Good Enough

As any of you that have read this blog since the beginning (THANK YOU!) know, my divorce was rough.

You know the marriage was rougher.

Ward and June Cleaver we weren’t, that’s for damn sure.

Who cleans house in high heels and pearls??

Who cleans house in high heels and pearls??

I wasn’t spectacular to him. I’ll take responsibility for my share of blame in the collapse of our marriage. To be sure, he wasn’t spectacular to me. The only honest thing he did before he left with that other woman (I’m working hard at reining in my Bitter Bitch) was to admit that he had spent 16 years emotionally and mentally abusing me.

Yes, he admitted it. Shocking, no?

And, here we are, over two years since the separation and almost two years from the divorce and I’m still dealing with that crap.

hand tiedHow frustrating is that? I know that I can’t expect to be over it immediately. I know that I will feel the effects for years. But I have made so much progress in coming back to life that it is so defeating sometimes to know that I am still trying to untie myself from his definition of who I was.

It is so very hard to recover your self-esteem, your sense of self, when you spent 16 years with the person that you pledged to love and who pledged to love you, trying to do the best you could and it was never enough.

You were never smart enough.

You were never skinny enough.

You were never pretty enough.not good enough

You were never sexy enough.

You were never a good enough mother.

You were never a good enough housekeeper.

You were never…..

Nothing I ever did was good enough for him.

When the man that you have married tells you that you are subpar at every level on a daily basis, you don’t just get over that in a snap.

So, here we are, two years later, and I’ve met this guy. He’s pretty terrific. OK, he’s more than pretty terrific, but we’re not going to go into massive details. Let’s just say that he’s very sexy, very smart, extremely witty, a talented storyteller and so much more *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*.

He’ll tell me that I’m beautiful and sexy and smart. He does so with regularity and ease. You can tell that he means it, that he’s not lying to just get into my pants. I can tell he means it. Truly means these things that he says.

And I want to believe him. I do. I want to see what he sees. I want to feel that I’m beautiful, sexy and smart.

Sometimes, when we talk or when I’m with him, I feel it. I feel like I’m all of those things and more. I feel like Superwoman having a man as great as him think those things about me.

But, when our conversation is done, or I go home, or even sometimes when we are chatting, I wonder what it is that he sees.

I know he can’t be seeing the same woman I see. That woman isn’t smart, nor sexy, nor beautiful. She doesn’t have anything to offer to a great man like him. Why does he still talk to me?

For 16 years I was told that I wasn’t beautiful, sexy or smart. For 16 years I was told that I wasn’t enough. So, how can I be enough for this man who has everything in the world to offer a woman?

And therein, my friends, lies the issue.

I have to stop wondering what I should do to “be enough” for a man in my life and just be me. Be myself in all things.

Good enoughI have to stop trying to be anything for anyone and just be the person that I am.

I have to just be me.

I have to be that woman whose eyebrows are never plucked quite right, whose roots constantly need touching up, whose house is never clean enough, who feeds too many stray cats because she’s a sucker for them. I have to be that dorky lady who laughs too loudly at lousy puns, who thinks science jokes, Doctor Who and Cosmos are pretty awesome. I have to embrace my almost bottomless pit of trivia about nothing that anyone in the world cares about. I have to appreciate my love of all things J.D. Robb, Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, and J.K. Rowling. I have to be political and care about what is going on in the world. I have to be all of those things.

Because all of those things make up the person I want to be.

If somewhere along the way I happen to be lucky enough to find someone who is willing to accept me with all of my quirks and my dorkiness and my lame jokes and my obscure passions, and also finds me sexy and beautiful and smart, then that will make me a pretty lucky lady.

It doesn’t mean that I will not ever have periods of self-doubt. Bouncing back from a bad relationship isn’t easy and it takes time.

But I have to stop wondering what he sees in me, why he likes to spend time with me, what the attraction is. Instead of questioning it, I need to just accept it.

It doesn’t matter why. It doesn’t matter what.

All that matters is: He does.

That’s good enough for me.

Ok, lady, I love you. Bye bye.

About a week ago, I decided it was time to do a Facebook cleanse.

Don't squeeze the Charmin!

Don’t squeeze the Charmin!


This is much like a juice cleanse, but without the need for all of the toilet paper.

