Entering into this time of year, I had started, just at the very back of my mind really - to wonder if *this* year was going to be different from last year at this time.... I mean, I had set the stage last Spring for things to heal and become whole and happy for everyone involved.....
and all I got was left out in the rain.
So, knowing that I've thrown the towel in on trying to make it all work..... which is really bullshit and unfair to my kids, to be honest. I mean... you want to fuck a married man: go right ahead. Just *know* that a married man with KIDS should be a bit of a package deal and that fucking said married man *will* find you in the role of 'step-Mom' eventually..... or at least it should on some small level.....
Which, you know it grates on me just a wee bit to not fully understand that truth and what goes on - only in the manner that it affects the children. Just after I had my round-table with El Capitan and La Novia last Spring, El Capitan was saying that La Novia was mentioning that we should all get our schedules down so we could work out car-pools and babysitting.... etc. It seemed as though if it were El Capitan's "weekend" that La Novia was willing to "watch" them (essentially) while he was at work for the afternoon/etc..... but that has *never* happened. El Capitan only has the kids when he's got the day/weekend off.... which is a bit unfair to the kids and to me, to be frank. If I wanted to something on this weekend or that night - it's tough titty said the kitty for me.... because I don't get to choose.
Then again... when have I ever gotten to choose... right? lol
So on it goes, we don't see her... she doesn't see them (which must be serious effort on their part to keep these two lives separate as the children SLEEP in their home... but whatever) - and we all move on - a bit like one of those three legged dogs: cute, but not entirely functional.
Sure enough..... Thanksgiving came and I had arranged to take the kids to El Capitan's place for a few hours during the day... and, for the *record* as we went into Frozen (the movie), I said to Hail Mary, "You wait, he'll text during the movie to say when are we coming - then I'll text him when we get out - and he won't text back until it's time for us to be at my parents and he'll say that he 'worked all night and fell asleep'".
Sure enough, even though he *knew* we were taking the kids to Frozen on Thanksgiving - he texted during the movie, I texted after..... and he "fell asleep" and never saw the kids.
So we're two for two for Thanksgiving now..... just sayin'.
He hasn't seen the kids in weeks... I don't remember how many, but I think we're rounding the corner to three..... may be four? You know - he's working..... he works retail... etc etc etc. The last time we talked over text was a week and a half before Friday - and we had arranged for him to have the kids for a long weekend the weekend *before* Christmas....
and... drum roll: he doesn't "need" to see the kids on Christmas.
I offered. Actually, it IN OUR DIVORCE papers that El Capitan can spend Christmas morning with the children opening presents at their home - which is my home because the live with me full time. But, I put in LEGAL WRITING, that he has the opportunity to come on over and spend Christmas morning with his children watching them open their presents.
At the time, though some might find this hard to believe, I wrote that for their benefit and his. One of the very first things we 'talked about' when he first left, was that I felt 'punished' enough by the situation and I sure as shit wasn't going to get punished further by having my children taken away from me on holidays and their birthday. Additionally - the "standard" every other holiday visitation that works for most would NEVER work for parents if one of them works retail, etc. We have *never* known if/when El Capitan would have a holiday off - so trying to put into writing a schedule we both knew wasn't likely to work seemed like we would be setting ourselves up for failure.
So, our papers read that I get the kids the night *before* and the *day of* all major holidays. I wasn't about to tuck my crying, miserable self into bed in an empty house on Christmas Eve... no way in hell. *I* didn't do this -and I wasn't about to pay the ultimate price for it.
Losing my husband was one thing.... losing those precious moments with my children was a non-negotiable item. El Capitan either understood that... or just didn't give a shit even then. Only time will tell.
However, I added into the papers that he could attend their Birthday parties, celebrate *any* holiday with them on any other day of the week in addition to his regular visitation AND that he was *welcome* to spend Christmas morning with us.
It seemed a bit too cruel to me, to take away Christmas from El Capitan. See the children run around the house looking for the Elf and finding the empty cookie plate and getting all excited.... just seeing their faces and the presents and the joy.... no matter he had done to me, I couldn't really see myself taking that away from him.
