship with my children's Father and as such she is now in a role in their lives that *demands* my acceptance and support of her. I DO NOT have to support all her actions. or her past choices.... *but* - I do have to support any positive relationship she wants to have with The Boy and The Girl.
I'm pretty sure *they* want that: the kids.
So. Today, I think, might be the first step in getting that goal accomplished, which I think would be really good for all of us. However.... I *Really* want to point out that we are NOT YET done with 11 months of this hot f*cking mess.... and LOOK AT ME.
I'm all progressive and happy.... baggage free - and facilitating functional relationships between El Capitan and the kids AND.... currently enjoying my own friendship with El Capitan. BooYah. I think this is huge and not something most women who have walked in my shoes can pull off.... I'm pretty proud of myself.
My Aunt called the other day - some newsy thing did an online story on the top ten worst exes.... I was listed as number two. Sigh. Really? Honestly.... any man would be *lucky* to have an ex-wife as freakin' NICE as I have been.... yes - *I* made a funny sign that *WE* decided to use..... but it ended there. Or... here... or in a Book - that HE has had approval over the content.
See.... NICE. That's me. :)
So Happy St. Patty's Day.... and HAPPY UNITED FAMILY BIRTHDAY for our Girl... she's the greatest. :)
So my thoughts on the Brandi Glanville/LeAnn Rimes situation sparked a good bit of conversation.... so I thought I should provide some clarity on my views.
In the first place, I'm totally unimpressed with LeAnn Rimes. She has acted - in my humble opinion - like a spoiled brat. She seems to think she's not only entitled to the money from my wallet for her albums, but also others people's husbands as well. And *after* she got caught cheating with some else's husband, she didn't appear to feel very badly about breaking up someone's elses family - as well as her own marriage.
I've followed the story a little bit more closely since Brandi was on the same episode of The Jeff Probst Show as I was.... even at the taping though, I was surprised to find out she was still so *angry* two years AFTER the affair/divorce.
Honestly... and I mean this: please shoot me if I'm still that bitter and angry about El Capitan two years from now. May be Eddie Cibrian was *that* good in bed...
When I posted about LeAnn's recent interview - I don't know...... I mean, do you *really* think that LeAnn posted "off on vacation with my boys" just to piss off Brandi......?
I see posts like that *all* day on my facebook feeds - and honestly, I post stuff like that all the time about my own kids..... so, I guess I'm a bit naive, but I take what LeAnn posted at face value: she's excited to be with Eddie and his sons.
Now - *clearly* I understand how much that would hurt if I were Brandi. I GET it. I really do. I am *not at all* looking forward to ANY other woman "playing happy families" with my kids... in fact, I live in *fear* of it.
I don't want taking some other woman kissing their boo-boo's, tucking them in at night, taking them shopping, or anything.... I want them *all* to myself.
However, that's not the way that life works, and ...... isn't it selfish to want it that way?
Sure sure.... as Disney has taught us, there is *no shortage* of sh*tty step parents out there. I get that... but, as *life* has shown me, there is also an equal abundance of *good* step parents out there.
May be LeAnn is a liar... posting hurtful things to further punish the woman whose life she participated in decimating..... and for that she should suffer a lifetime of unhappiness.
Or.... may be she's moved on - she's happy, she loves being a step-Mom and she loves those boys.....?
Shouldn't Brandi - two years later.... be open to the idea that the later is possible?
So it begs the question.... what if this was Yoga Girl?
In the first place, at this current time, it appears that Yoga Girl doesn't want much to do with my children. From the get-go, she *never* discussed the children with El Capitan while they were "dating". This bothered me immensely from the start.... on the one hand I was *shocked* that El Capitan never talked about his children with her... like - in a good way, a concerned way or a bad way.... just: not at all.
Of course the idea of my husband discussing my kids with another woman p*sses me off to no end.... but at the same time, I was more alarmed at the idea that talking about the children in any capacity hadn't crossed his mind.
It's clear to me that when this started, this affair was *very* much about them and only them. It wasn't about our children or any kind of collective family. It wasn't about ... well, anything to do with our children.
The question is.... will it stay this way?
Will they get married? Will they have a little home of their own where they make room for the children and start to fully share in the rearing of the children? May be..... but since they currently *have* an apartment together with no room for the children at all... while that might actually happen: it won't be any time soon.
Let's assume it does happen... even years from now - will I be ok with it.....?
Well, in the first place - seeing this in my divorced future, I wrote into our parenting plan that "any romantic interest, casual or otherwise, cannot meet the children until all involved adults have met, discussed and agreed on a parenting plan relating to the rearing and discipline of the children."
Yes... my parenting plan actually say's that in my divorce papers.
Whether it's Yoga Girl or not, there *will* come a day when my children will interact with another woman in their father's company who is in an authority position to care for them. Period. It *will* happen.
Now... the *irony* is that when I explained this part of our parenting plan, I pointed out to El Capitan that one day *he* might have something to say about whatever man is in their life - and.... he actually laughed at the idea. He *laughed* at the idea that another man (any man) would want me..... good times.... good times.
The point is, it's not up to *me* what woman El Capitan brings to that table.... *that* is totally and competely out of my control - and I *hate* that. I despise it. It makes my stomach hurt. It burns a hole deep in my soul... knowing that one day another woman will play "mom' to my kids in any capacity.... but alas: it will happen.
What I *can* control is how I deal with it - and how I interact with the future "her". In that respect, it's just an important to foster *some kind* of relationship with her - as it is to have one with El Capitan. *THAT*, no matter how painful and effed up and emotionally *wrong* it is..... it IS the right thing to do for the kids.
Yes. If one day I have to sit at The Girl's dance recital while Yoga Girl claps and smiles as though she *belongs* there... as though *she* had something to do with the brilliant wonder that is *my* child...... I'll be livid p*ssed..... LIVID. P*SSED. Because Yoga Girl will NEVER 'belong' in my world.... EVER.
Yoga Girl is an intruder in my life who *ruined* everything.... she is many things: belonging isn't one of them.
However.... if it's some measure of time down the road, and she's the person El Capitan lives with.... then the reality is - in my children's eyes and hearts and minds.... she'll have a place, she *will* belong in their world.
This is where one does the 'easy' thing.... or one chooses to do the *right* thing.
It will hurt... it will suck.... but *I* will choose to do the right thing.
I will choose to celebrate any woman who tweets or facebooks with excitement about spending time with my kids... not because I'm freakin' thrilled about it... but because no doubt my *children* will be thrilled about it.
They matter more than my ego... they matter: the most.
To that end.... I have *already* offered to have a sit down with Yoga Girl - but I have thus far been turned down..... which is fine by me, but I made the genuine offer anyway.
No one moves forward in mud.... whether you're just stuck in it - or you're slinging it....
I've said it a million times... but no kid ever died because *too* many parents loved them. It might not be the family I wanted for them, it might not even be the family they deserve, but that's why you have to make the best of things and move on...
And if it's a sh*t show... then you just have to make sure you're puttin' the 'fun' in your dysfunctional family.
This morning fell apart and I left my laptop at home for a meeting... so I had to scratch the gym, then go to my meeting, *then* go the gym. However, the kids club is closed by 12noon, so the kids stayed home with The Bubbie and I went in later than I usually do.
Walking into the front doors my phone is going crazy..... a client is IMing me on facebook, my publisher was calling from the UK to set up an interview (super exciting!), my email was going crazy and I'm trying to check in to the gym and so I sit down on the leather seat in the lobby to finish my call and in walks......
And, I have a teeny-weeny confession to make... one, which will no doubt reign the slight annoyance of many of you upon me......
A few years I set up a membership at a gym - and at the time, they had a kids club special, which was only $10 per kid per month - AND - you get two hours a time and you can go twice a day if you want. That is an AMAZING deal... they don't even offer it anymore.
