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Archive for the ‘Divorce’ Category

[Maroon 5]

I’m at a payphone trying to call home / All of my change I spent on you

Where have the times gone / Baby it’s all wrong /where are the plans we made for two?
Yeah, I, I know it’s hard to remember / The people we used to be

It’s even harder to picture / That you’re not here next to me

You say it’s too late to make it / But is it too late to try?

And in our time that you wasted / All of our bridges burned down
I’ve wasted my nights / You turned out the lights

Now I’m paralyzed / Still stuck in that time when we called it love / But even the sun sets in paradise
If happy ever after did exist / I would still be holding you like this

All those fairytales are full of shit / One more stupid love song  / I’ll be sick
You turned your back on tomorrow / Cause you forgot yesterday

I gave you my love to borrow / But you just gave it away

You can’t expect me to be fine / I don’t expect you to care

I know I’ve said it before / But all of our bridges burned down
 [Wiz Khalifa]

Man work that shit / I’ll be out spending all this money while you sitting round

Wondering why it wasn’t you who came up from nothing

Made it from the bottom / Now when you see me I’m stunning

And all of my cars start with the push up a button

Telling me the chances I blew up / or whatever you call it

Switched the number to my phone / So you never could call it

Don’t need my name on my show / You can tell it I’m ballin’

Swish, what a shame could have got picked / Had a really good game but you missed your last shot

So you talk about who you see at the top / Or what you could’ve saw

But sad to say it’s over for Phantom / pulled up valet open doors / Wiz like go away, got what you was looking for

Now ask me who they want / So you can go and take that little piece of shit with you

I’m at a payphone trying to call home / All of my change I spent on you

Where have the times gone / Baby it’s all wrong /where are the plans we made for two?

If happy ever after did exist / I would still be holding you like this

All those fairytales are full of shit / One more stupid love song / I’ll be sick
Now I’m at a payphone…

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Last weekend was my once-yearly trek to the EMS conference in the boondocks. Last year I learned to birth a robotic baby, this year’s highlight was watching my good friend Jay, who 6 years ago was battling cancer, stand up strong and confident and present on professionalism in fire and EMS services.

Let me tell you a little bit about my friend Jay. He is my ex-husband’s best friend (they grew up together and have the war stories to prove it) and I met Jay and his family about 10 years ago. He is now a paid firefighter/paramedic in Fort Myers, Florida and teaches at the local fire academy and the high school votech program. He was diagnosed in October 2005 with Burkitt’s type non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a blood disease so rare that only about 100 people are diagnosed each year. Jay, his loving wife Rhonda, and their six wonderful children fought the disease for over a year.  I have learned a lot from Jay – how to deal with the hand that your dealt no matter how unfair it is, how your attitude can effect the way your battle goes, how important it is to be courageous, how good people will receive good support. Quiet dignity and courage are the two best ways I can think of to describe Jay – and I struggle every day to live up to that example.

Jay and Rhonda both have been wonderful to me through the course of our friendship and my divorce. Despite what could be expected in terms of loyalty, they have not walked away from being my friend – like so many others have. They are at the end of the phone line or the Facebook message when I need them. I am grateful for that.

This EMS conference is now one of the most difficult events for me in my post-marriage life. I have to gird my emotional loins [on a side note, what a greatly colorful phrase, just saying] to attend. This conference is one of the few things my ex-husband and I ever did together. The fire service (along with baseball) was one of the few shared interests we had – and so we did things like this as a couple. And this particular conference was and is always filled with our mutual friends and fellow fire/EMS providers. For those of you who aren’t in the fire service, it can tend to be a very tight knit, close community. Which, when the shit hits the fan, is the best thing in the world – you know that it is your friends and pseudo-family members who are going to come to your aid. But, when your life has fallen apart, it also means that they are ALL going to know about it – and when your ex is also a beloved member of that same pseudo-family, it creates an abondanza of awkard moments. None of your mutual friends want to refer to The Breakup, yet they all know (or think they know) what really happened.

The flashbacks are staggering, those moments when you time travel back to happier days, when you can forget that things have changed. When you run into an old friend who doesn’t know you’ve divorced or you come out of a class and want to share your new knowledge with your life partner. When you go through your skills evaluations and want to celebrate your successes with your husband like you used to. I know that I’m not the first to experience this – those moments of forgetfulness are probably pretty common for anyone who has suffered a loss – but they still twist the knife of grief. I am haunted by the ghosts of lost friends, sad memories, and a firm place in the support system of the local EMS community – no longer can I consider myself a full member of the team because I have lost half of who I was. And the ghost of the Ex lurks around every corner, waiting to slam into me – will he be there? Will he come to the conference and will he bring his new woman? Rationally, you ask yourself – why do you worry if he appears or what he does? Yet emotionally you worry at every moment about the ghosts of him will come out to haunt your present.