Seriously, though, I had over 350 people on my Facebook page. Who needs that many people all up in their life? I decided it was time to remove some people and to slim down my Facebook interactions.

I took a close look at who I had on there. Some were holdovers from when I was actively gaming on

Does anyone Farmville anymore?

Does anyone Farmville anymore?

Facebook. They were the first to go. I mean, I truly lost my taste for Farmville a couple of years ago.

The next ones to go were those adult friends that I had just outgrown or didn’t really care about anymore. You know the ones. The people that you meet and feel an immediate connection with and you just HAVE to be Facebook friends so that you can talk to each other whenever you want! And I don’t want to miss a single picture that you post! And you’re so witty, I love reading your status updates!!

You know who I mean.

You know who I mean.

Then they move away, or your kids don’t play sports together anymore, or you’ve decided not to do the PTA this year and you drift apart. And suddenly their pictures aren’t so mesmerizing and their posts are not that witty.

Yup, it was time for some of them to go, too.

Then come the high school friends that you have wondered about all these years since graduation. Whathigh school graduation are they doing? Are they married? Do they have kids? Are their kids ugly? (Oh, come on! You know you’ve wondered!!) It was especially meaningful for me, as I joined FB having moved away from where I had gone to high school and hadn’t really had a chance to connect with anyone from high school since graduation. So, when I joined FB, I went on a friending spree looking for everyone I could find that I went to high school with.

But something happened in the last few years. There were a lot of folks from high school that I had absolutely zero in common with. Except that we graduated from the same little high school. Our likes, politics, religion, humor – none of it meshed. But I hung onto them because they were from my past.

Well, it was time for them to go back there.

By the time I was done, I had purged over 150 people from my page. Each and every person on my page, with the exception of less than 10, I have met in person. I have spent time with them. Some of them are from high school, yes. But these are people that I reconnected with and have enjoyed having in my life. Many of them had words of encouragement for me when I was going through my divorce. All of them have are beautiful people, inside and out. These are all people that I wanted to keep in my life, even if only on Facebook.

I took the time to clean out my Facebook page because it, like clutter in your house, can weigh you down. You can be putting information out there that you maybe don’t want everyone to see. Maybe you are getting bombarded with some political stuff that you don’t agree with that is getting you down. Maybe it’s religious. Maybe you are just sick of seeing them post all the fabulous meals that they have or the sick new swag that they bring home constantly and just have to post on FB. Or maybe their humble brags get you down.

Why did I actually initiate the purge? For the simple reason that Facebook was depressing the hell out of me. I would look at the pictures of these people and realize that I had none of that in my life. I had no one that I could call my own, I had no money to buy any swag, and what the hell was I going to humble brag about?

Bottom line: I was jealous.

I was jealous of their lives, jealous of the things that they had. Just plain jealous. No, it’s not a pretty emotion, but it’s real, (to be fair to myself, it had been a pretty crappy couple of weeks for me, which made it a lot harder to look at those folks and not feel jealous).

But then I realized something more. They were not a whole lot more than fluff, the ones that had inspired my jealousy. Not all, to be fair. But a lot of them. It was always about their new things or the new places they were going. There was no substance. No true value. Not to me, anyway.

So I purged them. I cleaned up my news feed and, in doing so, also swept some less than desirable things from my soul, as well. I took control of my happiness and didn’t wait for anyone to do it for me. I spent so much of my adult life tying my happiness to someone else’s happiness that I forget that I can just make me happy now. It’s another step, a small one true, towards making sure that I never go back to that place I was with the ex again.

Without remorse or regret I was able to pull the trigger and say:

Insomnia

It is 2 am and I can’t sleep. I hate when this happens, as it inevitably does, ever so often. My eyes want to close, feel tired and gritty, but then I lay there for hours, just thinking.

I think about things I want to do, things I should have done. Mistakes I made and directions I want to go. On the worst nights, I play “what if,” which is so destructive.

So, I sit here in my bed, watching movies on Netflix to keep my errant mind from wandering too far afield.insomnia

I find myself wondering what you’re dreaming about. If it’s sexy or sweet. If I’m there in your dreams. I know I shouldn’t wonder. I know it’s probably a little creepy that I admit it. But I do wonder.