So, years went by - and I went off and on... and when I didn't go, I considered it my "fat tax". Money I couldn't otherwise spend on food or trinkets or going out... a constant reminder that I *should* be making the most of it and going to the damn gym.
A few years ago I added El Capitan to my membership plan. Now.... the answer to the question you're alllll wondering is: no, I did not cancel his membership.
Even when I KNEW he was lying and telling me that he *needed* the membership because he was "showering" there because he was "homeless" even though he was living with Yoga Girl: He asked me not to cancel it, and I did not.
Even when our divorce was final, our assets were separated: I did not cancel his membership.
There are *many* hills I have had to climb - and few I've had to "die on" so-to-speak - during this divorce process.... a gym membership was the least of my concerns and not something I was willing to throw down about. Let me explain.
Right or wrong... it seems petty to me - to cancel El Capitan gym membership. It's $29 a month. $29 bucks that say's - "I'm not a b*tch - and I'm showing you a kindness..."
It doesn't make me a saint... it doesn't make me the 'bigger person': it's simply a kindness.
Sure, one could argue, that El Capitan doesn't deserve my kindness - and the Ex-Wife in me might completely agree with this... but My Kid's Mother thinks is $29 and cancelling it would be petty... and I didn't want to be petty.
So, he still has the same gym membership attached to mine and I pay for it.
At least for now.
So there I was, on the phone to London, in my gym clothes (looking *awesome*) - and El Capitan walks in and plops down on the chair next to me. He waits for me to get off the phone and I fill him in on the interview - and he's genuinely excited for me.... he hopes The Book is doing well.
The conversation between us is easy.... free from anger - free from the usual suspicions that have haunted many of our recent conversations.... we're laughing - I'm cracking a few jokes about Yoga Girl, he's letting a few laughs slip, he tells me about some *crazy* ex-wife videos he watched on YouTube, we talked about The Boy's birthday: what to buy? What about a birthday party?
If you were sitting across from us: you would think it was two old friends chatting.
Not two exes who have made National news because El Capitan's a cheater..... not two people, one of whom was screaming at the other only three days ago - and who struggle at times to get along.
It was...... normal.
Now, the good news is that.... while I *enjoyed* talking to him - sorting out a few things - it didn't make me miss him. It didn't make me sad.... instead of making me think - "why did he leave?" blah blah blah..... I left our conversation thinking ... sweet: forward progress.
At this point... I'll take any freakin' progress I can get, honestly.
I went on my way, turned on Breaking Dawn and started my ten mile bike ride.... and after I thought about it, I realized that I still fell *whole*. I didn't feel sad or angry or bitter.... or ..... anything at all.
And *that* - the absence of pain, the absence of feeling a great loss and sadness: that made me happy.
I sat there watching Breaking Dawn and I started thinking about a facebook chat with a friend from last night and they asked me, "Are you ready to meet your "Edward"?
At the time, I didn't really have an answer.
At first it really caught me off guard because lots of people talk to me - talk around me - sh*t... talk *about* me - but not that many ask about me. (Alex... you're clearly not in that group. :)
The last ten months were hard. I didn't see it coming, didn't even think I should be worried about such a thing - and then suddenly I was faced with dealing with the betrayal of it all.
Really... it was the betrayal that hurt the most - the lying.... and - El Capitan went OUT OF HIS WAY to continue to lie and be hurtful welll after I field for divorce. Part of "healing" has been coming to terms with the fact that this person who was supposed to love me and protect me was doing the EXACT opposite.
It was really hard to understand that. Hard to accept JUST that - regardless of who had done it to me.
Then I had to realize and come to terms with the fact that El Capitan wasn't the man he was supposed to be... and so, I kind of had to grieve that loss. I had to grieve the loss of the husband I *thought * I had, but never had.... which is complicated, but necessary.
I am .... a lot of things, but mostly I'm loyal, honest, true, I'm a good friend - and I'm the kind of friend who can go through hard times with someone - who can forgive a friend if they done or said something that wasn't kind or was a wrong.... I'm the kind of person who *believes* in people - and while I *do* have a bit of a "hard candy shell" (especially with media people) - I'm very easy going - and I *always* try to do the right thing. Period.
El Capitan knows all that about me ... and did what he did anyway - that was hard to try to understand and accept.
Today, sitting in the gym lobby, I realized that all of the emotions tied up with the above issue's were.... gone. I got up and walked tot he locker room *not* in a cloud, but laughing at something funny El Capitan had said and then went on to the bike. Simple. Nice. Normal.
So then I started thinking about the question from the night before.... I don't know if it's a question about "being ready" for anything... instead, I think that (and most importantly) I'm *excited* about the possibilities of meeting people who *will* see and value the things about me that El Capitan did not.
I've come to accept the reality that my marriage was *not* full... and at many points, it was not happy, which is really, really hard for me to admit. And even though I was always trying to *make* it happy -the truth is that that didn't actually mean *I* was happy.
Talk about a *serious* realization.
Am I "ready" for my potential Edward? Well.. in the first place I'm not all that sure there's an "Edward" that's interested.... BUT, regardless of that: I'm ready to be happy.
I'm ready to get to know people and start enjoying my life again - and at some point - the person who *will* protect me at all costs - the person who *will* value me and love me, the person who is *meant* to spend their time laughing and enjoying the children *with* me, ...... they will find me... and who the hell isn't ready for that? hahahah
And.... you know what - *if* I had cancelled El Capitan's gym membership... it might not have happened. If I had been petty - just because I could - after all, *why* should I pay for someone who cheated on me to work out and get buffer for Yoga Girl and a million other reasons *why* I would have been justified in cancelling his membership..... if I had done that - I *might* have missed out on the healing that today's conversation brought me. What a loss that would have been for me.... certainly a bigger loss than the potential "thrill" of cutting of his gym membership would have possibly (but not likely) brought me.
So today.... we're going to call it a Win for Kindness.
Sometimes.... just a little bit of kindness - even if undeserved - goes a long way.
If you've read The Book, or followed The Blog, then you have probably seen what I posted on facebook when El Capitan and I first split up.
What you wouldn't have seen were the many, many postings on my facebook wall - such as the one to the right - where my very protective, wonderful and well-meaning friends would post images or comments calling Yoga Girl a "slut" or a "whore", etc.
I won't lie.... little images like this one *do* make me giggle. I mean these thing are written to be funny - and ... they are. However, what you won't see is that on my wall I would defend Yoga Girl. I would, while laughing under my breath, remind people that this was a young, 'stupid' 22 year old and that while having a sexual relationship *with* my husband while he was *very much* still my husband.... makes her allllll kinds of things to me: that doesn't maker her a "slut".
I have very mixed feelings about Yoga Girl. When this started, I was grateful to her for her honesty - and I shared that with her on two occasions. I thought A. LOT. about this person who interfered in my marriage - I wondered about what she looked like, how she moved, I spent FAR. TOO. MANY hours imaging what they talked about..... I know he must have turned on all his humorous charm - telling his best jokes and being the 'fun guy' he is.....
Winning her over.
While she would have known who I was - who my children were.... I didn't really know who she was. I didn't know anything about her.... while I found that terribly unfair - I *still* had to consider what I did know about her at the time, which inclined me to 'hate' her a little less than I should.
When I asked, she admitted to having sex with my husband, and this was *while* he was denying he knew her at all... let alone that he had played 'hide the sausage' with her..... she was honest with me. Before I had the unfortunate opportunity to talk with her further.... this honestly weighed on me a good deal.
In spite of it all... I gave her the tiniest bit of credit: for her initial honestly.
As time when on and their lies grew two fold, then three fold - the little bit of respect I had for her waned, but still, I didn't want to stoop to the level of calling her names. I am many things... but I was above that, or at least I hoped I was.
