I keep thinking about the last weeks events... my personal opinion is that talking about guns and more security in schools might curtail future events - but doesn't help solve the problem. The *problem* is a human one - not a mechanical one. We have to first solve what is wrong within our society that human life has been devalued by anyone to this level. We start by working on a fix for that..... at least that's how I feel.
Part of it, is not continuing the cycle of hate and anger.... as of late this blog ... or rather - *me* -, I have been rather full of anger and frustration and it spills out onto the keyboard and fills up the screen. My feelings have a place... all of our feelings *do*. Even hateful ones, however, the *feelings* are just that - they remain feelings and do not become actions.
I wish, for these boys this past week - those feelings, whatever unexplainable feelings they were... had just remained feelings and not become something else.
I've always been a talker.... you know right where you stand with me. For some people, that makes me a b*tch. Most of the people in my life, however, find it to be an endearing quality. I don't have time for fake games or fake friends. I am who I am.... like me or not, I can only be me. I am honest... clearly. And, sometimes honest to a fault. I'm not afraid to own my mistakes, and I'm not afraid to say sorry.
When I found out about Yoga Girl, I took a few days reading and absorbing as much information as I could get my hands on about infidelity and divorce and such. I don't go "grey" areas. Everything for me has to be black and white. Clean. Simple. Yoga Girl and the lies El Capitan was telling me were nothing but grey, murky, muddy waters... which were drowning me slowly.
After a few days of me crying and begging and him lying and lying.... I put on facebook (with El Capitan's permission) that were splitting up and I delicately suggested that "three people don't make one marriage". I left it at that and went to bed.
I woke up the next more to a phone blowing up, a full in-box and a million concerned friends - which is a nice thing to wake up, too, actually. I had an email from a client, so I clicked on that first.
She had seen my post on facebook... I had done their wedding years before and had become quite friendly with them. However... I think by now you might have noticed that *most* of my clients become friends, and often, very good ones.... I'm lucky that way. Over the years, other photographers have mocked me for that a bit - the fact that I would let my clients into to my life the way I do. But.. I always have and because of that openness I woke up the one email that helped me the most in those darkest days.
She told me that her parents had gone through a similar situation when she wasn't too much older than The Boy. She said that for years her parents went back and forth and back and forth.... coming home from school, she wasn't always sure who would still be living there - who might have moved out after a fight, etc. She said that that was harder on her - than if they had just split up the first time and moved on.
She said that even when things were good, she had a pit in her stomach when her hand hit the front door not knowing if *that* day was going to be the day Dad moved out again.... or not.
She told me to leave. She knew El Capitan, had met him several times. For a while, I thought the four of us might be social friends.... but the couple moved away for school. So, she knew him some - and she still told me to leave - she told me not to beg him to stay if he didn't want to.
I cried through the whole email. Her parents had been so classy and kind at her wedding. I didn't detect *any* animosity between them. They were dancing together, and stood in family photos together - it was a joyful day centered around their gorgeous daughter and her fantastic hubby-to-be. (I really love that guy, btw.) I didn't pick up on anything other than respect for her, for their "family" as it was then and for the importance of the event of the day.
I heard her words, and saw them as coming from seven-year old her - not the professional woman I know her to be. But, the childhood her who wanted to stop me from putting my children through what she had seen.
I never believed in "airing out" my "dirty laundry". lolol... I can almost *hear* some of you laughing behind your monitors.... but it's true. I had ONE policy during my marriage: neither of us talks bad about each other to other people.
Often when guy friends or girl friends get together and start trash talking their spouses their friends around are quick to say "Oh, I would never put up with that..." or, "I can't believe you let her talk to you like that..." blah blah blah. However, the story-teller is rarely honest about *why* someone said what they said: what event or comment or issue came *before* what was said. So, it's easy to give your friends bad advice about their relationships when people don't know the full picture. And unless you *sleep* in your friends bed with them... you most definitely do not know the truth.