My dog is under the bed, snoring. Ever so often she dreams and yips in her sleep. I wonder if she’s dreaming of a field full of bacon, all there for her enjoyment. All three cats are fast asleep as well, dreaming of world domination, no doubt. The kids are passed out. I can hear my oldest sometimes talking in his sleep. It’s sweet.

couple sleepingAnd here I sit. Wishing I could sleep like everyone else in the house. Wishing I could sleep in your arms, honestly. Wondering what it would feel like to have you warm at my back, your breath feathering the hair on the nape of my neck. Your arm thrown across my ribs and cradled against my chest, your knees tucked behind mine. Our feet touching, gently.

If I could sleep, I know I would dream of you.

If I could sleep.
.

Um, what?

WARNING: This post contains adult language that may upset some folks and may upset work computers. Also, the content is pretty sexual, not by choice. Please read at your own risk.

Imagine it’s a week day and you have gotten up at the usual ungodly hour of 0600 to get the kids up and ready for school (I’m a night owl. Anything before 10 is ungodly.)

You’re dragging butt because you haven’t had any caffeine yet, and you are getting ready to fight with your kids about getting up and getting dressed to get out the door on time. One child is awake and the other is fighting you. You’re trying to make lunches (which you know you should have made the night before) and you’re also trying to find a second sock for one of the children because, God knows, you’re the only damn person that kind find anything in the house.

Your text message goes off on your cell phone. You wonder who in the world would be texting you so early. You glance at your iPhone and you see a text for your previous landlord. Weird. You hadn’t heard from him in months, hadn’t seen him in person for a year and hadn’t been particularly close when you lived there. Wonder why he’s texting?

You unlock your phone and read the message**. It says: “Heyyy.”

Well, too odd. You, not wanting to be rude, respond: “Good morning.”

He texts back: “Heyy what ya doing?”

You text back, again not wanting to be rude: “Getting the kids ready for school and then headed out to do some teacher observations for my college class. What are you up to?”

You get this response: “Dogs r locked upz (sic), back door is open should come over, I’m in living rm n want my dickb (sic) in uyour(sic) mouth, been drinking, all fucked up.”

dr who gif

This was the way my morning actually started on 11 March.

Before we go any further with this (yes, this isn’t a figment of my imagination, nor was this the last text I received from him that morning), I want to offer some clarification.

1. In the entire year that I lived in the house that he rented me we didn’t exchange much more in the way of conversation other than me asking him to come by and pick up the rent and me requesting of him to not smoke weed in the garage because it stunk up my house.
2. He never, not once, hit on me. I never, not once, hit on him.
3. We never, in the year that I lived there, exchanged anything more than a handshake, twice. Once when I signed the rental agreement and once when he signed the piece of paper that cleared me from the house.

I tell you all of this because I want you to understand how random this text was. I want you to understand how shocked I was to receive it. When I got this text, I realized that he must have been drinking hard and was drunk texting me as he had never, ever done anything like this before. I also knew, or hoped, that he would regret the hell out of this text when he finally sobered up. So, I took a minute to think about my response. The conversation continued….

Me: “I think I’ll pass on that great offer, simply because I’m a little time crunched this morning. But I do appreciate you thinking of me.” (My idea here was to create an out for him, saying no with a little levity and not hitting back at him too hard. Remember, I had expectations that he would regret this when he sobered up.)

Him: “Lol. Stop by for a min. Might like what I have. Haha.”

Me: I really can’t. I know I’ll be sorry I missed it though. (Again, shooting for levity and sarcasm.)

Him: “Been wanting you. :)”
Him: “Stop by for ten min, let me eat that sweet pussy. :)” (Is it just me, or do the smiley faces make it even more creepy than it already is?)
Him: “Back door is open.”

Me: “I really can’t. And I don’t want to be rude, but I think you’ll really regret this conversation a little later. I’m not coming over. But, again, thank you for the sweet offer.”

Him: “Sorry, I’m fucked up. If you change your mind?”

Me: “You’ll be the first to know. Promise.”

Him: “Let me eat that.” (To this day, I’m not sure how I resisted such a sweet offer)

Me: “Seriously, no. But, thank you again for thinking of me.”

