Dear Amber, Lili, etc…

Dear ‘other women’….

I know you think you won a battle, took the prize. I used to blame you. Then I realized a few things. Number one, if he can’t be faithful to his wife of 18 years, I can assure you he can’t be faithful to you, a simple side piece he is using to boost his fragile, aging ego.

I know the things he said about me, some are true, others are not. All said to make you feel bad for how he’s had it. How hard it was to have a wife waiting at home every night, how difficult it was that his wife supported him through getting his bachelors degree, a masters degree and finally a doctorate. I encouraged him, pushed him, wanted him to achieve all the dreams that first wife seemed to quell.

I know he has quoted to Beatles songs, I think “In My Life” is his personal favorite, quoting the line that all that matters is that he has been loved by you. Yeah, he did that for me too. He told me of the heartbreak of losing his son, and cried the only real tears I’ve ever seen him cry. And you felt bad, you wanted to comfort him. And you fell for that manipulation. He told you how he hadn’t been himself in years but you made him feel more like himself (yup, I heard that line, too). Did he say he wrote you song? Did he sing it for you? Yup, I got the same song.

You may think you are ‘special’…but you aren’t alone. There are at least two other women he is singing to same song to. Eliciting the same feelings of sorrow from.

Oh, and that money you think he is going to spend on you? Do you know what alimony is?

With what he makes as a ‘doctor’ (and I use that term loosely, as he behaves contrary to every tenant of being a healthcare provider), you might think you caught a big fish. Know how he got that degree. Loans. Loans that are now coming due. With payments more then the mortgage.

So think what you will, live in your dream world. I know all about you, more then you could possibly ever imagine. I read every email, I know who you are, what you are, and what you think you are.

I’m not angry anymore. I’m grateful. Grateful for finding those emails, grateful I got to walk away and no longer play the fool. And you can ask him, I hold everything in my hands. I can bring ruination to his life on under a minute. Because of YOU. But as long as he serves a purpose (paying my rent, my car payment, my insurance….) I will let you all be. I have the knowledge, I can and will use it. Don’t forget that.

OH, and if I EVER find out that you have talked about my kids or even considered meeting them or friending them on facebook or something…..well, know your place. Know your roll. Harpy, addict, whore.

Good luck and thank you for taking that giant mess off my hands.

Sincerely

The One True Queen

 

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Ramblings

So here I am. 41. Twice divorced. I was pretty devastated when this marriage fell apart. I would curl up into a ball and cry myself to sleep, mourning the loss.

2015 hasn’t been a banner year for me. My dear, sweat grandmother who was touchstone in life passed away in January. Somehow, I managed to survive it. I wasn’t sure I would. She was sick, it was expected…..no, I can’t say that. People always say that. Death is never expected. You can plan for it, but when it finally comes, that shock and sadness and grief overcome you like a tidal wave. The sudden empty space in your heart, never hearing that voice, or feeling that touch. It doesn’t matter if someone is sick or for how long, your soul still shatters when they finally leave.

In February, my first grandchild was born. She came early, but was healthy and my daughter did an amazing job. Was it planned this way? No. I would have liked her to have waited until she was older to have kids and hopefully avoid some of the hardships I faced having children so young (20).  But, she brought that beautiful baby girl into this world and I love her with every single beat of my heart. The fierce protectiveness you feel for you own children is somehow magnified with your grandchildren. You not only are mamma bear for your own, but their own. They are my tribe and the fierceness of the love and the need to protect them is all at once amazing and overwhelming.

Less than a week later, while still adjusting to being a grandmother and having a newborn in the house, my marriage fell out from beneath me. My world seemed to shatter. Or so it seemed at the time. But now, that I am looking back at that time in my rear view mirror, it wasn’t really a shock, or it shouldn’t have been. The writing had been on the wall for a long time, I just didn’t take the time to read it.

So I moved out, leaving my daughter, granddaughter and son in the house I was married in. They chose to stay in the house grew up in. I could not begrudge them that.