I spent ever MORE time thinking about how they kissed... when they kissed.... where they had sex, and... sadly.... *how* they had sex.... I even asked her once - "Does he do that one little thing that he always did with me like *right* before he finishes......?"
She didn't like the question.... in fact, she doesn't like talk to me at all. She say's things like, "... it isn't respectful to talk about [El Capitan]......" - and she speaks to me like a teenage girl speaks to her Mother after she has been caught sneaking in her bedroom window with her hair pushed up in the back, shirt miss-buttoned: classic signs of a 'walk of shame'..... only she's talking to the woman whose husband *did* that shameful act...
When we spoke, even though I *had* shown her respect - I had refrained from calling her names, I have not screamed at her, shown up at her place of work, harassed her.... nothing. I didn't even speak to her until I caught them texting TWO WEEKS after he *swore* to me that they weren't together and her "hardly knew her".... and then I simply called her on his cell phone. I needed the truth: I hoped she would give it to me.
When I spoke to her I wanted answers and hoped I would get... some? a few? I thought she might be young - and possibly a bit timid? Yet, there was no remorse in her tone. There was no discernible regret, no moment of pause where she heard the pain my voice and the tears streaming down my face and she would express the appropriate guilt and concern one human being shows another.... but there was none.
When she heartlessly and matter-of-factly, informed me that my marriage was "loveless" and that she had "saved" El Capitan from a marriage where we no longer talked and he was "alone". (Hard to be 'alone' when you're banging two different women.... but there you have it.)
THAT was when she became Ugly Baby Teeth. But not before.... not before *she* was rude and unkind....
To this day, while I am *very* unimpressed with Yoga Girl, in fact my favorite thing to say about her to El Capitan is...."She's a quality item Clark....." (it's a Christmas Vacation reference)..... I have been careful not to call her names or just stoop to the level of calling her a "slut". (Mind you, in the effort of full disclosure, there I have, when talking with friends, called her a "b" spelled with a "c". lolololol)
Yesterday, I got an email that I want to share because I think that *this* girl's story - while I'm fairly certain it's *not* Yoga Girl's story.... is important, and one that needs to be shared.
There are *many* people who have been and *will* continue to be hurt by El Capitan's choice to cheat. He *had* other choices.... he could have done the manly thing and sit down and say... "So... here's the deal: I'm not happy and I want out." Or, he could have answered me *honestly* during the three weeks he was actively cheating and I was begging him in the kitchen to tell me what was wrong and he lied and said.... "nothing".
So I'm hurt, the children have just been given a lifetime membership to the Hall of Hurt - and no matter what I do: it will never go away.
I don't know if one day Yoga Girl will wake up and realize what she's done -t he damage she's caused, the pained she's helped inflict on my children..... I personally believe she is bereft of feeling any kind of guilt, impossible of any kind of ownership for her actions... but on the off chance I'm wrong, I will remember the words of the email below and allow them to linger.... again, I'm open to being wrong. I really am.
Yesterday while I was online, a news link to your For Sale sign led me to your story. By 11am this morning, I had read every entry of your blog and I plan to buy your book very soon.
Elle, I was a Yoga Girl. A much different personality from your YG, with a different scenario, but nevertheless, I ended up being one almost a decade ago. You and I are about the same age. I make no excuses. I'm not proud of it. In fact, it is the one thing I have done that I truly regret. There is so much more to the story, but I am married to the man who was only separated, not divorced, when we chose to be together (I was single, no kids). His sons both under ##### years old when he and his wife finally divorced.
There is so much you might assume about me, and about us, and most of it would probably be wrong. My husband and I have been married #### years now, with his ex-wife and her husband married #### years, and while I have committed myself to being the best stepmom possible, and have laid low knowing my place isn't as a main decision maker (ex-wife and my husband share joint custody), I realize more and more how much pain I have caused.
One of my best friends has very recently been put in your shoes, in so many similar ways to your own story. Being with her through her hell, and reading stories like yours makes me vividly confront the chocies I made. All these years, our blended homes have worked to coexist cordially (cordial, not quite friendly). But I am ashamed to say that I have not once apologized to my husband's ex, and I know that doesn't make ANYTHING better, it doesn't change anything, but it should have been done a long time ago.
Back when I hooked up with this man, I was not thinking of anyone but him and me. I did not think about the consequences to his wife or children. There was more to the story, all around, but my actions boil down to me being selfish and young, and seizing a moment without thinking about how it would affect anyone else. I was wrong to do that. I know I need to make time to tell this to the ex-wife, to her face, and I do not expect anything, not even acknowledgment. But I am sorry. And I am sorry for what you are going through.
Your story and blog help women not just in your shoes, but hopefully are eye openers to those of us who shared Yoga Girl's shoes instead. I am horribly aware, now so late down the road, that I caused so much pain to another woman who I never set out to hurt, but who I also never thought to respect in the first place.
I will make it a priority to apologize, though it might mean beans at this point. I will also continue being a good stepmom. I just wanted to write you and thank you for the honesty of your blogs. You are a strong woman making the best of a shitty situation...but with both your strength and your ability to put the kids first, you will be alright. That part is very clear.
Sometimes, when we're willing to be honest, when we're willing to accept our own failures *that's* when we might see a teeny-tiny bit of change in ourselves, or in the world around us.
It's not much... but I'll take it.
The last few days I've been doing some local press.... which is fun. I'm pretty sure that there won't be national press this time - and that's ok. Lightening doesn't usually strike twice.... right? lololol
Like last time - there's no shortage of people reminding me that I'm fat (which is lucky because being overweight also affects my vision and every *I* look in a mirror I only see me as a nice, perky size 10... I'm soooo glad so many kind, articulate people stepped up to tell me otherwise. phew.) - BUT.... there are also some *really* nice emails.
I appreciate those more than you know.
I'm really excited for the book signing - looks like a few people might be there - which is good... I was a bit worried no one would come.... imagine how awful that would be?
Anyhow..... I don't usually blog on Friday nights, but I wanted to post a lovely email sent in - just to show the 'haters' why I write The Blog and why I wrote The Book. It's very humbling to think that I "help' even one person... but this isn't the only email that say's something similar to this. It's really, really amazing - and I'm so grateful to think that someone feels this way about me. Truly, so grateful.
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for writing your blog with such a commitment to real emotion. I'm an English teacher by day, closet writer by night, and I tell you the truth when I say that you have a real talent and gift for the written word. I find myself thinking of you on a daily basis, and living your journey as I would live it with a close friend. If I met you on the street, I would feel compelled to hug you and take you for a glass of wine somewhere - which would be very weird to you since you have no idea who I am. lolol
I want you to know that your words are doing more than chronicling your own journey; they are a beacon and a guide to those who travel with you, and those who who will travel after you on the same path. It is so healthy to not only *have* the emotions you have, but to have them in the pattern you have them; I can almost see the 5 stages of grief as you write.
One last thing. If I could give you any words of hope at all, I would tell you that they day is coming when your pain will be less. It took me most of my 38 years to get there, but forgiveness is huge. I used to think that forgiving meant I absolved the wrong-doers of the wrong. It doesn't. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, it has absolutely nothing to do with El Capitan. When you forgive his weakness, you do not say you *accept* what he did. You just choose not to be a prisoner to it anymore. You can't control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. I spent many years *ANGRY* (long story, I'll tell you over wine sometime...haha) and when I "forgave" I felt an enormous peace. The evil-doers don't even know I forgave them...I'm not on speaking terms with him anyway. I just let go of it all because it was tearing me up inside. And when you get there (and someday you WILL get there) you will feel whole and you will feel rested and you will feel peace. You will.
I'm rooting for you, all the way from southern Minnesota. I wish you every good thing.