Him: “Or fucku (sic) from behind, I’ll smack that ass n pull that hair. Pound ya real nice. I got a huge cock Robin” (Yes, he called me by name, which means he knew who he was texting. Also, he sent this gem of a text twice)
Him: “Ok. Sorry to bother ya.”
Him: “I got 7 inches n 2 inch thick :)” (Again, creepy smiley face. Yuck!)
Him: “Dogs r locked up n I’m naked in livin rm :)”
Him: “Door is open. Come n suck my cock.”

At this point, I’m into snarky mode. And more than a little creeped out by all of this.

Me: “No. But I’m shocked that I can control myself to not take advantage of those amazing numbers and not take you up on your offer.”

Him: “Come over here, there’s parkin in back. I want my cock in ur mouth.” (I know there’s parking in back. It’s where I parked for a year while I lived there.)

Me: “And I want world peace, but I’m afraid that’s just not going to happen for either of us today. Unfortunately.”

I figured with that last text, that that would be the end of it. But, unfortunately, he wasn’t going to get his cock sucked and he wasn’t done with the conversation.

Him: “Whatever. I’m surprised, thought you’d let me eat that. No prob. Door is open.”

Me: “Did you? Why?”

Him: “Cuz I saw you check me out n I love eating pussy n your (sic) in your sexual prime. N all.”

Now, at this point, I’m done. I don’t respond. Before he sent that last text, I was just skeeved out and was going to laugh it off. A random morning convo with a man that had spent too much time in the bar the night before.

But that last comment really pissed me off. I mean really pissed me off. Because he thought that I checked him out (which I didn’t), I was supposed to rush over there and suck his cock like he had finally offered me a gift that I had been waiting over a year for? You mean to say that I can’t look at a man, admire a man, without him thinking that I want to just dive into his pants?

WTF?

Look, guys, I get it. I understand that when you are checking out a woman, you are checking out her fuckability. Not every time, not every man. But, let’s be honest. In fact, I’ve been on dates with a man, watched him check out the waitress or another female patron and had him say, “I’d do that.” Guys in colleges give women a score of 1-10 on a fuckability scale. I get it. And, to be honest, sometimes women do it, too.

But, just because you check someone out does not mean that you really want them to come up and ask you, so romantically, to suck their cock. Men, seriously? Let me help you out here: most women are not going to respond favorably to, “Come on, baby, suck my cock.” Not unless you’re paying her by the hour. It’s just not going to happen. It’s one thing if you’re in the heat of the moment. If she’s feeling it and you’re feeling it.

But cold? Like this?

That’s like having Jehovah’s Witness knock on your door and ask you if you want to be saved. You’re immediate answer, for the most part, is going to be “no.”

And, guys, once she says “no,” don’t keep on. Chances are the answer is not going to change.

One more pro-tip for the guys: this kind of text messaging, if it is not welcomed by the woman, is grounds for a sexual harassment charge. Period.

The only reason I didn’t report this man is because this was the first time he had ever done anything like this. If he ever does it again, though, all bets are off.

And that’s what I told him on Wednesday morning when he texted me to apologize profusely for his behavior the day before.

The lesson here? Well, other than guys can be the biggest dicks? I’m not sure.

But at least now I can cross off “Be sexually harassed by text message” off of my bucket list.

**Everything in quotes is a word for word transcription of the text conversation that actually happened between myself and my landlord, starting at 6:15 am on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

It’s All New….A New Life, A New Me, A New Blog

When I started this blog in August of 2011 (really? that long ago?), I had no idea what the future held for me. My marriage of 16 years had fallen apart and I was so scared of what I was facing.

Here it is, almost 3 years later (damn!), and almost 2 years since my divorce was final, and I feel like I’m getting to know me better.

I feel like I spent the 16 years that I was married to him defining myself by what he wanted me to be. I was to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect partner.

Except, I was never good enough for him.

But, here’s what I came to realize.

No one is perfect.

And that’s not what love is about, anyway.

I have a friend that is in a situation that is not great on any level. And the woman that he loves is giving him grief over it, blaming him for the results that have come about because of her choices. What I told him is what everyone should realize about love:

Love is about accepting a person for who they are at the moment. You don’t make them feel bad about choices that they madelove in the past. You don’t hold them accountable for your choices. When you say you love someone, you accept all of them: past mistakes, faults, failings.