Living alone was an adjustment. I continues to be an adjustment. I still find myself crying, late at night, alone in my bed.

But now I am not crying over a person. I am crying over a life I had, a life I built so carefully with wonderful holidays and birthdays. The comfort of knowing what each day would bring. A life that I built with my grandmother in it. When I walked away, I felt like such an unbelievable failure. More of a disappointment to the woman I so desperately miss. The women who I could have cried to and she would have had some sage words of how to move on.

Then my son graduated high school in June. I could not have been more proud. It had been a struggle from him, emotionally. His senior year was supposed to be so great, instead his great-grandmother (whom he was extremely close with) died and his parents split up. For all the joy I felt watching him walk across that stage, my heart still broke for him. For the pain I knew he carried each and every day. For how he felt seeing his parents sitting together, knowing that it was just the two of us there as his parents, not as a married couple, the parents he had known all his life. Different. Separate.

My new life is different. It’s good. I’m considering dating again, have even dabbled a little bit here and there.  But in all honesty, I’m not interested in anything serious. And I may never be again. I like my space. I like that I can come up, crank the radio as loud as I want (sorry, neighbors!) and do what I want without restriction. Law and Order SVU marathon all day? Yes, please! Dunkin Donuts coffee on the weekend? I’m there.

I’m finally becoming the person I am supposed to be. I’m figuring out me. What makes me tick. Things that have always been buried beneath the role of wife and mother. I will always wear my mother and grandmother  badge with pride. But being a wife? Yeah, been there and done that and it turns out, it’s not something I’m good at.

So I carry on, taking it as it comes. The dark times come, but they are fewer and far between. And I’m gonna be OK.

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It’s About Me Now

On March 1st, my world as I knew it fell apart. I found out my husband was cheating on me. I was beyond devastated. I tried to repair things, worked on it for a few weeks and realized it just wasn’t working. So I searched and found a house to rent. A cute little cabin-type house with room for my two kids and my granddaughter. It’s 3 miles from my old home, much smaller, but I knew I could make it work. I had to

I moved in May 1. It was a culture shock to say the least. I had never in my adult life been responsible for paying bills or balancing a checkbook. I had to turn on utilities, and sign up for my own cell phone and take responsibility for things like mowing my yard.

My kids, 19 and 20 now, decided not to make the move. They didn’t want to leave the house they grew up in, and I couldn’t fault them for that. My house is much smaller compared to the one they grew up in, and is outside of the village.

So I was on my own. In my own little house. I took some furniture from the house, and carefully sifted through flea markets and antique stores for other pieces of furniture, each item my own personal choice.

And now here we are. A little over 3 months later. And I have come into my own, I think. I still struggle with bill paying (being a grown up can really suck sometimes). But everything in my house is mine, it’s a part of me. If my house is a mess, it’s because of me. If all the ice cream is gone, I know I’m the one who finished it. It’s all me.

I can nap on my couch all weekend. I can come and go and so what I please. And it’s so liberating. After so long as a wife and mother (jobs and titles I cherished and am grateful I had the chance to have).

Today I went and got a consult for orthodontics. Braces. At 41. And I’m going to do it. My teeth have always been an issue for me and I consciously don’t smile fully because of that. So I’m changing that. I am changing my exterior to match my interior. I feel so good inside, so free and happy and beautiful. I want my outside to match.

I might even get a nose job last year, after having it broken several times when I was younger, it’s not what you’d call straight.

Call it a mid-life crisis, call it a post-separation epiphany. I’m not really sure. I know that I am feeling passion for life that I haven’t felt in such a long, long time.

I want to go places and do things. I am planning on a cruise next year with my mom. She has always wanted to go, but never has had the chance. I’ve always been a little afraid to go, but for my mom, I’ll do it. And we will have a blast.

I want to try things that scare me. And do things I’ve always thought about doing and never did. I’m buying a pop-up camper. So that I can take off on a weekend and find a nice, hidden away campsite and explore.

My possibilities are endless. My hope is boundless. My happiness is mine. And it’s about damn time.