Love to you,
I'm so blessed in all of this that not only does someone *feel* this way about me... but they were kind enough to write me and tell me.
I have lots of feelings... most of the time, they are kind of sh*tty feelings - I think we can all see that. So, when someone steps up and shares such an insight, then.... it helps chip away at the sh*tty.
I'm not sure I'm ready for "forgiveness" just yet.... I won't rule it out, I won't say that it'll never happen. Of course, I want to live a full life and I know that I won't be able to do that if my heart is hard and my mind is set on anger and disdain.... but that's something it's going to take a *long* time to chip away at.
At least... .it's looking that way right now. We'll see.
In the mean time - life is good. The Boy got a flu shot today - he was pretty brave... then I got my flu shot - and he held my hand and told me not to "be too scared" - then he pulled up the sleeve of my shirt pinched me *really* hard and lovingly said, "see, it'll feel like that". lololol
The kids and I hit the gym (which they *love* going to because they like playing with the other kids on the big play structure) - and today I topped out at 7 miles. SEVEN MILES!!!!!! Which brings my ENTIRE total for the week to a whopping 29 miles.... which isn't too shabby for my first week back at the gym in... well - a *very* long time.
Then I took the kids for ice-cream (and I didn't get any!) - then for pizza (I had a salad) and then we came home, ate and finished the night with a board game.
I'd say that's a pretty fantastic end to a great week.... oh, except then I went to see Breaking Dawn part II for the 13th time. lololol
Now *that* was a FANTASTIC end to a great Friday.
ps. for those following the last three weeks..... El Capitan finally got a "burner phone" and he'll be seeing the kids tomorrow.... 24 days. 24 days. I hope it goes well... but after such a long break, I'm a bit worried about how the kids will feel.... hopefully it'll be good and they'll feel good and not emotional..... fingers crossed.
Today was kind of cool.
First of all, The Boy and I got to spend the morning in St. Helens (home of the Twilight movie) and we *did* indeed find the beloved (and missing) Tinky-Winky. He was Over. The. Moon.
Then we toured the other shops in the area, spending a little bit of money in each one. St. Helens is a small town - and frankly... commerce is a wee bit scarce, so we did our part to bring some green to such a great little town.
Plus.... I got to chat with some store owners who were there for the Twilight filming and that was pretty cool for me. Just to stand where Edward stood.... lololol
The nicest part of the morning was the drive - it's 45 minutes to get there. The Boy and I talked about all kinds of things, he told me funny stories about poop and farting: boys are just so much fun. We had a great morning - and only once did he get quiet. I asked him what was wrong and he just sighed and said he missed his Dad.
Then I sighed (but under my breath and not visibly).
We had another conversation today about how friends can sometimes come and go - and sometimes a friend is even *more* fun after we haven't seen them for a while. Sometimes we have to give our friends space, even if we miss them. He mentioned some old friends we haven't seen in a while (but are still friends with) and I said: exactly.
He said nothing more, neither did I.
I try sooooo hard not to get drawn into conversations where I try to guess or explain what El Capitan is doing. The books say that I'm not *supposed* to do that. I'm not supposed to say, "Of course your Dad loves you." or, "Of course your Dad wants to see you." Because I'm *not* El Capitan (and *clearly* I haven't had a real understanding of what he's thinking) - so I should never speak for him. So I try *really* hard too... but I will admit that several times in the last week I have found myself reassuring The Boy that El Capitan loves them.
Because... I'm sure he does. There's no way he doesn't.... our kid is awesome. lolol
So, instead of "answering" for, or trying to explain El Capitan, I do that thing where I transition the conversation to generally talk about "friends" and "people who are important in our lives" and how sometimes we have to be understanding and patient - but above all, we have to remember that our friends do what *they* want to do and that usually is not *because* of us. I hope I'm not too vague with him...... At the end of the day - people WILL let him down in his life - and sometimes he can walk away from those people and sometimes he can't. I don't think he will ever want to "walk away" from his Father, so it's better to help him discover emotional tools to deal with his thoughts and feelings.... crap. I don't know - I *think* that's better?
In any case: we had a *great* morning.
I came home to an email from El Capitan..... he say's there's "nothing wrong" with having used *my* username and password to get into *my* Netflix account after we were divorced.... that there's nothing in the "Netflix User Agreement" about it.... huh? WTF? Seriously? I think that Netflix (as well as the local government) is pretty much against people who are not paying for a service illegally using someone else's account....
And then... a bunch of other stuff...... blah blah blah. I'm bored. Bored of the lies. Bored of the game where we *say* one thing and then do another.... bored, bored, bored.
Which is excellent news because I've moved from shocked to hurt to angry to scorned to bitter.... and now I'm just freaking bored by it.
He's still *refusing* to give me the cell number to his iPhone... it's a long story, but El Capitan got a second phone line *while* we were still married and AFTER I told him I could see him talking to Yoga Girl *all* day long while he PROMISED me that they weren't talking/weren't together/ that he hardly knew her. He continued to pay for TWO PHONE LINES, instead of admit to me that he lied.
Now he cancelled the one phone line and *refuses* to acknowledge that he has the other one. He say's he'll "buy a burner phone" when he afford one..... I said, this is a game. A game I am *bored* of. I have *MY* cell phone records to prove that I *rarely* call you - and hardly ever text you. I have not harassed you *at all* and there is no reason why I should have a working, current cell phone number for you. Period.
I told him this is a game and the only people being hurt at the kids who want to see him - and no one else.
As it is, the kids haven't heard from him or seen him in THREE weeks.
Then he wants to know when he can see the kids (after he buys the burner phone, of course) - because he wants to have a play-date with our kids and a friends of his kids. WHAT?
I had to pause when I read that. You see... LIFE has gone on for El Capitan.
Smooth... dinners out, holiday parties.... snuggling Yoga Girl - walk of shame breakfasts at the local pancake house: life has gone on - and HAPPILY.
If he were *really* sad and missing his kids... he would be chomping at the bit to spend time *with* them. Not just want to be *around* them. Instead, he wants to set up a time to see them so he can set up a play-date with *other people*.
I was honest with him..... the kids *need* to see him. They *need* to spend time with him and they not only deserve, but *need*, his undivided attention. What they *don't* need is play-date with anyone other than *him*. I really feel like I shouldn't have to tell him that.....
The fact that my kids want a "play-date" with their Dad at all makes my stomach hurt....
The truth is that El Capitan *doesn't* want to have to talk to me... because I don't let things slide. HE *asks* me how I'm doing... so I tell him, "I sleep in a bed with two kids, one of whom usually pee's on me at least once a week, we live in an office of someone's home, I have nowhere to get dressed, I have no privacy, I am the sole parent of two children all day and all night - and if they are sick or need their ass wiped: I'm the only one there. I have no retirement, no savings, no studio - which means my work is almost nil until the weather get's better and I can shoot outside, and the man who I thought was my soul mate betrayed me, decimated me, ruined me and then pissed on the pieces of my shattered heart while he moved in with a 22 year old. That's how I'm doing.
It's not bitter. It's not mean... it's honest. At this point we should *all* know that I am .... honest. El Capitan knows better than to ask me a question if he doesn't want an *honest* answer. I've been this way for ten years... well, actually my whole life - and there are countless friends from decades past that will tell you that this part of me has never changed. Honest to a fault.
El Capitan doesn't want to hear that... he doesn't want to give me his number, because he doesn't want *me* to be apart of his life.... that's more than evident by his actions. He doesn't want *me* around because I am a reminder of what's he's done - and people don't usually like to be reminded of their wrong doings.
So... in the end - the radio silence will be *my* fault because (as he always say's) I "say mean things" to him.... of course the fact that he *did* and continues to do "mean things" to me - is irrelevant to him.