So this year’s conference, with Jay as one of the keynote speakers, was one of the most difficult yet. I adore Jay – see the above description – but I also can’t ignore the fact that he is one of my ex-husband’s best friends and has been for over 30 years. How to greet a good friend who, understandably, has loyalties to the man who destroyed my life? How to face a friend who has probably heard every bad thing that my ex can construct about me? How to look in that friend’s eyes and not beg for forgiveness for not having been good enough for his buddy?

The good news is that I learned a lot at the conference. Not just the practical skills-based knowledge on pharmacology and airway management or the new technology for battling ‘dirty war’, not just the steps for a good radio consult with the trauma center or about the protocol updates in Maryland EMS. I learned that I am truly a different person now than I was before. I am damaged goods, yes, but I am also able to stand straight and hold my head high. to ignore the whispers of gossip and to make jokes about the bumpy road I’ve travelled. I am not better for the experiences of the last 2 years – but at least I am stronger.

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There are very few times any more that I truly miss being married. Let’s face it – I didn’t have the ideal marital situation. Neither of us was really in it with the right expectations and its a part of my history that I usually try to put aside, to forget as best I can. Yet there are times when, like brief flashes of lightning that jolt my world and cause an almost physical pain, that I realize what I am missing. I feel, more and more as time passes, that I have past my expiration date, that I had my one chance to be married and I screwed it up. And that makes me really sad. Not sad for the man that I lost (because, let’s face it, he has definitely turned into an A-1 dillweed!) but sad for the fact that I may never have a marriage, that lifelong connection to a loved one, again.

I was raised in a home with 2 happily married parents – an oddity even in my growing up years. More and more of my friends’ parents divorced as I got older and, by the time I was in high school, I began to realize how special a lasting marriage truly is. My mom and dad are partners in ever sense of the word. I’m sure they suffer through the rough times and the typical spousal frustrations of any marriage – but they have stuck together for over 40 years. If one forgets something, the other will remember – if one falls down, the other one picks them up and helps them keep going – if one has a tough time, the other one is there to hold their hand and promise to support them. I envy them their marriage, their partnership, their team.

There was a movie on tv today that I hadn’t seen in years – “Shall We Dance?” – with Richard Gere and J-Lo. This movie, which centers around a man frustrated with his humdrum life and looking for something to challenge him, has one of the best definitions of marriage I think I’ve ever heard:

”We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness’.”

It’s funny, I liked this quote so much that I had it printed in our bulletins for our wedding way back in the day. We all know that I love my quotes – been stealing other peoples’ wisdom for years – and I really liked this one from the moment I heard it. Back then, I was so naively optimistic about being married and being in love. Now this quote seems to ring with a certain irony.

I’ve lost my witness, the only person that could testify to my life, so now I wonder if that was it for me, my one chance. I know that I have friends and family that love me – but they all have their own spouses and children whose lives need witnessing. Who will be a witness to my life, to love me unconditionally through good days and bad? Who will help me pass the time on this planet, into old age and into the grave? Why has God chosen for me to go through life without a partner? Who will be the witness to my life…?

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Today is what I would (now and probably forever) consider a bittersweet day in my life – today would have been my wedding anniversary. I look back at the young and trusting person that I was just those 6 short years ago when we got married and I weep for the innocence lost and the dreams and memories that I will never make. I mourn the death of that marriage – I loved that man and I liked being married. I mourn for the happy person that I was that beautiful autumn day and I am sad for the good, decent man who has become not so much.

Now, I do fully understand how lucky I am to be out of  my marriage. Staying with a man who had been unfaithful and dishonest with me for the entire length of our relationship would have been foolish and toxic. Continuing to try to fix an unfixable situation would have eventually caused major psychic and physical damage to me. I spent so much time and emotional energy trying to make myself more attractive, interesting, and appealing to him – not knowing that he was…uh…otherwise involved. I am jumping for joy at the independence and stability that I have earned since ending things with him. I am eternally grateful that the Lord only burdened me with him for the short time – its only 10 years of my life gone, after all. I truly am a stronger person now having gone through all of this and I can hold my head high that I did nothing wrong except to love the wrong person.

However, with all that said, I am still sad today. As much as my mind tells me how lucky I am to be out, my heart still breaks for what I have lost. A few tears may be shed at some point today for the scars that I bear and the hurts that I still carry because of that once-happy day 6 years ago.

I will pray, once more, for forgiveness to enter my heart and for the hurts to go away. And I will give prayers of thanks for the stronger person I am now. Like I said, a very bittersweet day indeed…

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From the very moment we, as little girls, dream of our wedding, we hope that we will find a giving, kind man that will treat us like queens, love puppies, and give kisses regularly. We can’t help it, we dream of the wonderful men that will wait for us at the altar, who will walk hand-in-hand with us through the paths of life. We all long for the once-in-a-lifetime love – and we all sort through a huge stack of possibilities trying to find Mr. Right.

As any female over the age of 25 can tell you, there was a whole string of maybes and like-a-lots. These are the men who walk into our lives and teach us the good and bad about ourselves, our world, and our expectations. They are the men that show us what qualities we desire in a mate. Some of these men are good, some are awful – and they are ALL educational! These men are the trial-and-error elements of finding love in this mixed-up world. They are the gods we drool over from afar, the bad boys who will treat us horribly, the overly-kind mammas boys, the geeks, the cheating bastards, the sex fiends, the players, and the big talkers. We have to suffer through these mistakes in order to find out who we are as women and what we want in life.