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Dear Gramma

Dear Grams,

So much has happened since you left us. Everything is different, everything has changed. I’m single again. Not something you ever thought would happen, but well…here I am. Living on my own. I feel you in my little house, guiding me as I decorate like you so loved to do. You’d like it. It’s cute and quaint.

I tried to hold my marriage together. I really did. And I know that you would never believe that he could do me wrong, but he did. And my heart shattered. It was already so broken from losing you and then the blow of being left by the man I loved, it destroyed me. I missed you arms to cry in and your always sage (and sometimes potty mouthed) words of wisdom.

And little Raegen was born. She came a little early, but not early enough for you to meet here. One month to short for you to see her and hold her, and count her little toes and kiss her head as I watched you do with both my babies. She came into this world tiny but full of spirit and I knew you were there. As I was in the room with my baby helping her bring her daughter into the room, I knew you were there. That everything was going to be alright. And it was. She was tiny, but she was perfect. I think she has your eyes. Wide and bright.

My heart hurts from grief. From the grief filled festival my life has become. Some days I can barely hold on. It’s hard. So hard. But I’m trying. If you taught me anything it was to be strong, pick yourself up and move on. Weakness was not in your vocabulary.

I miss you, grams. Please keep guiding me and protecting me and babies and grandbaby.

I’ll take good care of her. I promise.

Until we meet again,

Erin Lee

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Empty

God, I have never felt so empty. So alone. So lonely. In the almost week since my marriage imploded I have spent a majority of my time alone in my room. I haven’t even turned the TV on. I just sit here and realize just how screwed up my life has become. I don’t know where to even start to start over. I’m weak. I’m sad.

What makes me mad is that the soon to be ex isn’t the least bit moved by anything. Not my son crying and begging him to fix it. My son is 18. He is very emotional. He battles some pretty severe depression and has been on medication since he was 12 for it. This has sent him into a tailspin that I hope he can pull out of. I am trying to help, but I feel myself sinking deeper into this pit. The darkness is surrounding me, eating my soul, devouring the light.

But the ex? Not a tear, not a care. He is still carrying on with his mistress (supposedly he ‘ended’ it when I found out, but I have found out otherwise. Cell phone records and downloads don’t lie, my friend). So he thinks I’m stupid, which since he has a doctorate degree, and I don’t, he probably thinks I am.

He says that our marriage has been over for years. Which I can’t actually argue with. I haven’t been attracted to him in a long time. No so much because of him, but because after my hysterectomy I don’t feel any kind of physical attraction to anyone. I’m sort of dead down there, I guess.

So he has probably had a long string of whatever it is that he is doing. I am going to be tested for ever disease known to man this week.

What I need is to get out of this house. Away from him, away from the memories. I hate to walk away from a house that I raised my kids in and is my home, but staying here and sharing the house isn’t an option anymore. I just makes me want to throw up.

What I really want is to just run away. Disappear. Take my kids and run. (If they’d go). Start over fresh somewhere new. My skills are marketable, I can work anywhere. Can I make enough to support my family? Probably not. He says he’ll pay alimony. Will he? Until he moves in his next conquest and her family and tries to play knight in shining armor. (Trust me, it’s tarnished armor).

I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other. I wish I had friends I could count on to hold me up. But I have none. I have family. But friends? No, not really. Not that kind that will let me cry and scream, the kind that would take me out and get me drunk and make sure I got home OK.  I am completely isolated.

Tomorrow I see the lawyer. I hope this won’t cost me a lot and I hope it can be done quickly. I also hope I can just find somewhere to live. So far, I’ve been out of luck in that department. And living here is like a prison. Stuck in a house with someone whom you despise and not being able to go anywhere. It’s like a living nightmare.

I’m just so lonely. And so sad. And so alone.

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Strike Two

It’s almost 1am. I’m awake. Sitting in bed. Alone. Sitting here wondering how my life went so wrong. Almost 41 years old and ending a second marriage. A marriage that I find out now, has been a complete and utter lie from almost the beginning. That the man I thought loved me and would always love me, doesn’t. And probably never did.