I reminded him of that today.... that in spite of this all - I offered to work with him on his child support payments (lowering them for the time being and then he could repay the arrears later when he's working), and this was *after* he stole my Netflix and such.
Others can do what they please... but I *will* do the right thing.... or at least My Kid's Mother will do it.
(That b*tch really gets on my last nerve sometimes... I swear. loloolol)
I have LOTS of friends who think I should do other things - comments like 'press charges for stealing' or 'take him to the cleaners' or 'go back to court....' - come up all the time..... but my marriage *failed* because three people could not be in ONE marriage. The same is true here: TWO parents make for positive co-parenting - not a gaggle of adults, all with half a story, baggage of their own - and an opinion.
I think that El Capitan is listening to the stellar advice of a 22 year old who actually got him to tell me a few month ago that El Capitan shouldn't have to pay *MY* medical bills for having a full STD panel done.... um - YES - he should have - and he did. *I* didn't cheat.... he did. He broke the sacred bounds of our marriage and entered you like a kid in a candy shop. Thankfully... though a vacuous snatch that stole my life, my love and everything I held scared... it was a disease free one. Silver lining friends... silver lining!
But seriously. When we listen to our friends ... this is *only* a recipe for disaster. El Capitan knows me - and you know what - that pisses him off, because he knows I would never anything like this to him. He knows I would never lie and cheat and ruin his life. He knows that I would not continue to lie and cheat - he knows that I would never be *this* dishonest.... and so he buys into this friends bad advice and comes at me as thought I were some sh*tty ex-wife who cleaned him out... but I'm not. I didn't do that.
I don't trash his kids against him. The Blog... well, I'm simply reporting the days news - if he wanted me to report better things... then he should act accordingly.
After I sent him my email (asking again for a phone number so we can up some time with the kids) my *favorite* reporter ever called... Kai Porter! He's the KPTV reporter who did my very first story - the one that ended up on National and International TV.
He was sooooo nice. That first time that he and his photographer came out (also SUPER nice) - they were very gentle with me. I was a wreck and didn't want to really be on camera... but wanted to sell the house and TV advertising that was "free" seemed too good to pass up at the time. Kai was respectful of my feelings and he was just.... really great.
So today the photographer came out to interview me and then Kai went to the Barnes and Noble to do a live feed for the story - and I wasn't far away at a party at Jenny B's house when they facebooked me to tell me they were there. So I drove over and watched them do the live feed from the van... which was kind of cool. Then Kai asked me for a picture to put up on twitter. That was super nice, too.
So, today was a good day. I had a GREAT morning with The Boy - I held my ground with El Capitan - and I *honestly* felt bored by his strong-toned email of veiled nothingness.... and then I ended the night with someone talking about *ME* (not-so-little-ole-me) having a BOOK SIGNING!!!!!
I'm not gonna' lie.... while I'm certain there will be some *serious* bumps in my road in the very near future.... I'm really, really proud of me today. There I said it. I'm proud of me.... because I wrote a book - and it's a pretty damn good book.... and even though I *thought* I was going to curl up and die 9 months ago - tonight I snuggled up to a great guy and took a picture of a moment in time that say's: I was here, I was hurt, but I wasn't afraid to share, I wasn't afraid to be honest, I wasn't afraid to be me and take those soured Yoga-lemons and make some vodka that other people like reading about.
C'mon... who wouldn't be proud of that?
When I was a kid we moved around quite a bit. We went from the West Coast of hippie-lovin' to the deep South of racial lines drawn at all times - and then to Iowa..... land of corn.We had always lived in big town - outside Seattle, in Huntsville - and so to move to teeny tin Mt. Vernon, Iowa population 3,000 or so... was a change, to put it mildly.It was lovely sheltered little place where people *really* didn't lock their doors. All the popular girls spent their time on their backs with the Senior guys. There were lots of parties and booze.... I did none of that. I was ... not very interested in spreading it for some 17 year old with sloppy hands and eager fingers. I wasn't sure *what* was in my future, but I was certain I didn't want to leave pieces of me in back seats across that small town.So, I was a bit of a loner at times. I had friends ... but I never really "fit in". It's hard to go from living in big city where you are *well aware* what gang violence is because you've seen it while visiting your Godmother who lived in Oakland at the time... and then sit in a "History" class that covered 'current events' for the first 30 minutes each Monday and the class actually refused to believe the stories of teenagers being shot for their Air Jordans there are in the magazines at the time. The concept of colors - as in Bloods and Crips - was something of fiction to them - and any knowledge of it meant that I was a fabricator and a liar... because in a town where no one locks their front door, where people leave their keys in their ignition... you can't fathom someone shooting someone else for their shoes.I wanted to *kiss* John Singleton when Boys N The Hood came out.... no. Really.So.... I wasn't the most popular girl in school.... *they* did not understand me... and while I understood that their "sheltered" lives weren't bad because they were nice people, they weren't ignorantly 'sheltered' - it was just that they hadn't been exposed to things and experiences that I had. How could they? We still owned our Commodore 64 at the time - CNN was just coming into it's own and social media was actually still just a notebook that my BFF Carrie and I would pass back and forth to each other through our friend Matty at the time. We would spend all day writing entire novels to each other and then Matty would swap them out for us - because we went to different schools and Matty saw Carrie in the afternoon.I kind of miss that, to be honest.......Anyhow. I was always a little too grunge for the 'in' crowd in Mt. Vernon. I liked dirty skater boys and even had a Powell Peralta Tony Hawk deck in black with a hawk head on it... my Mom tossed it out when I moved to London... sigh. that's worth so much money now. lololI was never a proper betty - I just liked to watch. I'm scared of heights and speed... which is a bad combination if you're going to try to ride a skateboard. (for the record, The Boy can scale the 12 foot bowl and fakie like a pro and The Girl.... oh - The Girl loves to skate, she has her own deck with matching pink pro helmet and can ride up a 3 foot bowl).In 9th grade I wrote a story... I still have it somewhere... I don't remember the assignment, but I think we were supposed to write about where we thought we'd be in ten years or something like that. So I wrote this whole story about how I was going to marry Tony Hawk, who would become a huge professional skater and we would tour the world and end up living in the UK.
I drew this kind of morbid front cover for it with blood on a shower... something about The Cure at the time... The teacher loved it - she said I had a 'natural' writing style and I should think about taking more writing classes. The class, however... wanted to know who the hell Tony Hawk and Metallica were.Yes. True Story.