So, what I’ve come to realize is that he never loved me. Not in the way that he should have. And, honestly, I probably didn’t love him in the way that I should have.

And for awhile after I moved into my new place, I felt guilty about the fact that I had failed at my marriage. I felt like it was all my fault that things hadn’t worked out.

But then I realized that it takes two to make a relationship work. It definitely takes two to make a marriage work.

So, I decided to forgive myself for the fact that my marriage collapsed. Sure, I could have done things differently. But he could have, too. We both could have been more supportive of the other, could have given each other more understanding and room to grow, have grown with each other.

But we didn’t.

And here I am, single and happy.

And there he is, engaged and (by all accounts) happy.

When I moved out, one of the things that I promised myself is that I wouldn’t go jumping into a relationship. I didn’t want

"You had me at hello."  *Barf*

“You had me at hello.” *Barf*

to be that woman that had to have a man to complete her. My life is not Jerry Maguire. I’m not Renee Zellweiger and some Tom Cruise wanna be is not going to come along and make my life amazing.

And I didn’t need that. I didn’t need a man telling me how to define myself. What I needed was time to figure out how I like my eggs.

I needed a chance to figure out who I was, what I wanted.

I needed to figure out how to be comfortable with myself before I allowed someone else into my life. I needed to learn tohappiness be happy with myself before I could open the door to someone else.

And, although I’m happy, I’m not in a place where I want to open the door to someone else. Not yet.

Maybe not ever.

I like being single. I like the fun it affords me. I like not being tied to any one person. I like not having to answer for my actions or decisions. I like all of that.

Because my marriage was not a partnership. It was me being held accountable every day for every word, every move, every decision. It was him holding me up as some kind of failure in his eyes because I didn’t behave in the way that he felt I should. It wasn’t marriage. It was prison.

free birdAnd now I’m free.

I get to spread my wings and do things that he wouldn’t have approved of. Things that will give me joy and experience. Things that make my heart happy and smiles come to my face.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all a bed of roses. Sometimes it’s hard being the only one around to make decisions. To not have anyone that you can fall back on to hold you up when you need it. Sometimes it truly sucks.

But those moments are so outweighed by the joy that being single brings me.

Before he left me, the ex told me that his greatest fear was being alone.

How sad is that?

I am my own best friend. Maybe that sounds weird or sad, but it honestly isn’t. I love me. I love who I am.

Granted, I have areas I could work on. We all do.

But, for the most part, I’m really happy to enjoy my own company. I’m comfortable taking myself out to dinner with a good book. I’m happy to stay at home and enjoy the wonders of internet movie streaming.

And, let’s be honest, no one laughs as hard at my jokes as I do. I mean, really, I’m hilarious!

So, the woman that started this blog is no longer here. I left her behind, like I did all of my undesirable baggage. I have moved on without her (and him).

never forgetBut I will never forget. I will never forget who I was when I was married, right after the separation, the divorce. I will never forget that I was that woman: scared, unsure, not ready to face the real world.

I will never forget that I was that woman and that I never want to be that woman again.

So, here we are. Starting a new journey together. I’m glad you’re along for the ride. I know I’m excited to be here, too!

The challenges of being single in today’s weird world of dating is going to be a fun road to travel together. The harrowing adventures of truly being a single mom are another path that we’ll travel down. And let’s not forget the fun that we’ll have together talking about all sorts of things from books to movies to life.

I’m so happy to have you along. The journey would have been taken even if you hadn’t been here, but road trips are just that much more awesome with a friend.

So, we’ll start with a song. Something that embodies the strength that I’ve found within myself. A girl “anthem” if you will. Because, I think, sometimes women forget that they are strong. Our strength comes from the inside and often doesn’t show itself until you really, truly need it.

Let’s start this journey with a little Beyoncé. Just because she’s fun. And strong. And because I like the song 🙂

See y’all in a bit…..

Little Victories

I’m very excited this week as my friend from Tennessee, her mother and her daughter have come for a visit. They are my first, official, overnight visitors to my new house. And with the kids out of town for the summer, I actually have somewhere for them to sleep.