So I didn't.
But... clearly: he doesn't mind missing it.
So. Now we have our second Christmas were he doesn't plan/want to see the children.... and we haven't texted/emailed/talked in over a week and then Friday happened.
The day started off mundane and busy - running around, school drop off, etc.... and I had a meeting for The Girl to be interviewed for a government preschool. Now.... I'll be honest: this was a tough pill to swallow.
When The Boy was two and a half *I* was interviewing preschools and getting on wait lists and chatting to the other Moms about which school was better... religious? Waldorf? co-op? I had so many choices, so many *options*..... however, I was able to pay for last year of preschool for The Girl, but I have not been able to squeeze out the money to pay for preschool thus far this year.
Big. Ole. Heart. Breaking. Sigh.
Also. We moved to a new city and I had my hands full with a thousand other things and since I don't know anyone here who *has* a child that age and is in preschool - it was hard to try to find one. Someone told me about this preschool and that it's subsidized, which makes it fairly affordable.
I sit at the tiny desk in a chair *barely* big enough for The Girl and I start to fill out the paperwork.... slowly, I realize that the dates I'm writing is my twelfth 'wedding anniversary' with El Capitan. The time drags on... more paperwork... more tests.... The Girl failed her hearing test in both ears.... oh. good. fucking. times.
I see a doctor appointment in immediate future..... sigh.
Worrying in a different way in the child on the carpet playing next to The Girl who keeps dropping f'bombs.... "pass me the fucking block...." and... "why won't this fucking block stand up.....". The child's Mom is actually sitting *rightFREAKINthere*.... and does nothing. The teacher is saying things like, "remember we only use our 'nice words'".... but the kids clearly couldn't give a shit what anyone says and The Girl - though no stranger to hearing her mother use the f'word - *knows* that this is wrong and keeps looking around the room with eyes that say.... "Really? No one cares that this kid is saying fuck?".
And that.... *that* is when I start to lose it on the inside. The direction *OUR* lives have taken.... the immense loss of everything starts to weigh on me and push me down.... more paper, more date writing, more signatures, more f'bombs..... I can feel the tears burning at the back of my eyes: stinging and threatening to fall.
But I keep it together.... until we get to the car and then I fold up and cry.
It was an ugly cry... and what makes it worse is that it was in front of The Girl.
It's one thing for ME to change, for MY life to change... it's entirely another to have to change my child's life in a way that I *know* is not better for her..... it's a huge failure as a Mom.
HUGE. and at that moment, it was more failure than I could bare.... bear? fuck... on day I gotta look that up.
I text Hail Mary... she texts back as supportive as she can be. But I don't really expect her to do anything - she is my girlfriend and she loves us - but we are NOT her financial "responsibility" or burden.... it's unfair to put that kind of financial pressure on another person. It's enough that she loves us - that she loves them and cares for their emotions... THAT is a huge fucking win.... the money stuff - that's not her "job", if you will.
For me, in that moment, it wasn't about the "marriage" itself, the loss of the 'man' or the relationship that I was upset about it... it was teh loss of everything else.
*I* put down $12,000 of MY money... not *our* money... MY MONEY - to buy our house.
and I lost it all.
*I* paid off $5,000 of school bills and another $6,000 of back taxes.... alllll El Capitan's bills. Not MY bills, not *our* bills.... but bills he accrued before we even married....
and I lost all that too.
To go through your twenties and build a life and a home and a financial security - to INVEST emotionally and financially in someone and have it all taken away..... is fucking brutal. So I sat with my giant ass wedged into the worlds tiniest chair and listened to the f'bombs and thought about how if I *hadn't* paid off those things for him.... I *might* have the money to send my daughter to a proper preschool.....
That's what hurts the most.... starting over. Struggling is something you *expect* to do in your twenties... you relish your new-found independence form your parents and you sit proudly upon the torn and cat piss covered cushions of your Goodwill couch and you *treasure* ALL OF IT.... because you're proud.