I have truly loved two men in my life. They didn’t turn out to be the “right” ones for me but, in fairness, they were wonderful men. They each had qualities that made me love them uncontrollably and unconditionally. These two men were noble and kind, brave and strong, and as loving and giving as their natures allowed them to be. They weren’t good fits for me – who knows, maybe no one is – but I cannot deny that they are good, decent people. I would like to think that I wouldn’t have loved them if they were total losers! In hindsight, I know that they each had qualities that are endearing and charming and captivating. I loved them, flaws and all, because they are good men. I hope that the women now in their lives realize how special these two men are!

So how do we, as women, swim through the wide, crowded pool of humanity to find someone who is a good fit? It was hard enough when I had my youth and idealism, energy and naivete. Now I am older, wiser, more jaded, and yet still not cautious enough to guard my heart. How on earth do I avoid any more painful chapters in my fairy tale? How do I find someone that I can love as much as the previous two but who will treat me better? How do I find the one man who will realize how much more there is to me than just love handles and a stubborn nature?

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There was a time when men were kind,
And their voices were soft,
And their words inviting.
There was a time when love was blind,
And the world was a song,
And the song was exciting.
There was a time then it all went wrong…

I dreamed a dream in time gone by,
When hope was high and life, worth living.
I dreamed that love would never die,
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid,
And dreams were made and used and wasted.
There was no ransom to be paid,
No song unsung, no wine, untasted.

But the tigers come at night,
With their voices soft as thunder,
As they tear your hope apart,
And they turn your dream to shame.

He slept a summer by my side,
He filled my days with endless wonder…
He took my childhood in his stride,
But he was gone when autumn came!

And still I dream he’ll come to me,
That we will live the years together,
But there are dreams that cannot be,
And there are storms we cannot weather!

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living,
So different now from what it seemed…
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed…

How many of us have found ourselves in the midst of a life we couldn’t have imagined? To look around and wonder how you ended up here? Am I alone in this sense of bewilderment? Am I the only one who feels as though my dreams have yet to come true? That I have yet to be the person I want to be?

The roads I have travelled have led me to some very interesting places and I have discovered some very important things about myself. And I have picked up some wonderful and unique travelling companions along the way. I just have to wonder how I ended up where I am today.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that I am happy with the way my life has turned out. I can’t pretend that where I am now in my journey looks anything like I thought it would. I had dreams of doing something important, of being someone important. Even if it was just in my own little sphere, I dreamed that my presence on this planet would mean something. I dreamed those dreams when I was young and idealistic and naive – now I wonder if I’ve lost those opportunities. I’m older, much more jaded, and entirely too cynical. I want to believe that I can have another chance but am I just fooling myself?

I have got to stop blogging on rainy days, the maudlin thoughts are killing me…

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I was watching a documentary the other night on adult entertainers (porn stars, strippers, etc.) who are married. I know, I know, certainly not classy, educational TV but what can I say? Anyway, they were discussing whether they get jealous of their spouses while they’re doing their…uh…jobs.  Almost all of them said no, of course not, they would never be jealous.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this was really true. I would never have considered myself a jealous person until I met and married the ex-husband. It started fairly early on when one of his long-time female friends admitted to me that she was in love with him. I’m not sure she was serious (she has a very deadpan sense of humor) but I would watch him with her, and most of his other female friends, and see how charming and flirty he was with them. And that’s what awakened the Green-Eyed Monster in me.

I know it is so stereotypically female of me to be jealous and envious of other women. Granted, my idiot ex-husband ultimately proved me right – he cheated on me with one of these female “friends” for 5+ years and made me feel like I was an inferior human being – but I hate that I can’t seem to kill that Jealousy Monster even now. That envy of the beautiful women I see everywhere around me can make me want to crawl into a very large hole.

Is this a sign of insecurity? Probably. When you feel as self-conscious as I generally do, it makes you compare yourself to the rest of the female population – and invariably come up short. But I think it’s also a sign of our society’s brainwashing of us as females. I’m not all the things that society says I should be as a woman: I’m not skinny with big boobs and a small brain, I don’t simper at mens’ feet, I don’t live to cook and clean. I have curves in all the wrong places and I rarely wear skimpy clothes. I am a strong independent female, meaning that I don’t rely on a man to complete me – and I sure as hell won’t tolerate another man disrespecting me like I have in the past. I don’t feel as though I live up to what people expect a good woman to be. And, therefore, it makes me jealous of those women who do!

I am going to try to slay that Green-Eyed Monster, to set aside the insecurity and the vulnerability and be strong enough to not be jealous or suspicious of every woman I see. I’m going to go into a new relationship NOT expecting my partner to cheat – instead I will have faith that I am smart enough to pick a decent man this time around. Die, you evil Monster, die!

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