As a bonus, it got me to really clean my house and finally get all of the clutter out of the boys’ room so that they could move in there.

See? Company can be a terrific influence!

On the downside, she’s here visiting because her divorce is happening this week. It’s time for the pre-trial hearing and the actual court date this week.

Actually, now that I think about it, it’s not a downside. She, like myself, is much happier without her soon-to-be-ex-husband. She’s finally happy and free of the oppressive weight of his personality (mercurial would be an understatement) and the abuse that he subjected her, and their daughter, to.

Yes, it’s as bad as you imagine with that last sentence.

Her being here, and the rapidly approaching one year anniversary of my divorce, got me to thinking about this last year. It’s been a wild ride, that’s for sure. Money issues when I first left him that I’m still recovering from (but it’s getting much, much better), two moves (the last one into a house that will be mine, all mine, next year), laid off from two jobs, landing a terrific intern position (that allows me to work from home) that will hopefully become a full time position (that will allow me to work from home) – these are all the big things that happened. These are the ups and downs of life that anyone at all will experience.

But then there were the small victories that would have never happened had I still been with him. I renewed a friendship from high school. This would seem innocuous enough, except that said friendship is with a guy and would never have been allowed to happen if I were still married to the douchebag. And my life would have been vastly poorer had I not been allowed to have Jazzman back in my life (yes, he chose the name. It fits – he played sax in the band in high school). What is amazing is that Jazzman lives in Pennsylvania and I in New Jersey and we graduated high school from a little town in California. The school was so small, we finally topped out at 450 students my senior year (he was a two years ahead of me in school). 22 years and 3,000 miles later, I get to be friends with a man that lived across the street from me when I was growing up. I cherish the friendship and I won’t ever let him out of my life again.

Another small victory? My house isn’t always spotless and I don’t freak out at 4:30 every day because it’s not. The douche would ride me, hard, about the house (I’m not the world’s best housekeeper, to say the least) and 4:30 every day I would panic and tense up because he would always have something bad to say about it. Just as an aside, he never helped to clean up the house, nor keep it picked up. He just expected me to do it. It took me until I got my first job on March 9 of last year to stop tensing up at 4:30 about it. I finally came to the realization that this is MY house and if you don’t like how I keep it, then keep out. It’s really just that simple.

After some small missteps, I finally figured out how to budget. Now, this may seem like a no-brainer for a lot of you folks, but I never handled the finances when we were married. So every financial step in the right direction is a victory for me. I feel so adult when I pay my bills or handle a time sensitive issue (like renewing my car registration ). I’m finally getting a handle on all of those things that I allowed him to take responsibility for in the marriage and I’m doing just fine.

And that’s the bottom line, right? I’m doing just fine. No, better than fine. I’m doing fantastic. I have a built a life for myself after marriage and it’s a good life. A life that I am very content with. Not that I don’t have dreams and goals (I start my Master’s program in September) and plans (there are extensive renovation ideas in my head for my house) for my life.

But, I wake up every morning happy. Every morning.

And that’s the best bit of revenge and/or karma, ever.

Please? Stay?

Oh, Word Press Community, it’s been awhile.  And it wasn’t you.  It was me.  I allowed you to fall by the wayside because other things became more important.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I just shunted you aside like a politician shunts aside a constituent that can’t help him get re-elected.

That wasn’t very nice of me.

Forgive me?

Oh, don’t turn away!  Please, don’t leave like this!  I can make it right with you, I promise.

I could give you all kinds of reasons why I left you for awhile.  I could say that I needed space, time to figure things out.  But that wouldn’t be all together true.

Honestly, life just got in the way.  I took on a new position at my job that was time consuming.  I got laid off from that job and picked up at another before getting laid off again.  The drama of the holidays was another reason why I wasn’t here.  And the drama of trying to find a new place?  Please, don’t even get me started.

But, I’ve come back.  I’ve come back contrite.  I’ve come back sorrowful and shamed that I stepped away from you.

I have missed you.  Badly.

Have you missed me?  Even a little?

You have?  See!  There is a chance for us.  There is a chance for us to reconnect and to make something beautiful in this relationship.  With my words and thoughts and your operating platform, we will make beautiful, lyrical children.

Please, come back?

Cause I’m here to stay.