Sitting on those same "cushions" at 38 is a shameful moment of failure..... believe me.
So, I was already on shaky ground when I heard from El Capitan... and later I posted this wee gem on my facebook page:
"Kids haven't seen him in over three weeks. He hasn't texted in over a week. It's retail... he's busy. Fine. BUT TODAY... today of allll the days in the month he texts and say's may be he'll call the kids today or over the weekend. then this happens:
Me: "Yeah.... this weekend be better, today is a rough day for me."
Him: "Oh sure lol...sorry - best wishes on your bday."
MOTHERFUCKER. ten years of marriage and you can't remember that our anniversary - that day of the year where you never once bought me an anniversary present and *I* would use the $100 my parents gave us for The Great Wolf Lodge.... you can't remember that our freakin' WEDDING ANNIVERSARY is in DECEMBER... today, in fact - while my BIRTHDAY is the SAME month as our daughters birthday - in March.
And then my day when to shit for a while..... I spent EVERY PENNY I HAD ... paying off our bills and *HIS* bills and buying a house.... and DOING ALL THE RIGHT FUCKING THINGS A GOOD WIFE IS SUPPOSED TO DO...... and I did it all for someone who can't remember when my birthday is?
It's just a bit of a cruel joke.... to be totally honest. A mean cruel joke.
After my posts lots of people had opinions.... several people think I should just "get over it" and be "glad" that I have a "new partner" who will "make up" for these things.....
that pissed me off.
PEOPLE.... do we not learn over and over and over in our lives that OTHER PEOPLE ARE NOT THERE TO MAKE US HAPPY? Sure... being with Hail Mary *makes* me happy... but - it NOT her job to the emotional sponge that wipes up El Capitan's mess. She's there to hold my hand and wipe my tears.... but - she's not supposed to be a band-aid for the pain that someone else caused/is causing.
That's not fair to her.... not at all.
It's my fault.... I married him. I blindly believed in him. I had children with him.... and I wrote those checks- I paid those debts... because I believed it was the best thing for my family.... I sat down with La Novia because I thought i was the best thing for my family..... and I often find myself wondering where the hell I keep going wrong with it all....
And... for the most part, there's no 'easy' way out.... no one is going to show up on my porch with a $30,000 check to make up for the financial loses of having a cheating spouse.... no one.
And... to that end: perhaps they shouldn't.
So the day was rough, I spent it with a swollen face from crying a broken tooth... because another one broke. Yeah.... that's the kind of week I was having.
I know that it's hard for some people to understand that I can mourn and be bitter and hurt and angry about the loss of sooooo many other things that were apart of my life and my marriage and *not* actually be that way about the person I was with. But... that's how it is. The loss of my *life* is something I'm not entirely sure I'll ever be over.
How do you get over that kind of loss......?
Am I happy... you bet. Am I loving the time with my kids.... of course I am. Am I enjoying this new relationship with Hail Mary..... for fucking sure. but nothing "new" ever takes the place or fills the void of losing something else.... at least I haven't figure out how to meld those two together just yet.
We ended the night with a visit to a bowling alley with the kids and Mia and Bella and their wives - and we had a fantastic time. The Boy actually picked up a SPLIT!!!! Where you knock everything down but two pins on either side of the lane... but he knocked those down!!!! It was crazy awesome.
Then this guy showed up with a guitar and an amp and played music - which had The Girl dancing up a storm on the lane next to ours..... and - to be honest I had *no idea* - but it turned out that Hail Mary owned her own custom drilled bowling ball......? Oh... and has a pair of glitter blue Adidas bowling shoes.....
Yes... you read that right: Adidas Bowling Shoes.
Hmm... on second thought..... having a girlfriend who channels her in "Jax" (Sons of Anarchy) and wears her own Adidas Bowling Shoes is certainly hot enough to make up for a super shitty day.... well, that and The Boy jumping up and down with pride and The Girl 'slam dancing' around the alley.....
We may not have money honey..... but may be what we have is worth more.