I had *no* idea that ten years later Tony Hawk would be *the biggest* skater and I would be living the UK.. just not married to him. Shame that... lolololAfter a few years of small town livin'... I had had enough. Really. Enough. So my parents moved me to a bigger school in Cedar Rapids. Where..... after 3 longs years of being the round peg shoved painfully into a square hole.... I finally fit it in for the last 2/3 of my senior year.I signed up for Journalism and quickly found myself as the chief photographer for the school newspaper... which is pretty much where I learned everything about photography. Honestly. Mr. Lindsey taught me everything I know but most importantly he taught me how to be a *good* photographer. I had taken this great photo of this kid in the cafeteria - and he was talking but getting ready to take a bite of a banana at the same time: the peel folded down the body and draping over his hand ala' Curious George style. He was leaning over with this animated look on his face and his mouth gaped open - it was a hilarious shot. I was pretty proud of the 'moment' I had captured. Mr. Lindsey scolded me, he said it was a good moment, but it wasn't a good "photograph". He said, "Your job is to take pretty pictures of people - whether they are pretty or not. You make them that way and you will always get hired for the next job."So I didn't run the blow-job banana photo and... and I never took another photo like it again. To this day, I always try to take nice pictures of people that make them look prettier and skinnier and happier... that's my job. It's crazy to think I built an entire career out of that... but it's true.I settled into the new school quickly, finding my skater boys and heavy metal boys and grunge friends.... I kind of hopped around a little bit of everywhere... I felt at home. It was amazing. That senior year I had a huge crush on my friend Rob, but I was already dating his friend... so it never went anywhere. sigh.....The week I turned 18, I celebrated every single day. My two BFF's at the time were Robin and Jada who were from Mt. Vernon. Every day at school I celebrated my birthday in a different class and then Friday Robin, Jada and I went "cruising" and I collected 18 kisses on the cheek. I was such a prude... seriously. Then that Saturday night... *that* night was the talk of school because I had made friends with the kid who owned our indoor skate park and he agreed for me to host a Birthday Mosh there. Rob and I had made Ren & Stimpy posters and hung them all around school and well over a hundred people came.Three bands played and I wore this way-too-short mini dress made of suede that was from the 1960s. It was epic. Like EPIC. Grunge was only *just* starting to make it to Iowa back then... so my desire to wear my Doc Martens under my dresses was *finally* getting accepted. Finally.That week... I met my first serious boyfriend... we'll call him Del. He was older, in his second year at the Community College and frankly... that's big stuff: dating a college boy. He was a drummer in a band, he was tall with dark brooding eyes and floppy black hair and a collection of flannel shirts that made me swoon in places I wasn't yet aware one could swoon.He was yummy.We "dated"....as you do in Iowa. He took me to watch planes land while laying on a pile of blankets in the bed of his giant silver truck.
We went to the movies and either of the two malls in town. We went to his shows.... I was smitten kitten and when he bought me a .25 carrot diamond promise ring not long before graduation... I thought I had found my future husband. (Again... 18, living in middle America - settling down at that age isn't really 'unheard of'.)It ended the summer after senior year... my first *big* heartbreak. The kind of breakup where you forget to eat and you stop showering and stop leaving your house for days and weeks on end because just leaving the house seems to hurt. The kind of *first* heart break that every parent knows is coming and would do anything to stop...but can't.I had ended things... but the break up got nasty. Really nasty. I kind of knew that forcing myself into a place where I didn't really fit in wasn't going to be a good life for me.... I didn't know where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to do, but I knew I had to be brave enough to call it off and find my own way. Still... hurt like a mother....The Bubbie was at wits end, Del was calling all the time - leaving nasty messages. One day he loved me and wanted me back... the next he was screaming at The Bubbie to "F*ck off".
To which ... my hand to G*d, The Bubbie replied, "If you wanna' f*ck me little boy you can come on over... but don't go making me promises you don't intend to keep." After that I had to move back into my parents house because Del had broken into my place and gone through my things and he started showing up at my work and at friends houses... stalking well before it was a "thing". My parents made me move home.Poor sweet, Iowa Farm Boy.... he was *not* expecting that answer from The Bubbie. lolololA few weeks after I moved home he made me a mix tape... of sorts. There were a few songs on it - he had recorded it on his dual cassette boom-box. Remember the kind where you could play a tape in one half and then record that tape onto a blank tape on the other half? Anyhow.... there were a few songs, but mostly it was just him talking about how much he loved me and how much he wanted me back. It went on for 90 min - a full 45 minutes on both sides of the cassette.My parents (still owning their Commodore) had an answering machine - the kind that ran on those itty-bitty little tapes.... and The Bubbie finding Del's poetic prose to be too much to resist - found the most embarrassing. blubbering, crying 45 seconds of the tape and recorded it onto the itty-bitty answering machine tape.For over 6 months, whenever you called our house, if you got our answering machine you would only hear poor sweet Del's voice telling you how much he loved you and how sorry he was that he refused to buy his own coke at the diner and it was wrong to make you share your diet Coke because it was *was* stealing to just keep getting the free refills and he wouldn't be so cheap down the road if you would just take him back....Hand to G*d. True story.
However... after that he stopped showing up at the house and at my job.During that time, Tante Louise called - she knew my heart was broken. She told me to go to the movies. She said, whenever you're sad, whenever you can't take it anymore - just get in the car and go to the movies. It'll be a two hour break for your brain and your heart. It's a safe and cheap way to tune out the pain - it's an easy way to have a reset button.
So I spent a lot of time at the dollar theater... I saw Cool As Ice
with Vanilla Ice soooooo many times that summer.... man: I wanted to be Kristin Minter so bad. lololololOver time... I began to heal and a few months later the opportunity to move to London presented itself and so with a whopping $100 in my pocket, I boarded a plan to London with a one way ticket: no return.
(*note* I have Right of Abode in the UK and can live there as a citizen and did not require a visa of any kind).Anyhow.... I look back now, so grateful for the movies. So grateful for the time that it bought me... I didn't spend my time hunting around for the next 'Del' to make myself feel better. I didn't look for the answer to my future inside the eyes of every guy I met... which, is frequently was immature girls do (just ask Yoga Girl). I just kind of.... escaped. And yeah - escaping into a world of Vanilla Ice wasn't exactly the stuff dreams are made of ... but it worked.Fast forward to the heart break that would redefine the words "emotional pain" for me.... there always seemed to be too much to do. As more things have gotten ticked off the list... divorce: done. House: sold. Children: have shelter/food/love, done (for now... anyway). Blog: up and running (though doesn't pay a dime - this b*tch is just for the love of doing it! ololololol) The Book: done, dusted and published (and making me less than $2 a book - lolol).The only thing left is...... me. I'm the last project I have to take on and it's really hard this time. I'm sans the perky tits of days gone by that did (on at least a few occasions) open a few doors... and I'm sans the pep and youthful hope that tomorrow holds amazing promise and a Happily Ever After.... Instead, I'm the poster child for the virtual 'Walk of Shame' one does after their husband leaves them for a younger, slightly thinner, gummier version of themselves..... sigh.So, what's a girl to do? I spend *a lot* of time .... at the movies.It really started with Twilight. I have worked so hard to bring everything together... I *literally* sleep less than four hours a night - between the kids and home-school and teaching and client jobs and the blog and the book... there just isn't more time to sleep. So I don't. I don't mind..... I don't want to miss out on this life by sleeping it away. I'll sleep in twenty years when the kids are grown and happy and whole... then I'll sleep.Anyhow. I was *really* looking forward to the Twilight marathon. 12 hours, just me. Me and Edward and Bella and Jacob (and some pretty sketchy acting in the first two hours for sure.....) - but I can lose myself in the story as it unfolds. Love it. Love it. Love it.I'm not seriously waiting for my "Edward"... I know that vampires don't really exist and I get it that marrying someone after knowing them for three weeks wasn't my best plan to date and I don't think I'm going to just meet my "Edward" and life is going to be great.... BUT., aside from warm comfy hours of escape.... it has brought to my heart and mind the idea that I settled a bit. I never had someone who protected me. May be he didn't love me enough to want to protect me... may be he just didn't know *how* to protect me.... whatever it was: it won't happen again. I won't settle for that a second time.I have a few friends who think I should already be dating... I think if they were in my shoes, they would already be dating. I have no desire. I think I need more time to sort through the betrayal and the pain... but - more importantly, so much of this has taken away from my time with the children, I can't imagine spending time away from them getting to know someone else. That seems... emotionally irresponsible
.So.... I go to the movies. It's a place where clients can't call me, email me, text me, IM me on facebook.... it's a place where no yells from down the hall, "Moooommmmeeeee - I'm done!" and I have to wipe someone's poopy butt. It's a place where I don't have to talk to anyone... about anything. I don't have to talk about El Capitan and the sh*t show my life has turned into... *most* importantly: I don't have to think. G*d bless movies and music for giving me the ability to just tune the f*ck out and lose myself in whatever they are pitching me.
