Misguided Guidance

In my very first post I made a promise to lay it all out there.

{Which I’ve apparently done if all of the comments regarding my lack of sanity are any indication}.

My motivation for sharing my fugly isn’t because I think my life is extraordinarily different than anyone else’s. I know I’ve experienced situations that are extreme, but the feelings I’ve had as a result of those situations are universal. That’s what drives me.

Everyone reading this, even including the ONE person who hasn’t yet discovered my blog {seriously, if someone could help her out that’d be great. Like, just send her the link? Her name is Mary. You know, I can’t really recall the last name… starts with an “s” though. Maybe Swimmy? Swammy, Slippy, Slappy… that’s it. Mary Slappy. Please send the link to her immediately so she’s not left out. Thanks.} has experienced situations that aren’t ideal.

And because most of us (myself NOT included) don’t really talk about them, going through shat first-hand can be a very lonely experience. We are expected to put on a happy face and pretend like everything is ok. We’re told, “don’t share your business”.

The next time you are having a hard day and someone in passing asks, “Hey! How are you?” answer honestly and see how awkward it is.

And that’s why I’m here.

You aren’t alone! You aren’t the only person wondering why the Hell someone Jerry-Springered your life. {Yes, you let it happen, but that’s a different post altogether}.

Feeling alone when you’ve just become a single parent is the last thing anyone should feel. Feeling alienated because your family member is a public embarrassment isn’t right! Every politician in America has had to clean up that type of mess.

{Right, Hillary?}

As a result of all the poo we step in, counselors and therapists will always have job security.

I recently read an article about a celebrity couple defending their trips to couple’s counseling. For all the judgy-judgy people out there judging them for going to therapy, you’ve probably been there, too, and you’re just trying to pretend you’re perfect. Stop. You aren’t fooling anyone. If you haven’t been to therapy and you’re judging them for going, you mos def need it.

Reading the article immediately brought me back to last year.

When my ex-husband {I feel like he needs a code name. Continuously writing “ex-husband” is getting cumbersome. Let’s call him “Tim”. No, that’s not it. “Gene”. He’s much more equipped in the coolness department to carry off “Gene” (I mean “pull it off”, not like he’s carrying off Gene’s body, although that wouldn’t surprise me). “Gene” it is.}

When Gene started suggesting my daughter at age five get on an airplane alone to fly 3,000 miles across the country to spend time with a man she’d at the time only seen 6 or 7 times since she was 10 weeks old, I did everything in my power to make sure it didn’t happen.

He is the king of ulterior motives. I was convinced that something else was driving him but since I couldn’t figure out what that was at the time, I worked with my attorney to put parameters in place to safeguard my daughter and, at the same time, have him prove himself. If he were willing to make sacrifices and jump through hoops I’d soften my opinion.

Once a month he was to fly on his own dime to visit for the weekend. On Saturday morning he was to attend reunification counseling with a therapist of my choosing with Bella and me to ease the transition to a more frequent visits and make sure that there was an impartial third party to provide guidance when needed. After counseling he could visit with her until 5pm, then again on Sunday from 8am to 5pm.

If he could keep this monthly visitation for at least six out of eight consecutive months, he could have a version of his way.

{I’m pretty sure I can now successfully negotiate with Vladamir Putin. Or at least whoever is in charge of Canada.}

He agreed to the arrangement in mediation and we all signed the handwritten mediation terms on a sheet of paper. My attorney was to type it up and make it official.

{Yes, I went to “family” counseling with the cheating, lying, manipulative Gene.}

September was the first visit.

My vision of the counseling sessions had me in the background. I’d just be there to help Bella feel more comfortable but really I expected it would be centered on her and ways to help her bond with Gene in a healthy way that wouldn’t cause her any more trauma than she’ll experience when I bust her first unauthorized high school party in a robe with rollers in my hair.

{Yes, I’ve rehearsed it in my head. Again, with the judging!}

In our first session Gene stated that he felt he and I should hash out our differences first and that would allow everyone to move forward. The therapist indulged him.

He showed no interest in anyone but me during the sessions. He tried everything he could to discredit me, make me seem bitter and emotionally weak.

{But, come on!  We all know I’m waaay too pretty for anyone to believe that bidnaz.}

Each of the three sessions we completed together had Bella in an adjacent playroom at some point or another to avoid her hearing the shat that flowed from his facially situated asshole.

When he realized that I wasn’t weak and that I chose an intelligent therapist who challenged his inconsistencies he got frustrated and lashed out, becoming defensive and would dance around questions he knew he couldn’t answer in a way that would make him look favorable.

In addition, he accused my attorney of changing the terms of the agreement when she typed it up.

His attorney fired him as a client.

He sat on the typed agreement for four months refusing to sign it even after my attorney told him to simply circle the items he disagreed with. So, my attorney found him in breach of contract and nullified the agreement.

He discovered this information in our November session and instead of getting upset or requesting we figure it out, (the normal response from someone who genuinely wants to see his child), he simply said, “Oh. Well, we can just go back to the way it was before”. And that was the last time Bella has seen him.

Some might consider this to be a failure. I don’t. Either way, my plan would have worked.

As soon as the “what’s in it for him” factor disappeared, as soon as he realized he couldn’t do what he wanted as it was convenient for him, he bailed. It simultaneously broke my heart and made me cry tears of joy.

Although not the intended purpose, I discovered a lot about myself that hopefully has made me a better mom, wife, and friend.

I’m co-dependent. I tend to hold on to abusive, toxic relationships as a way to control my environment. My therapist helped me see my patterns so that I can learn to alter that behavior.

I don’t want my kids growing up with the same hang-ups I have. I want them to go find their own.

Don’t feel alone if you’ve got shat on your shoe. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You just might learn something about yourself in the process.

Cuz we already know you’re pretty!

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Wasted Day

I get so excited when I have the rare day off that happens to be a company holiday (meaning I don’t have to use a precious vacation day) AND the kids have school because it means I get the day ALL TO MYSELF!  But then I get so overwhelmed with all I WANT and COULD do that I end up running around in circles like a cray-cray dog and at the end of the day I’m exhausted and have wasted a perfectly great day off.

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Slight tangent alert:

It’s super awkward to sit down at the only available table at Starbucks and realize you’ve sat next to a table of men who are holding a marriage intervention with one of the guys at the table.  And that guy is talking REALLY LOUDLY about all his issues.  It is vurry entertaining, though…

 

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