I had built my life around supporting his dreams and encouraging him. Now that he has reached that goal, he no longer needs me. I get thrown away like yesterday’s news and someone new comes along. Someone younger. Skinnier. Prettier. To stroke his oh-so-fragile ego while I pick up the wreckage he just callously leaves behind.

My first granddaughter was born 8 days ago. This should be a joyous time in my life. But it’s all I can do to function. I am so angry and hurt. I never thought that at my age I’d have to start all over again.

I have to find housing. For me and my kids and my grand baby. Housing I can afford. I make less than a quarter of what he makes. I own nothing. Everything is in his name. I never dreamed that he would keep the house and we’d have to move. I always thought if the day ever came when it ended (and why would it? We were happy), that he would let me keep the home I have raised my children in. But he wants it. Of course, we are free to live here as long as we want (he says). Until he meets the next ego stroker and decides to move her in. Then where are we supposed to go?

No, we won’t stay here. It would be too easy to fall back into the routine of things, even if we are living on separate floors for the most part.

The hate and anger I feel are palpable. I hate the fact that he fell in love with someone else. I hate the fact that he cheated.

Over the years I suppose I have had the opportunity to cheat, but I never considered it. Not once. I was married. My vows were sacred. Mine were. His were optional.

My son asked me today if the past 17 years meant anything to his ‘father’. I said I honestly didn’t know. Honestly? I don’t think so. I think he didn’t have anything better to be doing, so he just hung out in our lives waiting for whatever he considers ‘better’ to come along.

I know I’ll come out of this on the other side, stronger, smarter. Maybe happier. But right now the other side seems so very far away. The light at the end of the tunnel seems so distant.

My grief ebbs and flows like the tide. I go from being so pissed off I could scream, to weepy the next. But my weepiness isn’t because I’m sad, really. It’s hurt. I’m sad that I wasted so many years on a lost cause. But I’m more hurt with the way the whole thing happened. Me finding an email account filled with such filthy emails that I almost threw up. This was the man I shared a bed with.

I want to run away. I want to just get the kids and go. My kids are adults, 18 and 20 (with a newborn). They are free to choose to do whatever they want. He has no obligation to them anymore. I want to just pack up and move to another state and forget this whole farce. And never, ever, have to see him again. And I might. It’s still an option for me to just go. My skills can get me a job anywhere. I can support myself and the kids are old enough to work.

But for now I am stuck. Here. In this house. With him. And it’s killing me.

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$200

So, I found on my husband has been having an affair. I found an email account that had some really graphic conversations on it. And in them, he professed his love for her. I knew it was over. He refuses to leave our house, because it is in his name. So I must try to relocate with my 18-year-old son, my 20-year-old daughter and her 6 day old newborn. Nice of him, isn’t it?

I can’t say I’m 100% shocked. He has been more distant and colder than usual. I knew something was up. I just didn’t know the extent. He says he ended it once I confronted him. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

17 years I have put into what I thought was a soul mate relationship. After one failed marriage, I dated my soon to be ex for years before we got married. YEARS. When I thought for sure he was the one, we got married. He adopted my kids from my first marriage when they were just little ones. And he wants to throw it all away.

He’s no spring chicken. He’s over 50. And apparently wants to have kids with the new woman. Never mind that he has 4 grandchildren. Never mind that this woman was his patient. (He is a nurse practitioner).

It all feels so dirty. Like I have been living one big lie.

I am most upset with how this has affected my son. He is beyond upset. Inconsolable. I have no words for him. I can’t make it all better. I can just tell him we’ll get through it and we’ll be fine. But the words are hollow, I don’t know where we are going or what we are doing. I’m trying to manage things the best I can, all while trying to help my daughter take care of a newborn,

I am stunned at how inconsiderate the person I married turned out to be.

Today I sold my weddings rings, my anniversary band and two pieces of Tiffany jewelry. For $200. That is what the past 17 years of my life is worth. $200. How do I come back from this?

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