115 minutes of Edward and Jacob and Esme and Emmett... and I've totally gotten into Nikki Reed now.... They can talk to me, talk for me, entertain me, and help me slip away from my own maddening, heartbreaking thoughts... and just *be*.I can just sit in my seat... in my Team Edward sweatshirt, under my Breaking Dawn II Edward fuzzy blanket, drink my diet Coke (with light ice) and breathe..... for 115 minutes I can breathe.I'm so grateful for that. Grateful for kids who go to bed and for movies that start at 10:15pm so I have time to get there... grateful for a theater manager who doesn't always make me pay because I've been so. many. times. Plus... I think she knows who I am and reads the blog (hi there!)... lololol.
Sometimes pity *does* pay... bwahahahahaha. :)While learning how to accept the catastrophic demise of my own Happily Ever After... it's oddly comforting to me to watch someone elses come to life and play out before me.
I'm grateful to Carter Burwell whose music is... so peaceful and moving. The title of the chapter in The Book where I find out about Yoga Girl is titled "So Hold On" - which is from the Robert Pattinson song Never Think
, which appears on the first Twilight soundtrack - that song has brought me an immense amount of peace on some truly hard nights.If I'm being honest... the first time I heard it I thought it was crap.. I could hardly understand what he was singing... then I looked up the lyrics and the song seemed to fit my life to a T. Odd that... very odd.So...today I am grateful for the chance to still breathe - even if it's only 115 minutes at a time. It's a stepping stone - and eventually it'll become a bridge to a better place for me - and if I can get to a better place, then the kids will be there with me by default.
I don't think the answers to my life are in Twilight... which is probably why I still have never read the books... I just like to go the movie. I just need my 115 minutes to be. That time for my brain to stop thinking and just.... relax. It gives me time to just rest and be and not think, not answer to people or clients... of even my own tortured self... but just be. More time of just being means a calmer Elle - who can get up the next day, shake off the fears and the pain and question marks that still loom over my now d-funked marriage - and start fresh each day trying to rebuild this life on my terms. Again... I'm a crazy twihard for sure.. I'm Team Edward all the way.... *but* I'm fully aware that my life is built on my terms, not some Hollywood fantasy. Trust me, I got that message loud and freaking clear. lolololIt's just those 115 minutes are a sacred time of peace and calm and pleasantness and to that I say: Thank Edward and Bella and Jacob and Stefanie Meyer.
In the craziest of ways... you have become a lifeline to myself.... it sounds more than a little cray-cray... but it's true.Here is the Robert Pattinson lyrics - you should buy the song... it's brilliant. :)
I should never think
What's in your heart
What's in our home
So I won't
You'll learn to hate me
But still call me baby
So call me by my name
And save your soul
Save your soul
Before your to far gone
Before nothing can be done
I'll try to decide when
She'll lie in the end
I ain't got no fight in me
In this whole damn world
So hold off
She should hold off
It's the one thing that I've known
Once I put my coat on
I coming out in this all wrong
She standing outside holding me
Saying oh please
I'm in love
I'm in love
Girl save your soul
Go on save your soul
Before it's to far gone
And before nothing can be done
Cause without me
You got it all
So hold on
Without me you got it all
So hold on
Without me you got it all
Without me you got it all
So hold on
Without me you got it all
Without me you got it all
So hold onYou can find it on Amazon HERE. :)
Today's a weird day for me..... I had waited *alllll* week for something, anything - ANYONE to take over this media bonanza and make it their own..... so I was thrilled (for about 1.5 milliseconds) this morning when I noticed our traffic had slowed... then I saw *WHY* and suddenly I was wishing it was just my stupid sign there on the Yahoo feed .. frankly, sometimes "no-news is good Gnu's
"..... (big ups to anyone who knows what THAT is from......)
OK...I *totally* know I was going to post about how El Capitan and I came to be... and while I'm just SURE there are hundreds of you on the edge of your seats (not) - instead I have a song running through my head and so I'm going to share my "post being dumped for a 22 year old break up mix tape". (which, if you get the bottom is totally relevant to today's horrific events. :(
When I was moving through the loss of my marriage - the loss of my best friend - the Edward to my Bella.... I listened over and over and over to "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri
. It really seemed to squeeze out every single last tear I had over a few weeks....
Then when I was ready to move on a bit it was "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye
... which helped me be bittersweet about the loss, but also start carving out the idea that I should move on from someone who appeared to have so little regard for me.... and when your self esteem is currently housed in the pants of a 22 year old - trust me, having a song remind you that you're better than that is a good thing. lol
As I moved into a "healing" phase... which is *always* where I was trying to be but I would see him and it break my heart all over again... or I would find old photos or birthday cards El Capitan would write for me... and I'd be right back to my Christina Perri phase all over...
But when my heart and my mind were ready to surface and move forward together, I forged ahead a new road for myself and my theme song became, "One Day
" by Mastisyahu
.... I would play it when I was feeling sad or angry or bitter - I would listen and listen until its words pumped through my veins a'la (a much larger framed) Ally McBeal style. A mantra for how to acknowledge my pain but still move past it find my gratitude.
Today, of all days, this song seems all too relevant:ONE DAY - by Matisyahu
sometimes I lay
under the moon
and thank God I'm breathing
then I pray
don't take me sooncause I am here for a reason
sometimes in my tears I drown
but I never let it get me down
so when negativity surrounds
I know some day it'll all turn around
because all my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying for
for the people to say
that we don't wanna fight no more
there'll be no more wars
and our children will play
it's not about
win or lose causewe all lose
when they feed on the souls of the innocent
blood drenched pavement
keep on moving though the waters stay raging
in this maze you can
lose your way (your way)it might drive you crazy but don't let it faze you
no way (no way)
sometimes in my tears I drown
but I never let it get me down
so when negativity surrounds
I know some day it'll all turn
because all my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying
for the people to say
that we don't wanna fight no more
there'll be no more wars
and our children will play
one day one day this all
treat people the same
stop with the violence
down with the hate
one day we'll all be free
and proud to be
under the same
singing songs of freedom like
one day x4
all my life I've been
I've been praying for
for the people to say
that we don't
wanna fight no more
there'll be no more wars
and our children will
I just keep feeling haunted by the line "..... cause we all lose/when they feed on the souls of the innocent/blood drenched pavement
".... it seems tragically fitting.
I read a quote from one of the rescue workers talking about the people left in the theater and how different cell phones kept ringing and ringing... but obviously, the owner wasn't going to answer. How awful for the people there to bear witness to such an act of senseless violence and to the pain of knowing that someone else right then was trying to call their loved one to find out if they were .... alive.
After events like 911, Columbine and now this .... I always feel like I don't know how to smile, as if my happiness flies in the face of those tragic deaths and how *wrong* it feels to be joyful or happy when you know someone else is suffering so much.... but the truth is - whether it's a tragedy we suffer first hand, or we are just bystanders watching misery and grief overwhelm an entire town or Nation - I feel compelled to be GRATEFUL. I feel OBLIGATED to celebrate my own life.... to find JOY in my own personal misery because if I don't - then how do I DESERVE to be here when those INNOCENT people are no longer.....? No doubt they would trade places with me in a heartbeat - fat ass, cheating husband, media bonanza and all. Which is incredibly humbling in my opinion.
So tonight my thoughts and prayers are with a nation mourning for the loss of the innocent... and they are also with the "James Holmes" of the world who might be planning such a tragedy of their own and I just hope they can get help or someone around them can stop them before they do something like this..... ********* PLEASE KNOW: that in NO WAY do I think having your husband hook up with a yoga chic compares IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM with this kind of tragedy. IT DOES NOT. However, all day today I've had the same kind of feelings I had after 911 - the sort of "deer in the headlights of a National Tragedy" feeling where I'm just not sure HOW I'm supposed to feel.... I hope that's clear in the post.
