It's interesting that we spend so much time, as parents, discussing discipline and the idea of punishment. We dissect and discuss - to the point of turning blue - what is and is not appropriate means of punishment for our children.
We carefully weigh the pros and cons of time outs and standing in corners and spanking.... or, not spanking. We spend hours in deep discussions where we lay bare the 'wooden-spoon' childhoods we once had and how we would *never* do that to our children......
However, as adults: we can't whip that wooden-spoon out soon enough.
The Barista at Starbucks takes too long and effs up our drink..... oh - we are going to lose our mothertrucking sh*t over $4.00 purchase as though the success of our entire day could have been found at the bottom of that tall, while cup.
Do we have concern for the aforementioned Barista?
She works there.... that's what she get's *paid* to do.
Now, before we get too far, it's important to note that I have lost my ever-loving schmidt at *more* than one tmobile or comcast or verizon representative. *In my defense* - I *always* start the conversation by saying, "Listen, I understand you're just the poor bastard who answers the phone. I know you're not actually, personally responsible for this companies decisions, but as these calls are recorded, I'm about to lose my shit all over this phone line and you're free to hang up - or listen so that some f*cker above you will hear my frustration and fix sh*t. From here on out - "you" simply refers to your company and my problem(s) with them - and does not mean YOU, in the personal sense."
Most of the time, my corporate tirades are amusing and they rarely hang up on me. Also- a bit of humility on my part and understanding of their limited control in my situation almost *always* means that they sort out my problem for me.
But, for the sake of clarity - I am *not* above telling people where the hell they've gone wrong and how they can fix it ..... however, I *try* to leave such tirades for nameless and faceless companies - and not for the people in my life. just sayin'.
I am increasingly happier than I sheltered Yoga Girl and El Capitan from the public attention. I know that might sound strange - because I was/am - very open about posting my feelings and the myriad of hurdles that have cropped up along this journey to co-parenting with El Capitan - but, I'm not afraid of sharing this journey. It's a f*cking *hard* one - and you can read all the books you want - but honestly, having people go *with* you on this journey is the best thing ever. Getting advice and help in *real time*, not weeks or chapters or months later.... when it's too late to fix things or change things.... that's not really helpful.
This Blog and the *many* people who shared their lives with me has been a tremendous blessing to me and to the children.
At the same time, however, being this open and honest means that everyone knows who did what wrong and when and how... and, well.... everything. lol I don't regret that at all - I don't think people should do things in their life that they aren't willing to tell other people about. PERIOD. So, there really isn't much I would have done differently - but, I think for El Capitan, it's a good thing people don't know who he actually is. lol
I was recently out with some friends and El Capitan came up. At this point... I *know* that forever else it has "only" been 11 months... but FOR ME - it has been waaaaaaay longer. Writing The Book and The Blog, has had me *living* this every minute of every hour of every day in a way that I think a lot of other people going through my situation don't have to. They get to go to work - check out, go to lunch with friends, deal with other people's problems at work or with customers or whatever.... not me.
Pretty much the only thing I've had to do for the last 11 months is deal with this.
Deal with me.
Deal with the betrayal.
Deal with the heartbreak and the loss.
Deal with the children.
Deal with their emotions.
Slowly that started to become healing.... and now we're kind of at a place of growth.
Growing into our new lives.
Growing into our new schedules.
Growing into forgiveness.
Growing into ..... us.
To do that, however, there has to be an element of moving the f*ck on. You can't move forward in your life if you're standing in the mudd of yesterday - crusting over and holding your feet down.... you can't break free and run and skip and *live*. You're just kind of stuck.
I feel like that mudd is a long ways away now.... and the only thing under my feet is bright, green grass.
Until I had lunch. lol
At lunch, another Mom brought up that she would *never* forgive her husband if he cheated on her and how she would spend the rest of her life making him "pay" for what he did. She would screw him in court, take all his money, throw out his prized golf clubs and make sure whatever b*tch he was sleeping with inherited his porn collection.