So, up until I put that status update. Until the sign and the interviews (and *EVEN THEN* I said little).... it really wasn't until I started the blog that I started putting out there my entire story for the world to see and pick apart. Sometimes it's good... sometimes it's not. Sometimes it hurts.
Most of all... I think it helps. I think it helps me process... and according to the (literally) hundreds of emails I get each month - it seems to be helping many of you in some kind of crazy way.... which is rather amazing.
And very, very humbling......
But. The point is: I was open. I was honest about my pain and my struggle and here someone in my life stepped forward and said - don't do this, do that instead.
How *amazing* is she?
She could have stayed quiet, she could have watched the train wreck from the sidelines and dissected me and discussed me with her (wonderful) hubby. But she didn't.... she saw me standing on the tracks and pulled me off before *another* train ran me over. She *shared* with me her experience - her valuable childhood opinion in an effort to save my children from yet more pain.
I'm incredibly lucky that I have people - even on the peripheral, on the web and through this blog - who step up and tell it to me like it is. I can read all the books I want - but, personal experience is always going to influence me more than anything in a book.
So, her words helped me keep to my resolve... and thank f*ck for that. Based on who El Capitan is *now* - trying to work things out (while he's never actually said it) clearly isn't something he wanted to do. Ever.
More than that... her words gave me hope because she and her family had been through something hard and emotional and tumultuous, and yet..... they had stood in front of me, whole and happy... and divorced.
Which is why.... even though I want to climb into the sandbox and get my Game of Thrones on some days.... I don't. I come here and to my friends to share my day, share the pain, share my fears and I find help and hope and friendship.... and I learn so much. I learn how to be a better Mom, a better ex-wife (because believe it or not... *that* is actually a goal) - and a better friend.
Sometimes I'm failing on all accounts... sometimes I'm winning. Either way - it's only *ever* happening because I'm here, sharing this sh*t show of a life I'm having for ... well... everyone. lolol
The last week with El Capitan has been another fantastic trip down Who's Telling The Truth Today lane.... he say's he's trying. He say's doing his best.... he say's he didn't answer the phone on our anniversary because he didn't think the conversation would be healthy.
He has a point... a valid one. However, I then pointed out that his interest in having 'healthy conversations' with would have been MUCH MORE helpful PRIOR to having sex with Yoga Girl.... sigh.
However, he has a point.... he say's he was feeling guilty that day and didn't want to fight about things. I can understand that. I can. I don't want to fight about anything... I still just want the same answers I was asking for in April. It's the inability to be honest and give me the answers that we then fight about things..... I can tell his friends have been talking to him. Feeding him things.....
It's a shame for them, that they don't really know *me*. I don't know what version of me El Capitan has been sharing with them over the years... but when it comes down to brass tax, El Capitan *knows* I haven't done anything wrong. He knows that he's agreed to the blog and the book and their contents. I've agreed not to reveal his name. Done. I haven't.
I don't know why I'm on this journey.... my kids deserve better, that's for sure. I want to shake him and wake him up and point at the news and scream: This isn't worth it! We're wasting our time - time we could lose - let's just be a family and be happy.....
But that ain't gonna happen.
At the time time, I wanna shake the sh*t out of myself and scream: Quit feeling sorry for your stupid self, get your ass to the gym, work less, laugh more, play with the kids and STOP WASTING TIME - time you could lose!
As much as I want it too... that also isn't going to happen anytime soon.
(well... hopefully at least the gym part sooner rather than later... lololol)
In the meantime... I'm GRATEFUL that I'm not alone. I'm grateful that people step up and tell me where I've gone wrong, where I've gone right.... and share their experiences. I'm thankful that there are people in my life who help me carve out my future by being willing to share their experiences and opinions with me.
Those words, those experiences - they are helping me shape my future and my children's future - and while I might struggle and fall and get pissed and be pissy..... I'm glad my feelings stay *here* and don't become actions so that I can get up tomorrow, start fresh and try again.
I'll keep getting up. I'll keep resetting things with El Capitan and trying - and... he is, too. In his own way. Which is all I can ask.....