You can listen/BUY
Here it is: the 'elephant' in the room... or rather, the one that HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of people on the internet want to say I am.... lol
I just wanted to share you with this wee nugget of wonderful humanity that arrived in my voicemail box two days ago. (It's that box to the RIGHT - click and listen if you dare!)
First and foremost.... El Capitan and I did not *ever* discuss my figure in terms of it being an "issue" in our marriage, or an "issue" between us. For the record, I have not gained 100 - 250 pounds.... I am not currently booking two seats on a plane, nor am I sewing together two pairs of pants to make one nor wearing circus tents for dresses.
Like *most* women - from size 2 to size 22, I have always struggled with my weight .... El Capitan was no stranger to my desire to be healthier. Like many families we would make the usual life changes for our family - eating more greens, eating out less, cutting back on sugar or soda, etc. As with *most* families these plans for healthy excellence would be thwarted by him working AT LEAST 50 hours a week and my running three small businesses and raising the children, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, keeping up with play dates.... etc. It just never seemed to leave enough time to go to the gym. (Also, my house was never spotless nor the laundry always done and folded .... just sayin'.)
Oh, and the Gym? Well, yes, we *have* a gym membership. I refer to it as my own personal "fat tax" - it's the money I pay every month for a place I never manage to step foot in despite all my good, honest and true intentions.
So, it's a fat tax. lol
El Capitan was familiar with my struggles on that front... but I have to be true and honest and tell you that he ended every day by giving me a kiss and telling me I was beautiful. He never judged me on my weight......Sometimes, people do what they do for their own reasons - even in a marriage - and sometimes those reasons have little to do with the important people around us.
As far my "love" for malt liquor and cigarettes... that's hilarious. I've never had a whole beer in my entire life ... by that - I mean to say that if you took alllll the alcohol I've consumed in my life, it wouldn't make a full pint, and I don't smoke.
I do, however, love pasta and rice and donuts and bread... and allll those yummy things that *should* be healthy for us but are NOT. Ok, maybe not healthy donuts - but it's so damn unfair that pasta in all its creamy curly, straight, and multi-colored forms should be BAD FOR US! And RICE - really RICE? How can that be bad for me!?!?! aaack!
Now, the man who posted that I need to put down the Twinkies *might* have a point because, if I'm being truly honest, I do love a good Twinkie, but who doesn't? However, like most people I only love them one at a time, not a box at a time.... hahahaha
So those wanting to partake in a Twinkie/booze/cigy intervention can have a seat... what I need a life/getting organized/making time for myself Intervention.
Finally, there seems to be a growing crowd of people who think because I laugh and giggle nervously through interviews, that I SOUGHT this attention, that I find it all sooo hilarious. So, I wanted to post a small window in the reality of about ... 20% of the calls I get? and about 10% of the email I get. They are laced with compliments and niceties that The Man's Voicemail is.
I laugh because, again, my size or people's comments on it don't define me. They aren't going to make me sad because I can do something about my size... people who use this opportunity to make their own vicious,insult laced commentary will have to work a lot harder to change their hearts and I only have to go the gym.
In a country were children are KILLING THEMSELVES because they are bullied for being gay or wearing the wrong clothes or whatever the h*ll it is that is being said to them ON THE INTERNET by their own peers that drives them to hanging themselves in their bedrooms because they just. can't. take. it. anymore. - when do we stop and realize that being a bully is a LEARNED behavior?1 Children learn it from their parents... so while we're all talking about the well being of *my* children - what about the well being of the children of this man? Assuming any woman actually procreated with him... what has he taught HIS children? What kind of loving example for humankind has he taught them?
We can try to save ourselves from Global Warming one recylced Coke can at a time... but we can also save ourselves from being a planet of a**holes by setting a different example for our kids.
that is all......
PS. I am amused by the assumption that El Capitan is obviously the peak of health .... right? (Mind you, he's a good lookin' fella, or at least Yoga Girl and I both thought he was.... hahahaha)
PPS... I know I said I would write the story of El Capitan and I ... but this was just weighing on my heart.
PPPS.... If the man had said, "Wow, you seem like a nice lady with a good heart and it occurs to me that your current weight might pose a health risk to you life and I want to help you carve out a healtheir lifestyle if you are interested....." - THAT is a person is actually "concerned" about me. :)
Click on the PLAY
arrow to listen.
Wow. First and foremost... WOW.
I'm so totally stunned by how kind everyone has been. I have to admit, even with my sense of humor, the first few days of alllllllll the comments about how any man would leave "Shamu the whale" was starting to get pretty old..... do these men not know they would drive me yet MORE donuts?!?! (kidding... they didn't. lol)
So, a day of posts that were *mostly* super awesome was.... just pure amazing.
I'm struck and humbled by your honesty and, really, you only have to look over the 700 heart-felt posts to see a collective of stories that is truly the backbone of being a Mother in today's world. All these women faced so many different, awful, horrible circumstances and regardless of their size, color or age they are tied together by a bond of shared pain and the ultimate desire to move the eff on. (Can I say that here.....? Too soon? lol)
I just want to say thank you..... I really wanted to respond to every single post, because I actually did read every last one (even the crappy "you're a fatty" ones... lol) - but there just isn't enough time in the day right now. :(
El Capitan and I aren't sure what to make of this media storm - I feel a bit like Dorothy and the wicked witch (also know by some posters as Yoga Witch) spun this house up good and now it's being tossed around this Media Tornado and we're just not sure where it's going to land.... guess we'll have to wait and see.
Tonight, the Media Tornado took me to the satellite doorstep of Dr. Drew. DR. FREAKIN DREW!!!! Can you believe that?!?!?! When I was a kid we used to spend summers at my Grandma's and I was a TOTAL Love Line listener! Dr. Drew... oh many night I lay awake listening to you and Adam Corolla.... tonight, I did NOT do enough listening and did faaaaar too much giggling..... haha.
I do worry that people will think that I find the affair or the divorce funny". Rest assured, I find El Capitan's affair about as humorous as mouth herpes (which thankfully I don't have) and the divorce felt like some ripped out my insides through my ears..... but, I do kind of find this whole Media Tornado funny. Why the hell does anyone care what I think? (and crowds of overweight men sitting in their tighty-whitey's nod in unison while they wipe off their orange Doritos fingers onto their Mother's couch.) Even still.... it feels oddly good to share.....
Believe me when I tell you that I put a sign in my yard to SELL MY HOUSE. The magnets were something my Mom insisted on for her friends (so she could mail them out) and then my friends wanted some... and then a few friends insisted that at least I put up the magnets just for fun.. I wondered if people wouldn't feel betrayed somehow? Mind you... I'm about as smart as a box of rocks if I hatched a plan to pay off my house with magnets that are $5.00 each. lol.... Still, some people accuse me of that and that just is NOT the case.
It's really important to me, after so many people have trusted me with their inner most hours of emotional pain that people don't think I would trade that for $5.00. Anyone who actually *knows* me, knows that I'm really crap at getting "paid". In my own business I do TONS of work for free or for heavy discounts because of different clients circumstances.... but my clients are RAD. All of them, they do amazing things for me and what they bring to my life is often faaaar more valuable than money. :) (and then a few of them are pains in the ass,... but they know who they are! hahahahaha)
Those same friends are insisting I write a blog....
So, share I shall!!!! At least until no one is visiting this blog anymore... All the judgment that happens over my marriage and my life and my choices and my parenting!?!?! I feel like it would be good to get the whole story out there.... so tomorrow I will start at the beginning..... see you there! You can read about how El Capitan barfed all over himself and yet it was still the most romantic night of my life and I kissed him anyway... barf breath and all...... (or not... because you might have gone back to reading about Tom and Katie - lol)
Thanks for reading. :)