I don't try to judge people - I get it. I get what she's saying... but at the same time - I kind of don't. Choosing a path of financial and emotional destruction for yourself or anyone around you is *bound* to affect you.... but even if it doesn't affect you at the time - it's going to leave a stain on your soul that you will never get rid of.
You will never deal with that stain.
You will never heal from that stain.
So.... long after he's gone and you're over him, and his porn and his golf clubs.... you'll just be left: stained.
Is that *really* what you want?
I don't think so.
So then that got me thinking... and thinking *hard* - because while we *both* made the sign and El Capitan agreed that I could write The Blog and The Book....I sometimes wonder if I have stained El Capitan.
Sure, I agree that so long as what I wrote is *true* - then... well, those are the breaks. Right? He did that sh*t and he should own it... not coming for Christmas was douche baggery 101. But I have to be willing to admit that the side-effect to all of this is that El Capitan is stained.
Now, on the one hand I think that we reap what we sew in this life.
He was the one holding the needle and pulling it through one bad decision after another. It's not all my fault if the quilt he made casts him in a bad light.... but then again - did I have a right to shine a spot light on it? BUT... is that what I did? I didn't call the media. I didn't think any of this would happen. I *did* start The Blog and write The Book.... and I worry that that *is* a bit of a spotlight.
Back at lunch, the Mom in question then kind of turned things on me and said that there was "no way in hell" that she would "ever" be "friends" with El Capitan - or even be friendly with him and then she went on to suggest that I'm only friendly with him now to try to get him back.
Then I thought about what she was saying.....
So, the person you love more than life betrays you.
You respond by ruining him financially and damaging his property.
Then you refuse to show him kindness.... unless in an effort to get him back.
Wow. I was suddenly a bit sad for her marriage. Just a round of punishment and manipulation... over and over? Really?
What El Capitan did was wrong.... but no one - not me, not our friends, not anyone - has the right to pull out their "wooden spoon" and whoop his ass. Really.
We think about what we say to our children. We think about how damaging our words are.... and *no one*- I don't care *who* the f*ck you are - can be as cold and hard and downright damaging as *I* can be with words. Seriously. I'll cut your throat from across a room just by saying the right thing at the right time: emotional jugular. Bam.
But I find that I'm *rarely* proud of those moments.
As I have moved into a place of honest happiness - with the kids and with myself.... I find myself a bit worried about El Capitan's happiness. I worry about his ability to emotionally recover from the choices he has made - not just the cheating but the months of horrid sh*t that followed.... and I truly worry a bit about that.
Sure, sure..... El Capitan's ex-wife would love for him to be in a permanent fetal position .... but you know what - it's kind of hard to play basketball with your Dad if he can't get up on the floor. I don't want that for my kids. I don't want them to have a Dad who is broken.... ultimately that will be up to El Capitan and not me - but at the same time, if I were to get out my "wooden spoon" every time I saw him..... I could be doing yet more damage to someone who ..... well. you get the point.
SO. For that reason, I'm really glad no one knows who they are. I think the world is quick to pull out "wooden spoons" and dole out punishment where we feel it needs to be done.... and because these are "adults" (and that's in ""'s because we all know that Yoga Girl is a barely out of diapers... bwahahahahahaha) - and we feel less of an obligation to guard their self-esteem and sense of self.
Is that right?
I mean, let's put on our 'human' hats..... forget what they did, this is someone's *daughter*.... this is someone's 'The Girl'.... shouldn't we try to honor that? El Capitan is still someone's son.... shouldn't that count for something when we deal with them?
I left that lunch - and that Mom's tirade.... *really* glad that the general public doesn't know who they are... because we will *all* be forever altered by what happened... but doesn't mean we have to be stained.
I know I don't want to be stained... though at this point I think I always will be to some degree - but I'm glad that they have avoided that fate.
They might not deserve it.... sure. But, I'm glad non
Mother, "scorned wife", photographer, designer, potential blog writer and recent guest on The View.... life's been pretty crazy as of late - crazybeautiful that is!
You can see some of Elle's photography at: